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The Best Dog Trainers in New York, NY of 2023

Merlin Noble photo

Merlin Noble

March 29, 2022

Dog Trainers

Welcome to the New York, NY Sniffspot top dog trainer list for 2023. This is a list of the top dog trainers in New York 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 New York 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 New York, NY 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


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,


Stephanie Ip

Born and raised in Staten Island, Stephanie has always had a passion with animals. After being inspired by her fearful pit bull-mix rescue, Stephanie decided to start her dog training career while simultaneously receiving an education in Psychology and Animal Behavior at Hunter College. She now lives in and services Manhattan as well as the surrounding boroughs, and specializes in puppy training and urban training.

Certifications: CPDT-KA

Services include:

  • In home training
  • Reactive dog training
  • Puppy training

More info about service provided: Most of my training consists of in-home personal sessions and range from obedience training, urban socialization and reactivity training, and puppy training, and I train for 20-25 hours a week. I also lead a group class once a week for puppies and guardians to learn basic cues and to learn safe socialization and play.

Behavioral issue focus: Urban dog socialization, comfortability, and reactivity

Training methods: I am a force-free, consent-based, positive reinforcement trainer meaning I set each dog up for success as much as possible so they can be comfortable, happy, and engaged

Why I became a dog trainer: I adopted a fearful mixed pit-bull type dog in 2015 and I wanted to learn more to best help him. We enrolled in PetSmart training classes where I became close to our trainer and she wanted me to work with her. I also decided to pursue a bachelor's degree in Psychology with a concentration in Animal Behavior. Upon graduation, I have since been a full-time dog trainer and found the passion to educate and inspire others to do best by their dogs

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: I get to educate and inspire many people to form solid and healthy relationships with their dogs!

My #1 dog training tip: Reward the good moments! Oftentimes we get wrapped up when our dog is "bad" and are reactive to their behavior, but if we focus and reward when they are "good", we prevent the rehearsal of undesired behaviors while teaching them what we like, plus we have a more positive and happy mindset change and both dog and human are happier!

Service areas: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Long Island City


Ettel Edshteyn

I've been training for over a decade, specializing in fearful and aggressive dogs in NYC most of that time. I've worked with DOH cases, testified as an expert witness in a NYCHA case, work with NYCACC's Community Pets Program to offer free training to underserved communities, worked on Rikers Island with their Rikers Rovers program, work closely with veterinary behaviorists on complicated behavioral and medical cases, and do therapy work with my certified therapy dog.

I often say I came to dog training for the dogs and stayed for the people.


Karen Pryor Academy - CTP
Fear Free Certified Professional

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: I specialize in working with fearful and aggressive dogs and their people. Training can be in person in your neighborhood and home, or virtually. I also work with all pet dog behaviors, including puppy training, obedience training, manners, etc.

Behavioral issue focus: Leash reactivity is the most common concern I'm called about, to both people and dogs. Second is getting comfortable with new people. Fear of being outside the apartment, guarding high value resources, leash manners, barking at home, being handled, getting comfortable with children/new babies are also very common.

Training methods: I focus on motivating dogs and their owners. I don't use or recommend corrective collars, and instead work on setting everyone up to get things right and supporting good choices. Dog training is often much more than just behavior, and I take time to see if there might be a need to bring in other specialists, especially regarding medical concerns. I don't use cookie cutter programs and everything we work on is tailored to each client and their individual needs and preferences.

Why I became a dog trainer: My heart and soul dog, Charlie (a black Poodle), had significant separation anxiety. I was in graduate school studying English Literature at the time. I spent most of my time working with my dog on his behavior and learning about dog behavior while working at a boarding kennel, and later starting a dog walking business. Eventually I decided I wanted to pursue dog training instead of academia and left graduate school for dog training school!

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Supporting owners and helping them feel like there's hope.

My #1 dog training tip: Reward the heck out of what you want to see more of your dog doing on a daily basis.

Service areas: Queens
Long Island City


Benah Stiewing

A lifelong animal geek, I first started training dogs at the age of 12 with my Toy Poodle, Kodi. I quickly became completely obsessed, and absorbed as much information as I possibly could. Kodi was an excellent first teacher - he was unmotivated and fearful.

