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The Best Dog Trainers in Pennsylvania of 2023

Merlin Noble photo

Merlin Noble

March 29, 2022

Dog Trainers

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

Kelly Coleman

I worked in the criminal justice field for years. As the pendulum swung to where perpetrators had more rights than victims, I had to leave the field. The only reprieve from the negativity of the world came from my dogs. Not wanting to waste my master's degree, I obtained certifications in the National Animal Care and Control. Unfortunately, I learned I needed more. Although I like animals, I truly love dogs. Upon finding Pat Miller of Peaceable Paws, I found my calling and completed her academies to equipped me to properly learn how to train both dogs and owners using force free techniques.

Certifications: PMCT 3; ABCDT

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: All training focus on increasing the handler's ability to understand their dog and their dog's needs. The pet parent learns how read canine body language, understand learning theory, and psychology. All trainings are completely force free. Owners learn to understand that dogs do not give us a hard time, the reactive ones are having a hard time.

Behavioral issue focus: Fear based aggression is the most common behavioral concern. These are often dogs who lack in socialization and respond by offering distance increasing cues like barking, growling, and lunging.

Training methods: Using counter conditioning and desensitization, we help dogs learn by helping change their opinions about stimulus that otherwise triggers reactions. We work within the dog's behavior threshold and close the gap as the dog is able.

Why I became a dog trainer: To enhance my understanding and love of dogs.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Seeing owners gain a better understanding of their dogs.

My #1 dog training tip: Understand that we often get frustrated with dogs for behaviors that are completely natural and normal dog behaviors. If we want to achieve new behaviors, we have to teach them. And learning should never hurt.

Service areas: Western Pennsylvania: Indiana, Homer City, Blairsville, Shelocta, Kittanning, Armagh, Ebensburg, Johnstown, Clymer, Commodore, Penn Run, New Florence, Marion Center, Ernest, Creekside, Punxstawney


Beth McGonigal

Hi there, I'm Aunt Beth! At NPAB we focus on nothing but positive reinforcement-based, fun & effective training the whole family can do. As a certified professional trainer, I offer a variety of services, including in-home dog manners training, behavior consultations and behavior modification, and group classes at our training & education facility, as well as at local veterinary offices and county parks.

I'm highly experienced in various areas of training and thoroughly enjoy working with:

First Time Dog Owners

Anxiety & Fear-Based Reactivity & Aggression

Rescued Dogs

Finicky Felines

Certifications: Certified Behavior Consultant Canine, Certified Professional Dog Trainer, Fear Free Professional

Services include:

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

Behavioral issue focus: Aggression, Reactivity, Fears / Phobias

Why I became a dog trainer: Save dogs from going to shelters

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: The lightbulb moments from dogs and their owners

My #1 dog training tip: Build a healthy relationship with your dog

Service areas: Pittsburgh

Website: https://northpittsburghanimalbehavior.com


Erin Marion

I have over twelve years of experience working with dogs. I am a certified professional dog trainer, (CPDT-KA), a Karen Pryor clicker training partner, and am certified in pet first aid.

I love all dogs and all aspects of working with dogs. I have worked in a wide range of dog-related areas - large vet hospitals, day care facilities, feed stores, dog training academies and rescues. Throughout the last 12 years I have gained a wide range of knowledge about dog behavior, health, emotional care, training, and nutrition. This broad experience has helped me immensely in understanding dogs and made me a better trainer.

Certifications: CPDT-KA, KPA-CTP

Services include:

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

More info about service provided:

Even though I train all types of dogs I specialize in working with dogs who are deaf, blind or both. I offer in-person one on one sessions and virtual sessions as well. I also offer a in-home teenage day school where I work with clients dogs on my property by providing socialization and training by a professional dog trainer.
I am here to provide assistance to dog guardians in the first few months of bringing their dog home and continuing their training into the first few years. I teach all of my clients how to work through puppy-hood and then adolescence using positive reinforcement and reward based training methods.

Behavioral issue focus:

Behavioral issues that I most commonly work with are dog guardians looking to be able to affectively communicate with their dogs who are deaf, blind or both. I coach guardians on how to provide safe socialization opportunities, basic obedience, resource guard prevention, auto check-in's and startle prevention.

With dogs that can see and hear I most commonly work through pet dog issues such as under-socialization, age related behaviors during adolescence, recall and over all basic manners.

Training methods:

I train all dogs (including my own) using science based methods. I am a LIMA positive reinforcement based trainer. When first meeting a client I always provide a free consultation call to give us both a chance to get to know one another. If we both find each other to be a good fit I start with an hour long virtual zoom meeting where we can go over all the basics without the distraction of me in the room with your dog. We go over example videos, PDF's and anything that I find will be helpful in that particular dogs case. To me, each case is different, not every dog has the same training plan. I create training plans according to that specific client and client's dogs needs. I typically like to meet once a week or bi-weekly. In between lessons I like to keep a communication line open so I can review video homework and am able to answer questions.

None of my clients are taught, nor do I train using shock collars, prong collars or choke chains.

Why I became a dog trainer:

I have been a 'Dog Lady' for as long as I can remember, but it all came together for me after adopting my first dog, Otis. When he and I first became our own little pack, he had some major anxiety and aggression issues. I knew I needed to learn more about dog training in order to really help him.

We began the Karen Pryor clicker training program together, where I was able to help Otis overcome his anxiety and aggression issues. It was with Otis that I realized being a dog trainer and training with positive reinforcement was my true calling. I then raised my Australian Shepherd, Dahlia and multiple foster puppies with those same methods. I have continued to hone my craft throughout the last decade. In 2018, my training expanded to incorporate special needs dogs when I fostered my first deaf and blind puppy. In 2020 I adopted Darla, who was born with limited hearing and almost no ability to see. In 2022 I adopted Clark a completely blind rough coat collie. After multiple disabled foster dogs and now currently having my own blind and deaf dogs I am extremely passionate about helping special needs pets and their guardians connect by using force-free training methods.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer:

My favorite part of being a dog trainer is getting a chance to coach dog guardians how to communicate to their dogs. Many dog guardians who adopt a dog who is deaf, blind or both feel extremely over whelmed on how to truly "talk" to their dog. Watching someone be able to work with a dog who is deaf and blind and have the dog fully participating and enjoying the training is what makes my job so special.

I of course love dogs and wanted to be a dog trainer because I had such a passion for them. However it is the people that I have gotten to meet along the way that makes being a dog trainer the job of a lifetime.

My #1 dog training tip: When bringing home a dog that is disabled it's important to assist and guide them through a humans world however it is detrimental to feel bad for them. These dogs are truly capable of so much that you will hinder their ability to grow by always holding them back.

Service areas: Chester County, Montgomery County, West Brandywine, East Brandywine, West Chester, Parkesburg

Website: https://www.downtoearthdoglady.com


Sarah Weber

Sarah Weber
Animal Trainer
CPDT-KA, IAABC-ADT, PDT, CCAA, CCCS, APDT
Sarah's background is pretty diverse in the animal field. She has worked in all aspects of canine behavior as a Sales Specialist for local pet stores as well as dog grooming. She has worked as a Boarding and Daycare Operations Manager, Canine Handler, and Shift Lead at Penn Vet Working Dog Center through the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. Sarah works by accessing genetics, breed, lifestyle, physical and mental health in dogs to fully understand why they behave the way they do. Sarah puts a heavy focus on emotional well-being, calmness and engagement to help foster positive experiences with her canine and human clients.

When Sarah is not working, she enjoys camping, hiking, yoga and rock-climbing, all while spending time with her two dogs.

Sarah holds numerous certifications, degrees, and accreditations, nationally and internationally, which includes:

Certified Professional Dog Trainer - Knowledge Assessed, (CPDT-KA)
International Association of Animal Behavioral Consultants - Accredited Dog Trainer
Association of Professional Dog Trainers Accredited Dog Trainer, AKC Evaluator
Certified Canine Athletic Advisor
Certified Canine Conditioning Specialist
Professional Dog Trainer & Kennel Manager - Starmark Academy of Animal Behavior
Absolute Dogs - Pro Dog Trainer Academy
School of Canine Science - Canine Science Specialist

Certifications: Certified Professional Dog Trainer- Knowledge Assessed, International Association of Animal Behavioral Consultants-Accredited Dog Trainer, Association of Pet Dog Trainers- Member, AKC Evaluator, Certified Canine Athletic Advisor, Certified Canine Conditioning Specialist, Professional Dog Trainer- Absolute Dogs, Pet First Aid Certified, The Dog Gurus- Member, Master in Aggression

Services include:

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

More info about service provided:

Group Classes- 2 to 6 dogs 1-hour classes held weekly. Price Varies based on class type. Class will begin with a 10-minute warm up session, during which the trainer will greet and briefly check over each puppy. The main body of the class will focus on training goals appropriate to the dogs, and then finish with a cool down session, just like a gym class! All of our classes are "Drop In" which means you pay per class and can come to as many classes as you would like.

