Welcome to the Indianapolis, IN Sniffspot top dog trainer list for 2023. This is a list of the top dog trainers in Indianapolis 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 Indiana 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.
Hello! My name is Andrea Burggrabe. I am a former special education teacher and certified dog trainer who is dedicated to improving animal (and owner) welfare. I have two rescue dogs (Lena and Uno) who have my entire heart. I have several years of experience fostering and training rescue dogs. Through fostering and training, I have been able to help so many dogs to decompress and transition smoothly into their forever homes.
While I will train just about any dog who needs help, I enjoy partnering with several rescues and shelters to help dogs find and stay in their forever homes. I have a special place in my heart for helping all owners bond and connect with their dogs. My greatest passion is helping owners understand their newly adopted fearful, reactive, or aggressive dog. Nothing brings me greater joy than creating behavior modification plans to support dogs and their owners as they develop a true partnership and commitment to one another. Doing this allows the dog to decrease their fears and learn to trust and feel safe in the world around them, and allows them to stay in their homes and out of the shelter.
I Speak Woof strives to build trusting relationships between families and their dogs so they can most fully enjoy their canine companions. By providing educational resources for owners and creating individualized behavior modification training plans for dogs in need, dog owners and their canine companions develop true lifelong partnerships. Using up-to-date research and methods, I artfully craft programs to meet the specific to the needs of the dog and owner without using coersive methods.
More info about service provided: I create individualized behavior modification programs for dogs with any sort of behavioral issues, including dogs that are reactive and/ or aggressive. My goal is to help you connect with and work in partnership with your dog, so that you and your dog can both meet your training goals together.
Behavioral issue focus: I specialize in working with fearfulness, reactivity and aggression cases. I am extremely experienced in working with challenging rescue dogs. I see clients who have dogs with many diverse issues including: aggression or reactivity to strangers or other dogs, dogs that are fighting in the home, dogs transitioning into their forever homes after being in shelter or rescue, resource guarding, separation anxiety, hyperarousal, etc.
Training methods: All training is done with non-coercive methods in order to decrease fear and to build trust and companionship. I work with you to set goals specific to your dog, family, and lifestyle. This is typically done by completing an intake survey, initial in-home evaluation, and a customized training plan for you and your canine companion. This can be done in a slightly modified manner for virtual clients as well.
After each session, I send homework sheets and resources to help you and your dog be successful!
Why I became a dog trainer: I became a dog trainer in order to help keep dogs in their homes and out shelters. I also love to help people enjoy their companionship with their dogs as much as I do with my own. It is extremely satisfying to be able to help owners and dogs both have improved quality of life when they build and deepen their relationship with one another.
My favorite part of being a dog trainer: My favorite part of being a dog trainer is getting to help people connect with their dogs and bring joy and satisfaction into both of their lives. There are few things better than life than having a deep connection with your dog.
My #1 dog training tip: My #1 dog training tip is to use empathy with your dog. It is important to consider why the dog is doing a behavior that we may find unpleasant. This helps us to solve the underlying problem and be able to determine how to communicate with and work with our dogs best.
Service areas: I serve the greater Indianapolis area, but will service anywhere in Indiana with an added travel fee; also do virtual appointments globally
I have been training dogs professionally for 15 years. I am certified through Karen Pryor Academy. I love my job and love working with people to help their dogs achieve happier lives. I share my home with three dogs and four cats and I am active with one of my dogs in search and rescue.
More info about service provided: I am a trainer specializing in dogs with behavior issues. I mainly work with dogs in your home.
Behavioral issue focus: I will work with dogs with a bite history. I will work with any dog on any issue the owner is having. I can help people start off on the right paw with puppies as well. I am happy to consult with families with child and dog issues.
Training methods: My goal is to help the family love their dog again. Many people come to me because their dog is disrupting their lives or they are afraid their dog may hurt a person or another dog. I bring reward based training to the home and help clients understand why their dog is behaving in a manner that is troublesome to the owner.
Why I became a dog trainer: Like many people I found a dog I could not help. His behavior was something I had never experienced and I went to numerous trainers seeking help for him. Along the way I became fascinated by canine behavior and how dogs think and learn.
My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Watching clients become excited when they understand their dog is not a bad dog, but just a dog that needs someone to listen to it and understand what is going on.
My #1 dog training tip: If yelling "no" at the dog worked; there would be no need for dog trainers.
Service areas: I offer video and phone consulting to anyone. I cover West Central Indiana, East Central Illinois, Indianapolis, Terre Haute, Danville
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
Kristen has been passionate about helping animals since she was a young girl. She began volunteering at her animal shelter with her mom at the young age of 13, helping to exercise and socialize shelter dogs and cats. That was only the beginning!
