My Dog's Place logo

  Mystic, CT
  (860) 572-7755

  Niantic, CT
  (860) 691-0078

Class Descriptions

See which class

 is the right fit

 for your dog

Class Schedule

See what date &

time works for you




 Day School


& Policies

 Special Events

Client Day, Holiday Photos, First Aid Seminars etc.

Class Descriptions
Puppy Play Group
Drop in to this group for an hour of off leash play. Great exercise and socialization for your puppy.  Our staff will be here to answer questions and supervise play. New pups to this group may join from ages 10 weeks to 6 months of age.  Proof of current immunizations mandatory at your pups first visit. If your pup is new to us and approaching the 6 month age please call us to check on their eligibility for this group. We can not introduce dogs new to My Dog's Place over 6 months of age  into this group for safety reasons.
Puppy Kindergarten
A six week class for puppies 10 weeks to 5 months of age at the start of class. Socialization, manners, training and play! The first week is a 1 hour mandatory orientation for pups and their families. We will explain how to use positive reinforcement training in all aspects of puppy raising. This includes an introduction to a marker signal (a Clicker or "yes"), how to reinforce what you want and how to manage and re-train the behaviors you don't want. Remaining classes will be part Puppy Parenting, part Training, and part Free Play. The Puppy Parenting portion will cover topics like house training, mouthing, chewing, jumping, diet, socialization, stages of development, crate training and leadership training for owners. Obedience training will include sit, down, come and leash walking. This is a great starter class for young pups, get your pup started off on the right paw.

Adult and Adolescent Socialization


This group is for dogs that have been approved by My Dog's Place or that have been regularly been attending My Dog's Place socializations. A great way to exercise your dog and keep them social, these groups are supervised by our instructors and assistants.  If your dog has been out of socials for more than a month please check with us before re-joining these socials.

 Do you have a dog over 6 months of age  has not socialized with My Dog's Place yet?  Then joining one of our Basic Manners classes is the way to begin socializing them with us. We can not introduce dogs over 6 months of age  into our drop in socials for safety reasons. Please check out our class schedule and get to know us through a class, we do socialize dogs in our classes if they are appropriate.

Basic Manners
This class is for any dog over 5 months who has not yet been to obedience class OR graduates of Puppy Kindergarten. You will learn the theory and application of Positive Reinforcement training and the basics of how to use a marker signal (a Clicker or "yes"). This dog friendly approach is the cutting edge in training today,  it's painless, creates a working, trustworthy relationship between dog and handler, and gets great results. The first class, a 1 hour mandatory orientation, is for people only and homework will be given to work on with your dog. The remaining seven weeks will focus on teaching your dog to pay attention, sit, down, stand, stay, come when called, leash walking, as well as leave it and settle. $130 for My Dog's Place Puppy K graduates.
  Beyond Basics
This intermediate level obedience class is for those dogs continuing to build on their basic skills and those looking for Canine Good Citizen training. We will strengthen stays, add distractions and increase distance. More leash walking work will be included as well as an introduction to off leash heeling. Appropriate greetings with people and other dogs along with proper socialization. This class is great as a refresher, for those needing more work before moving on to an upper level class and those looking to take the Canine Good Citizen Test. Completion of our Basic Manners class or equivalent is a mandatory prerequisite for this class. 8 weeks / 1 hour.



Canine Good Citizen Prep





This 4 week course is designed to help prepare you and your dog for the AKC Canine Good Citizen (CGC) Test.  CGC is a certification program that is designed to reward dogs who have good manners at home and in the community.  The Canine Good Citizen Program is a two-part program that stresses responsible pet ownership for owners and basic good manners for dogs.   Each week we will cover various exercises that prepare you for the CGC test.   All dogs that pass the 10-step CGC test are eligible to receive a certificate, a collar tag and patch from the American Kennel Club.  


Tests will be offered at MDP after the course completes and is open to clients not currently enrolled in the course. Prerequisite: Beyond Basics Course or instructor’s approval.

