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The Best Dog Trainers in Cincinnati, OH of 2023

Merlin Noble photo

Merlin Noble

March 29, 2022

Dog Trainers

Welcome to the Cincinnati, OH Sniffspot top dog trainer list for 2023. This is a list of the top dog trainers in Cincinnati 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 Ohio 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 Cincinnati, OH Dog Trainers in 2023

Hannah Burke Garbett

I came to dog training after having the incredible experience of working in several zoos and aquariums with a variety of species including elephants, cheetahs and penguins. Learning about training through an exotic animal lens gave me an understanding and appreciation of ethology and natural history and their role in analyzing animal behavior.

I have been professionally training dogs since 2011 and have always prioritized continuing education and certification through training and behavior courses, seminars and workshops.
As an Associate Certified Dog Behavior Consultant through IAABC I use my experience with reactivity and separation anxiety to help dog guardians modify problematic behavior and prevent future behavior problems in puppies.

As a Fear Free Certified Professional Trainer I am experienced in teaching owners how to reduce fear, anxiety, and stress along with building confidence and resilience for lasting behavior change. My passion is helping families, especially children, enjoy their dogs and build mutually rewarding relationships. I want training to be the highlight of my student's day and something even the humans look forward to each week!

Certifications: Associate Certified Dog Behavior Consultant, IAABC. Fear Free Certified Professional Trainer. American Kennel Club Canine Good Citizen Evaluator

Services include:

  • In home training
  • Off leash training
  • Puppy training

More info about service provided: I provide private in-home training programs designed to foster rewarding relationships between dogs and their people. My flagship puppy program, Puppy Prep School, is an in-home training and socialization program designed for busy families who want to give their puppies the best possible start. We combine skill building with field trips and social experiences in a three session per week format that maximizes critical socialization periods and sets your puppy up for a lifetime of success. For adult dogs, I offer in-home training programs that focus on developing a deeper understanding of your dog's behavior and teaching the skills they need to successfully navigate the world at your side. From hiking off leash to sitting quietly at a cafe, a well trained dog is a joy to have around!

Behavioral issue focus: Puppy Training, Puppy Socialization, Potty Training, Adult Dog Obedience Training, Behavior Modification for Fear and Anxiety, Cooperative Care

Training methods: I believe everyone deserves a safe and supportive learning environment. I use positive reinforcement and marker training with both dogs and humans to teach new skills in a way that is both effective and fun. I utilize evidence-based training methods rooted in applied behavior science and follow a Humane Hierarchy approach for all behavior modification plans. All new students start out with an in-home consultation to discuss the dog's history, evaluate the dog's behavior and get started on a management and training plan. After the initial consultation we offer several training program options and can work together to determine which would best suit the needs of individual dog and family.

Why I became a dog trainer: I understand the struggle of raising an exuberant puppy or the stress that comes from experiencing behavior problems with an older dog. One of my goals as a trainer is not just to help humans have "better dogs" but also to help dogs have "better humans." To me that means reading canine body language, knowing how to meet the needs of your individual dog and learning how to teach new skills with kindness and compassion. I love helping families understand and enjoy their dogs, building bonds and connection that lasts a lifetime.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: When I first meet new clients their dog is usually exhibiting behaviors that are causing stress and conflict in the family and it can often feel like "dog vs. humans." For me the really rewarding part about being a dog trainer is seeing that moment when the dog and the humans are back on the same team. I know I've done my job well when everyone is working together in a kind and supportive way towards solutuions that benefit the whole family.

My #1 dog training tip: It's easy to focus on the behaviors you don't like and want to change. Instead, try to notice all the little things your dog does well each day and positively reinforce those behaviors as often as you can. This not only increases the likelihood of those "good" behaviors occurring more often, it also allows us humans to practice gratitude for all the little things we enjoy about our canine companions.

Service areas: I provide in-home dog training services in the greater Cincinnati area.


Nick Hof

I have been training dogs and owners for more than 10 years. I am a past chair for the Association of Professional Dog Trainers and hold certifications with multiple organizations. I have a newly adopted 1 year old St. Bernard named Gordon that we brought home from the shelter this past November.



Services include:

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

More info about service provided: In home training services for puppies to adults and basic manners to anxiety or aggression

Behavioral issue focus: Aggression/reactivity, anxiety and fear-based, potty training, separation anxiety, etc.

Training methods: All training is customized towards your goals using a positive reinforcement based approach, setting the dog and owner up for success.

Why I became a dog trainer: I love helping owners and their dogs live happier together. I also find animal behavior fascinating and love learning more everyday.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Besides all the dogs and people I get to help, it keeps me active.

My #1 dog training tip: If you think you're using too many treats, you're getting close to the number of ones I would be using ;-)

Service areas: The greater Cincinnati area


Elissa Cline

I have worked as a full time professional trainer since 2000 specializing for the past 10 years in behavior problems. I was one of the few trainers in the Bay area in California that specialized in aggression and severe behavior problems and was referred to clients by fellow trainers in the area because of my expertise.

I graduated from the SFSPCA Dog Training Academy (Certificate in Training & Counseling-2004) and did continuing education in Stranger Aggression & Social Fear (2005), and Dog/Dog Aggression (2006) with Jean Donaldson & Janice Bradley.I then went on to attend the Bob Bailey - Chicken Camps (Discrimination, Criteria & Cueing, and Chaining) and remain strongly influenced by Michael Ellis - Michael Ellis School for Dog Trainers more recently.If you are looking for competition obedience and agility training, I teach group classes at Queen City Dog Training Club in Sharonville, Ohio.

I continue to educate myself and compete in Agility, AKC Obedience, and Mondio Ring. I currently compete and coach in these sports and provide high level support to meet competition goals.See the section on My Dogs to learn more about success in the ring!I discovered that coaching people is my favorite activity. Learning comes personally slow to me and I appreciate it when my clients want to pick up new skills. Frustration is normal and I like to slow down and help you achieve your goals!

Certifications: SFSPCA Dog Training Academy (Certificate in Training & Counseling-2004) and did continuing education in Stranger Aggression & Social Fear (2005), and Dog/Dog Aggression (2006) with Jean Donaldson & Janice Bradley

Services include:

  • Aggressive dog training
  • Reactive dog training


Sniffspot Cincinnati Top Trainer Frequently Asked Questions

How are Cincinnati dog trainers selected for this list?

These are the top dog trainers in Cincinnati 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 Cincinnati 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 Cincinnati?

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 Cincinnati 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 Cincinnati cost?

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

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

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 Ohio was $29,660 per year and $14.26 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 Ohio Cities

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

Akron, OH
Cleveland, OH
Columbus, OH
Dayton, OH
Toledo, OH

See The Best Dog Trainers In Other States Near Ohio

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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