Nonprofit increases certified dog trainers, builds new training yard, and expands classes for the public

SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY — Due to increasing demand for dog training support from the community, Woods Humane Society announces a newly expanded Behavior & Training team in 2023; a wide variety of affordable, training classes for the public that begin in time for January’s National Train Your Dog Month; and a brand new class called Rocket Recall, beginning in February 2023 (registration now open). 

As a result of the “pandemic puppy boom” as well as the safety guidelines that limited in-person training opportunities in recent years, Woods says that many local pet owners have expressed their need for help with dog behavior issues. 

“Because the local supply of qualified dog trainers is limited, many new dog owners have felt frustrated and helpless, which could be one reason we saw an increase in surrender requests in 2022,” says Woods CEO Neil Trent. “We have worked hard to build out our training program so that we can better support pet owners and help keep pets healthy, happy and safe in their homes andout of the shelter.” 


The nonprofit expanded its training department last year by adding two new team members and increasing its roster of nationally certified trainers to four. Woods Behavior & Training Coordinator Eric Stockam (pictured at right) earned his National Certified Behavior Consultant Certification (CBCC), a highly regarded, advanced accreditation in the industry that requires many hours of work and study. He is one of the only trainers in the area certified at this level. 

Additionally, after months of study, supervised work, and testing, Woods Adoption Enrichment Coordinator Skylar McClellan (pictured at left) and Intake Enrichment Coordinator Kaylana Patterson (pictured top-right) both received their National Certification for Professional Dog Trainers (CPDT-KA).

Thanks to a grant from the Harold J. Miossi Charitable Trust, Woods also built a new Training & Enrichment Yard, completed in the summer of 2022. These advancements will allow Woods to offer more public training classes in the coming months, and to better field questions and requests for help from local pet owners and adopters.

The Woods University training program offers a variety of affordable dog training classes, from puppy socialization classes to basic obedience classes to agility and more, in addition to online programs and individual consultations. The department worked with an estimated 500 owned dogs in the community in 2022, in addition to the many hundreds of shelter dogs it serves annually.

To view current programs and services and sign up for an upcoming course, visit