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The Best Dog Trainers in Albany, NY of 2023

Merlin Noble photo

Merlin Noble

May 25, 2023

Dog Trainers

Welcome to the Albany, NY Sniffspot top dog trainer list for 2023. This is a list of the top dog trainers in Albany based on votes from the Sniffspot community and the general public. Over 55,000 votes were used in compiling this list. We have only included the top trainers with sufficient votes and the trainers are ordered in terms of the number of votes received. Trainers that tied are ranked in reverse alphabetical order based on first name. All dog trainers on this list are positive reinforcement only, as defined by no force, fear, intimidation, or aversive methods used. This list is a subset of the broader Top Trainers in New York list. To learn more about our dog trainer contest, feel free to view the dog trainer contest post.

Dog training is one of the most important activities someone can do with their dog. Many come to dog training through a specific issue they want addressed, anything from barking to separation anxiety. Some have adopted dogs from animal shelters with an abusive experience and some just have happy puppies looking for everyday life skills. Trainers can help with all kinds of specific skills and issues, from leash manners to territorial aggression to anxiety around skateboards to common puppy challenges. However, what many discover is that working with a trainer is actually a way for a pet owner to deepen their relationship with their dog. The enhanced communication skills that result can increase quality of life, be a rewarding experience, be a social experience and lead to more harmonious relationships. Knowing that one’s dog is having a happier life can dramatically improve peace of mind. As the saying goes: happy dog, happy life. And it extends further than just the dog, to the pet owners. Owner empowerment can actually improve the relationship between owners. And finding the right trainer can make all the difference in the experience.

This list is sponsored by Sniffspot, which is the largest network of private dog parks for rent in the world. Each of the thousands of Sniffspot dog parks are hosted by locals on private land with all private bookings to maximize safety for guests and their dogs. Sniffspot offers various types of dog parks, including fenced, water parks, indoor dog parks, dog beaches and more. Sniffspot has worked closely with dog trainers to create safe spaces for dogs and our top trainer lists are a natural extension of that relationship. You can browse Sniffspot's local dog parks here.

The Best Albany, NY Dog Trainers in 2023

Anthony Cietek

I have been for 12 years, starting off with no knowledge what's so ever when I started at Petco. I have always loved animals and knew they were a passion of mine ever since I was a little kid. In meantime at Petco I was a mentor to train other people like me who wanted it become a dog trainer . I also trained dogs but mostly people on how to train their dog.

I was fortunate to be sent to places like San Antonio and San Diego to train with some of the elites positive trainers in the country. My passion and love for dogs exploded, reading, traveling, watching everything and anything that dealt with dogs, training, behavior. I want to be the best so strived for that to get me where I am today.

Certifications: Certified AKC Evaluator

Services include:

  • In home training
  • Reactive dog training
  • Off leash training
  • Puppy training

More info about service provided: Behavioral Modification training (fear and anxiety), in home training sessions (positive reinforcement training for dogs/puppies not ready for group yet), group obedience classes for both puppies and adult dogs, pack walk with training ( socializing and reinforcing proper behaviors around multiple dogs). Specific cues name, focus, sit, down, come, leave it, wait, stay, spin, roll over, place, heel, center, touch, and other various one. Potty training using bells or proper signaling along with other guidelines for starting the e puppy on the right path.

Behavioral issue focus: Fear, anxiety, leash reactivity

Training methods: Basic to advanced evaluations of the dog or puppy's behavior. We develop a training plan and meet weekly, bi weekly or monthly until the behavior has been corrected. Classes we meet once a week or 6 weeks. There are multiple classes ranging from basic to elite manners.

Why I became a dog trainer: My love and passion for animals, as well to help people

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Being around dogs, and making people proud of both themselves and their dog as they improve their relationship. Building a forever bond through training

My #1 dog training tip: that dogs only learn to reinforcement, so it is very important to reward your dog for every good action that they do. Have a structure, have fun, and most importantly love your dog.

Service areas: Capital Region, Saratoga County, Upstate NY


Jamie Sharma

I was born and raised in the great northwest. Little Boise, Idaho to be specific. The spark of inspiration for this career is still up for debate, a good story to ask me about, but for now, we will say it started at around eleven years old when my family brought home a Yellow Lab puppy, Chance. I attended training classes and enjoyed learning how to train him. It completely fascinated me how humans could have this unique relationship with our canine companions.

It became my dream profession when I began employment at Petco in Boise, Idaho in December of 2006. My official Canine Education Training was through Petco's Certified Dog Trainer Program which after graduating, in 2010, I became a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT) and Training Mentor for Petco. I then continued my education online in Animal Behavior.

I worked at, ran training programs and trained new trainers at seven different Petco locations spanning from Idaho to Washington state and finally New York state where I now reside. My employment would voluntarily end, 10 years later, on March 24th of 2017 to open my own business and expand my career. In December of 2022, I became a certified Family Dog Mediator.

