Obedience Classes

The goal of our classes is to foster a strong, positive bond between dogs and their owners. Through these classes, we strive to promote humane education, responsible pet care, and dog training based on positive motivation.

All animals, regardless of class option, need to be registered BEFORE coming to class. Classes run from August - Dec and Jan - June. See below for specific dates and/or session information. Direct questions to obedience@hinsdalehumanesociety.org.

Meet Our Trainer!

Deborah Plowman, an accredited dog trainer, uses positive training methods in her classes to make training fun as well as to help build a positive relationship between dog and human.

Deborah would like all dogs (and any animal) to be happy in a forever home for their entire lives no matter how they arrived at that home. She believes that a strong human-dog bond should be based on trust and the best way to do this is through education and training. You will hear her say that we can spoil our dogs, but they need to be well trained and have manners.

Deborah mentored under Kym Iffert as well as trained separately for many years. She is a member of Association of Pet Dog Trainers and is a certified AKC Canine Good Citizen evaluator. She has volunteered at different shelters and continues to help enrich the lives of dogs and their families.


Registration is a two step process:

  1. Register for your class by clicking the link below
  2. Once you have registered, you will be given a link to complete the Dog / Family Profile. This profile must be completed prior to your first class.

Class Dates / Times:

If you have questions about schedules or classes, or just have a question about your dog, please contact Deborah Plowman at obedience@hinsdalehumanesociety.org.

Family Dog Obedience Class

Wednesday and Thursday evenings. See schedule above.
Register Here

This class teaches basic obedience commands and good dog behavior using positive motivation techniques. You will learn how to communicate better with your dog, resulting in a stronger, more positive bond. The class covers topics including:

  • Sit
  • Stay
  • Come
  • Greet without jumping up
  • Housebreaking
  • Controlled walk on a leash
  • Releasing toys and food
  • Responsible pet care

The class is open to all dogs adopted from HHS and non-aggressive dogs from the community. Proof of current rabies vaccination is required. Family members over the age of 5 are welcome and encouraged to attend. If your dog is under 4 months, we recommend a puppy kindergarten as a prerequisite.

Requirements: Dogs 4 months and Older​
Dates: See chart above
Price: $150 ($25 refund given upon completion to all adopters who sign up for classes w/in 7 days of adopting)

Puppy Pre School

Register Here

Start your puppy out right by focusing on the behaviors you want, rather than struggling with what naturally comes to our 4-legged friends. Here you will introduce your puppy to safe socialization with people, household manners, proper handling techniques, focused attention and basic obedience commands while safely interacting with other dogs both on and off leash. This fun, interactive class will help you understand and successfully navigate typical puppy problems including puppy nipping, housebreaking and crate training as well as proper health and nutrition and exercise needs.

Requirements:  Puppies must be 8-14 weeks at the start of class and have proof of current vaccinations & deworming.
Dates: See chart above
Price:  $150 ($25 refund given upon completion to all adopters who sign up for classes w/in 7 days of adopting)

Beyond the Basics Class

Watch for next registration date.

This class takes your well trained dog from being told what to do and turns him into a thinking dog who can figure out what he needs to do in order to score the reward. We review the skills learned in Family Dog Obedience Class and add more depth by introducing distractions and new concepts that can give you and your dog the skills to consider Canine Good Citizen or Therapy Training. We cover recalls, sit stays, go to your place, greeting people and other dogs while on leash, loose leash walking and impulse control exercises.

Requirements: Family Dog Obedience Class
Dates: See chart above
Price: $150

Puppy Playtime

Registration is on a drop-in basis.

Our puppy social time (playtime) is designed to allow your puppy to have safe, off-leash playtime with other puppies during a critical social development window. This 45 minute session provides puppies 10 weeks to 6 months old a fun environment to learn social skills. Our trainers will lead the playtime using their expertise to teach your puppy how to play appropriately with others while also teaching you what is normal and appropriate puppy play.

Requirements: Proof of current vaccinations required.
Dates: Every other Saturday, starting April 6 at 10:30am
Price: $10. Payment is onsite.

AKC Canine Good Citizen

Watch for next registration date.

This is an intermediate/advanced class.

This class is designed to prepare the dog and handler for the CGC test which includes 10 test items which will be discussed and practiced throughout the duration of this 6 week class.

Requirements: Dogs appropriate for this class will have needed to attend an intermediate obedience class (unless approved by instructor).
Dates: See chart above
Price: $150

Therapy Dog Prep Class

Register Here

This class is intended for pet parents who believe their dog may want to become a therapy dog, well mannered dogs who want to continue training, and dogs who need to recertify and want a refresher. You will learn how to communicate better with your dog, resulting in a stronger, more positive bond. Your dog will have the chance to learn advanced socialization skills that they will need for animal assisted therapy work.​

This class covers situations that a therapy dog may encounter during a working visit. Situations include: 

  • Interactions with strangers?
  • Handling loud noises?
  • Encountering different types of stimuli on walks (strangers yelling, canes, wheelchairs, etc)

You’ll also learn to better acknowledge signals from your pet when they are

  • Uncomfortable or agitated
  • Tired
  • Finished working

*This class does not conduct therapy animal evaluations for registration with third party organizations. We are happy to connect our class attendees to evaluators and/or organizations such as Pet Partners, etc.​

The class is open to all dogs adopted from HHS and non-aggressive dogs from the community. Proof of current rabies vaccination is required. Family members over the age of 5 are welcome and encouraged to attend.​

Requirements: Dogs 7 months and Older​
Dates: See chart above
Price: $150

A Sound Beginning

Register Here

The Sound Beginning Behavior and Training package is unlike any other. Dog training experts created the program specifically to help new pet parents navigate all important transition periods, right before and just after an adoption. Classes in each of the 4 modules will be offered at Hinsdale Humane Society's PRRC on Tuesday evenings from 7:00 - 7:45pm. Register or get more information at the following link: https://asoundbeginningprogram.com/ 

Cancellations / Location / Class Instructions

Refunds for these classes can only be offered if cancellation notice is given a minimum of 14 days prior to the beginning of class. 

Please note: Starting with the January 2019 sessions, all classes will be held at our Pet Rescue and Resource Center, 21 Salt Creek Lane, Hinsdale. 

For safety reasons, children under the age of 5 may NOT attend. Children 5 to 16 years of age must be accompanied by an adult.

Please be on time for class and be prepared with the following*:

  • Your dog on a well-fitted flat buckle collar, front clasp harness or gentle leader
  • A 6 - foot leash (leather, cotton or nylon)
  • A large amount of tiny, moist, chewy high value treats.  (boiled chicken, cold cuts, cheese or hot dogs work well)
  • Your dog (please take them for a walk & potty break before class)

*At no point will any type of metal collar or” flexi-leashes” be allowed for use in class.