Determined to be a team, I sought help from talented trainers and slowly started to broaden and deepen my knowledge of canine behavior. Years later, Kodi earned his Master Agility Champion title. I have trained with many master animal trainers and devoted myself to becoming the best possible advocate for every dog. I have worked in animal rescues, boarding facilities, and studied under some of the world's top agility competitors.

In 2015, I brought home Mojo, my first Border Collie, who has been a devoted and accomplished teammate. From a young age, Mojo demonstrated aggression and anxiety and I had to quickly learn how to be his best advocate. Under leading trainers, I dove deeper into canine behavior and communication than ever before, and haven't looked back since.

I understand that relationship-building, fluid communication, and trust are the fundamental building blocks for every human-dog relationship. In order for our dogs and us to work in unison, there must be inherent value and trust in the relationship. We build this through understanding our dog's needs and desires and advocating for such as best we can. I have supported many teams in reaching goals and overcoming barriers, but my favorite moment will always be when a team is able to effectively communicate and experience joy in their work together.

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: I provide a vast range of services to fit you and your dog's needs. At this time, the majority of my work is conducted remotely through Summit Dog Training - I do still offer limited in-person training in Columbia County, NY. I work with puppies, adult dogs, nervous dogs, high-energy dogs, reactive dogs, and more. I am a positive reinforcement based trainer and am committed to the well being and success of each and every one of my clients.

Behavioral issue focus: Leash reactivity, human reactivity, transition stress, and mild aggression cases.

Training methods: When we begin working together, we become a team committed to your dog's success. I provide detailed training plans and flexible scheduling. My training is extremely flexible based on your needs and experience level.

Why I became a dog trainer: 2018

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Creating solid lines of communication between human and dog.

My #1 dog training tip: Reinforce your dog for desired behaviors!

Service areas: Columbia County, NY
Brooklyn, NY
Chatham, NY
Hudson, NY
Hillsdale, NY,
New York, NY
Fort Collins, NY


Viviane Arzoumanian

Vivane has been training dogs and conducting behavior consultations since 2005. She is her clients' guide in all things having to do with dogs, whether they are animal professionals or family guardians. Viviane is a networker and values collaborating with other animal professionals in order to best serve her clients and colleagues. If she doesn't have a resource someone needs, she will use her ever expanding
network to find it for them.

Coaching humans has always been Viviane's passion. In recent years she has increased her focus on the human side of dog training and behavior. If the human's don't change their behavior then dogs can't either.

Viviane offers coaching and guidance in an atmosphere of compassion and
safety. Her clients include both pet guardians and a range of dog
professionals needing resources or a sounding board for finding new or
tried and true ideas for puzzling out difficult cases. She is available for
a full range of conversations including case review, referrals to other
professionals, and discussion of quality of life for humans and canines
living together. This includes consideration of humane euthanasia due to
age, illness or behavioral concerns.

Viviane sees dogs and their families for the full range of needs from
puppyhood to old age on a case by case basis.

She has been educated by well respected professionals in her field and by
thousands of clients and their dogs, and she learns something new every day!


Certified Dog Behavior Consultant, CPDT-KA, Certified Behavior Adjustment
Training Instructor, Pat Miller Certified Trainer - 2, Licensed Family Dog
Mediator in Behavior and Training

Services include:

- Aggressive dog training
- In home training
- Reactive dog training
- Off leash training
- Puppy training
- Free Ask The Trainer Zoom session - offered weekly

More info about service provided: Virtual group classes for puppies and
adolescent dogs, scent work classes, private training for the full range of
dog issues including separation anxiety and reactivity, babies and dogs
living together and counseling for difficult decisions.

Behavioral issue focus: Fear, sound sensitivity, separation anxiety, babies
and dogs, aggression toward people and dogs.

Training methods: All training is based on force free, positive
reinforcement principles, understanding what motivates the dog, and the
interplay between genetics and environment in solving behavior problems.
Viviane works with clients virtually and in person. She offers behavior
consultations, comprehensive training plans, and hands-on work with dogs.

