Dog Training

The League offers a range of positive reinforcement dog training classes based on a program developed by the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT) based on input from both dog owners and non-dog owners, shelter workers, and professional dog trainers called C.L.A.S.S. (Canine Life and Social Skills). an educational program that promotes training focused on the use of positive reinforcement and to strengthen relationships between humans and their canine companions. C.L.A.S.S. is a three-level evaluation for dog owners to demonstrate the real-life skills of their dogs, as well as a knowledge assessment of the owners’ understanding of basic dog handling and care.  To learn more about the APDT and C.L.A.S.S. please visit their website:

Check out our upcoming classes and register online here!

You can also print and complete the paper registration form and return it to us. Once we receive your registration form, you will receive a confirmation email. If you do not receive a confirmation, please contact us as soon as possible as our classes tend to fill rapidly. If you have any questions, please contact the Training and Behavior Department at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)or 202-726-2556 ext. 236.

Our Behavior & Training department has implemented a Helpline, so if you need help with your animal and would like to speak to one of our behavior and training specialists, call 202-726-2556, X236. If you would prefer to email our Helpline, email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) . The Helpline is restricted to residents of the metropolitan DC area only, please.

Class Descriptions

Basic Manners (B.A.)
There are no prerequisites for this class. By the end of Basic Manners, you’ll have a dog who listens to you and focuses on you. Dogs will be taught foundation skills such as: attention, sit, down, come, and leave it. This is our most popular class and is a prerequisite for all of our other classes. Please register early so we can reserve a spot for you and your dog. Please note, the first class is mandatory and is without you dog, thank you! The class is for non-aggressive dogs over 16 weeks old, and you must provide proof of current vaccinations. $165 for the six one-hour classes.

Intermediate (M.A.)*
Our Intermediate class builds off the foundations learned in our Basic Manners class.  All behaviors are strengthened by adding distractions, distance and duration.  Your dog’s response time between cue and behavior will decrease, loose leash walking improved, stay and settle extended, recalls solidified.  In the M.A. for Dogs™, dogs are asked to walk past several dogs of different sizes, breeds and genders, to wait in the car before exiting, and to allow the student to handle various parts of their body. At the instructor’s discretion, some classes may include off leash training. The class is for non-aggressive dogs over 16 weeks old, and you must provide proof of current vaccinations. $165 for the six one-hour classes.

*Our Basic Manners (B.A.) class is a prerequisite.

For information on the real-life relevance of the APDT C.L.A.S.S. educational program:

Reactive Dog Class I – Foundation
This class is for dogs that bark, growl and/or lunge at other dogs on leash. If you would like to teach your dog to be more friendly and accepting of other dogs, this class will lay the foundation for you. Reactive Dog Class I is a prerequisite for the Reactive Dog Class II – On-Leash Skills class. It is for dogs over 16 weeks old, and you must provide proof of current vaccinations. The price includes a clicker and treat pouch. First class is 90 minutes with no dogs and is mandatory. This is one of our most popular classes and fills up quickly so early registration is advised. **If your dog has bitten or caused injury to another dog, please contact us for private training. This class is not appropriate for human aggressive dogs.
$250 for eight one-hour classes. ($100 for dogs re-taking the class.)

Canine Good Citizen Evaluations
Evaluations are held during the week and conducted by a certified evaluator.  By successfully completing an evaluation, you and your dog can be certified by the American Kennel Club as having demonstrated your dog’s sound temperament and basic obedience skills. It is also a great starting point for service and therapy dog work.  After registering for the evaluation you will be contacted by a member of WARL’s Behavior and Training department for date availability.  C.G.C evaluation $20 (there may be additional costs to register title with appropriate organization)

If you have any questions about any of the training classes we offer at the League, please contact .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call 202-726-2556 ext. 236.


The League offers special discounts on dog training classes for:
•  The Medical Center’s income qualified clients-20% off
•  Active duty military and first responders (police, fire fighter, emt/paramedic)-10% off
•  Fosters for organizations other than WARL-10% off

For additional sites about training, please visit this page.

If you would like to use a positive reinforcement trainer that the League recommends, please refer to our list Recommended_Local_Trainers.pdf

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