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The Best Dog Trainers in Ann Arbor, MI of 2023

Merlin Noble photo

Merlin Noble

March 29, 2022

Dog Trainers

Welcome to the Ann Arbor, MI Sniffspot top dog trainer list for 2023. This is a list of the top dog trainers in Ann Arbor 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 Michigan 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 Ann Arbor, MI Dog Trainers in 2023

Jean Carew

Force Free Trainer Jean Carew spends her time living her passion; teaching dogs and their owners how to develop better relationships through training. She trains in both private and group class settings at all levels. Jean is passionate about all dogs but has a soft spot in her heart for those that are fearful or aggressive. As a result, she co-developed one of the area's most successful reactive dog class programs.

Jean is an Associate Certified Dog Behavior Counselor member in good standing with IAABC and a member of the PPG (Professional Pet Guild). For the past several years, Jean was the owner of Sit Stay Swim, an indoor swim-fitness and training facility in Garden City, MI. While there, she taught owners and their dogs the benefits of warm water swim therapy and relationship-building. She now makes her training home at Lucky Dog Too dog training in Garden City, MI.

Certifications: ABC-DT, ACBDC

Services include:

  • Aggressive dog training
  • Board and train
  • In home training
  • Reactive dog training
  • Puppy training

More info about service provided: Jean Carew spends her time living her passion; teaching dogs and their owners how to develop better relationships through training. She trains manners and behavior modification in both private and group class settings at all levels. Jean is passionate about all dogs but has a soft spot in her heart for those that are fearful or aggressive. As a result, she co-developed one of the area's most successful reactive dog class programs.

Behavioral issue focus: I provide dog behavior modification programs for integration issues in new homes, puppy problem-solving ( house training, biting, jumping), Adult-dog issues (reactivity, resource guarding, fear shut down, fear aggression).

Training methods: I do training consultations and behavior planning sessions both in-home and in our facility. We use Force Free methods to train. We use no force, fear, or intimidation to train behaviors of any kind.

Why I became a dog trainer: My lifelong passion for animal welfare and an ongoing desire to help dogs and their people develop better communication and understanding of the other's respective needs seemed a perfect fit for my career choice.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: I love watching the light bulb go on in a dog's eyes when they realize they have a choice in making the next thing happen. It's magical.

My #1 dog training tip: If you like a behavior reinforce it. It will likely happen again. Reinforce it. See it. Like it. Reinforce again. repeat.....

Service areas: South East Michigan


Laura Maihofer

I'm Laura Maihofer, a certified canine behavior consultant and a veterinary technician assistant with a Bachelors in Zoology. I have been training dogs since 2015 and take joy in constantly furthering my education in training and behavior.

I utilize cooperative, relationship-focused training to help people build positive and happy partnerships with their pets. My goal is to help people live peacefully with their pets, and help them provide their pets with the best care possible and fulfill their species-specific needs. I have a special interest in cooperative care and consent training to prepare dogs and cats for veterinary procedures and exams.

Outside of training, I enjoy playing with my dog and two cats, hiking, board games, Dungeons and Dragons, video games, and reading.



Services include:

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

More info about service provided: Basic manners classes, puppy preschool, private in-home and virtual training, cooperative care training for vetting and grooming

Behavioral issue focus: Socialization, adolescence, aggression prevention, handling sensitivities, anxiety, and reactivity

Training methods: Force-free, cooperative training
Private training starts with an in-depth behavior history followed by a management, training, and enrichment plan designed specifically for the individual dog

Why I became a dog trainer: I have always loved dogs, and after living with a dog who struggled with reactivity, I became passionate about helping dogs like him overcome their fears and live happy, healthy lives.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: My favorite part of being a dog trainer is seeing the relationship between people and their dogs grow and watching the dogs become more confident and comfortable in their lives.

My #1 dog training tip: Listen to what your dog is trying to communicate.

Service areas: Washtenaw County, Southfield, Virtual


Rose Adler

I am a Certified Professional Dog Trainer who services clients remotely as well as in person in the Ann Arbor area of Michigan.

My passion for dog training started in my early 20s with my first reactive dog - my first dog, in fact. When other training methods damaged our relationship, I started shadowing reinforcement based trainers in the area and at last found safety and compassion where I needed it.