Why she became a dog trainer: Viviane's first dog as an adult needed some
special training help and she got hooked on training. She then studied with
many well respected trainers to gain the knowledge and skills she needed to
serve her clients.

Favorite part of being a dog trainer: Helping improve the relationship
between humans and their canine companions.

#1 dog training tip: Dogs are learning every second of the day. Training
and relationship building should be incorporated into all the activities of
daily life, and it's so much easier than it sounds!

Service areas: We offer virtual services in order to serve the entire
United States and beyond.


Alison Buehler

Alison loves working closely with private clients around Brooklyn and teaching group classes in Basic Manners and Puppy Essentials with her colleagues through PumpkinPups Dog Training. She holds two certifications showing both broad and deep knowledge on the most current techniques in training and is committed to using the most ethical force-free means to train. The CSAT certification is a specialty designation that comes through the world's most recognized expert in separation training, Malena DeMartini, and is held by only a couple of hundred trainers in the world. Additionally, she is an online Faculty Advisor for Victoria Stilwell Academy, helping new trainers learn all about science-based training and an approved Evaluator for the Canine Good Citizen Title through AKC.

Certifications:  CSAT, CPDT-KA

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: Separation Anxiety, Aggression and reactivity, puppies and basic manners.

Behavioral issue focus: My primary focus is on helping dogs to feel safe when left alone. My techniques are through evidence based training and positive reinforcement.

My #1 dog training tip: You can move mountains with kindness and patience.

Service areas: Brooklyn and lower Manhattan, NY


Ferdie Yau

Ferdie Yau has an MA in Conservation Biology from Columbia University (2007) and a BS in Natural Resource Ecology and Management from the University of Michigan (1998). He is the Staff Trainer at the Humane Society of Westchester and an instructor at CATCH Canine Trainers Academy. Ferdie studies urban coyote behavior and population dynamics with the Gotham Coyote Project.

Ferdie was a zookeeper and trainer both the Central Park Zoo and Bronx Zoo from 2002 to 2005 where he trained dozens of exotic species including California sea lions, river otters, Arctic foxes and polar bears. His approach to behavior training and animal welfare was deeply influenced by his experience caring for Gus, the iconic polar bear of the Central Park Zoo. Gus was labeled 'neurotic' by the public and media because he repetitively swam laps around the pool. Refusing to watch him suffer, Ferdie pioneered the development and implementation of a progressive training and enrichment program for the polar bears that reduced stereotypic behaviors related to stress and anxiety.

Ferdie’s graduate research led him deep into the jungles of Belize in 2006 to study the behavior and population dynamics of jaguar and their prey. Following graduation from Columbia University, Ferdie went on to become an ecologist for the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation, where he implemented and managed multi-million dollar projects to protect and restore natural habitats and wildlife to the Bronx River from 2009 to 2013.

Ferdie has been training dogs and educating their humans in New York City and Westchester County in NY since 2007. He founded Sits & Wiggles Dog Training in 2009 and joined Behavior Vets in 2020. In his role as the Director of Shelter and Community Outreach Ferdie fights for better animal welfare and improved access and awareness of humane treatment and training methods for all animals.

Ferdie lives in the Bronx with his wife and retired coyote scat-detection terrier mix, Scout. In his free time, he enjoys exploring nature, hiking, cooking, and eating well!

Certifications: MA, CPDT-KA


Tara Baggerman

Tara has loved -- and learned from -- animals since she was a toddler. Although she bonded with a variety of pets from gerbils and guinea pigs to cats and chickens, dogs were always Tara's favorite companions.
Although Tara never trained any of her childhood pooches for competitive dog sports (at the time she was not aware such things existed), it's not surprising that her adult life revolves around canines. A professional trainer for over a decade, Tara has worked with thousands of dogs of all breeds, ages and backgrounds.

