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The Best Dog Trainers in New Jersey of 2023

Merlin Noble photo

Merlin Noble

March 29, 2022

Dog Trainers

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

Jaime Caponetta

I'm Jaime Caponetta, IAABC Certified Canine Behavior Consultant and the proud owner of Pawsome University. My most important title, however, is 'Mom.' I have 2 small boys and 3 amazing rescue dogs, who I consider to be my actual children.

I started out in 2016, working as an animal care attendant at my local SPCA. In 2017, I started Pawsome Walks - my first company that focuses on pet care with a high standard of care - and got ABCDT certified. I continued to gain experience and knowledge, eventually earning the certification of Canine Behavior Consultant from the IAABC. that's when we started Pawsome University, a positive reinforcement behavior modification training company!

I am most known for my one-on-one work with my virtual clients (Ranked #1 Remote Dog Trainer in the USA - 2022 by Sniffspot), my interviews on The Pregnancy Podcast discussing dogs and babies, and for my (in person) Reactive Class where reactive dogs come to my farm to learn how to make positive connections with others! I'm quick and efficient at getting to the bottom of what's going on at home without even needing to see your dog and come up with a behavior modification plan that is fun, fear-free, and works for EVERYONE involved. I absolutely love what I do, not a day goes by where I feel as I'm going to 'work!'

Certifications: ABCDT, ACBC-IAABC

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: I specialize in all behaviors - reactivity, aggression, guarding, separation anxiety and dog/baby relationships. I have puppy & teenager group classes, one time socialization classes with other dogs, one on one sessions, virtual sessions and virtual workshops. We also have a rehab boarding program for rescue and shelter dogs!

Behavioral issue focus: Reactivity, Aggression, Resource Guarding, Overstimulation/Low Impulse Control, Safe Relationships with babies & kids, Anxiety and Separation Anxiety, Dog Socialization and Puppy Behavioral

Training methods: All Positive Reinforcement Behavioral Training - I focus on getting your dog to a happy and healthy state and less on cues and distractions. No bandaids or management training! I offer free consultations, questionnaire prior to first session, assessment, behavior modification plan, homework, and written resources.

Why I became a dog trainer: Big rescue advocate and I was tired of seeing many dogs euthanized because on staff trainers couldn't handle the issues. I wanted to give people hope that big behavioral issues are fixable and that rehoming isn't necessary!

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Helping families find peace with their dogs and have the amazing relationship they both want. Explaining what the dog needs to the pet parent, watching it all click and then see the dog succeed when the changes are made is probably one of my most favorite aspects

My #1 dog training tip: No dog needs a heavy hand and every behavioral issue can be fixed with positive reinforcement!

Service areas: Monmouth County, NJ

Website: https://pawsomeuniversity.com


Peet Johnson

I’ve grown up with dogs, they've always been there for me and I've always been there for them. I started my training journey in my 20's but didn't actively pursue it full time until 2 years ago when I joined the Philly Unleashed team! I'm CPDT-KA certified and am passionate about helping our dogs live their best lives with us!

Certifications: CPDT-KA

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: Reactive dog classes, private lessons, boarding, impulse control

Behavioral issue focus: On leash aggression, dog and people reactivity, inter household aggression

Training methods: I offer training plans including behavior modification, basic training, and behavior consultations using only positive reinforcement and science based approaches.

Why I became a dog trainer: I love dogs! I also adopted a special needs dog and needed to do more than basic obedience with him, then I rescued a reactive dog and I wanted her to enjoy her life with as little stress and anxiety as possible.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Helping create a language between the people and their dogs! Training creates such a strong bond and helps both parties understand each other!

My #1 dog training tip: Reward what you want, ignore everything else!

Service areas: The greater Philadelphia area

Website: https://phillyunleashed.com


Cassi Bee

Originally from New England, I now live in NJ with my partner and our cattle dog mix, Bugsy. I am a positive reinforcement dog trainer who works to help dogs better understand their people, and people to better understand their dogs using upbeat but important training plans focusing on foundation, reinforcement and pattern building. I also really enjoy teaching tricks and sports (for fun!) to teams who would like to work on their dog's confidence, whether they need a little bit more or just a place to channel it all!

Certifications: CPDT-KA

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: Private Lessons, Group Classes, Behavior Walks, Teail Meetups and Workshops available

Behavioral issue focus: Reactive, nervous, shy, over friendly, excitable, working breed pets, etc.

