Partnership Training

Build a Better Relationship

[Wind River’s] techniques have your dogs wanting to work, and they love it!! [They] take the time to find out what works for each individual dog, no cookie cutter training here.


What Is Partnership Training?

Partnership Training is a method that was developed over 20 years of successfully training our Karelian Bear Dogs for nonlethal management of bears and other wildlife (learn more about the Wind River Bear Institute.) It is a combination of biology, behavior, and building the human-animal bond. Every dog that goes through one of our training programs receives the same training that we give to our wildlife shepherding dogs; our primary goal is to improve communication between you and your dog!

Our training methods are positive, but balanced. We use positive reinforcement (Food, play, praise!) to elicit changes in your dog and create a job for them that is fun and that they enjoy. We create consequences for undesirable behaviors only after your dog has a clear understanding of what we want from him and always give the opportunity for the dog to make the right choice. We recognize traits in breeds that WE HUMANS have created, and work with them rather than against them to achieve the Partnership we are looking for.

We train in real-life situations and environments to teach you and your dog practical skills that can be used everywhere. We recognize that dogs are individuals and our trainers are well-versed in the use of a wide spectrum of  tools and techniques so that we can match the best ones with your dog’s specific needs. Some of these tools include: Food, Toys, Prong Collars, Head Halters, No-Pull Harnesses, E-collars, and more.

Puppies must be at least 10 weeks old and have at least their first set of DHPP puppy shots to participate in training!

Please review our Cancellation Policies

Schedule a Training Evaluation!

Start your journey as Partners-In-Life® by speaking with one of our trainers! The first step in this journey is to schedule a Training Intake Evaluation. This is normally a 1-2 hour consultation at your home (or via Skype video consult for non-local clients). We evaluate the dog, the owner, and the dog’s environment and then sit down with you to formulate a custom training plan that matches your needs and goals exactly. We will submit a written version of this plan to you within 1 week of your evaluation that will include time and cost estimates.

In-Person Evaluation • $75

Skype Evaluation • $50


 We use positive reinforcements and food motivation to make training fun for the dog. We believe that your dog should work for/with you because they want to.


One of our “10 Golden Rules”:

“#5-Wind River does not want to make “machines” out of our dogs or yours. We do not want them to be afraid to think for themselves. We give dogs dignity. We recognize breed specific characteristics that WE humans have bred into certain dogs and now we humans have to work with. We celebrate Intelligent Disobedience. When we give dogs a command, we do not expect dogs to do it on the first time because dogs, like humans, are focused on their work and when they hear their name, may need the command repeated, but we do expect it on the second time. Allow for Intelligent Disobedience- BUT recognize rudeness, blowing you off and do not allow “spoiled dog” behavior or disrespect in their relationship with you.”

We Offer the Following:

House & Field Manners:

For any age, breed, or size: teach your dog how to navigate our human world and be your Partner in Life by learning foundation cues (Sit, Wait, Come, etc.) and polite manners (walking on a loose leash, no jumping, greeting people and other dogs, etc.), all in real-life situations. Start your puppy off on the right paw or build a stronger relationship with your adolescent or adult dog! Offered as Group Lessons, Private Lessons, or Board & Train

Problem Behavior Rehabilitation:

Does your dog have a major behavior problem that is affecting your relationship? We can help you. At Wind River, we will get to the root cause of your dog’s behavior and change it on a fundamental level–no superficial solutions or band-aid fixes. We can address behavioral issues like: Fear/anxiety, reactivity, resource-guarding, and limited aggression issues. Offered as Private Lessons or Board & Train only.

Specialty Training:

We believe that our dogs have unlimited potential, and pursuing activities with your dog will bring your bond closer than ever before. We offer specialized training such as skijoring, tracking, AKC Canine Good Citizen preparation/certification, trick training, Therapy Dog certification, and more. Just ask! Offered as Group Lessons, Private Lessons, or Board & Train

Off Leash Reliability: 

Enjoying the outdoors with your dog is a Montana way of life! Who wants to be stuck on a leash all the time? We know that dogs and owners want to enjoy the additional freedom that Off Leash Reliability can provide, but that we also want to do so safely and respectfully of our fellow hikers and outdoor-lovers. We have created a program to transfer all of our House & Field commands from on-leash perfection to Off Leash reliability, including off-leash recall, greeting manners, and the all-important “Leave It” cue. Offered as Private Lessons or Board & Train only!


AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluation

What better way to celebrate your dog’s training than by earning a title? The American Kennel Club’s Canine Good Citizen title is the first one that many dogs earn. Any dog is eligible to test for his/her CGC. At Wind River Tails & Trails, we offer both Canine Good Citizen and AKC Community Canine (CGCA) testing/evaluation. – $20

Click Here to learn more about the Canine Good Citizen Program