What to bring to group class:
Your Dog
A leash, Harness or Collar
200 dog treats
A treat pouch, we love this brand, Petsafe Treat Pouch
Your dog's favorite toy
Basic & Advanced Obedience Saturdays 10 am to 11 am
Perfect for dogs and owners who want to work on distance, duration and distraction skills. We have a new concept and skill list each week. A consultation session is required
Cost: $65 per class, per dog

Baby Prep 101 Class Expecting a tiny human? live with tiny humans? Just want your pup exposed to all things, tiny kiddos? This is the class for you! We will focus on positive interactions with cribs, strollers, bikes, toys, loud sounds, feeding time, handling skills, leash manners, management techniques and more. We do NOT require a consultation session for this class, but we do expect your dog to be able to work in the presence of other dogs
Cost: $45 per class, per dog

Puppy Prep 101 ClassLearn the basics in a fun twist! Work on engagement with your pet while around other puppies! Discussion and hands on skills for things like potty training, teething, nipping, play management and more!
Cost: $65 per class per dog
$20 for puppies enrolled in our weekly puppy prep program

Nose Work Class
Have a dog that loves to sniff? A pup that can’t keep their nose off the ground? Imprinting and teaching them to find odor is a fantastic way to work their brains by meeting biological needs! We imprint on Clove, Birch, Anise, Cypress.
Cost: $35 per class, per dog

Day Training
30-minute training sessions without the owner present while your dog is boarding or in daycare at VCA Wellington. Focusing on agility, nose work and or training sessions!
30 minutes - $45

Puppy Prep Program-
For all puppies 9 weeks or older! This is a 12-week program including daycare and training three times a week, held on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at VCA Wellington. This includes three training sessions, lunch break and three group play sessions. We also offer the program 1-3 days a week. However, pups get the biggest benefit coming all three days a week. School starts at 9 am and ends at 4 pm. Pups are welcome here 7 am to 6:45 pm

Puppy Daycare

Age Requirements: 10 weeks old to 6 months old

Vaccine Requirements to start: Require a minimum of 2 rounds of DHPP & 1 Round of Bordetella to START the program. We also require a clear fecal test.

Full Vaccine Requirements:
Rabies
DHPP Combination- Distemper, Adenovirus, Hepatitis, Parvo, Para-influenza
Bordetella
Bivalent Influenza (H3N2/H3N8)
Flea and Tick Preventative

We highly recommend:
Leptospirosis
Lyme

Puppy Daycare is held Monday- Friday at VCA Wellington & Family Pet Resort from 8 am until 4pm. This is separate from our group play daycare program. All Puppies play, rest and interact in a separate space from adult dogs for health and safety reasons.

Our Puppy Daycare is a more intimate, slower paced program to help the developing puppy brain. We have a heavy focus on puppy developmental stages:socialization period, fear impact period, juvenile period, adolescent period. We place our puppies with adolescent and adult dog’s who have graduated from our training programs. These are select dogs who are able to teach puppies how to safely and appropriately play.

Once your dog graduates from Puppy daycare, they are welcome to attend our adult group play! They will need to schedule an evaluation prior to joining our Adult group.

This program does NOT include teaching training skills like sit, down, leash manners, leave it, drop etc. Our Puppy Prep Training Program runs alongside our Puppy Daycare. If you prefer our Trainers work with your pup on training skills, you will be charged accordingly along with given homework.

Enrichment Daycare

Our Enrichment Daycare builds on genetically predisposed behaviors in a positive way. We challenge natural drives such as: chasing, sniffing, carrying objects, chewing, herding, climbing, etc. By challenging these natural behaviors, we help curb destructive or maladaptive behaviors such as chewing furniture, destroying objects, jumping, and more.
Each enrichment activity is designed to provide an engaging, natural outlet while working on your dog’s physical and mental needs.
This program is appropriate for dogs who prefer the presence of humans only, smaller groups of dogs, or who get overstimulated in larger group settings.

This includes (3) enrichment sessions and a lunch break during the day. Enrichment sessions can include small group play, fitness & agility, massage, nose work, chase games, herding games, and more. We also use FitPAWS® and Blue-9™ equipment designed to tone up your dog’s body, increase core strength, stabilize weak areas, improve body awareness, coordination, range of motion, confidence, our bond with your dog, etc. Our Certified Canine Conditioning Specialist also offers canine massage. This helps promote softer, more glossy coats. Canine massage can also help relax pets and calm hyperactivity.

Vaccine Requirements: Rabies DHPP Combination- Distemper, Adenovirus, Hepatitis, Parvo, Parainfluenza Bordetella Bivalent Influenza (H3N2/H3N8) Flea and Tick Preventative

Behavioral issue focus: Aggression to dogs, strangers, humans in the home, dogs in the home, puppy training, separation anxiety, obsessive compulsive behavior, reactivity to: familiar/unfamiliar dogs/people, objects,novelty, dog to dog behavior, group play evaluations, dog to baby relationship, herding, nipping, biting, attention seeking barking

Training methods:

The first step to scheduling would be a Consultation Session. This would be held at our facility in Newtown Square 3921 Miller Road, Newtown Square, PA, 19073. It is an hour-long session with the dog and owners, designed to better understand your dog, family and overall training goals. During this session, we will teach you about canine behavior, why your dog does what it does, and how to prevent & manage behavioral concerns. Afterwards, we will prepare a full training plan tailored to your dog and send it to you via email.
We offer day school, private lessons, group classes, board and trains based on what we feel is best for the dog. we offer 24/7 365 day support for our clientele

Why I became a dog trainer: amazing question! I became a dog trainer for a lot of reasons. The first, I actually really wanted to go to vet school. however, being dyslexic, I did not have the support at 17 that I have at 25. I transitioned into law enforcement studies to be a canine handler when I feel in love with dog training at penn vet working dog center as a volunteer and then kennel lead. Growing up, I always wanted to work with animals, I was a pet sitter, dog walker, kennel attendant, vet assistant etc. My first family dog was really was set the story for becoming a dog trainer. One of my clients tells me that I have the best "Why you should hire me" story. I was raised one of 7 kids. We were all under the age of 14 when my parents got us our first family dog. A 10 week old "native American Indian dog" if you know anything about the breed- not a good match for young kids and first time as adult dog owners. He was a loving dog to me.... he hated everyone else. I was in 2nd & 3rd grade when we had him. Looking back... he resources guarded spaces, food, objects, people (me), he had stranger directed aggression, conflict aggression and handling concerns. He absolutely hated my father. Long story, short. One night he ended up biting my youngest brother in the eye and he was medvaced to CHOP in philadelphia for emergency surgery. He thankfully retained his eyesight and healed! As for our dog, Lucas, He went on a 10 day bite hold. He relastically should have been euthanized then. At 9 days, they found a single guy, unmarried, no kids to take him... life happens and he ended up getting married and having a baby. He surreneded Lucas to a local sheltered where he was deemed unadoptable and behaviorally euthanized. I became a dog trainer to make sure history doesnt repeat itself. That we have dogs in the correct homes, that we keep dogs and humans safe. I became a dog trainer to support the best quality of life dog all dogs, and humans.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: There are so many things. It is very difficult to pick a favorite. I think the joy I can help bring to dogs lives. Whether it is a foster/shelter dog or a dog already placed in a home. There are so many wonderful people I have met through dog training!

My #1 dog training tip: The rules of engagement! Eye contact, clear communication, and passion for your partner (dog or human) are key

Service areas: Montgomery County, Delaware County, Bucks County, Newtown Square, Wayne, Radnor, Upper Merion, Eagleville, Havertown, Lower Merion

Website: https://vcahospitals.com


Peet Johnson

Ive 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


Kelly Armour

Kelly has over 25 years of experience working with a variety of breeds and behavior issues, and specializes in working with Pitbulls and Bully Breeds. Kelly is known for her ability to accurately assess, treat, and resolve dog behavior issues using force-free and positive training methods. Her success in helping dog owners has grown out of many years of dedicated shelter and rescue work.

Kelly gained unique knowledge and hands-on training skills working at the Montgomery SPCA where she worked with a variety of dogs of different sizes, breeds, ages, and personalities. Kelly has extensive experience working with puppies, adolescent teenagers, and dogs that were rescued from abusive and illegal situations. She earned her Certificate in Training and Counseling (CTC) from Jean Donaldson's The Academy for Dog Trainers.

Certifications: CTC, The Academy for Dog Trainers

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: Canine positive, reward-based training and applied behavior analysis.

Behavioral issue focus: I work with everything from basic puppy training to complex fear and aggression behavior modification.

Training methods: Every client begins with a comprehensive, 2 hour evaluation and intensive training session to understand why behaviors are occurring and to find the best path forward for the holistic well being of the dog and to meet the individual goals of the dog guardian.

Why I became a dog trainer: Dogs are an integral part of our lives and families. With a specialty in fear and aggression, I became a dog trainer to help people navigate the complicated waters of 'what happens when we didn't get the dog we expected.' My goal is to find the virtue in every dog and bring out the very best in the dog to dog-guardian experience.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: I love helping dogs and people bring out the best in each other.

My #1 dog training tip: Patience and repetition. You'll meet all of your goals with these two ingredients. Great behavior takes time and commitment.

