I am offering new classes in two great new locations!  The Leelanau Arts Building & GrandTraverse Civic Center.

I am asking that anyone who attends my classes wear a mask at all times and respect social distancing guidelines!

(I will have extras for you if needed) We all need to treat each other with care and respect right now...❤️


These classes will be outdoors for the first session (where just the humans attend), and then will be both inside with strict social distancing, and outside, just out the door from the classroom.


In the Kindergarten Puppy classes, you will need a 15 foot “Training Lead” to allow your puppy to join play times in class.  (A leash made from cotton webbing, that you can hold when we have puppy playtimes, to keep from getting too near each other when you take your puppy out of the play session to sit with you again, and then continue class).



I can’t wait to help you again with your dogs and puppies!!     Sam

The most important and gratifying part of being a Dog Behavior Counselor, Dog Training Class Instructor, and Dog Trainer is sharing with you my long experience with dogs and showing you how to have the truly SPECIAL experience of owning a well behaved, relaxed, and willing companion that you can involve in your daily lives as a cherished family member.

Dog training is NOT just for “bad” dogs! Training your dog calms and relaxes them, giving them a language they can recognize and respond to, allowing all of you to live together in peace and comfort.

All of my training uses MODERN, science based, DOG FRIENDLY methods that CAREFULLY shows or demonstrates to your dog EXACTLY what we would like from them, repeatedly, and showing them a HOST of enjoyable consequences for getting things RIGHT, RATHER than always focusing on what they get wrong... This approach is now fully accepted, EXTREMELY common, and very SUCCESSFUL!! This way, your dog learns to enjoy SUCCESS,  rather than constantly experience failure!!

With MOTIVATIONAL, “relationship” training, your dog learns to WANT to listen to you! Your dog should be willing to respond to your requests, knowing there will be a happy consequence, rather than FEARING what will happen if she doesn’t!


My Story

After 20 years as a professional drummer/musician and Manager/Buyer for Sam Ash Music Stores in the New York/New Jersey area, I made a major LEFT turn and began my career as a Dog Trainer, Behavior Counselor, and Training Class Instructor in 1995. I first worked at the Nationally renowned St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center in Madison, New Jersey, mentoring under and working for Internationally known Dog Trainer Pia Sylvani.

In 2000, I moved my dog training business to Traverse City where I have vacationed each Summer throughout my life. (NOT hard to move from New Jersey to Traverse City, NO?) I have worked for, volunteered for, and studied under many internationally recognized Dog Trainers and Behavior Counselors including, Dr. Ian Dunbar, John Rogerson, Sue Sternberg, Karen Pryor, Gary Wilkes, Jean Donaldson, Dr. Pam Reid, Pat Miller, and many others!

I have worked with over 8000 dog owners and their pups both in classes and privately up here in the Traverse City area and in Northern and North Central New Jersey. I know that each of your dogs are different and I am here to help you with a training plan designed specifically for you AND your dogs needs! Over the last year I have been recovering from a series of serious health issues and am so HAPPY to be back helping Traverse City dog owners and their pups!!

Thank You for checking into Training your dog with me and I look forward to the chance to help you!



(All adopted dogs receive a $25 discount with proof of adoption)


For pups 10 weeks to 16 weeks old

8 one hour weekly sessions

Limited to 4-6 puppies

Comes with 60+ page Coursebook, weekly homework sheets, and a frameable Graduation Certificate.

(Classes are filled on a “first paid-first come” basis ONLY!)

This class gets you and your infant puppy off on the right “paw”!  I train YOU to train your puppy! We start with a “Human Training” Session without your puppy!  Yes! This is as much a class for YOU as it is for your new family member. Then, each week we work on 4 to 6 different tasks interspersed with “earned”, brief, off leash, socialization play sessions. Depending on the week, your pup will have to do as little as “SIT”, or as MUCH  as, “COME” - “SIT” - “DOWN” & “SETTLE”, to get the privilege of gaining freedom, to play and socialize, off leash with the other pups!
This begins to teach your puppy patience & focus, as well as how to enjoy calming down after becoming super stimulated! We often alternate training (calming), then PLAYING, then training, (calming, etc.)  This process is incredibly helpful in having your puppy begin to mature and begin to OFFER you calmer behavior at home!

Covered in this class: Handling-Touching-Massaging exercises, a Collar desensitization exercise, proper greeting exercises, The VERY first steps to: Loose Leash Walking (“Let’s Go”!),  the “Requests” Sit, Down, Gotcha, Wait, Up & Off, Gentle (taking treats nicely), Come, and Settle, as well as Important Health & Grooming tasks, Housetraining protocols, solutions for puppy biting/mouthing, stealing, and inappropriate attention seeking behaviors.

