What to Know Before Your First Class

Dogs and cat stationing AndoverWe are very excited to begin and continue teaching your dog how to be a happy, well-mannered member of the family!

Here is what to expect and what to bring to your first class.

All classes require pre-registration, as space is limited. You can access our class schedule on our website to register for the individual classes that you wish to attend.

If you find that you are unable to attend a class that you had registered for, please cancel your reservation so that we can make room for another student.

Location & Parking

BlueDog Academy has two locations.  Our Andover is located at 19 Lupine Road, Andover. There is plenty of parking in the back of the building.  Our South Lawrence location is at 160 Winthrop Ave (Stadium Plaza) on the right side of the plaza, behind Citizens Bank.  There is plenty of parking on that side of the building.

Getting Started

If this is your first class with us, we ask that you please arrive 5 minutes early so our trainer can go over the basics with you and get you up to speed before the class begins.

At BlueDog Academy, we like to practice good doggie etiquette so we ask that you please bring your pup to relieve himself at the designated area across from our entrance prior to class. You’re also welcome to take breaks throughout the class if you think your pup needs to go!


For vaccinations we simply require that your dog has received his distemper/parvo vaccination and his rabies vaccine. Please bring a copy of your pup’s records with you to your first class so that we can confirm this.

For puppies, we simply require that your puppy has received at least one round of his distemper/parvo vaccination. We do not require the rabies vaccine until 6 months of age, per Massachusetts law.

What to Bring

You’ll want to bring a couple things to class to enable the best learning experience possible.


Please bring your pup on a 6-foot leash, no retractable leashes please.


We also ask that you bring him with a well-fitted collar, head halter, and/or harness. If you’d like advice on appropriate collars and harnesses, we are happy to make suggestions during the first class.  We simply ask that you do not bring him on a choke chain, prong collar, or e-collar.  If that’s the tool that you generally use, please ask us for advice on the best substitute.


You’ll want to find a very tasty, soft, easy to swallow treat that your pup just absolutely loves!  Feel free to experiment at home to see what your pup absolutely loves!  There are lots of training treats that you can purchase in the store, and we also like to use cooked, cut-up meat, cheese, or hotdogs for our dogs.

We recommend you bring at least three different treats of different value.  Bring them in three separate baggies so that you can switch as needed throughout class.

Remember that your pup eats kibble every single day, so it might not be tasty enough to motivate him to pay attention to you when there are other dogs in the class. Also, our pups work best when they’re hungry, so consider waiting until after class to feed him his meal.


You will be provided a treat pouch at the beginning of your first class to help you manage your treats.  However, if you have a favorite one at home, please feel free to bring it!

Bed, Mat, or Towel

Please also bring a bed, mat, or towel for your pup. We will be using them throughout our program to teach your pup to settle onto a mat.  If you don’t have one we are happy to supply one in class, but we find that a family bed works best!

For highly distracted dogs, you’re also welcome to bring a favorite chew toy to keep him busy in between lessons.

Where to Buy

For treats and/or collars, we recommend you visit Ciao! Bow Wow at the Butcher Boy Plaza in North Andover.

DO NOT greet other dogs (yet)

One of our focuses during this class will be on proper doggie greetings. So we ask that when you arrive you do not allow your pup to say hello to the other dogs.

Once in the classroom, feel free to spread out and give yourselves plenty of room to work.  We ask that you keep your pup by your seat during the entirety of the class unless your teacher instructs you otherwise.

What they’ll learn

Your instructor will talk you through each behavior and then you and your dog will practice the skills in class. You are welcome to questions at anytime during class!

We will also discuss how you can incorporate what you have learned in class into your everyday life, thus taking what you learn in class and teaching your pup from home how to quickly become a well-mannered dog!

Can’t wait!

We look forward to working with you and your pup. If you have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to contact us!