Great Trainers, Small Classes
The APF Canine Academy Program offers classes ranging from Puppy Preschool to Canine Good Citizen and Therapy Dog International. Our classes are designed to teach owners how to develop well-mannered family pets and good canine citizens. Our courses offer socialization with other people and dogs, as well as training for skills, including how to walk calmly on a loose leash, come when called, sit, down, stand and stay.
For more information on any of our dog training programs, please call (518) 374-3944, ext. 111. To learn more about our trainers, classes, course requirements and to register, please see below.
Our approach to training is a motivational one, always using positive reinforcement to achieve success. Training with the APF also helps homeless pets, as 50% of your registration fee benefits the shelter. The minimum age for handling is 16 years old if accompanied by an adult.
Click the class title for the session you are interested in for more information and to register.
Don’t want to register online?
Get In The Zone
Description: Does your dog get stressed when in another dog or human’s presence? Does he have trouble calming down? Are you unable to get your dog’s attention during these situations? THIS MIGHT BE THE CLASS FOR YOU! In this class we will give you the tools to get your dog “IN THE ZONE” and to deal with your dog’s reactivity. Small class size, controlled distractions, and relaxed environment for you and your dog. Requirements: Basic commands helpful. Owners are requested to be prepared to participate in a calm and positive manner. A training collar, which is available for purchase at the APF, is required for this class. Please note that the collar is not covered by the class fee.
Duration: 6 weeks, 1 hour/week. Fee: $150
Description: Our unique and FUN class combines the exciting sport of Agility and Rally-O. During weeks 1 and 2, the focus is on strengthening your dog’s obedience skills while learning how to navigate basic agility obstacles such as jumps, tunnels, and weave poles. During weeks 3 and 4, we “raise the bar” a bit higher for both Agility and basic obedience. You and your dog will be introduced to additional Agility equipment as well as a higher level of basic obedience (quicker response to commands, longer stays, sharper comes, etc.). Requirements: No experience is needed. However, your dog must know general commands (sit, down, stand and come), as well as have a solid one-minute “stay”. Basic Manners 101 (or another basic obedience course) is strongly recommended. Dogs must be spayed or neutered; dogs do attend first class. Duration: 4 weeks, 45 minutes-1 hour/week. Fee: $100
Please note: Although we will be strengthening basic obedience skills and working with a basic Agility course, this is a “just for fun” class. If you are interested in titles of competition training, please visit www.akc.org and click on “Agility” or “Rally” for more info.
Description: Socialization & confidence-building exercises. Also addresses common puppy issues such as chewing, housebreaking, crate training and more. Requirements: Open to puppies up to 20 weeks of age at the start of class. Duration: 6 weeks, 45 minutes/week Fee: $110 This class provides a foundation for good behavior of puppies through socialization and confidence-building exercises. It also addresses issues such as chewing, housebreaking, crate training and more. It is designed for puppies up to 20 weeks old at the start of class. Classes run for six weeks and are 45 minutes long. No dogs at the first class.
Basic Manners 101
Description: Class covers sit, down, wait, stay, come, leave-it, walking calmly on a loose leash, and basic good manners. Requirements: Open to all altered dogs 5 months and older. Duration: 6 weeks, 45 minutes/week Fee: $110 No dogs at first class.
Basic Manners 102
Description: Class addresses issues such as door dashing, pulling on leash, impolite greetings and more. You and your dog will work through distractions in many forms, achieving solid stays and sharper recalls at longer distances and improving his focus on you. Achieve a more respectful relationship with your dog. Requirements: Open to all altered dogs 5 months or older with a solid knowledge of basic commands (sit/down/wait/stay/come) and/or graduates of Basic Manners 101. Duration: 6 weeks, 45 minutes/week Fee: $110 BRING DOGS TO FIRST CLASS as well as SOFT TREATS and a BLANKET/MAT large enough for dog to lie down on.
Canine Good Citizen
Description: This course will prepare you and your dog for Canine Good Citizen certification. The test is administered by a certified CGC evaluator. Canine Good Citizens greet friendly strangers calmly, sit politely for pets, welcome grooming and paw handling, move politely through crowds, behave politely around other dogs and react confidently to distractions. Requirements: No prior training is required. Duration: 7 weeks, test given on week 8 Fee: $110 plus $10 test fee which is due on week 8, test night. No dogs at the first class. *Please note there is NO discount for Canine Good Citizen classes* Learn more about the AKC Canine Good Citizen Program.
Therapy Dog International
Description: This course will prepare you and your dog for Therapy Dog International certification. The test is administered by a certified TDI evaluator. Therapy dogs visit nursing homes, schools, hospice centers and more to provide comfort to people in need. Requirements: Canine Good Citizen certification is recommended. Duration: 7 weeks, test given on week 8 Fee: $110 plus $10 test fee which is due on week 8, test night. No dogs at the first class. *Please note there is NO discount for Therapy Dog International classes* Learn more about the Therapy Dog International Program.
