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The Best Dog Trainers in Maine of 2023

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Merlin Noble

March 29, 2022

Dog Trainers

Welcome to the Maine Sniffspot top dog trainer list for 2023. This is a list of the top dog trainers in Maine 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 Maine Dog Trainers in 2023

Sara Sokol

Hello! My name is Sara Sokol. I got into the business of dogs when I was a teenager, pet sitting and dog walking for family friends and neighbors. In 2004, I started Follow My Lead, a full service dog walking/running and pet sitting business in Pasadena, California. Follow My Lead. serviced seven different cities throughout the Pasadena area, employed 6 part time employees and held a client base of 80+ rotating customers.

To facilitate the addition of dog training and behavior modification to Follow My Lead, I began an internship with the Pasadena Humane Society and SPCA which was an open admission shelter. As a behavior and training tech, my job was to preform full behavior assessments including touch sensitivity, food and toy possession, along with dog-to-dog testing on all dogs entering the shelter. Many of the dogs at the shelter had issues with aggression, anxiety, shy/fearful behavior. We also performed evaluations on dogs quarantined for biting.

As lead trainer, I taught obedience classes ranging from Puppy Kindergarten to Advanced Obedience, as well as activity classes including Agility, Tricks, and a class created using my background as a yoga instructor: Doga - yoga with your dog!

Working in a shelter that takes in dogs of all breeds, ages, sizes, and temperaments was an invaluable opportunity for me to fine tune my dog training and behavior modification skills, as well as my understanding of dog body language. My time working at the Pasedena Humane Society was a gift. The knowledge that I gained there from my amazing coworkers and the dogs in the shelter, was priceless. The obedience classes I taught helped owners learn how to effectively communicate with their dogs, helping them build strong and permanent relationships.

In 2011, my husband & I relocated to Connecticut, where I continued my work with animals as District Manager of the Connecticut Humane Society. I implemented a new color coding program for the dog volunteers, new enrichment programs that included obedience classes for the shelter dogs, as well as programs helping staff with compassion fatigue and morale.

In 2012 we moved to Maine and Mr. Dog Training was born, named for my partner in crime, Milo, my little white shih tzu who is my heartbeat by my side.

Helping people and dogs learn to communicate and trust each other is my favorite part of my job. There is nothing better than watching a person and their dog learn and work together with smiles, laughter, and a glint in their eyes.

I'm grateful for the trust and support that my students, and the Maine community of dog guardians that I am so proud to be a part of, show me every day. I could not have landed in a more perfect place.

I believe working with animals is the best job in the world and am grateful for the opportunity to have such beautiful creatures in my life. I learn from my dogs daily. They teach me patience, acceptance, unconditional love, and how to live in the present moment. Most importantly, they make me smile and laugh every day!

Services include:

  • Aggressive dog training
  • Deaf dog training
  • Reactive dog training
  • Puppy training
  • Agility training

More info about service provided: My focus when working with clients is prioritizing an understanding of how our dogs, and ourselves, learn, what drives behavior, building clear and consistent communication, an understanding of canine body language so that we can 'listen' to our dogs, and prioritizing, above all else, the relationship that we have with our dogs.
I offer group classes, both virtual and in person, that range from young puppies through Advanced Obedience as well as Agility, Nose Work, Tricks, Fun and Games classes, and Dog Parkour.

Behavioral issue focus: I specialize in helping clients with dogs who struggle with fear/leash reactivity.

Training methods: I primarily work with clients in group classes or through virtual one on one consults.

Why I became a dog trainer: I wanted to provide people with a safe and fun way to make their lives and relationships with their dogs the most amazing that they can be.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Watching my clients listen to their dogs and focus more on meeting their dog's needs than blind obedience.

My #1 dog training tip: Listen to your dog

Service areas: Midcoast Maine for in person and global for virtual

Website: https://www.mrdogtraining.com/


Erin Bessey

I own and operate Bessey's Positive Paws in Maine. I have been training for nearly 20 years. I became a CPDT-ka in 2011. I have a BS in Zoology. I worked a veterinary clinic for the last 15 years and still work there part time. I have raised dogs for Guiding Eyes for the Blind as well as did a 6 week internship with them.

I live with my husband, two daughters and two labradors, Henry (11) and Tripp (6). Each dog was born with a cleft palate and I raised them from 1-2 days old. Dogs and animals have always been an interest and passion of mine since I was little. Training dogs is what I do.

