Our training philosophy is focused on science-based, positive reinforcement instruction. We offer clients several different ways to work with their dogs — all of which involve a gentle, kind and fair technique that fosters the human-animal bond. We encourage students to use a clicker (or other type of “marker”) but a clicker is not required to attend our classes. We strive to find a humane method that works for both the dog and human. We do not do any leash “corrections” and choke chains and pinch collars are never used. It is important to us to help our clients understand how their dog learns and thinks so they can get their dogs to do what they want!

All of our group training classes are limited in size so you are guaranteed individual attention. We also offer private dog training sessions for those who need a flexible schedule and one-on-one time with a trainer.

Select classes are also offered in Georgetown at Tails of the City! See our SouthWest Seattle and Ballard schedules for class dates and times.

THE BASICS: Our core 6-week basic training class for non-reactive dogs 5 months and older. The first week is lecture only, no dogs and currently held virtually. The remaining 5 weeks will be held entirely outside during covid19 restriction.

The Basics uses reward based, positive reinforcement only; no leash “corrections” are used. This class covers canine thought and communication, leadership, management as well as ways to curb irritating habits such as jumping up, counter-surfing, begging and pulling on-leash. You will learn how to teach you dog practical cues such as sit, down, stay, wait, come, look, touch, leave-it and go to your mat as well as good ways to play with your dog and what behaviors to look for when your dog is playing with other dogs. Learn how, by using positive reinforcement, you can prevent undesirable behaviors and gain desirable ones.  Dogs do NOT attend the first week of class. INSTRUCTOR: Danette Johnston, CPDT-KA

The Basics class is for dogs that are non-reactive, meaning they do not bark, lunge, etc. at passing dogs when on leash. If you dog does, please see our Reactive Rehab class, or contact us for help.

Is your dog shy, nervous in new environments or to reactive in a group class but you still really want to work on basic skills? Or maybe you don’t live in Seattle but want to join our classes?
For you, we now have the ALL VIRTUAL Basics class! This class covers the entire in-person Basics curriculum. The virtual version will consist of lecture, demos, video supplementation and live training times where you will be working with your dog as the instructor coaches you live. 

COURTEOUS CANINE CRASH COURSE: 3-week intensive basic obedience training for non-reactive dogs 1 YEAR and older

For folks who have a hard time scheduling a 6-week obedience training course into their busy life, we have designed an intensive “crash course”. Classes meet for 1.5 hour sessions once a week for 3 weeks (you must attend all 3 sessions; if one is missed you will not be allowed to attend the following sessions). The first hour of the first session is lecture so your dog should be able to quietly lay on a mat (with something to chew on!) in the room with other dogs and people. If he can not, you can leave him in the car (if he is safe there) for that time. This class covers the same material and uses the same techniques as The Basics. INSTRUCTOR: Danette Johnston, CPDT-KA

BEYOND THE BASICS/Canine Good Citizen Prep: 5 week course for graduates of The Basics. Register for Beyond Basics on our Speciality Classes Page.
*Due to Covid restrictions, this class is held entirely outside – rain or shine!

While playing training games and exercises, this class continues our work from The Basics incorporating distractions, proofing and chaining behaviors  as well as some off-leash work. We will also practice the skills needed for passing the AKC’s Canine Good Citizen test as well as some beginner tricks. CGC testing and evaluations will be held during the last week of class (price included in class fee).  Prerequisite: The Basics or prior instructor approval (private evaluation required).  INSTRUCTOR: Danette Johnston, CPDT-KA, Certified CGC  and Trick Evaluator

If you are interested in continuing agility, tricks or other sports you can enjoy with your dog, please visit our Sports & Fun page for more classes and information.

LEASH WALKING/RECALL WORKSHOP: 2 – hour class for dogs + humans. Dogs must be 4 months and older.

In this 2 – hour class we will tackle two of the biggest issues people have with their dog – walking on a loose leash and getting their dog to come! We will discuss, demo and practice easy loose leash walking techniques as well as easy ways to teach your dog a reliable recall cue.

Dogs must be non-reactive with others dogs (meaning that are not lunging, barking, snapping at others when on leash). Normal young dog exuberance is OK but if your dog is not able to redirect to you please ask us if our Difficult Dog class may be more appropriate for you.

This class is open for dogs 4 months and up! So, if your dog is too old for PUPPY and too young for BASICS this is a great class to give them a jump start! This is also a good class for those dogs (and humans) who need a little “refresher.” INSTRUCTOR: Danette Johnston, CPDT-KA


Dog training sessions during the day consist of intensive one-on-one training time at the day care. Day training programs are tailored specifically for each dog. All dogs in the day training program must start with an initial private consultation with the trainer where a specific curriculum will be designed according to the needs and goals of the dog and owner. During the day, dogs will spend exercise and socialization time with our day care dogs and will receive 45 min-one hour (usually broken into smaller sessions during the day) of private one-on-one work with a trainer. Spaces are extremely limited. *Not currently offered – FULL.

For more dog training classes check out our Puppy Training and Seminars pages!

How do I sign up? See listings for the current schedule on the right side of this page! Not all classes are offered each season.

Please check our SCHEDULE for current listings of all of our classes offered this season.