Log in
Log in

   Established 1960



(back to top)

SOTC offers classes in basic obedience as well as competition obedience, conformation handling, rally, freestyle, and flyball. Classes are held at 6392 Deere Road. The format is group classes (6 to 8 students), not private lessons.

Classes generally run for 8 weeks and are offered four times a year (starting in March, June, September, and January). The fee for an 8-week Puppy, Pre-Basic or Basic class is $104.

Most classes are held on weeknights (Mondays through Thursdays after 5:30pm), with a few daytime offerings. There are usually no weekend classes.

Who Can Take Our Classes

(back to top)

You do not need to be a member of SOTC to take classes with us, and all dogs are welcome, mixed breeds as well as purebreds. However:

  • We do not tolerate aggressive dogs in our classes, nor do we offer behavior modification for such dogs.
  • Students new to SOTC and new to competition typically begin with Puppy, Pre-Basic, and/or Basic, depending on the age of the dog. Even if your dog has had prior training elsewhere, we strongly recommend a refresher with us first if you wish to take any class that lists SOTC Basic as a prerequisite.  

Why?  Our facility is big and busy, with three or four classes running simultaneously in clear view of one another. Even dogs with prior training in group obedience classes struggle to focus when they first visit the building.

  • Students new to SOTC but with competition experience may request permission to enroll in competition obedience, rally, freestyle, or flyball classes. We may ask you and your dog to meet with our Training Director or the class instructor for a run-through.
  • Class openings at all levels are limited, particularly for anything beyond the level of Basic.  
Why?  We are a club, not a  full-service dog-training business. As an AKC-licensed club and 501c(3) educational corporation,  our educational mission is to offer basic obedience classes to the public. Our instructors and other workers are all unpaid volunteers. The number of classes we can offer depends on the availability of members willing to donate their time and expertise.  
  • Openings in agility classes are especially limited, and students seeking such classes are urged to look elsewhere.
Why?  Because we cannot pay our instructors and other workers, we offer them priority admission to classes: instructors register first, other members next, non-member current students third, non-member new students last. To have even a small chance of getting into (say) our Agility Foundations class, any non-member would need to have taken some other class with us first (usually Basic), just to attain "current student" status. But even then the chances aren't good. Each quarter we have only 6 openings in Agility Foundations available for the 60-plus instructors, 200-plus other members, and 50-plus current students who might want them. 

Agility programs everywhere are tough to get into, but in the for-profit sector you at least won't have SOTC's priority-registration rules working against you.

For other recommendations, click HERE to email our Agility Inquiries contact.

Our Approach to Training

(back to top)

  • We don't train your dog. We train YOU to train your dog.
  • We are a club, not a business, and our instructors are all volunteers. What qualifies us to teach? Most of us compete with our own dogs in various sports, and all canine sports begin with basic obedience training.  We love training, learning about new techniques, and sharing what we have learned.
  • We use reward-based training (food, toys, play, praise) and flat-buckle collars. We may recommend other types of physical collars to address problems like pulling, but we do not recommend electronic (shock) collars or permit their use in our building.

Our Basic Obedience Program

(back to top)

We offer three levels of basic (intro-level) obedience: Puppy, Pre-Basic, and Basic. Each class has a maximum enrollment of eight dogs. Classes meet for 45 minutes once a week for eight weeks. The fee is $104 for the general public ($72 for members).

Which one should you take? It depends on the age of the dog:

  • Puppy is for dogs that will be between 8 and 20 weeks of age on the first day of class.
  • Pre-Basic is for those either continuing from Puppy, or new to our program with a young dog too old for Puppy class (5 to 14 months of age).
  • Basic is for those either continuing from Pre-Basic, or new to our program with an older dog (14 months of age and up).

Start at whichever level is appropriate for the age of your dog, then go on to the next level.

Basic is the prerequisite for almost everything else we offer.

Copyright 2024

The Syracuse Obedience Training Club, Inc. 

PO Box 3457, Syracuse NY 13220-3457

A New York State-registered 501(c)3 educational corporation (organized not-for-profit)

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software