Training methods: Behavior consults for behavior modification plans; sports sessions run on a program.

Why I became a dog trainer: I had a variety of pets in my childhood and was drawn to dogs and horses at an early age. After participating in a 4H group that focused on dog training and AKC shows, that fueled my fire to learn more about animal behavior and teamwork between dogs, horses and their handlers.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: The connections I am able to help to create and strengthen between dogs and their humans.

My #1 dog training tip: Learning is never linear, so trust the training!

Service areas: South Jersey, Central Jersey, Philadelphia

Website: https://phillyunleashed.com


Nicole Levien

WE have a staff of qualified trainers with years and years of experience will all breeds of dogs. Our mission is to help you fall in love with working your dog and participating in fun activities with them.

Services include:

  • Puppy training
  • Agility training

More info about service provided: Full service dog training center specializing in companion dog sports - Agility, Nosework, rally obedience

Training methods: Reward based training methods are used to build the relationship between handler and dog to establish clear communication.

Why I became a dog trainer: To help people and their dogs find their joy in participating in sports together.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: They say find something you love to do and you'll never work a day in your life. It's true!

My #1 dog training tip: Be kind, clear and consistent.

Service areas: Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Passaic, Wallington, Paramus, Englewood, Teaneck, Leonia, Fort Lee, Fair Lawn, Edgewater, Hackensack, Bergenfield, Wykoff, Ridgewood, Mahwah, Tenafly, Montvale, Westwood, Ramsey, Closter. Lodi, Rutherford, Saddle Brook, Dumont, Waldwick, Oradell, Cliffside Park, Palisades Park, Glen Rock, Rutherford, Montclair, Bloomfield, Clifton, River Edge, Oakland, Franklin Lakes, Allendale, Alpine, Cresskill, Demarest, Emerson, Franklin Lakes, Hasbrouck Heights, Lyndhurst, Maywood, Midland park, North Arlington, Saddle River, Cedar Grove, Caldwell, Nutley, Hoboken, Jersey City, Secaucus, Weehawken, West New York, Paterson, Pompton Lakes,

Website: https://www.csacnj.com


Lyz Knight

Lyz is an Accredited Dog Trainer, a Certified Professional Dog Trainer, and a Fear Free Certified Professional who has been working with dogs and their people since 2016. She loves working with puppies and with guardians of nervous and reactive dogs to help them see their dogs blossom into confident, comfortable pups. Lyz is passionate about making good training accessible for pet guardians no matter their location or financial needs, and helping dogs and their people live their best lives together.

Certifications: IAABC-ADT, CPDT-KA, Fear Free Certified Professional

Services include:

  • In home training
  • Reactive dog training
  • Puppy training

More info about service provided: Private customized training programs for new dogs (puppies or adults) and for fearful and reactive behaviors. Programs include basic manners as well as behavior modification. I also offer virtual group classes for nervous dogs who need a confidence boost and on-demand courses focused on reducing stress at the vet clinic.

Behavioral issue focus: Reactivity (barking, lunging, growling, or attempting to bite, directed at people or other dogs). Fear and anxiety-based behaviors. Helping newly acquired dogs adjust to life in their new homes while teaching dog guardians skills to set them up for success with life with a dog

Training methods: I am a fear free certified trainer and all of my training programs are created with force-free, positive reinforcement training plans. All clients start their programs with a virtual consultation where I learn more about their training needs and give them initial training, management, and enrichment guidance to begin addressing their needs. We then meet for live training sessions (either virtual or in-person) where I strive to help them meet their training goals while providing education around all things dog (body language and species-specific needs, helping our dogs feel safe, appropriate expectations for behavior, etc.). We check in regularly to make sure the dog guardians are feeling comfortable and empowered by the training process!

Why I became a dog trainer: I adopted my dog Molly in 2014 and ended up spending the next few years working with her on her reactivity towards people and other dogs. I learned a lot and saw firsthand how much good training can help people and dogs live happier lives together and I wanted to help facilitate that for others.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Getting to witness the excitement and happiness people feel as they connect with their dogs through training!

My #1 dog training tip: Learn about dog body language! This is such a valuable foundation skill - if you can understand what your dog is telling you, you will be better able to address their needs, reduce or prevent unwanted behaviors, and supporting them when they are having a hard time.