Tara started out as a 'pet dog' trainer, primarily schooling her canine students in household manners. From there Tara expanded to trick-training and Rally Obedience. However, all along, Tara's passion has been dog agility! In the fall 2013 Tara left her day job to focus full time on her favorite k9 sport and FOLLOW THE LEDA AGILITY opened in Gansevoort,NY.

No matter what Tara is teaching she remains a positive dog trainer, and strongly believes learning should be both a challenging and an enjoyable experience for dogs and their human teammates. Tara has always believed that future agility puppies should be given a thorough "foundation education" before ever stepping a paw on equipment.

Services include:

  • Agility training

Service areas: Gansevoort,NY


Brianna Scarborough

Early Years: An Animal Lover From the Start

Brianna Scarborough has been an animal lover since even before she could speak. Growing up on Long Island, she always had a knack for discovering local strays and, like the pied piper of Oakdale, NY, she'd bring them all home to love (infinite thanks to her understanding mother and father). Once she even tried to take in a wild possum! The creature hissed and snarled at everyone else, but allowed itself to be held and snuggled by Brianna. Though her mother drew the line on keeping that one, buther future as an animal whisperer was clear from the start. Her love of all animals has led her to be mother to many, a plethora of dogs and dog breeds (such as Neapolitan Mastiff, Black Lab/German Shepherd, Boxer, Husky, Rottweiler, Pitbull, Sheltie, and a rainbow of mutts), horses, birds, cats, sugar gliders, chinchillas, and (after the possum), she once even had a pet skunk. If that isn't love we don't know what is!

Learning From a Pro (a love letter to Nietzsche)

Brianna says her Black Lab/German Shepherd cross, Nietzsche, was her best teacher.

She says, 'He was a wise and calm presence. We were together for 13 years. We were inseparable companions. He was kind and accepting of all creatures and incredibly smart. I learned the importance of remaining calm, especially when working with anxious or aggressive dogs. He taught me many valuable lessons about leadership and unconditional love.'

Equine to Canine: Translating Rehabilitation Techniques

Brianna has spent nearly 17 years training and riding horses. Her childhood love for animals developed into a more academic interest in animal communication and body language. She studied wild horse behavior and learned to train and rehabilitate horses through positive reinforcement, without force. She eventually became able to ride horses that previously couldn't be ridden, and learned from experience to help horses stop problematic behaviors. Seeing her methodologies pay off, she became eager to apply these same teachings to her work with dogs.

Making a Career Change

Despite corporate and executive success, Brianna felt unfulfilled and unhappy in her career. She felt her work was not the right fit for her desire to have a real and lasting impact in the world. She would leave her office job in NYC, late in the evening, and travel to the stable in Long Island to work with her therapy horses. She would wake up before the sun rose to do training work with rescue dogs before heading into work. It was here, in these quiet moments, seeing real change in animals lives for the better, that her next step became clear and the dream of Kapooch was formed. She studied wolf behavior and communication in the wild, drawing on her childhood love for animals and years of experience in horse training, and became a self-taught dog trainer.

Studying Under the Masters

After notable successes as a self-taught trainer Brianna wanted to delve into dog psychology even further. Many of Brianna's basic training philosophies paralleled that of world-renowned dog whisperer Cesar Millan, so in an effort to further her knowledge, she decided to learn from the master himself. In 2015 she studied with Cesar Millan at the beautiful Country Inn Pet Resort & Dog Psychology Center, in FL.

Brianna says, 'Learning from Cesar was life-changing. So much about canine therapy and training is about body language and energy focus, so simply being in Cesar's presence was invaluable. The experience has opened my eyes to a whole new realm of dog behavior and psychology.' Briana has taken her experience and integrated the knowledge Cesar passed on to her into her training regimens. Brianna has seen her training have a real and lasting impact on canines and the family 'pack'. 'It's all about achieving balance in the dog through energy, consistency, structure, and follow through', she says.

With a thirst for knowledge, and a boundless desire to help as many humans and dogs as possible, Brianna went on to study with other trainers to learn a variety of disciplines. She has even trained with one of the world's best gun and hunt dog trainers, Martin Deeley.

