BASIC OBEDIENCE CLASSES
The Atlanta Humane Society’s Basic Obedience classes give you the knowledge to have a more rewarding relationship with your dog by showing you how to teach your dog how best to behave in your household. Lessons include: pay attention, sit, stay, walk on leash without pulling, lie down, wait, come (all on leash), and more—though classes are NOT just about “commands.”
Classes last six consecutive weeks, once weekly, for about one hour per session, and homework is required. The object is to communicate more effectively with your pet and bond with him through attention, praise, treats, and positive leadership. Though specific “problem behaviors” such as chewing, excessive digging, or barking are not specifically covered, you will find that many of these behaviors disappear once you begin interacting with your dog using the positive methods we teach. Even dogs who already have a pretty good grasp of these commands can benefit from the socialization and added distraction of class, as well as our exclusive Leadership Protocols and Self-Control Exercises. It is never too late to have a great relationship with your dog!
Do you want your dog to behave whether or not you are holding a treat? So do we! We will show you how to get reliable behaviors without bribing your dog. Treats are great tools for teaching and reinforcing good behaviors, but our training will also give you results that last, with or without treats.
Classes are for puppies and dogs 4 months of age or older who have current vaccinations, including rabies (puppy vaccinations, including the rabies shot, are typically finished by the age of 4 months). Please email the instructor if you are not sure about your puppy’s eligibility.
Can’t wait for the next class? Have a dog who isn’t suitable for class? Our private training lessons may be just the ticket!
Classes fill quickly! Register soon so you don’t miss out!
August 26th Tuesday HOWELL MILL CAMPUS 6:45 pm* Only 5 spaces left! Register now! August 26th Tuesday HOWELL MILL CAMPUS 8:00 pm* Only 5 spaces left! Register now! August 28th Thursday MANSELL CAMPUS 7:15 pm* Spaces available! Register now! NOTE: this class will NOT meet on Thursday, September 18th. That week will be skipped, and class will graduate on October 9th. September 26th Friday MANSELL CAMPUS 10:00 am* Spaces available! Register now! This will be the last Friday class of 2014. September 27th Saturday HOWELL MILL CAMPUS 9:30 am* Spaces available; but Saturday classes fill quickly. Register now! September 27th Saturday HOWELL MILL CAMPUS 10:45 am* Spaces available; but Saturday classes fill quickly. Register now! October 14th Tuesday HOWELL MILL CAMPUS 6:30 pm* Spaces available! Register now! This class will graduate before Thanksgiving. October 14th Tuesday HOWELL MILL CAMPUS 8:00 pm* Spaces available! Register now! This class will graduate before Thanksgiving. October 16th Thursday MANSELL CAMPUS 7:00 pm Spaces available! Register now! This class will graduate before Thanksgiving. November 8th (final start date for 2014) Saturday HOWELL MILL CAMPUS 9:15 am* Spaces available; but Saturday classes fill quickly. Register now! NOTE: This class will NOT meet on Saturday, November 29th because of the Thanksgiving holiday. It will graduate December 20th. November 8th (final start date for 2014) Saturday HOWELL MILL CAMPUS 10:45 am* Spaces available; but Saturday classes fill quickly. Register now! NOTE: This class will NOT meet on Saturday, November 29th because of the Thanksgiving holiday. It will graduate December 20th. January 10th, 2015 Saturday HOWELL MILL CAMPUS 9:15 am* Registration opens Fall, 2014 January 10th, 2015 Saturday HOWELL MILL CAMPUS 10:45 am* Registration opens Fall, 2014
*The start time of all classes in this session AFTER week 1. Week 1 orientation is always 7pm to 9pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and 9 am to 11 am on Friday and Saturday mornings.
You may also email us to ask questions about your pet’s behavior, or class particulars.
DON’T LET THE LOW PRICE FOOL YOU! AHS Basic Obedience Classes are a great bargain at only $119 for the full 6-week session (though they are worth twice that) and include things other classes do not. The classes are open to dogs 4 months or older, who are current on vaccinations, generally friendly to people and other dogs, and not in heat. Dogs do not have to be Atlanta Humane Society adoptees. All classes come with weekly pre-class socialization (if applicable to your dog) and free repeats if you need them. Pre-registration is required.