Out & About

You’ve taken a Beyond Basics class, and wonder what to do next. Or maybe you’re in a Companion + Therapy class working toward the certificate. Then this may be the class you’re looking for ! Here is your opportunity to "take it on the road!" We’ll be going outside to work through real life distractions. Each session we’ll put to practical application all those practical skills you and your dog have been practicing at home and in class. We will learn to work through stress and how to recognize stress in our dogs as well as refining skills such as walking on a loose leash, sit, down, attention, come/recall, and greeting strangers. Join us! The Niantic class is 6 weeks ,1 hr per week in Niantic and surrounding areas. The  Mystic class is 6  weeks, 1 hr per week at Mystic Village or various locations in Mystic and surrounding areas.

 Reliable Recall

Whether you are looking for direction on how to start your recall training off on the right foot or in need of a refresher for an inconsistent response, this two-week course will give you the tools to teach your dog to come when called. Through a mixture of drills and games you will learn how to build a relationship with your dog to teach him/her to want to recall. Your dog will learn how much fun COME can be. This course is open to dogs of all ages. 2 weeks - 1 hour per week.


    All Levels







Rally Obedience - Coursework

The newest addition to Companion Events, Rally is a sport in which the dog and handler move continuously with the dog under control at the handler's left side, however perfect "heel position" is not required. They perform the obedience exercises indicated by a numbered sign at each designated station. Each of these stations has a sign providing instructions regarding the next skill that is to be performed. Rally is the place to build a relationship with your dog and refine your communication with him/her. Come join us to learn about this new and exciting sport. This will be an all-levels class so both novice students and those with previous Rally experience can take this course to learn advanced and excellence levels.  There will be varying levels of courses each week for both new and existing students. Previous training through at least the basic obedience level a must.

The Advanced class will emphasize the AKC changes for 2012. Previous Rally Obedience classes required for this level.

Rally III  will cover the APDT exercises not included in the AKC Rally exercises, and if time permits Canadian Rally's Versatility level. Students must have completed at least one Rally session.  

Course Work - Previous Rally Obedience training a must for this session. There will be varying levels of courses for both beginner and advanced level teams. They perform the obedience exercises indicated by a numbered sign at each designated station. Each of these stations has a sign providing instructions regarding the next skill that is to be performed.


Scenting with a Purpose Introductory Level - Does your dog enjoy sniffing and following scent?  If you said "yes" then this fun class will teach you how to give it a purpose.  In this class the dogs will learn to "indicate" when they have found the scent that we have asked them to.  The "indication" is the most important part of scent work, once we have a strong indication then we will start to build search behaviors. No previous training required, any dog any age is welcome.
Level 2 - Continuing to build search behaviors and more complicated scent pictures. Outdoor classes will begin to teach understanding of how conditions affect search work. Animal Scent and Tracking will be introduced in the outdoor sessions. Prerequisite: Introductory Level Scenting. 


 Canine Water Sports

 FOUNDATION : This 6 week class is for pups & dogs who are  showing interest in the water but are not  swimming confidently on their own yet. Building a confident, cooperative  water companion is the primary goal of this class, dogs & handlers learn to swim safely as a team.  A background of basic obedience and positive reinforcement training is required. Canine Lifejacket is strongly recommended, human lifejacket is required.  6 wks / 1 hour, at a fresh water lake in Ledyard.  

BEGINNER: This class is for dogs already swimming on their own and beginner retrievers.  Safety, control and fun around and in the water is the primary goal of this class, dogs & handlers learn to swim safely as a team.  Basic retrieve, platform, delivery and tow behaviors both on land and in the water will be covered. A background of basic obedience and positive reinforcement training is required. Canine Lifejacket is strongly recommended, human lifejacket is required.  6 wks / 1 hour, at a fresh water lake in Ledyard.

