Recommendations for good puppy classes?

Otto as a puppy on circle rug

It's hard to believe Otto was ever this tiny. He's 10 years old now!

Heather emails:

I am hoping to get some help from the AOA community on suggestions for puppy classes. I've just adopted a four-month-old puppy and know training is needed for both of us. The person who was highly recommended the last time this was asked in 2012 has since retired (Jody Diehl) and am wondering if there are other trainers who fill that void. I'm looking for someone who does positive reinforcement training instead of other methods (choke/slip collar).

Props to Heather for seeking out this sort of training. It can make a big difference -- for both dogs and people. A well-socialized (and exercised!) puppy that gets good training often ends up being a calm adult dog with good manners.

Got a suggestion for Heather and her pup? Please share! And a sentence or two about why you're recommending a trainer or place can be helpful.


Carol at the Latham PetSmart is a wonderful trainer. Do NOT use any other trainer there. They have puppy classes.

Armando Morales! He's a dog trainer and behaviorist based in Saratoga. He's of the few ilk that recognize behavior issues in dogs stem from human reaction and lack of exercise. You can get a glimpse of his work by following him on instagram: @armandomorales77. He's like the Capital Region's Cesar Milan. Full disclosure: I've never consulted with him; my dogs are older and well behaved. I found him on instagram and followed him for the dogs and his crazy good looks. But seriously, if he can walk the walk, I believe you'll find success.

Diane at All Dawgs in Albany was very good for our pup. We had a naughty one so we opted for private lessons. Pricy but worth it for us. She does sell pinch collars but does not require them. Camp Bow Wow is good for day care too.

Animal Protective Foundation in Scotia, new puppy class starting Tuesday night. Positive Reinforcement Training, great trainers and half of the class fee supports the shelter animals.

Albany Obedience Club was great. Its in Glenmont.

We brought our puppy to Camp Bow Wow. He started in their level 1 class at maybe 16 or 20 weeks and then just a few months ago we went through their level 2 class.

The classes are capped at 4 dogs per time but both times we were one of three. I think there are two trainers (we've worked with both of them) and they were both great. We've recommended them to several people since and are considering their level 3 program currently.

I should have added - Camp Bow Wow is right on Railroad Ave in Albany, just behind Target and across from Old Brick. You'll need to call for class times.

(We also highly recommend them for dog day care and boarding. Our dog loves going there and we love that they have live web cams so we can check in on him occasionally while we're away or at work.)

Becky Hutchins at Good Choice Dog training is excellent, and always running puppy classes. She is positive *only*, and her classes are excellent. You leave with more than just ways to get your dog to do things, but lingering skills that help improve your bond with the dog. Highly, highly recommend.

We had a great experience with Hounds on the Hudson. They work with your schedule and the one on one training is great and affordable! It's also a great segway into the other things they offer, like boarding and puppy playgroup. The staff is small friendly and you get to know everyone who works there.

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