What is Camp Courage for Canines?

A Program Just for Shy or Fearful Dogs!

Camp Courage is a brand new program at The Canine Coach that is designed to give shy or fearful dogs the opportunity to work with a trainer during the day to build confidence, grow their “courage level”, and work on important counterconditioning & desensitization skills. Our goal for Camp Courage graduates is to move forward in their confidence level with the world around them, and hopefully make a few friends along the way!

Came Courage is designed to be repeated! Everyone has a different goal or hopeful outcome for their dogs, so we've structured this program in a way that will benefit shy or fearful dogs that enroll more than once. Some dogs might just need more time to learn too! Instead of overloading or flooding them, we want to make sure they're given the chance to grow and learn at their own successful rate.

NOTE: This program is for dogs that choose to *retreat* instead of *react*. If your shy or fearful dog has started showing outward reactive behaviors (lunging, snapping, growling, etc), this program is unfortunately not the right fit at this time. We’d love to help you privately through our In-Home Training program for these behaviors.

What Dogs Benefit from Camp Courage?

1 - Dogs of ALL ages that are Wallflowers

Socially shy dogs, including young puppies, will work on building their dog and human interactions with a slow and steady approach. If your dog prefers a Tea Party to a Frat Party or takes a while to “warm up” to new faces, this is the program for them! Wallflower dogs choose to *retreat* instead of *react* in social situations. 

1 - Dogs that are sometimes fearful, but not always! 

Context driven fears can include certain situations, environments, activities, noises, objects, surfaces, movement and more! Each dog will have unique needs when it comes to context driven fearfulness, and your trainer will break it down into easy to digest steps based on the fear. Please note - while we cannot perfectly replicate all situations, we can still help build confidence in similar or parallel situations at the facility. 

2 - Shy or Fearful Dogs that are busy bees at home with energy to burn

Do you have an active & busy dog at home that often struggles to have their energy needs met outside the home due to shyness or fearfulness? This program helps build confidence with structured and predictable games, focused exercises, and patience to help busy shy dogs succeed. Our hope is that graduates of this program will feel comfortable enrolling in other programs, like FIT Dogs, to help meet their active needs. 

3 - Shy or Fearful Dogs that like to learn new things but struggle to do so outside of the home

Some dogs need a lot of mental stimulation. Doesn't matter what it is, some dogs just enjoy learning and problem solving. This program helps prepare shy or fearful dogs for participation in other day programs and group classes. Our popular FIT Dogs program is an excellent next step for graduates of Camp Courage.

Dog Requirements:

  • Dogs MUST be kennel trained to attend this program.  

  • Dogs do not need to be dog friendly to attend this program.

  • Dogs must be at least 8 weeks old before enrolling in Camp Courage.

  • Dogs must be current on distemper, rabies (if over 16 weeks old), AND BORDETELLA to attend Camp Courage.

  • We also accept intact dogs into the program.

Crating Note

If your dog attends Camp Courage and cannot be crated comfortably, you will be asked to pick your dog up early and your program will be put on pause until your dogs can be crated comfortably at our location.

Camp Courage Activities

Camp Courage activities fall into one or more of a few categories that are important to shy and fearful dog growth and training! Activities can be mental, physical, or social, and will focus on confidence building, decompression, engagement, or counterconditioning & desensitization.

Please note - this is a list of activities that are part of this program but not all activities are done in a single day. Activities are introduced to each dog at an appropriate rate based on their current progress in the Camp Courage program.

Tea Party

Personalized to play style and temperament, monitored by a professional trainer.

Social • Physical

Social Studies

Passive socialization around other dogs and people. Often done at a distance with an eventual goal to lessen the distance.

Social • Mental

Netflix & Chill

Noise desensitization games! Settle in with a trainer to play various games while working on feeling comfortable with new noises and sounds.

Social • Mental

Exploring & Spelunking

This is a surface adventure! Crawl, climb, sit, touch, or sniff a variety of surfaces and textures with this equipment confidence building game!

Mental • Physical

Space Camp

This activity helps dogs feel more comfortable with spacial and body pressure. Dogs will work on desensitization with fun tricks and games!


Spa Day

This activity is all about the chill. We have several decompression session options including foraging, massage (if comfortable with touch), a relaxation protocol, and more.

