German Shepherd looking at trainer.

Training at The Paw

We offer everything from Puppy Kindergarten to advanced obedience. Effective training provides both of you with the effective communication, understanding, and respect necessary to develop a well-behaved pet.

To sign up for a training class, call The Paw at (507) 625-7070. We will ask for current vet records, that you read and sign our Pet Care Agreement and make payment to hold your spot.

Because there are limits on the number of students who can attend a class, we are unable to give refunds after the first week of class.

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Puppy Camp

Early socialization is so important for young dogs. To learn why, check out Socializing Your Puppy: Why "Later" Is Too Late 

● One-week special opportunity for puppies 10 weeks - 5 months of age where our puppy will play and learn to socialize with other dogs and staff members

● Generally scheduled the second week of each month, but sometimes the third week is another option

● Includes daily daycare, swimming in our heated pool, towel drying, blow drying, toenail trims, photo, and a craft

● Puppies can participate in Puppy Camp up to 2 times if space allows. (Note: this special is for daily daycare only, not overnight boarding. View our Puppy Camp brochure to learn more.)

● Registration and payment are required to reserve your spot

● The fee for Puppy Camp is: $140.00

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Puppy Kindergarten

This 4-week Puppy Kindergarten is a class designed to get your new puppy off to a good start. Life skills and exposures learned in a positive environment and with controlled outcomes are the easiest to learn in the first months of life. 

  • Puppies will interact with other puppies and people in this class
  • Families will learn about feeding, health concerns (vaccinations, spay/neuter, and others), developmental periods as their puppy grows into adulthood, new exposures (sounds, textures, motion), potty training, and more
  • This class is limited to 6 puppies so sign up early to reserve your spot! Prepayment is required.
  • Your puppy must be 8-16 weeks old.
  • The fee for Puppy Kindergarten is: $100.00
  • Instructor: Dawn Finch

Monday Evenings, 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm,

Please Call 507-625-7070 for class dates


K9 Nosework classes encourage dogs to use their natural instinct of scenting. These classes can build confidence for shy or timid dogs and are a great way to exercise high-drive dogs. 

● These classes will build the problem-solving skills necessary for dogs to succeed in the sport of nose work. Classes are designed to be repeated, so you will get to see a variety of skills from beginners to experienced searchers. As your dog progresses, we will expand the skill level to elevated hides, vehicle searches, exterior hides, converging odor, corner hide, multiple hides, and more.

● Students should bring their dogs with a 6-foot leash, preferably on a buckle, martingale, or prong collar, and lots of high-drive treats (chicken, steak, hot dogs, cheese, etc). If your dog prefers toys over food, please bring several of his/her favorite toys.

● 8 novice dogs maximum for each session.  Students may work with more than 1 dog.

● Dog-reactive dogs who can be safely crated in the presence of others are welcome. Older dogs and even handicapped dogs can participate in this sport.

● Class Fee:  $65.00 per dog per session, $31.00 for a second dog

● Instructor: Linda A. Murray

● Wednesday Evenings 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

● Bring dogs on the first night of class!

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Dog holding their paw to a person's hand.

Beginner Obedience

● Beginner is an eight-week program

● Four separate sessions are offered: one on Monday evenings, two on Tuesday evenings, and one on Thursday evenings

● All work is done on a 6-foot lead, teaching the handler and dog basic obedience skills

● Included are heeling on a loose lead, sitting politely when greeted by a stranger, sitting and staying, and working around people and dogs as distractions

● Prerequisites: The dog should be 4 months of age or older.  Human and dog teamwork is an essential part of success

● Cost $140.00

● Instructors: Dawn Finch, Linda A. Murray and Ann Dirksen

● Monday Evenings 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm
   Tuesday Evenings 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm
   Tuesday Evenings 7:30 pm - 8:30 pm
   Thursday Evenings 6:30 pm- 7:30 pm



● Intermediate is an eight-week program, and a continuation of the learning started at Beginner

● All work is done on a 6-foot lead

● New lessons include down & stay, stand & stay, learning a reliable recall (coming when called) and also working with more distractions. Other skills and exercises for a well-behaved dog are also covered

● Instructors: Linda A. Murray

● Prerequisite:  Completion of Beginner skills or instructor approval

● Thursday Evenings 7:30 pm- 8:30 pm

● Please, bring your dog to the first night of this class.

● Class Fee: $120.00

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● This class works on fine-tuning all lessons learned in the Beginner/Intermediate courses

● All exercises are done on and then progress to off-lead

● Proper heel position and automatic sits are expected when heeling. Recalls, sits, and downs are expanded to be done off the lead and with the handler further away.

● Increased dog attention and teamwork between humans and dogs are developed and expected at this level.

● Students in this class are self-paced and are at different levels of proficiency with their training

● The Advance class can be repeated indefinitely, as more skills are added for each dog and the human team as they progress with their training

● Some students are just out of intermediate, whereas others are close to being ready for other experiences: therapy dog testing, or competing in sports such as rally, obedience, or agility

● This class is also intended for those who enjoy an excellent relationship with their dog, and a well-behaved and easier to live with a dog around the home and when in public

● The Advanced class periodically does AKC CGC and Trick Dog testing.

● Instructor: Dawn Finch

● Prerequisite: Completion of all Level 2 skills, and/or instructor approval.

● Monday Evenings 7:30 pm - 8:30 pm

● Please bring your dog to the first night of class.

● Class Fee:  $120.00

Rally Drop-In Classes

● A fun, newer type of obedience that includes obeying a command posted at different stations

● Dogs are timed on the course. 

● Instructor: Dawn Finch

● Cost: $15.00 per person/per session

Canine Good Citizen Testing

The AKC CGC (Canine Good Citizen) Program is designed to reward well-behaved dogs and their owners. 

● The program stresses responsible pet ownership for owners and basic good manners for dogs

● Many dog owners choose the CGC as a first step in training their dogs before moving on to other activities such as obedience, rallying, agility, or therapy dog volunteering 

● Dogs of any breed or mix can earn their CGC certification

● The 10-item CGC test is a non-competitive test for dogs. Dogs who pass all 10 items are eligible to earn a certificate and title from AKC. 

● This class is taught by AKC-certified CGC evaluators. 

● The 4 week class session will consist of 3 weeks of refresher training and tips on the test items, and the last week will consist of the test itself

● Dogs should already have basic training for the test items, and need a brush up on skills to successfully pass the test. 

● The test fee is included in the class price. There is an additional fee to AKC with the submission of your paperwork for the certificate and title. Please see the attached link for more information from AKC regarding the CGC test. AKC Training Resources 

● Instructor: Dawn Finch

Certified Evaluators: Dawn Finch, Linda A. Murray and Ann Dirksen

● Class Fee:  $80.00 (fee includes price of test)

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Trick Dog Class & Test

Is your dog thrilled to be the life of the party while showing off his variety of tricks? He may be ready to add a title to his arsenal.

The AKC Trick Dog program is designed to teach your dog a variety of tricks while getting a little exercise and honing your training skills. The program consists of new, fun ways to work with your dogs. Dogs of any breed or mix can earn trick dog titles. Dogs must have an AKC, PAL or AKC Canine Partners number to earn a title.

Requirements: Have completed Beginner obedience class at The Paw or equivalent.

The 4 week class will consist of 3 weeks of introducing new tricks or honing skills and the last week will consist of the test itself. Dogs can earn 1 of 3 titles: Novice, Intermediate and Advanced.

Tuesdays 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. with Ann Dirksen and Linda A. Murray

Cost: $80.00 The test fee is included in the class price. There is an additional fee to process each title with AKC ($30.00).

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