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Children's Education Program

We currently offer an education program open to groups such as The 4-H Association, Scouts of America, fieldtrip groups, and will also come into school classrooms. Children in our program learn many life skills including: responsibility, empathy, compassion, patience, respect, and kindness. We relate what the children need (food, water, general necessities, attention, love) to what an animal needs while also teaching children the safest ways to introduce themselves and interact with new animals through our hands on program. Proper animal care can be taught at any age, but we feel starting with younger generations will help us shape the future of animal welfare in our community.

This program is currently offered by scheduled appointment only.

If you have any questions regarding this program, or would like to book a group session, please contact:

Paula Smith :

Open Paw Training

Open Paw is a national training program we offer designed to help shelters teach their communities basic animal training techniques while also making their shelter animals more adoptable. Too many animals are surrendered into shelters simply because their people don’t know what to expect when they get a companion animal. Consequently, they are unprepared to teach their pet where to eliminate, what to chew, claw and scratch, and when to vocalize, etc. Through this program we offer training classes to our volunteers that allow them to work hands on with our animals, learning and teaching these skills. The classes benefit our animals by teaching them behavior that make them more adoptable and giving them the skills they need to stay in their next home forever. It also benefits our volunteers because they are able to use the knowledge learned and apply it at home or to animals in the future. Our goal is to educate our community in proper animal training techniques and reduce the number of animals unnecessarily surrendered into shelters.

Training sessions are held at The Muskegon Humane Society.

Our upcoming training dates are:

Open Paw Level 1: Saturday January 7th, 2017 @ 3:30 pm

Open Paw Level 2: Saturday February 4th, 2017 @ 3:30 pm

Open Paw Level 3: Saturday March 4th, 2017 @ 3:30 pm

Open Paw Level 4: Saturday April 15th, 2017 @ 3:30 pm

If you have any questions regarding this program, please contact:

Paula Smith :


Senior Enrichment Program

Through this program we take some of our animals to assisted living facilities in order to enrich the lives of our animals and the residents. For seniors, the benefits of a furry companion can be life-changing. Walking a dog is great cardiovascular exercise, but just the simple act of petting, brushing, and feeding provides both mild activity and a means to stay engaged with the world. Pets can make the elderly feel needed, and that feeling can translate into a greater sense of purpose and self-worth. During what can be a lonely time of life, the unconditional love of a cherished dog or cat can be a bridge to more socialization with others, lowered stress, mental stimulation and a renewed interest in life. Our animals enjoy this interaction almost as much as the residents.

This program is open to our volunteers and currently takes place on the first Tuesday of every month. We are in the process of growing this program by adding more facilities and visitations.

If you have any questions regarding this program, please contact:

All training programs are hosted by Paula Smith. Paula is a Certified Professional Dog trainer and member of Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT). She earned a BS from Grand Valley State University and a MSA from Central Michigan University. She is the owner of Dog Blessed LLC. Dog Blessed training is fun, positive, and effective. Proven training methods are used that help dogs increase their self-confidence so they feel safe and are eager to learn. Encouraging our dogs to think and solve problems. Methods build positive feelings toward training and interactions. 


Dog Blessed Specializes In:

  • Private In-Home Training

  • Classes in the Community

  • Interspecies Communication

  • Basic Manners

  • Puppy Socialization

  • Dog Reactivity

  • Introduction to Dog Sports 

  • AKC CGC Evaluator

  • …Most Importantly, Your  Dog’s Specific Needs!!!


If you have any questions regarding the programs offered, or would like to book a training session, please contact:

Paula Smith :