Back to Dog School! Enroll Fido At These 7 Unique Canine Classes

Posted by Sarah Miller

Kids are heading back to school this month, but what about Fido? Now’s the time for your furry friend to become the star pupil he’s destined to be. Whether he’s a trainee or an advanced scholar, these schools have made it their mission to teach your pup a thing or two. Check out these seven canine classes that offer plenty of treats and tail wags alongside unique training opportunities for four-legged students. Raise your paw if you’re ready to learn!

Canine Circus School

Oakland, CA
This is the greatest show! Photo by

Come one, come all! Canine Circus School welcomes aspiring performers of all breeds, temperaments, ages and sizes. Trainees learn everything from basic obedience to center-ring stunts like how to balance a ball on their noses, jump through hoops, perform acrobatics and even master the Canine Quoit. Classes are taught in a fantastical setting decorated with vintage carousel horses, disco balls, costumes and strings of white twinkle lights.

Classes are offered at four different levels: Circus 1, Circus 2, Circus 3, and Circus 4. Each class is $260 per six-week series. Currently, only private lessons and virtual classes are available. New classes for 2020 launch after September 7.

Truffle Dog Training Classes

Eugene, OR
“Check out my new two-paw tuber trick!” Photo by Kathryn Elsesser

Put that nose to the test on a truffle-finding quest! At the Oregon Truffle Festival, Fido can learn to sniff out these highly prized delicacies in an exciting two-day Truffle Dog Training Seminar. You and your dog will learn the basics of scent training and practice hunting for actual wild truffles together. No prior experience is required, and a truffle breakfast and lunch for humans are included both days of the seminar. The fee is $595 for one dog and one person, or $795 for one dog with two people.

If you can't make it to Oregon this year, you can sign up for truffle dog training classes online with Truffle Dog Co. This web-based dog school will teach you and your pooch the principals of scent training, how to apply scent training skills to truffle hunting, and how to become a skilled truffle dog team. Classes with Truffle Dog Co. have four participation levels: Full Student, Auditor, Self-Directed and, in some locations, a hybrid online and in-person option. The Level 1 class costs $249 for an eight-week course and new classes start in October 2020.

Ewe-topia Herddog Training

Roy, WA
"I call fowl!"

Sheepherding will become Fido’s new favorite subject when he attends herding classes at Ewe-topia. An experienced educator will teach him the ABC’s of rounding up a small herd of sheep (or ducks). Not sure if your hound has natural herding instincts? No problem! Ewe-topia welcomes dogs of all breeds, young and old, to give it a try. If it turns out that herding is not your pup’s forte, at least he’ll enjoy the exercise.

Beginners are encouraged to attend class on Sundays. Call ahead before your first visit. Each lesson is $15 (cash or check only), and a percentage of the tuition fee goes to The Humane Society for Tacoma & Pierce County.

Winter Fun at Camp Dogwood

Lake Delton, WI
"Mush? But I wanted s'mores!" Photo by Camp Dogwood

Grab your winter boots, put on your coat and head off to learn something new at Camp Dogwood’s Winter Camp. You and Fido can bond with other dogs and dog owners through a variety of fun camp activities that embrace the chill. While the curriculum for this years’ camp is still being finalized, past years have included Dog Sledding Classes, Sheepherding Lessons and a Barn Hunt. No matter which activities make the schedule, you’re sure to have a blast together and learn some cool new tricks to show off to your friends with the help of Camp Dogwood’s enthusiastic trainers.

Camp Dogwood’s 2021 Winter Camp will take place from January 8-10. The fee starts at $395 and includes lodging and meals from Friday evening through Sunday morning.

Dog Dock Jumping Classes at the Courteous Canine, Inc.

Lutz, FL

Dogs who can’t be confined to the classroom might want to try taking to the water instead. Dock jumping classes at the Courteous Canine’s Dog Dock Jumping Pool are even more fun than recess. The experienced trainers teach water-loving pups the proper technique for leaping from the ramp into the pool, aiming for maximum distance in the air. The 90-minute Introductory level Dog Dock Jumping class helps four-legged swimmers acclimate to the ramp, the pool and to leaping in, paws first. After completing the introductory course, sign your canine athlete up for additional intermediate/advanced level dock diving classes or Air Retrieve classes, where she can practice soaring higher before splashing in.

Dogs are required to know how to swim before they sign up for Dog Dock Jumping classes. Pups who haven’t yet mastered water skills can sign up for private swimming lessons. The 90-minute Introduction to Dock Diving class costs $30. Humans are advised to prepare to be splashed.

Therapy Dog Training Prep School at Pawsitive Paws

San Diego, CA
Learning to lend a helping paw. Photo by Pawsitive Teams Service & Therapy Dogs

If Fido has a heart of gold and the temperament of a saint, sign up together for Pawsitive Teams Service & Therapy School. This six-week workshop teaches future therapy dogs and their person to become an effective therapy team. This class isn’t for everyone, though. In order to participate, your pup must be friendly with all dogs and humans and must have completed a minimum of one dog training course such as Basic Obedience or Canine Good Citizen (CGC). This class is designed to prepare you and your pooch for various therapy certification tests but does not certify therapy teams.

Training is held on Tuesday nights from 7 to 8:30 p.m. for six consecutive weekly meetings. The next available training course starts on April 13, 2021. Classes are $180 for one handler and one dog.

Adventure Puppy PlaySchool

Fort Collins, CO
"Oh I would run 500 miles and I would run 500 more..." Photo by Summit Dog Training

Planning to bring Fido along on all of your epic adventures? At Summit Dog Training, you'll both learn the skills he'll need to make any outing a success. Each class is designed to teach skills on both ends of the leash to promote a lifelong, fun-filled bond between pups and their people. Summit Dog Training offers small group classes, private lessons and virtual training opportunities for everything from loose-leash walking to the very popular "Tricks, Tricks, Tricks" class where you and your pooch will learn, you guessed it, tricks! Start with Adventure Puppy PlaySchool, a drop-in style class at the Summit Dog Training facility designed to foster confidence and instill basic manners.

Adventure Puppy PlaySchool classes at Summit Dog Training are $25 for a 45-minute drop-in session. PlaySchool class times vary based on the age of your dog. You can also purchase a subscription for $40 per month to access all of the courses currently available online in the Summit Virtual Classroom.

Where did your canine scholar attend dog school? Leave a comment or tweet us @BringFido!

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