Welcome to the Reading, PA Sniffspot top dog trainer list for 2023. This is a list of the top dog trainers in Reading 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 Pennsylvania 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.
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
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.
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
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
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
How are Reading dog trainers selected for this list?
These are the top dog trainers in Reading 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 Reading 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 Reading?
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 Reading 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 Reading cost?
Reading 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 Reading dog trainer. How can I get listed here?
As long as you have a training facility or do in person training in Reading 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 Reading?
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.
Ordered alphabetically, only included cities where there is enough data to compile a list
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