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The Best Dog Trainers in Louisiana of 2023

Merlin Noble photo

Merlin Noble

March 29, 2022

Dog Trainers

Welcome to the Louisiana Sniffspot top dog trainer list for 2023. This is a list of the top dog trainers in Louisiana 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. 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 compiled 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 100% 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 Louisiana Dog Trainers in 2023

Cynthia Stone

Cynthia Stone, CPDT-KA has been working with dogs for 20+ years. She started with training both her and friends dogs, went on to working with various rescues, and then opened her own business. She has used her innate skills as an instructor to benefit not just the human-canine world, but also to serve as an instructor for Red Cross and PetTech, both human and canine CPR and First Aid.

Cynthia is a Certified Profession Dog Trainer-Knowledge Assessed, a member of Pet Professional Guild, and a professional member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers. She has attended numerous dog training seminars and workshops with some of the leading names in dog training, including Ian Dunbar, Sarah Kalnajs, Pat Miller, Grisha Stewart, Sue Sternburg, Michael Shikashio, and Victoria Stilwell. She takes continuing education seriously and stays on top of the current scientifically proven options by regular participation in national organizations, attendance of national conferences and the reading of professional publications. Cynthia has competed with her dogs in several areas including agility, obedience, rally, scenting and most recently ‘ratting’.

In addition to her private training business, she is also an evaluator/instructor for NATIONAL Crisis Response Canines. She was recognized by SniffSpot in the Spring of 2022 as the #1 Force Free/Fear Free/Pain Free trainer for the New Orleans area and for the state of Louisiana.

Cynthia is a certified Canine Life and Social Skills (C.L.A.S.S.) evaluator, an AKC Canine Good Citizen (CGC) evaluator and certified instructor for PetTech (Pet First Aid and CPR). She is also a member of Dog Scouts of America (DSA), troop leader and a certified Dog Scouts Scoutmaster and an approved evaluator for several DSA badges.

Cynthia's family consists of a very understanding husband, 3 Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, a cat and numerous rescue dogs.

Certifications: CPDT-KA, PTI

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: Force Free * Pain Free* Fear Free

This is my commitment to you and your canine. I will use a variety and combination of science based reinforcement philosophies.... verbal cues, hand signals, treats, clickers, toys, and games to help modify behavior,
correct bad habits, and even to teach tricks. I utilize what your dog likes and desires to train a variety of skills (obedience, tricks, agility) while creating
‚Äãtrust and a lasting relationship. This can be done through private one on one sessions, group classes, or board and train. It depends upon which method works best for your dog and you.

Behavioral issue focus: I have worked with dogs with mild behavior issues (re-learning potty training) to reactive issues (ones some might call aggressive) towards environment, people or other animals,

Why I became a dog trainer: A love of animals and a desire to help the human - canine relationship be the best for both species.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Dogs

My #1 dog training tip: Patience - this is not an area where fast is best.

Service areas: Northshore of Louisiana (Covington, Mandeville, Slidell, Madisonville)

Website: https://www.apcanine.com


Jio & Taylor Smart B Modern Dog Training

Smart Bitch Modern Dog Training is a force-free, rewards-based, female minority owned dog training company based in New Orleans, LA co-owned by Jiovany 'Jio' Alcaide and Taylor Barconey. Smart Bitch's mission is to help popularize force-free training methods in America and beyond by tackling all areas of dog training. Smart Bitch strives to make their training and methodology as accessible as possible, particularly online, and love addressing popular dog training topics in a quick and digestible way!


Jiovany 'Jio' Alcaide and Taylor Barconey began their dog training journey by becoming accredited dog trainers through a popular dog day care company in 2017. With an extreme appetite and ambition to become the best dog trainers they could be, Jio and Taylor quickly garnished over 300 hours of dog training experience within their first 6 months in their profession and went on to obtain their Certified Professional Dog Trainer title (CPDT-KA) through the Certification Council of Professional Dog Trainers in 2018.

They proceeded to obtain the Accredited Dog Trainer Certification (ADT) through the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants and their Fear Free Certified Professional Animal Trainer certifications through Fear Free in 2020.
The Smart Bitches currently own 6 pets between themselves: 4 dogs, 1 cat and 1 box turtle.