Service areas: Vernon Township, NJ. Sussex County, NJ. Warwick, NY. Plus remote work across the country

Website: https://roverrehabdogtraining.com/


Fran Dickenshied Kramer

I am passionate about inspiring others to have a better relationship with their pets.

Animal behavior, especially canine as well as feline, has always interested me. It's why I became not just an obedience trainer years ago but dove into the behavior aspect with both feet, especially when I learned about positive motivational training.

From then on, I never looked back to the 'old' ways, and that's been over 23 years. Before then, I was a correction/reward trainer with 19 years of hands-on veterinary experience working side-by-side with a large number of veterinarians (especially those interested in behavior) with all kinds of dogs and cats, particularly those with attitudes. It was those attitudes that really got my attention.

Certifications: CPDT-KA

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: I primarily do behavioral training and address those behavioral problems that people get stumped on, whether it's something as simple as puppy training difficulties or trying to eat the mailman for lunch. Distraction issues are common as are anxieties and shyness.

Behavioral issue focus: Each dog and family is different and is addressed accordingly with common sense and positive behavioral motivation and understanding.

Training methods: All training is done in a purely positive motivational approach. There is never any counter, "old fashioned" training. It's more about working with the dog's neuro science to reshape behaviors.

Why I became a dog trainer: I love animals, particularly dogs and cats, and have since childhood. Dog training has always interested, and it's about creating a positive team with the dog's family as well. It's important that they work as team.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: The rewards of turning "bad" or undesirable behaviors around to more calm, focused and pleasant behaviors have always given me great satisfaction. That means I'll see fewer dogs being surrendered to shelters. It means I'm doing my part to rescue a dog from losing its home.

My #1 dog training tip: Always tell your dog it's doing things right when it's doing just that. Never scold.

Service areas: The counties of Monroe, Pike, Northampton, and Lehigh

Website: https://www.commonsensepetservices.com


Kelly Fahey

PMCT3, Fear Free Certified Trainer, Certified SAPro Trainer, Family Dog Mediator

Services include:

  • Puppy training

More info about service provided: Enjoy customized, private, one-on-one puppy training in the convenience of your home‚Äã with our Puppy Concierge Program. Our program is crafted to help not only with good manners, but also helps with all your day to day puppy predicaments such as house training, puppy biting and chewing, safe space training, separation anxiety prevention and more. We are with you during your puppy journey to help turn the chaos to calm.

Behavioral issue focus:

Separation anxiety
Puppy training
Puppy socialization
House training
Puppy biting and chewing
Separation anxiety prevention
Crate/safe space training
Polite leash walking
Coming when called
Polite greetings
Polite door manners
Teaching puppies to relax/settle
Good manners

Training methods: All of our training is positive and based on up-to-date, modern training methods. We set you and your puppy up for success. We never use punishment based methods.

Why I became a dog trainer: Puppies aren't easy. They don't come pre-programmed and they don't come with instructions. The idea of a puppy is fun, but can quickly become overwhelming. I became a dog trainer so I can help dog guardians better understand the needs of their puppies so they can develop a close bond and enjoy puppyhood.

Puppyhood is a journey that everyone should enjoy and I love helping everyone turn the chaos to come so they can enjoy this special time.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Living with puppies can be challenging. I enjoy helping provide the information and knowledge to help puppy parents better understand their puppy. There is something special when a puppy and their parent can start communicating and understand each other better. Watching this relationship develop never gets old. It's amazing to see the connection develop and grow.

My #1 dog training tip: Be patient with yourself and your puppy. You are a team. Your fall learning and growing on this journey together.

Website: https://www.pupscoutsofhunterdon.com


Grace Heck

Grace is the owner and founder of Hounds of Heck. She started in Agility with her Mixed Breed dog Riley, and now competes with 3 Border Collies (Finnick, Rue, and Ember). Grace's loves getting the opportunity to travel the world and compete with her dogs! Grace and Finnick are the 2022 UKI US Open Masters Series National Champions, and were selected as Alternates for the 2022 WAO Team USA.

Certifications: 2022 UKI Master's Series National Champion, WAO Team USA 2022 Alternate

Services include:

  • Puppy training
  • Agility training

More info about service provided: Good Dog Skills classes (manners, CGC, AKC Star Puppy), Competition Obedience classes, Rally classes, Agility classes, Disc Dog classes, private training in Manners Agility Rally Obedience and Disc, Sport specific seminars, Trials and Events

Behavioral issue focus: We do not perform behavioral training

Training methods: Positive reinforcement based methods. Clients can join one of our group classes or book a private consultation.

