Milton Manor Pet Resort & Spa offers training classes from puppy socialization to advanced obedience through the instructors listed below.
Please read the bio on each instructor and description of their classes to decide which best suites the training methods you perfer.
Information about our Programs.
Classes are listed below. You must sign up prior to the first night of class to particiapte.
Please call the appropriate instructor for each class to sign up.
Puppy Preschool with Dawn
Basic Canine Manners Level 1 with Dawn
Advanced Manners with Dawn
Beginner Life Skills with Smart Dog Training and Behavior LLC
Puppy Kindergarten with Smart Dog Training and Behavior LLC
Intermediate Life Skills with Smart Dog Training and Behavior LLC
Advanced Life Skills/Therapy Dog/CGC/C.L.A.S.S prep with Smart Dog Training and Behavior LLC
Impulse Control - Smart Dog Training and Behavior LLC
My Best Friend (Kid's Class) - Smart Dog Training and Behavior LLC
Tricks and Games - Smart Dog Training and Behavior LLC
Scent Games - Smart Dog Training and Behavior LLC
Out on the Town - Smart Dog Training and Behavior LLC
Unleash Me - Smart Dog Training and Behavior LLC
AKC Star Puppy Class - Kara Kingsbury
Canine Good Citizen Program - Kara Kingsbury
Beginner Life Skills - Smart Dog Training and Behavior LLC - Monday's at 6:30pm for 6 weeks - Next class starts 9/10/18. Please click here or call 369-9135 to register for classes.
Puppy Kindergarten - Smart Dog Training and Behavior LLC - Monday's at 7:30pm for 6 weeks - Next class starts 9/17/18 Please click here or call 369-9135 to register for classes.
Canine Good Citizen - Kara Kingsbury - Thursday's at 6:30pm for 6 weeks - Next class starts 10/25/18 - please email firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up for this class.
Meet our Instructors
Dawn Toma, ABCDT
Meet Dawn Toma
Dawn Toma, ABCDT
My name is Dawn Toma and I am an Animal Behavior College certified dog trainer. Animals have always been a part of my life, particularly dogs. From my first childhood dog, to my current pack of three Australian Shepherds; ages 7, 4, and 10 weeks, all have provided such joy in my life. I have always been fascinated by their sense of innocence and complete unconditional love. It is this fascination and love that lead me to pursue a career in dog training.
In a quest for the most up to date, well researched training methods, I chose to attend Animal Behavior College, an industry respected school. I completed the program in October of 2008 and earned my dog training certification. The program was extensive and has provided me with knowledge that I feel confident offering my clients. I continue to further my skills and education through workshops, seminars and observations. It is my desire to never stop learning about canine behavior and effective training methods.
Dogs are wonderful companions and family members. But remember they are dogs first. They need to be able to act like dogs. Barking, digging, and chewing, are all natural behaviors for them. We need to be good guardians and give them a well balanced life. As pet owners it is our responsibility to teach them good manners in our homes and yards, yet still let them be a dog. My goal is to help you achieve this balance.
I want to educate you on why your dog does what it does and how to effectively communicate with him. Training your dog takes time and commitment and I want to help you build a positive relationship with your dog in order for you both to live in harmony.
My Training Style:
There are many dog training methods. My method of training is based on positive reinforcement and focusing on building a strong relationship with your dog. Positive reinforcement works by using praise and positive actions or rewards, rather than punishment or correctional actions, to teach your dog right from wrong. The key to this type of training is to determine what it is that motivates your dog, and use that motivator as a reward upon correct performance. Such motivators can be treats, verbal praise, affection and toys. I also teach you how to incorporate the use of clicker training to effectively mark desired behaviors.
It is my hope to bridge the communication gap between you and your dog. I strive to provide owners with the tools they need to continue to teach their dogs long after our sessions are completed.
Class Description: Puppy Preschool
Duration: 4 weeks or 6 weeks
This four or six week course is designed to assist you with understanding your puppy and providing your puppy with the opportunity for proper socialization.
Topics that will be covered include socialization, grooming, safety, confidence building, housetraining, controlled leash walking, as well as a variety of behavioral and preventative topics.
Puppy Preschool is open to puppies 8 weeks to 20 weeks of age. First set of initial vaccinations is required (Distemper and Parvo), Rabies is required after 12 weeks of age, Bordatella is recommended.
Class Description: Basic Canine Manners-Level 1
Duration: 6 weeks
This 6 week training course is designed to help dog owners learn the tools needed to teach their dog basic household manners. Focus will be on the importance of relationship building between owners and their dog. Using positive based training methods, lessons will include sit, down, stay, leave-it, recall and leash walking. Common behavioral issues such as jumping, chewing, and barking will also be addressed. Dogs 20 weeks and older are welcome and all handlers must be at least 13 years of age. Please provide proof of vaccinations or current titers. (Rabies, Distemper and Parvo). Bordatella is recommended.
Cost: $45 for an hour
*please note that a small additional charge may apply if more than a 15 minute travel time is required to your home
My private training sessions focus on the goals you set for your dog. Private lessons are conducted in your home, at Milton Manor or in the location that affords successfully completing those goals. They can be in addition to group classes or in place of until you are ready for a group setting.
Sessions are generally one hour in length and can be scheduled to best suit your busy life.
Here are some of the goals I can help you and your dogs to achieve:
Basic obedience commands
Proper dog to dog interactions
Proper "people greeting"
In home sessions also offer realistic solutions to many common behavioral problems. Feel free to contact me for more information.
