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The Best Dog Trainers in Sacramento, CA of 2023

Merlin Noble photo

Merlin Noble

March 29, 2022

Dog Trainers

Welcome to the Sacramento, CA Sniffspot top dog trainer list for 2023. This is a list of the top dog trainers in Sacramento 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 California 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 Sacramento, CA Dog Trainers in 2023

Cindy Smith

Cindy has loved animals her entire life and at a very young age made training animals her lifelong goal. She always seemed to have a natural ability to understand and communicate with animals. Her Husband calls her the "Pied Piper of Animals" as "everywhere she goes they follow her". Animals seem naturally drawn to her personality, true love of animals, and her voice. Her Human Clients are also drawn to her easy going and fun, yet intense and straight forward approach to communication and training.

Certifications: CNWI

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: K9 Nose Work Classes, Small Private Group Puppy, Adolescent, and Adult Dog Classes. Advanced Classes, Agility Combo For Fun Classes, Pet Therapy Dog Training, Private Training both on and off site, Remote Training. Private Indoor Facility in Fair Oaks of 20+ years.

Behavioral issue focus: Fear

Training methods: R+, Positive Reinforcement Training Methods, Force Free, Clicker Training, Reward Based Training, and Behavior Modification. Training is based on science, not pain, force, dominance, or fear. Positive solutions are used in solving problem behavior issues. 

Why I became a dog trainer: My goal since childhood was to become an Animal Trainer to better the lives of Animals and their Humans, to make a difference for the better.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Making a difference in the lives of Dogs/Pets and their Humans.

My #1 dog training tip: Training is life changing, take the time and effort to do it right.

Service areas: Sacramento County, Placer County, El Dorado County, Surrounding Areas, and Remote

Website: https://www.therightsteps.com


Allison Daack

Founder of Daack Pack Dog Training, Allison Daack, has been working with and training dogs, along with other species since 2008. In the beginning of her career, Allison was a Kennel Technician working closely with a Veterinarian where she learned all about developmental periods of dogs, handling skills and how to prevent behavior issues.

From there she spent several years working with exotic animals at numerous wildlife facilities and reserves, first in North Carolina, then California. She did everything from educating the public, rehabilitation, and using training to help animals cope with life in captivity, usually due to injury or illness. Her passion for behavior modification began with teaching cooperative care cues to a Black Vulture in the raptor / avian exhibits.

Allison then had a long career with Petco, where she became a Dog Training Mentor. Not only did she train other dog trainers to be dog trainers, she taught group classes, and was an integral part of a corporate team that created continuing education materials for trainers, and updated Petco's dog training program.

However, Petco does not take behavior modification clients, so on June 1, 2016, Allison founded Daack Pack Dog Training as a way to better support the needs of her clients whose dogs might struggle with fear, anxiety, or display aggression. Through this company she has been able to provide the community with custom, in-home training to support their specific needs and the needs of their pets.

From the beginning of her career through today she has trained and applied behavior modification to a wide range of species and prognoses. Whether you are looking for help dealing with a high-energy dog, dog or people directed aggression, separation anxiety, inter-species conflicts, leash reactivity, a shy and hesitant dog, etc.; Allison would be happy to work with you to find a solution through a customized training plan.

Allison is also a great believer in continuing education for herself, yourself, and your dog. Each situation, pet, and household is entirely different, that's why each training plan is customized to you and you dog's specific needs. She is able to help with a wide variety of cases through her vast experience but specializes in dog aggression and prevention.

Through her dedication to continued learning, 13 years of experience, and passion - Allison can help empower you and your dog to live a less stressful, more enriching life together.

Certifications: CPDT-KA, Certified Fear Free Animal Trainer

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: I focus on canine behavior consulting; working with fear, anxiety, aggressive and atypical behaviors for dogs through in person private training, virtual sessions, day training, custom intensive programs, group hikes and group reactivity classes. I also provide cat behavior related services as well.

Behavioral issue focus:

Dogs with various forms of reactivity, dogs with bite histories towards people, dogs or other animals, fear based aggressive behaviors towards people or dogs, separation anxiety, owner directed aggressive behaviors, resource guarding, generalized anxiety, family planning, prevention work with young dogs, noise phobia, etc.

Dogs that are displaying fear, anxiety or frustration based behavior or anxiety or atypical behaviors are right up my wheel house. I commonly work complicated cases with a lot of moving components or behavioral concerns present.

