Our Companions Animal Rescue

Our Companions Animal Rescue is a Connecticut based organization that promises to always do the right thing for animals, regardless of the challenge or cost.

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Dog Training

"Just wanted to let you know how much we love Family Companions I on Tuesday nights! It has great teachers, a great teacher to dog ratio, and what we're learning is so practical and easy to implement." --Kelly Luxenberg, Manchester, CT

Our Companions offers reward-based training in a variety of forms to address common behavior problems and deepen the bond between people and their canine companions. The affordable group training classes are small, with a high number of instructors, often providing a one-to-one student/instructor ratio. Our Companions classes are unique and specialize in teaching dog behavior rather than just the commands, so that pet owners leave class with a greater understanding of their dogs. All classes are designed to be a safe and positive experience for reactive dogs and fearful dogs.

Family Companion 1 and 2

Classes are $100.00 plus tax for 8 one-hour sessions. A sliding scale is available.

Family Companion I covers basic obedience skills and dog behavior.  Each week, owners will learn techniques to help them build on their training skills: introduction to positive reinforcement, refocusing techniques, sits, downs, stays, recalls & relaxed heel. The Family Companion course focuses on the relationship between the owner and dog. We hold classes at the Valerie Friedman Program Center, 34C Sanrico Drive in Manchester. The Family Companion I class is offered at a reduced rate to dogs adopted through Our Companions, and to dogs being fostered by any other animal rescue organization.

The next Family Companion I training classes will begin on Sunday, December 6th, 2015, from 10:00 - 11:00 am. Click on the date to register.

Family Companion II provides a safe environment for owners and dogs to practice skills in real-world environments. This class will help your dog in everyday life not just when in training mode. Dogs with reactivity towards dogs and other life situations are welcome!

Dogs must have taken a basic obedience course prior to attending this class. It is recommended that Family Companion I be completed prior to this class.

Each week owners will learn techniques to help them build on their training skills with more emphasis on control for: sits, downs, stays, recalls & relaxed heel.

The next Family Companion II training class will begin on Saturday, November 7th, 2015, from 9:00 - 10:00 am. Click on the date to register.

Beyond Family Companion 1 and 2

These classes are for dogs who have successfully completed Family Companion 1 and 2. They are a nice enrichment opportunity for you and your dog to learn new skills and have fun together!


The Walking Club is a much loved class that allows graduates of the Family Companion II class to develop further and put their new and improved social skills to practice outside in the real world.

Owners get to practice and apply the skills they have worked so hard to develop in class, while learning to communicate better with their dogs. The dogs get to take in the smells of a whole new environment, while learning coping skills to overcome their reactivity. Afterwards everyone can go home and relax, because a tired dog is a happy dog!

This is for dogs that have completed Family Companions 1 & 2. The club will run for six weeks and meet at various locations within approximately 30 minutes of the program center. The cost for the club is $50.00.

The next Walking Club will begin on Sunday November 8, 2015 from 3:00pm – 4:00pm. Click on the date to register.


Tails of Joy Pet Therapy Class (Level 1)
8 Week Session Starting Soon:
Fridays, 6:30 – 7:30 PM Starting November 20th.

Skills: This course will be offered by Tails of Joy, Inc. The participants are all volunteers who make special therapy visits with their personal pets. Therapy dogs visit hospitals, special schools, nursing and rehabilitation facilities and some even visit hospice patients. All teams are registered with either the Pet Partners (formerly the Delta Society) or Intermountain Therapy Animals (ITA) Pet Partner programs. Training can prepare you for the Pet Partners or ITA testing, help you to find a facility convenient to you, and in the particular field of interest you want (visiting elderly, children, or hospice patients).

For more information on the class or on Tails of Joy, Inc. please call Sue Gagnon directly at 860-487-0001.

Focusing on Focus This six-week class teaches self-control techniques to calm your dog around distractions. Owners will benefit by learning better communication methods and skills to help your dog succeed in everyday life. Learn focus exercises and management tools that will help your dog with loose leash walking, settling in different environments, greeting people and fearful behaviors. This is for dogs that have completed Family Companions I and Family Companions II.

The next Focusing on Focus class will begin soon.

Freestyle Fundamentals Canine Musical Freestyle is a fun and creative activity for you and your dog. This six week class will show you how to combine basic obedience, tricks, and behaviors your dog enjoys doing into freestyle routines. Freestyle is all about teamwork and enhancing your working relationship with your dog. . The behaviors learned in this class can easily translate to other activities, such as rally, pet therapy work or just keeping dogs busy and happy at home. No music or dance experience (for either of you) is necessary. To participate in this class, dogs need to be comfortable around other people and dogs. Guest Instructor: Laurel of NewFDance.

The next Freestyle Fundamentals class will begin soon.

Rally Obedience is a fun test of obedience where you and your dog navigate a course of signage at your own pace, like an obstacle course with directions. You interpret and properly navigate the signs. Competitive Rally is timed and point scored, but this six week class is not competitive. It is for fun and time spent with your dog! Dogs are always on leash and only one team at a time is on the course. Guest Instructor: Susan of Positive Dog Training.

The next Rally Obedience class will begin soon.

Trick Training Class Learning new tricks and games with your dog is a fun way to strengthen your relationship. Dogs love to use their brains and figure out new ways to be rewarded. In this six-week class you will learn trick training methods and use your imagination to teach your dog things you never thought possible. This class is for dogs and owners that have completed Family Companions I & II.

The next Trick Training Class will begin soon.


Tricks Class: More Trick Training Clients that have taken the Tricks Class have requested More Tricks. Learning Tricks is a wonderful way to grow and strengthen your relationship with your dog. This class may be taken by dogs and owners that have not taken a previous Tricks Class but must have completed Family Companions 1 and 2.

The next More Trick Training Class will begin soon.


Private Training Session Behavior problems with dogs are a leading reason why dogs are relinquished to shelters and euthanized. The Stay-At-Home program is aimed at preventing pet homelessness by designing a proactive program that helps people solve behavioral problems so pets can stay in their homes. This program utilizes positive reinforcement trainers who provide one-on-one consultation with people who are seeking help. The trainers assess the situation and then create customized training regimes to solve the problem. In many cases, this service saves the original home and provides people with an enhanced understanding of and respect for their pet.

Cost/Frequency: The initial visit is free, although donations are appreciated. Subsequent training sessions request a $50 donation with a sliding scale rate available. The usual training sessions are one hour in length and occur every other week.