Dog Training

K9 Academy

Don’t have time to train your dog? We can help! A professional dog trainer can train your dog for you, so you have a tired and better mannered pup to bring home!

Private Lesson

Are you struggling with problems in the home, your neighborhood, or in another public setting? Maybe your dog isn’t a fan of others and you need one on one help. No matter your situation our professional dog trainers would be happy to set up a private lesson for you and your family.

AKC Canine Good Citizen

The AKC offers an AKC Canine Good Citizen(CGC) program that provides perfect framework for training your dog to become a polite member of society. The 10 test items on the CGC test are practical, functional behaviors that every dog should have to be welcomed in the community. At Leashes and Leads we provide private lessons to help you train your dog to be more prepared for the test or a test out option. If you feel like your dog is ready test out please reach out to or to schedule a time with our Certified Evaluators/Trainers.

Training Courses

Choose a group course that fits your schedule where your dog and you can learn and bond together.

Balanced Puppy Training Program (Puppy 1)

$200.00 for 5 weeks
Start Dates:

July 8th (Monday) 5:30-6:30 pm

Puppies from 8 weeks to 5 months:

  • Socialization
  • Learning basic commands
  • Addressing puppy problems/habits and how to fix them
  • Please bring your Puppy with on FIRST DAY of class!
  • There must be a minimum of 3 dogs in class or you will be notified and class will be postponed

Real World Training

(Basic Obedience)

$200.00 for 4 weeks
Start Dates:

July 13th (Saturday) 9:30-10:30 am

  • Dogs 6 months and older
  • Learn basic commands
  • Address behavior problems and how to fix
  • Refine your obedience with real world distractions
  • Different public locations in Rochester every week
  • Please bring your Dog with on FIRST DAY of class!
  • There must be a minimum of 3 dogs in class or you will be notified and class will be postponed

Real World Training

(Intro To E-Collar)

$200.00 for 4 weeks
Start Dates:

July 13th (Saturday) 10:30-11:30 am

  • Dogs 6 months and older
  • Must have a knowledge of basic commands prior to class
  • Address behavior problems and how to fix
  • Refine your obedience with real world distractions
  • Different public locations in Rochester every week
  • Learn how to positively use an E-Collar to build a stronger bond and off leash reliability
  • Please contact the Training staff about buying a quality E-Collar to ensure equipment reliability
  • Please bring your Dog with on FIRST DAY of class!
  • There must be a minimum of 3 dogs in class or you will be notified and class will be postponed

K9 Academy Junior Trainer Day Camp

$399.00 for 4 Days (payment due upon registration)
Class Dates:

June 17th (Monday) 9:00am-1:00pm

About the Class:

  • Ages 8-14 (Space is limited)
  • 9am-1pm Monday-Thursday
  • Camps include training (working dogs), education, dog care/grooming, crafts, hikes to the onsite dog park and games
  • Campers provide their own lunch
  • Light snacks and water provided

2-Day Therapy Dogs 101 Seminar

$25.00 per team (handler and dog) Dogs need to be at least 1 year old!

Start Date:

April 27th and 28th

  • This seminar is limited to 10 people, both days will be in the Puppy Room.
  • No more than one dog per person.
  • Online registration only. Must prepaid.

Join us for this 2-Day seminar where you will learn about the different organizations, skills, and requirements to become a therapy dog team.

Meet Our Trainers

Melissa Robinson
Melissa RobinsonDirector of Training/Certified Dog Trainer
Melissa Robinson has been training dogs for over 5 years and has always had a passion for animals, especially dogs. Melissa is an active dog mom to Max, a yorkie/maltese mix (14 yrs old), Morgan, a schnauzer/poodle mix (12 yrs old), Riley, a German Shepherd Dog (7 yrs old) and Ringo, a Dutch Shepherd/Belgian Malinois Mix (2 yrs old). Riley is a service dog, trained in PTSD with Deep Pressure Therapy and Mobility Support. Riley is also an active Therapy Dog. Ringo is training for search and recovery. Max and Morgan are little and cute and love to be loved on.

Melissa Robinson attended the University of MN, Crookston in pursuit of an Equine Business Management degree with an emphasis in Animal Nutrition and Behavior. After college she moved back to Southern MN and worked in the equine world for 20 + years. During that time Melissa trained dogs as a hobby for friends and family, realizing that as much as she liked horses, dogs are her true passion. Melissa then pursued a degree in Dog Training and Behavior through the Animal Behavior College. Melissa is always furthering her education by attending training seminars and shadowing different trainers.

