Sweet Paw Dog Training

Online and in-person training in New Castle County, DE

Text 302-690-2652


Wilmington, DE





Photo by yevgenromanenko/iStock / Getty Images
Photo by yevgenromanenko/iStock / Getty Images

Hi, I'm Heather Skelly and I'm a certified professional dog trainer with an honors degree from Animal Behavior College. I'm also a Canine Good Citizen licensed instructor and evaluator and a Pet Dog Ambassador instructor and evaluator. I'm a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers and the Pet Professional Guild.

Before we decide to work together, it's important to know that the days of the whole "alpha" theory are over. The very scientist that studied this theory in wolves and applied it to dogs has since admitted that it's not something that dogs share with wolves. There is no attempt on your dog's part to become the alpha of your family. And there is certainly no need for you to try and dominate your dog. Furthermore, unlike wolves, dogs are not pack animals. Yes, they will look to you for food, fun, and other resources, but you trying to be leader of the pack is fruitless. If you'd like to read more about this, see this wonderful article. So at no time will I try and dominate your dog or encourage you to do the same. And trust me, dogs just aren't smart enough to sit back and decide on ways they can  become the head of the household. If they could, they would have taken over the world by now. 

Why should you work with me?   

  • I make training fun
  • I use positive reinforcement training to get the best results from you and your pup
  • I'm willing to step out of the box to help you resolve your dog's training needs
  • I'm available to you for the life of your dog
  • I'm certified so my training knowledge has been assessed
  • I attend workshops and webinars every year to make sure I'm using the most modern training techniques
  • I love seeing dogs and puppies become thriving family companions for life

302-690-2652; sweetpawdogs@gmail.com




Training Services

Photo by Lunja/iStock / Getty Images

Photo by Lunja/iStock / Getty Images


Online Training

From Rescue to Rockstar: Complete Canine Training Online Course for Rescue dogs

This online course is a complete and comprehensive course for rescue dogs and their owners. Everything from adjusting to a new family to resolving fear issues and helping a dog overcome any trust issues in its new home, this course covers it. Learn how to handle most major behavior issues and how to train the basic commands to your new rescue pup. Through videos and handouts, I cover everything from basic commands with videos of how to train them, and behavior modification tactics to tackle unruly behaviors, such as jumping, barking, potty training, and more.

Click here to see the online curriculum. For half the price of the private, in-home training package, you get me online for detailed instruction that can be done at your own pace.

Complete House Manners Training Class

This online course is perfect for the dog that knows his commands but still needs some work with behavior modification. From jumping to barking to dogging and begging, this course covers the skills needed to teach your dog to stop barking, stop jumping on everyone, stop begging from the table and more. And you get all that for just $97!! Click here to check out the course in detail.

How to teach your dog to come

Click here to learn more about this course: $29.

How to teach your dog to heel

Click here to learn about this course: $29.

More a-la-carte online classes will be constantly added!

In-Person Training

The perfect family pet

Based on my online program “Rescue to Rockstar,” my basic level 1 package for puppies and adults includes 6 sessions for $450. After each session you will get an email detailing the homework to be done and all relevant professional handouts and videos. This package covers:

  • focus

  • sit

  • down

  • stay

  • touch

  • leave it

  • place

  • coming when called

  • simple behavior issues (leash walking, house training, nipping, etc.)

You want your dog to be a rock star

This package includes 10 sessions for $700. It covers everything listed above in level 1 while adding distance, duration, and distraction to the learned commands. All relevant handouts and videos included.

just some behavior & training polishing

Does your pup know all the basic commands rock solid but still needs some help with polishing leash manners or recall or maybe she still jumps when people come over? Then my three session package for $275 is perfect.

Day-Training In-Home Program

Why should you choose day-training? Because sometimes there just isn't enough time to train. And it's so much cheaper than a board and train! I come to your home 3 days a week for 3 weeks and train your pup while you're at work. You get daily training for your dog but none of the overnight boarding fees. The program includes 9 sessions (three a week for 3 weeks) with your pup in your home then one transfer session with you and your pup. Day-training covers:

  • focus

  • sit

  • stay

  • down

  • come

  • leash manners

  • leave it

  • touch

  • place

Plus, we work on distance, duration, and distraction to further proof the basic commands. In 9 sessions, your pup will be able to sit in place, come when called while blocking out tempting distractions, and much more. If appropriate, we'll take an outing to Home Depot or local green spaces to let your pup practice his new behaviors with the added distractions. The package includes all equipment, relevant professional handouts and videos, and lifetime email/text support. The full package is $800.

Canine good citizen title

The CGC Program is designed by the AKC to reward dogs who have good manners at home and in the community. The Canine Good Citizen Program is a two-part program that stresses responsible pet ownership for owners and basic good manners for dogs. All dogs who pass the 10-step CGC test may receive a certificate from the American Kennel Club. This is the perfect program for adult dogs. For puppies, the AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy is an exciting new program designed to get dog owners and their puppies off to a good start. The AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy Program is an incentive program for loving dog owners who have taken the time to take their puppies through a basic training program. And just started in Spring 2017, the AKC is now awarding an AKC Trick Dog title to dogs and their owners who successfully perform the tricks required by the program guidelines.

As a certified evaluator, I can evaluate any dog and judge the required tests for your pup to earn his or her titles mentioned above. Contact me if you and your pup have learned the required skills for any of the AKC programs mentioned above and I will run the test and evaluate your performance. There is just a $25 fee for this. If your pup has gone through basic level 1 and level 2 obedience with me or another trainer, you can sign up for my 4 session CGC private lesson package for $400. This fee covers the sessions and the evaluation so your dog can earn the title.



Our very willful and strong standard poodle was becoming a handful as he grew up. Heather was able to get him into shape in just a few weeks. We signed up for her family dog package and followed her lead as she taught our dog all the necessary behaviors needed to live peacefully with our family.
— Dominique D
Photo by blanscape/iStock / Getty Images

Photo by blanscape/iStock / Getty Images


pet dog ambassador title

Similar to the AKC's Canine Good Citizen title and awards earned at other dog competitions, the Pet Dog Ambassador (PDA) is a program for dog guardians to test their knowledge, skills and ability to manage their canine companion in real life settings. With five different levels, your puppy can enter the program at PDA1 or your adult dog can enter at PDA2 and earn a certificate and title for each stage through the last of PDA5 Champion. Or you can stop at any stage you want. Each builds on the last with added difficulty. The program's aim is to acknowledge the hard work and commitment that guardians and their dogs undertake to make their shared lives enjoyable and recognizes these efforts from a puppy’s very early training. The program aims to encourage guardians to continue training and developing new skills, abilities and knowledge.

As an instructor and assessor for the PDA program, I'm offering a 6-session private lesson package for PDA1 and PDA2 for $450, which includes the final assessment so your dog can earn his first title. If you decide to keep pursuing the titles, we will continue to have weekly sessions for $75 each until your pup is ready for the next assessment.

Photo by AimesElement/iStock / Getty Images

Photo by AimesElement/iStock / Getty Images







If you live within 10 miles of Wilmington, Delaware 19801, regular fees will be applied. Anything beyond that radius will be charged an added fee depending on location. Please check your distance on MapQuest.