Basic Obedience Class

DONATE TO OUR TRAINING PROGRAM

Thank you for choosing to support the Atlanta Humane Society through the Training/Education Department. We believe education is the key to a kinder, gentler, pet-friendly world. Pets help people, and we help pets and people! Your contribution will ensure that our training and education programs will continue for years to come. Thank you!

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 from the start date, 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 rewards such as attention, praise, and treats, and keep him on the right track with 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 proven 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!

COST and PREREQUISITES

AHS Basic Obedience Classes are a great bargain at only $149.00 for the full 6-week session . They include things other classes at this price point do not deliver.

To attend this class, dogs must meet the following requirements by Week 2 of the session:

  • They must be 4 months or older
  • They must be current with the following vaccinations: rabies, DH(L)PP, and bordatella (kennel cough). Proof is required at check-in. The Canine influenza vaccine is not required, but is strongly advised
  • They must be spayed (females) or neutered (males) if they are older than 8 months. Some exceptions may apply; email the instructor to ask before you register
  • They must be generally friendly* to people and other dogs (see DOG TEMPERAMENT NOTE under “Training Details” tab below). Dogs with bite histories to humans or other dogs are not suitable for class.

Dogs do not have to be Atlanta Humane Society adoptees.

All classes come with a weekly pre-class “meet-n-greet” (if applicable to your dog–some exclusions apply and are discussed at orientation) and lifetime class support. Pre-registration is required.

DON’T LET THE LOW PRICE FOOL YOU! The instructor graciously teaches this class at a lower price than other places not because this class is 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.

“Don’t treat your dogs like humans, or they’ll treat you like dogs.” ~Martha Scott

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.

Are you worried that obedience training will take the fun out of your relationship with your dog? Don’t be! It will enhance it, and your dog will be happier when he knows exactly what to expect from you.

Are you worried that training means you won’t be able to give affection to your dog, or have him sleep with you? This is typically not the case. Petting and sleeping with a dog do not have to be at odds with training.

Are you worried that training needs to be harsh or punitive? It doesn’t. Ours isn’t. It’s fun, and it gives you results.

 

Do you have multiple dogs and want each to come to class? We do allow two dogs from one family to attend simultaneously if 1.) each will have a separate, dedicated handler every week (the first must be an adult and the second handler must be at least 16 years old), and 2.) the dogs are not siblings, or unrelated but similarly-aged puppies or adults that have been raised together from a young age. (Siblings and puppies raised this way have challenges that make classes together difficult, and do much better when separated for class.) If you want to register two dogs for class, please email the instructor first to make sure it is OK. We want to do what is best for each dog, and ultimately provides a better experience for everyone.

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!

IMPORTANT NOTE: the initial class of every session is a mandatory orientation without the dog. The orientation is 2 hours in length and because of this, it may begin at an earlier time than the rest of the classes (see Training Details below). This class must be attended by at least one adult (18+) member of the household in which the dog lives. If you cannot attend the initial class in the session you desire, please email the instructor before you register. A friend or family member cannot attend in your place unless they also live with the dog.

This is to ensure that you have the full class experience and do not get confused about what needs to be done at home. It may be possible for you to attend a different orientation (one that takes place prior to yours) if one is available.

START DATE DAY LOCATION TIME STATUS
January 4th, 2020 Saturday HOWELL MILL CAMPUS 9:15 am* FULL; waitlist available. Email [email protected] to inquire.
January 4th, 2020 Saturday HOWELL MILL CAMPUS 10:45 am* FULL; waitlist available. Email [email protected] to inquire.
January 21st, 2020 Tuesday HOWELL MILL CAMPUS 6:30 pm* Only 2 spots left! Reserve your spot now, because classes fill quickly. Click this link to register.
January 21st, 2020 Tuesday HOWELL MILL CAMPUS 8:00 pm* Only 4 spots left! Reserve your spot now, because classes fill quickly. Click this link to register.
January 23rd, 2020 Thursday MANSELL CAMPUS 7:00 pm* Registration is open! Reserve your spot now, because classes fill quickly. Click this link to register.
February 22nd Saturday HOWELL MILL CAMPUS 9:15 am* Registration is open! Reserve your spot now, because classes fill quickly. Click this link to register.
February 22nd Saturday HOWELL MILL CAMPUS 10:45 am* Registration is open! Reserve your spot now, because classes fill quickly. Click this link to register.
  • 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 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 6:30 pm or 8:00 pm, but the orientation (first week) is 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm.
  • 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 (i.e., if you register for a Howell Mill class, it will always be at Howell Mill).
  • The mandatory first class of every session lasts 2 hours, is for people only, and takes place indoors. The remaining classes are taught  indoors and partially in the Shelter parking lot, depending on the lesson.  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 “meet-n-greet” 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). Kids can get bored, though, so please bring a book or game for them to do quietly if they have a hard time sitting still.
  • *DOG TEMPERAMENT NOTE: being wary of strangers, timid around people or dogs, or even a bit aloof is typically not a problem. Does your dog prefer people to other dogs? We have no problem with that. However, all dogs must be able to tolerate, without showing aggression, the presence of other leashed dogs and humans moving normally in the classroom setting. You must be able to safely control your dog walking to and from class, etc, and be able to keep the dog out of other dogs’ faces and spaces during the leashed portion of the class. This is for the safety of all. Please email the instructor if you have questions.

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.

  • Classes fill up quickly, so pre-registration and payment are required.
  • HOW to REGISTER and PAY: Please register and pay securely online by clicking the registration link next to the class you prefer; this works best on laptop or desktop computers (as opposed to mobile phones) and will enable you to schedule yourself a reminder email. You may also register and pay in person with cash or credit card at any Atlanta Humane Society shelter (regardless of the class location you prefer) during regular business hours. Just tell an Adoption Counselor that you would like to pay for a training class and they will ring you up. Online registration is recommended. Email the Training Department if you do pay in person–that way the instructor will be able to get you on her roster and send you a confirmation.
  • You will receive an email confirmation when your registration is complete, and you can choose to receive 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 online 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 email notice at least 24 hours prior to the class start time, we can switch you to any class in the future, or refund your money. Once the class session has begun, no refunds can be given. Remember, the first class of the session is mandatory.

Mailey E. McLaughlin, M.Ed. is the Atlanta Humane Society Behavior & Training Manager. She holds the titles Certified Dog Trainer-Advanced, and Professional Dog Training Instructor through the International Association of Canine Professionals (where she is also on the Board of Directors, currently as Vice-President). She is also a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers, and a certified Pet First Aid Instructor. An Atlanta native, Mailey has been working with people and their pets for over 32 years, teaching professionally for 18+ years, and has built the AHS’ Training program from the ground up. She has years of experience working with shelter dogs and their owners. 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!

“I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed Mailey’s teaching.  She is so thorough and explains everything with clarity, patience and a desire to see everyone succeed.  It’s very obvious that her passion for the dogs reveals a very caring and giving heart and I can tell sharing her wisdom and experience with obedience training isn’t a “have to” job for her, it gives her joy.  I wi