All classes are held at The Leelanau Studios (The old Norris Elementary School on the corner of Cherry Bend Rd. & M-22 on West Bay in Traverse City)


Oct, Nov, Dec - 2020


Wednesdays beginning October 21st @ 6:15pm

Scheduled Cancellation:  November 26th

Graduation: December 16th


Tuesdays beginning November 17th @ 6:15pm

Graduation: January 12th, ‘21


Mondays beginning December 7th @ 7:30pm

Graduation: January 25th, ‘21


Saturdays beginning December 19th @ 11:30am

Graduation: February 6th, ‘21

Kindergarten Puppy Training Schedule- $145

For puppies between the ages of 10 weeks & 16 weeks old .

Class Registration


(All adopted dogs receive a $25 discount with proof of adoption)

For adolescent & ALL adult dogs 5 months or older

8 - one hour weekly sessions

Limited to 4 dogs per class

Comes with 60+ page Coursebook, weekly homework sheets, and a frameable Graduation Certificate.

(Classes are filled on a “first paid-first come” basis ONLY!)

This class is designed to show dogs and their humans how to live together in peace and harmony...This is an ambitious and really in depth course that covers MANY meaningful and useful tasks that will benefit you and your dog! 

In this course we really get down to brass tacks!! We start with a “human training” session... Yes! This is as much a class for YOU as it is for your new family member. Then, each week we work on 4 to 6 different tasks/commands that we build up slowly, each week building off of the last.

Covered in this class:Sit”, “Down” (to lay down on command), “Side” (to walk over to your side and “check in” by sitting next to you, facing the same direction, You can start a “Stay” or a leash walk from this position), the “Name Game” (getting your dog to “love” their name by looking up at you, when hearing their name. Used for “movement” commands: Leash Walking (“Let’s Go” & “Heel”) And “Come”), Loose Leash Walking (a “casual” walk used 85% of the time), “Heel” (A temporary “emergency” walk used maybe 10-15% of the time where your dog walks at your side, together, as a team, following you at the same speed and direction when you have a car, snowmobile, jogger, bicyclist, dog on a walk, etc. coming directly towards you), “Stay” (The “ultimate” act of self restraint! Your dog learns to lay still for extended periods of time, with distractions. ie, “punching out their time card” & chilling out for at least two minutes or more. ex: on their dog bed while family eats, at your feet with guests over, etc.), “Come”(Stop what you’re doing and run over to you in the most direct route and Sit close to you. THIS IS TAUGHT ON-LEASH at this level!), “Wait” (Pause for 30 seconds or LESS at your house door, your car door, your yard gate, at a street corner, before placing your dogs food bowl down, etc.),“Leave-It” (an “emergency” command to prevent your dog from putting something dangerous in their mouth or to get your dogs mind off of something they might be obsessing over, ie: a dog that’s barking at you as you and your dog leash walk by their house, a squirrel or a cat), Greeting People Nicely (An effective, non-confrontational exercise to teach calm greetings) Also: MANY challenging exercises & Training Games, (such as: Musical Chairs.

I also ALWAYS make myself available to talk after class or over the phone with any students who might have a behavior issue at home with their dog that we don’t cover in class!

Basic Education Schedule - $175

For dogs 18 weeks and older

Class Registration


All classes are held at The Leelanau Studios (The old Norris Elementary School on the corner of Cherry Bend Rd. & M-22 on West Bay in Traverse City)

Oct, Nov, Dec - 2020

Saturdays beginning October 17th @ 11:30am

Scheduled Cancellation: November 28th

Graduation: December 12th

Tuesdays beginning November 24th @ 7:30pm

Graduation: January 12th, ‘21


Saturdays beginning November 28th @ 9:00am

Graduation: January 23rd ‘21


Mondays beginning December 21st @ 6:15pm

Graduation: February 8th, ‘21

ADVANCED TRAINING (Basic Part 2) - $145


For adolescent & ALL adult dogs 5 months or older

Open to all Graduates of the Basic Education class - Limited to 4 dogs

The Advanced Training class is a natural progression from the Basic Education class.

This class begins Off Leash “Emergency” Training, where I begin teaching lifesaving “distance” work and “distraction” work, with the commands “Stay”, “Come”, “Wait”, and “Stand”/“Stand-Stay”. This class is NOT to teach you how to live with a dog off leash!! It is to give your dog the tools to consistently respond to you from a distance if they were to get off the leash by accident. 

Do you have the tools to save your dogs life if they got off leash in a busy area?

Advanced Training (Basic Part 2) Schedule - $145

For dogs 18 weeks and older

October - 2020

For Graduates of Basic Education class


Saturdays beginning October 24th @ 10:15am

Scheduled Cancellation: November 28th

Graduation: December 19th

The Leelanau Studios

10781 Cherry Bend Rd. (corner of M-22)

Unit #9



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©2020 by Humane Train Dog & Puppy Training with Sam Jones.