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The Best Dog Trainers in Mesa, AZ of 2023

Merlin Noble photo

Merlin Noble

May 09, 2023

Dog Trainers

Welcome to the Mesa, AZ Sniffspot top dog trainer list for 2023. This is a list of the top dog trainers in Mesa 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 Arizona 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 Mesa, AZ Dog Trainers in 2023

Kennedi Travis

Hello! Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Kennedi and I am a dog trainer that works in the community of Fountain Hills, AZ, and the surrounding areas. I am CPDT-KA Certified, a Fear Free Certified Professional, an AKC CGC Certified Evaluator, a Certified Bite Prevention Educator, and a Be A Tree Presenter through Doggone Safe.

I am very passionate about my work and care deeply for animals, large or small, especially dogs of all shapes, sizes, and breeds. I have four dogs, Beau, Bailie, Jack, and Annie. I also have a wonderful cat named Oliver.

I grew up in South Dakota and Alaska, and have been surrounded by a variety of animals, wild and domestic. I have a deep appreciation for living things and believe in respecting and caring for them. I have had a host of pets including dogs, cats, hamsters, fish, turtles, and bucket calves. I have also had a hand in rescuing dogs, cats, baby birds, and raccoons.

I received my Bachelor of Science in Wildlife Biology in 2016. I have been a Senior Dog Trainer and Mentor for Petco for 3 years and have a vast amount of experience working with dogs of all sizes and breeds. I have been training independently for 3 years, serving Fountain Hills and the surrounding area.

Certifications: CPDT-KA
Fear Free
AKC Certified Evaluator
Be a Tree Presenter
Dog Bite Prevention Educator

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: I provide custom private in-home classes that fit the needs of you and your dog from basic obedience to behavioral issues. I help educate my clients on canine enrichment as well.

Behavioral issue focus: I work with dogs that have social anxiety, separation anxiety, and reactive dogs.

Training methods: I use a positive, force-free reinforcement approach starting with an evaluation that allows me to create a custom training plan that fits the needs of you and your dog.

Why I became a dog trainer: I became a dog trainer to improve the lives of the dog's and people in their lives. So many dog's end up in shelters because of preventable behavior problems that training can solve.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: My favorite part about being a dog trainer is meeting and working with a variety of dogs and people.

My #1 dog training tip: My #1 dog training tip is to provide enrichment activities for your dog. A little enrichment goes a long way!

Service areas: Fountain Hills


Julie Westphal

I love what I do and helping others!

Certifications: CVT, Elite Level 3 Fear Free Certified Professional, AKC CGC & Tricks Evaluator

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: I offer an integrative approach of holistic and Fear-Free dog training and Behavioral modification where we meet both the emotional and physical needs of the Pet to establish lifelong, reliable habits quickly. I specialize in Aggression Reactivity, and Anxiety Modification Programs and am referred to by 57 veterinarians, many rescue organizations, and hundreds of students over my 22year career. I am also a licensed vet tech, specializing in nutrition and work with multiple species for behavior modification, including: dogs, cats, horses, birds, ferrets, rats, fish...and their humans! :-) I offer Puppy through Senior Obedience/Manners and Enrichment. I have also helped trained Service Dog tasks, and trained in or competed/trialed/titled in almost every dog sport. Let me know how I can help, in-person or from afar, as I consult worldwide and was an international conference speaker as well.

Behavioral issue focus: I specialize in Reactivity, Aggression, and Anxiety Modification.

Training methods: I am a Level 3 Eliter Fear Free Certified Professional, CVT, and use methods that do no harm.

Why I became a dog trainer: Because there was a huge need for non-aversive methods in my area at that time and I took dogs who were "unadoptable" or "untrainable" by aversive trainers and we made progress quickly with understanding and building trust, even titling a few dogs that were "untitleable". Found my passion early in life and have been doing it ever since.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Working with dogs, of course, but also with their people and watching their people have the light bulb moments and light up in smiles when they get better understanding from their pets.

My #1 dog training tip: Dogs Do What Works to make them feel best. Nothing more, nothing less. Help them choose to want to do what you want to do in fun and rewarding ways and they will LOVE working with and for you. :-)

Service areas: I serve the Greater Phoenix area currently, but travel across the country, so also have many states I work in as I go. :-)


Victoria T

Dog trainer and boarder

Services include:

  • Board and train
  • In home training
  • Service dog training
  • Puppy training
  • Agility training

More info about service provided: Potty training

Angelina McCaster

Our lead trainer, Angelina McCaster, has been working as an animal advocate in the rescue community for over a decade, and training dogs professionally for just over 7 years. As one of only TWO Certified Family Dog Mediators in the state of Arizona, and a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA), she is proud to be an advocate for continued education and scientific advancement in the animal behavior field. You'll love her energy and knack for breaking down complex training plans into manageable steps so that you can make real, lasting progress with your dog.