Service areas: Reading, Allentown, West Chester, Berks, Harrisburg, Carlisle, Chester, Montgomery, Lehigh, Schuylkill, Lebabon

Website: https://www.thevirtuousdog.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


Pat Miller

Pat Miller, author of The Power of Positive Dog Training (2001), Positive Perspectives (2003), Positive Perspectives 2 (2008), Play With Your Dog (2008), Do Over Dogs (2010), How to Foster Dogs (2013) and Beware of the Dog (2016) has been training dogs for more than 30 years. She has trained a variety of breeds and mixed breeds (her own dogs) including Rough Collies, a Bloodhound, Australian Kelpies, Bull Terrier, Irish Setter, St. Bernard, Scottish Terrier, Cardigan Welsh Corgi, Australian Shepherd, Pomeranians, and a Springer Spaniel, and competed successfully with many of them in the obedience and Rally rings. She also trained her first Australian Kelpie to herd sheep and ducks (or more correctly, Keli taught Pat to herd). Keli was Miller's Canine Field Agent, riding with her on patrol during the years she was an Animal Services/Humane Officer in California.

Miller worked for 20 years at the Marin Humane Society in Novato, California, during which time she collaborated with Trish King to create the country's first 'Color Coding' system for shelter dogs and volunteers. This system was successful in reducing behavior problems in shelter dogs (with a corresponding reduction in euthanasia) by identifying difficult-to-handle dogs and matching them with more experienced and capable volunteer handlers. Miller was a humane officer/animal control officer and testified successfully in numerous animal cruelty and abuse cases. She also played a major role in the development and implementation of Marin County and State of California Dangerous Dog laws.

Miller moved to California's Central Coast in 1996 after completing her BS degree in Business Administration with honors in the major. There she launched Peaceable Paws, LLC in Monterey/Santa Cruz, and introduced the Color-Coding system at the Santa Cruz SPCA while serving on the Board of that organization. She joined the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT) in 1996, was elected to the APDT Board and is past President of that organization. She is also a member of the Pet Professional Guild.

In the fall of 2001, Miller and her 14-year-old Terrier mix, Josie, were one of the first 23 dog/owner teams in the world to earn a title in the then-newest canine sport, at the first sanctioned Rally Trials ever held, during the APDT annual conference in Ellenville, New York. Miller was one of the first 136 trainers to be awarded the title of Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA) that fall, through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT), and has also received her CBCC-KA (Certified Behavior Consultant) through CCPDT, and served on that Board as well.

In the fall of 1999, Miller and her husband, Paul, relocated Peaceable Paws, LLC to Chattanooga, Tennessee. Where she helped create FOCAS - Friends of Chattanooga Animal Services - a non-profit organization whose mission is to support the work of the Chattanooga Animal Services Division. Also in Chattanooga, she opened the Peaceable Paws Intern Academy, which draws trainers from around the world. In cooperation with several other training professionals, she helped create TAPPT, the Tennessee Association of Positive Pet Trainers and MAAPPPT - the Mid-Atlantic Association of Positive Professional Pet Trainers. Miller also holds an Associate Degree in Administration of Justice, is a freelance writer and regular contributor to and Training Editor of The Whole Dog Journal. Her first book, 'The Power of Positive Dog Training' was published in August of 2001 by Howell Publishing and has been on Amazon.com's best-selling dog training book list since January of 2002. Her most recent book, 'Beware of the Dog (2016),' is a highly acclaimed work on canine aggression. In March of 2015 she was named by Dog Fancy Magazine as one of '45 People Who Have Changed the Dog World,' and in October of 2018 received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association of Professional Dog Trainers.

Miller and her husband moved to Fairplay, Maryland in the Spring of 2004 where they live on an 80-acre farm with their three dogs, four cats, three horses and a pot-bellied pig. Pat and Paul operate their Peaceable Paws dog-friendly training center and Peaceable Pastures horse boarding facility there. Pat offers group dog training classes, private behavior consults, training camps, seminars and workshops worldwide, expert witness services for animal-related legal cases, and is Director of the Peaceable Paws Trainer Academies and Training Programs.

Certifications: Certified Behavior Consultant, Canine (CBCC-KA) and Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA)

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: We offer small group classes as well as private training and behavior counselling. Our private behavior modification services incunlde but are not limited to aggression, anxiety, arousal, reactivity, fear-based behaviors, and more. We also offer 1- and 2-day workshops at our 80-acre Fairplay campus, and 6-day academies for trainers and would-be trainers.

Behavioral issue focus: We work with all behaviors - fear, aggression, anxiety, arousal, reactivity and more. All force-free, of course.

Training methods: All force-free - I was one of the early leaders in the force-free training world. We use treats and clickers or verbal markers to communicate with the dog that her behavior has just earned a treat. Behaviors that are reinforced are likely to be repeated. Our behavior work is also all force free - we use operant and classical conditinoing to change behavior and give the dog a new association with the things that are upsetting or arousing to her. Training plans are individualized to each client.

Why I became a dog trainer: I have worked with animals all my life. After 20 years at the Marin Humane Society I decided it was time to have an impact on animal lives from a new direction. When my wonderful dog Bonnie hid under our deck rather than train with me, I realized I needed to reconsider my training methods. At that time (late 1990's) I was using what I now call "old-fashioned" coercive methods. It was how everyone trained in those days. I learned about positive reinforcement-based training, became a "cross-over trainer" and never looked back. I then made it my mission to share this then-new, humane and effective approach to dog training with the rest of the world to help improve the quality of life for our canine companions.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Seeing the relief on human faces when I tell them they don't have to hurt their dogs anymore.

My #1 dog training tip: You are your dog's advocate and guardian. Don't EVER let anyone do anything to her that feels wrong to you, or that you know will hurt her.

Service areas: All of the Mid-Atlantic Region - andwe are based in Washington County, MD. Students travel to us from long distances - trainers come to our academies from around the world.

Website: https://www.peaceablepaws.com


Kris Snider

My passion for animals started before I could walk. My first dog was a Husky/Shepherd mix, Kilo, who was a few years old when I was born. We were inseparable and he was the first to teach me that a dogs bond is powerful. He was likely the reason I wanted to become a Veterinarian. Through my childhood and teen years there were many influential cats, dogs, and horses that I was fortunate enough to bond with, and learn invaluable lessons from. The most significant ones where CC (a Quarter Horse) and Chaz (a Boxer). They both taught me that our relationship was based on building a strong foundation of trust through communication.

I got my first real job at a veterinary clinic and that set the course for me finding my first career as a Veterinary Technician. I received my Associates Degree in Applied Science and soon after became a Registered Veterinary Technician.

As a Technician I was able to make a difference in other peoples companions through medicine. I was there for when they first got that cute 8 week old fluff ball, and guiding them through the tough adolescent years, watching them mature, and then helping their owners say their last goodbyes. As time would have it, I found that my patients mental well being was just as important as their physical well being. This revelation came shortly before a clinic switch and meeting Andrew Nelson. Andrew began to shape me into a Technician and Trainer that could encourage and nurture a bond based off of the dog gaining confidence and having tools to figure things out, and then be reinforced positively for doing so.

Since becoming an Associate Trainer for the Clever Canine in 2015, I have worked with over 600+ clients in both in-home and group class settings. I am now Elite Fear Free Certified, CPDT - KA (Certified Professional Dog Trainer - Knowledge Assessed) Certified and am an AKC S.T.A.R Puppy, Tricks and Canine Good Citizen Evaluator. I have become passionate about helping others build a strong bond with their dog through ethical ways of training.

Certifications: CPDT-KA
Fear Free Elite
RVT

Services include:

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

More info about service provided:

Group Classes
Individual Lessons
Puppies, Adolescents, Adults, and Seniors Dogs
Basic Manners

Behavioral issue focus:

Reactivity (Dogs and Humans)
Resource Guarding
Separation Anxiety
Fear
Anxiety

Training methods:

Positive Reinforcement based trainer
Individualized Plans

Why I became a dog trainer: To apply my knowledge of dogs from my years as Registered Veterinary Technician and help them live better lives with their owners at home.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Making a difference in a dogs life for the better.

My #1 dog training tip:

Work with the dog that is in front of you.

What I mean by this is that you have to train at level of comprehension of the dog you are working with. Take in consideration of what they know and if they are able to apply that in the situation you are asking them to.

Service areas: Morgantown

Website: https://www.theclevercaninewv.com/


Vanessa Wheeler

Vanessa (she/her) has been involved in the 'dog world' since 2010 with roles like volunteer dog walker, volunteer manager, staff kennel attendant, dog sitter, and foster parent. She cites her most notable experiences as: joining several of her rescue friends out of state assisting in dog fighting confiscation efforts (#367), interning at the Humane Society of the United States in their state legislative affairs department, presenting her Master of Public Health thesis "Breed Specific Legislation: Does policy equal prevention?" at the largest annual public health conference, becoming a founding member of the Pittsburgh, PA based non-profit, The Proper Pit Bull, and finally, as a full time professional dog handler to a specially trained Canine Advocate named Nelly for a local victim services organization. The lessons she learned in this position greatly influenced her approach to group training classes where she has been a lead instructor since 2019.

Continuing education has always been important to Vanessa and she is grateful for the dogs that are always willing to teach her something new. While she may not have her official certification (yet), she appreciates that quality content continues to become more accessible for others like herself and is inspired by the work being done in the force free world.

