Private Training

"Every dog is a genius when their human trains them correctly." - Cindy Dog with Shoe "I cannot begin to describe how impressed I am! ... She is learning so fast! It is such a pleasure to work with you. Your directions are clear and easy to understand and the materials you provided were terrific.... Thank you for everything. I wish everyone had your level of professionalism!" - Education Instructor at a Local University

Customized Training for Your Dog or Puppy

Want a private dog training program customized to your needs, the needs of your dog and your family? Or have a dog that worries around other dogs or people?  Then private training sessions are for you. Happy life with dogs begins with impulse control. All of our training packages, including behavior modification, begin with foundation skills centered around impulse control and owner focus in the face of distractions.

Private training sessions are conducted at The Center for K9 Excellence, 2812 Idlewild Rd., West Jefferson, NC.  All major credit cards accepted.

Selecting a Training Package

There is no “one size fits all” program for every dog or puppy. That makes sense, doesn’t it? What are your goals for your dog or puppy? Do you want compliance to a few basic cues at home or do you want your dog to heel like a pro and mind his manners while you walk around town with lots of distractions? All of our training packages come with access to the “Client Area” of our web site.  There you will find over 50 instructional videos for the exercises you’ll learn along with great videos for safe games to do with dogs and children, trick, play training and more.

(for dogs less than 6 months of age)

Don’t you wish puppies came with an owners’ manual?  We’ve got you covered. We have written materials and instructional videos on common puppy issues and teaching behaviors. We’ll also share our secrets for jump-starting your training and using non-food rewards. And, we’ve discounted our professional fees for owners with puppies younger than 6 months of age.  We want to encourage owners to get training while their puppies are still young.


THE FIRST STEP - One 2.5 Hr. Session
Professional Fees: $190

The puppy in the first clip of this video learned this skill during his “First Step” session! This 2.5 hour sessions includes everything you’ll need to start your puppy off on the right paw. We’ll cover common puppy issues including housetraining, puppy biting, socialization and more. We’ll also teach you how to “speak dog” (read dog body language).  And, we’ll discuss child-dog safety. Once we finish the discussion portion of your session, it will be time for us to work with your puppy.


  • Sit & “Say Please” by Sitting
  • “Come to Me!” – Introduction
  • Introduction to Impulse Control

24/7 Access to Video Library of Instructional Videos: NO

Professional Fees: $425

See some of the behaviors your puppy can learn in this training package.  This training package includes “The First Step” session plus 3 additional sessions of about an hour each.  Additionally, training packages include access to the client area of our web site.  There you will find over 50 instructional videos on the behaviors we’re teaching, plus other helpful videos including puppy nail trims and brushing your puppy.  During our sessions, we’ll review and discuss where your puppy is in his behavioral development and add some new skills. BEHAVIORS

  • Sit, Down, Stay
  • Come to Me!
  • Impulse Control with Food & Toys
  • Door Manners
  • Using Non-Food Rewards
  • Introduction to Leash Walking
  • Handling & Brushing

27/7 Access to Video Library of Instructional Videos: YES

RUNNING START - 8 Sessions
Professional Fees: $725

See some of the behaviors your puppy can learn in this training package & also here.  This 8 session training package includes the skills and information reviewed in “One Foot in Front of the Other” plus:

  • Loose Leash Walking with Distractions
  • “Settle”
  • Training in Public Settings (as appropriate for each individual puppy)
  • Introduction to Handling for Routine Care – nail trims, ear and eye medication, veterinarian visits

24/7 Access to Instructional Videos: YES

GOLD MEDALIST - 14 Sessions
Professional Fees: $1240

See one of our Gold Medal puppies train in public! This 14 session training package includes everything in the “Jogging” training package plus 6 additional sessions.  The added training time allows for increased distraction training, support through your puppy’s adolescence (oh, no – a teenager!) and the opportunity to fine to behaviors or even get your puppy started in a canine sport, like Nose Work, tricks, agility, obedience and rally.

  • Work with Increased Distractions
  • Support Through Your Puppy’s First Year
  • Tricks, Sports and More

24/7 Access to Instructional Videos: YES

Puppy in a Basket

"I just had to e-mail you. I am on the computer next to the kitchen and it is VERY quiet in the kitchen so I was a little worried. I peaked over the pass through to see that Viggo was sleeping in his crate with the door open. I nearly died. He was obviously tired and went in there to sleep on his own. YOU ARE QUEEN!!!!!!!!! Thank you so very much!!!!" - Jacqueline (owner of a new puppy who now loves his crate)

(for dogs 6 months & older)

THE FIRST STEP - 2.5 Hour Session
Professional Fees: $245

Part of the reason our clients are so successful is that they understand how dogs learn.  The first part of this session is for people only (we don’t need the dog). We’ll discuss how dogs learn, how to humanely modify their behavior and dog body language.  If you have children in the home, or children who visit, we’ll also discuss child-dog safety.  Once we’ve answered all your questions on those topics, we’ll start working with your dog.

