Puppy Training Videos

                                                                                     Check out these great Puppy Training Videos!


Theresa Chern, our Lead Trainer is Training Sophie how to walk on leash with a Martingale Collar for the first time! Sophie is a 5 month old Pomeranian-Poodle Mix Puppy.

Hazel learns Come Recalls

Theresa Chern, our Lead Trainer is training Hazel to Come.  She's a 4 month old Mini Australian Shepherd Puppy. 

See more training videos on our Instagram page @santamonicapaws

Hazel Learns Stand and Sit-Down

Theresa Chern is training Hazel to perform a stand and a Sit-Down

Private Training COURSES

One Hour Puppy Training



This course focuses on play, socialization, crate training, leash walking, feeding schedule, proper diet education, and potty training.  We work with all breeds types and ages (2 months- 1 year).   Your puppy will be taught Basic Obedience and Tricks including Roll over, High Five, Paw Shake, Spin.  

90 Minute Training Session


$225/90 minutes (1.5 hour) 

Skills learned in this course: Sit, Come, Down, Stay, Loose Leash Walking without pulling, Leave it, Down Stay, appropriate puppy socialization & play, magic of chew bones and safe toys, healthy diet plan.  Anyone looking to train their dog to be a service dog will need to learn these skills first.   

We offer two 90 minute Training Packages at an even greater value than if you were to purchase individual lessons.  See below for more details about our training packages. 

Reverse Board & Train


$100-$250 per night

Prices vary depending on the distance we will need to travel to your home, as well as the age of each pet, amount of pets in your household that need one-on-one training, and the severity level of training needed.  

Aggression, Seperation Anxiety, Fearfulness, and Resource Guarding are among the few behavior issues that rank high on our priority list, and we address these problems first before teaching Basic or Advanced Obedience Skills. 

Reverse boarding is useful when you are away and not able to keep up with training your puppy or newly adopted adult dog.  Training for your pet(s) takes place in your home, while a Santa Monica Paws Trainer stays with the pet(s) at all times while you are gone.  Your dog(s) will learn skills continuously throughout the day (up to 60 minutes of one-on-one training practice done per day)  

Our trainers will work on strengthen Basic and Advanced Obedience Commands, including but not limited to: Come Recalls, Sit, Down, Stay, Wait, Leave-It, Go to Crate, Go to Bed, Lay Down, Sit-Down, Down-Stay, additional one word cues, Intro to Agility Coursing, appropriate off and on leash behavior including daily loose leash walking practice. 

For some, you may need assistance with Service Dog Training, and our experienced trainers can teach tasks including but not limited to: Pull, Grab, & Tug based Tasks, Catch & Relase, Grab & Hold, and Community Access Training. 

Behavior Modification


With Behavior Modification Training, we implement a strict rehabilitation treatment program that will require the use of rules, boundaries, and limitations to be addressed right away with your dog.  Dogs with Leash Agression, Separation Anxiety, dog to dog  agression, agression towards humans or other animals, and resource guarding are among some of the few problem areas that require immediate attention.  Topics we cover: Boundary & Crate Training, Body Mechanics Training, intro to new training equipment, dimishing undesirable behaviors, reading and understanding your dog(s) and/or cat(s) body language, Target Training, Leadership Training & Improving Trust & Communication with your dog, Crate Training for Anxiety, Fearful & Anxious Behavior Remedies, Overlaping Basic Obedience Skills with Remote Collar Training, Eliminating Aggression Training, Generalized Anxiety Training with the use of Counter-Conditioning Unconditioned Stimulus Response & Conditioned Stimulus Response Scientific Training Methods.  Most of our client's training sessions require some form of behavior modification training, but not all training sessions are focused primarily on behavior issues.  For Example, young puppies ages 2-4 months old don't ordinarily require as much behavior modification as older dogs do, and they rarely need counter conditioning training. 

4 Lesson Package


$650 (you save $250!)

