At Willamette Humane Society, we believe every pooch is brimming with potential. If your dog is pitching problems, we’ll fetch the results you’ve been wanting and you can connect with other pet parents in a supportive environment to share the journey.Register for Classes Online
The first stop on every training adventure is Dog Smart. This 1-hour class is where you’ll get your urgent questions answered by our knowledgeable instructors, find out how to unleash your dog’s cooperation and learn what you need for class. This brief session is required for all human students and includes an opportunity for class registration.
Sensible Puppy Start
Bring your 8 to 14 week old puppy to Sensible Puppy Start for 6 weeks of the most comprehensive puppy program available. You’ll follow a color-coded path for your particular puppy through seven essential priorities each week, making the most of your puppy’s early developmental period. The only prerequisites to joining this class are to attend DogSmart and bring your puppy’s vaccination and deworming proof for verification. Join any week! Register online now and pick up your 100-page Student Guide at your DogSmart class.
Cost is $130 for a six week session, 1.5 hr class.
If you’ve got the basics down already, why not take your show on the road? Join other adventurous pet parents and tour some fantastic Salem-area, pet-friendly spots. You’ll make new friends and enjoy training your dog to behave in public, where you need it most, while being coached by one of our friendly instructors.
Cost is $125 for a six week session, 1 hr class.
Family Dog Manners Series
Just getting started? If you already have good attention from your dog and just want to get off to a great start with the basics, here’s your class. You’ll learn loose leash walking, polite greetings, a solid stay, off-leash recalls and more. Register for our Family Dog Manners Package and save a bundle or dip your toes in slowly by simply registering online for Family Dog Manners 1 following DogSmart.
Cost is $95 for a four week session, 45 min. class.
Tricks and Treats
Parlor tricks, anyone? Put some fun into your week and bring your dog to this easy and delightful 6-week class where your pooch will learn some top tricks to impress your family and friends. If your dog is polite around other dogs and ready to play off-leash, this class is for you.
Cost is $99 for a six week session.
Chase Me: Playgroup!
You’ve been asking and we’ve heard you! All friendly dogs are invited to participate in this time for learning dog body language and socializing with other dogs. You can register online to have your dog evaluated for a one-time fee of $25 and then, upon instructor approval, purchase 6 consecutive weeks of playgroup. Join us, this weekend! (no pre-requisites)
Evaluation is $25 for a one time fee. Purchase 6-pk of playgroup experiences for only $99. Register with your instructor’s permission following evaluation.
Open Training Time
If you just need a little practice in a supportive environment, here’s a fun place to find it. We’re opening our facility to independent students who want to help one another reach their training goals with minimal coaching. This is an independent-study course for training nerds and devoted pet parents. Cost is $150 for twelve 45 min. sessions.
Would you know what to do in an emergency? Learn how to save your cat’s or dog’s life several different ways in one easy seminar! This 8-hour, comprehensive class includes a manual, hands-on instruction and coaching by a certified PetTech instructor.
Cost is $125 for a one-time class.
Naughty Dog Cluster
Our exciting Naughty Dog Cluster has concise classes that give you the skills to fix problem behaviors in just two weeks. Need more practice? You can register for another round at your pleasure. Each Naughty Dog 2-week class is $49 OR purchase a punch pass – your choice of any 3 topics in any combination for only $135.
Grow great skills for your family dog through our Gamers Group. Join today and select one-class-wonders that will be rewarding for you and your dog as you play and learn together.
Each Gamers Group Session is $25 OR purchase a punch pass – your choice of 3 sessions for only $65.
Shelter Dog Support
This course series will help fosters and volunteers to prepare dogs for adoption.
Behavior & Training
Before You Get to Class
- Do not feed your dog breakfast on class day. If you are taking an evening class, feed only half of their breakfast to be sure that your dog is hungry at class time.
What To Bring To Class
- Training Treats—but not just any treats!
o Ratings of 8-10: Have your dog sample 5-6 different types of treats in a mildly distracting setting. Rate the treats from 1-10 depending on how much your dog likes them. Keeping them focused in class will require treats that rate no lower than 8.
o They should be soft so they can be eaten quickly.
o They should be cut into tiny pieces so they are ready to use and your dog doesn’t fill up too fast.
o Bring a few types as they will get bored of the same flavor after a while.