 INTERMEDIATE:  This class is for dogs who are confident retrievers and are able swimmers. We will focus on retrieve variations, distance work, water retrieves and directional control. Additional topics include delivery tasks, carrying an object to a target (shore, boat, person or marker) by following directional signals. Tow work is an extension of delivery work, the dog learns to overcome the resistance of an objects weight and move it forward to a target. Boat work develops boat manners, boarding, sending and control. Dogs will learn to take direction to “jump” either from a water or boat platform. Prerequisite - Beginner Water Sports Class.  Canine Life Jacket required for jumping, human lifejacket is required. 6 wks / 1 hour, at a fresh water lake in Ledyard.           Instructor - Marge


OPEN SWIM: This session will be offered to previous students of our Water Sports classes only. You must pre-register for the season but then each week you can call ahead or just drop in (if space allows) to enjoy the water with your dog. Marge will be present to oversee and offer guidance to participants, but no formal curriculum will be taught. You will be able to work on water skills of your choosing, building swim endurance and confidence, retrieves, platform work, etc.  At a fresh water lake in Ledyard. Instructor - Marge


For more information about Canine Water Sports (with Deborah Lee Miller Riley), other classes and workshops offered in Monroe CT, check out   



 with Kristie

Foundation, Basic, Advanced Basic  and Advanced  

This series of classes, with Kristie Foss, are for those interested in the possibility of competitive agility. Foundations Class will introduce you and your dog to essential skills which form the foundations of agility.  Dogs will be learning and working on skills they need, while their human teammates will work on handling skills to facilitate communication with their dogs.  During the first 8 weeks, 45 minutes per week,  dogs will not be using standard equipment.  This class is appropriate for dogs 6 months and up.  Dog/human teams who have learned some agility equipment can benefit from the handling and teamwork aspects of this class. Training to at least the Basic Manners level is required.  Basic Agility - prerequisite Foundations - this class will focus on improving obstacle confidence, teamwork and handler skills. Advanced Basic- prerequisite Basic - this class involves longer sequences and greater ability dogs to perform obstacles independently. Advanced - This level is for dogs ready for competition.
    Flyball  An exciting and versatile sport for dogs and their companions. Simplified, each dog jumps four "Flyball Jumps", makes contact with a "Flyball Box" that propels a tennis ball, which is then caught by the dog and returned to his/her companion after completing the same four jumps. There are four dogs to a team with alternates available, the sport is played in relay style. Dogs must have taken at least an obedience class with MDP to enter flyball, an Intro Agility class is also preferred.

Not for the faint of heart, although many a timid dog and person have found their confidence through training for this sport. Bea DeGruttola and My Dog's Place offers a Flyball class were your dog can learn the sport. Look for an Introductory level class on our schedule then join us to learn about Flyball and perhaps even aspire to join the My Dog's Place team, "Seaside Sprinters", Captained by Bea DeGruttola Nielsen.   



Introductory Agility

Agility is currently the most popular doggie activity around. Come learn the A-Frame, Dog Walk, Tunnels, Teeter Totter and Jumps with us. Agility is fun for you and your dog, builds confidence, great exercise, and helps create a working relationship with your dog. Dogs new to MDP must take an obedience class with us prior to joining an Agility class.

This introductory level, with Bea DeGruttola, is taught for fun and confidence and is open to any dog over six months who has completed a basic obedience class. Correctly and safely learn one new obstacle each week, also practice the previously taught obstacles to achieve confidence with each obstacle. Dogs must have Basic Obedience skills, see our description above, including a reliable recall.

Agility II
Next step, focuses on building more confidence with obstacles + handler skills. Reliable recall a must. Repeat as needed.  Dogs must have successfully completed Intro. Agility
Agility III

For dogs who are doing all obstacles independently and working off leash. Class will focus on running longer sequences.  Dogs should have successfully completed Agility II



The following classes are offered intermittently

Some classes are seasonal in nature and others are offered when our schedule and demand allows

Please let us know if you are interested in attending any of these classes, we would be happy to put you on a wait list for the class and we will notify you as soon as we schedule it.

CGC Community


This class will help prepare for AKC Community Canine test. This is the advanced level of the AKC's Canine Good Citizen Program. Dogs who pass the AKC Community Canine test earn the official title of "CGCA" (Advanced CGC) on the dog's title record. Whereas Canine Good Citizen tests are most often tested in a ring and situations are simulated (e.g., 3 helpers serve as a "crowd"), the AKC Community Canine test is done in real situations including at shows, classes, and in the community. Previous training to the Beyond Basics level or equivalent by instructor approval a must.

