The Right Paw | Dog Trainer in Princeton

Off leash training at The Right Paw leads to dogs sitting wonderfully like this white and brown pitbull posing for a picture

The Right Paw is an obedience school in Princeton, MA. They believe training should be fun for both the pup parent and their dog! Their mission is to find games that you can play with your dog that teach skills. The Right Paw is located on Sterling Road right on Route 62. They offer help with barking, leash walking, jumping, biting, anxiety, fear, and more! Together, you will work to channel your dog’s unwanted behaviors into appropriate avenues. 

The Right Paw believes in formulating a plan that works best for your dog’s personality. They are open to all training tools. It’s common to see a variety of leashes, collars, and harnesses used with the dogs in their group classes. Some dogs are trained with treats and others with physical praise. 

Not only does The Right Paw have group classes and private classes, but they have specialty classes as well. Dogs who graduate from obedience classes can move on to Therapy Dog, Trick Training, and Scent Training. Additionally, they also offer the Volhard Test for the litters of breeders to determine the puppies’ personality traits. 

Group Classes at The Right Paw

The Right Paw offers two types of group classes at their Princeton, MA facility: Core Classes and Specialty Classes. All Core and Specialty Classes meet for one hour per week for six weeks. All of the classes are scheduled at the same time of day and on the same day of the week for the duration of the course. 

Core Classes at The Right Paw

  • The Kindergarten Puppy Training is for puppies under 16 weeks of age. After the six-week puppy course, you can test your puppy for an AKC S.T.A.R. puppy title! This class covers potty training, biting, chewing, jumping, socialization, grooming, basic good manners, and AKC S.T.A.R.
  • The Beginner Obedience Training course is for dogs who are 5 months and older. They must be friendly. This class is not for pups who are shy, nervous, or aggressive. Only four dogs will train together in this course. The Right Paw notes this is a great class for Kindergarten graduates or first-time attendees. The Beginner course covers the 30-second sit and stay, the 1-minute down and stay, waiting at the door, and leash walking without pulling. In this course, you will learn how to use play to motivate your dog to want to work with you!
Off leash with The Right Paw on a trail in MA
  • The Advance Obedience Training course is for Beginner Obedience graduates who can walk on a loose leash with other dogs and people close by.  The advanced course applies the skills from Beginner Obedience to more complicated real-life situations. You and your dog will learn to come, heel, place, and handle increased distractions during leash walking. 
  • Advanced Obedience Graduates can take the Canine Good Citizen class. This course is limited to 6 dogs. This course is excellent preparation for therapy Dog requirements and more. The Canine Good Citizen certification and title can assist renters with insurance coverage, landlord approval of the dog, and the Worcester, MA muzzle ordinance.  The test requires your dog to perform all obedience tasks of sit, stay, down, etc. Additionally, they need to remain calm in crowds and with other dogs, walk nicely on a leash in a group setting, and behave while their owner goes out of sight. 

Specialty Classes at the Right Paw

AKC Classes

  • Trick Training – The instructors at The Right Paw are certified through the AKC to award three trick titles: Novice, Intermediate, and Advanced. In this course, owners and their dogs will learn about 5 tricks each week. Some of the tricks you can expect to learn are to crawl, walk on a balance beam, and find it.
  • Rally-O –The Rally-O course prepares dogs and their handlers for the AKC Rally event. The AKC Rally is a fun team sport for you and your dog. It provides mental stimulation and is a stepping stone toward other obedience competitions. The AKC Rally is open to all breeds including mixed breeds. The Rally-O course is for dogs who have completed the Beginner Obedience course and is limited to 6 dogs per class. The Right Paw will help prepare you and your dog for the competition where you will navigate a course together completing different exercises. 

GRC Dogsports

  • Social Responsibility Foundations – GRC Dogsports – This class focuses on the Social Responsibility (SR) test for GRC Dogsports. GRC stands for gameness, relationship with the owner, and self-control. GRC Dogsports is open to all breeds. They offer competition in treadmill races, weight pull, wall climb, and spring pole. The Social Responsibilities course with The Right Paw is for dogs who already know how to walk nicely on a leash. The course covers leash with distractions, down stay out of sight and with distractions, front position with pivots, and more.

Additional Specialty Classes

  • Therapy Dog Class – Therapy dogs provide a feeling of comfort to many people in places like nursing homes, hospitals, support groups, and more. The Therapy Dog Class is for Canine Good Citizen certified dogs. The Right Paw states that only a few dogs will qualify. They need to have the right personality, not just training. Therapy dogs should be mentally stable, well socialized, and show the ability to enjoy doing the work of therapy dogs. The Right Paw will prepare your dog for certification tests and prepare you for the actual work you will do as a team. 
Human hugging a white dog as therapy dog from The Right Paw
  • Scent Class – The Scent Class is an introductory scent class for dogs who have completed beginner obedience. It is for dogs with no proper scent training. You will learn the basic concepts of scent work: searching for odor, use of equipment, how to handle odor, how to place hides, and how to teach your dog to hunt for odor and love it! 

Private Classes with The Right Paw

At The Right Paw

The private sessions at The Right Paw are one-on-one with the trainer. You can do a single private session to evaluate what group class to choose or to develop a personalized training plan. There are two other private training packages: the Training Tune-Up package and the Foundational Skills Package. The Training Tune-up is three private one-hour sessions to work with you and your dog on a specific goal(s). The Foundational Skills Package works with you and your dog at the Princeton, MA facility and at the nearby Rail Trail. This is a six-part program designed to work on goals like beginner obedience, puppy training, family training, and more.

In Your Home Private Training

The In-Home private sessions take place in the home and in your neighborhood. These sessions can be out in the neighborhood as well. The House Manners Program is strictly for good behavior in the home. This three-session program works on barking, jumping, accidents, and other polite in-home behaviors. The Attentive Dog Program teaches basic dog obedience, house manners, and walking on the leash. This six-week program takes place in your home and your neighborhood. For people who want the best-behaved dog, there is the Unlimited and Unleashed Program! This is fully customizable to your dog. This twelve-week program covers good behaviors, socialization, and off-leash freedom. 

Puppy Testing for Breeders

The Volhard Test is a tool dog breeders have been using for decades to get a better idea of what puppies will need to thrive. It looks at the puppies’ levels of confidence, forgiveness, prey drive, sound sensitivity, and more. This helps the breeder make the perfect match for the perfect new family. Knowing the puppy’s traits can help decide if they should go to a home with small children or not. It even helps determine if a puppy would be a good candidate for a service dog, detection dog, or hunting dog. The Right Paw has over 15 years of experience testing litters!

Puppy Kindergarten for this brindle puppy

Whatever training path you choose, remember The Right Paw’s steps to success: 1. Understand what motivates your dog, 2. Build value in working as a team, 3. Set clear rules and boundaries, and 4. Don’t rush!

Learn about more trainers in Massachusetts here

Featured Categories


Dog Parks