Brianna's Training Methodology

Brianna provides canine rehabilitation commonly working with dog-to-dog aggression, dog-to-human aggression, fearfulness, and anxiety, among other issues. In addition to rehabilitation, she provides basic training, and agility training. She primarily utilizes methods focusing on the energy of her canine and human clients. And employs a multidisciplinary approach based on dog psychology, human interaction, and natural canine communication. Her style is not formulaic: each dog requires its own unique approach.

A Commitment to Benevolence

Over the years, Brianna recognized the need for funding for quality organizations, which help animals in need. Brianna has always wished to help that process along in some way, which is why she's chosen to donate 5% of all proceeds to K9s For Warriors.

Additionally, Brianna donates her spare time to rehabilitating shelter dogs with behavioral issues that would otherwise be 'unadoptable' so that they too can find their loving forever home.

Services include:

  • Board and train

Training methods: Brianna provides canine rehabilitation commonly working with dog-to-dog aggression, dog-to-human aggression, fearfulness, and anxiety, among other issues. In addition to rehabilitation, she provides basic training, and agility training. She primarily utilizes methods focusing on the energy of her canine and human clients. And employs a multidisciplinary approach based on dog psychology, human interaction, and natural canine communication. Her style is not formulaic: each dog requires its own unique approach.

Why I became a dog trainer: Despite corporate and executive success, Brianna felt unfulfilled and unhappy in her career. She felt her work was not the right fit for her desire to have a real and lasting impact in the world. She would leave her office job in NYC, late in the evening, and travel to the stable in Long Island to work with her therapy horses. She would wake up before the sun rose to do training work with rescue dogs before heading into work. It was here, in these quiet moments, seeing real change in animals lives for the better, that her next step became clear and the dream of Kapooch was formed. She studied wolf behavior and communication in the wild, drawing on her childhood love for animals and years of experience in horse training, and became a self-taught dog trainer.


Bob Minchella

Bob Minchella has been involved with dog obedience and competition for over 35 years, and has been a professional dog trainer since 1986. He has trained in the United States, Canada and Germany with world renowned trainers and behaviorists. He also brings to the table nearly two decades of service at the Humane Society of Rochester, training over 40,000 dogs and working with countless families.

In addition to participating in dog obedience competitions across the country, Bob has trained dogs to assist handicapped individuals and has conducted seminars throughout the Northeast. He is also a veteran of the rescue efforts at the Lamar Dixon Emergency Animal Shelter in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.Bob dedicates his efforts towards solving problem behavior in dogs of all breeds and ages. He recognizes that each dog comes with its own temperament and personality and so do the dog owners.

Bob feels that there is no way to train any given dog/handler team. With an intelligent blend of pure positive/operant conditioning and proper application of inhibition, Bob's approach, "Is the most down to earth, sensible, and kindest that I have ever experienced." says long time dog owner and client Jan Teigen.Nationally-recognized by leading behaviorists and trainers across the country, Bob brings his high-caliber methods to the local Rochester area.

Brian Kilcommons, co-author of eight books and consultant to Comcast Pets On Demand, says "Bob is one of the most talented dog trainers I have the pleasure of knowing. His caring, knowledge and expertise has benefited thousands of dogs and people on a daily basis. I have the utmost respect for his efforts, commitment and knowledge achieving a better understanding with people and their canine companions.

Bob is the real deal." Most recently, Bob's behavior instruction inspired nationally-sought-after leadership consultants Sherri McArdle and Jim Ramerman to develop the book, Why Dogs Wag Their Tails: Lessons Leaders Can Learn About Work, Joy, and Life. McArdle writes in the book, "[he] showed me how to become the leader Scout needed me to be."Bob takes pride in working with people and their pets, solving behavior issues and preserving the bond between people and their pets.

Certifications: Professional dog trainer and has trained in the United States, Canada and Germany with world renowned trainers and behaviorists

Services include:

  • Reactive dog training
  • Service dog training


Kate Senisi

For over a decade, Kate's specialty has been working with urban behavior challenges including anxiety and aggression. Always taking an integrative approach, she loves to problem solve and create plans that are easy for guardians to implement and yield results.