I take every opportunity to continue my education with courses, seminars, conferences and more as frequently as possible. Research in canine behavior is never-ending and there is always more to learn. I will never stop trying to learn more because I strive to be the best I can be for my clients and my dog.

Certifications: CPDT, LFDM/CFDM

Services include:

  • Aggressive dog training
  • In home training
  • Reactive dog training
  • Puppy training

More info about service provided: Obedience, training, therapy, dog, prep classes, reactivity issues, aggression, issues, anxiety, issues, family, dog mediation, potty training, leash walking, behavioral issues.

Behavioral issue focus: Aggression, reactivity, anxiety, destruction, resource guarding

Training methods: Behavior consultations, training plans, family, dog mediation, in-home, hands-on training,

Why I became a dog trainer: To improve the lives of people and dogs.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Seeing people succeed at living their best life with their dogs.

My #1 dog training tip: Meet your dog where they're at and take time to truly get to know your dog.

Service areas: NY Capital District


Rachel Weaver

My name is Rachel Weaver, founder of The Scholarly Dog. I'm passionate about helping clients and their dogs form better relationships and accomplish their training goals!

Certifications: KPA-CTP

Services include:

  • Aggressive dog training
  • In home training
  • Reactive dog training
  • Off leash training
  • Puppy training

More info about service provided: We offer private classes and group classes.

Behavioral issue focus: Reactivity, Aggression, Separation Anxiety, Resource Guarding

Why I became a dog trainer: For the love of dogs and people.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Seeing humans and dogs connected

My #1 dog training tip: Practice makes permanence

Service areas: The Capital Region of NY


Aron Winter

I have been working with animals, including dogs, for over 10 years. I was a pet sitter for many years before deciding to go back to school to be a dog trainer during the 2020 lockdown. I graduated from CATCH Canine Trainer's Academy and worked under Danielle Basciano at CNY Pet Training and Behavior in Syracuse, NY for several years. Recently, I purchased land in the Hudson Valley and now have my own business!

Certifications: CCTA Certified Dog Trainer (CCDT)

Services include:

  • In home training
  • Reactive dog training
  • Off leash training
  • Puppy training

More info about service provided: I offer private dog training sessions at my training center in Hannacroix, NY or in your home. I offer training in everything from basic obedience to mild behavior issues. I also offer puppy socialization, behavior evaluations, basic manners classes and even dog walking!

Behavioral issue focus: Most behaviors issues I see in my area include on-leash reactivity and pulling, barking and separation issues.

Training methods: My training uses the LIMA method (Least Intrusive, Minimally Aversive) and I use a positive reinforcement approach when working with dogs. I focus on teaching owners how to work with their dog and build a lasting relationship that will make both dog and owner happy.

Why I became a dog trainer: As a pet sitter, I saw a lot of room for improvement in my client's dogs and it awoke a desire to learn how to help people make positive changes in their relationships with their dogs.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: I love seeing the 'aha!' moments in both dogs and humans. When owners put forth the effort and do the work, it really pays off for everyone involved. Success is the goal and when I see dogs really starting to 'get it', it makes it all worth it.

My #1 dog training tip: Don't expect a quick fix. Understand that changing behavior in dogs (and humans!) takes time and consistency.

Service areas: I serve the Hudson Valley, including Albany, Colonie, New Baltimore, Hannacroix, Coxsackie, Ravena, Glenmont


Tessa Romita

I offer training and behavior modification to people and their dogs. I am a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant through the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC), Certified Professional Dog Trainer - Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA), Control Unleashed Certified Instructor (CCUI) and an Accredited Dog Trainer (ADT) also through the IAABC. I completed the Canine Behavior Science and Technology (CBST) program with excellence with the Companion Animal Sciences Institute (CASI) with James O'Heare, Susan Friedman's Living and Learning with Animals (LLA) course and Terry Ryan's Chicken Camp, as well as numerous graduate-level courses in behavior.

Certifications: CDBC, ADT, CPDT-KA, CCUI, TagTeach Level 1

Services include:

  • Aggressive dog training
  • In home training
  • Reactive dog training
  • Off leash training
  • Puppy training

More info about service provided: I offer in-home foundation and behavior modification training tailored to meet the needs of you and your dog.

Behavioral issue focus: My speciality is working with "fearful and aggressive dogs". However, the majority of the behavioral issues I work with are what I would consider life skills, such as waiting at open doors, coming when called, greeting with four feet on the floor.

Training methods: I offer an initial in-home assessment and training session during which we meet and review your goals. I will also give you some training homework to get you started. I then write-up a training plan that will guide our sessions and recommend that we meet weekly. Every week, you should see progress toward your final goals.

Why I became a dog trainer: Most trainers either grew up surrounded by dogs or adopted a dog with severe behavioral challenges. I'm of the latter camp. When I started making progress with my girl, it felt magical. I was changing the quality of her life (as well as ours). It was all I ever wanted to do from that point on.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: So many parts ... Observing the quality of life improve for both the dog and people is the most powerful.

My #1 dog training tip: It's all about relationship.

