Current Training Services at Willamette Humane Society

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By Nichole Myers-Youngquist, CPDT-KA, WHS Behavior & Training Instructor

Happy New Year! If you made any resolutions for 2021, you’re not alone. The Behavior and Training Department’s resolutions include crafting solutions that help clients and their dog family members meet their training goals and resolve behavior challenges. We’ve had to suspend most of our group classes due to COVID-19. This month’s blog describes the classes and private lesson options we offer during the current pandemic restrictions.

For Puppies

Best Beginnings

We cover basic manners during this six-week course, but we also thoroughly explore issues beyond typical obedience training. You and your puppy will learn skills like vet and grooming handling, confidence building through gradual introductions, walking nicely on a leash, polite greetings, and more. We will also teach you about preventative management and enrichment so that your puppy is thriving every day, not just every training session. For additional information on what enrichment means, read my previous blogs.

Our instructors are committed to using kind, practical, rewards-based teaching methods. We don’t want you to have to worry about training-related fear or aggression. Let’s keep it all fun! 

The training room is cleaned and sanitized before every puppy class, and every puppy must meet our health requirements to participate. We do our best to provide a fun, safe, healthy learning environment.

This class is for puppies to enroll at age eight to 16 weeks. We’ve designed it to optimize your puppy’s early sensitive period of development and socialization.

Fee: $105

Length: 45 minutes

Visit our website to enroll.

Smart Puppy Play

Puppies learn to interact with novel obstacles during Smart Puppy Play.

Drop off your puppy for an hour of socialization, play, and training with our WHS trainers. We focus on positive interactions with puppies and people, body handling, new sights, sounds, textures, and scents, while you take a break to go shopping, grab a coffee, or catch up with a friend on a phone call.

We group our puppy play sessions by puppy weight. Our Smaller Pups session is for puppies age 10 to 20 weeks, weighing up to 12 lbs. Bigger Pups is for puppies age 10 to 20 weeks, weighing 12 to 25 lbs. Adolescent Smaller Breed is for puppies up to age nine months, weighing 12 to 24 lbs.

Puppies will enjoy enrichment and training activities during the hour.

Fee: $35

Session size: Four puppies

Visit our website to enroll.

For All Dogs

Please note that this photo used was taken before COVID-19 restrictions were put in place.

Day Training

Whether you’re working away or from home, time is essential and lacking. Everyone, including your dog, needs your attention. How do you find time to train your dog? We can help. Leave the training up to us.

Drop off your dog for one hour, three days a week, for personalized private sessions with one of our certified dog trainers. We’ll meet with you at the end of the week to discuss and demonstrate the exercises. You’ll also receive two one-hour follow up sessions.

We can design your sessions to focus on:

  • Housetraining, mouthiness, jumping up, leash walking, polite greetings, handling sensitivity, and basic obedience exercises.
  • Confidence building for shy, fearful, or sensitive dogs.
  • Attention, focus, and over-excitement in the presence of distractions.
  • Leave it, drop it, and mild resource guarding.
  • Reactivity to strangers, other dogs, animals, or noises.

Training is essential for achieving better results, harmonious households, and enjoyable canine companionship. We create our packages to help you to include your dog in more family and life activities. 

One-week training package: $600 (includes three one-hour training sessions, one skill transfer session, and two one-hour follow-up sessions)

Visit our website for more information on multi-week packages.

Private Lessons

Are you having difficult issues with your dog and desire a one-on-one coaching session with our trainers? You’re in luck! We offer several private lesson options. 

Please note that this photo used was taken before COVID-19 restrictions were put in place.

In-Person at WHS

During these lessons, your trainer will discuss enrichment, management, and create a personalized training plan with exercise instructions.


Single 30-minute lesson: $50

Bundle of three 30-minute lessons: $130

Bundle of six 30-minute lessons: $280

Virtual via Zoom

No need to drive. No worrying about the six-foot apart requirement. Our virtual private lessons connect you with one of our certified dog trainers via Zoom in the comfort of your own home. You’ll receive a homework plan (via email, of course) that works with social distancing. 

Fee: $25 for one 30-minute lesson

Off-site at an outdoor venue

WHS is taking our private lessons on-the-road. If your dog is uncomfortable in strange environments or is just more focused in familiar surroundings, we can come to you and help with any unwanted behavior challenges. Any outdoor venue can be a classroom (except for public dog parks). 

We require that you have completed one WHS group class, taken one private lesson from us, or have instructor approval before enrolling. Contact us via email at if you need instructor approval.


Single 30-minute lesson: $60

Bundle of three 30-minute lessons: $160 

Bundle of six 30-minute lessons: $320

Enroll in any of the above options on our website.

Thank you for reading and, as always, practice patience.