Partnership Training

Build A Better Relationship

The goal of Partnership Training is to create the “Go Anywhere, Do Anything” dog who can be their human’s partner in life and adventure, and to build a handler who can support, lead, and advocate for their dog in any situation life may throw at them.

– Ally Marshall, Owner

HISTORY OF PARTNERSHIP TRAINING

Partnership Training is based on the groundbreaking work of the Wind River Bear Institute’s Wildlife K9 program, using trained Karelian Bear Dogs for nonlethal bear management. Our method focuses on creating a working relationship with your canine built on mutual trust and respect, where dogs and humans are equal partners in the process. It incorporates principles of biology, behavioral science, and building the human-animal bond.

OUR PHILOSOPHY

Our approach is balanced; we use positive reinforcement (Food, play, praise!) to elicit changes in your dog and create a job for them that is fun and that they enjoy. We create consequences for undesirable behaviors only after your dog has a clear understanding of what we want from him and always give the opportunity for the dog to make the right choice. We recognize traits in breeds that we humans have created, and work with them rather than against them to create the relationship we’re looking for.

We train in real-world situations and environments to teach you and your dog practical skills that can be used everywhere. We recognize that dogs are individuals and our trainers are well-versed in the use of a wide spectrum of  tools and techniques so that we can match the best ones with your dog’s specific needs. Some of these tools include: Food, Toys, Prong Collars, Head Halters, E-collars, and more. 

All new clients will go through a FREE phone consultation to help determine which of our programs below will work best for you. For clients looking for customized programs, service dog, therapy dog, or behavior modification training, we may require an in-person evaluation. All consultations and evaluations will be followed by a written training plan including details on your program and cost.

We Offer The Following Programs:

1

Pick Your Base Program

Enroll in one or both of our standard programs listed below

2

Add A Specialty or Customization

Choose an add-on, pick from our Adventure Series, or work with one of our trainers to customize a program ot fit your needs!

3

Pick Your Format

Achieve your training goals via our Board & Train program, Private Lessons, or a combination!


STANDARD PROGRAMS


PARTNERSHIP TRAINING - FOUNDATIONS

It All Starts Here.

Teach your dog how to navigate our human world and be your Partner-In-Life© by enrolling in our Foundations program. The skills you learn here are the building blocks upon which all our advanced training is based. Whether your goal is to have a reliable off-leash trail companion, a task-trained service dog, or simply a well-behaved family member, this is where it all begins.

Our Foundations program establishes a strong human-canine relationship by developing a clear language between dog and handler, finding a dog’s motivation and aligning it with ours, and teaching the core skills every dog should know to be a healthy, well-balanced individual.

This program covers the following skills and behaviors:

  • Building a training language with marker words and clear communication
  • Name Recognition/Focus
  • Sit (Hold for Stay)
  • Down (Hold for Stay)
  • Come w/ Front finish
  • Loose Leash Walking
  • Threshold Manners (Doors, gates, cars)
  • Platform/target training
  • Return to Heel Position
  • Addressing common issues like barking, jumping, etc.

In addition to obedience skills, our trainers’ holistic approach will touch on all aspects of a dog’s home life, such as nutrition, exercise, family dynamics and house rules.

2 Week Board & Train – $1,800

4 Private Lessons – $380-$420

PARTNERSHIP TRAINING - ADVANCED OFF LEASH

Pre-requisite – Foundation Program or equivalent skill

Take your relationship with your dog to new levels and develop the ultimate Montana-lifestyle partnership by achieving Off Leash reliability. Having a dog who can enjoy freedom off-leash while remaining under control opens up numerous possibilities for ways to do more stuff with your dog like hiking, camping, river recreation, and more.

Note* – Our off-leash training program is only conducted in designated off-leash areas.

In this program:

  • Proofing all commands from minimum distance of 30 feet: Come, Sit (Stay), Down (Stay)
  • Proofing human and dog-passing skills – Dogs must be able to pass other humans, dogs, bikes, etc. on-trail without attempting to pull towards them/solicit uninvited attention
  • Off Leash Heeling
  • Introducing dog/handler teams to a remote collar
  • Appropriate & safe trail etiquette and manners

2 Week Board & Train – $2,000

4 Private Lessons – $380-$420


SPECIALTY FOCUS ADD-ONS


Do you have a training goal or behavior concern that isn’t addressed in our standard programs? Add any of the below options to round out your training program to help your dog become your best partner-in-life!

