Day Camp

“We had such a great experience with the Canine University! The trainers were extremely helpful and we noticed big improvements in our 1-year-old dog’s behavior. We would definitely recommend this program to others. “

Let us do the legwork for you!

Paws Abilities Day Camp is a unique dog training and socialization program run by certified professional trainers. We love teaching dogs and people, and are proud to offer the only humane, science-based, positive Day Camp program in the southeast Minnesota area! We will teach your dog quickly and effectively. In fact, we use the same proven reward-based training methods utilized in zoos, aquariums, and service dog training programs all over the world.


Handsome Hudson on a field trip to Silver Lake Park

Unlike traditional training “boot camps,” where you may send your dog away for weeks or months, your dog will come home with you every night. You’ll receive a personalized report card detailing your dog or puppy’s activities from the day, and will have a chance to talk to your dog’s trainer to receive daily updates and homework assignments to keep your dog’s training on track. You’ll learn as your dog learns, so that both of you can feel confident in your new communication!

Your dog or puppy will have a busy day and will come home tired (so you can enjoy a peaceful evening). Day Camp is broken up into three different activities: mental exercise (training time), physical exercise (which includes playtime with other dogs and people, walks, and field trips), and rest (quiet time in a crate or on a mat, including training to relax and settle after excitement). Each dog at Camp has their own customized training plan so that we can best accomplish your goals.

Unlike traditional dog daycares, we offer a structured socialization and training experience. Think of how much faster your dog will learn with a professional behind the wheel! We can “jump start” your training and get you and your dog on the fast-track to good behavior.

Here are some additional details about the program:

  • To qualify for day camp, your dog should be friendly with both people and other dogs and be comfortable in a crate. (Not quite there yet? Start with private training lessons to get your dog on track before enrolling in day camp!)
  • We have crates available, or you can bring your dog’s own crate.
  • You will provide a mat or bed for your dog (so that we can teach them to “go to place”), and will bring your dog’s breakfast with you every morning.
  • Dogs must be current on vaccinations, including rabies (for dogs over four months), distemper, parvovirus, adenovirus, and bordetella. Your dog or puppy must have a negative fecal examination before starting the day camp program.
  • Day camp spots are limited, as we only work with a small number of dogs at a time to ensure plenty of individual attention. First priority for spots will always go to current or returning students.

Drop off time: 7:30-9:00am
Pick up: 4:00-6:00pm (pick up times are scheduled during registration)

Location: 3155 Wellner Dr. NE, Rochester MN

Day camp runs Monday through Friday, excepting major holidays (there is no day camp on New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, or Christmas). In the event of severe weather, camp will be closed when the Rochester Public School district closes schools.

Louie practices his down-stays on a field trip with trainer Katie.

Louie practices his down-stays on a field trip with trainer Katie.

Upcoming program start dates:

  • May 15th – SESSION FULL – program in progress! Check out our Facebook page for updates on our Campers.
  • May 30th (no Camp on May 29th due to the holiday) – 2 spots left!
  • June 12th
  • June 26th

Reserve your spot by emailing us or filling out your dog’s personalized profile!

A 50% deposit is required to reserve your spot (we accept checks and PayPal), with the remaining 50% due on the first day of your dog’s camp. Cancellations received at least two weeks in advance will receive a full refund.

Day Camp is a highly effective way to socialize and train your dog, but in order to maintain those good behaviors the owner must also be part of the process. We’ll coach you as your dog learns so that you can be an active participant in your dog’s training, (without having to do all of the hard work by yourself)!

“Everything was great! Friendly staff, they treated Lupin well, he had a ton of fun and came home smarter and better behaved every day.”

We have two programs to choose from!

Puppy Head Start Program: for puppies under 16 weeks of age at the start of their program.
Two weeks of professional training and socialization, $600.00

Start your puppy off with the best paw forward! Your puppy’s action-packed Head Start program will include extensive socialization and handling. Positive handling ensures that your puppy loves the vet, behaves politely for the groomer (or for at-home grooming), and is easy to treat in the event of injuries or illness. No more nail trimming battles! You can have that happy, cooperative dog who makes the entire vet staff light up when you come in the door! Extensive professional socialization builds confidence and social skills in impressionable pups for a stable, balanced adult. Here are the specific skills we teach:

  • jasmine chewie

    Jasmine and Chewie!

    Crate training (including wait while the crate door is opened and “kennel up” on cue)

  • Name recognition
  • Potty training assistance (we will reward all outdoor potties and provide a regular schedule)
  • Socialization
    • Puppy playtime to learn about other dogs
    • Positive exposure to walking on new surfaces, navigating obstacles, and listening to sounds such as thunder, fireworks, and city noises.
    • Polite greetings with a wide variety of people.
  • Handling (teaching your puppy to enjoy having her collar touched, nails trimmed, ears cleaned, paws wiped, fur or teeth brushed, and more).
  • Positive introduction to a head halter or harness to instill good leash manners.
  • Sit for petting (instead of jumping up).
  • Gentle mouths (we will provide appropriate guidance to teach your puppy not to nip or bite in play, as well as redirection to a toy when she is excited).
  • Chew toy training (including introduction to a wide variety of puzzle toys and advice on your puppy’s favorite toys, so that she learns to chew up her toys instead of your shoes).

Reserve your spot for Puppy Head Start >

Canine University (Basic Obedience Program): for friendly dogs of any age who are already comfortable in a crate.
Four weeks of professional training and socialization: $1200.00

In this intensive learning program, we will teach your dog all of the manners he needs to be a polite member of society. If you want a dog who will walk nicely on leash, come whenever you call, stay where you tell him, wait politely at doors, and greet other people and dogs with impeccable manners – this is the program for you! Our professional trainers will teach your dog (and you!) the skills he needs to be a welcome guest at home and in public, as well as a joy to be around. The specific skills we teach include:

  • luna9

    Luna shows off her Leave It skills.

    Name recognition (look at you when you say his name)

  • Sit and Lie Down on cue (and stay in place until you release him)
  • Sit and wait at doors
  • Automatically check in with you after going through doors
  • Crate training (including wait while the crate door is opened and “kennel up” on cue)
  • Indoor recall (come when called, even when playing with his dog friends)
  • Leave it (don’t touch dropped food, leave garbage alone on walks)
  • Place (go to a mat or bed and stay there)
  • Polite leash manners (including positive introduction to a head halter or harness)
  • Socialization
    • Greet people politely (no jumping!)
    • Play with other dog friends
    • Positive exposure to new surfaces, obstacles, sights, smells, and sounds.

Reserve your spot for Canine University >

The Double-Whammy: combine the Puppy Head Start and Canine University Basic Obedience program, for a total of six weeks of professional training and socialization, for $1680.00 (a $120.00 savings).

Ready to enroll? Email us to reserve your dog’s spot!

Hall of Fame
Check out our most recent graduates, or click here to see what past students have to say about their Day Camp experiences!

Matt and Theo. Theo is a Double Whammy graduate!

Nancy and Riley. Riley is a Puppy Head Start graduate!

Linda and Lucy. Lucy is a Canine University graduate!