We price our classes lower than other places not because they offer a lesser value, but because we want to continue to be a resource for the communities we serve. Ask around; chances are your friends or neighbors have trained with us and will assure you that some things in life are still a great bargain. You can pay more elsewhere, but you won’t get a better experience.
- The first week of every session is a 2-hour mandatory orientation (without your dog). All potential handlers age 10 to adult are encouraged to attend with the main handler.
- For Friday morning and Saturday morning classes, this orientation is held from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m.
- For all evening classes, this orientation is held from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.
- The * times referenced above in the table are when the rest of that session’s classes will begin. For instance, Tuesday evening classes for weeks 2-6 begin at either 6:45pm or 8:00pm, but the orientation (first week) is 7:00pm to 9:00pm.
- All classes take place at the Atlanta Humane Society, at either the Howell Mill campus located at 981 Howell Mill Rd. N.W. in Atlanta, or the Mansell campus, located at 1565 Mansell Rd. in Alpharetta (see class table above for the location of the class you are registering for). All classes in the session are at the same location.
- The mandatory first class of every session lasts 2 hours, is for people only, and takes place indoors. The remaining classes are taught in the Shelter parking lot or inside if necessary (uncomfortable temperatures, excessive wind, rain, high humidity, etc). Don’t worry; we won’t let you (or your dog) freeze or fry!
- Classes meet once per week, always at the same location. After the orientation week, all classes last about an hour (pre-class socialization begins 15 minutes prior to class start time).
- Well-behaved children are always welcome to attend class with their parents, though for everyone’s safety and comfort, please note the following rules: children under the age of 8 are required to be under the supervision of an adult who is not the main handler of the dog (one parent will not be able to manage young children and the dog). Children 8 and up may participate in the dog’s instruction in class, but the adult(s) will be the main handlers–especially when walking the dog to and from the car, into the building, etc. Please email the instructor if you have questions about your child’s suitability for class. You know your children best, and sometimes, kids make even better handlers than adults (not as much baggage).
Please contact us to discuss your dog’s issues if you are not sure how he will react to other dogs or people. Often, people mistake poor leash manners, fear, or other reactions such as barking as aggression, when they may not be. Please email the Training Department if you have questions or concerns.
REGISTRATION AND PAYMENT
- Classes fill up quickly, so pre-registration and payment are required.
- HOW to REGISTER and PAY: You may register and pay securely online by clicking the registration link next to the class you prefer; or register and pay in person with cash, check, or credit card at either Atlanta Humane Society shelter (regardless of the class location you prefer) during regular business hours; or download a registration form here and mail it with a check payable to AHS (address is on the form; this method not recommended unless your desired start date is at least 3 weeks away). Email the Training Department with any questions.
- You will receive an email confirmation when your registration is complete, and an email reminder a few days before your class begins. Please email us if you do not receive a confirmation from us within 48 hours of payment.
- REFUNDS or CHANGES: Life happens to the best of us. If you have registered and paid for a class and realize it no longer fits with your dog, your family, or your schedule, please let us know as soon as possible. If you give us at least 24 hours notice, we can give you a full refund, switch you to any class in the future, or apply your funds already paid to private lessons, redeemable at any time. Once the class has begun, no refunds can be given. Remember, the first class of the session is mandatory.
- Please note: online credit card payments are processed through our donation portal. If you paid by credit or debit card online, please allow at least 2-3 business days from the time you contact us for your refund to appear. Thank you!
ABOUT THE TRAINERMailey E. McLaughlin, M.Ed. is the Atlanta Humane Society Behavior & Training Manager, and a Certified Dog Trainer through the International Association of Canine Professionals (where she is also on the Board of Directors). She has been working with people and their pets for 30 years, teaching professionally for almost 15 years, and has built the AHS’ Training program from the ground up. She has years of experience working with shelter dogs and their owners. She is also a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers, and a certified Pet First Aid Instructor. Mailey believes training should be fun, fair, results-oriented, and geared toward pet owners who “have a life” and do not have hours every day to devote to training. She is devoted to improving the relationship between pets and owners through calm, positive communication, not dominance. Since there is no “one right way” to train every dog, Mailey continues to educate herself professionally and has cultivated many approaches to problem-solving. She believes the dog is the best indicator of how well the training is going. You get out what you put into your dog, but training need not be boring, time-consuming, or harsh to work. You CAN have the dog you deserve! See you in class!