Confidence Building For Shy, Timid, or Fearful Dogs

Would you consider your dog shy, timid, or fearful? Sometimes this can slow down the learning process and we may need to take additional steps to build your dog’s confidence. By adding this specialty focus to our Foundation program, we will integrate additional exercises to help your dog live their life to the fullest. Some of the strategies we can implement are:

  • Building motivation for play as a way to increase confidence with the handler and develop a higher value reward for dealing with difficult situations
  • Introduce the dopamine box for feeding routines and a focus for dealing with stressors
  • Teach dogs to look to their handler when faced with uncertain situations, rewarding boldness and curiosity about their world.
  • And more, tailored towards the individual dog!

Addressing Reactivity

REACTIVITY is what we call it when a dog over-reacts to a stimulus. For example, if your dog sees another dog and barks, growls, or lunges, we would consider that reactive behavior. However, most dogs who display reactivity will cease that behavior when actually coming into contact with the subject of their focus, i.e. they bark and lunge at a dog, but if they actually get the chance to meet the dog behave in a friendly manner. A dog who does not stop the reactive behaviors and even escalates to conflict is considered aggressive.

Reactivity is very common, and we can help you reduce and even eliminate it! We can help reduce your dogs arousal/excitement levels around the object of their reactivity and refocus them on you. Add this specialty focus to our Foundation program.

Note – if you feel like your dog is demonstrating aggression, please speak with one of our trainers. We may be able to design a custom behavior modification program for you or refer you to a program that will help your dog succeed. 

Accepting body handling (for vet and groomer)

Does your dog struggle having their ears, paws, and mouth handled? Do they hate having their nails trimmed? Add this to our Foundation program and we will integrate the following skills:

  • Desensitize your dog to common types of handling seen at a veterinarian or groomer’s
  • Muzzle conditioning – teach your dog to accept and wear a muzzle for safety
  • Accept nail trimming and basic grooming

Door Manners

The front door is often one of the most exciting places in the home for your dog, and one of the hardest for your dog to mind his manners. Adding this specialty focus will incorporate appropriate door and greeting manners into your dog’s repertoire of behaviors, including:

  • Counterconditioning the sound of the knock and/or doorbell. This process reduces barking, overexcitement, and jumping at the door and turns into a cue that your dog has a new job to do.
  • Place – we will use the Place command to give your dog a designated spot to greet guests, and a structure to remain in until calm. We can further use this behavior to keep dogs calm in the house while guests are visiting, including at the dinner table

ADVENTURE SERIES


Well-behaved dogs get to do more stuff with their people – and we want to help you find cool and creative ways to put your dog’s abilities to use. The following programs are available as part of our Adventure Series. Add any of these to our Foundation or Off Leash programs for an extra kick! 

Urban Canine

This is the do-anything-dog specialty! Do you want your dog to be able to hang out downtown, at festivals, on dog-friendly patios? This is the program for you!

Adding this program to either of our standard options will focus on advanced obedience in high-distraction environments. Your dog will visit pet-friendly stores and high-traffic downtown areas and learn the following commands:

  • Advanced distance, duration, and distraction proofing on all foundation commands
  • On-Leash Heel
  • Place
  • “Say Hi” – Appropriate greeting skills

Teams who complete this program will also receive a credit to take the AKC Canine Good Citizen test with one of our CGC evaluators!

+1 Week Board & Train – $1000

+2 Private Lessons – $210

Foundation Nose Work

Teaching a dog how to use his nose is a great way to provide mental stimulation, and it is also the base for many useful and fun skills! It can also be used to help hone a dog’s natural abilities, such as finding birds or other game animals. By adding this specialty focus to one of your standard programs, we will integrate the building blocks of nose work into your dog’s other training, including:

  • Imprinting the scent of the handler’s choice
  • Introduce an indicator behavior (How the dog tells us he found the scent!)
  • Introduce the “Search” cue with box work you can continue at home!