Why I became a dog trainer: I became a dog trainer to share my analytical coaching style with fellow agility enthusiasts.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Watching teams grow and master new skills.

My #1 dog training tip: Engagement is the key to success.

Service areas: The Hounds of Heck facility is located in Stockton, NJ. All classes, privates, seminars, and events are held at this location.

Website: https://www.houndsofheck.com


Laurie Lyons-Bowen

I have been involved with training dogs for over 40 years. I currently have 5 Border Collie. All have obedience titles and agility titles. I love working with dogs and helping their owners achieve their goals

Certifications: AKC EVALUATOR..CGC TRICKS..FIT DOG..AKC ACT JUDGE

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: Agility instructor for both fun and competition. Obedience training for Ralky..and CD

Behavioral issue focus: Lack of socialization and structure. Pulling on leash and lunging at digs and people

Training methods: Positive reinforcement positive motivation. Each dog is different. I evaluate then set a plan of action

Why I became a dog trainer: When I got my first golden..so 12years old

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Seeing the dogs understand what is being asked of them

My #1 dog training tip: Focus..get your dog to focus on you

Service areas: Monore county..Lehigh valkey..East Stroudsburg Stroudsburg..easton..flanders

Website: https://letsspeakdog.com


Andrea Kilkenny

Andrea Kilkenny has been an animal lover since she was a child. Over the last two decades, she has shared her home with cats and dogs. In addition, foster dogs and foster cats have come to live with Andrea and her own personal pets, gaining basic training, social skills, and/or physically healing from illness or injury.She entered the animal welfare field as a shelter volunteer in 1996, eventually leaving a teaching career and becoming employed full time at a municipal Animal Control facility.

Over the years, she has held several positions including Volunteer Coordinator, Kennel Assistant, Animal Care Technician, Shelter Manager, and Animal Control Officer at shelters in the Midwest, Pacific Northwest, and East Coast. She has helped build volunteer programs and established training and enrichment protocols for the shelters she has worked at, and has served as a consultant for other shelters, rescues, and doggie daycare facilities.

Prior to working in animal welfare, she spent over a decade teaching youth and adults with disabilities in public school, group home, vocational, and clinical settings. She was a certified public school teacher and holds a Masters degree in Special Education. Applied Behavior Analysis was a focus of her graduate and post-graduate studies and research.Andrea has taught basic obedience, puppy kindergarten, agility, flyball, pet therapy, and canine good citizen (CGC) classes across the country. She is a CPDT-KA certified trainer and also a Canine Good Citizen evaluator through the American Kennel Club.

In addition to classes, she has provided in-home consultations and private lessons for clients. She has worked with numerous shelters and rescues, evaluating animals and helping place them for adoption as well as supporting owners after adoption matches are made. Through her classes, consultations, and shelter work, she has worked with literally thousands of dogs and cats over the years, of all breeds and mixed heritage.

Andrea is also a responder with the ASPCA and has worked on several large cruelty cases; she deploys as part of the Behavior Team, working with animals in the temporary housing/shelters after the animals are confiscated.She has been a member of several obedience and dog sport clubs, and is currently a member of the Northeast Staffordshire Bull Terrier Club and the Staffordshire Bull Terrier Club of America. She and her dogs train and actively compete in Obedience, Rally Obedience, Agility, Scentwork, Dock Diving, and Lure Coursing. She and her dogs have earned several titles in multiple dog sports.

Andrea and her dog Rumble were also a pet therapy team registered with the Delta Society (now called Pet Partners) Her dogs have participated in demonstrations at county fairs, college sporting events, prisons, schools and neighborhood centers, and were also featured weekly in a humane education program on Public Access TV. Several of her dogs have been filmed in TV show or commercials, and print ads such as My Crazy Love, Mysteries of the Museum, Sealy Mattress, Barkbox, etc . They have presented on topics such as dog bite prevention, pet adoption, basic pet training, managing multiple pet households, and shelter volunteering.