This course includes 4 Lessons and covers intro to Classical and Operant Conditioning, basic mechanical training on leash, intro to socialization skills, puppy training, intro to crate training, leadership training,  as well as addressing undesirable behavioral issues like barking, jumping, biting, puppy nipping, growling, stealing items, aggression and resource guarding

6 Lesson Package


$1,000 (you save $350) 

This course includes 6 Lessons and covers understanding the use of Classical and Operant Conditioning, Body Mechanics, Reading Dog Body Language, Dog Psycholgy 101, Basic & Advanced Obedience Cues, On and Off Leash Apptitude Skills including but not limited to: Come Recalls from a greater distance, Down-Stays for an increaded duration, Leave it, Wait, Loose Leash Walking by your side in busy environments, Service Dog Task Training, Clicker Training, Crate Training, Tricks, Agility Sports, Go to Bed, Sit-Stay from a greater distance.  Not all skills listed here may need to be addressed in this course, however, any behavioral issues that do apply to your dog will be addressed in this course. 



Service Dogs are trained to do specific tasks for their handler to mitigate disabilities.

We offer a 30 Day Trial Training Period which can be completed within one to two months. This training program is designed to be intensive and must be completed within 1-2 months from the time that you enrolled, or else your dog will not qualify to be a "Service Dog in Training".  

Pricing Varies based upon the amount of time you devote to the program.

  • We charge on or before your session
  • You will be charged by the hour ($150.00 per hour) 
  • We accept cash, check, venmo, paypal, and credit cards (fees apply to credit card and PayPal) 
  • Returned Check fee of $35 will be charged for insufficient funds. 
  • There is no minimum expectation and your are not required to continue training if you decide to discontinue training after a few sessions. 
  • You are required to complete an initial Training Consultation before Service Dog Training can begin.  Initial Training Consultations are $75  and they are conducted to give your trainer(s) a chance to evaluate your dog and give you a thorough Assessment of what new or remaining skills your dog will need to learn. 
  • To get started, book a Training Consultation on our welcome page or give us a call anytime between the hours of 9:00am-6:00pm PST: (424) 272-1036

What is a Service Dog in Training?

Find out more

AKC Canine Good Citizen & Therapy Dog Training

Why Canine Good Citizen?


The AKC’s Canine Good Citizen program is the gold standard of behavior for dogs in our communities. Almost one million dogs, both purebred and mixed breed, have participated in the program since it began in 1989.  Canine Good Citizen is part of the AKC Family Dog Program and many dog owners choose CGC as their first step in training their dogs. It also provides a great foundation for getting started in dog sports.

As you work with your dog to teach the CGC skills, you’ll discover the many benefits and joys of training. You’ll enhance your bond with your dog, and dogs with basic obedience training are a joy to live with—interacting well with other people and dogs and responding well to household routines.

The CGC program offers many practical advantages too. The CGC award is a prerequisite for many therapy dog groups. Some homeowner’s insurance companies encourage CGC testing, and an increasing number of apartments and condos require that resident dogs pass the CGC test. The tagline of the CGC program is, “Responsible Owners, Well-Mannered Dogs,” and that is what CGC is all about.

The heart of the CGC program is the 10-step Canine Good Citizen test. At the beginning of the CGC test, handlers sign the Responsible Dog Owner’s Pledge before taking their dogs through the 10 step test with an AKC Approved CGC Evaluator.  

One of our Trainers, Theresa Chern is an AKC Approved Evaluator in Santa Monica, California and if you feel that your dog is ready to take the Adult CGC Course or the Adult or S.T.A.R. PUPPY CGC Test, then contact her today at: Pets@SantaMonicaPaws.com

CGC Test Items


  • Test 1:  Accepting a Friendly Stranger. The dog will allow a friendly stranger to approach and speak to the handler (the dog owner) in a natural, everyday situation.
    Test 2: Sit Politely for Petting.  The dog will allow a friendly stranger to pet it while it is out with the handler.
    Test 3: Appearance and Grooming. The dog will permit someone to check its ears and front feet, as a groomer or veterinarian would do.
    Test 4: Out for a Walk (walking on a loose lead). Following the evaluator’s instructions, the dog will walk on a loose lead (with the handler/owner).
    Test 5: Walking Through a Crowd. The dog will walk through a small crowd of pedestrians, passing in close proximity to at least three people.
    Test 6: Sit and Down on Command and Stay in Place. The dog must demonstrate sit AND down on command, then the owner chooses the position for leaving the dog in the stay.
    Test 7: Coming When Called.  The dog will come when called by the handler (from 10 feet away on leash).
    Test 8: Reaction to Another Dog. The dog will behave politely around other dogs. Two handlers and their dogs approach each other from a distance of about 20 feet, stop, shake hands and exchange pleasantries.
    Test 9: Reaction to Distractions. The evaluator will select and present two distractions such as dropping a chair, etc.
    Test 10: Supervised Separation. This test demonstrates that your dog can be left with a trusted person. The evaluator will hold your dog’s leash while you go out of sight for three minutes.
    Learn more about and watch videos of the 10 test items.  American Kennel Club Puppy Training Training Classes are offered in Playa Vista American Kennel Club Training Classes in Playa Vista puppy training classes

