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Paw In Hand can accept the following payment methods:

Cash, Check, Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover


Paw In Hand, LLC is devoted to keeping good pets in good homes through the training of cats and dogs and the education of owners. Mel specializes in working with family pets and with fearful or reactive dogs.

Contact Mel any time at or 563-663-7554 for help with your pet!


Paw In Hand, LLC is a pet training company based in Dubuque, IA and serving the surrounding Tri-State area. Mel helps you train your cat or dog by enhancing communication between owner and pet. By building a better understanding, we can strengthen the relationship and fix the problem behaviors simultaneously.

Mel, owner of Paw In Hand, LLC, will work with you to help you understand the nature of the training, helping you commit to it and increasing your overall consistency. This helps the training to "stick" long after she leaves. Mel will work with you to build your relationship with your pets so everyone is happier. 

While training with Mel, you will benefit from clear, patient instruction, unlimited support by email or phone, and flexible scheduling. Mel will do everything in her power to help you fit training seamlessly into your life.

 Mel uses "marker training", telling the animal when they do something the owner desires and when they do something the owner does not desire. The positive marker is often paired with a treat, toy, praise, petting, access to a resource, or something else the animal wants, which then increases the animal's motivation to hear the positive marker again. The negative marker is most often paired with an abscence of whatever the animal wanted, and can be thought of as "Try again", but is sometimes paired with a mild aversive when the situation merits it.

Throughout training, Mel will have an eye on building the relationship and increasing the pet's self control while decreasing stress by giving clear direction.

In short, Mel will teach your pet the same way she will teach you- by telling you when you have it right, and helping you correct it when you get it wrong. With clear communication, owners and pets improve quickly and steadily while having fun!

Repeating Events!

Come see Mel from Paw In Hand at any of these regular events! 

Service Dog Q & A - Every first Friday of the month at 6 pm - Dubuque Regional Humane Society - FREE!

There is a lot of confusion about service dogs, therapy dogs, and emotional support animals, the differences among them, and what qualifies as what. That's why Mel from Paw In Hand is teaming up with Becky O'Connor of Tri-state Poodle Club, who has been involved with service dogs for over 20 years. 

Every first Friday of the month at 6 pm, we will meet at the Dubuque Regional Humane Society for a Q&A on service dogs in the community and to help clarify this often confusing topic. Come with questions, come for support!


Extracurricular Sessions - Every second Friday of the month at 6 pm - Dubuque Regional Humane Society - FREE!

If you are a current or former client of Paw In Hand and would like some more opportunity to work your dog and increase your relationship and training, these sessions are for you! Drop in as you like and work on what you chose, while being mindful of and respectful of others doing the same. Mel will be there to facilitate and answer questions, but she will not be taking everyone as a class through pre-set exercises during this time. Instead, this is a great time to continue whatever you need to work on in a self-directed approach.  


Upcoming Events!

Look for Paw In Hand at these local events coming up soon! 


Basic Obedience Class - Monday, January 21st at 6 pm - Dubuque Regional Humane Society - $125/$115

All dogs 4 months of age or older are welcome to attend basic obedience class at the Humane Society. This low-cost class will meet for an hour a week once a week for 6 weeks, and in that time we will cover conditioned relaxation, sit, down, stay, come, loose leash walking, leave it, and help solve common behavior problems. The cost is only $125 (or $115 for adopted dogs) and all dogs must be current on distemper, bordatella, and rabies.



Therapy Class - Tuesday, January 22nd at 6 pm - Dubuque Regional Humane Society - $75