Training methods:

I utilize positive based training methods without fear, coercion or force. I run a small training company and we work cases collaboratively to a degree so our clients can utilize a vast knowledge set.

We offer a free initial screening for clients virtually, then our consultations are two 1hr appointments. The first is really a consultation, gathering information, making initial assessments, setting expectations and the training plan. The second, is an in person assessment where we begin to on board the training plan. After both appointments, we create consultation notes with a lot of great information for clients to reference summarizing those appointments.

From there, we create custom training plans for all of our clients taking into consideration any important elements of their case. We do a lot of private in home training but will meet clients at appropriate locations, take clients from across the country utilizing virtual programs, utilize intensive day training programs to help offer clients a lot of support and help expedite training, these intensive plans could be in person, virtual, or a hybrid with varying levels of owner participation based on their needs. We also create pet sitting guides for clients, can maintain live training plans for clients to have an itemized training plan, offer support for the case while the client is out of town, etc.

We also provide a lot of collaboration and support to our clients with their veterinarians, veterinarian behaviorists, or other places we can help! We also have a private Facebook group for clients with a lot of great information called The Daack Pack, webinars available on our website. Our website also includes a lot of great blogs and a recommendations page.

Why I became a dog trainer: I feel like it's a way that I can help improve people and animal's quality of lives. I feel really honored that I am able to bring hope, joy, love and adventure into people's lives and that I can help people understand animals more, better being able to meet their needs. We all have to face adversity in life, the last place we want to face it is with our dogs and I love that I can help bring things to a better place. I love watching not only the dogs but the humans grow while working together. Our industry is unfortunately unregulated and it does a great disservice to clients and trainers because of this, I love being able to help guide people and animals through a challenging part of their lives. Plus, there is nothing like watching a dog become comfortable after so much fear and anxiety or frustration. It's the best feeling in the world.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Being able to help build up people's and dog's relationship and empower them to find solutions.

My #1 dog training tip: I think it's really important to understand that animals live in the world we provide for them, if we want an animal's behavior to change, we need to expect that we will have to change as well. Maybe our routines, our perspective, how we interact with them, how we allow other people to interact with them, our investment of time and emotional labor, how we arrange the living room, how we hold the leash, how we give the dog treats, etc. We can't expect our dogs to change without us having to make some changes too.

Service areas: Greater Sacramento area; Sacramento, West Sacramento, East Sacramento, Arden, Carmichael, Rancho Cordova, Citrus Heights, Fair Oaks, Roseville, Lincoln, Rocklin, Folsom and more

Website: https://daackpack.com/


Jodi Cassell

I'm a self-professed science and animal nerd. I've been fascinated by animals from an early age and my first career focused on conservation and enhancement of animal habitat through work with environmental and other organizations.

When I sought training help for my first rescue vizsla dog, I was disappointed by the use of harsh training methods by the majority of trainers in my local area. This lead me to research and seek education about positive reinforcement training and to my career change to professional animal training.

I enjoy working with clients and helping them discover the power and fun of positive reinforcement/force free dog training.

Certifications: CBCC-KA (Certified Behavior Consultant Canine, Certification Counsel for Professional Dog Trainers, CCPDT); CTC (Certificate in Training & Counseling, Academy for Dog Trainers)

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: I offer private training sessions and behavior consultations in the Greater Sacramento Region. I work with clients on a variety issues of issues ranging from new puppy training to more complex behavioral issues. I specialize in working with fear, reactivity, aggression, and separation anxiety. My training is force free (positive reinforcement) and I do not use tools that scare or cause pain in dogs.

Behavioral issue focus:

I am an honors graduate of the Academy for Dog Trainers (Certificate in Training and Counseling - CTC), the most rigorous professional dog training and behavior education program in the world. I was also the trainer for Front Street Animal shelter from 2019-2020. I work with a number of dog rescue organizations.

I have experience working with a variety of behavior issues ranging from common obedience/manners issues to cases with dog bites. I am recommended by and work with veterinarians throughout the region including Veterinary Behaviorists at University of California at Davis and other practices.

Training methods:

Training with is initiated through a behavior consultation where I review your dog's history and behavior, provide education and management strategies, discuss and set training goals, and initiate training. I provide follow-up handouts and custom training plans that serve as reminders and homework. Follow-up sessions are scheduled individually or as a package based on client needs and goals.