Kristen graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Canine Science from Bergin University of Canine Studies in 2016, and then continued on to earn a Certificate in Training in Counseling (CTC) from Jean Donaldson's Academy for Dog Trainers in 2019. In 2021, Kristen became a Certified Behavior Consultant (CBCC-KA) through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers. Also in 2021, she earned her Master's Degree in Humane Education.
Kristen has worked professionally with dogs since 2015. She trained service dogs for Veterans with disabilities at Paws for Purple Hearts for several years and later worked as the Behavior Coordinator at San Diego Humane Society, where she trained dogs and cats who were experiencing behavior issues in the shelter.
In addition to doing private one-on-one training and group classes, Kristen also works with patients at Veterinary Behavior of Indiana as a Behavior Modification Trainer.
Certifications: BS in Canine Studies (2016), Certification in Training and Counseling CTC (2019), Aggression in Dogs Master Course (2021), Certified Behavior Consultant CBCC-KA (2021), Certified Separation Anxiety Pro Trainer (2021), Master's Degree in Humane Education (2021), Fear Free Certified Animal Trainer (2022)
More info about service provided: Group Classes
Private In-Home Training
Basic Manners Training
Fear and Aggression
Behavioral issue focus: Fear and Aggression
Training methods: For my private training program, I start with an initial consultation session where I get to know the dog and owners, come up with some goals, and then get started with an initial training plan. I always send detailed handouts with resources attached to my clients after each session. I use all force-free methods and I break training down into steps that owners can understand and implement.
Why I became a dog trainer: I have a passion for dogs.
Service areas: Indianapolis
Previously the Behavior & Training Manager at the Humane Society of the South Platte Valley in Colorado, Dr. Lisa Korf has many years of experience helping animals to find their forever families. She is passionate about teaching animals and their handlers how to work as a team to build communication and trust. Lisa applies advanced problem-solving skills to her passion in animal welfare, behavior and training. She has been active in the rescue community since 2004, devoting her time to rehabilitating and training rescue dogs, and educating volunteers, foster parents, and adopters.
The training classes she leads primarily utilize positive reinforcement to promote teamwork between handlers and dogs, with an emphasis on emotional connection. In addition to training, she has worked with behavioral issues including leash and barrier reactivity, separation anxiety, aggression, and resource guarding. Lisa is a certified trainer through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers, as well as a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (CDBC) through the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC). She looks forward to helping to improve the canine-human relationships within Bartholomew and surrounding counties.
Certifications: CPDT-KA, CDBC
More info about service provided: Group training classes, day training, boarding, board and train
Behavioral issue focus: reactive behaviors, nurturing secure attachments, anxiety
Training methods: Behavior consultations begin with a 90 minute session for intake, observation, goal-setting, and creating a plan for you and your dog. Our methods take into account your dog's welfare and emotional well-being.
Why I became a dog trainer: Love of dogs, intuition, and problem-solving skills.
My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Seeing happy dogs and happy owners.
My #1 dog training tip: Listen to what your dog is telling you, and engage with him or her on his or her terms.
Service areas: Bartholomew and surrounding counties
I started training professionally over 2 decades ago after adopting a Coonhound mix and soon thereafter ending up crying on the floor, surrounded by puddles of pee, not sure what to do! My commitment to learning and growing my knowledge has not stopped since then.
I have multiple certifications, have completed many in-person and online courses, and have attended many learning expos and seminars over the years. And I love to share this expertise with my wonderful clients and help them!
Certifications: LDFM-T, CPDT, CAP 2
More info about service provided: In home (1-1) dog training and behavior modification for aggression, anxiety, separation anxiety and other challenging behaviors . Puppy Start right classes. Day training. Board and Train. Fusion classes for families (online and in -person support and lessons). Potty training. Cat training and behavior modification.
Behavioral issue focus: Aggression (inc.dog to dog and dog to human), anxiety, separation anxiety, intra household dog aggression, dog to cat aggression(and other species), predatory behavior
Training methods: Positive reinforcement based training, functional assessments, training plans and modification, family dog mediation
Why I became a dog trainer: To help and support people and their animals who are struggling, and to help stop animals going to shelters and back to shelters. To bring knowledge and understanding between the species who cohabitate.
My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Helping people and their animals live happier lives and build stronger relationships through compassion, understanding and knowledge! It fills my heart up!
My #1 dog training tip: Ask yourself "What would I like them TO do?".