Certifications: CCPDT-ka

Services include:

  • Reactive dog training
  • Puppy training

More info about service provided: Basic training, private sessions

Behavioral issue focus: Shy dog, overexcited, unsure/fear reactivity

Training methods: Clicker training, reward based training (food, toys)

Why I became a dog trainer: I always loved learning about animals and how they behaved and communicated. I knew when I was young I wanted to train animals. When I was in college I started working at a doggie daycare/boarding/training facility and began learning about the fascinating world of dogs and decided, dogs would be what I train.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Seeing the connection between owner and dog become stronger. I love when I see the owner's appreciation for their dog grow because of the knowledge they gain when working with me. You see the lightbulbs go off and the joy it brings to them.

My #1 dog training tip: Let go of stereotypes or comparisons to other dogs and train the dog in front of you.

Service areas: Lincoln and Kennebec counties primarily

Website: https://www.besseyspositivepaws.com


Nancy Freedman-smith

28 years as a professional dog trainer. Prior to that I worked with horses.

Certifications: CDBC, CBATI

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: Positive training at Gooddogz Training studio is Westbrook ME. Puppy, Rally O, Behavior Modification, Tricks, Owner trained service dogs, Therapy Dogs, Freestyle, Rallyfree, AKC CGC, Control Unleashed

Behavioral issue focus: I specialize in reactivity and fearful behaviors, and guarding.

Training methods: I subscribe to LIMA, And I am a professional member is IAABC. I am kind to both ends of the leash.

Why I became a dog trainer: I made the switch to dogs from horses after my 1st child was born. I love all animals and enjoy strengthing the human/animal bond.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: I love making a difference in the lives of people and their dogs.

My #1 dog training tip: Training should be part of life with animals. People should really see it as a priority.

Website: https://www.gooddogztraining.com


Casey Buckley

I'm a former trauma therapist and social worker. I'm a service dog handler. I've been training dogs over 10 years. I specialize in work with reactive, anxious, fearful and/or abused and neglected dogs

Certifications: CPDT-KA

Services include:

  • Deaf dog training
  • Reactive dog training
  • Service dog training
  • Off leash training
  • Puppy training

More info about service provided: Basic obedience, leash reactivity, fear aggression, service dog training (psych , mobility, medical alert), scent training, dog parquor

Behavioral issue focus: Reactivity, anxiety, fear based behaviors, guarding , separation anxiety

Training methods: I'm a force free, fear free trainer

Why I became a dog trainer: I began my work as a service dog trainer because I trained my own service dog and was interested in working with more behavioral concerns

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Seeing clients become more skilled in managing and meeting their dogs needs

My #1 dog training tip: Work with the dog in front of you and don't compare to other dogs.

Service areas: Philadelphia, west, south west center city

Website: https://www.wpcreativepets.com


Eden Zook

Hi, my name is Eden Zook. I am currently the owner/trainer/behavior consultant for Canine Karma LLC for the past six years. Previously I was known in the Seacoast area for being the Manager of Behavior and Training at the New Hampshire SPCA, during which time I successfully ran a training and behavior modification program for the public's dogs and shelter dogs. That work included, but was not limited to, group classes for all levels including dog sports and other specialities, private behavioral consultations, play groups, many workshops and seminars, the creation of a pet assisted therapy program, and a behavioral enrichment program for shelter animals.

I am a graduate of the Animal Behavior College where I received my ABCDT Certification, as well as UMass Amherst with a BA in Psychology and Associates in both Sociology and Criminal Justice. I am also a professional member of the APDT (Association of Pet Dog Trainers) and a CPDT-KA (Certified Professional Dog Trainer), along with a variety of other training certifications. In addition I have my Reiki level 2 certification and am an animal Reiki practitioner.

I have worked in the field of animal welfare/services for over 16 years holding such positions as animal behaviorist, temperament testing specialist, certified dog trainer, veterinary technician, humane educator and humane law enforcement officer. I previously taught and mentored under Kelley Bollen, renowned animal behaviorist, at Animal Alliances and the Collared Scholar in Massachusetts. I teach a wide variety of group classes which can all be seen in detail HERE . I also specialize in fear, anxiety, aggression, and reactivity behavior modification.

In addition to the many services I offer for you and your canine companion, I am incredibly proud to be a trainer for a variety of organizations. I am a mentor trainer for the CATCH Trainers Academy and Animal Behavior College, helping dog training hopefuls reach their personal career success as well as train service dogs for several different organizations. It is extremely rewarding work to be part of these amazing programs. In addition I am often called upon to act as a canine behavior expert for a variety of dog aggression court proceedings. I also spend quite a bit of time with various volunteer projects at local animal rescues and serve on the board of directors. Rescue has always been a strong part of who I am and my passion; so I am forever great full for such a wonderful collaboration.