Andrea was a presenter at the 2017 Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT) conference, and spoke about her work with her rescue dog Finn, and other dogs who were victims of cruelty and their rescue and recovery. Charlie, Page, and Andrea performed an agility demo at the 2017 APDT conference. In 2018 and 2019, Andrea, Charlie, and Maceo performed a FitPAWS and agility demo at the 2018 World Dog Expo, and presented on training topics.

Andrea enjoys working with clients and helping improve the human-pet bond. Working with animals and teaching are her two passions that she has combined into lifelong work.

Certifications: CPDT-KA certified trainer and also a Canine Good Citizen evaluator through the American Kennel Club

Services include:

  • Aggressive dog training
  • Reactive dog training

Website: https://ourgangpetservices.com


Stephanie Kowalewski

Stephanie has been professionally training dogs for over 15 years. Upon earning her Masters of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary, Stephanie felt that her true 'calling' was working professionally with dogs and made her passion into her profession. She trained under some of the top trainers in New Jersey, and was an instructor at the nationally recognized St. Hubert's Dog Training School in Madison, NJ. Stephanie is also certified AKC CGC Evaluator.

She believes that positive training strengthens the bond between dogs and their humans, and that is the only true way to achieve behavior modification. She regularly attends training and behavior seminars in order to increase her knowledge and skill set. Believing strongly in networking, Stephanie is in constant communication with other trainers in order to share thoughts, ideas and methodologies.

She currently resides in Lawrenceville, New Jersey with her husband, two children and their rescue pups Bug and Hiccup, and German Short-haired Pointer Archie.

Certifications: M.DIV., CPDT-KA, Certified AKC CGC Evaluator

Services include:

  • Puppy training

Service areas: Lawrence Township, NJ

Website: https://heavenlyhoundstraining.com/


Michelle Coleman

Went to West Virginia to a school that taught dog training spent 3 months working with all sorts of dogs an all sorts of training. track training , working dog training , bite training obedience training behavior training. This was however more then 30 years ago. I only teach leash walking an behavior (mild) as i am now 70 years old an don't do much training anymore.

Certifications: animal behavior certified, obedience certified, Training

Services include:

  • In home training
  • Off leash training
  • Puppy training
  • Agility training

More info about service provided: obedience training, classes, sessions day training, basic commands, agility, etc., behavior training

Behavioral issue focus: food aggression, excessive barking, pulling on leash

Training methods: praise an food used for training , 6 week training courses with consultations , an plans

Why I became a dog trainer: Love watching them learn an I am just in awe at them an how they want to learn an really they could kill you with those teeth an yet they don;t they love learning an i love teaching them. They are truly your best friend an there is nothing like having a well trained dog in your home with you. Its the best feeling ever.......

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: once they understand you an your signals its amazing to have them at your side. You become a team a working team an there is no better feeling then that. they can count on you an you can count on them. It shows in there confidence that they have for you an you for them.

My #1 dog training tip: patience it takes time to train a dog to understand you. In my years as a dog trainer an instructor the one thing i see is people giving up loosing patience. imagine you come to a country were you do not speak the lanquage an you say sit to the person an they hear you but they don't under stand you so you slap them . how many times will you take that slap in the face before you fight back. patience is key find a way to show them what you want an reward them for it, they deserve that as they are loyal an loveable to the end.

Service areas: hamilton, mercerville, manchester, princeton


Nancy T

I am a certified trainer and canine behavioral specialist for the past 14 years with a true passion for working with dogs I started my business Peace In The Pack to help dogs with behavioral issues to learn, understand and to become confident and peaceful I love to work from the canine's point of view to help them learn from their perspective It always works!

I call my dogs my teachers and professors because I still learn from every case. I teach my Peace In The Pack canine behavioral courses at Camden County College and at Rowan at Gloucester RCGC and at Audubon Community Ed I have been the resident canine expert and pet reporter on KYW Newsradio for nine years and have been an expert witness to speak on canine behavior on various cases.

With my extensive background as a professional broadcaster and public speaker, (NBC4 , KYW and various Phila radio stations) I also lecture to help people to better understand canine behavior to help create balance and stability in dogs' lives Its been fulfilling to have worked with bite cases that have rehabilitated and ultimately became therapy dogs! My individual session work is where I can observe one to one and help families communicate better with their best friends

Certifications: ABCDT, CPDT PVMA award recipient

Services include:

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

Website: https://www.Peaceinthepack.com


Ken Macleod

Ken, owner and lead trainer at MPP.

