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The Best Dog Trainers in Langley, VA of 2023

Merlin Noble photo

Merlin Noble

May 29, 2023

Dog Trainers

Welcome to the Langley, VA Sniffspot top dog trainer list for 2023. This is a list of the top dog trainers in Langley 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 Virginia 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 Langley, VA Dog Trainers in 2023

Erika Proctor

Green Dogs Unleashed is a special needs animal rescue and therapy dog program. A non profit organization Founded in 2012, Erika Proctor has been the director and animal behavior specialist focusing on therapy work, basic through advanced classes, tricks, fitness and sport work, rescuing dogs on our community, and helping Pet parents build a bond with their furry friends ensuring happy well adjusted animals, who successfully stay in their adopted homes forever.

Certifications: GDU TDT -AKC CGC and Trick dog Evaluator

Services include:

  • Aggressive dog training
  • Deaf dog training
  • Reactive dog training
  • Service dog training
  • Puppy training

More info about service provided: Green Dogs Unleashed is a special needs animal rescue and therapy dog program. A non profit organization Founded in 2012, Erika Proctor has been the director and animal behavior specialist focusing on therapy work, basic through advanced classes, tricks, fitness and sport work, rescuing dogs on our community, and helping Pet parents build a bond with their furry friends ensuring happy well adjusted animals, who successfully stay in their adopted homes forever.

Behavioral issue focus: As a Behavior Specialist I work with all concerns from basic training needs to OCD and Anxiety, as well as reactivity and aggression evaluations and mitigation

Training methods: As a student of science I subscribe to methods that are based in kindness, mutual respect and build relationships between owner and pet.

Why I became a dog trainer: To help pets with their people problems

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Helping families stay together and work towards reasonable goals

My #1 dog training tip: Every dog is an individual and family makeup is different. It is important we respect that individuality and work towards realistic expectations that work for all involved

Service areas: Charlottesville and Central Virginia


Cat Clark

Sharing your home with an animal can be one of the most rewarding things in life. Making sure your animal is well trained will give both of you more time to enjoy each other’s company, and less stress for your dog and your family. Modern, science based force-free training is full of fun techniques that will give you and your pet a happier life together through better communication.

Cat Clark is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer-Knowledge Assessed through CCPDT and the Victoria Stilwell Academy for Dog Training and Behavior, where she graduate with Distinction, as well as a Level 2 Graduate of Peaceable Paws Academy. She is a member of the Pet Professional Guild, The Association of Professional Dog Trainers, and the Hampton Roads Force Free Network.

Cat not only understands dogs, she understands people and the need to work as a team to meet shared goals. Cat is a 27 year veteran of the US Air Force and earned Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership.

At Bravo Zulu Dog Training, we believe in the use of force-free, positive reinforcement training. We do not use any tools such as choke collars, prong collars or e-collars. Dogs, and many other animals, are social beings who enjoy love, affection and family life. Let's work together to give ourselves and our dogs the best life possible.

Certifications: CPDT-KA, VSA-CDT

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: I provide basic manners training, day training, board, and train, and behavior modification.

Behavioral issue focus: I work with leash reactivity, aggression, dog/dog aggression, new dog introductions, and cat/dog introductions.

Training methods: I offer consultation to assess the issues and then develop a training plan with the family. I only use force-free non-aversive methods and the family is fully involved in all decisions about how to proceed with training. The training plan is tailored to the family's lifestyle and availability to train.

Why I became a dog trainer: I became a dog trainer because I love dogs and working with people. My goal is to help my clients build the best relationship possible with their canine companions.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: I love watching the relationship develop between a dog and its human companion. I absolutely love it when I see the light bulb go on over a dog's head because they finally understand what their human wants them to do.

My #1 dog training tip: Treats are not bribery! We need to pay our dogs for the work they put in to learn new things. The more a behavior is reinforced, the more it will be repeated.

Service areas: Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Yorktown, Williamsburg


Ashley Mosca

I started at Pender Pet Retreat in 2017 and my interest in dog behavior has only grown since then. I specialize in puppy training and basic obedience work. My training beliefs center around a strong relationship between the dog and human through proper communication.

I received my CPDT-KA in 2021 and have enjoyed working with all different kinds of dogs and owners. I also love my own Shepherd mix, Winnie, who comes to work with me daily and helps my puppy clients come out of their shells!

Certifications: CPDT-KA

Services include:

  • Board and train
  • Reactive dog training
  • Puppy training

More info about service provided: I offer different obedience options at Pender Pet Retreat in Chantilly, VA. Day School is an option where pups get dropped off, worked with throughout the day, and get homework at pickup. The Board and Train program is where we work on basic obedience or specific behavioral issues, like building confidence or working around distractions. The Puppy Program is great to help socialize young puppies to new environments, sounds, smells, people, and dogs. They get a chance to play with appropriate dogs and receive training throughout the day. I work closely with the daycare program at Pender Pet Retreat and I'm able to help with confidence building, socialization, and the temperament tests.

