We offer private, in-home training and consulting in Western Massachusetts and group classes in Orange. We have two specialty areas: service dogs and pet dog manners.
We offer pet and puppy obedience training in the North Quabbin and greater Greenfield areas — in your home or in group classes. We provide assistance dog services — training and consulting — to much of Western Mass.
Pet Dog Services
Our head trainer, Sharon Wachsler CPDT-KA KPA-CTP, offers pet training in Wendell, New Salem, Orange, Athol, Erving, Montague, Turners Falls, Deerfield, Greenfield, Shutesbury, Leverett, Sunderland, Northfield, Petersham, South Deerfield, Warwick, north Amherst, and parts of Pelham, Belchertown, and Hadley
Our assistant trainer, Alex Wise, offers pet training in Northampton, Westfield, Easthampton, Amherst, Springfield, Holyoke, Chicopee, and the surrounding towns in the Pioneer Valley
- Behavior & Training Consultations — Want your dog to come when called, walk nicely on leash, or greet guests politely? How to raise your puppy to be a terrific pet or what the process is for training a service dog? We answer your questions and provide information and resources on how to achieve your goals. Learn more about Pet Dog Behavior Consults.
- Puppy Training — Holistic, hands-on, in-home puppy training. We’ll help you raise your puppy to be the best dog you can imagine. Choose from traditional lessons or enroll your pup in Puppy Day School: we come to your home and train your puppy in basic manners, obedience, handling, and socialization. Start your puppy off on the right paw! Find out about Puppy Training.
- Day School — Perfect for busy people who want a well-behaved dog but don’t have a lot of time to devote to training, with Doggy Day School, we come to your home several times a week and train your dog for you, as well as teaching you how to maintain your pet’s good behavior. Day School is also a great choice for future service dogs and SDiT candidates who will need to be trained to a very high level and for challenging “project” dogs who have complicated behavior problems and need intensive behavior modification. Learn about Day School.
- Dog Training Owner Lessons — In-home lessons providing instruction to owners on the most effective dog training. When you are ready to train your dog, we teach you how to get the behaviors you want quickly, efficiently, and happily! Whether it’s walking nicely on leash, going to his crate when told, accompanying you to work as a therapy dog, or learning a reliable retrieve, your dog will learn best from you with our instruction. Learn about Dog Training Lessons.
- Group Classes — We offer occasional specialty group classes in the Pioneer Valley. Group classes are an affordable way to get skilled, positive training instruction. For service-dogs-in-training that already have a training foundation and some reliable behaviors, we offer intermediate and advanced classes, such as Public Access I and Public Access II. Learn about group classes.
Service Dog Training
Service dog training services are offered to the Pioneer Valley, from the Springfield area and north to the greater Greenfield/Brattleboro area. (See below for details on towns served.) We provide training and consulting for individual clients in our service area. We provide service dog consulting and presentations for other dog trainers and pet professionals throughout New England and the US.
We specialize in service dog training, with particular experience with mobility assistance dogs and psychiatric service dogs, including consults about how to select the right dog, resources and equipment, education on handler rights and responsibilities, and adaptive training approaches. Service dog offerings include:
- Service Dog Consultations — Answering questions such as, “Is a service dog right for me?” “How can I solve a behavior problem in my SDiT?” “How do I get my dog’s training to the next level?” Learn more about Service Dog Consultations.
- Pre-Adoption Consults & Dog Search Support — Are you considering getting a dog but have questions? We will answer your questions, provide information and support — including with sorting through rescue and breeder listings — and help you move forward with confidence. Consults address questions such as: What age, breed, size, or whether to look at shelters, rescues, or breeders? What is the best option for your disability and lifestyle? What is the best route to obtaining a service dog for your situation — owner-training or a program-trained dog? What traits are most important in a candidate dog? What is the process of training a service dog and how should you prepare? After the consult, Dog Search Support provides phone and email help with searching for and screening potential dogs, trainers, breeders, etc. We can also communicate with rescue coordinators on your behalf or help “interpret” Pet Finder listings. Learn more about Pre-Adoption Consults & Dog Search Support.
- Temperament Tests and Suitability Assessments — When you’ve located a dog or litter of puppies you think might include your future service or emotional support dog, we can assess the dog or temperament test the litter of puppies to help you determine if they are likely to be a good match for you and your career goals. Learn more about Temperament Tests and Suitability Assessments.
- Service Dog Day School — Day training for service dogs. We train your dog for you — in your home or in your community for public access training. Learn more about Service Dog Day School.
- Service Dog Owner-Training Lessons — In-home lessons with the owner/trainer. Providing problem-solving, information, and training for people training their own SDiT. Learn about Dog Training Lessons.
- Group Classes — We offer group classes in Orange, MA, for both pets and service-dogs-in-training. Classes include Puppy Kindergarten, Family Dog Manners & Obedience, and Service Dog Foundations I and II. Learn more about group classes.
- Board and Train — We offer Service Dog Academy, an intensive training program for service dog candidates on the East Coast that pass our screening process. We offer part-time B&T (Monday through Friday, home for the weekend) as well as full-time board-and-train for dogs that live outside the region. Learn about Service Dog Academy Board & Train.
- More information on our our assistance dog services.
Train the Trainer — We also offer services to people who are working as professional trainers or interested in learning what goes into becoming a professional pet or service dog trainer.
- To professional pet dog trainers who would like mentoring or consulting on service dog training, including for a current or anticipated service dog client, we offer service dog consulting.
- For people who would like to learn about becoming a trainer, we offer an internship mentoring program.
- Please get in touch with questions about either service.
Service area for service dog training
- We offer the full range of services (consulting, owner lessons, day school, and group classes) to clients in these and other nearby towns: Wendell, New Salem, Orange, Athol, Erving, Montague, Turners Falls, Deerfield, Greenfield, Shutesbury, Leverett, Sunderland, Northfield, Petersham, South Deerfield, Warwick, north Amherst, and parts of Pelham, Belchertown, and Hadley.
- For those in Western Mass., or the North Quabbin region who want to train a service dog but are a little farther away, we also provide in-home consults and owner lessons and may also provide day school, depending on the location.
- For those outside our service area, including people in the Boston area, other New England towns, etc., we provide in-person consultations at one of the training facilities where we rent space. These include Mount Tully Kennels in Orange and Animal Alliances in Northampton.
- Finally, we offer service dog consultation by telephone for anyone in the United States or who is outside our service area and unable to travel.
Looking for something you don’t see listed above? Try our answers to frequently asked questions about At Your Service Dog Training or contact us to set up your dog’s training with the form below.