  • Discussion: how dogs learn, dog body language, child-dog safety (if applicable)


  • “Sit” & “Say Please by Sitting”
  • “Come to Me!”
  • Introduction to Impulse Control

Professional Fees: $499

This training package includes THE FIRST STEP plus 3 additional sessions of about an hour each for a total of 4 sessions at The Center for K9 Excellence. This training package also includes 24/7 access to the “Client Area” of our web site. There you will find over 50 instructional videos, including the exercises we’ll teach you during our training sessions. Review lessons at your convenience. Or make the most of your training dollars by working ahead. The video library is one of our clients’ favorite parts of our training packages. BEHAVIORS

  • Sit & “Say Please by Sitting, Stay, Down
  • Come to Me! with Controlled Distractions
  • Impulse Control with Food & Toys
  • Door Manners
  • Using Rewards Other Than Food
  • Introduction to Leash Walking

24/7 Access to Instructional Videos: YES

RUNNING START - 8 Sessions Total
Professional Fees: $850

This training package includes RUNNING START plus: loose leash walking with distractions, “settle”, training in public settings (as appropriate for individual dog), “come to me!” with distractions. That’s a total of 8 training sessions.  This training package also includes access to our “Client Area” with instructional videos. BEHAVIORS

  • Sit, Down, Stay
  • Leash Walking with Distractions
  • “Settle”
  • Training in Public Settings (as appropriate for individual dog)
  • Come to Me! with Distractions

24/7 Access to Instructional Videos: YES

GOLD MEDALIST - 14 Sessions Total
Professional Fees: $1344

This training package offers the most support for you and your dog. It includes the TOURING package plus: work with increased distractions or additional sessions to work with behavior that requires more extensive modification.

24/7 Access to Instructional Videos: YES


Marge is the only trainer in the area certified through the Certification for Professional Dog Trainers in behavior modification.  Teaching your dog to sit, down and come requires a different skill set than helping him overcome fear, aggression, anxiety and some other issues.  It’s important to understand why your dog is behaving the way he is so we can work to modify his behavior.  Marge will create a customized behavior modification plan for you and your dog. Some examples follow.


FAMILY PAWS PARENT EDUCATION - Expert Consulting and Resources for Families with Dogs


We provide family-focused training and consulting.  Marge is a licensed presenter for Family Paws.  Family Paws™ Parent Education is the parent organization of two International licensed programs: Dogs & Storks® and the Dog and Baby Connection™ .   These programs help families with dogs prepare for life with baby.  We can provide you with strategies and training that will help you reduce stress and increase success.  Contact Marge today for a consultation.

"If you have ever considered taking a clicker class, but didn't think you were coordinated enough, or that your dog just didn't respond to it, or that it only worked for border collies - TAKE THIS CLASS.... I admit in the beginning I didn't believe some of the things Marge said we would accomplish - but she was right about everything. I now have a whippet who is dying to train and jumps 4 feet in the air when I grab the clicker and treat bag." -Wendy


"The class met and exceeded my expectations. I feel like it opened a whole new way of communicating between my dog and I." - Anonymous

"My favorite part of this course is watching Katie learn and grow right before my eyes (and of course seeing the same thing in myself!)" - Bruce

Seminars - Clicker Training, Bite Prevention, & Continuing Education

Puppies in Basket "The more I teach agility handlers, the more I realize the value of clicker training and really understanding operant conditioning for performance dogs." - Rhonda Koeske 2010 IFCS World Agility Championships Team USA Member

Clicker Training

"I have been to quite a few seminars and learned from some of the best. My hat goes off to you. You have an incredible gift to communicate with people when it comes to this stuff. I was very impressed and look forward to learning from you." - Brian

"I used some of the tools you have taught us in class in agility on Wed - it was magic! When I wanted her to come to me I used the hand touch and she came straight away! I used the ... follow my hand thing and I can actually get her to follow me places instead of spending forever chasing her down and leashing her up (which she doesn't appreciate!)... THANK YOU!!! Arica

Dog Bite Prevention

Dog Bite

"As a veterinarian I find this topic so important! Thank you so much!" - Heidi Graves, DVM

"On behalf of our JCPCDD community, I want to thank you again for the wonderful presentation this morning! It was so informative, yet entertaining, at the same time. The kids really seemed to enjoy it and learn some valuable information. Thank you for sharing your time and talents with us." - Linda DeBlois, Special Events Director, Julington Creek Plantation Recreation Center

"I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for coming to speak to CSX on Friday, Jan 27, 2012. You did an amazing job – every attendee I have spoken with thought you gave an excellent presentation and comments included that they thought you were a dynamic speaker. “ Carrie Beall, Chair - CSX Animal Advocacy Inclusion Group

Continuing Education for Veterinary Technicians