Behavioral issue focus: Confidence building, reactivity, anxiety

Training methods: Before training everyone gets a free consultation where we discuss their dog's behavior and their training goals. I then recommend the program I believe to be the best fit for those goals and then we schedule training! During training we focus and reinforce the basics, meeting their mental and physical needs, while also targeting any problem behaviors. I will give printed homework and also meet with clients to work through lessons and any confusion.

Why I became a dog trainer: I originally started working as a client service representative, but was amazed watching the in house trainer at the time work with the dogs. I loved watching them learn and grow. I asked to shadow him to learn more. Eventually, I worked my way into becoming the Daycare Manager where I learned SO much about dog behavior through seminars, lessons, and just hands on experience. I then had the pleasure of going to Boise, Idaho for a Shadow Program at Valor K9 and it was an incredible experience. When I came back I dove right in to my own training program here at Pender Pet Retreat. I've found a love for building confidence in shy dogs and watching them open up and become less anxious.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Building a relationship with each new dog I work with and figuring out what makes them tick. Seeing their confidence build and that switch just "click" after learning something new.

My #1 dog training tip: Clear communication! It's important for your dog to know what you're asking for before you ask it.

Service areas: Chantilly, Ashburn, South Riding, Centreville


Mary Crawford

Mary started working with dogs professionally in 2006 as a dog daycare attendant, and started her dog training career in 2008 when she decided to apprentice under a highly experienced certified trainer. She became fascinated by canine behavior and modern training methods and decided to dedicate her professional career to learning all about dog training, social behavior, and behavior modification.
Mary also spent several years in the shelter world, working as an Animal Control Officer for the Washington Humane Society (now Humane Rescue Alliance) in Washington, DC.

In addition to overseeing the day to day operations of Wholistic Hound Academy, she manages 9 experienced trainers, 11 apprentices, leads their Apprentice Program, and offers private lessons to clients. She specializes in canine body language, canine social behavior, and aggressive behavior modification.

Mary is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer - Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA) from the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT). She is currently working towards an Associate Certified Canine Behavior Consultant accreditation from the IAABC and Certified Behavior Consultant Canine -Knowledge Assessed accreditation from CCPDT.

When she is not training dogs, Mary enjoys collecting houseplants, camping, flying small aircraft with her husband, and exploring dog sports with her two dogs. Mary is owned by Mayday, a chaotic border collie, Memphis, a sensitive aussie/rottie mix, and Pree, a dramatic grey tabby.

Certifications: CPDT-KA

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: Group classes, day training, private lessons, behavior modification, aggression, puppy socialization, social behavior modification

Behavioral issue focus: Aggression towards dogs and humans, bite cases up to level 4

Training methods: Initial consultation to discuss client and dog background, history, medical influences, and draft a behavior modification plan. I use a combination of CC/DS, ABA, and R+ relationship-building exercises to address behavior issues.

Why I became a dog trainer: To provide the public with effective, humane training methods, modern behavior education, and to prevent dogs from ending up in shelters.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Watching dogs progress from fearful or aggressive to happy and well adjusted, with owners who support and advocate for their dog's needs

My #1 dog training tip: Don't forget to pause and look back at how far you've come.


Kat Heckert

Kat (she/her) became interested in behavior and training when she entered the animal shelter world. Kat has worked in the behavior department of two animal shelters and has provided training services to shelter volunteers, fosters, and adopters. In 2020, she decided to take the leap from animal sheltering to private training and discovered how rewarding it is to work so closely with dog guardians and their dogs.

Kat is passionate about helping people connect with their dogs using positive reinforcement and force-free training methods. She loves to incorporate enrichment activities into her training plans and thinking of creative ways to approach challenging behaviors. She believes in creating a compassionate and supportive environment for dogs and their guardians to set everyone up for success.


Professional Canine Behavior Consultant (PCBC-A)
Fear Free Certified

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: Fear, Anxiety, Reactivity, Aggression, Newly Adopted Dogs, Puppies, Basic Manners

Behavioral issue focus: Leash reactivity, fearful behaviors, stranger reactivity, human-directed aggression, resource guarding.

Training methods: I work with clients on a mix of management, enrichment, behavior games, and teaching alternative behaviors. My main goal is that both my client and their dog find the training plan enjoyable, accessible, and that it fits with what they both need. My methods are force free and I never use coercion, intimidation, or discomfort in training plans.

Why I became a dog trainer: To improve the relationship between dogs and their guardians.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Watching people and their dogs connect and work as a team.

My #1 dog training tip: Enrichment is the foundation of any good behavior plan.

Service areas: In-Person in Arlington and Falls Church VA, Remote


Kim Keleher

I'm from Alexandria, Va although I've also lived in Philadelphia and New York City. My partner Tom and I have a young Cavalier King Charles Spaniel named Spencer. Tom is a retired builder and a busy grandfather.

Certifications: CPDT-KA, PMCT Level 2, Fear Free

Services include:

  • In home training
  • Reactive dog training
  • Puppy training

More info about service provided: I offer day training for small breed puppies and dogs that will top out at about 25 pounds. I train the dog for my clients.

