Watch CBS News

Boston's Best Dog Obedience Schools

That new puppy's not going to train itself, no matter how much you lay there hoping the yelping will stop at night. The best way to make sure your new addition becomes a valued, and welcome member of your family, is training for both the pup and its parents. It's never too early to start, and the dog-loving Boston area has an abundance of venues that offer a training styles to meet any needs. These, however, take the cake, offering trainers unmatched anywhere in the city.

dog training
Photo Credit: ThinkStock

Canine University
71 Clinton St.
Malden, MA 02148
(781) 324-3722

Price: $175 for six weeks

From puppy kindergarten to agility and specialty classes that teach dogs how to overcome shyness or do specialty tricks, Canine University has something for everyone. Each class incorporates clicker training as a reward-based tool to positively reinforce desired behaviors. All of the university's coursework is supervised by co-owner and more than 20-year dog trainer Gerilyn Bielaliewicz, who writes The Dog Trainer Diaries blog, and has penned seven books, including "The Everything Dog Training and Tricks Book." In addition to its regularly scheduled classes, Canine University also offers private sessions, in Malden or at private homes within reasonable driving distance. Canine University also sponsors a series of iLead seminars on health topics such as chiropractic and diet, and a workshops on first aid for dogs.

dog catching frisbee
Photo Credit:

Gemini Dogs
53-B Ayer Rd.
Littleton, MA 01460
(978) 486-9922

Fees:  $260/16 weeks

A respected name in the Boston area for more than 20 years, Gemini is a one-stop shop for most of your dog-related needs.  It provides classes in obedience, agility and flyball, and offers a Fido flex plan whereby dog owners can jump right into a regularly scheduled Tuesday evening obedience class, no matter what their dog's age or ability. All registrants receive a clicker, a training manual and one free day of doggie daycare. Gemini also offers classes in K9 nosework, to develop a dog's natural scenting abilities, and a jumping clinic. Gemini trainers are available for private lessons either onsite or in clients' homes.

Master Peace Dog
Photo Credit:

MasterPeace Dog Training
264 Fisher St.
Franklin, MA 02038
(508) 553-9300

Fees:  $170 for eight weeks

MasterPeace's emphasis is on positive training methods, with the belief that if training is fun for a dog and his handler, both will be more likely to learn and succeed. The facility provides a full array of classes for every age and interest, including puppy kindergarten, competitive obedience, rally obedience, agility, off-leash handling, nosework, canine freestyle (choreograph a dance with your dog) and breed handling. It also offers periodic special events, such as therapy dog evaluations and workshops on calming reactive dogs and puppies. A one-hour Friday-night playgroup, in which dogs of all ages and sizes may run and play under the supervision of a MasterPeace trainer, is open to everyone.

Related: Boston's Best Places to Pamper Your Pooch

The Pawsitive Dog
Photo Credit:

The Pawsitive Dog
88 Black Falcon Ave., Ste. 188
Boston, MA 02110
(617) 541-1000

Fees:  $575 for seven weeks

Sharing the same space as Boston's overnight hotel for dogs, Fenway Bark, The Pawsitive Dog is a small, client-centered facility whose trainers have 15 years of experience in enhancing the relationship between people and their dogs. It invites current clients to audit classes they've already taken (with or without their dogs) at no charge. Dog owners who are undecided about whether The Pawsitive Dog is a good fit for their dog may take advantage of a free, no-obligation consultation, though there is often a waiting period for an appointment. In addition to basic obedience, The Pawsitive Dog also offers doggie defense classes for aggressive dogs (by invitation only). Trainers will come to your home for private one-on-one sessions, too.

Zen Dog Training
Photo Credit:

Zen Dog Training
(617) 233-5486

Price: $189 for six weeks

Zen Dog Training conducts classes at several facilities throughout the greater Boston area, including Durty Harry's in Brookline and Charlestown, The Fish & Bone in Boston, and at Crate Escape and Fresh Pond Animal Hospital in Belmont. Obedience classes for puppies to intermediates are small, with only six to eight dogs each, and are based on the SPCA's philosophy of gentle, positive reinforcement. In addition to its basic group curriculum, Zen Dog trainers will design a customized plan that is specific to your dog's needs, and will come to your home for pre-baby preparation, followup visits, outdoor training and advanced work to handle such problems as excessive barking, separation anxiety, chewing, digging and house training. An online training center supplements hands-on training with short videos and ebooks on refresher topics such as puppy biting and peaceful solutions to common dog training problems.

Related: Best Restaurants to Dine with Your Dog

Maureen Harmonay wears many hats. She is a real estate agent who specializes in country estates, antique homes, and horse properties in the metrowest suburbs of Boston. With certifications in Feng Shui and as an Eco-Broker, she is keenly attuned to how energy affects the health of a home and its occupants, both humans and pets. Her work can be found at


View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.