I have since become a trainer myself, after (co) starting a non-profit organization for deaf and blind dogs where we aimed to put an end to the stigma surrounding impaired dogs. Here I found my true passion, unlocking the relationship between humans and their 'different' or 'untrainable' dogs.

My goal with humans as well as pets, is compassion, mindfulness, and education.

Certifications: CPDT-KA, CTDI

Services include:

  • Board and train
  • In home training
  • Deaf dog training
  • Reactive dog training
  • Off leash training
  • Puppy training

More info about service provided: Basic training, house manners, leash walking, off leash skills, deaf dog training, blind dog training, boarding, etc.

Behavioral issue focus: I commonly work with impaired (deaf/blind dogs, as well as unimpaired dogs) on a variety of issues including basic obedience, tricks, loose leash walking, reactivity, house manners, muzzle training, learning to settle, obsessive behaviors, and general stress reduction.

Training methods: I focus on meeting a dog's needs, and modifying behavior through managing the dog's environment and reinforcing desirable behaviors. My goals are compassion, kindness, research, and continued education.

Why I became a dog trainer: I became a dog trainer when I realized the impact I can make in someone's life, and in their dogs' lives. Dog training is my own enrichment, and there is something so special about helping people connect with their pets in a way they never thought possible.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: My favorite part of being a dog trainer is that 'ah-ha!' moment that dog guardians feel when they and their dogs understand each other in a new way.

My #1 dog training tip: My #1 dog training tip is to value where you want value. Examine your dog's reinforcement history, especially with you.

Service areas: Washtenaw County

Jane Wolff

Jane Wolff specializes in treating separation anxiety and is a Certified Separation Anxiety Trainer (CSAT). She also graduated with honors from The Academy for Dog Trainers (CTC), is certified through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers as a Certified Professional Dog Trainer - Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA) and is Fear Free Certified. She has been working with dogs professionally since 2014 and loves working with dogs and their people

Certifications: CPDT-KA, CTC, CSAT, FFCP

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: I primarily specialize in separation anxiety but I also love working on getting dogs comfortable with grooming and vet care and fearful dogs generally

Behavioral issue focus: I primarily work with fear and anxiety and specifically separation anxiety

Training methods: I do behavior consultations that follow up with daily written training plans and management plans when necessary. I use only force free training methods and do not scare or hurt dogs to train them

Why I became a dog trainer: Because I wanted to help people have a great life with their dogs

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: The dogs of course but also the people! I truly enjoy getting to know and working with my clients

My #1 dog training tip: If you like it, pay it! Rewarding dogs for stuff you like will make it more likely in the future

Service areas: Ypsilanti and surrounding area, remote nation wide


Sarah Fox

Sarah Fox M.A. SHRM-CP is a dog trainer, retired dog sledder, and business professional with over two decades of experience and knowledge working with dogs and people.

At Adventures With My Dogs, we use scientifically proven and modern positive reinforcement dog training methods for behavior change that creates a higher quality of life for you and your dog.

Sarah specializes in outdoor adventures with dogs including hiking, backpacking, camping, and dog sledding.

Services include:

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

More info about service provided:

I create tailored training packages to best meet your dog’s needs. Some of my areas of focus include:

Reactivity and fear
Leash behaviors
Outdoor basics and advanced
Puppy training and socializing
Recall and focus
Outdoor sports: bikejoring, skijoring, camping, hiking
High energy dogs
General Enrichment
Crate Training

Behavioral issue focus: Sarah commonly works with reactive and fearful dogs. She also specializes in leash behavior and outdoor dog sports.

Training methods: Sarah provides behavioral consultations and individual training plans to best meet the dog guardian and dog’s needs.

During a 2 hour VIP Session, we will identify the foundational reasons behind your dog's behavior, and establish a plan that will eliminate this behavior as quickly and permanently as possible so that you can regain control and tranquility in your life. This session eliminates the need for ongoing lessons that can be time-consuming and difficult to fit into your life. This VIP Session is great for clients that are extremely busy and have a dog training need that can be addressed quickly with the help of expert guidance and strategies. After your VIP session, I am available for virtual consultation follow-ups and questions as needed.

Why I became a dog trainer: I've worked with dogs my whole life, starting at just 5 years old and raising a team of dogs for competitive dog sledding. As dog ownership continued to grow in popularity I saw a need to teach dog guardians tools to build their relationship so both dog and human can have a meaningful connection and life together. I specifically work with people who have an interest in outdoor dog sports so their dogs can come with them on their many adventures.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: I love helping people grow their relationship with their dog and create environments where their dog is not just a pet, but a family member and strong companion.

