Dakin Dog Training Classes

We offer a variety of dog training classes, from beginner to advanced levels. We teach basic life skills and manners so your dog can become a successful companion and good neighbor. Dogs and handlers will work together on such topics as walking nicely on a leash, settling down when asked, meeting strangers politely, coming when called, and more.

We use a customized approach for our classes based on the needs of the students in each class and make adjustments to our curriculum based on those .

All Courses
Currently Offering Courses

Class Locations

Springfield Dog Training Classes are held at the Dakin Adoption Center at 171 Union Street in Springfield, MA.

Leverett Dog Training Classes are held at the Dakin Adoption Center at 163 Montague Road in Leverett, MA.

Meet Our Instructors

Marlene Layman (Springfield classes)

Caryl-Rose Pofcher (Leverett classes)


All Courses, Offered at Various Times

Puppy Kindergarten (5 week course)
For puppies who are 8-16 weeks old at the start of class. We’ll help your pup begin to learn to respond to basic cues, be comfortable with handling as well as walk attentively on leash, learn to be comfortable around other people and new things, play nicely with other pups, and more!

Puppy and Beyond (8 week course)
Puppy Kindergarten through Basic Manners. For puppies who are 8-16 weeks old at the start of class.

Basic Manners Dog Training (5 week course)
Instruction includes types of tools and methods to train your dog be an even more mannerly and enjoyable part of your family. This includes basic obedience cues and how to apply them in practical, real life situations.

Canine Good Citizen (CGC) (5 week course with optional test on week 6)
Canine Good Citizen (CGC) Training and Test (The American Kennel Club's most widely recognized standard for "good dog" evaluation). This is a preparatory course. Testing available by instructor; Intermediate Level Skill and Beyond.

Intermediate Manners Dog Training (5 week course)
Exercises will be combined to create more real life situations (for example, perform with distractions, walk nicely on leash past temptations, come to you from greater distances, respond appropriately to door bell and knocking sounds), and more!

Bump Up Your Basic Skills (3 or 5 week course)
A brush up on the most challenging (and most important) canine manners, for example: Coming when called, saying “hi” without jumping, and politely walking on leash.

Scent Work (3 or 5 week course)
Utilizing the dog’s strongest sense, their sense of smell, owners learn to read the subtleties of their dog’s body language communication while exploring the world of scent as their dog lives it.

Fun Rally Obedience (5 week course)
Once your dog has learned basic manners or beyond, Fun Rally Obedience can be an effective and very enjoyable way to practice and strengthen performance and reliability!

Rocket Recall (1 session or 3 week course)
Whatever your situation, a reliable response to “Come!” can be a life saver for your dog, a gateway to adventures and great exercise for your dog.

Tricks and Games (1 session or 3 week course)
Whether it is jumping through a hoop on your cue, sitting sweetly inside a circle on the floor, waving “high five”, or weaving through your legs, tricks keep your dog’s brain active and your dog focused on doing what YOU ask, when you ask it.

Polite Leash Walking (1 session)
A one hour class to help you and Fido discover the joys of a loose leash when walking together! Walking sedately side by side isn’t a natural canine behavior but we’ve lots of techniques that will help you and your canine buddy get in sync on your walks.

Polite Greetings (1 session)
Does your dog jump on people? Want to teach them how to greet humans in ways humans prefer rather than in doggish ways? Want to teach them that they don’t ALWAYS get to go say “Hi”? Come to our Polite Greetings course and learn how!

Games & Adventures With Your Dog (3 or 5 week course)
Through games, adventures and exploration with your dog, learn to read your dog's body language better, enhance communication from both ends of the leash, engage their minds, strengthen the bond, and increase your dog's responsiveness to you - and have FUN doing it!

Class Fees

Please click on the links below to get information about fees for each class being offered.

Current Offerings

To get started, sign up for one of these dog training classes:

Classes In Leverett

  • Temporarily suspended

Classes in Springfield

  • Temporarily suspended


Dog Training Discounts

Discount Codes: If any of these discounts apply, enter them under "Enter Promotional Code" during registration.

ADPT-Dog -10% discount is offered to dogs adopted from Dakin, Thomas J. O'Connor Animal Control & Adoption Center, or any other adoption agency. Proof of adoption required at first class.

Seniors -10% discount is offered to humans age 65 and up and/or dogs age 8 or up.

USMilitary -10% discount is offered to US Military (Active, Reserve, Veterans, or Retired)

*One discount code per ticket.

Dog Training Video

Take a look at Marlene Layman as she explains the advantages of positive reinforcement in dog training.

Contact Us

If you have registration questions - or if there's a class you're interested in that's not on the upcoming schedule - please email kbegnoche@dakinhumane.org