Mental • Physical

Simon Says

Confidence building through obedience games and trick training!

Mental • Physical

Trick or Treat

Socialization with supporting staff at the facility! Trick or Treat can be passive or direct socialization, depending on each individual dog's needs.

Social • Mental


Games, games, and more games! We'll work on engagement using a variety of fun games and activities to help build focus and confidence.

Social • Mental


This is free-play time with a variety of toy choices with your dog's trainer. Play is a very important part of building confidence!

Social • Physical

Activity Notes

All activities will be introduced at an appropriate rate to new dogs based on our Camp Courage curriculum. As they gain skills in each area they can grow in activity difficulty, duration, etc. All activities will be tailored for each individual dog based on their unique fears and shyness level. Our number one goal is to make sure dogs are feeling safe, comfortable, and empowered throughout the day.

Program Environment

Camp Courage is a structured program that offers predictability to the day’s schedule and activities. Camp dogs will be assigned a crate and martingale collar (for safety backup) for the duration of their program. The crate area for Camp Courage is separate from other day program dogs and provides a calm and low energy space with soothing music throughout the day. Your dog’s trainer will work them in short sessions throughout the day. All training occurs between 9am and 4pm.


Preregistration Required!

We currently accept 2 dogs at any given time for the Camp Courage program in St Paul. Due to the nature of this program, preregistration is required. This allows us to provide a quality experience to each dog attending Camp Courage. Sign up information and our next opening start dates can be found below. If you need help signing up just give us a call at 612-202-4732.

Camp Courage dogs attend two days a week for four weeks for each enrolled session.

Click Here to Register for Camp Courage for Canines!

Days, Times, Locations

Program Days

Tuesdays and Fridays

Dogs Attend Twice a Week for Four Weeks

We structured the days of this program to have an ample break in between sessions. This allows our shy or fearful dogs to rest and recharge while also avoiding flooding or overloading with multiple back to back days. It's important to us that dogs are given the chance to learn and grow while feeling safe, comfortable, and empowered throughout the day.

Camp Courage Holiday Closures 2024

11/29/2024 Black Friday - TBD

12/24/2024 Tuesday - Closed

12/27/2024 Friday - As Scheduled

12/31/2024 Tuesday - Open

Drop Off & Pick Up

Drop Off Times:

Drop off anytime between 7:00am and 9:00am except on your first day. Please arrive between 8:00am and 9:00am on your first day and plan to spend about ten to fifteen minutes with your dog’s trainer for a short orientation. 

Any dog dropped off after 9am may forfeit one activity session that day. Doors will be locked at 9:30am, and no further drop-offs will be accepted. There are no refunds or rescheduling for missed drop-offs.

Pick Up Times:

Pick up anytime between 4:00pm and 6:00pm. You may talk to your trainer directly between 4:00pm and 5:00pm, and any dogs picked up after 5:00pm will have a progress report sent via email or a phone call from your dog’s trainer; whichever you prefer as a communication method. Our on-site staff can assist with some questions between 5:00pm and 6:00pm as well.

LATE PICKUPS: Because our Day Program staff leave the facility at 6 PM, a late fee of $20 will be invoiced for any dog picked up after 6 PM.


We offer Camp Courage at our St Paul location.

St Paul: 1044 Front Ave St Paul, MN 55103

Click here to view our locations page!

Additional Info

Cancellations & Rescheduling

Cancellation for Camp Courage must be received at least ONE WEEK prior to your scheduled start date in order to receive a full refund. Cancellation requests must be made in writing via email to our main office. Please contact us and we can help!


Dogs must be up to date on rabies (if over 4 months old), distemper, and bordatella. It is the client's responsibility to ensure we receive vaccination records, and that all vaccines are up to date.

Vaccination Note

Please note: if we do not receive vaccinations records by your dog's first day of Camp Courage your dog will NOT be able to participate in any activities until records have been received! Refunds are NOT available for dogs that do not have vaccine information received/up-to-date by the time their dog is dropped off for their Camp Courage reservation.


Please click here to read our general FAQ. You can also contact the office if you have other questions about Camp Courage.

Trainers & Staff

Lucie B

Head Trainer

Elias S

Support Staff

Tate B

Support Staff