Dog Training FAQ

Why should I train my dog?
spcaLA’s expert trainers can help set you and your dog up for a lifetime of happiness.

What training methods does spcaLA use?
Our techniques focus on positive reinforcement and fun with your dog!

Why do you use positive reinforcement?
Positive reinforcement is fun, humane and enables your dog to perform better, because he is working toward a reward instead of away from a punishment. Think of it this way – your dog already needs to eat and be praised, so why not work with his needs? Your dog doesn’t need to be choked, thrown to the ground or otherwise hurt.

Does my dog need to know anything before I come to class?
It depends. Each of our training classes has different prerequisites, so be sure to check the class page to determine if your dog is eligible. Some classes, like Puppy Preschool™ or Magical Manners™ are beginning classes, so your dog doesn’t need to know anything!

Please keep in mind, however, that spcaLA group training classes are not designed to address your dog’s aggressive behavior towards people or other dogs.

What classes do you offer?
spcaLA offers a wide variety of training classes: Obedience, Fun Nose Work, Agility, and Specialty classes, which includes classes like “Come When Called,” and “Pooches That Pull,” among others. Any dog and handler – from the beginner to advanced competitor – will find lots of options at spcaLA.

I’ve never heard of Fun Nose Work. What is it?
Fun Nose Work is a fun and engaging activity in which dogs work one-at-a-time to find and identify different scents. This class can help your dog to build confidence in new environments and burn excess energy, while learning a brand-new set of skills. Keep in mind, since dog and handler teams work one-at-a-time, dogs will be crated during their down time, so it’s important that your dog can handle confinement during class.

Can you tell me more about Agility?
Agility is a fun dog sport in which you direct your dog through an obstacle course in a race for both time and accuracy. Agility classes are a great way to bond with your dog while having fun, and burning some calories too! We offer classes for everyone from the novice to those involved in advanced competition.

What will my dog learn in Obedience classes?
We teach all kinds of skills in our Obediences classes! At spcaLA, your dog can go all the way from learning from the basics, like sit and down, to passing the AKC Canine Good Citizen® Test. We cover skills such as sit, down, wait, come, touch, watch and focus, which form a foundation for more advanced behaviors, like calmly greeting new people, coming when called while off leash, and heeling. Obedience classes also provide an opportunity for your dog to focus on you with the distraction of other dogs and people in close proximity.

What will my puppy learn in Puppy Preschool™?
Puppy Preschool™ is designed to set your puppy up to become a great dog. We’ll introduce some basic obedience, and you’ll learn how to help your puppy to properly interact with people and other puppies.

There are so many options in the LA area for dog training. Why should I train at spcaLA?
At spcaLA, you benefit from the knowledge of our educated, experienced staff who work daily with complex behavioral issues. In addition, training your dog at spcaLA benefits shelter pets – the proceeds from our classes go right back into enriching the lives of shelter animals!

I can’t receive emails from the spcaLA website. Why aren’t they getting to me?
spcaLA emails are generated by a highly-respected and secure web platform, which is constantly updating in order to bring our users the best experience possible. However, all email “clients” are different, so it’s impossible to avoid the occasional compatibility problem. If you’re consistently not receiving emails, here are some troubleshooting steps:

  • Check your spam folder.
  • Be sure that your spam settings are allowing incoming emails from unknown senders.
  • Add “” to your approved sender list.

If all else fails, you may need to create a email address with a large, reputable email provider, like Gmail, Hotmail, or Yahoo.

Why do I have to “confirm my email” when I sign up for your site? It seems like I have to register twice.
By doing a little more work when you first sign up with us, we can help keep your information secure. Confirming your email provides an added layer of security for us, and helps you be sure that our correspondence will get to your inbox. If you have more questions or concerns, email us at

I adopted my dog at spcaLA, but I can’t remember the discount code you emailed me. Can I still get my discount?
Of course! Email the Training department at and we can help you out.

I changed my phone number. How do I update my information?
In order to change any of the information on your profile, go to spcaLA’s Dog Training Registration Portal and click the “My Info” tab. From here, you can update your phone number, upload vaccination documents, add additional dogs, and change your account information.

How can delete a pet from the spcaLA system?
If you need to delete a pet, please email spcaLA at and we can remove your pet’s profile.

I’m uncomfortable registering for classes online. Is there any other way to sign up?
Your online security is very important to us. In fact, spcaLA uses a highly-respected and secure web platform, Mindbody, which is constantly updating its security features to reduce risk to our valued clients. Please contact us at (562) 216-2559 or email to discuss your concerns.

I registered for a class, but I decided I don’t want to take it. Can I get a refund?
We offer refunds & cancellations until 72 hours prior to the class’ scheduled start date. We will process your refund within one week of your request. Unfortunately, we are not able to offer refunds or cancellations after the first night of class.

I woke up this morning and it’s raining! How do I know if we’ll have class?
We will do our best to alert you if classes are cancelled or rescheduled, so you have time to adjust your schedule accordingly. However, it is possible that classes will be canceled or rescheduled without notice. Don’t worry, though – you will receive the full number of sessions, but the class end date may be later than anticipated. We also have some standing dates on which classes will not be held: click here to see a full list. If you haven’t heard from us, but you still think that class may be canceled, please email or call: (562) 216-2559 (Long Beach); (310) 676-1149 X222 (South Bay).

There aren’t any sessions open of the class I want. Can I still sign up?
We are always adding new classes. Please check back weekly to see new start dates and times.