"Education is for improving the lives of others and for leaving the community and world better than you found it"
We specialize in the prevention and treatment of behavior problems in dogs. Kristina Spaulding, PhD, CAAB opened Smart Dog Training and Behavior in 2001. Prior to that, she was an assistant trainer for Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist, Dr. Patricia McConnell at Dog's Best Friend in Madison, WI. Since 2001, Kristina has worked with hundreds of dogs through teaching a wide variety of group classes in addition to conducting private training and working with aggression, anxiety and other behavior problems in dogs. Kristina has a PhD in Biopsychology - the study of the biological basis of behavior. Her area of focus is the evolution and social cognition of dogs and how it impacts their behavior. She has taken numerous graduate level courses on behavior and has taught multiple undergraduate classes at the University at Albany, including Learning and Introduction to Biopsychology and Behavioral Neuroscience. She also teaches Introduction to Learning Theory and Advanced Learning Theory for the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT) and is a member of their Educational Committee. As a member of this group, Kristina helps advise the APDT on their education plan, including their annual conference, online courses and their resources and guidelines for trainers and behaviorists. Kristina's years of experience directly training dogs and teaching people, in combination with her academic training, allow her to help dogs and their people achieve lasting behavioral change.
Kristina will come to your home and train your dog for you while you work, take care of the kids, or just take a much needed break! All you need to do is maintain the training that she has already completed. Day training is very convenient and easy for you, and - more importantly - exceptionally effective for your dog. Because your dog is being trained by a professional, most problems can be resolved in 2 - 4 weeks. This is an excellent choice for behavior problems and basic manners alike.
Are you ready for a more manageable, polite dog? Does your dog completely ignore you when you need it most or listen well at home but not when guests visit or while outside? Our classes focus on giving you the skills and knowledge you need to have a dog that will respond to you in the real world. Check our our website for a full listing of our class offerings.
Register and pay for more than one class at a time (for example, both Real World Manners classes) and receive a 10% discount!
Duration: 6 weeks
Description: You have a brand new puppy! Do you want to raise the best dog you possibly can? Are you feeling overwhelmed by the work, or everything you and your puppy still need to know? Early learning and early socialization are critical for raising a well behaved, well adjusted, and friendly dog. Get your puppy started off on the right paw and lay the foundations for a great dog with our Puppy Kindergarten class. The class covers common puppy concerns such as housetraining, socialization and mouthing as well as basic manners training including loose leash walking, come and polite greeting behavior. Puppies must be 8 to 20 weeks old, have had at least one set of vaccinations, their first deworming and have a clean bill of health from your veterinarian.
Class Description: Foundations
Duration: 6 weeks
Description: Are you tired of chasing your loose dog around the backyard or neighborhood? Do you dread walking your dog and being yanked all over the sidewalk? Does your dog jump on family members and guests? Turn your out of control pooch into a dog that you can comfortably take to a variety of locations. This six week class will give you the solid foundation you need for having a polite, well mannered dog both at and away from home. Behaviors taught: settle on mat, sit, down, stay, polite greeting, leave it, loose leash walking, and recall (come when called). Dogs must be at least 5 months old and friendly toward people and other dogs and up-to-date on vaccinations (titers accepted).
Intermediate level classes
Distance, Distraction, and Duration (Intermediate)
Duration: 6 weeks
Imagine having a dog that walks on a loose leash, comes when called and greets people politely or stays in place in a variety of locations and around a variety of distractions. Our intermediate class builds on the skills learned in Puppy K or Real World Manners to improve the reliability and usefulness of your dog's training in a variety of contexts. This six week class focused on building distance, duration and distractions into your dog's training routine so that you can rely on him or her to respond even when things get a little crazy! $135 for 6 weeks. Start any week as long as we have space.
Duration: 6 weeks
This class specifically focuses on building better self control in our dogs. Great for all dogs, but particularly young and/or excitable dogs. We use training exercises and games to improve your dog’s self control. We work on a number of behaviors, but the main focus will be on stay, leave it, wait and greeting behavior.
Advanced dog training classes
Out on the Town
Duration: 4 weeks
Do you like to bring your dog with you on outings? Would you like them to come with you to the store, to a park downtown or to an outdoor event – if only they would behave? This class will help you teach your dog to be well behaved in public – in stores, parks and downtown areas.
Duration: 4 weeks
If you enjoy going hiking or walking in natural areas with your dog, this is an excellent course for you. The course focuses on the skills most necessary for hiking with your dog – come when called, leave it and passing other dogs and people. A 20 foot long line is required for this class.
Photo by M. Nicole Fischer
Meet Kara Kingsbury
Kara Kingsbury has been competing in dog agility since 2002. She has competed on the national level with multiple dogs.
Her experience in dog agility has given her a valuable set of skills for working with high energy, highly motivated (ie excited) dogs in a variety of
settings as well as training dogs to be well-behaved no matter what is going on around them - all of which transfer very well to working with pet and performance dogs.
Kara became a CGC evaluator in October 2017.
AKC Star Puppy Class
Proper socialization, especially for young puppies, is very important! Join us so you and your pup can start off on the right foot!
This 6-week class is open to puppies 3 to 12 months who have their age-appropriate vaccinations. We will cover all topics in the AKC's Star Puppy program,
with the test being held week 6. This class is the first step to becoming a CaNine Good Citizen.
Canine Good Citizen Program
The Canine Good Citizen Program teaches good manners to dogs and responsible dog ownership to their owners.
The 10-step CGC test is a non-competitive test for all dogs, including purebreds and mixed breeds. It is a prerequisite for many therapy dog groups and some
homeowner's insurance companies encourage CGC testing. There are also an increasing number of apartments and condos that require resident dogs to pass the CGC test.
Requirements up to date on vaccines proof of vaccine emailed prior to start of class.
$140 for 6 weeks. Included test on week 6
Milton Manor Pet Resort & Spa
Middle Grove, NY 12850