Certifications: CPDT-KA

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: Since 2011, School For The Dogs has been helping owners and their dogs thrive in New York City. Using humane, reinforcement-based training methods, our Certified Trainers will help you change your dog's behavior, cultivate leadership and improve your relationship. Train your dog with us in New York City at our East Village school, in your home, or virtually.

Behavioral issue focus: Separation Anxiety, Leash Pulling, Leash Reactivity, Aggression, Nipping, Jumping, Leash Walking, Anxiety, House-Training, Puppy Socialization, Resource Guarding, Basic Manners, Possessiveness, CGC Preparation, Tricks Training, Relaxation Techniques and more!

Training methods:

What kind of dog training do you do?
We like to simply call it 'good' dog training! It is 'good' because it works, 'good' in that it's kind, and also 'good' in that both people and dogs tend to enjoy it.

We strive to make training accessible to everyone, to give our clients easy-to-implement training protocols, and to solve behavioral problems with the least invasive, most humane and effective methods possible.

There are lots of other labels that can be applied to the kind of training we practice, among them: reward-based training, progressive reinforcement training, clicker training, and science-based training. It is perhaps most frequently referred to as Positive Reinforcement training. This label can be a little problematic for two reason. First, positive reinforcement is only one of many tools we have in our toolbox, and secondly, it is easy to misinterpret the 'positive' in this name as having something to do with smiley face emojis. The 'positive' in this context just refers to addition. It has nothing to do with being friendly and nice - two qualities that are not-essential to being a 'good' dog trainer. However, we do happen to be both friendly and nice!

Why I became a dog trainer: To help people communicate more effectively with their pet dogs!

Service areas: NYC and surrounding areas


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


Ritsa Galitsis

Certified Professional Dog Trainer, fostering harmony between dogs and their guardians for over 20 years.

Certifications: CPDT-KA

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: Basic Manners, Behavior Modification, Aggression

Behavioral issue focus: Aggression, Resource Guarding

Training methods: Positive Reinforcement Training methods, In-home training

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Strengthening the relationship between dogs and their guardians.

My #1 dog training tip: Notice and reward behaviors you want to see more of!

Service areas: Queens, Nassau, Suffolk, New York, Long Island


Tessa Romita

I offer training and behavior modification to people and their dogs. I am a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant through the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC), Certified Professional Dog Trainer - Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA), Control Unleashed Certified Instructor (CCUI) and an Accredited Dog Trainer (ADT) also through the IAABC. I completed the Canine Behavior Science and Technology (CBST) program with excellence with the Companion Animal Sciences Institute (CASI) with James O'Heare, Susan Friedman's Living and Learning with Animals (LLA) course and Terry Ryan's Chicken Camp, as well as numerous graduate-level courses in behavior.

Certifications: CDBC, ADT, CPDT-KA, CCUI, TagTeach Level 1

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: I offer in-home foundation and behavior modification training tailored to meet the needs of you and your dog.

Behavioral issue focus: My speciality is working with "fearful and aggressive dogs". However, the majority of the behavioral issues I work with are what I would consider life skills, such as waiting at open doors, coming when called, greeting with four feet on the floor.

Training methods: I offer an initial in-home assessment and training session during which we meet and review your goals. I will also give you some training homework to get you started. I then write-up a training plan that will guide our sessions and recommend that we meet weekly. Every week, you should see progress toward your final goals.

Why I became a dog trainer: Most trainers either grew up surrounded by dogs or adopted a dog with severe behavioral challenges. I'm of the latter camp. When I started making progress with my girl, it felt magical. I was changing the quality of her life (as well as ours). It was all I ever wanted to do from that point on.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: So many parts ... Observing the quality of life improve for both the dog and people is the most powerful.

My #1 dog training tip: It's all about relationship.

Service areas: Based in Stone Ridge, I offer services throughout the Hudson Valley


Sniffspot New York Top Trainer Frequently Asked Questions

How are New York dog trainers selected for this list?

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

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 York 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 York cost?

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

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

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 York was $36,025 per year and $17.32 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

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