VBSPCA Pet Academy

The Virginia Beach SPCA is proud to bring you a new and improved pet training program designed to strengthen the bond between pets and pet parents. With puppy training, dog training, specialty workshops, private training, and a future that includes kitten socialization experiences, the VBSPCA Pet Academy offers the opportunity to improve the life of your own pet while also supporting the animals of the VBSPCA. Puppy and dog courses are six weeks long with one class each week, and new sessions start every few weeks. For more information, email petacademy@vbspca.com.

Each Puppy Course is $140, which includes 6 group training sessions. Dog Courses are $150, which includes 6 group training sessions. Private training is also available upon request. Email petacademy@vbspca.com for more information.

Please bring the following with you to all training sessions:

  • 4-6 foot leash (No retractable leashes please)
  • Flat buckle collar
  • Your dog’s favorite treats
  • Small towel, blanket, or dog bed

Please wear comfortable shoes that allow for movement and physical activity. Also, due to space restrictions, we cannot accommodate more than two people in attendance per dog. We also ask that any children who attend the training are over 12 years of age. 

Pet Academy Courses

Puppy Basic (0 to 6 months): This is the most important class you’ll ever take with your puppy! We will help you get started off on the right paw with crate training, house training, how to handle mouthing and chewing, and introducing basic commands. Most importantly, there are lots of socialization opportunities and plenty of time for Q&A.

Tuesdays from 6:30pm – 7:30pm
Session Dates:  5/14, 5/21, 5/28, 6/4, 6/11, 6/18

Saturdays from 9:00am – 10:00am 
Session Dates: 5/25, 6/1, 6/8, 6/15, 6/22, 6/29

Saturdays from 10:30am – 11:30am 
Class Dates: 6/15, 6/22, 6/29, 7/6, NO CLASS 7/13, 7/20, 7/27

Tuesday from 6:30pm – 7:30pm
Class Dates: 7/2, 7/9, 7/16, 7/23, 7/30, 8/6

Saturday from 9:00am – 10:00am
Class Dates: 7/20, 7/27, 8/3, No CLASS 8/10, 8/17, 8/24, 8/31

Sundays from 10:30am – 11:30am
Class Dates: 7/21, 7/28, 8/4, 8/11, 8/18, 8/25

Puppy Advanced (6 months to 12 months): Come! Learn how to be your dog’s trainer. This class is designed for puppies 6 months to one year with little or no training. Basic commands such as attention, stays, and recall are taught. There is also focus on managing challenging behaviors such as jumping up, excessive barking, leash walking, and of course, plenty of time for Q&A.

Thursdays from 6:30pm – 7:30pm 
Session Dates: 6/13, 6/20, 6/27, NO Class 7/4 and 7/11, 7/18, 7/25, 8/1

Sundays from 9:00am – 10:00am 
Session Dates: 6/23, 6/30, 7/7, NO CLASS 7/14, 7/21, 7/28, 8/4

Thursdays from 6:30pm – 7:30pm
8/15, 8/22, 8/29, 9/5, 9/12, NO CLASS 9/19,  9/26

Saturdays from 10:30am to 11:30am
Class Dates: 8/17, 8/24, 8/31, 9/7, 9/14, 9/21

Dog Basics (over 1 year old): It’s never too late or too early to learn basic manners. If you’re after a dog who comes when called, walks politely by your side, stays where asked, and sits to say hello to family members, guests, and strangers, Dog Basics is the perfect fit. We’ll turn your unruly, seemingly hearing-impaired pooch into a calm, focused, responsive companion.

Sundays from 10:30am – 11:30am 
Class Dates: 5/19, 5/26, 6/2, 6/9,  NO CLASS 6/16, 6/23, 6/30

Upcoming Workshops

Reactive Rover – Sunday, June 30th from 1pm to 3pm
Cost: $60
Reactive Rover is a course designed to help owners with reactive dogs learn better management and handling skills. This course focuses on dogs that react negatively to other dogs and/or people exhibiting behaviors such as growling, barking, lunging, shaking, or shutting down in the presence of such stimuli. This workshop is limited to 4 spots.

Training Tips

How to Reduce Leash Pulling

Meet the Trainers

Angel Hammond
Angel Hammond is a graduate of the Fern Camacho Dog Training School and a member of Professional Animal Certification Council. She has been training dogs for five years and enjoys bridging the communication gap between pets and their owners and remains committed to providing the most effective, convenient solutions to pet owners and their dogs training needs. Angel avidly pursues ongoing continuing education and professional development by attending several seminars per year and keeping current on all industry literature. Angel prides herself in making sure clients feel successful as a team with their dog. When not helping clients to enjoy easier lives with their canine companions, Angel enjoys spending time with her husband and four dogs.


 Christy Hutson
Christy Hutson is originally from Southern California but moved to Moyock NC in 2007 with her husband and 3 children. Christy has always been involved in animals from a young age starting in  veterinary medicine as kennel help at age 14 and dog training at 16, she has been a licensed veterinary technician for over 25yrs with a bachelors degree in veterinary technology,  and then went on to get her masters degree in animal behavior. Her veterinary career saw her working in many specialty practices one being a veterinary behavioral hospital that helped do two FDA studies on current behavioral medications for pets. She also received her teaching credential and taught a veterinary assistant/technician program while living in Southern California. Christy has also worked a lot in shelter environments and understands the stresses on dogs and cats that have found themselves in these situations, and the behaviors that can arise from this.  But her true passion is training; Christy has trained dogs from basic obedience to Police Canines and Military working dogs, with her training methods always being focused on positive reinforcement, she will often say “I’m here to train you more than the dog” and “A Educated owner had a Great dog”.  While not teaching classes at VBSPCA Christy is enjoying an “empty nest” with her husband of 25yrs Jim and their 4 dogs Vail (12yr FS Am Staff), Dice (6yr MN American Bulldog), Rook (2yr  FS English Mastiff), and Sapper (6 month  F Belgian Malinois).  Her kids are Zach who is active duty Army, Kylie currently in her junior year of college and ROTC for the Army and Jesse who is also active duty Army.  She also runs her own rescue that is strictly for pregnant, nursing dogs or orphan puppies that have found themselves in shelters. When she does have time for a hobby it usually is around water, either kayaking, swimming, or just taking in the view of the ocean.