My training is force free (positive reinforcement), meaning I do not use methods that force a dog to perform a behavior. Rather, I teach dogs to perform a behavior using motivators like food. Research indicates that these methods work and do not risk the side effects of fear and aggression that can be caused my using compulsion-based training. I do not use tools that scare or cause pain in dogs.

Why I became a dog trainer: 2010

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: For my behavior clients, I love helping resolve behavior issues so that dogs remain with their families vs. being relinquished to shelters, rescues, or worse. I love seeing any client and dog learn via force free dog training because it is effective and fun for everyone.

My #1 dog training tip:

Use food to train! Would you go to work without the motivation of pay? Training is work for dogs, so they must be motivated to do this work. Food is an easy and potent motivator for incremental training that is the basis for a learned behavior.

In addition, positive motivators like food create happy associations with anything else in the dog's training environment including people, hands, other dogs, etc. This helps reduce the risk of fear or aggression.

Service areas: Sacramento, Elk Grove, Natomas, Carmichael, Fair Oaks, Rancho Cordova, Folsom. Travel fee for anything beyond a 15 minute one-way drive of 95820.

Website: https://www.ccpdt.org/


Jamie Hulan

Started training my first dog in the 70's, worked part time, then full time as a dog trainer. Obtained outside the company, independent certification, and certificates of completion, on my own. I attend seminars, & conferences to remain updated on the latest in science-based methods, and research, on my own. I became an accredited Area Trainer in 2007, and train new trainers for the company, (covering my district and 2 other districts at times) and I'm a mentor for them and others across the country who solicit my advice.
Located at the North Sacramento PetSmart at Truxel rd and I-80

Certifications:

CPDT-KA Certified professional dog trainer-Knowledge Assessed
Association of Professional Dog Trainers- Professional Premium member, & Volunteer Co-Chair for Conference Committee
Approved AKC CANINE GOOD CITIZEN EVALUATOR
Pet Tech First Aid and CPR certificate
Supporting member IAABC
Certificate for Knowing dogs program Dog guru's for instruction and evaluation of off leash play
Accredited Area Trainer for PetSmart

Services include:

  • Board and train
  • Deaf dog training
  • Service dog training
  • Puppy training

More info about service provided: I do Group classes for Basic manners. 1st level of core classes learn cues like sit, down, an emergency recall, leave it, take it, drop it, hand targeting, auto focus, wait at doors, walk nice, trouble shoot behaviors, for example: jumping on people, mouthy, biting behavior etc.; 2nd level of core classes after the first level is completed (or equivalent), cues like, Heel, go to place, & adding distractions; 3rd level of core classes with first 2 levels completed, (or equivalent), learn wait in motion, back up in heel, emergency stop, and go thru all 10 items of the CGC exam, if you choose to do the exam, (it's not mandatory), and I can do the STAR puppy exam also in 1st level classes. Potty training classes, or StartSmart workshop for new Pet Parents. (1st level) Puppy (10 wks-5mo old), Beginner (5 mo. old and up), (2nd level) Intermediate, (3rd level) Advance, Brain Games (Intro to canine cognition), Trick class (fun and mentally exercise your dog), Private class: more flexible hours, (we do not work with aggressive dogs, they must be "ok" with dog and people; nor do we work on Severe separation anxiety), if dog is shy, we can always work one on one if a group class is too much. We can start Service dog training for manners, all the way up to the canine good citizen award for your dog. New PetsHotel will open late March 2023, we'll be able to do board and train, and Day camp. All positive reinforcement-based training, with over 50 years of experience and continuing education, with almost 20 years of that with PetSmart; I use no force or painful equipment. PetSmart did a 7-year background check to assure the parents purchasing my classes, that I have never been accused or had any convictions or judgments against me for animal cruelty per the new "California Dog Trainer Sufficiency Act" (1/1/23).

Behavioral issue focus: Basic puppy behaviors, and to start the critical socialization every dog need (from 3-4 weeks old to 16 weeks old), more dogs die due to a lack of socialization and training than they ever do from puppy disease. I also work on adolescent behaviors, dogs turning into juveniles, pushing boundaries and not listening; Training (& early socialization) can save lives.

Training methods: I can do free evaluations to see where the parent and dog is at. I use Positive reinforcement, no force, no punitive or painful equipment, (NO choke chain, prong collar or shock is used). I use treats in the beginning, but, eventually we use less treats, & use toys, praise, affection, anything the dog considers a reward. I use marker training, clicker or word, employing the lure, catch or shape methods to modify &/or teach desired behaviors and cues.

