Dog Obedience Training

Available Now 


Puppy Socialization, Spunky Sprouts, Petite Pals, and in-home private training

Your dog will likely be very excited in a room with several other leashed dogs, which is understandable. However if your dog presents with a high degree of reactivity towards the other dogs or clients in the room (excessive barking, lunging, etc.) the instructor may excuse you from the class and recommend an alternative training program at Woods. *This is NOT applicable to our Puppy Socialization calsses as all puppies are welcome.

If you have questions or concerns about how your dog may fit into our group classes, please feel free to contact our training department at:

805 543 9316 x24.

Positive Reinforcement Training for Dogs

At Woods University we are committed to the Positive Reinforcement (R+) Method of dog training.  It is a reward-based humane method that’s a highly effective way for dogs to learn free from stress or fear of retribution.   We train for success…not failure, so that training is fun, fast and fair.

virtual Woods University

Virtual Woods University is Basic Obedience for dogs with minimal or no formal training. 

Woods University has created a private Facebook Group dedicated to our students. The classes and their content are listed in chronological order, the program is self-paced and you will have access to the content for a total of 8 weeks. (requires Facebook account) 

The fee is $50 for 8 week access to Virtual Woods University plus one 20 minute private virtual session with our trainers. 

Once you register, you can use your Facebook account to go to Woods University Facebook Group and ask to join: 

The training team will invite you aboard shortly after receiving your request and confirming your registration. 

The classes are listed in units, scroll through to access each weekly class which contains a printable Handout, then individual posts of video segments. Watch each segment, and practice at home with your dog. The very last video will be troubleshooting tips. 

Includes all the basic commands necessary for a well-mannered dog: “Sit”, “Down”, “Come”, “Stay”, “Focus”, “Leave it”, “Go to your place” and more…

Learn effective and humane ways to discourage unwanted behaviors such as jumping up and pulling on the leash. This training also includes helpful leash and handling techniques. 

Virtual Woods University takes place in an online setting which you implement in the comfort and security of your own home and is appropriate for dogs of all ages.

Puppy Social Hour - CLASSES OPEN 

Manners and socialization for puppies 10 weeks to 5 months
Classes meet Saturdays from 9 AM - 10 AM or
Tuesdays from 10 AM - 11AM. 
The fee is $15 per session.  

Our training facility at Woods provides a safe, clean, comfortable environment for your puppy to learn and play. 

  • Class are held in an outdoor enclosed area
  • One human per puppy max, no exceptions
  • Only 8 registrations allowed
  • Must be pre-registered to attend
  • Must bring and be prepared to wear facial covering

All puppies must have completed two sets of vaccinations, including Bordetella (for kennel cough).  Please bring proof of vaccination to class.  For the safety of all we cannot admit any puppy to our classes without seeing vaccination records. 

At puppy social hour, puppies will learn: appropriate play style with other pups, acceptable manners with people, tolerance for gentle restraints, confidence with the approach of friendly strangers, and more.

We will teach some basic manners using positive reinforcement including “sit” “down” “come.”   Your puppy will also learn how to walk nicely on the leash without pulling and greet people without jumping.  We’ll show you how to inhibit your puppy's bite during play, how to manage chewing, and the crazy “zoomies.”   If you are struggling with food or object guarding, housetraining, or any other issues, our staff will be available to help you through any of these puppy behaviors.

Classes are on going.  There is no obligation, you “pay to play” (and learn) each week.  
Attend as many classes as you'd like.
Please register before you come to class.

Spunky Sprouts

For the "teenage" puppy 6 months to 1 year old
(Puppies must be social in the presence of other dogs)
This is a basic manners class for the evolving pup, with emphasis on sociability and impulse control.
The class is designed to help you learn how to survive the next phase in your young dog’s life. Still a puppy, the “effervescent adolescent” will never stop exploring, and pushing the boundaries. We’re here to help!
The fee is $125 for each 6 week session. New adopters from Woods and San Luis Obispo County Animal Services and other area shelters receive a $25 discount if enrolling a dog within 90 days of adoption. If you don't have your promotion code call (805) 543-9316 x 10.
The first class will be without dogs.
Next Session
Saturday, September 12th at noon
Tuesday, October 27th at 11:30

Petite Pals

Basic Obedience for dogs 6 months and older and under 25 pounds
Classes meet on Saturday or Sunday.  Note: Dogs do not attend the first class.
The fee is $125 for each 6 week session.  New adopters from Woods and San Luis Obispo County Animal Services and other area shelters receive a $25 discount if enrolling a dog within 90 days of adoption.  If you don't have your promotion code call (805) 543-9316 x 10.
  • Specifically designed for smaller dogs with an emphasis on "little dog" issues.  You will train your dog in an environment designed to make learning more enjoyable and comfortable for small dogs.
  • Includes all the basic commands necessary for a well-mannered dog:“Sit”, “Down”, “Come”, “Stay”, “Focus”, “Heel”, “Leave it”, “Go to your place” and more…
  • Learn helpful leash and handling techniques and effective and humane ways to discourage unwanted behaviors such as jumping up and pulling on the leash
  • Participate in playtime to increase confidence and socialization skills.
Next Session:
Tuesday, September 15th at 11:30am
Saturday, October 31st at Noon

Feisty Fido

A highly structured class for dogs who are reactive to other dogs

Classes meet Tuesday from 5 PM - 6 PM.  Note: Dogs do not attend the first class.

