Dog Training

Our experienced trainers can make quick work of your dog's challenging behavior! See class list below for more details. 

Unless otherwise noted, classes are held in the Community Room at MHHS, 3 Oakland Avenue, Menands.

See below for a complete list of our training options. Click the banner dropdown to reveal more details about the topics each class will cover. Any number in parentheses shows how many classes are currently available for that subject.

Basic Obedience (2)

In this six-week introductory training course, you and your dog will strengthen your bond as you learn fundamental skills through positive reinforcement. These include: sit, down, stay, come, wait and leave it, along with a few fun tricks. This is a small group class that will help your dog become accustomed to working through distractions without becoming overwhelmed. It is appropriate for all dogs 5 months of age or older, even if they have already had some training.

Classes meet for 60 minutes weekly for 6 weeks and class sizes are limited. Payment is due when you sign up (a link will be sent to you) and you must present proof of up-to-date vaccinations (rabies, distemper and bordetella). Please DO NOT bring your dog to the first class, so the instructor can have your undivided attention during orientation.

Two classes:

Starting 3/2/24 - Saturdays, 11 am-12 pm (skipping week of 3/30 & 4/6)
Trainer: Lori Tyler
Cost: $180 (15% off for MHHS alumni)

Starting 3/7/24 - Thursdays, 6-7 pm
Trainer: Lori Tyler
Cost: $180 (15% off for MHHS alumni)

Please visit our class schedule >> to sign up.

No refunds

Intermediate Obedience

In this six-week intermediate obedience course, you and your dog will improve the fundamental skills learned and practiced in basic obedience. These include: sit, down, stay, come, loose leash walking, and many more.  This class is for anyone who wants to improve on their training foundation and learn some new skills.  It is appropriate for all dogs 8 months of age or older who have had some form of basic obedience training.

Classes meet for 60 minutes weekly for 6 weeks and class sizes are limited. Payment is due when you sign up (a link will be sent to you) and you must present proof of up-to-date vaccinations (rabies, distemper and bordetella). Please DO NOT bring your dog to the first class, so the instructor can have your undivided attention during orientation.

There are no classes available at this time.

Reactive Dog Class (2)

Reactive Dog Class

Not all dogs like strangers or other dogs. In this six-week class, we will help you and your dog be well on your way to a calmer, safer life through impulse control exercises and practice.

Classes meet for 60 minutes weekly for 6 weeks and class sizes are limited. Payment is due when you sign up (a link will be sent to you) and you must present proof of up-to-date vaccinations (rabies, distemper and bordetella). Please DO NOT bring your dog to the first class, so the instructor can have your undivided attention during orientation.

Two classes available:

Starting 3/11/24 - Mondays, 5:30-6:30 pm 
Trainer: Hannah Bonner
Cost: $240 (15% off for MHHS alumni)

Starting 3/24/24 - Sundays, 2-3 pm (skipping week of 3/31) - CLASS FULL
Trainer: Dacia Proper
Cost: $240 (15% off for MHHS alumni)

Please visit our class schedule >> to sign up.

No refunds

Confidence Building

Confidence Building

Is your pooch nervous about nail trims or ear cleanings? How about the dreaded scale at the veterinarian's office? Using positive reinforcement training techniques and working at your own dog's pace (every dog learns and progresses at different speeds), we will work on boosting their self-esteem. In this course we will expose them to different textures to place their paws on, touching/gently squeezing their paws and ears, working on friendly stranger greetings, having them go through a mini obstacle course and more! Don't worry, this class is not all fun and games... wait a minute, yes it is!

Classes meet for 60 minutes weekly for 6 weeks and class sizes are limited. Payment is due when you sign up (a link will be sent to you) and you must present proof of up-to-date vaccinations (rabies, distemper and bordetella). Please DO NOT bring your dog to the first class, so the instructor can have your undivided attention during orientation.

No classes scheduled at this time.

VIRTUAL: Dogs & Toddlers

Dogs & Toddlers

Dogs & Toddlers is the ideal program for families with dogs and babies who are soon to be crawling or walking. Often the first 3 months have gone smoothly and many families are caught off guard when their dog begins to show discomfort with new developmental changes of their mobile baby. This program offers insight and proactive options for some of the common challenges families with dogs experience as baby becomes mobile.