Service areas: Chicago, Orland Park, Homewood, Tinley Park, Aurora, Oak Park, Aurora, Frankfort, Schereville
I have owned Click Treat Repeat Canine Coaching, LLC since may 2017. I offer force free board and train and boarding to Indianapolis and surround areas! I refer dogs who are better suited for private lessons to other force free trainers in Indy who I'm thrilled to See made this list as well! Connie Swaim and Andrea Burggrabe are amazing trainers!
Prior To owning my own business, I was a trainer for Bark Tutor and Barkefellers a few well known dog training/dog boarding facilities in Indianapolis. I also used to work at Tails and Trails Rescue and Did everything from cleaning and caring for The dogs to giving them medical care to training and socializing them, you name it!
I Got a lot of hands on experience caring For all types of dogs with various medical and behavioral issues. It was while working at a rescue when I made a connection with Dr. Jennifer Cattet from Medical Mutts. This was the jumpstart in my career that I needed. I did an internship with their program and learned so much of what I still use to this day! They are a magnificent organization who take dogs from shelters and rescues and train them how to be service dogs.
I learned how to do everything from basic skill training to complex things like diabetic alert and Seizure response! I absolutely loved my time there and I still have a wonderful relationship with the whole team and we refer back and forth to each other. When I first started training over a decade ago, we didn't know as much as we do now.
I am so happy to see the force free movement taking over and people changing the way we interact with our dogs and how we interpret our dogs behavior!
Cass Goodnight, RVT, CPDT-KA has been a Veterinary Nurse since 2011 working in a variety of settings such as animal shelters, general practices, and emergency clinics. She has shared her home with dogs since the day she was born and always had an affinity for their overall wellness, both medically and behaviorally. After over 10 years in the Animal Welfare and Veterinary world, Cass began training dogs formally through Goodnight Pup Canine Training Services LLC as a means to fill a demand for highly skilled canine professionals who could help dogs and their humans live better lives together.
Certifications: Registered Veterinary Nurse (RVT)
Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA)
Elite Fear Free Certified Professional
AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator
More info about service provided: Private in-home dog training, puppy training & group class, Reactive dog training, Cooperative Care Training, Family Dog Training, Fearful Dog Training, Hyperactive Dog training
Behavioral issue focus: I specialize in working with dogs experiencing different degrees of reactivity such as barking/lunging at other dogs on leash, dogs fearful of strangers in/out of the home, reactivity towards a new baby in the home, and fear & aggression in the veterinary or grooming setting.
Training methods: I am a Fear-Free Certified, positive-reinforcement trainer. I do not train using force or punishment but rather I offer practical, humane training methods that lead to a lifelong understanding between a person and a dog. The first step to start any training plan is to schedule a consultation, information on the process and fees can be found on my website, goodnightpup.com.
Why I became a dog trainer: An interest in canine wellness overall--medical, behavioral, and emotional.
My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Building relationships with clients and seeing their "ah ha!" moments when their dog finally understands what they've been trying to communicate all along.
My #1 dog training tip: Treat your dog like a toddler--be fun, fair, and consistent with them. Reinforce the behavior you like and redirect the behavior you don't. Nobody is perfect, so don't push perfection on your dog either.
Service areas: Brownsburg & surrounding areas
I have always loved animals, and this by far is where I was meant to be. I am passionate about teaching humans about force free methods, but even more to educate them about the dogs that they share their life with and the why's of behavior and how to read them.
Certifications: KPACTP, RVT, Licensed Family Dog Mediator-Training, Fear Free Certified Professional
More info about service provided: My wheelhouse is puppies, and I specialize in providing safe puppy socials for all age puppies and adult dogs too. Day training as well as packages can be arranged. Training classes are being designed - to be determined.
Behavioral issue focus: I work with fear but not aggression, leash reactivity, leash walking skills, and common behavior issues.
Training methods: I start with a consult, and then determine a course of action to encompass the goals and needs of the client and the dog.
Why I became a dog trainer: Love of behavior science and love of animals.
My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Seeing the light go off in the human, the dogs are easy!
My #1 dog training tip: Learn to read dog body language - and make your relationship with your dog your #1 priority. If your dog trusts you, you are by far ahead of the curve!
Service areas: Zionsville, Carmel, Fishers, Westfield, Indianapolis, Whitestown, Brownsburg
How are Indianapolis dog trainers selected for this list?
These are the top dog trainers in Indianapolis 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 Indianapolis 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 Indianapolis?
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 Indianapolis 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 Indianapolis cost?
Indianapolis 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 Indianapolis dog trainer. How can I get listed here?
As long as you have a training facility or do in person training in Indianapolis 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 Indianapolis?
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 Indiana was $30,081 per year and $14.46 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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