At the heart of it all lies her dogs: Belle (2019), Henry (2020), Sasha (2021), Nelly, and Keisel. Vanessa currently lives in Pittsburgh with her best boy, Keisel, and also works in public health research.

Services include:

  • In home training
  • Reactive dog training
  • Puppy training

More info about service provided: I teach group manners classes at one of our local shelters. Our classes range from Puppy Kindergarten to Level 2 Intermediate Adult. Our sessions are 6-7 weeks long and meet for one hour. We focus on providing a strong foundation so our learners are set up to succeed no matter where their training journey takes them. I am most proud of our Bully Breed basic manners classes that are the product of a partnership with local non-profit The Proper Pit Bull. The curriculum isn't different, but the spirit of the classes is. A deeper sense of community is gained in a room full of our beloved breed and their beloved humans.

Behavioral issue focus: The most prevalent behavioral issues we see in classes include: reactivity (various types), anxiety, and arousal/impulse control.

Training methods:

All of my lessons have a basis in science and force free methods. Many of our learners aren't familiar with concepts like thin slicing, adjusting criteria, or how to be clear and consistent. This informed the design of our weekly lessons, how they flow, and the additional resources that are provided.

During orientation I ask our learners what they hope to get out of the course and adjust/adapt specific lessons as much as possible. Certain requests can be difficult to address in a group setting but I am lucky to have great assistants that can help provide additional one on one time if needed.

Each group level focuses on engagement, foundation behaviors, handling/technical skills and communication basics for humans. As our class levels progress we build on proofing and fluency.

Upon graduation, I assess the progress each team has made and advise our training department manager on what I think would be most beneficial for them.

Why I became a dog trainer: After spending so much time in the shelter/rescue world, I wanted to do more to help keep pets in their homes. Around this time, I was also introduced to work by Sophia Yin, Patricia McConnell, and Emily Larlham. I was fascinated with all of this new information but most importantly, I found it fun!

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Watching dogs figure something out for the first time!

My #1 dog training tip: Listen to your dog! They're constantly answering our questions and giving us feedback.

Service areas: Pittsburgh and Allegheny County

Website: https://www.furevergood.com/


Sarah Woodruff

I have been training and competing in the sport of Nose Work for over 10 years. I am a certified nose work instructor, certifying official, judge and trial host with the National Association of Canine Scent Work.
I am also an AKC CGC and tricks evaluator.

Certifications: Certified Nose Work Instructor, AKC CGC & Tricks Evaluator

Services include:

  • Puppy training

More info about service provided: K9 Nose Work Classes, basic obedience and puppy training

Behavioral issue focus: Leash pulling, crate training, mild dog reactivity, confidence building for shy/fearful dogs

Training methods:

Majority of my time is spent training the sport of K9 Nose Work using positive reinforcement. This is a game all about letting the dogs be rewarded for using their nose. Through these classes students also have the opportunity to work a variety of basic life skills like crate training, impulse control, loose leash walking, engagement with the handler, exposure to new environments, etc.
We work at a training facility and also take our training to offsite locations to expose the dogs to a wide variety of environments and distractions.
Nose work is a great sport to help dogs burn off some energy and engage the brain. It is a great way to build confidence in any and reactive dogs.

Why I became a dog trainer:

I dabbled in several activities with my first rescue dog Angie and she told me that using her nose was her most favorite. I attended nose work camp in 2011 and afterwards started a practice group with my friends. I enrolled in the instructor program after camp and I have been teaching all levels of classes for over 10 years.
I love helping others find a fun activity to play with their dog, strengthen their understanding of how dogs learn and communicate, and most importantly building that human-canine bond.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Getting to be a part of each teams journey, witnessing first hand their progression and growth as a team.

My #1 dog training tip: Have fun! Humans and dogs both learn better when they are enjoying the training process.

Service areas: Easton, Bethlehem, Allentown, Stroudsburg,

Website: https://www.pawsnsniff.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


Casey Buckley

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

Certifications: CPDT-KA

Services include:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Service areas: Philadelphia, west, south west center city

Website: https://www.wpcreativepets.com


Debby McMullen

I am the author of the How Many Dogs? Using Positive Reinforcement Training to Manage a Multiple Dog Household, which has also been translated into German. I write as a contributor for Victoria Stilwell's Positively website as well as on my book's website.

I began my training career in 1998 as a volunteer instructor at Animal Friends shelter in Pittsburgh. I have taught literally thousands of classes both through the shelter and at other locations. I started as a dog walker and developed a keen interest in behavior and was asked to join the behavior program.

I also ran my own Doberman rescue for nearly 15 years before taking a less active role in the rescue world.

Certifications: Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (CDBC)

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: In home behavior consulting for fear/aggression/reactivity as well as in-home and remote consultations for multiple dog household issues, remote and in home consultations for Caucasian Ovcharka owners and related breeds behavior concerns, and getting your puppy started off on the right paw.

Behavioral issue focus: Fear, anxiety, aggression, reactivity, and multiple dog household conflicts. Also, puppies getting started off on the right paw.

Training methods: My methods are modern rewards-based science supported dog and human friendly designed specifically for each individual dog.

Why I became a dog trainer: Because I had a challenging dog that I needed to learn how to effectively help make better choices.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Client happiness at improving the relationship and understanding between themselves and their dogs.

My #1 dog training tip: Show your dog what you want them to do instead of correcting what you don't want them to do.

Service areas: Allegheny, Fayette, Butler, Beaver, Green, Washington, Mercer, Westmoreland, Indiana counties

Website: https://www.pawsitivereactions.com


Michael Badial

Michael's love of dogs and dog behavior started in his childhood when he could be found spending hours a day with his Rottweiler/Shepherd mix, Mariah. As he traveled the neighborhood with friends, Mariah was never far behind.

While working as a meter reader in California, Michael was faced daily with dogs in yards that wanted to attack and defend their property. Wanting to be efficient and safe at his job, he learned ways to put the dogs at ease and train them to trust him.

After moving to PA in 2006, he managed a busy 200+ run dog kennel. This invaluable time spent observing dog behavior gives him incredible insight into how dogs communicate not only with each other but also with us.

Using his experience rehabilitating an aggressive Mastiff mix he inherited when he moved, Michael began a rescue dedicated to re-training aggressive dogs.

This began his career in dog training and sent him on the path to becoming dual certified as a Certified Behavior Consultant (CBCC-KA) and a Certified Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA). With over 15 years of experience training dogs, Michael still continues his education daily and takes great pride in mentoring up and coming new trainers. He's a mentor for both Catch Trainers Academy and Animal Behavior College.

Certifications: CBCC-KA, CPDT-KA

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: Best Paw Forward offers comprehensive training services with a wonderful staff of positive dog trainers. We provide the area's only positive board & train and day school service with continuing support and classes for clients including exclusive daycare. Private lessons and group classes are also available. Our puppy socialization school is the only of its kind for dogs to learn in a safe, friendly environment. We work with puppies through adulthood and have extensive experience with behavior challenges.

Behavioral issue focus: I am experienced with all types of fear, reactivity and aggression. With over 15 years of experience including running a rescue for aggressive dogs and managing an over 200 run kennel in addition to helping thousands of clients of the years, I have been successful in improving the lives of dogs and especially their owners for many years.

Training methods: Our training is rooted in fun and relationship. Positive reinforcement is key for both the dog and owner to find solutions that are practical and work in everyday life. The first step is always a phone consultation and then we get to work on making progress toward goals.

Why I became a dog trainer: To help dogs and owners to live a better life in harmony together.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Witnessing families understand and enjoy their dog more while allowing the dog the freedom to be a dog.

My #1 dog training tip: Spend quality time with your dog. You'd be surprised how far just 15 minutes a day of one on one time with your dog - no distractions - can improve your relationship and understanding of one another. This is crucial in creating harmony and teamwork between any two beings.

Service areas: Based in Perkasie, PA and offering services at our location or in home within 25 minutes of our facility, covering parts of Bucks & Montgomery Counties in Pennsylvania

Website: https://www.bestpawforwardinc.com


Rachel McMichael

Rachel McMichael is the owner and founder of UpSwing Canine Behavioral Services and UpSwing Total Pet Care, LLC. With nearly 20 years of experience working with dogs and an entire lifetime around them, Rachel now specializes in the most shy/fearful dogs as well as dogs with moderate behavior issues. Rachel goes beyond the basics for dogs in need and puts concentration on humane, positive and effective behavioral change. Her goal is to repair relationships between dogs and their people and to create happier and more harmonious households. Rachel fully believes that the relationship that the dog and family share can often be a contributing factor in behavioral challenges, therefore she aims to create treatment plans for dogs and their families that include relationship building as well as added enrichment.

In addition to being Butler County's leading Certified Canine Behavior Consultant (CBCC-KA), Rachel is also a Catch Certified Dog Trainer as well as a Catch Mentor Trainer for new students. She is an Accredited Dog Trainer through the IAABC (IAABC-ADT), Certified Trick Dog Instructor through DMWYD, and a AKC CGC, STAR Puppy and Trick Dog Evaluator. Rachel also holds a degree in Veterinary Technology and has a wide base of canine knowledge.
She is a proud professional member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers, a professional member and Board Member of the Alliance of Modern Pet Professionals, as well as a professional member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants. She has attended many behavior seminars and demonstrations over the years and continues to earn credits, attend conferences and stay on top of the most current animal behavior studies.

