BetterDog introduces the APDT
Canine Life And Social Skills

What is C.L.A.S.S. ?

Canine Life and Social Skills or C.L.A.S.S. is a three-tiered educational program designed to promote life-long training and guidance of the dog. It focuses on the use of positive reinforcement because this approach strengthens and promotes good relationships between you and your canine companion. It also develops and safeguards harmonious relationships between your dog and the community. In a series of real-life activities, through which you accompany your dog, the C.L.A.S.S. Evaluator will assess you and your dog’s core training skills, with options to test advanced training skills. There are three C.L.A.S.S. levels: the Bachelor’s (B.A.), Master’s (M.A.), and Doctorate (Ph.D.). Successfully completing each C.L.A.S.S. level is like earning an academic degree in real-life skills with your dog.


Developed by the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT) in the United States, C.L.A.S.S. benefits pet owners and their canine companions, dog trainers and others who work with dogs, animal shelters, and the community overall.​

The Objectives of C.L.A.S.S. are to:
  • Promote positive reinforcement and reward-based training 

  • Strengthen the dog-owner relationship through shared activity, fun, and positive reinforcement

  • Encourage dog owners to participate in ongoing training, and real life activities with their dogs

  • Value the real-life skills of dog-owner teams

  • Educate pet owners in dog behavior

Why should I participate in a C.L.A.S.S. course or evaluation?
  • You and your dog will learn real life skills, 

  • In an open and supportive environment,

  • Using fun games and positive teaching methods. 

  • You can show off your dog’s skills,

  • Confidently take your dog any place, and

  • Know your dog will be a welcome member of the party. 

  • You will build a better bond with your dog.

What Skills Will I Learn with My Dog?

B.A. skills include wait at the door, come and leashing up manners, loose leash walking and attention, meet and greet, leave it, wait for the food bowl, stay, and settle.

M.A. skills include wait in the car, pass by other dogs, wait at the door, come and leashing up manners, sit/down/stand, handling, loose leash walking with distractions, leave it on the move, and stay with significant distractions.

Ph.D. skills include loose leash walking through several obstacles and while carrying precarious objects, back up, stay with more significant distractions, come and leashing up manners in a difficult situation, meet and greet, attention, table manners, and sit under any circumstance.


How can I find out more?

Call BetterDog Canine Behavior Center at 09175000039, and speak to our C.L.A.S.S. Evaluator or one of our C.L.A.S.S. Instructors. You may also visit the C.L.A.S.S. website, download a FREE student handbook, and register your dog at the CLASS website.


Elsie learned to train dogs using rewards based methods when, as a Director of the Philippine Animal Welfare Society, she sponsored and participated in the Rehabilitation and Basic Obedience Training Program For Shelter Dogs. She is now a US Certified Professional Dog Trainer-Knowledge and Skills Assessed (CPDT-KSA) and an APDT C.L.A.S.S. Instructor and Evaluator. Through the C.L.A.S.S. program Elsie hopes to promote training for good manners, and increase public access for all canine companions. Elsie currently teaches The Family Dog Program, C.L.A.S.S., Rally Obedience, Tricks, Agility, and Canine Fitness, at Betterdog. Apart from her teaching responsibilities, she actively competes in dog agility on a national level with her Border Collie, Swyft; she does dog dancing with her Border Collie, Rio; and her Philippine native dog, Sheba, is a Champion Trick Dog.