A graduate of the distinguished Karen Pryor Academy, KPA, he also holds a certification in L.E.G.S. Applied Ethology Family Dog Mediation and more..

Ken's belief is simple - Positive reinforcement is vital...it can make the difference between a dog that is living from a dog that is living engaged.

Love, Praise, Reinforce. Repeat.

Certifications: Certified KPA CTP- FDM

L.E.G.S. Certified Family Dog Mediator

Services include:

  • Puppy training

Service areas: Hoboken NJ

Website: https://mypositivepup.com/


Amanda Steffy

Born and raised in Northern NJ, Amanda had a plethora of animals to take care of growing up. It was inevitable that she would take interest in a career working with animals in some way. In school, Amanda gravitated towards math and science so becoming a veterinarian was naturally the way to go. She worked hard through her high school and college years to make this dream happen.

Amanda ultimately graduated from William Paterson University with a Bachelor's Degree in Biology. Unfortunately veterinary school wasn't in the cards but it didn't stop Amanda from finding a career working with animals while still making a difference. Dogs have always been a huge part of her life.

Training family and friend's dogs wasn't uncommon for Amanda. It wasn't until she was an adult dealing with other people's dogs and her own personal dogs on a daily basis, she saw the struggle. This is where Amanda saw dog training as an avenue she wanted to pursue because there's nothing more rewarding than seeing people being able to enjoy their dog again or getting their new puppy started off on the right path.

Dog training is more than teaching your dog obedience commands and tricks: it's a lifestyle. 365/24/7 if you will. She wants to help dogs make better choices every day but most importantly give owners the guidance they need to set themselves and their dogs up for success. Amanda volunteers at a local shelter dealing with many dogs that need the extra attention to help them become more adoptable and make the transition into home life a little easier on everyone.

As you can imagine a shelter environment is very overwhelming so the extra one-on-one time with these dogs is super beneficial to get them interactive not only physically but mentally!She regularly attends seminars where trainers will troubleshoot any problems owners are experiencing with their dogs. This is a great opportunity to expand a trainer's knowledge on techniques and ask questions for the experts that use these methods within their training programs.

Amanda is also continually learning and growing to better her dog training craft. Dog training is an art and one technique for one dog may not work for another. It is up to us as trainers that deal with dogs on a daily basis to continue our education to better the tools in our tool bags.

Services include:

  • Reactive dog training

Website: https://www.pomk9.com/


Ani Bertot

CPDT-KA dog trainer, Ani Bertot Dog Training LLC, APDT Member, CPD Pet Psychology, KPA Foundations...but my friends call me "treat lady"

Certifications: CCPDT-KA

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: Dog Camp, agility exercises, discdog, treibball, group training, socialization, behavior modification, exposure therapy, social psychology

Behavioral issue focus: social anxiety, play manners, leash etiquette, over-energetic, hyper-awareness, impulse control, sharpness, body awareness

Training methods: I like to curate a balanced group with 100% positive reinforcement training and supervision. My program consists of picking up a small dog pack and taking them to a safe outdoor space where the dogs get to socialize and bond and each pup gets their own individual sport-specific or behavioral conditioning training. I'm a very small company that can personally tailor a client's experience depending on a dogs' natural characteristics, needs, and benefit from the program.

Why I became a dog trainer: Because it feels like my calling and I'm happy to pick up every day.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: I get to laugh. A lot.

My #1 dog training tip: Training never stops!

Service areas: Manhattan, Hoboken, Weehawken, West New York, Long Island City, Hamptons, Upper East Side, Upper West Side, Greenwich Village, Tribeca, Battery Park City, NYC

Website: https://abdt.info


Laura Harris

Hi! I'm Laura. Thanks for coming to meet me! I have been training and working with animals for 23 years. I started with rehabilitating abused track horses that had come to our barn for rescue and placement. After retiring from working with horses I began to work with dogs.

I have always been focused on positive experiences and outcomes for the animals I train. It is easy for us as humans to see our dog's behavior as an inconvenience to us but what we often fail to notice is that our pup's behavior can tell us a lot about how they are experiencing the world around them. I train by the motto, 'All behavior serves a purpose.' In this way I evaluate the root cause of the behavior and seek to find behaviors that are beneficial to both dog and owner.

