Professional help for puppy parents!
Paws Abilities Puppy Camp is a unique puppy 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 puppy 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.
Unlike traditional training “boot camps,” where you may send your puppy away for weeks or months, your puppy will spend one day a week with us. You’ll receive a personalized report card detailing your puppy’s activities from the day, and will have a chance to talk to your pup’s trainer to receive updates and homework assignments to keep your training on track. You’ll learn as your puppy learns, so that both of you can feel confident in your new communication!
Your puppy will have a busy day and will come home tired (so you can enjoy a peaceful evening). Puppy 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 puppy 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.
- To qualify for Camp, your puppy 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 puppy on track before enrolling in camp!)
- Puppy Camp is available to all puppies under one year of age. We do not accept puppies into Camp past their first birthday.
- We have crates available, or you can bring your puppy’s own crate.
- Puppies must be current on vaccinations, including rabies (for dogs over four months), distemper, parvovirus, adenovirus, and bordetella. Your puppy must have a negative fecal examination before starting the day camp program.
- Puppy 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.
Location: 3155 Wellner Dr. NE, Rochester MN
Puppy Camp runs every Wednesday, excepting major holidays (there is no day camp on New Year’s Day, Independence Day, or Christmas). In the event of severe weather, camp will be closed when the Rochester Public School district closes schools.
Check out our Facebook page for updates on our Campers!
Upcoming program start dates:
March 28th – SESSION FULL
- April 11th – SESSION FULL
- April 25th – SESSION FULL
- May 9th – SESSION FULL
- May 23rd – SESSION FULL
- June 6th – 2 spots left (Puppy Genius only)!
Reserve your spot for Puppy Genius (4 weeks) here, for Puppy PhD (8 weeks) here, or for Puppy Prodigy (12+ weeks) here!
Important documents (for upcoming Puppy Camp participants!):
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.
Puppy 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 puppy learns so that you can be an active participant in their training, (without having to do all of the hard work by yourself)! Expect to spend approximately 5-10 minutes each evening on homework assignments throughout your puppy’s Camp session.
We have three programs to choose from!
Four weeks of professional training and socialization, $280.00
Your puppy’s action-packed Puppy Genius 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.
- Week one: professional introduction of a marker signal, socialization to surfaces, socialization to puppies and people, professional introduction to handling exercises for feet and ears, and a review of crate training.
- Week two: professional potty training assistance if needed, socialization to new noises, socialization to puppies and people, professional introduction to handling exercises for tooth care, review and progression of previous handling and crate training.
- Week three: professional nipping/mouthing assistance if needed, socialization, confidence-building, and body awareness through introduction to new obstacles, socialization to puppies and people, professional introduction to handling exercises for brushing and collar or harness, review and progression of previous handling and crate training.
- Week four: professional chew-toy training assistance if needed, socialization field trip to a new location, socialization to puppies and people, socialization to new noises, review and progression of previous handling and crate training.
Eight weeks of professional training and socialization, $500.00
Puppy PhD was specifically designed to continue the great socialization and support from Puppy Genius as your puppy grows. This program still incorporates the great socialization and handling that you get in the Puppy Genius program, while also introducing solid foundations for the manners and obedience skills that they will need as an adult.
Adolescence is a tough time for puppies AND their people! Your puppy’s brains are still developing at this stage, and their bodies are undergoing lots of changes too. It can be hard for you to remember that your rapidly growing (or nearly full-grown) dog is still mentally a puppy. It’s hard for your puppy too, as they need to adjust to your changing expectations and their changing body all at the same time. Many dogs at this age might still be working on the simpler things in life that come with being a puppy. Others need to go back to basics as their changing hormones play havoc with their previously well-learned obedience skills. With this customized program, they will be getting the best of both worlds and will be better equipped to continue on into the Puppy Prodigy program or a Beginning Obedience class.
- Weeks 1-4 as per Puppy Genius.
- Week five: professional introduction to the name game, professional introduction to vaccine prep exercises to decrease veterinary visit stress, socialization to puppies and people, review and progression of previous handling and crate training.
- Week six: professional introduction to the sit command with distractions, professional introduction to the chin rest behavior for veterinary and grooming procedures, socialization to puppies and people, review and progression of previous handling, obedience, and crate training.
- Week seven: professional introduction to the down command with distractions, professional introduction to sit for petting with new people (instead of jumping up), socialization to puppies and people, review and progression of previous handling, obedience, and crate training.
- Week eight: professional introduction to door manners, including sit and wait at the door and an automatic check-in after going through all doors, professional introduction to sit (“say please”) before greeting other puppies, socialization to puppies and people, review and progression of previous handling, obedience, and crate training.
$750.00 for the first twelve weeks of professional training and socialization, then $50.00/week thereafter until your puppy reaches twelve months of age
In this intensive learning program, we will support you through your puppy’s first year. Not only will we help you survive the “terrible teens” of puppy adolescence, but our professional trainers will keep you updated on your puppy’s individual milestones and challenges as they grow and mature. Together, you and your training team 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 program will give you the foundation for that dream dog! 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.
- Weeks 1-8: as per Puppy PhD.
- Week 9: professional introduction to head halter or no-pull harness to help with leash manners (equipment provided free of charge with this training program), socialization to puppies and people, review and progression of previous handling, obedience, and crate training.
- Week 10: professional introduction to leave it command, including leave it with food on the ground, socialization to puppies and people, review and progression of previous handling, obedience, and crate training.
- Week 11: professional introduction to leash manners, socialization to puppies and people, review and progression of previous handling, obedience, and crate training.
- Week 12: professional introduction to recall (come when called), socialization to puppies and people, review and progression of previous handling, obedience, and crate training.
- Weeks 13+: personalized training assistance with whichever skills you would like perfected, including new training skills as needed, socialization to puppies and people, review and progression of previous handling, obedience, and crate training. The sky’s the limit!
Have questions now answered here? Email us, we’re happy to help!
Click here to see what past students have to say about their Camp experiences!