Canine Training

AWS offers a variety of exciting and progressive classes for dogs of all ages, breeds and abilities!

Class Schedules and Enrollment Form


  • Basic Obedience: For any dog older than 5 months, this six-week course is the foundation for all future training courses and teaches socialization, concentration and confidence building. You’ll learn canine communication skills and how to teach your dog to walk on a loose leash and how to avoid distraction. Commands taught include sit, stay, heel, down and come.
  • *NEW!* Small Breed Basic Obedience: For dogs over 5 months and under 25 pounds, this six-week course will teach small-sized dogs basic skills and agility. There will also be a period of social time following each class for those dogs that will enjoy it.
  • Puppy Kindergarten: For dogs 5 months or younger, Puppy Kindergarten is a six-week program using positive reinforcement to teach socialization, training, activity and responsibility through FUN activities and games. Some puppies are even able pick up simple commands.
  • Confidence for Shy Dogs: Timid and unsure dogs are perfect students for this course. You’ll learn what causes canine fear and anxiety, how to assess your dog’s body language and stress level and how to help your dog feel more comfortable. Exercises in class help boost confidence in shy pups.
  • *NEW!* Old Dogs Can Learn New Tricks: Is your older dog in a rut of the same routine, day after day? Let’s put a little pep back in your pup’s step! If your dog is 8+ years old, come join us for a class geared just for our senior canine companions. We will be engaging in low impact activities such as nose work, tricks, obstacles, and shadow games. This is a great opportunity to reaffirm and strengthen that bond you have with your older pal while having fun and learning new things to do together!


To attend any of our beyond the basics classes, dogs must have completed Basic Obedience or receive prior approval from our canine training staff. 

  • Beyond the Basics w/ Agility: This six-week class is a great opportunity for graduates to continue the fun and training from Basic Obedience class to maintain and grow skills. Activities include tricks, targeting, field trips, off-leash work and agility. Dogs enjoy overcoming agility obstacles such as jumps, tires, tunnels, and A Frames. This class is fun for the whole family!
  • Beyond the Basics w/ Rally: Take your basic skills to the next level! This six-week course is a great introduction to the sport of Rally. You and your dog work closely as a team, completing a course of 10-20 stations with a sign at each station regarding which skill to perform. Skills can include sit-down-sit, send over jump, side step right, recall and more!
  • Beyond Sampler: Over the course of the six week class, there will be a chance to try different work with your dog including agility, nose works and tricks. You’ll also get to meet all our trainers. Each week samples different work with a different trainer.
  • Noseworks for Fun: Does your dog like to sniff? Does she like treats? If so, she will love this class! Noseworks for Fun uses your dog’s natural sniffing instinct to hunt for yummy treats. This is an easy, relationship building class where your dog does most of the work. Sniffing is a great mental and physical activity for your dog, and is appropriate for pups of all ages. The class size is limited, as you will be watching the other dog/handler teams when your dog is not working.
  • Circus Class: Does your dog like to have fun and learn new things? If so, you’ll both love our Circus Class where we teach tricks and use obstacles to showcase your dog’s talents. Come clown around, have some fun, and be amazed at what your dog can do! This class is only offered once a year!


To participate in any of our AKC title courses, dogs must have completed Basic Obedience or receive prior approval from our canine training staff. 

  • AKC Canine Good Citizen: Over the six-week course, your dog will prepare for the ten-point AKC Canine Good Citizen (CGC) certification test. Dogs learn advanced commands and practice positive behaviors such as walking through a crowd, accepting a friendly stranger and positively reacting to another dog.
  • AKC Urban Canine Good Citizen: Like the standard Canine Good Citizen class, during this class, dogs train towards a ten-point test, administered in the final class. This class focuses on demonstrating CGC skills (and more!) in an urban city-like setting. It’s a fun way to get out-and-out and learn new skills.
  • AKC Tricks Class: In this six-week course, dogs have fun learning new tricks, such as bark on cue, push-ups, high five, spin in a circle and more. This class is a great way to build body awareness and provide a great physical and mental stimulation for your pooch. Dogs can earn the AKC Novice Trick Dog Title after mastering 10 tricks.


  • Our certified professional dog trainers offers periodic workshops on dog behavior, training techniques, and other topics. These workshops are for humans only and offer time for Q&A at the end. Upcoming workshops are listed in our calendar of events and our class schedule page.


  • Drop In Puppy Social Hour: Join AWS’ canine trainers on Sundays for lots of puppy fun! If your puppy is younger than 6 months and under 25 pounds, we welcome you to stop by the AWS Canine Training Classroom Sundays for this fun puppy social hour! $12/hour. No advance registration needed. For more information, please call (207) 985-3244 ext. 111 or email our Obedience Deptartment.
  • *NEW!* – Drop in Small Breed Social: For dogs over 5 months, under 25 pounds, this social (half) hour is for small wonders that enjoy the company of other little dogs. AWS trainers are on hand to facilitate and provide training information. No advance registration needed. See our Training page for dates of sessions.



  • Our trainers can provide one-on-one time with you and your dog. Private training or consultations can help you identify the causes of your dog’s negative behaviors and learn new skills to keep you and your pup living happily together! If you’d like to learn more about our private training and consults, please tell us a little about your dog’s needs:

Private Training and Consult Interest Form

First and Last Name



Dog's Name, Age and Breed

Why take canine training classes?

  • Provide a solid foundation for your dog’s growth and development. Classes teach dogs how to interact with people, including members of your family and strangers. Dogs learn manners around other animals, including family pets. Dogs, from the youngest puppy to the most distinguished senior, can benefit from training classes.
  • Bond with your companion. Classes are just as much for people as they are for pets. Training classes teach you and your human family members many important skills Dog owners learn how to identify and react to common dog behaviors by understanding how dogs think. Training together builds trust and enhances your relationship between you and your pooch.
  • Teach your dog social norms in new environments. Dogs learn essential skills for navigating new environments such as how to walk on a leash, how to greet guests and strangers, and how to come when called. Trained dogs can participate more fully in social functions by being present at kids’ sporting events, attending family holiday celebrations and taking part in outdoor activities like sledding, cross country skiing, jogging or just exploring the neighborhood. A trained dog is part of the family!
  • Experience fun new activities together. Training opens up a new world for you and your dog, one you might never have considered. Classes provide dogs with the skills and training to do agility trials, AKC Rally obedience, tracking, search and rescue, water rescue trials, reading programs, and therapy work – just to name a few. There are plenty of amazingly fun and philanthropic activities you and your dog can do together!
  • Have fun! Simply put, you and your pooch will love training classes.

Why train with AWS?

AWS training classes are led by trainers who are tops in their field and bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the classes.

  • Certification: The trainers at AWS have the Certified Professional Dog Trainer-Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA) designation. Each CPDT-KA trainer has amassed 300+ hours of experience, professional references and has passed a comprehensive examination that tests the trainer’s knowledge of learning theory, canine ethology, animal husbandry, classroom management, teaching techniques and more.
  • Experience with Rescue Dogs: Our trainers work with rescue puppies and dogs on a daily basis, learning their unique traits and understanding their individual needs. They share what they’ve learned over the years in classes and during private consultation.
  • Familiarity with AWS Dogs: Our trainers teach shelter dog training class weekly. Nearly every dog at AWS attends. If you’ve recently adopted an AWS pet, why not continue building that foundation with the trainers who know and understand your dog?


Follow the AWS Teachers’ Pets on Facebook.  You don’t want to miss the interesting tidbits on training your pup, fun anecdotes from our training classes and pictures of our graduations!

AWS is closed for adoptions and visits on Wednesdays. However, training classes still take place.