She is super passionate about creating enriching, positive and lasting bonds between pets and their families and views training as an integral and imperative part of overall wellness for our pets. She truly believes that a great relationship with your dog is more important than any trick you could ever teach, and you can teach your dog just about any trick if you have a great relationship!

Certifications: CBCC-KA, CCDT, IAABC-ADT, CTDI

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: Specializing in shy & fearful dogs, Rachel offers confidence and trust building, basic training, skills and manners, behavior adjustment and modification, group classes and more

Behavioral issue focus: Shy & fearful, reactive, aggressive, compulsion behaviors and anxiety (as well as basic)

Training methods: Usually starting with a meeting or behavior consultation, I take into consideration all of the dogs needs prior to creating a treatment plan for the family. Using positive methods alongside enriching activities and confidence building, we see results.

Why I became a dog trainer: I feel it is so important for people to truly understand the dogs that they choose to spend their lives with. In understanding them, they can do better by them. My job isn't just one of dog trainer, but one of bridging communication gaps, repairing and building relationships and assuring harmonious households.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: When people rediscover what makes them love their dogs so much - the moment they realize the work can be done kindly and efficiently with love and patience.

My #1 dog training tip: See the world through the dog's eyes - this helps you to understand why they make the choices they do.

Website: https://www.upswingtpc.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


Casey DiNuzzo

Casey is certified through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CPDT). The CPDT's certification program is based on humane training practices and the latest scientific knowledge related to dog training. It is the only internationally recognized dog training credential and is achieved by just over 2,000 dog training professionals worldwide. Anyone can say they're a dog trainer with or without certification so whether you train with us or elsewhere, do some digging! We're here to help if you have any questions at all, because we truly care about your dog.

Certifications:

CPDT-KA
Family Paws Certified

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: Leroy and Company is a full-service dog training company based in Scranton, PA. We serve the greater NEPA region and are here for all of your dog's training needs. We specialize in Puppy Board & Train programs with an emphasis on crate training and potty training. We offer private in-home dog training, including puppy training, adolescent manners, and behavior modification programs. We will teach you how to build a strong relationship with your dog based on communication, training, and having fun!

Behavioral issue focus: Private training sessions in your home - let us come to you! We will customize a training program for your dog based on behavior, history, and energy level. Your trainer will address all aspects of your dog's life including diet, exercise, socialization, daily routines, and relationships. Goals can include crate training, housebreaking, manners around food, basic obedience commands, leash walking, visitor greetings, and more. The training will be structured to the needs of you and your dog to set you both up for success.

Training methods: At Leroy and Company, we are excited to train your dog using modern methods of learning theory, counter conditioning, clicker training, and positive reinforcement. We practice only gentle and humane methods to allow your dog to learn and make changes at his or her own pace. We use positive motivators as rewards so that your dog is excited to learn and perform. We also focus on relationship development so that you and your pet are both devoted to making each other happy.

Why I became a dog trainer: Casey's interest in dog training began when she started taking training classes with her newly adopted dog, Leroy, for reactivity and fear-related behaviors. Her success with her own dog led her to want to help other dog owners. Casey worked in Philadelphia for five years offering puppy programs, behavior consultations for fearful and aggressive behavior, and basic manners programs. In 2017, Casey moved to Scranton and brought her knowledge and love for puppies back home to NEPA. She is passionate about science-based training methods, and she's always looking for the most humane and fun ways to communicate with the dogs in her life.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Helping owners bond with their dogs and have a better relationship!

My #1 dog training tip: Reward more of Come and Down!

Service areas: Lackawanna County, PA

Website: https://leroyandco.com/


Kailly Muthard

I have been a dog trainer since 2016, after completing a 2 year apprenticeship and the Karen Pryor Academy certification program.

Certifications: KPA-CTP, CPDT-KA

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: In home training, private lessons, basic obedience, day training, puppy training, behavior modification

Behavioral issue focus: Reactivity, Leash Reactivity, Dog dog aggression, dog human aggression

Training methods: Positive reinforcement clicker training, behavior consultations

Why I became a dog trainer: I have a reactive dog myself and struggled to learn how to train and manage him. Through that experience I became passionate about helping other people with their dogs.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Watching dogs learn

My #1 dog training tip: Consistency!

Service areas: Lehigh Valley (Lehigh and Northampton Counties)

Website: https://educaninetrainingservices.com


Tena Parker

Tena Parker has been working with dogs for over 15 years. She earned her Master's Degree in Education and her Bachelor's Degree in Psychology (with a 'minor' in Physics, just for fun) from Sarah Lawrence College and is the head trainer for and owner of Success Just Clicks Dog Training. She is a nationally Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (CDBC) with IAABC, a nationally Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA) with CCPDT, is a member of the APDT (Association of Pet Dog Trainers), is a Certified APDT C.L.A.S.S Evaluator (and instructor), is a Certified Trick Dog Instructor (CTDI) with DMWYD, is a Certified AKC Canine Good Citizen and S.T.A.R. Puppy Evaluator, and is a Tester/Observer for Alliance of Therapy Dogs.

Tena's background in education has played a critical role in how she runs her classes, develops her curricula, and works with her individual students. Her deep understanding of how humans learn allows her to teach dog owners how to be very skilled trainers and teach them how to continue to help their dog. Students quickly learn that having fun is an important part of how she teaches classes and interacts with clients. If training is not enjoyable, it's not likely to happen but if everyone involved enjoys the process, it's much more likely to be worked on and refined.

Certifications: Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (CDBC), Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA), Certified Trick Dog Instructor (CTDI)

Services include:

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

More info about service provided:

We offer 30+ group classes every week covering topics from basic manners (puppy k thru CGC levels) to dog sports (rally, agility foundations, scentwork, and more) and behavior classes (Keep Cool Reactive Dogs and Marshmallow dog class for nervous dogs) to trouble shooting classes (recall class, life skills, be polite class, etc).

Along side our robust group class offerings we offer private training for both behavior issues and basic manners.

We also offer elite day training programs and training adventure programs for our students to have direct training with one of our certified trainers.

Behavioral issue focus: Aggression towards people, aggression towards dogs, reactivity on walks, resource guarding, phobias, etc.

Training methods: We are LIMA based trainers who work on preventing unwanted behaviors, teaching what we do what them to do, and then making sure we are meeting the needs of the dog.

Why I became a dog trainer: Like many colleagues, I got into dog training as a hobby with my own dogs. We took training classes and had fun together. I then adopted a dog who was really troubled and I got into the behavior side of the world. I became passionate about working with dogs to really resolve behavior challenges and not just mask it through my journey with her. Pair that with my interest and passion for human education and it was a no brainer to make this jump from my human education background.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: I love watching dogs and owners build a better bond, clearer communication, and get to enjoy life together.

My #1 dog training tip: Environmental management is a game changer. Sometimes it's not about spending months training your dog to do this series of skills ... sometimes it's just about putting up a gate, using a leash, or avoiding the problem all together by using our big human brain to make better choices for our dogs. You don't have to take on every battle, pick and choose what you want to work on and manage all the rest.

Service areas: Southwest PA, Allegheny County, southern butler county, Pittsburgh neighborhoods

Website: https://www.successjustclicks.com/


Kathy Walker-Graves

I begged my parents for a dog when I was 8 years old. They relented and I had my very first dog, a beagle mix puppy named Polly. I've been in love with dogs ever since. My husband and I fostered shelter dogs for many years. We fostered approximately 100 shelter dogs and were able to assist placing them into permanent homes.

In June 2017, I completed Peaceable Paws Canine Behavior and Training Academy and in 2019 I completed the Canine Behavior Modification Academy. Then in 2022, I successfully completed the Canine Aggression Academy and received the credential PMCT 1 (Pat Miller Certified Trainer). I'm also a Peaceable Paw's Affiliate. I currently share my home with my husband, 3 shelter dogs and 35 chickens. Prior to becoming a Pat Miller certified trainer, I had a 30 year career in pharmacy including 22 years as a certified pharmacy technician. I also have 8 years experience as a veterinary technician and a lifetime of experience caring for animals. I've worked with shelter dogs for 12 years and have experience with a variety of breeds and temperaments.

Certifications: PMCT (Pat Miller Certified Trainer)

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: Boarding, Day Boarding, Board and Train, Puppy manners, Puppy Training, Manners Training, Recall, Behavior Modification (dogs with reactive behaviors, fearful dogs, dogs with a bite history).

Behavioral issue focus: Dogs with reactive behaviors, dogs with impulse control challenges, dogs with over arousal challenges, fearful dogs, dogs with a bite history.

Training methods: I use only a non-aversive, evidence based training model. These can include behavior consultations, training plans, behavior plans, or treatment options depending on client needs.

Why I became a dog trainer: The rewards are being able to positively impact peoples' and dogs' lives and improving the quality of life for both.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Transforming relationships between dogs and people

My #1 dog training tip: Exercise, exercise, exercise!

Service areas: Southern Lancaster County Pennsylvania

Website: https://www.constantcompanionllc.com


Deborah Byloff

Deb Byloff has been blessed by dogs choosing to be in her life since she was very young. She spent her growing-up years searching for ways to help her own dogs by identifying and solving their problems and helping them enjoy life by playing games with them and teaching them behaviors. Her interest and passion have only grown since then, and she has been helping others do the same for their dogs for many years.