Completion of this foundation course will grant you access to advanced options, such as: Antler shed hunting, morel mushroom hunting, food allergen detection, Find a Family Member, and more!

+1 Week Board & Train – $900

+2 Private Lessons – $190-$210

Intro to Joring (Pulling Sports)

Joring is like dog-sledding, but for a small team of 1-2 dogs, and isn’t limited to sleds. You can jore on a bike, skis, rollerblades, a skateboard, or even running (that’s called Canicross). Joring is a great physical outlet for active dogs and, like treadmill training, can provide a dog with intense mental concentration as well as they focus on their job. Adding this specialty to any standard program will integrate the following:

  • Introduction to joring gear: harness, bike, skis, etc.
  • Pulling commands: Pull, Whoa, Left, Right
  • Discrimination training for pulling versus loose leash walking

+1 Week Board & Train – $900

+2 Private Lessons – $190-$210


CUSTOM PROGRAMS


 

Custom Programs

If you are looking for a custom training program for you and your dog, or feel that you previous or existing training may cover some or all of the material in our foundations program, we can still help! A hands-on evaluation with one of our trainers will assess you and your dog’s current level of training, and we can work with you to build a custom program that fits you and your dog and your training goals.

Private Lessons – $95-$105/ea

Board & Train – $900-$1000/week

 


BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION


 

If you are experiencing a serious behavior issue with your dog, or struggling with household dynamics such as behavior with other dogs, family members, or other animals, we can help. With our holistic approach to training and behavior we can help to identify the root cause of your dog’s behavioral issue and work with you to come up with a long term solution. This will almost always include a training program but may (and often will) include other aspects of your dog’s life such as home and other environmental management and modification, nutrition, health and wellness, and finally, we also take a close look at the behavior of US, the HUMANS, in the dog’s life. Our actions, energy, and habits are going to strongly affect how our dogs behave, and if we expect them to change, we may have to be willing to do the same.

Due to our kennel setup, we are selective and limited in the behavior modification programs we accept. Dogs must be able to be handled safely by our staff members to be eligible for a board & train program, and candidates for in-home programs must demonstrate a willingness and ability to implement recommended changes.

All behavior modification programs require an in-person evaluation prior to being accepted into our training program.

 


EXTRAS AND FUN STUFF


 

Group Hikes

We are now offering group hikes on Mondays and Fridays from 11AM-12PM! This is a fantastic option for dogs who need additional structured exercise or a different way to socialize with their doggy friends. The details:

  • All dogs eligible! Trial hike required – graduates of our off leash training program get their trial hike for free!
  • Hikes will be one hour with one of our trainers, with a minimum of two dogs and a maximum of four dogs per staff member.
  • Dogs who have been through our off leash training will be able to hike off leash. All other dogs can hike on a long line!
    • If you want your dog to be able to hike off leash, we are offering a shortened ecollar conditioning course of 2 private lessons focused on recall.
    • If your dog needs additional training to be able to hike safely, we can help with that too! Dogs who are muzzle conditioned can still participate in hikes.

$50/Hike Regular Clients

$45/Hike for graduates of our Off Leash Program

$60/Trial Hike (Off Leash graduates receive for free!)

Drop-In Group Classes & Pack Walks

Open to all of our current training clients who have completed our Foundation Program or equivalent skill level.

These drop-in classes will rotate topics (description on event calendar) to cover a variety of fun and beneficial skills and behaviors not covered in our standard foundation class. Class topics have included things like: The Art of Play, Free-Shaping, Introduction to Canine Conditioning and Fitness, Introduction to Nose Work, and More!

$20/Class – Calendar available to existing students in your online learning portal.

AKC Canine Good Citizen Tests

Showcase your hard work with your dog by taking the American Kennel Club’s Canine Good Citizen test. 

This is a 10-item test administered by the AKC that covers basic obedience and social skills. You can check out details on the tests by going HERE. 

We can administer the Canine Good Citizen Teest, AKC Community Canine (CGC-A) and Canine Good Citizen – Urban tests as well as AKC Trick Dog titles. 

We offer these tests in group formats and need a minimum of two participants to host a test. If you’re interested in taking it, please email training@windriverkennels.com and we’ll get you on the list!

$20/Test