My #1 dog training tip: You can never over-reward good behaviors. Don't be stingy with the treats!

Service areas: Metro Detroit


Delores Carter

Delores is the founder of The Learning Dog Academy in Whitmore Lake, Michigan. She's a certified professional dog trainer (Karen Pryor Academy). Learning is a lifestyle for her (and her pups). Delores earned a certificate in Applied Animal Behavior (University of Washington), completed a certificate in Aggression in Dogs, and maintains certification as a fear-free trainer.

Delores loves working with people and their pups. She's witnessed the joy that canine companions bring into people's lives. She's also seen how misunderstanding and miscommunication lead to unhappiness for both person and pet. As a Family Dog Mediator, her goal is to help people and their pets learn to enjoy their lives together.

Certifications: KPT-CTP, UW-AAB, FDM

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: Puppy, Adolescent, Loose Leash Walking & Recall group classes, Puppy Group Play, Fun & Fitness group classes (Weaves & Wobbles, Rally, Nosework, Parkour & Tricks), Doggie Zen for reactive dogs; In-home training, Day training

Behavioral issue focus: Behavior modification program for dogs with impulsivity, fear, anxiety, reactivity, and aggression. AARF! Support group for people living with Aggressive, Anxious, Reactive or Fearful dogs

Training methods: Whether teaching a group class, working with a private client, or doing behavior modification, my goal is to help people and pets live their best lives together. After meeting a client, I'll create a training or behavior plan that addresses the concerns of the client and the needs of the dog.

Why I became a dog trainer: I love my work as a dog trainer. Helping people and their dogs develop a special bond is the best part of the job!

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Seeing people and their dogs really enjoy spending time together, having fun, and being silly!

My #1 dog training tip: Enjoy your dog just for being themself - let them sniff, let them wander, and enjoy the adventure!

Service areas: Livingston and Washtenaw counties


Jacqueline Drake

Jacqueline is a current graduate student with Virginia Tech completing her Masters in Applied Animal Behavior and Welfare! She completed her undergrad studies at Eastern Michigan University where she was a research student under Dr. Jamie Cornelius studying bird behavior, and physiology.

Jacqueline received her certification in Canine Emotion and Cognition from Duke University, and is pet CPR certified. She is working toward becoming an Associate Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist (ACAAB). Other certifications include: CPDT-KA, and Fear Free Animal Trainer.

Jacqueline has worked with numerous rescue/non-profit organizations including Animal Rescue Coalition, Villalobos Rescue Center, Detroit Bully Corps, Allforkarma, Humane Society of Livingston, MI Lab Rescue, Stiggys Dogs, DogAide, Blue Star Service Dogs, and Bark Nation. She has a strong background in working with rescue animals who suffer from fear-based aggression/anxiety. Jacqueline has been a foster, and now 'foster-failure' for Last Day Dog Rescue, and that is where her current rescue dog, Porter, came from.

Aside from her rescue work, Jacqueline has been fortunate enough to work in the medical field of animal welfare as well, first working for Countryside Veterinary Hospital for almost three years as a receptionist fielding urgent calls, and assisting the veterinarians/technicians with holding/soothing animals during procedures. She then worked as a technician during the vaccine clinic days for the public at the Humane Society of Livingston, and eventually at Oakland Veterinary Referral Services as a technician assistant in the ER. Because of this,

Jacqueline has strong insight on common medical problems that can lead to behavioral issues which allows her to better assist her clients and their dogs.
Jacqueline has been a professional dog trainer since the launch of her business in March of 2014, and has worked in the field of animal welfare since November of 2012. She is a force-free trainer offering services in the southeast Michigan area. All breeds, sizes, and ages are welcome!


Fear Free
MS in Applied Animal Behavior and Welfare (in progress)
IAABC CDBC (in progress)
previous CPDT-KA

Services include:

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

More info about service provided:

Day Training
In-home Private Lessons
Virtual Lessons

Behavioral issue focus: Aggression, Reactivity, Fears, Phobias, Vet prep (cooperative care), Basics

Training methods:

Science-based training

Why I became a dog trainer: My first adopted dog Puma has severe fears and phobias, and is the face of my business and inspiration behind what I do!

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Creating a team between clients and their dogs.