Through the years, Deb has made it a mission to expand her knowledge by attending as many live and virtual training seminars as possible. Among those from whom she has learned are John Rogerson and Jeannine Rash of Papillonia Dog Training Academy, and she also attended consultations by behaviorist Pat Miller at Peaceable Paws.

Deb has been professionally training dogs since 2000. From 2006 to the present, she has been instructing at Papillonia Dog Training Academy where she teaches Basic Obedience, Canine Good Citizen, Rally Obedience, Tricks, and Canine Musical Freestyle. Deb has been teaching freestyle since 2003, has formed a freestyle club, and hosts annual competitions since 2003.

In 2006 she started a program at the York SPCA where she guided a team of trainers to identity and solve problems that the shelter dogs had to make them more adoptable. The SPCA dog walkers were interested in the program and joined the project. The team's primary goal was to help the shelter dogs be more stable with a secondary goal of teaching them the elements of the AKC CGC. Once the team's training card was placed on a shelter dog's cage, the canine was in demand and usually found a home before the team could CGC them. Deb also hosted monthly live seminars that were open to the public to solve dog problems and keep them in their homes. Both live programs at the SPCA ended in 2020. Deb co-hosted virtual seminars in 2021 and now co-writes bi-monthly articles for the SPCA newsletter.

Deb has honed her skills of identifying and solving dog problems, but she feels that the most important thing she has realized is that both dogs and people learn in a variety of ways. She is adept at finding individual teaching methods for people who seek her help. Because she tailors her methods for each client and each dog, Deb's students go home with practical guidelines for training their dogs in their everyday lives. Her training motto is 'I can't make any dog do anything, but I can make them want to do it'.

Deb is not a person who craves the spotlight but is honored that she must have made a difference in someone's life that they nominated her. She will return that honor by participating in this program but feels the most important aspect of the program is to put positive training in the spotlight so that people having problems with their dogs or who want to train them a skill will know where to seek help.

Services include:

  • Reactive dog training
  • Puppy training

More info about service provided: Basic Obedience, Canine Good Citizen, Rally Obedience, Tricks, and Canine Musical Freestyle

Behavioral issue focus: Dogs that have fear and anxiety

Training methods: Group classes and private lessons available

Why I became a dog trainer: I have been training dogs since childhood

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Helping the dog and owner understand each other.

My #1 dog training tip: Love and treasure the dog that you have

Service areas: Red Lion PA and surrounding areas


Selena Johnson

I am a disabled dog trainer who specializes in basic and advanced obedience. I am hoping to also help others train their own service dog for their disabilities. I've been helping others train their dogs for a year now while training my own animals for 4. Everything from donkeys to ferrets no animal is too big or too small.

Certifications: CPDT-KA FDM

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: Group classes for manners and reactivity, board and trains for puppies and service dogs, service dog training specializing in psychiatric service dogs, private in home training for manners, behavior, and service dog.

Behavioral issue focus: Reactivity mostly! We work to address the core emotions and not suppress them. Kinda like therapy for dogs.

Training methods:

I take a LIMA approach to dog training so I try everything I can do before using +P. I always try to reward the good that the dog does and manage my environment to help set them up for success.

I'm also pretty into errorless learning for dogs so we always set them up to make the right choice.

Pet parents receive training plans, video evaluations, and even emotional support from me at times. When I get stumped I often reach out to other qualified trainers to help me work through an issue so I can continue to avoid punishment in my training.

Why I became a dog trainer:

I created this business to help others like myself. Service dog training is so specialized and there's a lot of conflicting information out there. I also felt that dog trainers were missing out on the human end of the leash and felt like I was just another number in their book.

Dog training is a way to give people what I wanted from a dog trainer. Someone who was empathetic, kind, and most of all knowledgeable about service dogs.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Seeing the light bulb moment between dog and handler. When things just start to make sense and they grow closer together.

My #1 dog training tip: Training for 5-10 min a day really does help and prevents burn out. Training doesn't have to be a chore that takes up hours of your day.

Service areas: Allegheny County

Website: https://www.phenomenalcanine.com/


Shauntay Shadrach

I grew up on a small farmette in Maryland, where I fell in love with animals! At 14 years of age, I started volunteering at my local Ambulance Hall, which kicked off my nursing career. I obtained my EMT-B, EMT-I, CNA, and GNA by the age of 18 through my local Technical High School. After high school, I went to College for Health Administration and Practical Nursing. I received my Practical Nursing, Home Health Care, and Pharmacy Technician certifications as I worked in various hospitals, nursing homes, pharmacy's and performed in-home patient care.

In my late 20's, I volunteered and worked at two Veterinarian's offices. At the age of 32 and after 17 years in the medical field, I decided to change careers. I opened my own in-home Daycare business. I successfully managed that for 5 years while I studied to become a professional dog trainer. It was the best decision of my life!

Certifications: PMCT, Fear-Free, KPA, VSA, APDT, PPG

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: Force-Free, Fear-Free basic manners and behavior modification services, socialization, puppy training

Behavioral issue focus: Under socialized, guarding, handling, leash work, counter conditioning to people, animals and places.

Training methods: Phone consults, behavioral modification plans, protocols, and private in-home training - All force-free, fear-free, and non-aversive.

Why I became a dog trainer: I love animals and dogs are my favorite besides dolphins ;^)! I want to help humans and dogs co-exist on a more enjoyable level without fear and pain being involved!

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Watching dog owners have 'ah-ha' moments with their beloved pets-opens lines of communication for the human and canines to understand one another better.

My #1 dog training tip: Reward the behaviors you want to see more of!

Service areas: Jersey Shore, Lock Haven, Avis, Williamsport, Mill Hall, PA

Website: https://www.yourpawsandme.com


Leslie Mcdevitt

A cowgirl at heart, Leslie grew up in Houston and then defected to the East Coast. Leslie holds a BA from the Humanities Honors Program at the University of Texas at Austin, where she studied English, Cultural Anthropology and Folklore. She holds a Master of Liberal Arts degree from the University of Pennsylvania, where she studied English, Creative Writing and Folklore.

Before becoming a behavior consultant, Leslie worked with children as a museum educator, an environmental educator, and a humane educator. She also played Celtic harp professionally. Working with at-risk kids in a variety of educational settings, as well as playing music in a couple of Irish folk bands, further refined Leslie's natural instincts for the timing, rhythm and connection it takes to make a good team--instincts that have served her well in her work with dogs.

In 1998, Leslie rescued Gordie, an American Pit Bull Terrier/German Shepherd Dog cross who had been badly abused, and, in trying desperately to help him through his crushing anxieties and fears, met her inspiration and mentor, world-renowned veterinary behaviorist Dr. Karen Overall. Through Gordie, Leslie found her calling, and devoted herself completely to becoming a dog trainer and later, a behavior consultant. Leslie was volunteering at urban shelters and studying behavior and clicker training when she caught the dog sports bug and started agility and flyball training with her terrier mix Maggie. Her work with anxious, reactive, impulsive and aggressive dogs gave her a unique perspective when she became a student of dog sports training. Leslie served in many capacities, including President and Obedience Training Director, at Y2K9s Dog Sports Club in Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania.

Leslie's background in behavior modification and her experience working with dog sport clients led her to create her popular course for performance dogs 'with issues', Control Unleashed. Leslie started writing articles based on themes from the course for Clean Run Agility Magazine, then took things a step farther and wrote her award-winning, best seller, "Control Unleashed: Creating a Focused and Confident Dog" which was published by Clean Run Productions in 2007.

Leslie has worked with diverse populations of dogs, from pets to performance dogs to police dogs, and is known as a versatile, compassionate and intuitive trainer.

Leslie continues her commitment to rescue by evaluating dogs for Glen Highland Farm's Border Collie Rescue program and by serving as the Training Advisor for the Animal Welfare Project. She lives outside of Philadelphia, in a quiet town near a beautiful state park, with four dogs, two cats, and one very supportive husband.

Certifications: MLA, CDBC, CPDT is a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant through the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants and a Certified Professional Dog Trainer through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers.

Website: https://www.controlunleashed.net/


Ali Brown

Ali Brown graduated from Ursinus College with a B.S. in Psychology, and earned her M.Ed. in Human Development / Behavioral Science from Lehigh University. Working earlier in her career as a behavior therapist/consultant with mentally challenged children and adults, she made a fulfilling switch to working with dogs in 1998.In 2001, Ali became one of the first 100 trainers to receive her CPDT certificate (Certified Pet Dog Trainer) from Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT).

In May 2008, she became a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (CDBC) through the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC). Ali takes great pride in providing non-force training methods for dogs and their people. Ali was a member of the APDT (Association of Pet Dog Trainers) for 15 years and served on multiple committees as well as serving on the Board of Directors for a 3 year term.She lives, trains and works with Bing, a 10-year-old Belgian Sheepdog whose abilities and antics qualify him for his own section of this Website, and Tango, a 'little white fluffy' rescue, who is technically her daughter's dog, but has earned multiple titles with both Ali and Cyan (age 7).