TRAINING REVIEWS“We adopted a great hound puppy from your Mansell Rd. location and signed up for classes. Mailey helped us tremendously not only with Rebel (his new well-earned name), but with our other two older dogs as well. We were able to apply what we learned in class to our pack. Mailey knows so much and delivers it in an effective fun way. She is a blessing to the Humane Society and I hope we are able to take advantage of more of her classes. We’d love for her to do more at the Mansell location!”
“Just wanted to send an email to say what a WONDERFUL job Mailey did conducting the Basic Obedience Course. Her knowledge on dog behavior is phenomenal. In addition, she responded promptly to any questions that were emailed to her throughout the week. The change in my puppy is amazing! I will definitely sign up for the other training course! VERY pleased with the results.”
“Just wanted to let you know that I thoroughly enjoyed the inaugural Basic Obedience Class at the AHS Mansell Road Campus.To begin with, Mailey McLaughlin is an OUSTANDING INSTRUCTOR! Her enthusiasm, passion and dedication to caring for dogs is so apparent and inspiring. You can tell that she truly loves her profession. The class was extremely organized, complete with printed homework assignments and reminder emails each week that kept the momentum going for the week’s previous lesson. We had a good-sized class, but Mailey made sure that everyone felt included and was always available for questions – either in class or via email. Additionally, at the end of the course, Mailey provided book suggestions for continued training, which I thought was really helpful. I’ve heard about other expensive classes around Atlanta, but after taking this class, I genuinely don’t know how one could find a more well-run and top-notch program than the one Mailey provides. The $119 price tag on the class is such a value, I have already begun recommending the class to people I see at the dog park and to other dog owners in my neighborhood. The volunteers were also wonderful and really kept things running smoothly. I am so impressed with the AHS at both locations, that its hard to remember that the dogs that live there are actually homeless because they are in such great hands between the loving volunteers and committed staff that run both facilities.Thank you for a wonderful experience for Elly and I. We might consider the advanced class at some point down the road as well. The dogs of Atlanta are so lucky to have the AHS ———- thanks to everyone!”
“I just wanted to take some time to tell you how amazing our experience was at Mailey’s basic obedience class. I could not have asked for a better trainer! We have learned so much over the last few weeks and will definitely sign up for one of the intermediate classes. Charlie and Axel thank you guys!”
“I just finished up obedience training with Mailey. She was absolutely 110% amazing. The class met and exceeded my expectations. My pup Guinness is still very young and learning and we were a bit behind the rest of the other doggie students but Guinness is progressing at his own pace. Mailey and everyone in class made it such a great experience and I would love to move into the second phase once Guinness gets up to that level. Mailey was even complimented by Susie at the Atlanta Dog Trainer which is huge to hear trainers compliment each other. I knew I was in good hands once Susie confirmed that.”
“Hey~ Just wanted to write y’all to say that I just finished a doggy training class with Mailey and she is wonderful! She is so knowledgeable and has a great sense of humor. She has the ability to give a lot of good information in a comprehensive and understandable way. I definitely want to take the intermediate class in the Spring!”
“I just wanted to send a note to state how awesome my dog training class was with Mailey. I had heard from some friends and my best friend (who is a vet in Atlanta) how great and worth it that it was to attend Mailey’s classes–so I drove from Cartersville every Tuesday night to attend… and I wanted to email you to state that it was worth the drive to come! You have a jewel on your hands–and we are lucky to have her. My dog and I truly benefitted!!”
“We just finished our obedience training and our new graduate, Molly, is a happy, loving addition to our family. Our experience with the Atlanta Humane Society was such a positive one on so many fronts. As first time dog owners we were sort of clueless on what to expect. Just like first time parents who are always calling the pediatrician, we were pretty insecure about most things that we were doing. Thank goodness for Mailey! Every time I sent her an email with a question, I always received an immediate response, which was always patient and instructional as well as reassuring. From the first class, Mailey knew our names as well as our dog’s name and always made us feel that we had adopted a really special dog. Her responses, even in her written communication, were not “pat” answers, they always related to Molly and her specific behaviors. Mailey’s energy level, her consistency and her obvious love of animals was inspiring. She really got us to begin to understand our dog from her point of view. I am sure that if Molly could articulate gratitude she would say “thank you” to Mailey as well.”