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When you trust Valerie with your dog's education, you'll find that she brings extensive knowledge, professionalism and a joy of facilitating relationships between dogs and their people to her lessons. She teaches people with as much patience and compassion as she teaches dogs.

Whether your dog needs basic manners training or help with aggression, studies have shown that force-free training based on the science of how dogs learn is the best choice for your furry family member. It's what your dog would choose!


For Classes & Schedule

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Special Announcements


Offering small classes, with lots of space for social distancing.  People are required to wear facemasks for classes.  Classes are held outside.

Appointments for private training lessons are full through the end of the year.

Appointments will be available again starting Jan 5.

The 2021 Winter Group Class Schedule is finally posted

View it here:



About Me

Valerie Balwanz, PMCT, CPDT-KA

 Valerie is certified through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers and the Peaceable Paws Academy.  She is a member of the Pet Professionals Guild, an organization of force-free training professionals. Valerie is a certified CGC tester for the AKC.  Her training services have received the Charlottesville Family Favorite Award and the Daily Progress Reader's Choice Award several years in a row. Many of the area's veterinarians recommend her services. She has been training dogs since 2009. 

Class Information

Classes are held at Pet Paradise, 601 Concord Ave, Charlottesville VA 22903

Click here for




classes and schedule

Classes are being held outside in a large (2,000 sq ft), fenced yard.  We have lots of space for social distancing and an abundance of fresh air.  All participants are required to wear facemasks.  In the event of inclement weather, class is canceled and a make up class is scheduled.

In class we use clickers to expedite the learning of new material.  If you prefer to use a different "marker" other than the clicker, that's no problem.  Many of my students use "yes". 

The whole family is encouraged to participate, kids are always welcome.


None of the training uses force, fear or threat of pain to achieve results. 


As part of class, students receive a PDF class manual that summarizes each lesson and includes additional material.  Students are also sent Training Tips in a email newsletter every other week, even after their class has ended.  My goal in sending you the Class Manual and Training Tips is to provide you with support that extends beyond the classroom.  


You are always welcome to observe a class before signing up.

In class you will...

Learn to understand what can encourage a dog's unwanted behavior, and what to do about it

Learn how to stop saying "No" and start teaching your dog what you DO want him to do instead

Allow your dog the freedom of choice, and watch how quickly he learns to choose the right things

Give your puppy the best possible start in life with a puppy program that emphasizes early socialization

Connect with old friends and make new ones in a welcoming environment and small class size

Build a relationship with your dog based on the joy of working together that will last a lifetime



To register for a class or request information about a private lesson, please email valerie@dogtrainingbyvalerie.com or use the contacts form below and include the following information:

Dog's Name, Age, Breed

Your first and last name

Your Address & Phone Number

The Veterinary practice you use

Dates of vaccines (DHLP, Bordetella, Rabies

Puppies only need to be up to date for their age, Titers accepted for older dogs

Any additional info you'd like to include: Behavior Concerns, goals for training, etc

Love My Clients




Hours of Operation

Mon - Thurs, Sat


601 Concord Ave

Charlottesville VA 22903

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