Frequently Asked Questions

What types of Training does Training with Play offer?

TWP offers fun and engaging Canine Training for all breeds, ages, and ability levels!


  • Private 1 on 1 Obedience Sessions

  • Board and Train Services

  • Group Class for Puppies

  • Group Class for Adult Dog Obedience

  • AKC Canine Good Citizen Certification Classes

  • Learn to Train Your Dog

  • Service Dog Level Obedience Training & Management

  • Therapy Dog Training

  • Flying With Your Dog

  • Canine Behavioral Evaluations (Available for dogs who need to work toward addressing/managing problem behaviors)

  • Sport Training in IGP

  • Purpose Specific Protection Dog Training (We have very selective criteria for end users. Contact for more information)

  • Bird Dog Specific Sport Training

What does Training with Play do differently?

TWP is focused on enhancing the relationship between dog and owner. We build this relationship through purposeful play and interaction with an objective.

We do not believe in teaching behaviors with punishment. Genetically speaking emotions play a huge role in learning, therefore we look to emphasize the emotional connection between dog and owner wherever possible. We strive to create a team mentality between the two of you.

TWP believes in basing our training approach in science. We have an intimate scientific understanding of how animals learn.

Is TWP a good fit for me as a Dog Owner?

We believe in owners being mutually invested in improving the life of their dog(s).

We look for people who truly want to learn how to handle their animals, play an active role, and understand how their dogs' learn.

Much of what we ultimately accomplish with an animal involves maintenance and consistent reinforcement at home. Many trainers promise the world without your intimate involvement during the learning process.

We intend to train your dog through enhancing your relationship together while learning new behaviors.

The behaviors your dog learns become self reinforcing because you are interacting with each other and building your relationship working together. 

You will be part of the learning process and you will have the tools to help your dog outside of formal training. 

This requires a high level of emotional and intellectual investment from the owner.

We train this way in order to preserve the personality of the dog and to encourage them to express themselves, instead of simply teaching them to escape or avoid something unpleasant (very old school dog training).

You will not solely be a food dispenser, nor a disciplinarian.

Instead, you will be building an effective two way communication system with your Dog (s).

Does TWP offer Board and Train Services?

For those clients who desire a high level training foundation to build upon without the time commitment involved in individual sessions, we offer our very popular Board and Train Program for dogs no younger than 8 months of age.

Let our professional trainers put in the thousands of repetitions and consistent reinforcement required to produce a beautiful training foundation for your dog.

This option is very popular in our area with the busy lives everyone leads and the high level of obedience necessary for our favorite dog activities here in Montana.

(Hiking, Camping, Running, Backcountry Skiing, Cross Country Skiing, Climbing, Mountain Biking, Etc.) 

We currently have very limited capacity for board and train services. 

Our board and train minimum is 4 weeks. 

Owner supplies all food/equipment needed.

(This price will increase over time due to high demand & increasing costs)

Our Board and Train Program is structured around the following (Important) Obedience Foundation:

  • Clear Communication System: You will have the tools to clearly communicate to your dog if you like a behavior or not.

  • Sit

  • Down 

  • Place

  • Heel

  • Stay

  • Reliable Recall

  • Off Leash Obedience

  • Loose Leash Walking

  • Arousal Control

*Along with any other behaviors that we specifically discuss.

**The material covered will be custom tailored to your dogs' natural attributes, maturity, needs, etc

The intent of the board and train program is to build a solid obedience foundation for you to build upon.

Throughout your dogs' board and train we ask that you are present for one complimentary session each week. This helps you as the owner see the struggles as well as the successes. It allows you to see the progression week to week and learn how to maintain the standards that we have developed. Without your intimate understanding & involvement in the training there is a much greater chance that the training will dilute upon going home. You also get valuable pets and quality time with your dog whom you will miss!

Post Board and Train, we offer one more complimentary follow up session with you and your dog at our facility. This will total 6 sessions for you to learn how to reinforce what your dog has learned throughout the training. You will have a basic understanding of how to train with your dog.

**Dogs with aggression, excess fear, anxiety, and other disqualifying characteristics will not be accepted into this program at the sole discretion of TWP managment.

Please call to discuss further & schedule a consultation. 406.404.0979

Where does TWP training take place?

TWP is based in Belgrade Montana.

We have a very large, heated, 3,700 sq/ft training facility and kennel across from the Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport.