Classes meet for 60 minutes weekly for 2 weeks. Payment is due when you sign up (a link will be sent to you).

No classes scheduled at this time

VIRTUAL: Dogs & Storks

Dogs & Storks

Dogs & Storks is perfect for expecting families with dogs as they prepare with their dog for life with baby. We offer positive, practical and fun solutions that will help you include your dog once baby arrives. We want to help ease families into the transition from pet parents to baby parents with dogs. Our program answers the most commonly asked questions and provides insight on dog behavior to help you feel more confident and less stressed.

Classes meet for 60 minutes weekly for 2 weeks. Payment is due when you sign up (a link will be sent to you).

No classes scheduled at this time

Puppy Manners (1)

Puppy Manners

Get a head start on training your new puppy to become a dog who is a joy to live with! It's never too early to develop life-long skills your puppy needs to navigate the world. This class is part age-specific socialization to learn problem solving social skills, part training class to learn basic skills and part support group for families of puppies to get puppy raising advice and share common issues. For all puppies aged 8-20 weeks.

Classes meet for 60 minutes weekly for 4 weeks and class sizes are limited. Payment is due when you sign up (a link will be sent to you) and you must present proof of up-to-date vaccinations (rabies, distemper and bordetella).

One class available:

Starting 3/2/24 - Saturdays, 3-4 pm
Trainer: Lori Tyler
Cost: $160 (15% off for MHHS alumni)

Please visit our class schedule >> to sign up.

No refunds

Clicker Training

Clicker Training

Ever wonder what the big deal is about clicker training? Whether you're brand new to dog training or just want to add to your training tool box, this class will demystify using reward markers and shaping new behaviors. In this class we will learn how to use the clicker to reinforce behaviors such as sit, down, stay and come, as well as shape behaviors such as going to a place. We will also train several tricks during class and each handler & dog will train a unique trick using their new skills. Appropriate for any age dog and any skill level handlers.

Classes meet for 60 minutes weekly for 6 weeks and class sizes are limited. Payment is due one week prior to the class start date, along with proof of up-to-date vaccinations (rabies, distemper and bordetella) and a signed WAIVER >>Please DO NOT bring your dog to the first class, so the instructor can have your undivided attention during orientation.

No classes scheduled at this time

CGC/TDI Prep (1)

CGC/TDI Prep

This eight-week class includes advanced dog training techniques creating the everyday good manners we all want our dogs to have. We cover all areas of the Canine Good Citizen (CGC) and Therapy Dog International (TDI) tests. Dogs must be one year or older and will have the option to take the CGC and/or TDI tests at the end of class for an additional fee of $10 each test.

Classes meet for 60 minutes weekly for 8 weeks and class sizes are limited. Payment is due one week prior to the class start date, along with proof of up-to-date vaccinations (rabies, distemper and bordetella) and a signed WAIVER >>Please DO NOT bring your dog to the first class, so the instructor can have your undivided attention during orientation.

One class available:

Starting 3/24/24 - Sundays, 3:30-4:30 pm (skipping week of 3/31)
Trainer: Dacia Proper
Cost: $280 (15% off for MHHS alumni)

Please visit our class schedule >> to sign up.

No refunds

Leash Walking & Recall

Leash Walking & Recall

Are you looking for a fun class to do with your dog? Have you already taken your basic obedience, but you want more practice with leash walking and recall? This class might be for you! This 4-week field trip class starts with a refresher of basic walking and recall skills, then we're going to take those skills out into the real world to experience different types of walks and settings to practice in.

Dogs and handlers must have completed basic obedience prior to starting. Field trips will be within minutes of the shelter, around an hour in duration and mostly paved, easy terrain. Recommended training tools include a flat-buckle collar, Martingale collar or harness, 6-foot leash, and 10- or 20-foot longline. No retractable leashes.

Classes meet for 60 minutes weekly for 4 weeks and class sizes are limited. Payment is due when you sign up (a link will be sent to you) and you must present proof of up-to-date vaccinations (rabies, distemper and bordetella).

