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The Best Dog Trainers in Poughkeepsie, NY of 2023

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Merlin Noble

May 25, 2023

Dog Trainers

Welcome to the Poughkeepsie, NY Sniffspot top dog trainer list for 2023. This is a list of the top dog trainers in Poughkeepsie based on votes from the Sniffspot community and the general public. Over 55,000 votes were used in compiling this list. We have only included the top trainers with sufficient votes and the trainers are ordered in terms of the number of votes received. Trainers that tied are ranked in reverse alphabetical order based on first name. All dog trainers on this list are positive reinforcement only, as defined by no force, fear, intimidation, or aversive methods used. This list is a subset of the broader Top Trainers in New York list. To learn more about our dog trainer contest, feel free to view the dog trainer contest post.

Dog training is one of the most important activities someone can do with their dog. Many come to dog training through a specific issue they want addressed, anything from barking to separation anxiety. Some have adopted dogs from animal shelters with an abusive experience and some just have happy puppies looking for everyday life skills. Trainers can help with all kinds of specific skills and issues, from leash manners to territorial aggression to anxiety around skateboards to common puppy challenges. However, what many discover is that working with a trainer is actually a way for a pet owner to deepen their relationship with their dog. The enhanced communication skills that result can increase quality of life, be a rewarding experience, be a social experience and lead to more harmonious relationships. Knowing that one’s dog is having a happier life can dramatically improve peace of mind. As the saying goes: happy dog, happy life. And it extends further than just the dog, to the pet owners. Owner empowerment can actually improve the relationship between owners. And finding the right trainer can make all the difference in the experience.

This list is sponsored by Sniffspot, which is the largest network of private dog parks for rent in the world. Each of the thousands of Sniffspot dog parks are hosted by locals on private land with all private bookings to maximize safety for guests and their dogs. Sniffspot offers various types of dog parks, including fenced, water parks, indoor dog parks, dog beaches and more. Sniffspot has worked closely with dog trainers to create safe spaces for dogs and our top trainer lists are a natural extension of that relationship. You can browse Sniffspot's local dog parks here.

The Best Poughkeepsie, NY Dog Trainers in 2023

Jean Kolor

Jean Kolor approaches dog training for her busy clients with 35 plus years of animal training and husbandry experience to offer. With an educational background in Animal Science from SUNY Cobleskill (AS) and Cornell University (BS), as well as 22 years of practical experience training puppies and young adult dogs for Guiding Eyes for the Blind, Jean has the experience you can trust to help you turn the dog you have into the dog of your dreams.

Jean has been professionally certified by the Karen Pryor Academy. This is considered one of the most prestigious designations for professional dog trainers. Jean's certification, along with required continuing education, ensures that you and your dog are receiving the most up-to-date training practices based in positive reinforcement - so you can rest easy, knowing you'll get the best and kindest training possible.

Jean is also community minded and has spent many years supporting rescue organizations, from fostering dogs to training fellow volunteers to providing behavioral consultations. She lives what she teaches and, as a training junkie, Jean spends her free time training and hiking with her own two rescue dogs, Ivy, and Bryson. Ivy and Bryson both enjoy the sport of Nose Work and hold Nose Work 3 titles.


Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner #85726
Puppy Start Right Instructor
Licensed Family Paws Parent Educator
Licensed UnChase! Instructor
AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator #95546
Fear Free Certified

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: I provide both private in-home coaching programs as well as a Day Training program. In addition, I conduct Puppy Start Right private and group training classes, basic manners group classes, advanced manners group classes, Canine Good Citizen prep. classes. Leash walking and come when called group classes are held when there is interest. NACSW Nose Work group classes are also available. A much needed service I provide is providing expecting and new parents the skills to navigate dog and baby and dog and toddler relationships.

Behavioral issue focus: Fear based behaviors, aggressive behaviors, baby/dog and child/dog dynamics, resource guarding, barking and lunging on leash, door bolting and jumping on people are some of the behavior issues I commonly encounter with my clientele.