Pictured to the right with Ali is Dax, a Belgian Tervuren who joined the family as a puppy in August 2014.Ali is a great believer in forever learning. She attends seminars, IAABC conferences and Clicker Expo conferences regularly. She attended the first two Nose Work seminars on the East Coast. The first was in April 2010: Intro to Nose Work and was presented by Jill-Marie O'Brien and Amy Herot. The second, Intro to Odor, took place in June 2011. Her interest in scent work has evolved into becoming a Scent Detectives judge at all levels.

Great Companions runs regular Scent classes, and they are very popular.Ali Brown and daughter, Cyan, after Cyan wins her C-WAGS Rally level one title.Ali Brown and daughter, Cyan,after Cyan wins her C-WAGSRally level one title.You can read about one of the more unusual training events Ali was involved in -- a week-long Chicken Camp, run by behavior guru, Bob Bailey, and hosted by Terry Ryan in Washington State. Click here for the whole story.Giving is as important as receiving, and Ali does just that. She has been traveling the nation, delivering her one-day and two-day seminars on fearful and reactive dogs (www.ScaredyDog.info); this seminar has taken her as far as Alaska, California and Florida.

Ali leaps at any invitation to share the information she has learned regarding this issue.Another passion for her is Rally. Ali is a C-WAGS judge at all levels. What makes Rally unique is that it is competitive obedience for anyone and everyone, regardless of age, gender, breed, mix, handicap, or level of competitiveness. It's more about the relationship between the owner and the dog and having fun, than it is about precision. Ali's judging assignments are usually close to home, but they have taken her as far west as Arizona and California.Agility has long been a source of amazement for Ali.

Agility is a real craze among dog-lovers, but what Ali finds most fascinating is how precise body movement and posture must be in order to communicate effectively with your canine partner. She's always known that body language is important; agility makes that fact screamingly clear! Click here to see Ali and Bing in action in Agility.Part of Ali's evolution as a trainer has been to learn how to work more effectively with kids and dog. Having a kid of her own has enabled her to be even more effective in helping families to effectively juggle childrens' and canines' needs in the home, fostering a peaceful existence. Ali's own daughter has earned four titles on her dog before the age of 7.

Ali currently competes with her dogs in rally, agility, obedience and scent.Cover Scaredy Dog for About the TrainerAli's second book, FOCUS NOT FEAR, TRAINING INSIGHTS FROM A REACTIVE DOG CLASS (2008) is available by clicking here and through Dogwise.Her first book, SCAREDY DOG! UNDERSTANDING AND REHABILITATING YOUR REACTIVE DOG, was published in June 2004 and revised in 2009.

The book can be purchased through Dogwise, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other book sellers nationally, and is available through this Web site. It includes training methods that are easy to implement, and comes from her experience with individual training sessions and group classes on the subject. For more information on the book please go to the ReactiveDog.com website. Ali's seminar DVD, which is based on her book Scaredy Dog!, and her Reactive Dog Classes DVD are also available on the ReactiveDog.com Website.

Certifications: CPDT certificate (Certified Pet Dog Trainer) from Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT), Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (CDBC) through the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC), Ali was a member of the APDT (Association of Pet Dog Trainers) for 15 years and served on multiple committees as well as serving on the Board of Directors for a 3 year term

Services include:

  • Aggressive dog training
  • Protection/guard dog training

Website: https://www.greatcompanions.info/


Wendy Jordan

Wendy Jordan began training dogs as a child, her first several dogs were mixed breeds, and in those days performance events were limited to purebred dogs. Just the same, her early dogs were trained to a high level of performance. These days she has a strong following of students in both the pet and the show world, and also a high level of success with solving behavioral issues in dogs.

Through the years she has studied and trained with a variety of instructors and learned various methods used to teach dogs. Today she considers herself a common sense positive based trainer, well versed in selecting the methods that will bring the highest chance of success in training with the least risk of harm to dog or handler

Website: https://www.dogsensepa.com/


Christine Dang

Animal behavior and training have been a passion for Christine ever since childhood, when she eagerly studied every training book in the library and regularly volunteered to walk shelter dogs on the weekends. Since then, she has worked with a wide variety of animals, from a resource guarding Yorkie to a fearful Labrador, and even other species such as guinea pigs and rabbits! Christine's training philosophy focuses on bridging the gap between humans and pets through relationship building, clear communication, and using rewards to motivate and encourage learning. She also strongly believes that providing enriching activities for dogs to fulfill their natural instincts helps improve their confidence and promotes mental wellness.

Certifications: CPDT-KA

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: Primary focus on day training & enrichment services, limited one on one sessions and group classes available.

Behavioral issue focus: Overarousal, reactivity, fear/anxiety, noise sensitivity, frustration/redirection

Training methods: +R (positive reinforcement) using food, play, environment, etc. with verbal marker cues.

Why I became a dog trainer: I have always felt a connection to animals, and learning how to "speak their language" is such an amazing feeling. Nothing makes me happier than helping build that bridge of communication between a pet and their family!

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: That moment when it all "clicks" - the dog is having fun, the people are having fun, everyone's having a great time learning together.

My #1 dog training tip: Be patient. It's so easy to get frustrated when things don't go the way you imagined. Take a step back, take a deep breath, and try again.

Service areas: City of Pittsburgh / Allegheny County, select availability for South Bay, Los Angeles, CA


Michelle Carroll

My Training Philosphy:Embracing dog owners along with their challenges.Educating them about life from a dog's perspective.Helping them build a bond based on understanding, enjoyment, compassion & friendship.Sharing with them force-free and reward-based solutions to create harmony.

Ever since I was 5 years old I always felt a special connection with dogs. Now, I know why. It was a God given desire to save as many dog lives as I can. Whether that meant rescuing them and finding them a home or helping them live harmoniously with their family.In 1990, I set out on a lifelong journey to be a Canine Advocate. Immersing myself in canine behavior and training.

Studying via books, seminars, mentor programs, webinars and clinics produced by some of the best canine specialists in our country. Some of my favorites include Ian Dunbar, Karen Overall, Karen Pryor, Dr. Sophia Yin, Patricia McConnell, Jean Donaldson, Brenda Aloff, Pat Miller, Grisha Stewart, Nicole Wilde & Dr. James Dobson. All of which believe in the science of learning by positive motivators.

I started my career in 1991 when dog training was done using force, coercion and intimidation. It was not until 2010 that I became a crossover trainer. Ending the old way of training and embracing the new way by implementing science based, positive training.My journey has led me through many hills and valleys but none are greater than the journey with my current dog, Tayvin.

Tayvin, is a male American Pit Bull Terrier, currently 12 years old and is a Reactive Dog. He has taught me "accept me for who I am and guide me lovingly through my challenges". I thank God for him every day. This journey has led me to dig deep in understanding what dogs are saying and how to help others with Reactive Dogs.Staying current on dog training trends that reflect my training philosophy gives me much joy. And I'm forever grateful for all the referrals from local rescues & veterinarians who continue to support happy & healthy dogs.

I often defer to and appreciate the support of local Board-Certified Animal Behaviorists.In 2008, I joined the training staff of Oscar's Pet Resort. I have a strong devotion to educating dog owners about their canine companions. My philosophy is based on COOPERATIVE PARTNERSHIP. Utilizing tools and techniques that encourage the dog to happily participate in the tasks asked by their owners.

Some of my accomplishments include:Reactive Dog Work (2011)  Mentor Program with Ann Withun  ACDBC, CPDT-KACanine Behavior & Training (2017 - 2022)  Pat Miller of Peaceable Paws  Level 1 CertifiedGroup Class Trainer Certification (2001)  Animal Behavior Training Associations  A.B.T.A.  PetcoA.B.T.A. Instructor (2002)  Petco Trainer ProgramCanine Good Citizenship/Trick Dog Evaluator (2001)  American Kennel ClubOscar's Pet Resort  Trainer (2008)  Group Classes  Puppy, Basics, Advanced, Carting, Tricks, Reactive Dog, Rocket Recall, Body HandlingFurry Friends Network (2000)  Volunteer/Foster  fostered over 20 pit bulls and adopted them into loving homesKeystone Pets Enhanced Therapy Services (2010)  Evaluator/Trainer/MemberTrain A Dog, Save A Warrior (2014)  Service Dog Trainer

Certifications: CPDT-KA, AKC CGC/Trick Evaluator, ABTA Certified, Pat Miller Level 1 Certified

Services include:

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

Website: https://www.muttpalace.com


Y2K9S Dog Sports And Training Club

Y2K9s' unique program includes classes in Puppy Preschool, Canine Manners, preparation for the CGC (Canine Good Citizen) test, Agility, Flyball, Rally Obedience, Disc Dog, Freestyle, Parkour, Nosework, classes that include Therapy Dog training, and more. Classes are taught by experienced trainers who actively compete in their sports, and excel in their individual disciplines.

A positive approach

Y2K9s is committed to reward-based training. Y2K9s students have enjoyed great success at all levels and in all arenas using Operant Conditioning. Favorable behaviors are reinforced with rewards. A clicker marks desired behaviors. Research demonstrates that animals learn more quickly and with more lasting results when behaviors are clearly marked, then positively reinforced.

