243 Alabama Street at 16th, San Francisco (Street parking available)
Classes are held in the Mission Campus Multi-Purpose Room or the Training Annex. Training rooms have flooring designed for the comfort of dogs and people. The rooms are handicap accessible.
Most classes are one-hour sessions held weekly. Some classes include a mandatory humans-only orientation as the first meeting; in others, you and your dog begin training during the first class. We encourage students to attend New Dog 101, which is free, before starting our introductory classes.
What to Bring
- Dog (check class description to see if dog is brought to first class)
- Exercise and relieve your dog prior to class
- If class time is near dog’s mealtime, feed only 1/2 meal and bring the rest to class
- Edible and toy treats
- Soft, small, high-value dog treats work best. Check with your vet before trying any new treats.
- Small toys (plush, tug or other) if your dog enjoys them as a reward
- Four to six-foot leash (leather or nylon) - No flexi or retractable leashes, please
- Flat collar (buckle or clip) - No prong collars or choke collars, please
- Humane walking equipment such as Halti, SENSE-ation Harness or Gentle Leader – optional
- Proof of rabies and current vaccinations for all dogs over 16 weeks
- Proof of 2 DHLPP for puppies 16 weeks or less
- Optional (May be required by individual instructors. Please check any emails you receive from the instructor before class for details.)
- Mat for dog to lie on
- Chew bone for quiet time (only if easy to take away)
Discounts for Animals Adopted from a Shelter or Rescue Group
We off a discount on (almost) all classes for dogs adopted from animal shelters or rescue groups. We may ask for proof of adoption at your first class.
Class Sizes are Limited
You must register in advance for all classes by completing a registration online. You can also register by calling 415.522.3509 or when visiting one of our adoption centers.
Payment, Refunds and Transfers
Payment is required at time of enrollment. We accept MasterCard, Visa, Discover, American Express, personal checks and cash. There is a $15 fee for all returned checks.
Refunds or class transfers can be accommodated if we are notified at least two days before the first class session.
If, within the first three classes of a series, a dog is unable to attend the remainder of the series due to a canine injury or illness, you may receive a 50% credit toward a future class. No credits or refunds will be provided due to owner health issues or scheduling conflicts after a class series has begun. No credit or refund will be provided for any reason after the first three classes in a series.
For adopters who are required to provide proof of class registration at San Francisco Animal Care and Control in order to adopt, no refunds will be provided.
New students will not be able to join after the first session. If you miss a session, please contact the trainer to discuss what was covered. Make-up classes are not offered, although students may audit another instructor's equivalent week class of a missed class, if pre-arranged via the Dog Training Program Manager.
Declines and Referrals
We reserve the right to decline entry to any dog who presents behavior issues that may be dangerous, disruptive or that may be exacerbated by participation in a group class. If behavior issues are discovered during the class and the trainer determines that it is in everyone's best interest for you to seek a private trainer, you will be provided with a qualified trainer referral and a refund.
If the minimum enrollment for a class is not met prior to the first session, the class will be cancelled. We will notify you at least one day before the class is scheduled to begin to see if you would like to enroll in an alternate class, receive credit toward a future class or receive a full refund.
We welcome all friendly dogs, whether they are altered or not. However, female dogs in their estrus cycle may not come to class. If your female begins her cycle during the course of the class, no refund will be given. The only exception to this is the Reactive Rover class where no unaltered dogs will be permitted at any time.
The SF SPCA uses solely positive-reinforcement based methods for training. These methods are based on the latest science of animal learning and behavior, and have the added benefit of being the most effective, most humane and most fun way to train! We will encourage our students to use humane walking and training equipment, including head harnesses, front-buckle harnesses, and flat collars. Prong collars, choke collars and shock collars are not permitted in SF SPCA training classes. If you attend class with one of these devices on your dog, you will be asked to swap it out for a humane collar in order to remain in the class.
Children in Class
Children and other family members are welcome to attend our classes. Please review our guidelines:
- Children must remain seated with their parents and under parental control at all times.
- Parents must supervise their children during the entire class. For children under 18, an adult must be present for the duration of each class.
- There is no running and yelling in the classroom.
- Explain to your children that all dogs are not socialized, friendly or comfortable around children. They should not approach or pet the other dogs in class.