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The Best Dog Trainers in Lafayette, LA of 2023

Merlin Noble photo

Merlin Noble

May 18, 2023

Dog Trainers

Welcome to the Lafayette, LA Sniffspot top dog trainer list for 2023. This is a list of the top dog trainers in Lafayette 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 Louisiana 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 Lafayette, LA Dog Trainers in 2023

Vikki Bourgeois

Vikki Bourgeois is the owner of Sit Happens Dog Training. She has over 15 years experience in the pet care industry where she developed a special interest in behavior modification training. She has a passion for working with fearful dogs and aggression.

Vikki holds the prestigious title of Certified Behavior Consultant Canine (CBCC-KA), a title only 161 people hold worldwide. She is one of three CBCC-KA's in the entire state of Louisiana and the only one in Acadiana. She is also a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA) through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers, a Certified Trick Dog Instructor through the 'Do More With Your Dog' program, and Fear Free Certified Professional. She is an American Kennel Club Canine Good Citizen Evaluator and Puppy S.T.A.R. Evaluator.

In addition to Vikki's certifications, she is also a member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers and Pet Professional Guild.

She is the proud owner of a 4 year old sport performance dog - Stark the Doberman. She enjoys competing with Stark in AKC Scent Work, Barn Hunt, FAST CAST, and Lure Coursing. They have also earned their Canine Conditioning and Trick Titles.

Certifications: CBCC-KA, CPDT-KA, CTDI, FFCP

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: We offer in-home private lessons, group classes, workshops, private lessons at our training center, hybrid training, and board & train.

Behavioral issue focus: Aggression, separation anxiety, OCD, leash reactivity, fears, phobias, jumping, digging, chewing, barking, and potty training.

Training methods: We offer an in depth consultation at our first lesson. Clients receive detailed training plans with handouts and videos. We use positive reinforcement techniques to modify and change behavior. We do not use any choke, shock, or prong collars. We do not use pain, force, or intimidation in our training protocols.

Why I became a dog trainer: To help improve the lives and relationships of people and their pets.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Teaching pet owners how to communicate effectively with their pets. Watching the dogs gaon confidence with training.

My #1 dog training tip: Set your dog up for success. Be proactive when approaching training versus reactive.

Service areas: Lafayette, Broussard, Scott, Breaux Bridge, New Iberia, Carencro, Crowley, Sunset

Website: https://www.lafayettedogtrainer.com


Ronny LeJeune

I have been professionally working with dogs since 2015. She has experience with dogs of all sizes, breeds, and personalities. However, my specialty is training high energy and performance dogs.

My mission is to empower pet parents through progressive and scientific information to improve their dog's obedience, performance, and nutrition to achieve the Optimal Canine! I own three dogs of various ages and breeds - Pica, a 14 year old Border Collie; Quest, a 3 year old German Shorthaired Pointer; and Kessel, a 9 month old American Staffordshire Terrier.

I actively compete in dog sports with Quest. The sports we compete in include Tracking, Scent Detection, Dock Diving, and Barn Hunt. Kessel is my new sport dog prospect for Competitive Obedience, Scent Detection, Dock Diving, and Barn Hunt.

I am also the owner of Perfectly Rawsome - an informational resource for pet parents to provide a raw or cooked diet to dogs and cats. Perfectly Rawsome was created in 2015 and has blossomed into one of the top online resources for feeding for dogs and cats a home prepared diet. She also has a fresh food support group on Facebook - Raw Feeding University. Raw Feeding University is a free group for fresh food feeders from across the world to connect with one another.

Certifications:

Certified Professional Dog Trainer, Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA)
Certified Canine Fitness Trainer (CCFT)
Certified Canine Nutritionist (CertCN)
Certified Canine Conditioning Coach (CCC)

Services include:

  • In home training
  • Puppy training

More info about service provided: Day Training - A full day of training and public outings to teach the dog real world skills and provide optimal exercise.

Obedience & Trick Training - Behaviors of focus include sit, down, stay, come when called (recall), loose leash walking, heel work, and toy skills such as retrieving and tugging.

In Home Training - Behaviors of focus include potty training, kennel training, door dashing, and excessive jumping.

Canine Conditioning & Fitness Programs - Personalized fitness programs for dogs to build strength and coordination. Ideal for healthy dogs, sport dogs, and working dogs.

Scent Work Training - Training for AKC and NASCW competitive scent work. A sports for dogs of all ages.

Behavioral issue focus: Leash Reactivity and Resource Guarding are the only behavioral cases I take at this time.

Training methods: I only use progressive and kind training methods. I harness the power of games to teach dogs how to offer desirable behaviors and gain access to rewards they find enjoyable, such as food and toys. I do not use intimidation, fear, pain, or aversive training tools in any of my training programs.

Day Training Process:
The day training program is designed to train both ends of the leash – the dog and their owner. Therefore, I work individually with the pet parents and provide an in-person meet-n-greet before the day training program begins. 1-1 pet parent coaching, learning resources, and training video footage is provided in the day training program in addition to he dog spending 3 days a week.

Every dog experiences fun adventures, activities, and enrichment opportunities that are beneficial to their mental, physical, and biological needs. This includes real world training, socialization, cardiovascular exercise, mental enrichment, decompression, and rest.

In-Person Private Lesson Process:
A 1 hour phone consultation is provided before in-person lessons begin. In-person lessons are within the pet's home and are 1 hour a session. The pet parent has permission to video the training lessons. Resources are emailed after each training session.

Virtual Lessons Process:
All virtual lessons are completed on Zoom where I provide video demonstrations of the training behaviors. The pet parent is provided homework to train their dog using the instructions in the video demonstration. The homework then is submitted to me for feedback for skill progression. All Zoom sessions are recorded and provided to the pet parent along with additional learning resources.

Canine Conditioning & Fitness Programs:
A fitness assessment is completed for the creation of a custom fitness program. Each fitness program is a 3 month program that includes video demonstrations of exercises, progression plans, weekly feedback on homework, and an hour Zoom meeting each month.

Why I became a dog trainer: I have always had a desire to improve a dog's quality of life through better behavior, enrichment, physical exercise, and nutrition. Training my personal dogs provided me the opportunity to make a positive impact on my personal dogs' lives.

Professionally training dogs allows me to extend my knowledge and skills to pet parents who are committed to teaching their dog better behavior and physical fitness though methods founded on positive reinforcement, choice, and play.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: My favorite part about being a dog trainer is experiencing and sharing the joy the pet parent has when their dog has learned something new or accomplished a major training goal.

My #1 dog training tip: My number one dog training tip is to always play with your dog! Play helps develop a strong relationship between the dog and the human. Developing a strong relationship through play accelerates learning and keeps it fun.

Service areas: In person private lessons are provided to the following cities in Louisiana: Lafayette, Scott, Carencro, Broussard, Opelousas, Youngsville, Breaux Bridge, & New Iberia.

Virtual lessons are available to pet parents around the world.

Website: https://optimalcanine.com/


Sniffspot Lafayette Top Trainer Frequently Asked Questions

How are Lafayette dog trainers selected for this list?

These are the top dog trainers in Lafayette 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 Lafayette 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 Lafayette?

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 Lafayette 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 Lafayette cost?

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

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

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 Louisiana was $29,009 per year and $13.95 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 Louisiana Cities

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

Baton Rouge, LA
Monroe, LA
New Orleans, LA


See The Best Dog Trainers In Other States Near Louisiana

Arkansas
Mississippi
Texas

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Sniffspot Dog swimming in pool
Merlin Noble photo

Merlin Noble

May 18, 2023

Dog Trainers

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