Welcome to Paws Abilities!

Do you want…

A happy dog who always comes when called?

a happy dog who always comes when called?

A lifelong companion you can be proud to take anywhere?

a lifelong companion you can be proud to take anywhere?

A polite pup who greets others appropriately?

a polite pup who greets others appropriately?

We can show you how!

We are a collective of professional dog trainers who are committed to serving Rochester, Southeastern Minnesota, and the Twin Cities metro area with the finest instruction available. Sign up for our newsletter here if you’d like to receive regular dog training tips, updates on classes, and news about upcoming events.

Our training techniques are humane, effective, and fun for dog and owner. We use the same scientifically sound training methods that professional animal trainers use in zoos and aquariums worldwide.

We offer something for everyone!

  • Start your dog off on the right paw with Beginning Obedience classes for a lifetime of companionship and good habits. Puppies under a year are invited to join our Puppy Social Club, a supportive (and competitive) Facebook group that competes for monthly prizes by earning points on your puppy’s daily adventures!
  • Looking for more personal help or dealing with a serious behavior issue? A Private Training Consult may be the answer.
  • We offer a wide range of classes for every dog and person. Check out Canine Agility or Tricks Class for maximum fun, or enroll in a Canine Good Citizen course to improve obedience skills. We can even help aggressive dogs learn to be calm and non-reactive on walks with our Reactive Dog classes! Check out our Classes page for a full listing of all the options.

Learn from the Best: our instructors are credentialed by the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers and are members of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers. We attend and host seminars and conferences on a regular basis in order to bring the best new techniques and learning to you. Instructors regularly attend classes, seminars, and competitions with their own dogs in order to gain experience in all areas of training and behavior.

Learn More about what makes Paws Abilities Dog Training unique, or check out the Schedule page to find out which classes are starting soon!

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Check out this great video featuring Paws Abilities' and North Star Therapy Animals' very own Patti Anderson!

Does your dog have their CGC? Do they love people? They, too, could become a therapy dog! Patti's next Therapy Dog Prep class starts on March 16th in Minneapolis. Sign up online at paws4u.dogbizpro.com/public/registration/index.aspx?schedule=1060
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Dogs from North Star Therapy Animals strutted the runway on The Jason Show to raise awareness for women's heart health. Come see the full "Dogs Go Red Fashion Show" tomorrow at the Go Red Health Fai...

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Training Tip Tuesday: whenever you teach your dog a behavior that needs to be sustained for any length of time (e.g. stay, heel, or hold, as Pantalaimon is demonstrating here), it's important to introduce duration gradually. If you ask your dog to go too long between rewards too quickly, you risk frustration. Push too hard, and you may lose the behavior altogether.

Rather than gradually extending the duration your dog has to perform the behavior before earning a reward (1 second, then 2, and so on), it's helpful to jump around a bit. I start building the behavior by saying the alphabet in my head. Each letter of the alphabet takes me about 1/6 second to say, so it's easy to split the duration down into very short pieces at first. I might click after reaching "a," then after "c," then after "b," for example. Once my dog can handle these micro-holds, we can start venturing further into the alphabet. Eventually I will start spelling my dog's name to really mix up the duration (P-a-n-t-a-l... and so on). I click and reward after reaching each letter.

Once my dog has mastered teeny letter holds, they're ready for numbers! I'll ask my dog to maintain the behavior for a number of seconds. To mix it up, I often use phone numbers. Paws Abilities' number, for example, starts off with the area code 507, so I will reward after 5 seconds, then reward immediately upon the dog starting the behavior, then after 7 seconds.

By building duration slowly like this and by mixing up how long I ask my dog to perform the behavior, I can create a solid foundation where my dog really enjoys and understands their job.
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