Companion & Therapy

Levels I and II

This group of upper level obedience classes is geared toward making your dog a “go anywhere, do anything dog”. Exercises with your dog to include training properly greeting people and other dogs, distance sit-down-stays, accepting grooming and crowded petting, leash walking through crowds, exposure to loud noises and health care equipment as well as other skills. For those people looking ahead to Therapy work with their dogs this is a great primer for the Delta Society Pet Partners Program. Dogs must be able to work safely off leash for CNT level 2.

Previous training to the Intermediate level (Beyond Basics or Canine Good Citizen certification) is required and positive reinforcement knowledge is necessary. 8 weeks / 1 hour  

Who's Your Dog Who's Your Dog class is a class to help you to understand your canine companion better and to figure out "Who is Your Dog". To understand their language, their needs and how to sinc up with them so that your relationship from both sides is positive and productive. 45 minutes of each weekly class will be about canine language: how to read your dog and others that they interact with. The other 45 minutes will be on a different sport or activity that you can try with them in class including Agility, Flyball, Rally-O and others.  Dogs must be over 6 months of age and have taken at least a Basic Manners class.
  Distance, Distraction and Duration Each week will do a variety of fun exercises to help you reach advanced level work with your dog. The drills in this course will be both challenge and revealing of your strengths and areas that need improvement. This course will incorporate some off-leash work; therefore, dogs should be socialable with people and dogs. Prerequisite: Beyond Basics, Out and About, CGC or other Intermediate Obedience experience. 4 weeks - 1 hour per week.
Impulse Control

Does your dog: Jump  on people or shy away when meeting, steal food or other items from the floor, table or counters, blast out of the door, leap out of cars?

If so this class is for you. We will focus on teaching appropriate greeting behavior, keeping feet on the floor by default, getting attention when the dog is excited, increasing comfort when being around people if stranger presence illicit a shyness response, asking permission before taking things and a "leave it" cue, door etiquette, sit/down in the crate and car and wait for release.

This course is open to dogs of all ages. 3 weeks - 1 hour per week. First week people only.
Relationship Centered Training Games This 6 week course utilizes fun training games that focus on creating great relationships (good communications and responsiveness) and well-mannered dogs. Games area great way to practice various training skills such as sit/down/stand/stay/come/loose leash walking/settle/attention. Each game has 5 skill levels and therefore is appropriate for dogs of all ages and from beginner to advanced dogs and handlers. Prerequisite: At least Basic Manners or equivalent.

Tricks and Games

Want to have fun with your dog and burn off some excess energy? Each week we will work on improving our basic obedience skills while having fun learning tricks and playing fun games. Tricks may include, shake, high five, roll over, spin, sit pretty, wave, back up. Teaching tricks and games with our dogs is a blast, continues to exercise the brain and keeps building that positive relationship. Prerequisite Basic Manners 4 weeks / 1 hour.
 Intro. to Retrieving 


Intro to Retrieving will work on motivating your dog to go out pick up an item and return it to your hand. These skills can be used just for building fun games with your dog or future Water work, Frisbee or Flyball. Depending on the progress of the dogs in class we may introduce delivery work. Delivery skills focus on teaching the dog to take an item away from the handler and drop it in a specific spot.  Any dog, any age is welcome to join this class, we will use both food and toy drive to build a retrieve.

Leash Walking
Have you done an obedience class, but need more practice with Leash Walking? Then this is the class for you! We will work specifically on teaching our dogs appropriate leash behavior. Starting with getting out the door politely and moving up to walking nicely with us. Our goal will be to get out to the sidewalk and work through real life situations. 6 weeks / 1 hour
Fun with Canine Freestyle Creativity, Fun and Action are what this course is all about.  Canine Freestyle is a sport in which handler and dog perform routines to music.  These routines are a combination of tricks and heelwork in which the team moves together. Individual moves and tricks will be taught first, then chained together to form a routine. You will learn to move as a team, improve your off-leash handling, appropriate music selection, choreography do's and dont's...but most of all have fun!  Prerequisites: Beyond Basics or equivalent, or instructor approval.
Canine Drafting Introductory canine drafting/carting - The basics of equipment like a properly fitted harness and various types of pulling gear will be covered. We’ll teach the skills your dog needs even before introducing the cart including attention, how to stop/go/go faster and how to back up. You will learn how to safely and positively acclimate your dog to a cart. Prerequisite: Basic Manners or equivalent background in positive training.   4 weeks - 1 1/2 hours per week.

