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The Best Dog Trainers in Arkansas of 2023

Merlin Noble photo

Merlin Noble

March 29, 2022

Dog Trainers

Welcome to the Arkansas Sniffspot top dog trainer list for 2023. This is a list of the top dog trainers in Arkansas 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. 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 compiled 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 100% 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 Arkansas Dog Trainers in 2023

Shanthi Steddum

Shanthi began training in 1996 with her Doberman "Niko". It was with Niko that Shanthi learned to listen to her dog by observing body language. That knowledge, along with her positive reinforcement training, quickly gained her recognition around her local dog park and the obedience club she was attending. In 2004, she took over teaching the Basic Obedience class using play and training to strengthen the bond between dog and human.
Using fun and easy techniques, Shanthi has helped countless dog stay in their home by learning to be a well mannered member of the family.

Certifications: CCPDT-KA, KPA - CTP

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: We offer group classes, private lessons, day school and board and train for dogs of all ages and breeds. We teach a variety of skills from basic manners to public skills, tricks to urban agility. All services are designed to strengthen the bond between owner and dog as well as help pups be well mannered rock stars in all environments.

Behavioral issue focus: From fearful pups to reactive rovers or over exuberant and over the top pups who need help learning to regulate their emotions. We have protocols to help your dog be the best pup possible.

Training methods: All of our methods and protocols are designed to adhere to LIMA guidelines. Our staff is trained to observe behavior and use positive reinforcement techniques to improve overall behavior.

Why I became a dog trainer: To help owners connect with their dogs in a way that dogs understand. I love watching the dog relax and start enjoying working with their person when trained in a manner the dog understands. I also love the "a'ha" moment from the people.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Helping dogs by helping owners understand their dog.

My #1 dog training tip: Once your dog understands the cue for a behavior, be sure you SEE the dog offer the behavior every time. Even if you're not paying with treats anymore, reward with praise, acknowledgment or play.

Service areas: Washington county, Benton county


Elizabeth Silverstein

Elizabeth Silverstein didn't think she had natural ability with animals.
She instead pursued her love of writing, focusing on nonprofit organizations while writing for local publications.

In 2012, Elizabeth brought home her own dog, a Miniature Schnauzer named Jeeves, and then started dog sitting for friends. She took several dog training classes and slowly began to see that she could learn how to communicate with animals. She started dog walking in 2016 and then started working as a dog training intern on a southern New Jersey farm. It was a sink or swim sort of environment that taught her a massive amount about dog behavior, since the farm catered to dogs with behavioral issues while using positive reinforcement methods.

When she moved to Little Rock in 2018, she volunteered with local rescues and tried working for other dog businesses. She earned her dog trainer certification and started Telltail Dog Training in 2020 because she saw a need for force-free, positive reinforcement training that focused on communication, while catering to the busy individual who might need evening and weekend opportunities.

Certifications: Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT)

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: Obedience training, training classes, day training, basic and advanced training, potty training

Behavioral issue focus: I work with reactivity, shy dogs, and certain forms of aggression.

Training methods: I include consultations, training plans, and offer videos for day training.

Why I became a dog trainer: Because the bond between human and dog can be magical, and I wanted to help other people learn how to build that relationship based on trust and clear communication.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Seeing people get excited about what their dogs can do and how they can grow together.

My #1 dog training tip: Be patient.

Service areas: Little Rock, North Little Rock, Sherwood, Benton, Maumelle


Tori Fritz

My name is Tori and I own No Bad Dog Training LLC, a force free dog training company that focuses on human education and dog advocacy. We focus on human education since that is where we can make the most impact, not just effecting your current dog but also your next dog and your children's dogs- generationally creating decades of happy dogs and happy people.

Services include:

  • In home training
  • Reactive dog training
  • Puppy training

More info about service provided: Private in-home training, puppy training, potty training, reactivity recovery

Training methods: Force free training, Free consultations/ evaluations, 4-10 week programs, single sessions available 1 year after program completed

Why I became a dog trainer: Working in the rescue world of NWA opened my eyes and my soul to the large percentage of dogs and humans that struggle with understanding each other. I frequently found myself questioning where the miscommunication was. This started my deep dive on the human understanding of the canine condition.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: My favorite part of being a dog trainer is seeing the connection of dog and humans strengthen. When I first consult with a family they're typically on the verge of tears, frustrated with their dog and the situation they're in. As we get working I get to see a calmer, more confident human that enjoys life with their dog instead of feeling overwhelmed or disappointed.

My #1 dog training tip: Train the dog in front of you. No comparing to your friend’s dogs, your previous dogs, or the expectation you thought about before getting said dog.

Service areas: Benton County


Sniffspot Arkansas Top Trainer Frequently Asked Questions

How are Arkansas dog trainers selected for this list?

These are the top dog trainers in Arkansas 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 Arkansas 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 Arkansas?

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 Arkansas 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 Arkansas cost?

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

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

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 Arkansas was $27,165 per year and $13.06 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 By City In Arkansas

Fayetteville, AR
Little Rock, AR

See The Best Dog Trainers In Other States Near Arkansas


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Merlin Noble photo

Merlin Noble

March 29, 2022

Dog Trainers

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