Welcome to the Detroit, MI Sniffspot top dog trainer list for 2023. This is a list of the top dog trainers in Detroit 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.
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
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
Wag n Tails creator Christine Fox has over 20 years of experience loving, training, and working with dogs. She has translated her life's work into bite-size pieces that help dog lovers everywhere.
Wag n Tails goes beyond dog training. Through our methods and approach, we promise an increase in love, abundance, patience, and mindfulness when it comes to understanding your pet. We believe pet ownership is one of the most rewarding, special, and educational opportunities that a human can experience.
Certifications: CCPDT-KA, AKC Evaluator
More info about service provided: Our mission is to use education and mindfulness to help pet parents strengthen their bond with their dogs while creating a calmer and more peaceful home environment along with giving back to the community. Services include: Online resources and education along with in person coaching. Examples include: Reaching goals, Confidence building for pet and parent, Group Yoga with dogs, Canine Good Citizen Classes encouraging therapy dog prep and Education Courses for Pro Groomers and Trainers.
Behavioral issue focus: Aggression, fear and anxiety with grooming. Common behavior problems include: barking, lunging, jumping up, house soiling
Training methods: We are a force-free organization following the LIMA (Least Invasive Minimally Aversive) methodologies. It's imperative that our clients are organized and somewhat technical as all of our resources, tracking and scheduling capabilities are handled digitally. Online lessons are performed via Zoom or Google Meets and homework and tracking sheets are emailed through our pet portal.
Why I became a dog trainer: I became a dog trainer so that I could be a dog teacher. Through teaching dogs I connect with their people, and this is how I'm able to build a bond of communication based on connection for families to prevent and treat behavior problems.
My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Speaking for dogs to their people!
My #1 dog training tip: Listen with your eyes - dogs do speak to those who know how to listen. Understanding body language is key!
Service areas: Macomb, Oakland, Hamilton
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.
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
Since becoming a certified dog trainer in 2012, I have worked with many types of dogs, different breeds, temperaments and lifestyles.
I can relate to dog owners who have behavioral issues in their home. I have a Beagle/Spaniel mix that loves to challenge me every day. I believe that all dogs and their owners are individual, and your training should be tailored to fit you and your dog.
More info about service provided: Obedience training, group classes (puppy & adult), trick class, loose leash class, day training, potty training, distraction training, reactive training, crate training, confidence boosting training, and in home behavior training
Behavioral issue focus: Dogs that are fear, resource guarding, pulling on the leash, door dashing and reactivity.
Training methods: Positive Reinforcement, force free, science based trainer. Private or studio consultations, homework sheets and handouts.
Why I became a dog trainer: I had a jack Russell growing up and I always wanted to understand his behaviors and see what I could of done to improve him. I want to teach people about dogs needs and behaviors so they can understand what is not being meant with their dog. I aim to keep each dog I work with out of the shelter
My favorite part of being a dog trainer: I enjoying meeting new people and of course meeting all the dogs the world has.
My #1 dog training tip: Meet your dogs needs. Practice and have patience
Service areas: Sterling Heights, Rochester Hills, Auburn Hills, Shelby Twp, Macomb, St. Clair Shores, Chesterfield, New Balitmore, Warren, Roseville, Madison Heights, Clawson, Maybee, Cadillac, Grosse Pointe Woods, Detroit, West Bloomfield, Bloomfield Hills, Farmington, Berkley, etc...
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
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
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.
More info about service provided:
I create tailored training packages to best meet your dog‚Äôs needs. Some of my areas of focus include:
Reactivity and fear
Outdoor basics and advanced
Puppy training and socializing
Recall and focus
Outdoor sports: bikejoring, skijoring, camping, hiking
High energy dogs
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‚Äôs 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
I am a licensed veterinary technician with a passion for dog training. I have been training dogs in some form for over 20 years. I compete in IGP/schutzhund, agility, and rally. I love incorporating enrichment into the daily lives of dogs I am working with. I believe it is important to address the overall well-being of the dog when addressing problem behaviors.
Certifications: Licensed Veterinary Technician, Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner, Certified Fear Free-Veterinary, Certified Professional Dog Trainer-Knowledge Assessed.
More info about service provided:
Puppy foundations including socialization, crate training, housebreaking, leash manners, and recalls.
Board and train geared towards basic obedience, confidence building, and enrichment.
My favorite part of being a dog trainer: My favorite part of being a dog trainer is enriching the live of the dog and providing owners with the skills and knowledge to do the same.
Service areas: Oakland County, West Bloomfield, Commerce Twp, White Lake
We offer a holistic approach to dog training that will help owners and their dogs reach their full potential.
Certifications: BSW, CPDT-KA
Service areas: Washtenaw County, Southwest Detroit, Virtual training worldwide
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.
Ordered alphabetically, only included cities where there is enough data to compile a list
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