The fee is $275 for each 6 week session.

Every dog is not right for the dog park, but walking your dog around the neighborhood or at the beach should be fun, not embarrassing or dangerous.  This class is limited to 4 dogs.  All dogs must be pre-qualified before entering the Feisty Fido class - online registration is not available.  Call (805) 543-9316 x 24 to speak with our trainer to find out if this class is right for your dog.

Next Session Starts:
Saturday, September 12th at 10:30 a.m.



Individual Training Sessions

Take advantage of the opportunity to work one-on-one with Woods Humane Society Trainer Michelle Rizzi to overcome your dog’s unwanted behaviors.  Call (805) 543-9316 x 24 to make an appointment.

General Information

  • Each class is limited to 4 to 8 participants to provide individualized attention for you and your dog.
  • All dogs must be current on vaccines: Rabies, Bordatella and DHPP.  Puppies must have 2 DHPP vaccines at least 2 weeks apart and one bordetella at least 3 days before class starts.  In order to participate, proof of vaccinations must be provided at the first class.
  • You may bring supplies to class or visit Woods Humane Society’s retail center WoodsGoods.   We have special training treats, harnesses and collars for sale to give you optimal control while providing humane comfort to your dog.  

Woods Humane Society's Dedicated Training Facility
875 Oklahoma Avenue
San Luis Obispo, CA 93405
Park at the east end of the parking lot and follow the signs to the rear of the building.

Additional questions?  Trouble registering online?  Please give us a call at (805) 543-9316 x 10. 


Check out Woods University Dog Obedience Training on Yelp

learn more about the benefits of training your dog

You Gotta Have Class

By Michelle Rizzi

Association of Pet Dog Trainers states “Training has been shown to be the single most important thing that keeps a dog in his or her ‘forever’ home.”

Being a trainer at a local animal shelter, this is a fact that touches my heart: “forever home” ….priceless! There are many reasons for taking your dog to a training class, aside from the obvious one of having a well-trained dog. Here are a few to consider.

Communication. When you can give your dog clear instructions, you are much more likely to get the behavior you want. Many of us assume that the dog knows our intention, knows what is expected of him long before he actually does. Because something is clear to us, doesn’t mean it is clear to the dog.

Confidence. That sense of accomplishment. We all know what that’s like. The chance to be a rockstar instead of a deadbeat. When your dog experiences the praise and success of getting it right, he feels a lot better about the world around him.

Bonding. Working with your dog toward a mutual goal is a wonderful way to bond. You both share the same objective of understanding one another. It’s not enough that your dog understands you. You need to understand your dog and ways he may be communicating with you. Might be a new perspective for many of us.

Tools. Learning new skills can help your dog deal with difficult situations. Having a repertoire of coping skills (deference behaviors, desensitization, etc.) can be a valuable asset in helping your dog respond well to certain triggers that might otherwise elicit unwanted behavior.

Real Life. In the classroom, dogs are learning to focus on you, amid the distractions of other dogs and people present. This provides a more realistic environment than training in your living room or back yard, and then expecting the same results when you walk out the front door.

Socialization. This should not be understated. Working, playing and learning around other dogs and people is very important for dogs to get used to. There are classes available for dogs of different sizes, at different levels of training, addressing specific issues, etc. You can always find something that fits the need for you and your dog.

Relationship. And it doesn’t stop with obedience! Don’t forget the classes available for fun and games: sports classes, competition classes, tricks classes, you name it. Taking a class “just for fun” goes a long way to building a strong relationship.

Dogs are never too old to learn. And a well-trained dog can easily be taught the rules of the household and behave as well as every other member of the family. Training builds confidence, improves communication, enhances your mutual bond, and adds enrichment to your dog’s life. So…why wouldn’t you?

Please check out our Positive Reinforcement classes offered at Woods Humane Society, or find a positive trainer in your area. …and keep it fun!

Click here to learn more about our trainer, Michelle Rizzi, CPDT-KA, CAP-2 


Opening Homes and Hearts to Homeless Pets
in San Luis Obispo County since 1955.