Jio is the proud owner of 4-year-old Powerline, the Doberman Pincher, (respectfully named after the great celebrity Powerline feature in A Goofy Movie,) 7-year-old, Beetlejuice, a spunky Dachshund/ Jack Russell mix. Taylor is the proud owner of Patterdale Terriers: 10 year old, Suri and 8 years old, Sachi. They credit their dogs to being their biggest inspiration behind their career choice.

Certifications: CPDT-KA, IAABC-ADT

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: Dog to Dog Aggression, Dog to People Aggression, Resource Guarding (Object Aggression), Leash Reactivity, Excessive Barking, Running Away, Destruction, Hyperactivity, Fearfulness & Anxiety, Obsessive Behavior

Behavioral issue focus: Dog to Dog Aggression, Dog to People Aggression, Resource Guarding (Object Aggression), Leash Reactivity, Excessive Barking, Running Away, Destruction, Hyperactivity, Fearfulness & Anxiety, Obsessive Behavior

Training methods: Smart B Modern Dog Training is
a force-free, rewards-based, female & minority owned dog training company based in New Orleans, LA co-owned by Jiovany 'Jio' Alcaide, CPDT-KA, IAABC-ADT and Taylor Barconey, CPDT-KA, IAABC-ADT.

Smart B's mission is to popularize rewards-based methods in America and beyond, and prides itself on tackling all areas of dog training, including advanced behavioral issues, such as aggression, and proving to their community that no matter the problem, the Smart B's can help!

Smart B strives to make their training and methodology as accessible as possible, particularly online, and love addressing popular dog training topics in a quick and digestible way!

Check our website to find out what the B stands for!

Why I became a dog trainer: To battle the forces of evil

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Having the best job in the world

My #1 dog training tip: Remembering that your dog is an ANIMAL; Successful management is the BEST way to maintain good behavior and to prevent trouble behaviors.

Service areas: New Orleans

Website: https://www.smartbitchdogtraining.com


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/


Janette Rael

Janette has been working with dogs professionally for over a decade, and specializes in dog-dog social skills, leash reactivity, and aggression. She's currently a trainer and group class instructor at the Louisiana SPCA in New Orleans. Janette received her education in dog training from the San Francisco SPCA Academy for Dog Trainers in 2009.

The Academy is one of the most prestigious dog trainer schools in the world, and is often referred to as 'The Harvard for Dog Trainers' The CTC Program, lead by the legendary dog trainer Jean Donaldson, is a deep-dive into current scientific discovery in animal learning. As a Certified Training Counselor, Janette will teach you how to address and prevent dog behavior problems with the most reliable and effective training tools available in the industry.

Janette founded R+ Dog Training in 2009, as she began focusing on group dog training classes, counseling private clients, off-leash dog walking, and working with rescues and shelters. Janette managed Metrodog in Richmond, California, a large dog boarding and training center for over 6 years. There she gained experience working with a wide variety of dogs, from pit bulls to chihuahuas.

Observing hundreds of dogs interact in a social environment has given her unique insight into the world of dog body language and communication skills. She has helped countless dogs, who were once reactive or aggressive, integrate into large playgroups and pack walks. In addition to managing the dog behavior program at Metrodog, she supervised the training of new handlers and support staff. She has also been a group class instructor at Milo Foundation, Good Newz Pittie Pups, and California Pitbull Rescue. Janette has been fostering dogs for over 5 years, and currently fosters for Louisiana SPCA and Take Paws Rescue

Certifications: Certificate of Training and Counseling

Services include:

  • Aggressive dog training
  • Board and train
  • In home training
  • Reactive dog training
  • Off leash training

Website: https://www.noladogtrainer.com


Sniffspot Louisiana Top Trainer Frequently Asked Questions

How are Louisiana dog trainers selected for this list?

These are the top dog trainers in Louisiana 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 Louisiana 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 Louisiana?

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 Louisiana 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 Louisiana cost?

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

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

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 By City In Louisiana

Baton Rouge, LA
Lafayette, LA
Monroe, LA
New Orleans, LA


See The Best Dog Trainers In Other States Near Louisiana

Arkansas
Mississippi
Texas

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Merlin Noble photo

Merlin Noble

March 29, 2022

Dog Trainers

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