dog obedience classes

A well-mannered, socialized dog is a joy to live with. Teaching helps you and your dog communicate, ensuring that he/she becomes a well-behaved family member. Our classes address not just basic cues but socializing, house training, chewing, barking, play biting and other behavior concerns.

Our teaching method is based on kindness and respect. We use positive reinforcement such as praise, toys, playtime or treats to motivate, reward and correct behaviors.

Here at the Humane Society we offer a wide variety of canine courses for you and your dog's needs. To learn about each of these unique opportunities read the descriptions below.

For more information please contact Customer Service at Phone: 616.453.8900 or

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Puppy Kindergarten

Get your pup off to a good start with this puppy class! Learn to safely socialize your puppy and enjoy the playtime! Your puppy will not only learn basic skills, but how to be calm and relax. You and your puppy will learn how to play properly to avoid inappropriate mouthing and chewing. Puppy class is a great way to prevent some behavior issues from happening while learning effective ways to teach your puppy! Designed for puppies aged: Up to 16 weeks start of class. Open enrollment, class is 5 consecutive weeks. 


AKC S.T.A.R.® Puppy

Get your pup off to a good start with this new program designed by the American Kennel Club. You'll learn how to effectively communicate with your dog and your pup will be able to socialize with other dogs. Upon completion of the course your puppy will be eligible for the AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy Medal along with various recognition through the American Kennel Club. Designed for puppies aged: 4 months - 1 year old. 


Elementary School: Manners Matter

This class is designed for dogs 5 months and older who have never had a previous training class and for those who will benefit by taking the class again. The focus of the class is on good doggy manners and the basic cues of sit, stay, down, come, "leave it," and walking on a loose leash.


High School Jocks: Find the Beauty in Your Beast (Reactive dog class)

This unique class is designed to help you better understand your dog's reactivity and how to best manage their impulses. The basic manners focus, sit, polite walking, recall, down, stay, and leave it are emphasized. You will learn how to recognize and reward behaviors you want to keep as well as devlop skills to change your K9's undesirable behaviors. 


High School Wallflowers: Find the Courage in Your Canine (Cautious K9 class)

Is your dog a little shy around new people and dogs? This class is designed to teach basic manners and cues while building your dog's confidence by acquiring new skills. Dogs and people alike benefit from building new skills and learning that they can have control over their environment. This class will help you teach your dog to blossom. First night of class is WITHOUT dogs.



In this class you'll expand on your dog's skills so that he can visit the public places showing his good manners. You will work towards passing the AKC's Canine Good Citizen evaluation.  Canine Good Citizen is often a pre-requisite to becoming a therapy dog and is a must for anyone interested in activities with your dog.