Bond with and learn about your new puppy! This 4-week course for puppies between 8 and 16 weeks old is designed to teach handling skills to you and socialization skills to your puppy.
Sit; Down Come; Targeting
Bite inhibition; Chewing and Teething
Husbandry skills such as nail trimming and stress free vet exams.
Supervised play – What’s appropriate and when to intervene.
You can find a list of upcoming classes at the bottom of this page if on a mobile device or to the right on larger screens. Please contact Family Dog School at +1 (413) 447-7878, ext. 139 for registration requirements.
Class Schedule: Saturday
Time: 12pm – 1pm
Cost: $120 for session
Head Instructor: Lisa Corbett
A great opportunity to teach and play with your dog! This 7-week beginner course for dogs four months and older introduces basic behaviors, such as sit, down, walk nicely, come, polite greetings, go lay down and relax. Several agility obstacles are included to build confidence, coordination and team work.
Level 1 will start to prepare your dog to take the Canine Good Citizen test offered by the American Kennel Club.
To reserve your place, mail or drop off the completed registration form with a check for full tuition to:
Berkshire Humane Society, 214 Barker Road, Pittsfield, MA 01201.
An email or letter confirming the date and time of the first class will be sent to you one week before the class. Plan ahead – classes fill quickly!
Class enrollment is based on when paid registrations are received. In the event that a session is filled, students will be contacted to discuss other options.
Class Schedule: Saturday, Tuesday & Wednesday
Time: 9:30am-10:30am – Saturday | 6:00pm-7:00pm or 7:30pm-8:30pm – Tuesday | 6:00pm-7:00pm – Wednesday
Cost: $225 includes a training bait bag and either a Gentle Leader head collar or an Easy Walk Front-Clip Harness. Shelter alumni get $20 off. (Classes occasionally run over the hour.)
Head Instructor: Lisa Corbett (Saturday & Wednesday)
Secondary Instructor: Claudia (Tuesday)
Please Note: Dogs with reactivity or agrression problems towards people or dogs are not suitable to attend Level 1 Manners – Please refer to Behavioral Consultations or Private Lessons instead.
This 7-week advanced course for dogs of all ages builds on Level 1 skills by introducing distraction training as well as hand signals – an easy and enjoyable way to communicate silently with your dog. Participants must have completed Manners Level 1.
The Canine Good Citizen exercises are built on from Level 1 and will include a crowd scene as well as the dog/dog greetings test.
Graduating students of Family Dog School are given priority for these classes. However, a limited number of openings may be available for new students and returning alumni. Please contact Lisa Corbett at +1 (413) 447-7878, ext. 139 for more information.
Class Schedule: Thursday
Time: 6:30pm-7:30pm – Thursday
Prerequisite: Level 1
Head Instructor: Lisa Corbett
Nose work is a great sport that taps into your dog’s natural scenting ability to hunt and scavenge for food. This six week course is suitable for every dog regardless of age or skill set. All we need is a working nose! This is the sport were the dog takes the lead! We don’t have to teach our dogs how to do it, we just have to set them up on the right path and they do all the work themselves! We allow our dog the opportunity to use their nose in a friendly and safe environment as they discover their individual scenting style (without any interference from us humans). We begin by encouraging the dog to find food in simple low distraction environments, and systematically create more and more challenges for your dog to work through. As the dogs natural scenting ability begins to evolve, we the “handler” begin to identify our dogs search style and how to read and understand their body language and help support our dogs throughout the search. With one session you and your dog will have the knowledge to go off on your own and use nose work as a great enrichment game. If you wish to continue on with classes you will explore a multitude of search areas interior and exterior as we build up to your dog searching independently for a target odor.
Benefits of Nose work
Great for all dogs!
Low impact activity you and your dog can enjoy anytime and anywhere
Builds confidence in shy and fearful dogs
A great mental workout that can exhaust even the most energetic dogs
Builds and strengthens you and your dog’s relationship
Allows the dog to take control
Builds a better understanding on reading your dog’s body language.
Allows your dog to let loose and have fun
Only one dog in the class at a time so reactive dogs are welcome
Introduction to Nose Work
The foundation of scent work begins here! We begin in a small enclosed area with little distractions. Week by week the challenges become progressively harder and the search space begins to grow larger. We work on building a strong desire to search that allows our dogs to work through an assortment of odor puzzles with little stress and frustration. You the handler will learn how to read your dog’s body language so that you can become a great team member and support your dog throughout the search!
Limited to a max number of 5 dogs per class. Classes time varies depending on the number of dogs enrolled in the session. Each dog is given 15 minutes of search time total.
Class Day of the Week /Time: Monday Evenings
Cost: $180 for the six week session
Registration: Contact Family Dog School for more information – +1 (413) 447-7878 x. 139
Instructor: Claudia Sala
For dogs who aren’t ready to train in a group setting or for owners who can’t attend a group class, Family Dog School offers private, one-on-one sessions.
Aggression, reactivity, and fear-related behaviors are just some examples of problems best addressed in private consultations. In an individually tailored session, you and your dog will meet with an instructor who will help you interpret canine body language and stress signals and develop a training and behavior modification program for your dog.
Please contact Lisa to discuss if a private lesson or consultation would be right for you and your dog.
Class Schedule: Wednesday & Thursday
Time: Times Vary
Cost: $75 per hour
Does your dog struggle with reactivity while on walks or out in public? If so, our Reactive Rover class will give you tools to address these problem behaviors and help your dog feel calm, safe and secure in the presence of their triggers.
This is a 6-week hybrid course: 50 percent online, 50 percent in person. The first three classes will be held online where you will meet your instructor and class members and get personalized instruction and “homework” assignments each week to be completed with your dog. Weeks 4-6 will be in-person at Berkshire Humane Society, where you will have an instructor assigned to work with you and your dog to integrate the skills you learned online into a group class setting (among other dogs and humans). This class will be SMALL (4 dogs maximum) and has a 1-to-1 student-teacher ratio during classroom time to ensure individualized instruction and success for each dog-handler team
Class Schedule: Saturday
Time: 2pm – 3pm
Cost: $250 for 6-week session
Instructor: Haylie Gernert-Dott