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Daily Progress Readers Choice Winner

Behavior Consulting and General Manners for the Family Dog

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When you trust our team with your dog's education, you'll find that we bring extensive knowledge, professionalism and a joy of facilitating relationships between dogs and their people to our lessons. We teach people with as much patience and compassion as we 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 general manners classes

click here

for behavior consulting

click here


Special Announcements

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Getting a Puppy?

Plan ahead!  You can register for puppy classes before you have your pup, or have picked out a name.  Name and vaccine info can be updated later.  Registering early ensures you get a spot in class.

Not sure when to start puppy classes? Read HERE about the importance of early socialization and why it is ok to start class before vaccination is complete. 

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Private Puppy Consults are available to get you some immediate help with your new puppy. An assistant trainer is available to come to your house and help with potty training, chewing, crate training, basic manners or anything else puppy-related! Puppy consults are for dogs under 24 weeks of age. Sessions are 1 hour at $165.

general manners classes

behavior consultations


Canine Behaviorist

About Me


Valerie Balwanz


Valerie is certified through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers as both a Certified Behavior Consultant (CBCC) and a certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT).  She also holds a certification from the Peaceable Paws Academy (PMCT). Additionally, she is a CSAT (Certified Spearation Anxiety Trainer). 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 and bring their own dogs to Valerie for training. She has been training dogs for 15 years.


My Girls, 2018

Charlottesville Dog Training

Classes are held at 918 B Harris St, Charlottesville VA 22903

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". 


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


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

In class you will...

  • Build a relationship based on the joy of working together

  • Learn how to stop saying "No" and teach your dog what you DO want him to do

  • Give your dog choice and watch them choose the right behaviors

  • Learn in a welcoming environment


Training is not something that is done to the dog.  Training occurs between the human and the dog.  Training is something that alters the Dog-Human relationship. It facilitates communication and strengthens understanding between two species.

-Valerie Balwanz 

At this time, the business does not offer dog day care, board and train or pet sitting services 

Love My Clients

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