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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


Now offering small classes, with lots of space for social distancing.  People are required to wear face masks for classes.  Classes are held outside.


class meets from 6-7pm

I'm currently working on the 2021 winter schedule and it will be posted soon.  If you're on the email list it will also be emailed


Puppy Kindergarten Crash Course: A full 6 week course in 3 weeks  

Get your pup trained before the holidays!

Nov 16 & 18, Nov 30 & Dec 2, Dec 7 & 9

All classes meet from 7:15 - 8:15 pm


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 usually 6 weeks long and $170 for all 6 weeks, unless otherwise noted.  New classes start approximately every 3 weeks.  Class size is limited to 6 dogs.  The whole family is encouraged to participate.  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. 


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.


Please inquire about private lessons for individually tailored training plans.  We can address any issue from counter surfing to reactivity or fear.  

Do you have a small group of friends who you'd like a private Basic Good Manners course for?  I can bring the classroom to your group at any location.  This is a great option for kids who want to train their dogs with their friends.


To register for a class or request information about a private lesson               with the following information:

Dog's Name, Age, Breed

Your Name, Address, Phone Number

The Veterinary practice you use & dates of vaccines

Any Behavior Concerns you have


Love My Clients




Hours of Operation

Mon - Thurs, Sat


601 Concord Ave

Charlottesville VA 22903

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