Why I became a dog trainer: Love of dogs, help keep them in their home, so they avoid the suffering of shelter life, and possible euthanasia, just because they needed some socialization and training. I get great Joy in watching the relationship between the human and dog develop, then having that bond appear. Changing the minds and behavior of the human to help the dog, so they can both live their best life, together. I consider myself a human trainer for the dog.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Saving lives, dog and human.

My #1 dog training tip: Start socialization & training as early as possible, (8-10 weeks old), mold them the way you want them to be. Set the up for success and look for the "yes" and reward it. Behaviors rewarded get repeated.

Website: https://PetSmart.com


Betsy Payne

I originally got involved with Dog Sports growing up in the youth program 4-H, almost 20 years ago. In my early 20's, it turned from hobby to profession. In her 10+ years of group and individual instruction I've fallen in love with the process of teaching and building up those I works with, coworkers and clientele alike. From working with inmates in a prison dog training program to volunteering with her local K9 Search and Rescue team to helping create and eventually leading a National Virtual Dog Training program for Petco.

Certifications: CPDT-KA, CCFT

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: Private Training, Day Training - Virtually

Behavioral issue focus: Fear, Anxiety, Stressed or Confliction based issues.
Dog that fall under the umbrella term of Reactive, Separation Anxiety, General Anxiety

Training methods:

We utilize +R methods and techniques, with an emphasis on Fear and Force free. Utilizing LIMA, the Humane Hierarchy, the 5 Freedoms type of frameworks in our plans.

We utilize B-mod techniques like:
Counter- Conditioning
Desensitization
Differential Reinforcement

Why I became a dog trainer: A love for interactions with people and the process of instruction evolved from a hobby turned profession when I was in my early 20's. I've continued to love the act of mentoring and seeing colleagues and clients reach their goals.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: The process of seeing that lightbulb turn on for a client. When they realize that they can, in fact, reach the goals that they're working towards.

My #1 dog training tip: Have a clear goal.

What does the behavior look like? Does it look the same in a variety of contexts? Does the behavior serve the goal or specific function? If our learners are going to learn, we have to be clear on what the goal post looks like.

Service areas: Sacramento, Citrus Heights, Roseville, Rancho Cordova, Orangevale, Fair Oaks, Folsom, Carmichael, Rocklin, Lincoln, Elk Grovebets

Website: https://daackpack.com/


Marieka Schrader

Marieka Schrader, KPA-CTP, is the founder of Karuna K9 in West Sacramento, California. As a Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner, Marieka's focus is providing Sacramento area dog guardians with the tools they need to live fulfilling lives with their dogs through the use of positive & force-free dog training methods.

Marieka's journey in dog training and behavior began when she adopted two 6-month-old puppies, Koa and Maile, from a local shelter. After dreaming of taking her dogs everywhere, Marieka was struck with the reality that so many dog guardians experience ‚ living with two leash reactive dogs.

In an effort to seek professional help for her dogs, Marieka was fortunate to find a wonderful trainer to work with, and her passion for all things training was born. Immediately fascinated with the science of animal behavior and combined with a passion for helping her own dogs, Marieka began reading books, taking classes, attending professional dog training conferences, and seeking professional certification.

Fast forward several years, Marieka has devoted her professional life to helping dogs and their families learn to communicate and build positive relationships so that they can enjoy a peaceful and happy coexistence inside and outside of the home.

Certifications: KPA CTP - Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner

Services include:

  • In home training
  • Reactive dog training
  • Puppy training

More info about service provided: Puppy training, dog training, foundation skills, communication, relationship building, distraction training, private coaching, day training

Behavioral issue focus: Leash reactivity

Training methods: We use only positive training methods that are free from coercion, fear, and punishment. We start with an initial consultation, then follow a training plan tailored to each client's needs.

Why I became a dog trainer: My goal is to help people and their dogs live a safe, healthy, and happy life together.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: I love working with people and their dogs, and helping them build skills to enhance their communication and relationships. I love watching the learning happening, and seeing how much of a difference it makes.

My #1 dog training tip: Develop good communication with your dog and keep your interactions positive as you can!

Service areas: Sacramento, Davis, Woodland

Website: https://www.karunak9.com/


Terra Colson

I have been in the dog training industry since 2012. I have learned from many different trainers, many different styles, and I continue to learn more about Applied Ethology and how to use it in the dog training world.