The address is as follows:

Training With Play LLC

20900 Frontage Rd, B- Mezzanine, Belgrade, MT. 59714

Does TWP offer services for Behavioral Problems and Managment?

We do offer Behavioral Evaluations. We will first ask that you give us a call.


Cost is a common question. The cost for a Behavioral Evaluation is $250. We schedule 1.5 hr time slots for this service.

We need to fully understand the specific behaviors that need to be addressed.

(Eg: Reactivity with other dogs, aggression, fence jumping or fighting, digging, eating objects, self harming behaviors, etc)

During the evaluation we will help you determine the best approach to addressing behavior problems in a manner that is easiest for your dog to understand. Sometimes we can reverse the unwanted behavior, other times it becomes a conversation about appropriate management for the animal.

Unlike many trainers, we will not promise you the world and fail to deliver. We emphasize realistic expectations for you and your dog, and will give an honest evaluation of what you can expect going forward with problem behaviors.

These can be tough conversations, but we feel that it is better to have real and transparent feedback that you can use rather than "feel good" talk that provides no real solutions.

*Any genetic history you can give us about the dog will be extremely helpful: Breed, Littermates' Behaviors, Mother & Father, Pedigree, Breeder (if known) etc. This information is not required, just very helpful.

Does TWP offer general boarding services?

The answer will often be no due to the following: We have very limited kennel space and we want the animals to have plenty of room to move around, therefore our boarding is limited to several criteria:

  • Your dog is actively training with us and we have space during the time you are interested in.

  • No behavioral issues of any kind will be accepted for boarding.

  • No health conditions that require special attention will be permitted.

  • Your dog is well crate/kennel trained and settles nicely in a kennel environment. No excessive barking, pacing, self destructive behaviors etc.

  • We may require a paid daytime trial boarding to evaluate the requirements above.

  • During boarding, if there are medical concerns of any kind noted by TWP staff, it is mandatory that your animal is immediately seen by a licensed veterinarian in order to continue boarding with us, no matter how minor the concern.

  • The transportation and vet appointment scheduling will be up to the owner to arrange. Having a local friend on call for such an event is generally the best way to go.

I live in Big Sky?

We have many clients in the Big Sky area. Big Sky clients will either travel to us for private/group lessons, or our convenient location 1/4 mile from the airport makes dropping off and picking up Board and Train dogs very simple!

Please call us to inquire about any custom service requests not outlined here.

Service and ESA Dogs?

Service and ESA dogs require very high level socialization and obedience regardless of their intended application.

We are highly selective when identifying a service dog candidate. This work is started as an adolescent and continued into maturity. Often we look for dogs whose ancestral lineage have been selectively bred to perform similar tasks. 

We are fully equipped to help you with this level of socialization & obedience training. From simulating airport environments, to going through security, or simply heeling on leash through a crowded place, we can help you train toward this level of obedience with distractions.

Typically high criteria obedience like this is done over a long period of time. Involving private sessions, board and trains, socialization work etc..

Culminating when the dog is mature and ready to perform service dog work (roughly 2.5-3.5 yrs old).

Does TWP Train Sport Dogs?

We offer training in Schutzhund (IPO/IGP)

This sport is fun for many breeds of dog, not only your typical "working dog" breeds.

We are members of the Big Sky Working Dog Club (Schutzhund)

In addition to Sport Specific training, TWP also provides consultation services to help clients source a purpose specific puppy for sport applications. Our extensive knowledge of working dog lines, breeders, and genetics will give you the peace of mind to know you are getting the highest quality puppy possible for your future ambitions.

Please contact TWP for more information.

We are also proud to have local access to an Internationally Acclaimed and Titled Bird Dog Trainer with over 35 years of experience and over 50 finished dogs. He will offer high level training from beginner to advanced on a case by case basis.

Please contact TWP for more information.

What about Protection Dogs?

Please reach out to discuss.

We offer full service selection, raising, training, and placement for purpose specific protection dogs.

Please contact us for more specific information, pricing, etc.

*For this option we require a significant non-refundable down payment and we have very selective criteria regarding homes where dogs are placed.

We DO NOT train owners' personal dogs for home/family protection work. 

Does TWP offer custom canine services?

It never hurts to ask! At times we are asked to provide discreet custom services for a variety of clients. Perhaps we can directly help, but regardless we can likely point you in the right direction!