The Benefits of Training


S.T.A.R. Puppy Program

  • Training classes teach you how to best communicate with your puppy.  Organized training classes also provide an opportunity for your dog to socialize with other dogs. In classes aimed at earning the AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy distinction, you’ll be able to get information on all of your puppy-raising questions including housetraining, chewing, and the most effective way to teach practical skills such as coming when called. 

AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy training is a natural lead in to the 

AKC® Canine Good Citizen® Program.

You’ll attend any puppy or basic training class at least 6 weeks. Your instructor will administer the AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy test at the end of the course. Upon passing the test, you’ll get an application to send to AKC® for enrollment in the AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy Program. All dogs are welcome to participate in the AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy Program including purebreds and mixed breeds.

Your puppy will receive the AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy Medal (for display or memento purposes; not suitable as a collar tag). You and your puppy will be listed in the AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy records. In addition, so that you can continue learning,

 and you’ll receive our AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy package that includes:

  • A beautiful, frameable certificate designating your puppy is in the AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy records at AKC
  • AKC Puppy Handbook, a valuable resource
  • Ongoing Monthly Email Newsletter: Your AKC. This includes training tips and up-to-date information every dog owner needs to know. We want you and your puppy to continue learning beyond puppy classes.The CGC program offers many practical advantages. The CGC award is a prerequisite for many therapy dog groups. Some homeowner’s insurance companies encourage CGC testing, and an increasing number of apartments and condos require that resident dogs pass the CGC test. The tagline of the CGC program is, “Responsible Owners, Well-Mannered Dogs,” and that is what CGC is all about.


Both purebred and mixed breed dogs are welcome, and there is no age limit. AKC’s Canine Good Citizen (CGC) Program is the next logical step after AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy, but AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy is not  required prerequisite for CGC. Owners who have trained their dogs themselves may also find an AKC Approved CGC Evaluator and take the CGC test and bypass the 6 weeks of classes.  

AKC Training Classes

Who are the Trainers?



Theresa was born and raised in Boston, MA.  She is an avid animal lover, and has always known that she would be working with animals in some capacity in her life.  She moved to Los Angeles, CA in 2005 to continue her career as a Recreation Therapist while exploring what California and the Great Outdoors had to offer.  After 20 years of working as a Recreation Therapist, and sometimes being allowed to provide Pet Assisted Therapy for her sick patients, Theresa decided to gradually leave the healthcare industry due to burn out.  She enrolled in Animal Behavior College’s (ABC) Online Certified Dog Trainer Program in April 2014 while working full time as a Recreation Therapist at Lancaster State Prison.  She successfully graduated from ABC in November 2015 and has been training dogs ever since she began working at Unleashed by PETCO (Santa Monica) in September 2015.  

No matter what size, age, or breed, she has worked with a multitude of amazing family dogs, puppies, dogs with aggression and various anxiety behavioral problems, and she enjoys training them all.  Your dog is no exception.  Theresa knows that building a proper relationship with your dog takes time, patience, persistence, and perseverance.  Theresa uses scientifically proven Training Methods including Positive Reinforcement and Negative Punishment Techniques. She teaches the Art of Relationship & Leadership Skills to her clients to help them build a balanced relationship with their pets.  In addition, she designs Animal Behavior Modification Treatment Plans to effectively problem solve more complex behavioral issues like bite, food, & leash aggression, fearfulness, resource guarding, or separation anxiety.  No challenge is too difficult for Theresa.  Over a period of 20 years, she has built up extreme amounts of tolerance and patience while rehabilitating humans, which in-turn helps her in her profession today!  Now when she is engrossed in training her private clients, Theresa continues to rehabilitate humans through facilitating a healthy well balanced human-dog or human-cat relationship. 