Service areas: Based in Stone Ridge, I offer services throughout the Hudson Valley


Sniffspot Albany Top Trainer Frequently Asked Questions

How are Albany dog trainers selected for this list?

These are the top dog trainers in Albany as selected by broad voting from the Sniffspot community and the general public. These trainers are expert dog trainers, who received votes from their delighted customers, due to their excellent dedication to customer service, excellent results and general care they exhibit for their clients. Many have worked with thousands of dogs and are highly experienced trainers.

How can I get in touch with dog trainers?

Each of the trainer profiles contains a link to their website. You can click through to their website where you can find more contact information.

Are these Albany dog trainers certified professionals?

Dog training is not regulated at the federal or state level, so there is no standard dog training certification and professional trainers are not required to be certified. However, certifications are important to show that a professional dog trainer has a standard of expertise to help train your dog. Each trainer’s certifications are listed on their profile.

What are the top certifications for Dog Trainers in Albany?

Some of the top certifications in the dog training industry are CPDT- KA, IAABC, Karen Pryor Academy - KPA certification, Jean Donaldson's Academy - CTC certification and Fear Free Certification. You can review the dog trainer certifications for each specific dog trainer on their profile on this page.

What methods are used in the dog training sessions?

There are many methods for teaching dogs and a lot of disagreement about the correct training approach. All of the Albany trainers included on this list use positive reinforcement training only, as defined by no force, fear, intimidation, or aversive methods used. This includes not using any specifically aversive approach to training or training aid, such as a prong or electronic dog training collar (also called remote dog training collar or shock collars). As for specific training programs and specialties, such as day training / doggie daycare or obedience training, you can see more information in each trainer’s profile.

Are dog training lessons in a training facility or are virtual options available?

Some dog trainers operate exclusively from a training facility, some do house calls and some offer video calls or other virtual options. There are pros and cons to each option and the most efficient behavioral training option depends on specific circumstances, for instance, what hours work best for you. A training center or training ranch can be a good option if your training plan requires facilities, training equipment or dedicated space. We recommend reaching out to the specific trainer you are interested in or browsing their website for more information.

Are dog training lessons private or in a group setting?

Every different circumstance of dog and owners may require a different setting, whether it’s housebreaking issues, anxiety issues, lack of proper socialization, food aggression or just bad habits. Each trainer has different offerings as far as whether they can offer clients a private training session or a group class. Trainers provide information about their private class and group class offerings in their profiles and you can browse their website for more information as well. It may make sense for your specific circumstance to reach out to the trainer to ask if they recommend group or private dog training classes. Some trainers also have a team of specialists that can provide even higher levels of service, or provide specialized sessions, such as pack walks.

How much does dog training in Albany cost?

Albany dog trainers have a wide range of costs for different services and phases of training. For instance behavioral modification that involves boarding is often more expensive than day training, and private lessons are generally more expensive than group lessons. Prices can also vary depending on specific behavioral issues. Lastly, some trainers have more overhead than others, We recommend first picking a trainer that provides the services that you are looking for, then reaching out to them to get up to date pricing.

Is training a dog good for the dog?

Yes! Training has many benefits for dogs. Whether with basic training skills or complex training techniques, going through behavior training with your dog can improve the bond that you share with them. Also, training can do a lot to improve the level of confidence enabling of a dog (and it can also help with building customer confidence!). Rather than being about exerting maximum control over them, it gives them more certainty that they understand how the world around them works. For instance, crate training can help a dog feel safe and at home in a crate vs fearful and uncertain. Dog training can teach important skills, such as leash control, potty training or a general level of obedience skills. And lastly, it’s just fun for the dog to learn life skills and for their family. Training can be very stimulating and enriching for a dog and serve them throughout their entire healthy life!

Can an aggressive dog be trained?

Yes! Any dog behavior can be worked on through training and coaching. Aggression in dogs is a serious issue, but it is also a term that is used very broadly. Many dogs that are thought to be aggressive are actually reactive, which is a different behavior altogether. A trainer can help you interpret signs of aggression, such as excessive barking, fear aggression and leash aggression, and type of aggression. If you believe you have a dog with aggressive behaviors, we recommend reaching out to one of your local top trainers to get their diagnosis and advice.

I am a Albany dog trainer. How can I get listed here?

As long as you have a training facility or do in person training in Albany you can be considered for this list. We update this list once per year, normally starting in January. Make sure to keep an eye on our social media and sign up for email updates with Sniffspot in order to be in the loop on the next round of nominations.

How much do dog trainers make in Albany?

Dog trainer earnings vary widely depending on many factors, such as whether a dog trainer is an employee or owns their own full-service professional dog training business. According to ZipRecruiter, the average dog trainer salary in New York was $36,025 per year and $17.32 per hour. It is impossible to say how much a dog trainer can earn with a full-service professional dog training company, because the size and profitability of companies can vary widely.

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Merlin Noble photo

Merlin Noble

May 25, 2023

Dog Trainers

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