Description: Your dog will have fun as he sniffs out hidden foods, toys, and scented objects. Using his nose will help build confidence, focus and stimulate his mind, and channel his energy. Requirements: Open to all altered dogs that have completed basic manners training or equivalent. Bring to first class: Dog on collar/harness, 6 ft. leash and soft treats Duration: 4 weeks, 45 minutes/week Fee: $100
Tricks & Games
Description: Each week you will teach your dog a new trick and play a game. It’s mentally challenging, stimulating, and fun for you and your dog. Requirements: Open to all altered dogs that have completed basic manners training or equivalent. Bring to First Class: Dog on collar/harness, 6 ft. leash and soft treats Duration: 4 weeks, 45 minutes/week Fee: $100
Description: Want to have a relaxed walk with your dog – not have your dog walk you? Do you also want to learn the tools to keep your dog focused on you during your strolls? Come walk with us in this new class dedicated to just walking your dog. We will assess you and your dog with the goal of training him or her to walk calmly with a loose leash by your side. Requirements: Open to all altered dogs that have completed basic manners training or equivalent. Bring to first class: Dog on collar/harness, 6 ft. leash and soft treats Duration: 4 weeks, 45 minutes to 1 hour/week Fee: $100 *Please note there is NO discount for Walking Workshop classes*
Meet The Trainers
Our instructors possess certifications through Animal Behavior College and the American Kennel Club. We are also able to offer approved Canine Good Citizen evaluators. They are committed to training through positive reinforcement techniques and strive to teach the tools needed for a successful relationship with your dog. For the betterment of all dogs and owners, they continue to further their education with workshops, conferences, and working with rescue dogs.
Kathy Snowden has been involved with Dog Training and the APF for over 20 years. Her commitment to training evolved from seeing first hand so many dogs given up because of behavioral issues that the owners did not know how to address. Kathy develops and continues to update the training program to meet the needs of the dogs and the dog owners. Her goal is to keep the dogs in their homes and to help bridge the communication gap between human and canine. Kathy is a certified AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator. Kathy is certified by the Animal Behavior College as a Dog Trainer and a Shelter Dog Trainer. She also serves as a mentor to future dog trainers with the Animal Behavioral College.
Lynnae Howe became involved in Dog Training over the past few years after adopting a rescue dog and wanting to help him integrate into the human world. Lynnae is a certified dog trainer through the Animal Behavioral College and a member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT). Lynnae is committed to helping humans understand their dogs and dogs understand what their humans want from them in a calm and positive manner.
Cydney Cross teaches Canine Good Citizen and Therapy Dog International classes at the APF. She is co-founder and president of Out of the Pits, an organization for the education, rescue and placement of “America’s favorite dog,” the American pit bull terrier. Cyd is often asked to serve as an expert witness for court cases and for the evaluation of dangerous dogs. Highly committed to keeping pets in their homes, one of her specialties is working through the challenges that put dogs at risk for relinquishment.
Sheila Leguire is certified by the Animal Behavior College and specializes in behavior modification and reactive dogs. Sheila teaches our STEP class which provides training for APF staff and volunteers, as well as Get in the Zone, a class offered to the public for reactive and easily distracted dogs and their owners. She became involved in dog training in 2014 when she adopted her 3rd golden retriever, Lilly. Through their training, Lilly helped Sheila to realize her passion for dog behavior as she learned to read canine body language and to understand ways to modify their behavior.
- Proof of rabies and distemper vaccinations are required.
- Bordetella (for kennel cough) is highly recommended, but is not a requirement.
Your veterinarian may fax records to us at (518) 346-2120. As each class is filled on a first-come, first-served basis, pre-payment and required documentation is required to secure your space. We request receipt of your registration form, payment, and proof of vaccinations when you sign up for class. We require a minimum 48-hour notice if you are unable to take the class.
With the exception of Puppy Pre-School, all dogs enrolled in Canine Academy training classes must be spayed or neutered.
- APF dog adopters receive a one-time $15 discount off their first training course.
- Adopters from rescues and other shelters receive a one-time $10 discount of their first training course (registration must be within two months of adoption).
- Puppy Pre-School graduates receive $10 off their Basic Manners 101 registration.
- Basic Manners 101 graduates receive $10 off Basic Manners 102.
- There are no discounts for: Canine Good Citizen, TDI, Nosey Dogs, Tricks & Games, or Walking Workshop
50% of each registration fee benefits the shelter!
Cancellation and Refund Policy
We often have waiting lists for our classes. In fairness to all, refunds minus a $10 processing fee will be provided only if the cancellation is made prior to 48-hours before the first class. (Example: If class begins on Monday, cancellation must be received by the previous Friday.)