Training methods: As a Fear Free Certified trainer, I will not use pain, fear or intimidation to teach your dog. I will use positive reinforcement through the use of natural motivators such as food, treats, toys, petting, play and also life rewards (your dog getting to do something they want). For behavior issues we will start with a Strategy Session where we can get to know each other, be sure we are a good fit, review your dog's intake form, take a look at where your dog is in his training and in his relationship with you. Then we will put some management strategies in place and develop a training plan for moving forward. I will recommend the best program to successfully reach your goals with your dog.

Why I became a dog trainer: I always knew that I wanted to work with animals. I also knew that my mission in life was to help other people. When my mentor Dr. Stephen Mackenzie mentioned Guiding Eyes for the Blind to me, I did a little research and pow! it hit me - I wanted to train guide dogs for the blind and visually impaired. I lived that dream for 22 years. However, life will throw curve balls and I needed to take a break from guide dog work. I started volunteering with a Labrador Retriever rescue. After several years it became apparent to me that I really wanted to help families and their dogs stay together. Thus First Friend Canine Consulting, llc was born and I couldn't be happier.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Watching people and their dogs grow in their relationships, helping them to succeed together. Bringing out the potential on both ends of the leash.

My #1 dog training tip: Smile when you praise your dog!

Service areas: Wappingers Falls, Poughkeepsie, Pleasant Valley, Beekman, Cold Spring, Beacon, Fishkill, Newburgh, New Paltz, Highland, Gardiner


Michele Monteiro

I is a CPDT certified dog trainer. I received my CPDT certificate in Obedience Training and Behavior Consultation. I began in the corporate world straight out of college but a couple years later realized my true calling was to work with animals. I took the leap and was paired with an amazing mentor and began my journey in dog training. I was certified within a year and never looked back.


Pet Nutrition
Pet Therapy
Good Canine Citizen Evaluator

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: In home private training covering everything from basic puppy commands to Advanced obedience including off leash training, reactivity training and impulse control. I also teach group classes covering Basic Obedience, Advanced Obedience, Impulse & Reactivity, Tricks & Agility.

Behavioral issue focus: I commonly work with puppies and see their training through adulthood. I also work very often with reactive dogs & impulse control behaviors.

Training methods: My training plans are positive reinforcement and are always laid out very clear and concise for my clients to see and follow.

Why I became a dog trainer: I always knew my true calling was to work with animals, but that I needed to be as engaged with them as possible and training was the best option to do that. I love learning about dog behaviors and how to help them through an issues they are experiencing. Its truly amazing to meet a dog with behavioral issues and be able to help them and their owner get through those issues and come out so amazing on the other side.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: My favorite part is getting to know the dog and build trust with them for them to understand I am there to help them have a more positive life.

My #1 dog training tip: Have patience and positivity while training your dog.

Service areas: Westchester County, Putnam County, Fairfield County


Tessa Romita

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

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

Services include:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Sniffspot Poughkeepsie Top Trainer Frequently Asked Questions

How are Poughkeepsie dog trainers selected for this list?

These are the top dog trainers in Poughkeepsie 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 Poughkeepsie 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 Poughkeepsie?

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 Poughkeepsie 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 Poughkeepsie cost?

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

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

Dog trainer earnings vary widely depending on many factors, such as whether a dog trainer is an employee or owns their own full-service professional dog training business. According to ZipRecruiter, the average dog trainer salary in New York was $36,025 per year and $17.32 per hour. It is impossible to say how much a dog trainer can earn with a full-service professional dog training company, because the size and profitability of companies can vary widely.

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See The Best Dog Trainers In Other New York Cities

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

Albany, NY
Brooklyn, NY
Buffalo, NY
Long Island, NY
New York, NY
Rochester, NY
Syracuse, NY

See The Best Dog Trainers In Other States Near New York

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

New Jersey

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Merlin Noble photo

Merlin Noble

May 25, 2023

Dog Trainers

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