Pawlite Best Friends

Sturbridge, Massachusetts

Located in Sturbridge, Massachusetts and serving the surrounding communities, I specialize in board and trains and at-home dog training, personalizing each appointment to maximize effectiveness and minimize unnecessary stress for you and your best friend.

I work with you to help achieve your specific goals, whether it is having a dog who is well behaved around guests, reducing your dog's reactivity or keeping your dog calm in new situations.

I often focus on manners and working with your dog to help them make appropriate choices.

Puppy Training

Start your puppy off on the right paw!

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Basic Training

Great for dogs who need some manners!

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Behavior Modification

Struggling with your dogs behavior? We are here to help!

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Service Dog Training

Looking for help with your Service Dog in Training or setting your puppy up to be a service dog?

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Board and Train

Need a jump start with training? This program may be for you!

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Structured Boarding

The perfect option for dogs who need more support away from their owners.

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Sometimes it is hard to communicate with our dogs properly, or to get them to listen. This course is designed to help you better understand your dog, from body language and communication, to building confidence, loose leash walking, recall and obedience.

To view the course please click here.

What Payment Methods Are Accepted?

I accept Cash, Check, Venmo, Paypal and Credit Cards.

Why Did You Become A Dog Trainer?

I started my path to being a dog trainer after we started rescuing and fostering more difficult dogs. We started getting over our heads and the trainers I reached out to at that point didn't have answers to the questions I had, so I experimented and researched more. As we learned we continued to take on harder cases- including dogs who got easily overstimulated and bit, resource guarders, feral dogs, aggressive and reactive dogs.
We currently have 8 of our own dogs, all rescues of various breeds, ages, and backgrounds. They mainly came to us after being at risk of euthanasia or for being incompatible with their other situations. We put a lot of work into rehabilitating our dogs, and later the many foster dogs that we had, so that they could live their best lives. Now my dogs get to enjoy a lot of fun activities like hiking, bikejoring, slat mill, sports, pack walks and just lounging around. Working through my own dogs and foster dogs behavioral problems is what started me as a trainer.

What Education Do You Have?

I have learned from many trainers and organizations in various formats- including seminars, online courses, classes, books, and academic papers. I have completed courses from well known trainers including Michael Shikashio, Pat Stuart, Michael Ellis, Laura Donaldson, Mark McCabe, and Grisha Stewart, and academies including CATCH, Absolute Dogs, and The School of Canine Science, and I continue to strive to learn more through workshops, training seminars and more. I value learning from a variety of people so I can understand a variety of viewpoints, as well as expand my ability to help more dogs. Not every dog learns the same way, just like people. I put a lot of importance on continuing my education so I can continue to help dogs and clients as much as possible.

Do You Require A Deposit? Do I Need To Sign A Contract?

Yes, I require a $75 deposit that is applied to your last appointment, so long as you don't have a last minute cancellation or reschedule. My cancellation policy is 4 days.
Yes, all clients sign a contract before we can work together. I electronically share the contract with Square or can print the contract and bring to the appointment if you prefer.

Do You Require Appointment Packages?

I do not require appointment packages. At this point as I found the upfront cost makes training inaccessible to many people who need help. I also find it's not as conducive with many people's goals, sometimes they just need the support of a single appointment, sometimes they have a goal that changes as their dog grows in their confidence and training.

Can My Kids Be Involved During Appointments?

I encourage the whole family to get involved in training! That being said, if your children become upset or distracted they are definitely not required to pay attention to the appointment. If you want them to learn I am happy to help them as well. I was a martial arts teacher for children for several years so I can explain concepts to them in a way they can understand.
Having children, significant others, or other family members present is helpful because it increases retention and encourages more parties to be involved in training, which is great!