I am passionate about strengthening the human-animal bond and currently share my home with: Johnny, a 10-year old American Pitbull Terrier; Obsidian, a 16 week old Doberman; Raven, a7-year old special needs Doberman Pincher; Piglet, a 7-year old Boston Terrier; Loki, a 5 year old American Staffordshire Terrier; Zipper, a 9- year old Chug; Annie, a 18- year old torbie cat; Rick James and Tyrone Bigums, 2 male cockatiels; and Moxie, a 12- year old African Grey Parrot; Bob, 7 year old Tennesse Walking Horse; Joker, 5 year old mini horse; Gipsy Danger, 2 year old mini horse; and 9 chickens; so YES, I do love my animals.

Certifications: AS, BA, CPDT-KA, ABCDT, CGC, APDT

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: We (Canine Karma)offer a wide variety of group classes/workshops; as well as private, in-home options and behavior modification. I specialize in working with dogs who struggle with fear, anxiety, reactivity, and aggression.

Behavioral issue focus: I personally specialize in working with dogs who struggle with fear, anxiety, reactivity, and aggression. But I have an incredible team of trainers (Canine Karma) who work with a wide variety of behavioral challenges.

Training methods: At Canine Karma we use modern, force-free, positive training techniques, and most importantly they are realistic. We will provide you with the tools you need to handle the real world with ease and harmony. Together we will work as a team to solidify the human-animal bond and to mend any broken partnerships between you and your dog.

Service areas: Seacoast New Hampshire, Northeastern Massachusetts, and Southern Maine Seacoast areas

Website: https://www.canine-karma.com


Breanna Norris

Teacher, educator and trainer that tries to make the science of training fun and functional for all.

Certifications: KPA CTP

Services include:

  • In home training
  • Reactive dog training
  • Puppy training

More info about service provided: Private sessions and educational trainings for shelters, vet clinics, rescues and schools.

Behavioral issue focus: Reactivity, Puppies, Adolescents

Training methods: I am a positive reinforcement and creative trainer that works with a wide array of domestic species - dogs, cats, small animals and farm yard pets.

Why I became a dog trainer: I trained horses and then later started working with dogs.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Creating an understanding between human and the animal.

My #1 dog training tip: Change the environment and you change the behavior.

Service areas: Central Maine

Website: https://canineinsightsllc.com


Jenny Yasi

Jenny Ruth Yasi, BFA, CPDT-KA, FFCP, CTDI is certified through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers, and she is also a Fear-Free Certified Professional animal trainer. She's certified as a Trick Dog Instructor through Do More With Your Dogs, an AKC CGC evaluator, member candidate of International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants and Control Unleashed Instructor Training. Jenny is a member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers. Her dogs are titled in and they train in a variety of dog sports. Jenny enjoys training 'practical' dog behaviors, such as skijoring, retrieve and deliver, find, alert, and backyard games that don't take a whole lot of training equipment, and that offer fun exercise, and practice of useful skills.

Jenny grew up on a small farm, milking goats, riding horses, caring for meat rabbits, keeping a wide variety of small to large pets (especially birds!), and graduated from Vermont College of Norwich University in 1998 with a self-designed major in Behavior Science. Jenny LOVES behavior science, and has traveled to study with chicken, monkey, horse and marine mammal trainers, as well as with world renowned dog trainers. She has especially followed Leslie McDevitt (Control Unleashed programs ) and Susan Garrett's Recallers, H360, Agility Nation, Puppy nation programs, and Sylvia Trkman have had profound impacts on Jenny's animal training style, which is centered on the power of choice, and removing 'adversarial' components to the human/dog partnership.

Locally, Leslie Whitney from Happy Tails was Jenny's first dog training teacher, and introduced Jenny to Karen Pryor clicker training. Jenny got tired of buying clickers and so she started clicking with her tongue, and now sometimes if she dreams of a dog, she might 'click' the dog in her sleep!

Jenny approaches behavior and training as a science as well as an art, weaving operant and classical conditioning into the way we arrange our environments. Control of the environment (Jenny is also an organic gardener, with a special love of flowers and natural medicine) helps shape default behaviors as dogs respond to environmental cues, aka 'context cues' and learn to think independently and do what works best.