Individual attention

At Y2K9s, classes are intentionally kept small to allow for individual attention. Family members are encouraged to attend together. In perfect pet classes, practical obedience is emphasized, with particular emphasis on the dog's attention to the owner and solid recall skills. In sport classes, dogs build a solid foundation of attention, focus, and ability to work around distractions before moving into the excitement of sports classes.

Services include:

  • Puppy training
  • Agility training

More info about service provided: Puppy Preschool, Canine Manners, preparation for the CGC (Canine Good Citizen) test, Agility, Flyball, Rally Obedience, Disc Dog, Freestyle, Parkour, Nosework, classes that include Therapy Dog training, and more.

Website: https://www.y2k9s.net/


Coleen Mrakovich

Coleen Mrakovich, owner and head trainer

Services include:

  • Agility training

Service areas: BAINBRIDGE, PA.

Website: https://www.caninecompanions.info/


Angie Demaster

As a firm believer in positive reinforcement, my training methods and all interactions with your pet will be free of any pain, pressure or stress. All trainings are considered force free.

I feel it's important for your pet to understand what we're asking them to do and not to punish them when they don't. We'll teach them the behavior we want from them, build on skills and work together to get your pet to be a wonderful member of your family.

My job is to help establish communication between you and your dog so you can enjoy a life together that's built on love, trust, and understanding.

It is never too early or too late to get started!!

Services include:

  • In home training

Service areas: Cranberry Township and nearby areas

Website: https://www.demasterdogtraining.com/


Megan Esherick

I am a certified professional dog trainer with many years of experience in a variety of dog sports. I founded The Clever Hound LLC in 2016 after 17 years as a service dog trainer.I have a bachelor's degree in Small Animal Science and many years of experience training dogs and solving behavior problems using positive reinforcement. I love working with non-traditonal breeds and helping handlers with all levels of experience to bring out the best in their dogs.

I'm certified through Do More with Your Dog as a Trick Dog Instructor and Canine Fitness Coach and am an AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator. I am approved by the AKC to judge agility and Junior Showmanship.I enjoy competing in a wide variety of dog sports with my Petit Basset Griffon Vendeens, Golden Retriever, and Australian Shepherd.

Certifications: Certified professional dog trainer, Certified through Do More with Your Dog as a Trick Dog Instructor and Canine Fitness Coach and am an AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator, Approved by the AKC to judge agility and Junior Showmanship

Services include:

  • Aggressive dog training
  • Protection/guard dog training
  • Reactive dog training

Website: https://cleverhounddogtraining.com/


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


Linzey Zoccola

P.A.D. of Central PA was founded in 2009 by Linzey Zoccola, who was diagnosed at 2 years of age with Spinal Muscular Atrophy. Ms Zoccola's journey with assistance dogs began when she was 15 and she has dedicated her life to the industry since then. She has attended many national conferences focusing on positive reinforcement dog training, volunteered and worked for an ADI accredited program, and trained more than 25 fully working assistance dogs.

Her love for dogs, desire to serve, and her experience with raising, training and having her own assistance dog inspired her to create a new and organizational model for the field. Her position on topics ranging from canine over population, issues with kenneling dogs, to the complex needs of individuals living with disabilities, the inspiration to launch a program that would assist individuals in finding healthy, suitable puppies from shelters and training them one at a time to become highly personalized assistance dogs began.

I feel passionately that the success of the partnership between canine and human is dependent upon the dedication of the partner themselves and their desire to live with an assistance dog. I am devoted to supporting my community all of the way from finding suitable puppies that are already within my region, as opposed to having a breeding program and to working individually with the person in need of assistance.'

Services include:

  • Puppy training

Website: https://padcentral.org/


Kaye Ames

Kaye Ames has spent virtually a lifetime providing service to dogs & their people. Her grandmother Grace Cramer bred, boarded & groomed dogs from the mid 40s to the late 60s, & Kaye was by her side from early on. In 1962 Kaye joined her grandmother in the kennel business & Kaye added dog training. & has been helping people & their dogs ever since.

A few of Kaye's accomplishments included the following: Veterinary assistant for 5 years Guest on a variety of TV programs Dog show handler for over 32 different breeds of dogs Breeder & owner of top producing & top winning German Shorthaired Pointers & Rottweilers Member & officer of various dog-related organizations Dog groomer for 50 years Problem solver for top show dogs & pets through the United States

Certifications: Member & officer of various dog-related organizations, Problem solver for top show dogs & pets through the United States

Services include:

  • Aggressive dog training
  • Reactive dog training

Website: https://kayeames.net/


Marion O'Neil

Marion has an impressive career in dog training & has been helping dogs & their people live harmoniously since 2012. Certified through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers, Marion is a graduate of the Animal Behavior College of Valencia, CA Dog Obedience Instructor Training Program (ABCDT). She is also a Certified Trick Dog Instructor & Canine Good Citizen Evaluator through the American Kennel Club, as well as an Instructor & Evaluator for Do More With Your Dog.

When she isn't training dogs, she is assisting her dog Mizz Ziva as a Certified Therapy dog & contributing regularly to local publications such as Buck's County Time Herald, Upper Bucks Free Press, & Town & Country. Additionally, Marion also mentor's new Dog Training students of Animal Behavior College & CATCH Canine Trainers Academy.

Marion's number one goal in her work is to reduce the number of dogs surrendered due to common (addressable) behavior issues. While it's a tall order to fill, Marion believes through the use of force-free training methods & teaching dog owners how to raise an emotionally healthy family dog, she can accomplish her goal.

Marion's Associations:

Pet Professional Guild: Charter Member, PPG is an association of industry professionals who are committed to force-free training & pet care philosophies.

Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers: Certified as a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (Knowledge Assessed)

A.K.C.: Marion is a Certified Trick Dog Instructor & Evaluator, as well as an Canine Good Citizenship Evaluator.

Do More with Your Dog: The official sanctioning and organizing body for the sport of Dog Tricks.

C.L.A.S.S: One of the first 100 trainers in the U.S. to become certified by the APDT as an Evaluator for C.L.A.S.S. (Canine Life and Social Skills)

Dog Gone Safe: A licensed presenter for the Be a Tree Program a non-profit organization dedicated to bite prevention through education. A fun & interactive presentation for children & parents to learn about dog body language.

Certifications: CPDT-KA , CTDI

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: Mobil In-Home Private Training, On-Site Private Training, Free Yappy Hour (pups under 5 months), Group Classes: AKC Puppy Gold S. T. A. R., Puppy I & II Manners, Teen Rover & Adult (new rescue) Manners, Focus With Distractions & Advanced Focus With Distractions, AKC CGC, Rocket Recall Workshop, Novice & Advanced Trick Class. Private Dog Park

Behavioral issue focus: Jumping, Barking, Digging, Stealing, Impulse Control

Training methods: We use modern scientific training methods. No fear, pain or force is ever used. We offer 90 minute behavioral consultations, in-home or on-site. We have training package deals.

Why I became a dog trainer: To help families stop rehoming their dogs because of common behavior problems.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: When the human gets it!

My #1 dog training tip: Dogs do things because they're get something out of it. In order to change a behavior, you have to change what is reinforcing the behavior.

Service areas: Upper Bucks, Southern Lehigh & Montgomery counties

Website: https://www.MolassesCreekDogTraining.com


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/


Carol Millinghausen

I am a native Philadelphian and moved to Montgomery County, PA in 1975. I graduated from Ursinus College with a degree in secondary education and later graduated with honors from the Animal Behavior College. On average I teach up to 10 classes per week as well as continually work with private clients. I attend conferences to maintain the required credits to maintain my Certified Professional Dog Trainer credentials.

Certifications: CPDT-KA, APDT, CDTABC

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: I am a reward based trainer specializing in working with reactive dogs. Classes are offered for pet dogs in puppy socialization, beginner, impulse control for the adolescent dog, canine good citizen prep, therapy dog and reactive dogs. Private, in-home sessions and remote sessions are available.

Behavioral issue focus: I commonly work with inter-household dog fighting, resource guarding, reactivity, fear behaviors such as visitors to the home, avoidance behaviors and fear of children or other dogs.

Training methods: I am a reward based trainer and never do anything that causes fear, pain or punishment. I educate the client on canine body language and instinctive behaviors that can cause the owner concern. I meet privately with clients and follow up with written protocols. Classroom work is supported with comprehensive handouts and u-tubes of me training specific behaviors.

Why I became a dog trainer: For the love of dogs and I had a dog who was just impossible. I hired a behaviorist back in 2004 to work with me and asked her how I could become her. I enrolled at the Animal Behavior College. The work I did with my dog transformed our relationship. I want to help others to do the same.

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

My #1 dog training tip: Respect your dog and be patient. Take the time to join a class and train the dog.

Service areas: Abington, Warrington, Hatboro, Chestnut Hill, Cheltenham, Southampton, Feasterville, Warminster PA

Website: https://www.rightstepsdogtraining.com


Sniffspot Pennsylvania Top Trainer Frequently Asked Questions

How are Pennsylvania dog trainers selected for this list?

These are the top dog trainers in Pennsylvania 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 Pennsylvania 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 Pennsylvania?

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 Pennsylvania 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 Pennsylvania cost?

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

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

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 Pennsylvania was $30,779 per year and $14.80 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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