I have worked in sheltering designing and implementing behavior modification plans for fearful, under socialized, aroused, reactive, and even aggressive dogs. I am also a member of the Association of Professional Dog trainers and am a Fear Free certified dog trainer. I believe that every dog deserves a chance to succeed in being a member of our families. I can't wait to help you along on that journey!

Certifications: Fear Free Certified

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: Puppy Prep School, Foundations, Behavior Care, and Sports programs. Each lesson is custom tailored to your needs and is done in the comfort of your own home. Puppy Prep School is designed to give your puppy a head start at good manners and basic obedience. This program includes housetraining, proper socialization, manners, and more. Foundations is designed for dogs 1 year and older. We will work on good manners and basic obedience in and out of the home. Behavior care is designed to help dogs with behavior concerns up to and including aggression. Sports include many options such as agility or rally obedience for fun!

Behavioral issue focus: Undersocialization, Fearful Behaviors, Over Arousal, Reactivity, Barrier Frustration, Resource Guarding, Aggression, Bite Histories

Training methods: My training process includes an initial consultation, customized learning or behavior plans, your actual lesson, and detailed notes with your concerns, my observations, and any relevant homework instructions listed for future reference. I use only science backed positive reinforcement methods when working with your pet

Why I became a dog trainer: I became a dog trainer because of two very special dogs in my life. My childhood dog Treasure was truely a real life Lassie. I was fascinated by training with her and she sparked my love for training animals at a very young age. I began to work with behavior care animals because of my dog Bert. Bert is a gunshot victim from North Carolina. When I first adopted him he was terrified and reactive to everyone he saw. I resolved to learn everything I could to help him feel safe, secure, and resillient in our world. This ingnited my now 6 year career in sheltering and behavior.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: My favorite part of being a dog trainer is that feeling of triumph and happiness I get to see between my clients and their dogs when communication clicks. If I could bottle that feeling, I would!

My #1 dog training tip: My number 1 dog training tip is, listen to what your dog is telling you. Often times we're really annoyed by our dog's behaviors. Maybe they're chewing our shoes during the day or maybe they're barking or lunging on the leash, either way our dogs are trying to tell us something. The dog that chews shoes my need more mental stimulation during the day. The dog barking and lunging on the leash is asking for more space from a scary thing. It may seem like our dogs are doing these things to be annoying to us but they're actually telling us what they need. All behavior serves a purpose, we just have to be open to listening.

Service areas: Philadelphia, Southern NJ, Central NJ, Northern NJ

Website: https://www.fetchquesttraining.com


Lindsay Chrisitnzie

My name is Lindsay Christinzie and I've been training animals since 2012. At a young age I first set my eyes on a marine mammal trainer training with positive reinforcement in hopes to one day work with dolphins.

With an educational background in Marine Biology and Psychology, I realized quickly that working with dogs could provide me so much more than marine mammals ever could. I lent my skills to help keep animals in their homes, I was devoted to the idea that training dogs could really make a difference in not only the animals life but also the lives of the individuals I worked with. After all, helping people and working with animals was my ultimate goal!

Working in both the shelter and rescue environment gave me insight into why owners may choose to no longer keep a pet. Graduating from Animal Behavior College with a certificate to train dogs professionally, I did not halt my education. My clients value my continued pursuit in education as well as my drive to bring the most humane and modern methods to them.

I am a supporting member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants, as well as a professional member for the Association of Professional Dog Trainers. I believe in developing a mutual understanding between you and your pet. Caring for an animal in your home is as much about responsibility as it is about love

Certifications: ABCDT, AKC Evaluator

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: I offer private in home and on location dog training services in my life. We work on Canine life and social skills that help promote a harmonious relationship built on trust, kindness and a focus of positive reinforcement. I also offer therapy dog training and task/ public access training for service dogs. I also work with behavior modification in dogs with certain behavioral concerns like reactivity, aggression etc.

Behavioral issue focus: Reactivity, stranger danger, intra-household aggression, resource guarding, anxiety, fear/phobia, hyperactivity.