Drafting Foundations -This one time workshop is designed to offer an introduction to drafting/sleding for those who have not had any prior training in draft work on either snow or dryland.

Outdoor Winter Drafting - This class will allow you to apply your draft work to winter conditions. We’ll teach the differences between dry land & snow work, proper safety & equipment, as well provide opportunities to practice pulling sleds. The focus will be primarily be on the single dog pulling a small sled, however where applicable you may have the opportunity to pull a standard dog sled and/or work in dog teams. Prerequistite: Intro. Canine Draftwork or Drafting Foundations.

Heelwork Foundation

This 4 week Foundation course will provide both theory and practical exercises for beginning heelwork. In this course we will cover automatic sits when you stop, simultaneous starts when you begin, correct heel position at your side, staying in position, maintaining eye contact, etc. We will begin with basic exercises and build to more advance heelwork movements with increasing distractions. The goal is to strengthen the bond between owner and dog as well and provide a foundation for other coursework. Prerequisite: Intermediate Obedience (Beyond Basics, CGC, Rally, Out & About) or instructor approval.  4 weeks - 1 hour per week. 

     Heelwork - Level 2 



Level 2 - This course will build on basic heeling skills to create greater reliability. We will focus on heeling amid a variety of distractions, smoother changes of directions and assessing readiness to transition to off-leash heeling. Prerequisite: Heelwork Foundations, basic heeling skills or instructor approval. 4 weeks - 1 hour per week.
    Companion & Therapy -     Level III

An upper level class for our well-trained dogs, this class will challenge the well-educated dog and companion to stay on their game in a non-competitive atmosphere.  We will work on skills to keep your dog sharp under all levels of distractions and various situations. Previous training to the Companion & Therapy level II class is necessary.  8 weeks / 1 hour.

      Thinking Dog 101 This class will teach our dogs "Concepts" also know as modifier cues. These are ideas like Big/Small, Left/Right, In/Out, Front/Back, Up/Down. These concepts can be applied to many life skills and sports. We will also teach alternate (novel) cues to known behaviors, practicing true shaping, capturing and chaining behaviors. Prerequisite: Beyond Basics or equivalent.

Advanced Obedience

The goals of this course will be to develop consistency amid increasingly challenging distractions and to eliminate food dependencies.  This class will cover advanced skills such as distance commands, out-of-sight stays, and confident off-leash control.  Prerequisite: Beyond Basics, equivalent or instructor approval.
Canine Good Citizen Prep FLEX class
This 6 week flex course is designed to help prepare you and your dog for the AKC Canine Good Citizen Test.  You may join this class at any time, attendance does not have to be consecutive, students can pick which weeks they would like to attend and have 3 months to complete the 6 week course. CGC is a certification program that is designed to reward dogs who have good manners at home and in the community.  The Canine Good Citizen Program is a two-part program that stresses responsible pet ownership for owners and basic good manners for dogs.   Each week various exercises that prepare you for the CGC test will be taught.   All dogs that pass the 10-step CGC test may receive a certificate, a collar tag and patch from the American Kennel Club.  Tests will be offered at MDP every other month. You may join this class any week other than a test week, see the schedule of  exercises at the top of this page. Prerequisite: Beyond Basics Course or instructor’s approval.


Soccer for Dogs
This fun class will focus on teaching dogs to push the ball with their nose or paw while taking direction (left, right, forward) from their handlers.  Dogs then learn to push the ball into a directed goal, while passing the ball to "teammates" and past the distraction of other dogs. 6 weeks / 1 hour.

Prerequisite Thinking Dog 102. 

"A Dayca