Dog Training Program (Prison Paws)

Prison Paws, a dog-training program at Montana Women’s Prison, offers basic obedience training, boarding and grooming services. Dogs can be trained for private individuals.

Under the direction of our Prison Paws supervisor, a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT), inmates learn how to train dogs through positive reinforcement methods. The inmates also learn about dog grooming, as well as canine health and wellness.

Basic Dog Training

Prison Paws is a four-week training program in which inmate trainers are assigned to teach dogs basic manners, including “sit,” “down,” “stay,” “come” and “wait.” Trainers also teach the dogs to walk nicely on a loose leash, how to be comfortable in a crate and socialize appropriately with other dogs and people.

Other behaviors that may be addressed are: inappropriate barking, jumping up for attention, mouthing, and attention work.

Cost is $600 for the four-week training program.

One week prior to the beginning of the training program, pet owners must arrange with their pet's veterinarian to send:

  • proof of current Rabies vaccination, Parvovirus, Distemper
  • proof of Bordetella vaccine
  • negative fecal test and negative snap test for Giardia within the last 6 months

Dogs over the age of 1 year must be spayed or neutered before entering MWP.


Boarding services are available for dogs that successfully complete training in the Prison Paws Program, and dogs that belong to DOC staff.


Grooming services include bathing, brushing, haircut/trim, ear cleaning, and toenail clipping.

To learn more about the program, contact the Prison Paws manager at (406) 247-5162 or email at

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