Like most people, Amanda and her dog Andy’s training journey started at home in their living room. Amanda noticed Andy was very confident and capable; however, he was easily distracted. Amanda signed up for a JHS Puppy Training class, and throughout the class, Andy mastered “sit” and “stay” as well as the commands “come,” “wait,” and “leave it.” After graduating from Puppy Training, Amanda and Andy went on to complete Basic Manners and Advanced Training classes at JHS.

After graduating from Advanced Training, Amanda and Andy were presented with a special award for having completed more JHS training classes than any other owner-dog duo. Why did they stick with JHS classes, and what was their recipe for success?

How did you hear about JHS dog training classes?
Animal Care & Protective Services – where I adopted Andy and Fish (both JHS students) – recommended JHS as one place I could go for positive reinforcement, force-free training.

Why did you chose JHS training classes?
I chose JHS because I liked working with the trainer, and the space was great, and the location was so close to my home. It was just super convenient and well-done.

From each JHS class (Puppy Training, Basic Manners and Advanced Training), what was your favorite aspect of each class?
My favorite aspect of really all three classes was being able to work on different skills in a controlled environment that, at the same time as being controlled and safe, could provide sufficient distraction to replicate real-world situations. It helped Andy generalize what he learned at home into the outside world.

Can you describe Andy’s improvement after each class, starting with Puppy Training?
After Puppy Training: Andy definitely had a much better sit and stay and learned other basic commands.
After Basic Manners: Andy learned how to maintain focus and remain calm while reinforcing his understanding of basic commands.
After Advanced Training: Andy really improved on being able to ignore big distractions and focus on me throughout. He also won the down-stay challenge in our first class! And we kept working on being able to maintain a down-stay for long periods while having distractions presented.

What was your favorite training tip you’ve learned from JHS?
But there are so many! The most important thing that I have found really changed is the way I talk to and encourage my dogs. I learned to really pay attention to my tone of voice and making sure that I sound upbeat and positive and encouraging while asking for a command. There is a difference in how ALL my dogs have responded to me – which is that they have all responded faster and better than if I give an authoritative command.

Have you continued training Andy with the tips you’ve learned from JHS?
Absolutely! Especially with keeping the positivity in my tone of voice and attitude when we are working.

How would you describe the difference in your and Andy’s relationship after completing the classes?
We’ve definitely bonded a lot closer. Training at JHS really gave me and Andy an opportunity to develop our individual relationship.

How do you think the training classes have improved you as a dog owner?
Well, just being aware of more things in general that I’ve learned from JHS has made me a more responsible dog owner. Learning to listen to what my dog is telling me versus label him as being bad has made me a better dog owner because it gives me an opportunity to ask him for a different behavior versus just punishing him, either intentionally through correction or inadvertently through a negative response and attitude.

Amanda and Andy’s tail of success continues from California as they tackle agility courses and the change of scenery. Amanda credits the Jacksonville Humane Society for creating a strong foundation for her and Andy to build upon and highly recommends JHS training classes. She says, “If you want a training facility that creates a safe and positive environment for you and your dog AND teaches you effective training skills, JHS is exactly that.”

The Jacksonville Humane Society is pleased to offer a variety of training classes at different levels. All JHS dog training classes promote positive reinforcement and force-free training. The combination of these methods allows the trainer and dog to have an open line of communication in which the trainer says a command and allows the dog to process and follow it without any outside pressure. The dog is then rewarded with praise, pets or treats! JHS believes practicing these methods creates a fun and tension-free training session.

If you are interested in JHS training classes, visit to learn more.


Check out adoptable Donnie working on his “shake”!

Could your dog use a little work on his or her manners? Do you have a new puppy who needs to learn the basics? Register for one of our upcoming dog training classes! Our September/October class lineup includes:

Basic Dog Manners

This class is for dogs 6 months or older that have not had previous obedience training. Skills covered will include loose leash walks, not jumping on people, coming when called, and more.

Puppy & Small Dog Training

Do you have a new puppy (under 6 months of age) or maybe a small breed adult dog that hasn’t had a prior training class? Get your new puppy and small dog off on the right “paw” learning skills to help you both become an obedient team. Topics will include potty training, mouthy puppies, taking treats treat gently, sit, stay, come, leash walking, and more.

1-on-1 Training

If your dog is not comfortable in a group training class or maybe you just have one or two obedience skills you want your pup to learn, then sign up for a 1-on-1 class!

Our classes fill up quickly, so register now while there’s still space available!

Registration is NOW OPEN for a new round of dog training classes right here at JHS!

Courses include:

Basic Dog Manners Group Class

Puppy & Small Dog Manners Group Class

1-on-1 Training Classes

Trick Dog Classes

Life Skills 101 Classes

Click here to learn more about our classes and register. Discounts are available for dogs adopted from JHS – email to get the discount code.