No classes scheduled at this time.

 

Our Trainers

 

Nancy Haynes, CPDT-KA, CBCC-KA

Nancy began her career with animals as an animal control officer. She has been working hands-on with the animals at MHHS for more than a decade. She has been integral to the development and management of rescue, foster and assessment programs, and is involved in all of the Society's cruelty investigation efforts. As the Director of Behavior & Enrichment, her focus is meeting the physical and psychological needs of the animals in our care. Nancy is CPDT-KA certified, as well as a Certified Obedience Trainer through ABTA (Animal Behavior & Training Associates), now known as ABC (Animal Behavior College), and is certified in the ASPCA's SAFER (Safety Assessment for Evaluating Rehoming) Aggression Assessment.

 

Jillian Leibach, CPDT-KA

Jillian grew up loving dogs. She began her career in animal welfare in 2009 as an Animal Care Associate at MHHS. Here she learned the intricacies of canine behavior through hands-on experience and by administering the SAFER (Safety Assessment for Evaluating Rehoming) behavior assessment on hundreds of dogs. Jillian is CPDT-KA certified, and she has also received her certification through the Animal Behavior College for Basic Obedience Training (ABCDT). Jillian has grown with the Society over the years and is currently Director of Placement.

 

Dana Polsinelli, CPDT-KA

Dana sparked an interest in training in 2010 when her first dog as an adult fell into her lap. At that time, Dana hired a Behavior Specialist to help, and that's when she decided to attend Animal Behavior College (ABCDT) where she received her certification in Basic Obedience Training. Dana began training for MHHS in 2018, teaching Basic Obedience classics. She wanted to expand her knowledge, so in 2019 she began working for MHHS full-time as a Behavior & Enrichment Specialist. Dana now teaches a variety of training classes and also private sessions for Basic Obedience, Confidence Building and Behavior Modification. She went on to become CPDT-KA certified and is currently the Behavior & Enrichment Coordinator at MHHS.

 

Dacia Proper, CPDT-KA, FPPE

Dacia entered the world of dog behavior in 2011 when she adopted her first dog who was supposed to be an "easy dog". She participated in a variety of training classes and behavioral modification techniques with him and become interested in dog psychology. She has fostered more than 45 dogs since that adoption. Dacia became a Behavior & Enrichment volunteer at MHHS in 2017 and hit the ground running. She's spent countless hours working with dogs to bring out their best selves, training new volunteers and helping adopters find a good match for their lifestyles. She has a sweet spot for senior dogs, big doofuses and those that can use some work on their impulse control. She loves learning new ways to interact with dogs. Dacia has used a variety of methods for training dogs but has found positive reinforcement and force-free methods to improve owner/dog relationships. She hopes to further her knowledge in those areas in the future.

 

Lori Tyler

Lori Tyler worked as a Licensed Veterinary Technician and has been a professional dog trainer since 2003 when she started a business to provide positive reinforcement training and behavior modification to veterinary clients, shelter-adopted pets and the general public. Lori's training focus has been relationship building, puppy socialization and fixing problem behaviors. Her continuing education includes a certification course through Karen Pryor Academy to become an expert clicker trainer. While dog training is no longer her day job, she brings experience teaching multiple types of classes, including manners/obedience, puppy classes and clicker training, and is looking forward to helping people develop the best possible relationship with their dog.

 

Hannah Bonner, CPDT-KA

Hannah grew up surrounded by a variety of animals and has always especially loved working with horses, cats and dogs. She first became interested in behavioral modification as a teenager to best help her childhood dog navigate life. In 2021, she became a Behavior & Enrichment volunteer at MHHS and realized her true passion was working with dogs, especially those who need a little extra love and help reaching their true potential. Since then, she has spent thousands of hours working with the dogs of MHHS, whether it be refining their manners, working on behavioral modification, helping them find their forever homes or just being their friend. As long as she is with the dogs, she is happy. Along with the knowledge Hannah has gained from years of direct experience, she is also CPDT-KA certified.

 

 

Is private training more your style? Learn more:

 

Private Dog Training