Jenny has had 8 dogs of her own over her adult life, Sampson, Lady, Lassie, Dandelion, Tigerlily, Charlie, Honey Bee, M'Ocean, two or three dogs at a time, and besides Susan Garrett and Leslie McDevitt, Jenny has sponged from some of the greatest animal trainers in the world: Chicken Camp with Terry Ryan, ClickerExpo, Freestyle workshops and seminars with Carolyn Scott, Atilla Suzukalek, Mary Ray. Jenny especially loves training 'freestyle' (dog tricks to music), and she provided pet assisted therapy to in the pediatric psychiatric unit of Spring Harbor Hospital for a few years with her barbet, Tigerlily.

At one time, Jenny had a career as a singer/songwriter/storyteller, and she loves to combine music with animal training. She is also hard of hearing now (but don't blame the drummer, blame genetics!) and has trained four of her dogs to perform hearing alerts, and she also has trained SAR alerts! Jenny loves to continue her education and regularly attends seminars, workshops, and competes in rally, agility, trick dog and other events to challenge and test her growth as a trainer!

After raising her family on an island off the coast of Maine, Jenny and her husband moved to Freeport in 2015. In 2016-2017 they sailed 2800 miles with two dogs aboard Magus, from Maine through the Bahamas. Along the way, Jenny visited over a dozen schools with her reassuring animal training and humane education program 'How to make big problems smaller!'

Even if you aren't a local, if visiting us calls to you, we invite you 'Stay and Train' with us at our homestead, Bliss Woods Farm in Freeport Maine! https://airbnb.com/h/wholedogcamp Or Find us on facebook! https://www.facebook.com/wholedogcamp

Certifications: CPDT-KA, CCUI, CTDI, FFCP(trainer) AKC CGC evaluator

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: Scent work, Agility, Freestyle, Rally/Obedience, Play Training, Retrieve/Delivery, Control Unleashed

Behavioral issue focus: Reactive, shy, anxious, separation anxiety, resource guarding

Training methods: Written evaluation, video recorded sessions, training plans, online resources and community, zoom follow ups

Why I became a dog trainer: To make the world a better place

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Everything!! The people! The dogs!

My #1 dog training tip: Dogs are jokers. They like to laugh. If you aren't laughing and having fun the whole time you're training, your dog isn't going to understand you.

Service areas: Portland, Freeport, Cumberland, Yarmouth, Falmouth

Website: https://www.wholedogcamp.com


Laura Gendron

Laura Gendron, owner of Miss Behavior in Northwood, NH founded her dog training business in 2008. She graduated from the University of NH with a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology and an Associate's Degree in Animal Science with a concentration on Small Animal Care in 2007.

Laura is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer, Fear-Free Certified Trainer, and a Licensed Family Dog Mediator. She believes in positive, playful, and trust-based training and getting to know every dog-family team individually, often collaborating with a pet-care team. Having worked in a veterinary hospital for 10 years, Laura also has a strong passion for teaching pet parents and professionals how to use lower-stress techniques in handling and vet care.

As a mom of two children, one dog, and two birds, Laura feels strongly about helping dog parents learn how to raise their dogs much like mothering children, using play, good management, and predictable patterns.

Laura currently offers private virtual and in-home training and coaching, online courses, and a membership for dog parents working with their dogs at home. To learn more, visit MissBehaviorTraining.com.

Certifications: CPDT-KA, FFCP, LFDM

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: Virtual behavior consulting, in-home training and behavior modification, family dog training, cooperative care training, vet prep, family dog mediation

Behavioral issue focus: Fear, anxiety about handling and vet care, manners, leash reactivity, relationship building with kids, dog-dog issues, household integration, new Puppy, New Adoptions, adoption matchmaking

Training methods: I start all new clients with a virtual consult. From there, they can choose a private training package (virtual or in person), they can join my group membership, or continue on their own. Private clients receive access to my messaging app and a Google drive folder. Group members get access to my video library, a private Facebook group, and other perks. I also offer other virtual consulting services and vet prep visits

Why I became a dog trainer: I started working with a difficult dog and saw the reward in both understanding behavior and how to meet the needs of the dog and people she lived with

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Solving the individual puzzle of each dog-human team. Every case is very different!

My #1 dog training tip: Start with the dog in front of you. Every dog and family has a unique relationship and unique needs to be met. Start there, not with the stories of past dogs

Service areas: Northwood NH and surrounding towns, and remote - anywhere

Website: https://missbehaviortraining.com


Nyssa Gatcombe

Nyssa is a professional dog trainer and a member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers. Committed to providing her clients with full peace of mind, she keeps her pet first aid certification up to date and regularly seeks continuing education and professional development opportunities. Nyssa prides herself on running a business that is committed to taking the best care of both human and creature clients. Her goal is to make clients' lives easier by making sure their pets enjoy loving company while their owners are away and by providing pet parents with the tools to communicate when they are together.

