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The Best Dog Trainers in Louisville, KY of 2023

Merlin Noble photo

Merlin Noble

March 29, 2022

Dog Trainers

Welcome to the Louisville, KY Sniffspot top dog trainer list for 2023. This is a list of the top dog trainers in Louisville 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 Kentucky 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 Louisville, KY Dog Trainers in 2023

Lisa Korf

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

Services include:

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

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


Chris Miara

I started training and showing my own dogs in 1984 and over the years my dogs have earned titles in AKC obedience, tracking, agility, tricks. I started teaching other people to train their dogs in 2000. My methods have evolved over the years and I try to keep current in continuing education. I am also a presenter for the Family Paws program. I have a Master's Degree in Behavioral Science and worked as a Master's level psychologist for over 25 years.

Certifications: Certified Dog Behavior Consultant

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: Private lessons for dog with behavior issues such as aggression, reactivity, fearfulness, potty training, and classes and private lessons in basic manners, agility training, Canine Good citizen training, Tricks.

Behavioral issue focus: Aggression, reactivity, fearfulness.

Training methods: For private lessons, I get a lot of information and behavioral history about the dog and his behaviors. Then we do exercises with the dog. I am certified by the IAABC and I believe in using positive methods and LIMA; knowing the dog's environmental triggers and learning history helps me design a training plan to address the behaviors and teach the dog more appropriate ways to behave as well as discuss managing the environment to get the behavior we want.

Why I became a dog trainer: I've always loved working with my own dogs and I also enjoy working with people. Dog training is a way to do both. I enjoy being a part of strengthening people's relationship with their dogs.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Seeing dogs and their people become a team.

My #1 dog training tip: When teaching your dog, set them up to win and be aware of what they're telling you, training is two-way communication. In learning, consistency and predictability helps everyone feel more secure.

Service areas: Lexington, Louisville, Nicholasville, Paris, Georgetown KY


Christina Wakefield

Christina Wakefield started teaching in 1998 and her specialty is teaching Dog Agility classes of all levels, including distance skills. She's taught a vast variety of breeds from chihuahua's to great danes to mixes of all kinds. Her goal is to combine an informative and structured class, that's a lot of fun for both dog and handler. C

hristina has competed at the National level in AKC, USDAA, and TDAA. Christina put an ADCH on her border collie Ticket, a TACH on her rat terrier Oreo, a TACH and TACH2 on Brian's border collie Tess, and several TACH's, MACH, PACH, and 2 TNAC's (Teacup National Agility Champion - winning TDAA Nationals 2 years in a row) on her boston terrier, Stitch. Stitch also won High in Trial at the TDAA Nationals in 2015. In 2016, Christina and Stitch were the #1 ranked boston terrier performance team in AKC and earned the right to compete at the AKC Invitationals in Orlando, FL, where they completed 4 clear rounds and were fast enough to be able to run in Finals!

Christina is a TDAA agility judge (and judged the TDAA Nationals in 2018) and a Hide 'N Seek judge. She does trial secretary work for AKC Herding, CPE Agility, and Hide 'N Seek. Christina has also competed in AKC, ASCA and AHBA Herding (her border collie, Ticket had points toward a Herding Championship and won many High in Trial and Reserve High in Trial and her border collies Finn and Ace are now competing), competitive obedience in AKC and ASCA, Rally in AKC, conformation in ASCA, Hide 'N Seek and Barn Hunt.

Certifications: Competed at the National level in AKC, USDAA, and TDAA.

Services include:

  • Protection/guard dog training


Sniffspot Louisville Top Trainer Frequently Asked Questions

How are Louisville dog trainers selected for this list?

These are the top dog trainers in Louisville 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 Louisville 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 Louisville?

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 Louisville 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 Louisville cost?

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

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

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 Kentucky was $27,650 per year and $13.29 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 Kentucky Cities

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

Lexington, KY

See The Best Dog Trainers In Other States Near Kentucky

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


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Merlin Noble photo

Merlin Noble

March 29, 2022

Dog Trainers

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