By Stacy Conroy

Just over six years ago I adopted my German Shepherd, Jade, from the Humane Society. I knew this 10-month-old pup was going to need some training. She was brought in as a stray, and except for some previous house training, she didn’t know how to sit, stay, or lay down on command. She also needed to learn not to jump on people, drop the ball, and come when I called. As I thumbed through the yellow pages and started making calls, I realized how expensive and often far away dog training classes were for a college student living in Riverwest. It was the call I made to the Milwaukee Dog Training Club (MDTC) that proved to be the affordable and accessible dog training I was looking for.  Located at 4275 N. Humboldt Blvd, just North of Capital Drive behind the WTMJ studio, MDTC is the perfect location. It is open to all breeds, including mixed breeds. I chose the six-month membership, but because Jade learned so quickly we attended the classes for just three months. It seems our experience was pretty common because since then, the club has added a three-month option to the six-month and full-year memberships.  Jade and I found it a lot of fun. We made lots of friends and had great success. There is a full money-back guarantee on the six-month membership if your dog doesn’t learn to heal on a loose leash, stay in a sit or down position for at least one minute, and respond to “come.” The only requirement is that you attend the classes on a regular basis and practice with your dog for10 minutes each day at home. The club instructors also help many people change a particular “problem” behavior in their dogs when there is a need for extra assistance. The benefit of training is to help your dog become an asset to his community, a better companion for your family, and to be a friend rather than a pest to you, your friends, neighbors, and guests. The Milwaukee Dog Training Club is a not-for-profit, volunteer-run organization founded in 1929 and is one of the oldest and most experienced clubs in the Midwest. They have helped teach thousands of people how to train their dogs and have given hundreds of exhibitions at churches, hospitals, senior organizations, parades, and schools. Members who have joined just to train a household pet have ended up staying with the club and gone on to participate in events such as Agility, Tracking, Scent Hurdle, and Flyball training. The money raised by memberships and other fundraising events goes to pay the lease on the land (land is leased from MATC) and maintenance on the clubhouse and grounds. The public is welcome to visit during training hours.

What: The Milwaukee Dog Training Club (MDTC) training classes When: Sunday mornings from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. and Wednesday evenings from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Where: On a green grassy field at the club, 4275 N. Humboldt Blvd, just North of Capital Drive. [During winter months, classes are at the Cudahay Kennel Club] Cost: 3 Months – $100.00, 6 Months – $125.00 and 1 Year – $175.00 Requirements: Dogs must be at least six months old; proof of license, current vaccinations needed Classes offered: Beginners, Novice, Advanced Novice, Open, and Utility. How to contact: Call (414) 961-6163; visit, or stop by the grounds on a Sunday morning to speak with an instructor before or after class.

Riverwest Currents – Volume 1 – Issue 5 – June 2002