Melissa is certified in Pet First Aid and CPR and is an AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator. Melissa enjoys working with dogs and owners and helping them become a well balanced team whether for sport or just a well balanced family member.

In her spare time Melissa is an avid outdoor enthusiast, and spends a lot of her free time camping and learning about off grid living. Currently, Melissa oversees and trains dogs/puppies in our on campus K9 Academy program. In addition to on campus training she also teaches our Puppy 1 & 2, Basic Obedience, Intro to E-collar, AKC Canine Good Citizen, and our Around the Town Classes. She also does private lessons in our facility or your home.

Grace Prouty
Grace ProutyCertified Dog Trainer
Grace Prouty has had a passion for saving and training animals since a very young age. Growing up around lots of farm animals, Grace got an early start to her passion for animals. From chickens to horses, she worked with animals of all sizes and was convinced she could train them all. It wasn’t until 2020 that Grace decided to focus her passion on training dogs.
Since then Grace has successfully pursued her certification in animal behavior and dog training through Animal Behavior College. Along with that Grace has become certified as an AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator and is certified in Pet CPR and First Aid. Currently Grace is continuing her education through training seminars and additional online classes to stay up to date with new training techniques and to expand her knowledge.
When at Leashes and Leads, you might have a hard time finding Grace, as she is always running around and working in our different departments. Grace works with our Resort Staff in taking care of our boarding and playcare dogs a few days a week. Along with working in our resort department, Grace also runs our Structured Playcare where she gets to work with dogs of all breeds and ages. In Structured Playcare she helps teach our dogs proper play mechanics, good manners, and also works on behavioral issues. This helps a lot of our high energy breeds find a safe and fun way to expel their endless energy. On top of all that, Grace also loves helping out with our Barky Bus a few times a month. Although Grace loves working with every department, her favorite is Training and that is where she spends most of her time. Grace mostly works with our on campus training dogs as well as assists with all training classes and private lessons.
Grace currently has three pets, a sassy cat named Trouble, a Bluetick Coonhound mix named Marti, and a rambunctious German Shepherd named Rebel. All three of Grace’s pets were rescues and because of that she spends most of her off time training and working with her newest addition Rebel. Rebel is very fearful of people and new things and so Grace spends countless hours trying to boost Rebel’s confidence and show her that people aren’t bad. Marti is an older dog that can do no wrong. He is the angel of the family and likes to spend his days sunbathing and hunting small game. Along with training her dogs, Grace loves the outdoors and spends most of her time hiking, biking, riding her horses, and just basically doing whatever she can outside.
Don & Stephanie Vaughan
Don & Stephanie VaughanTherapy Dog Trainers
Don and Stephanie are a husband-wife team with almost 40 years of combined experience as therapy dog handlers. Their hearts are with the giant breeds – rare mastiffs, in particular. They also focus on rescuing giants in need. Over the years, they have owned a Tosa Ken, also known as a Japanese mastiff; a rescued Saint Bernard; a rescued Great Dane mix; two rescued Neapolitan mastiffs, sometimes referred to as an Italian mastiff (think Fang from Harry Potter); a rescued Dogue de Bordeaux, also known as a French mastiff (think Turner & Hooch); and a rescued Irish Wolfhound. Most recently, they adopted a Newfoundland in June 2021 and an Olde English Bulledogge in October 2021.

Don and Stephanie began volunteering in animal-assisted activities with their Japanese mastiff, Majo, in 2002 through Therapy Dogs Inc., now known as Alliance of Therapy Dogs (ATD). Majo’s nine-year career focused on the elderly, with most of her visits in nursing homes. But in 2010, Majo started working at an adult detention center, the beginning of what would turn into a fulfilling new path for Don and Stephanie in the correctional system. Their second registered therapy dog, a rescued Saint Bernard named Gaag, worked for nearly five years with ATD, regularly visiting an adult detention center, a juvenile detention center and hospice patients. Napolean, their Bordeaux, visited for about a year at a number of correctional facilities in the area, including a juvenile detention facility, two area adult detention centers and a federal medical facility.

In August 2011, Don became a tester/observer with ATD, and in June 2016, he was elected to its Board of Directors. In July 2018, Don was elected ATD treasurer. In July 2021, Don was elected ATD vice president. Ila, their Newfoundland, and Henry, their Olde English Bulldogge, are in training to hopefully become their next registered therapy dogs.

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