I am from the Kentucky where the dogs ran free and they go junk food and left over scraps. As an adult I wanted better for my pets so I have spent my adult years making sure owners know how important diet, environment, communication and love is for our pets.

Certifications: Family Dog Meditator, Dog Trainer Foundation Certification, Certified Trick Dog Instructor, Pet Food Nutrition Specialist, AKC CGC Evaluator

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: I teach humans to speak dog! Client learn how to be fluent in dog communication and learning how to read body language. I teach how to teach dogs in the most conflict free way by getting the dog to volunteer behaviors and reward them, but also teach them how to teach commands with luring and leash work.

Behavioral issue focus: I love working with reactive dogs, dogs with anxiety. It's a lot of work but the reward for the dog going from stressed to relaxed is worth it!

Training methods: I prefer to think of my methods as a canine relationship coach. So I'm teaching the human how to inspire the dog to make good choices. We start with an evaluation and then progress to session by session or a training package.

Why I became a dog trainer: Short story. I was giving a Belgian Shepherd that required me to work with multiple trainers and that turned into a career. I learned that there are so many kinds of trainers and the world need more kindness in training vs. compulsion. So here I am.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Relationship building!

I love helping family's flow and work together! Changing the craziness to calmness.

My #1 dog training tip: If you convince your dog, it came up with the idea, your dog is more apt to repeat that behavior.

Service areas: Sacramento, Rancho Cordova, Folsom, West Sacramento, Arden Park, Natomas, Roseville, Elk Grove

Website: https://mywholisticcanine.com/


Marie Turner-Bailie

I have 15 years of experience in the industry, both as a trainer, and as a trainer mentor, helping educate junior trainers, expanding their skill sets and knowledge base. I am passionate about helping people shape their dog's behavior, and helping people and their dogs communicate better together. She continues her education on a routine basis with a mix of conferences, workshops, and trusted online resources.

Services include:

  • In home training
  • Reactive dog training

Website: https://daackpack.com


Eden Halbert

Eden Halbert is a certified dog trainer and behavior expert with a Certificate in Training and Counseling (CTC) credential from the renowned Academy for Dog Trainers, and is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA) through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers, and regularly seeks out the best continuing education in her field. She started her own business working with dogs professionally in 2002 in San Francisco, and relocated to Placerville in 2007, renaming the business Sierra Dogs. Sierra Dogs currently serves Placerville and the greater Sacramento region (Cameron Park, El Dorado Hills, Folsom, Fair Oaks, etc.) and select clients in the San Francisco Bay Area.

A former French language instructor and Human Resources Manager, Eden knows how to effectively communicate with people and make learning fun. Her teaching skills enable her to help people and dogs better understand one other. Eden is also a professional equine, western, & wildlife photographer who loves capturing animals natural personalities in pictures, you can see and purchase her work at the Sierra Luna Photography website, or in Gold Country Artists Gallery in historic downtown Placerville.

Eden shares her home with playful 6 year old siberian husky Frances, and siberian husky puppy Ivy, who joined the family in the summer of 2022. Her other beloved 12 year old husky Vesta passed away unexpectedly in the summer of 2021, and husky mix Luna passed away in 2019 after 16 years as Eden's constant companion.

Certifications: Certificate in Training and Counseling (CTC) credential from the renowned Academy for Dog Trainers, and is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA)

Services include:

  • Board and train
  • Puppy training

Service areas: Placerville and the greater Sacramento region (Cameron Park, El Dorado Hills, Folsom, Fair Oaks, etc.) and select clients in the San Francisco Bay Area


Jennifer Davidson

I started training dogs as a child and fell in love with in. Dogs and animals in general have taught me so much and I learn something new from them every day. I started training professionally part-time about 6 years ago and when we moved to Citrus Heights, Ca last year it became my full time job and I couldn' be happier. Besides my husband I currently share my life with Kaep a 12.5 year old Shepherd/Gsp mix (my old man who keeps us on our toes),Cassie (my heart dog) a 9 year old yellow Lab, Doc a 5 year old German Shepherd/Great Pyrenees mix (my big baby) and the recent addition of Maggie a 12 week old Beagle (yes I'm living the puppy life again.)I am a graduate of Susan Friedmans' Living and Learning with Animal's course. I am a professional member of the Pet Professional Guild and the Association of Professional Dog Trainers. I also volunteer my time with Golden Gate Lab Rescue in whatever capacity needed.