- Treat Pouch to hold treats—it is important to be able to access them easily and quickly
- Blanket or Mat—for your dog to lie on. Please do not bring large stuffing-filled dog beds.
- Puppy Pacifier—the most effective pacifier is usually a Kong, pre-stuffed with your dog’s favorite filling. Other pacifiers may work as well, but it must be tasty enough to hold your dog’s attention all by itself.
- Good Quality Leash—4 feet is best, but 6 feet is acceptable. Retractable leashes are not permitted.
- Flat Collar with identification tags (no choke chains, prong-collars, etc.)
- Front-Clip Harness—optional (must be in addition to the collar; if you are unsure how to fit the front-clip harness, bring it to class and we’ll help you)
- Appropriate Footwear—no flip-flops or shoes that fall off easily. If taking puppy classes, no shorts as jumpy puppies have very sharp toenails.
- Vaccination Records (if not already shown)
What to do when you get to class
- Please don’t enter the classroom more than 10 minutes before your class time. We may be using the room for other classes or activities before your class begins.
- Before you get out of the car, make sure your treats are ready to go and easily accessible. You will want to have them ready as soon as you enter the classroom.
- Go to a “station” where there are chairs and get your treats ready.
- Keep your dog at your “station” area, away from the other dogs.
- If your dog is barking, give him your puppy pacifier to help him stay quiet.
- To stay attentive to your dog and out of respect for your classmates, please silence your cell phone and refrain from using it during class.
Questions or concerns? Call 503-585-5900 ext. 326Contact the Trainer
Yes. If you have taken “Intro to Training” or “Understanding Your Dog” in the past, you do not need to take the “Dog Smart” class. If you have taken Dog 101, you may take ANY of the classes currently offered at WHS.
Willamette Humane Society Behavior & Training Program Manager Annie Ingersoll and our experienced team of dog training volunteers recommend the following websites and blogs f or dog behavior and training.
- Dogstar Daily
- Whole Dog Journal
- 4 Paws University
- Eileen and Dogs Blog
- Notes from a Dogwalker
- Doggie Drawings Infographics
Would you like hands-on training and professional guidance to train your dog or puppy?Take a Behavior & Training Class
“Dog Smart” and “Surviving Puppyhood” classes are held in the Education Center
- The Education Center is located in the lobby area. Please enter through the front door and look for the Education Center across the lobby.
- On Wednesdays, the shelter is closed. For Owner Education classes held on Wednesdays, please wait outside the front door. Students will be let in the front door shortly before the class begins.
Classes that include your dog take place in the Canine Classroom
- Drive through the main entrance and park in the parking lot. (Either in front of the shelter, or in the unmarked lot to the left.)
- Follow the asphalt path to the back of the shelter, go up the steps and into the room marked “Canine Classroom” (door on the right).
If you have a specific question or behavioral issue with your pet you’d like to discuss, call or email our Behavior Helpline.
We can often point pet owners in the right direction, solve minor issues, and even prevent a pet from being surrendered due to their behaviors in some instances.
The Helpline is checked regularly and messages will be returned by a behavior professional as soon as possible.
When contacting the Behavior Helpline, please include the following information:
- Your full name
- Your phone number
- The best time to return your call
- Type of animal (cat, dog, other)
- How long you’ve had the animal
- A brief summary of the problem or question
Call (503) 585-5900, ext. 326
Willamette Humane Society’s Certified Professional Dog Trainer, Annie Ingersoll, demonstrates how to each your dog to lay down.
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Willamette Humane Society’s Certified Professional Dog Trainer, Annie Ingersoll, demonstrates how to each your dog to come when called.
Did you find this video helpful?Take a Behavior & Training Class
Yes. WHS allows more than one adoption for cats, kittens and adult dogs. We may also encourage two pets to be adopted together, if they come into the shelter as a bonded pair.
WHS does not allow people to adopt two puppies from the same litter, and strongly discourages adopting two unrelated puppies at the same time. The puppies will tend to bond strongly to each other and not to their human companions. Also, because of the amount of work and energy it takes to train one puppy, training two at the same time is likely to be too challenging for all but the most experienced puppy raisers.
Our instructors are skilled behavior specialists with diverse experience and a singular passion – to help you enjoy your dog more!
We value your trust in bringing your pet to our classes. We believe that you and your dog deserve to be treated with compassion and that training should be a mutually rewarding experience. In short, learning should be fast and fun.Contact the Trainers