Certifications: Professional dog trainer and a member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainer

Services include:

  • Puppy training

Service areas: North Yarmouth, ME

Website: https://www.magicofpaws.com/


Monica Allaire-McMahon

25 years of fostering dogs, running a state licensed quarantine and self study led me to seek formal education through Karen Pryor Academy, Dynamic Dog Practitioner, BHARCS,and Nordic Education Center for Dog Trainers.

I founded Sensory Explorers( multi sensory environment)in 2021 and continue to expand my education current through conferences, courses and webinars offered by a variety of like minded providers, including detailed analysis of scientific papers through the Tiny Science Chat club. My pursuit has been and will remain improving the wellbeing of dogs and the families that share their lives.

Certifications: KPA-CTP, DDP-Dynamic Dog Practitioner , International Nordic Dog Trainer

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: Dynamic Dog Assessments-detailed assessment of gait, conformation, functional movement highlighting areas of abnormality, complied into detailed report to clients veterinarian to liaise between client and veterinarian and seek diagnostics to aid in determining the influence pain/discomfort contributes to problematic behavior.

Teaching Canine communication , ( calming signals)and teaching clients how to use their own body language to support the relationship with their dog.
Hosting multi sensory environment sessions( Sensory Explorers) to allow both client and dog to experience movement toward the parasympathetic nervous system ( rest digest) through quiet exploration and sensory integration.
Teaching about appropriate exercise, slow sniffing walks( the dangers of ball throwing). Advising environmental( appropriate housing- changes in the home -avoiding slippery flooring , stairs, scents etc. advising on properly fitted harnesses( H or Y shape)and use of longlines -to support free movement of the dog-all with an eye toward the dogs natural ethogram.

Teaching loose leash( smiling leash skills) , social skills between dogs utilizing parallel walking, recall, and sniffer games. Teaching clients how to design and utilize enriched environments in and around their home and more.

I'll try to sum up-building safe and secure relationships between dog and human carer, while lowering stress with a keen eye on physical safety, mental and emotional wellbeing, and finding solutions to behavioral concerns by discovering and addressing the WHYS.

Behavioral issue focus: Fear, aggression, anxiety, chronic stress, which most often have a correlation to physical pain or discomfort, unmet needs-physical, emotional, social, mental(insecure attachment), sensory, misunderstanding of canine communication, inappropriate home environment, fast living etc.

Training methods: An initial consultation takes place in a secure enriched environment away from the clients home , with complete history taking and very detailed observations of the dog and human client-2-3 hrs in length. The last 1/4 of consultation includes 1 or 2 practical exercises which are explained, demonstrated , and then practiced by the client( the client has a need to feel they have success at a simple exercise ( treats maybe used, communicating through body language, absolutely no method or equipment that would harm the dog physically, mentally or emotionally ) to begin to shift their mindset and see that their dog can also be successful at something.

The consultation ends with a simple puzzle homework handout with recommendations which may include making a simple change in the home, or equipment, seeking advice of a vet, change in exercise etc. A follow up apt is scheduled at the end of consultation.

As an addition, As an associate member of the PDTE-I have undergone a rigorous application process and am held to the highest standards of ethics. We value dogs as sentient beings entrusted to our care and pledge to follow the dogs natural ethogram and honor their unique individually, never causing emotional, physical , social or mental pain or distress

Why I became a dog trainer: To improve the welfare and wellbeing of dogs and the humans they share their lives with

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Being able to share in the joy( maybe a bit of surprise) and pride caretakers express as their relationships with their dogs flourish and challenges reduce

My #1 dog training tip: Learn to observe, observe to learn

Service areas: World wide , NH SEACOAST IN PERSON

Website: https://www.barringtonbarksandbehavior.com


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Sniffspot Maine Top Trainer Frequently Asked Questions

How are Maine dog trainers selected for this list?

These are the top dog trainers in Maine 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 Maine 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 Maine?

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 Maine 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 Maine cost?

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

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

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 Maine was $31,290 per year and $15.04 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.


See The Best Dog Trainers In Other States Near Maine

New Hampshire

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Merlin Noble photo

Merlin Noble

March 29, 2022

Dog Trainers

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