Behavioral issue focus: I love to work with puppies to help prevent behavioral challenges from developing. I also work with leash reactivity in adult dogs.

Training methods: I am a certified professional trainer. I use positive reinforcement training. After an initial consultation I develop training plans to address the client's goals.

Why I became a dog trainer: I became interested in training when I was introduced to positive reinforcement training as a volunteer at the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria. I'd grown up with the old fashioned training method and was so happy to learn there was a nicer and more effective way of working with all animals. We had a young Doberman at the time who was not well socialized before we got him. He was a very good teacher.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: I don't know if I like helping the people or the dogs more. It's so rewarding to make living with a dog easier for her people. When they understand each other better, life is better for the dogs too.

My #1 dog training tip: Learn canine body language. As Pat Miller says, "your dog is always talking to you. You have to learn to listen." That quote is from memory. It may not be precise but the sentiment is accurate.

Service areas: City of Alexandria


Amy Pike

Dr. Pike has been caring for patients for well over 20 years. After graduating from Colorado State University in 2003, she was commissioned as a Captain in the US Army. There, she was the head veterinarian for her base's small veterinary clinic, caring for 200 Customs and Border Protection horses, and 15 Military Working dogs. It was Dr. Pike's experiences with Military Working Dogs that originally piqued her interest veterinary behavior. After leaving active duty, Dr. Pike was able to further her love for behavior. As a civilian, she continued her work with some of these dogs at Joint Base Andrews near Washington, D.C.

As her love for behavior blossomed, she began her residency program. Under the mentorship of Dr. Debra Horwitz, Dr. Pike spent 3 years seeing behavior cases, taking additional college courses in psychology and advanced animal sciences, completing her research on thunderstorm phobias and studying for the grueling two day board examination. In October 2015, she became one of fewer than 70 Boarded Veterinary Behaviorists in all of North America.

As a Veterinary Behaviorist, she has dedicated much of her time to improving education in the field. She has written various articles for professional veterinary journals such as Clinician's Brief, Pet Quarterly, and The Team. She has been interviewed for other articles in both periodical magazines, online forums and newspapers. She is Fear Free Certified and serves as a member of the Fear Free Advisory Committee.

Dr. Pike also serves on the Board of Directors of The Animal Welfare League of Arlington (Virginia), and the American College of Veterinary Behavior's Board of Regents, where she is Head of the Specialty Training Committee. Dr. Pike acts as an instructor for E-Training for Dogs, an online education program, is mentor to her own residents, (Robyn Hayes, DVM, and Esther Eng, DVM), was an editorial advisory member for the American Veterinarian publication, and continues to present at National Veterinary Conferences around the world multiple times per year.

Since moving to Northern Virginia in the summer of 2016, she has dedicated her work toward building a network of behavior resources. She is currently the co-owner of the two ABWC locations (with Dr. Learn). Here in Fairfax, she sees pets with behavior disorders that range from mild fears to extreme aggression, compulsive disorders and panic disorders. With her extensive knowledge, caring nature, and masterful management abilities, she has gathered a team of behavior professionals that are able to tackle any behavior problem. As her influence in the region grows, she is working to expand prevention services with her support staff by providing socialization classes and patient handling workshops for other veterinary professionals.

Certifications: DVM, DACVB, IAABC-CDBC

Services include:

  • Aggressive dog training
  • Reactive dog training
  • Puppy training

More info about service provided: Behavior Modification for serious behavioral issues

Behavioral issue focus: Anxiety, Aggression, Phobias, Compulsive disorders

Training methods: Behavior consultations, training plans, positive reinforcement training and psychotropic medication if applicable

Why I became a dog trainer: My love for veterinary medicine combined with psychology

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: The relationships with the humans

My #1 dog training tip: Have fun- if you aren't enjoying it, and your pet isnt either, rethink the plan!

Service areas: Baltimore, Washington DC, Fairfax, Arlington, Alexandria


Matt Henry

After adopting a very challenging dog several years ago, I have become a forever student to animal behavior.
There is nothing more satisfying than helping others that are where I once was.

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: Private in-home consultations for behavior modification

Behavioral issue focus: Resource guarding, leash reactivity, dog - dog & dog - human aggression

Training methods: We start by establishing a communication system and teaching how to fulfill the individual learners needs, then formulate a realistic training program that the learners guardian will be able to maintain throughout the process.

Why I became a dog trainer: To help others in need.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: The look in a dog's eyes when the gears start spinning inside its head

My #1 dog training tip: Go outside with your dog.

Service areas: Fairfax Va and surrounding areas


Sniffspot Langley Top Trainer Frequently Asked Questions

How are Langley dog trainers selected for this list?

These are the top dog trainers in Langley 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 Langley 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 Langley?

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 Langley 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 Langley cost?

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

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

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 Virginia was $35,742 per year and $17.18 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 Virginia Cities

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

Newport News, VA
Norfolk, VA
Richmond, VA
Virginia Beach, VA

See The Best Dog Trainers In Other States Near Virginia

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

North Carolina

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Merlin Noble photo

Merlin Noble

May 29, 2023

Dog Trainers

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