My #1 dog training tip: Patience!

Service areas: Pinckney, Dexter, Chelsea, Howell, Brighton, South Lyon, Gregory, Whitmore Lake


Angela Schmorrow

Angela loves helping owners better understand their dogs using force-free methods and positive reinforcement that make training enjoyable for both people and dogs. She has a particular passion for helping dogs overcome fear, anxiety, and reactivity. Angela is a Certified Shelter Behavior Professional, a Karen-Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner, and a Certified Professional Dog Trainer.

Certifications: CSB-D (IAABC), KPA-CTP, CPDT-KA

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: In-home behavior consultation and training, group classes (puppy, adult dog, reactive dog classes)

Behavioral issue focus: Reactivity, aggression, resource guarding, fear/anxiety, body handling sensitivity, puppy raising, basic manners training.

Training methods: Humane hierarchy (Least intrusive, minimally aversive), positive reinforcement trainers.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Helping people understand and enjoy their dogs more.

Service areas: Ann Arbor and surrounding areas (Ypsilanti, Saline, Dexter, South Lyon, Plymouth, Canton, Whitmore Lake)


Nancy vonKoehnen

I've been training dogs for over 50 years always learning about the sports I train and compete in. I've been training people to train their dogs for over 40 years. I've been competing in dog sports for over 40 years. I've been learning from the world's top trainers for most all of those years using the most current, up to date training methods.

More info about service provided: Freestyle (tricks and obedience choreographed to music), Rally, Rally Free (Rally with trick signs), Nosework

Training methods: All training is fun with lots of rewards helping dog know when they are right whether nosework or rally or other - I have learned from top trainers around the world and share my knowledge in classes I continue my education continually to keep up to date on the best practices. I compete so know personally about the sports I teach

Why I became a dog trainer: I love having fun with my dogs. I love sharing the information I've learned with students

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: My favorite part with my own dogs is learning about what motivates my dogs as well as the actual training and competition. Why I train others: Sharing the success of my students whether at home or in competition.

My #1 dog training tip: 2 tips: look for the good and catch your dog doing something right! ALSO little bits of training thru a day provides big rewards toward your goal

Service areas: Oakland and surrounding counties

Website: [email protected]

Laura Perkins

Laura Perkins has a lifetime of hands-on experience working with dogs and a masters of science in behavior analysis.

Laura's passion is teaching people to solve the behavior problems they have with their pets using positive, science-based training techniques.

In her free time, she practices agility, obedience, and nosework training with her 2 dogs.

Certifications: CPDT-KA, Master of Science in Behavior Analysis

Services include:

  • Reactive dog training
  • Puppy training

More info about service provided: I offer training for basic household behaviors, leash walking, reactivity, minor aggression cases and sports for fun (nosework, agility)

Behavioral issue focus: Leash reactivity, resource guarding, dog-dog interactions, jumping, pulling, fear of people/dogs

Training methods: I use R+ (positive reinforcement) methods and follow LIMA/Humane hierarchy in all cases. To me, this means starting with medical needs and environmental arrangement and then using R+ to teach any needed behaviors. I include a lesson summary and handouts for each session.

Why I became a dog trainer: I loe helping people to better understand and enjoy their dogs. My favorite thing is to see a dog/person team enjoy their time together.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: I love when clients want to understand their dog better and teach their dog with kind approaches.

My #1 dog training tip: Change your own behavior to change your dog's behavior.

Service areas: Chelsea, Dexter, Jackson, Ann Arbor, MI


Sniffspot Ann Arbor Top Trainer Frequently Asked Questions

How are Detroit dog trainers selected for this list?

These are the top dog trainers in Detroit 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 Detroit 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 Detroit?

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 Detroit 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 Detroit cost?

Detroit 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 Detroit dog trainer. How can I get listed here?

As long as you have a training facility or do in person training in Detroit 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 Detroit?

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 Michigan was $32,963 per year and $15.85 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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See The Best Dog Trainers In Other Michigan Cities

Ordered alphabetically, only included cities where there is enough data to compile a list

Detroit, MI
Flint, MI
Grand Rapids, MI
Lansing, MI
Traverse City, MI

See The Best Dog Trainers In Other States Near Michigan

Ordered alphabetically, only included cities where there is enough data to compile a list


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Merlin Noble photo

Merlin Noble

March 29, 2022

Dog Trainers

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