Theresa advocates for all kinds of animal organizations and in the past several years she’s partnered with WAG Dog Walking, Michaelson Foundation Adopt & Shop Rescue Organization, Right Ratio, and Pet Joy Grooming Boutique. Theresa truly enjoys giving back to her community, and understands how important it is to assist rescue organizations by decreasing the chances of dogs or cats being returned again due to behavioral problems.  She is successfully able to facilitate “transitional relationship & leadership training” for new pet adopters who adopt dogs & cats at Michaelson Foundation, Adopt & Shop in Culver City, CA.

Theresa holds current certifications in Pet First Aid and Pet CPR, is an American Kennel Club (AKC.org) Canine Good Citizen (CGC) Certified Trainer, and Animal Behavior College Certified Animal Trainer and Mentor Trainer.  To stay current with the ever changing and rapidly growing pet industry, Theresa currently trains dogs privately in client’s homes, in and around the Los Angeles community.  Most importantly, she attends local and national seminars to learn from other mentor dog trainers, dog behaviorists, and leading pet organizations including but not limited to: PETCO, KONG Company, Brandon McMillan (Lucky Dog CBS Channel), John Garcia (NatGeo, Dog Town), Zoe Sandor & Jackson Galaxy (Animal Planet Cat vs. Dog), Joel Silverman (Animal Planet, Good Dog U), Karen Pryor (famous Clicker Trainer), Laura Nativo (TV Host, @Hallmark Channel), Tamar Geller (Celebrity Dog Trainer who developed the Loved Dog Training Method), Victoria Stilwell (Host of Channel 4, It’s Me or the Dog), Zak George (presented various programs for Animal Planet), Jeff Silverman, Susan Garett, Sue Sternberg, Jeff Gelman (Solid K-9 Training), Karma Dog Training, Lomita Dog Training Club, and world renown veterinarians and dog behaviorists, Dr. Ian Dunbar, Dr. Sophia Yin, Dr. Nicholas Dodman, Patricia McConnell, Jean Donaldson, Sean O’Shea (The Good Dog Training in Los Angeles, CA), Cesar Milan and his son Andre Milan. 

Currently, Theresa lives in Playa Del Rey, CA and works for her self-made Pet Business (Santa Monica Paws).  She owns a small toy poodle who she usually takes with her everywhere she goes including to some training sessions, and she receives at least 30 minutes of training a day including when she's assisting clients by demonstrating basic and advanced obedience commands for them.  On a daily basis, Theresa continually conducts her one of a kind Premier Service: "Community Daycare", alongside her business partner Brad, who also helps in providing Pet Sitting and Board & Train Services as the demand arises.  


Apprentice Trainer: Brad Dean, DTA

A west coast born native, Brad is a humanitarian animal lover who grew up with German Shepherds. Brad apprenticed with his father, who trained dogs to be police dogs.  Brad held onto that experience for many years while he was in college at UCLA and he wanted to do more with animals eventually in his life, but he wasn't quite certain what his life calling was yet.  When Brad met Theresa in 2005, they formed a partnership and went into business together.  Unfortunately, it was not long after meeting Theresa, that Brad had a near death experience from a motor scooter accident, and that changed his life forever.  Theresa had provided Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Brad after his accident and she believes that his head injury resulted in better focus, more creativity, and more drive to follow his dreams in life.  Fastforward to present day, and here he is, training dogs with Theresa.  In addition to doing hands on training with Theresa, Brad promotes Santa Monica Paws and runs the daily operations involving the Santa Monica Paws Community Daycare Program and Pet Sitting Program.  He stays current on his skills by educating himself and going to dog seminars, dog shows, and pet expositions throughout the year.  He can help you learn to handle  your dog (s) so that you can begin to truly enjoy spending time with your best friend.  He's currently in Grooming School and loves practicing bathing, cutting and styling hair on his own teacup maltese Prince and on Theresa's toy poodle Lillyth.