Angelina and their support team of pet sitters and training assistants aim for effective and lasting changes, based on strengthening your relationship with your dog

Showing off our ability to train your dog is never the goal. Working with you to enact lasting change that remains once class is over or once boarding is done, is important to us.

Certifications: CPDT-KA, Family Dog Mediator

Services include:

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

More info about service provided:

We offer 1x1 training
options in person for those local to the Phoenix area as well as remote virtual learning options for clients nationwide. We have a specific focus on support for families with dogs displaying reactive or aggressive behaviors, and also work with families looking to set up basics, learn how to best bond with their dogs and work through less complex behavior.

Behavioral issue focus: Anything from teaching core skills and best meeting needs, to best practices in behavior modification and management for dogs displaying more difficult or aggressive behavior toward dogs or other people.

Training methods:

Every relationship between dog and guardian presents its own unique challenges and individual goals, and teaching you how to help set them up for success is the best way to establish long term solutions.
We always start clients out with an initial consult so that we may create and recommend a custom training plan, and then do our best to cater to your needs as well as your dogs'.

We're here to help build your relationship and understanding with your dog so that we can safely + comfortably work towards trust, with the goal of getting your family to a place where you feel safe working with your dog, without tools or methods that cause them pain or discomfort.

Why I became a dog trainer: Working in a field that gives me a chance to teach both dogs and humans, and help them to understand eachother a little better is the one thing I could see myself doing forever. I'll always be grateful to those who set me along this path and who encouraged me to continue learning more about how to effectively and compassionately train dogs and teach people.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Watching someone's bond with their dog grow, and to see them start to look at one another as a team. I learn some I thing new from every family I work with, and hope that I never stop learning.

My #1 dog training tip: Remember that the decisions you make for your dog should be based around their individual welfare and needs, dedicate time to simply getting to know them and learn how to ask them questions.

Service areas: Central & South Phoenix, Tempe, Chandler


Julie Davis

I received my professional dog training certificate (CDT) from AZ Dog Smart Academy, am an AKC CGC Evaluator, am a partner with See Ash Go Dog Training, am a service dog trainer with Soldiers Best Friend, and an APDT Member. I am also certified in dog first aid and CPR.

While I graduated from AZ Dog Smart Academy in 2020, and started my business Kaleidoscope Dog Services LLC, my career with animals started much earlier. At 9, I was in 4H with my collie, Pepper. From there, I was a puppy raiser in 4H for a local guide dog school in Ohio where I then went on to be hired as a guide dog apprentice trainer, where I taught dogs and students how to maneuver life as a team. I was also a nationally certified veterinary technician working on small and large animals in a number of states around the country.

Additionally, I have worked and trained thoroughbred race horses in Ohio and Kentucky, been a therapy team with my black lab Fenton, and worked as an assistant manager at small and large animal veterinary clinics in Georgia and in Wyoming.

I have a passion for building better relationships with dogs and their owners, focusing on positive training approaches founded in science. that are fun and educational. I bring a wealth of knowledge and skill to my clients, allowing them to grow and learn, along with their dogs.

Certifications: CPDT-KA, AZ Dog Smart Academy CDT

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: I am a professional motivational dog trainer, focused on positive based dog training methods providing private in home lessons, group classes for pet and service dogs. I am also an evaluator for the AKC Canine Good Citizen testing.

Behavioral issue focus: I work with puppy manners, separation anxiety, leash reactivity with small dogs, and under socialized dog rehabilitation and confidence building.

Training methods: I am a reward-based trainer focused on motivational training. After the original assessment or first session, I provide a training plan, along with summaries and homework after each session. My goal is to create owners/guardians to have the skills to help their dogs in situations that they encounter in the world, along with understanding how their dogs learn so they can continue the training process even when they complete training.

Why I became a dog trainer: Dogs have been such an important part of my life. I wanted to be able to bring education and help people and dogs live better lives together by bringing understanding in how to achieve that with positive approaches.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: I get excited when dogs and owners start to really understand each other and build a working relationship. That is when the lightbulb moments and the joy really starts to happen for the clients.

My #1 dog training tip: Socialization, socialization, socialization for puppies. This is not just other dogs. Socialization includes novel items, new people, places, things, animals, handling, sounds, textures, etc..

Service areas: East Valley, Gilbert AZ, Mesa AZ, Chandler AZ, Queen Creek AZ


Sniffspot Mesa Top Trainer Frequently Asked Questions

How are Mesa dog trainers selected for this list?

These are the top dog trainers in Mesa 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 Mesa 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 Mesa?

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 Mesa 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 Mesa cost?

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

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

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 Arizona was $30,275 per year and $14.56 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 Arizona Cities

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

Gilbert, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Scottsdale, AZ
Tucson, AZ

See The Best Dog Trainers In Other States Near Arizona

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

New Mexico

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Merlin Noble photo

Merlin Noble

May 09, 2023

Dog Trainers

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