Training methods: I use ethical and scientifically-based training methods. I believe that using a L.I.M.A method promotes long-lasting results with your dog's skills and encourages confidence. My goal is to always listen to the client and the dog, strive to educate, and ensure I am using the most positive and productive methods possible. We owe this to ourselves, and most importantly, to our dogs. Striving always to teach dogs through the use of Positive Reinforcement first and abiding to this philosophy builds confidence, strengthens the bond and provides the learner the best coping strategies. Being reward based does not equate to being permissive of unwanted behavior; it means to train with LOVE, PATIENCE, KINDNESS & with DISCIPLINE

Why I became a dog trainer: My first rescue dog is the primary push for learning about dogs and dog behavior. When I brought her home as I was still attending college, she had behavior concerns that I had never come across, although I had 'experience' having grown up with plenty of dogs, the experience gave me no advantage. I needed to learn more, and once I started, I simply couldn't stop. She has taught me so much, and I'm grateful for all of her lessons!

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: The training challenges, and the reward of seeing a wagging tail and smiling faces.

My #1 dog training tip: Above all else, remember the time here with your dog is short, make sure you're both having fun along the way!

Service areas: Suburban/ Urban/ Agricultural

Website: https://www.thepawsitivetrainer.com/


Lisa Deo

Volunteer St Hubert's Animal Welfare

Certifications: CPDT-KA, CCPDT

Services include:

  • In home training
  • Reactive dog training
  • Puppy training

More info about service provided: Basic Obedience

Behavioral issue focus: Reactivity

Training methods: Positive Reinforcement

Why I became a dog trainer: Passionate about helping owners have a great relationship with their dog

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Working with people

My #1 dog training tip: Say less, praise more

Service areas: Somerset County


Lynne Petermann

The Pooky Professor was established after having trained my own reactive dog. "Pooky" had many behavioral problems as a pup such as fear aggression & resource guarding. I wasn't giving her back so I had no choice but to deal with her issues.

I found I really enjoyed training & decided to persue this as a career. So I guess you could say my life has "Gone to the dogs!" Puppies do not come with instruction manuals and I knew that I wanted to help other new puppy owners get started off on the right paw! I constantly continue my education by attending related seminars including Ian Dunbar, Joel Silverman (Good Dog U), Victoria Stillwell (Its Me or the Dog) & Cesar Milan (The Dog Whisperer).

I continue to learn from my colleagues, through apprenticeships, & I spend countless hours volunteering my time at various rescues & shelters. I am an evaluator for the American Kennel Club & for TDI (Therapy Dog Int'l) I am a mentor trainer for ABC (Animal Behavior College) and CATCH and I am also Canine CPR & 1st aid trained. I work part-time behind the scenes in the kennel department of a local animal hospital.

I come recommended by local veterinarians, breeders, groomers, rescue groups & other trainers. I hold educational seminars & I specialize in Group Puppy Kindergarten & Therapy Dog Prep Classes. I am also available for private sessions in your home. Puppies & Therapy are the main focus of my business, however, I train dogs of all ages, breeds & behaviors.

A retired certified personal trainer to humans, I have a special interest in exercise & canine nutrition, homemade dog food and holistic remedies. I believe the key to a good quality of life as we age is a good diet, exercise & a strong immune system & the same goes for our canine friends! I dabble in photography as you will see tons of photos on this site or on my photo page Pooky Prof Photography.

I have a group Dog Walking Club, hold Doggie Birthday Parties & can even teach your dog to walk nicely down the aisle for your Wedding. If you can dream it, I can do it. The Pooky Professor has been serving the community for over 16 years & has established herself as a well known trainer in northern NJ.

Certifications: Certified dog trainer

Services include:

  • Puppy training

More info about service provided: AKC STAR PUPPY, AKC CGC, AKC FIT DOG, TDI THERAPY DOG. AKC FIT CLUB PACK WALKING GROUP

Behavioral issue focus: FEAR

Training methods: POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT IN GROUP CLASSES

Why I became a dog trainer: MY LOVE OF DOGS & TO HELP PEOPLE

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: SEEING THE RESULTS

My #1 dog training tip: EXERCISE & MENTAL STIMULATION

Service areas: NORTHERN NJ. WAYNE, POMPTON PLAINS, CLIFTON

Website: https://www.thepookyprofessor.com


Sniffspot New Jersey Top Trainer Frequently Asked Questions

How are New Jersey dog trainers selected for this list?

These are the top dog trainers in New Jersey 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 New Jersey 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 New Jersey?

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 New Jersey 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 New Jersey cost?

New Jersey 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 New Jersey dog trainer. How can I get listed here?

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

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 New Jersey was $30,666 per year and $14.74 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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Merlin Noble

March 29, 2022

Dog Trainers

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