Private Dog Training

Minnetonka, MN and West Metro

It’s All About You and Your Dog.

Training for Dogs.  Solutions for Owners.

Private Dog Training is tailored to your individual needs, whether you have a new puppy, adolescent, or adult needing better manners, or one with serious behavior concerns.  Susan Ward, CPDT-KSA, will explain, demonstrate, coach, answer questions, and provide one-on-one feedback to help you and your dog reach your goals.

By choosing pupDOGS Training, you can be confident you are working with a certified professional who has the experience and skills to help you achieve your goals using dog-friendly techniques.  Susan uses humane, non-confrontational methods, based on the science of how animals learn and are proven to work. Click here for more information about TRAINING PHILOSOPHY.


  • House training
  • Puppy biting
  • Crate training
  • Chewing
  • Socialization
  • Confidence building…


  • Jumping
  • Pulling on leash
  • Not coming when called
  • Barking
  • Excitability
  • Handling & Grooming…


  • Anxiety
  • Aggression
  • Fearful behaviors
  • Resource Guarding
  • Barking at dogs or people
  • Phobias…


Tailored training from the comfort of your home. Big or small, young or old, we train them all.  Having a dog can be a pleasure and not a problem.

Serving Minnetonka and West Metro. See the map below for the general service area .

Once you are scheduled for private training, Susan will send you information with detailed instructions on how to  prepare for your sessions.


Tailored training from the comfort of your home – no matter where you live. Without the distraction of a visitor (trainer) in the house, your dog will be less distracted and stressed. And that means faster learning for him or her.

Meeting via Zoom.  You will need:

  • A computer, tablet, or smartphone with a camera.
  • A microphone (most devices have this built in).
  • Internet, wi-fi, or unlimited cell data.



90 Minutes

Think of this as taking a driver’s ed. class before getting behind the wheel.

This time is focused on helping Susan understand the challenges you would like addressed.  We’ll assess what may be driving the behavior, set goals, and begin management and foundation skills.

With a few exceptions, the Initial Behavior Consultation is held online rather than your home: Why?  It’s more effective.  Your dog’s behavior will not be affected by an unfamiliar person in the home.  That makes it easier for you to learn the skills necessary to help your dog.

Home Consultation:   $200

Online Consultation:  $150


60 Minutes

During the initial behavior consultation, we will outline a training program to reach your individual goals.  Susan will have recommendations, but work with you to decide how many sessions are needed for you and your dog and what makes sense with the issues being addressed.

Home Visits:   $150 per hour
Package of 3 sessions = $425.

Online Visits: $110
Package of 3 sessions = $315.

PUPPY JUMPSTART - For puppies under 6 months of age

Three One-Hour Training Sessions.

An Initial Behavior Consultation is NOT required to start.  However, many new puppy owners have a lot of immediate questions and challenges.  If you would like extra time on the first visit, we can schedule a consultation and follow up with the Puppy Jump Start Package.

Home Visits:   $350

Online Visits:  $300


Cash, checks, and all major credit cards are accepted.  $100 non-refundable deposit required at time of scheduling, with remainder due at the appointment.

There is a $50 travel fee for distances more than 30 minutes driving time from Susan’s Minnetonka location.  You may contact Susan with your exact address to verify that you are in her service area.



Cancellations / rescheduling must be made no less than 48 hours in advance of the appointment.  Client will be billed at the normal appointment fee for any “no shows” or cancelled appointments with less than 48 hours notice.   Please give as much notice as possible to allow someone else to be scheduled in your allotted time slot.



In the event of bad weather, you will be contacted by text, e-mail and/or a phone call to reschedule.


High value treats:  These are not the treats that you regularly use. You will want something special.  Some possibilities include chicken, cheese, hot dogs, lunch meats (not ham).  The following are Susan’s favorites.  They are available at most pet stores and online:

  • Instinct Freeze-Dried Boost Mixers
  • Wellness Soft Well Bites
  • Any kind of freeze-dried treats.  Size and consistency vary, so you’ll want to find a variety that you like.
  • Dog Food:  Please have this availables in addition to the above-mentioned treats.

Treat Bag:  You need something that holds treats and allows you easy access.  A Ziploc bag or pants pocket is cumbersome at best and will throw your treat timing off.  Fanny packs can work, but Susan prefers a treat bag that she can clip to her pants and has a magnetic opening (vs a drawstring).  Her favorite is the “Trek-n-Train” by Doggone Good.

Dog Training Clicker

Mat or Rug for your dog

Collar or Harness and a Leash:  You will need a buckle or martingale collar or harness.  We do not use metal collars including choke chains or prong collars.  Have a regular 6-foot leash, not a retractable long line.

Home Visit Service Area:

This is a general area. There is a $50 travel fee for distances more than 30 minutes driving time from Susan’s Minnetonka location.  You may contact her with your exact address to verify that you are in her service area.

Map of private training service area.

Bloomington, Chanhassen, Chaska, Eden Prairie, Edina, Excelsior, Golden Valley, Hopkins, Maple Grove, Minneapolis, Minnetonka, Plymouth, Shakopee, St. Louis Park, Victoria, Wayzata

jack russel in kitchen


When Susan first met Rocky, he was a recently adopted 14-month-old mix. He was mentally and physically unwell.  There was aggression directed toward people and dogs, with a multiple bite history, including to his new owners. He was anxious, guarded resources, and didn’t like to be touched on certain, but unpredictable, parts of his body.  He had heartworm, and his hair was falling out by the handfuls, among other things.  This poor boy was STRUGGLING on every front, and needed a team approach, including his owners, veterinarian, and trainer.

It was a coordinated effort over the next 8 months. Medical treatments were started to get him physically healthy. Behavior modification was started to get him mentally healthy. First and foremost, Rocky needed to feel and be SAFE, for the first time in his young life. They worked to de-sensitize and counter-condition the triggers that caused him to react aggressively. They helped him gain confidence and proved to him that he could TRUST others.

The note Susan made on their last appointment reads, “Rocky is doing so well.  When I entered the home, he barked a few times, but relaxed immediately.  He didn’t show any signs of anxiety, and greeted me with soft eyes and a wiggly body.  BEAUTIFUL!!!

To say that he came a long way is evidenced by these two pictures, depicting his first and last training sessions.  He doesn’t even look like the same dog.  In many ways, he’s not. What a GOOD GOOD BOY.

Rocky Collage With