Certifications: LLA

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: Private lessons, group classes, day training, obedience training, puppy training,puppy socialization- basic behaviors, akc CGC and trick titles

Training methods: I am a humane reward-based trainer who focuses on all aspects of a dog’s well-being (which includes exercise, enrichment, diet and the bond between dog & owner). I start with initial consultations so I can get to know a new client and their dog, watch their interactions, discuss their goals and come up with a plan that works for everyone.

Why I became a dog trainer: Initially my love of dogs, learning and bonding with them drew me to training but I would have to say now watching dogs and their owners bond and achieve their goals keeps me coming back

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Watching the bond created with dogs and their owners

Service areas: Citrus Heights, Roseville, Rocklin, Elk Grove, Lincoln, El Dorado Hills, Folsom, Pleasant Grove, Natomas, Sacramento, Orangevale

Website: https://smpawsativedogtraining.wordpress.com/


Rebekah Piedad

Rebekah Piedad, KPA-CTP knew she wanted to train animals since she was a small child. As a toddler, she had her heart set on training lions and tigers in local zoos, but dogs stole her heart in adulthood.

Rebekah has owned and fostered countless dogs ranging from greyhounds to Cane Corsos. She has volunteered for greyhound rescue, pit bull rescue, and served on the Board of Directors of the Humane Society of Stanislaus County. She eased into the dog profession as a pet sitter and dog walker.

In 2013, Rebekah became a Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner. She worked at a high-volume boarding, training, and daycare facility in the Central Valley of California before starting her own business in the Bay Area. Rebekah has trained dogs for commercial advertising, and she revitalized both public and shelter animal training programs at the East Bay SPCA where she worked as the Manager of Behavior and Training before moving to Shasta County where she opened her own private training facility.

Specializing in fearful and aggressive behaviors, Rebekah has worked with private clients and collaborated with rescue groups, shelters, veterinarians, and veterinary behaviorists. She seeks to constantly expand her knowledge and skill set by continuing her education in the behavior sciences and the most progressive animal training techniques. She believes that all training should be fun for both humans and dogs and seeks to inspire a collaborative mindset so that eac h human and dog can enjoy their companion to the fullest.

Rebekah currently lives in Shingletown, CA with her two dogs and a cat. When she is not training, she is usually hiking or backpacking through the Cascades.

Certifications: KPA-CTP

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: Offering board and train specializing in fear and aggression, intensive training programs, local in-person consultations and private lessons for all pet dog issues, and remote training via Zoom.

Behavioral issue focus: Fear and aggression toward people, dogs, moving objects, and novelty; separation anxiety; generalized anxiety; intra-household dog aggression; resource guarding; potty training; and general manners

Training methods: Board and trains are 4 or 8-week programs followed by 5 days of in-person training with a written training plan and Zoom followup. Consultations involve assessment with management and training plan and a followup email giving instructions and video example. Private lessons offer live demonstrations, step by step instructions, followup written training plan with videos, and opportunities for client video submissions for feedback.

Why I became a dog trainer: I became a dog trainer initially to help dogs with challenging behavior find and remain in good homes. My motivation quickly expanded to helping owners and dogs live their best lives together, increasing the human-dog bond, and enabling both dog and owner to become their best selves within their partnership.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: I adore watching dog owners develop deep pride in all their dog's strengths, growth, and individuality as well as in their progress together as a team.

My #1 dog training tip: The dog does what is reinforced. Pay attention to what is reinforcing your dog's behavior so that you can understand your dog's motivations and change your behavior accordingly.

Service areas: Located in Shasta County and serving Southern Oregon, Western Nevada, and Northern California including the Bay Area and Sacramento

Website: https://yesdog.org


Kayla Block

Kayla Block, MA, CTC, provides dog training in Sacramento and El Dorado Counties as well as online training anywhere! She has an MA in Clinical Psychology and is a graduate of the Academy for Dog Trainers (2 year comprehensive program)Specialized knowledge of dog reactivity, dog aggression, and fearful dog problems.Passionate about dog bite prevention, offering programs for families with kids of all ages, and expectant parents.

Certifications: CTC from the Academy for Dog Trainers; Aggression in Dogs Masterclass

Services include:

  • Aggressive dog training
  • Reactive dog training

Website: https://www.understandingdogtraining.com


Rebecca Lane

I am trainer with Tug Dogs. I began my "training" path with Tug Dogs in 2016 as a client, for my dog, Wyatt, that I adopted through a rescue. I have loved dogs my whole life. Wyatt had experienced trauma and was overwhelmingly anxious, including having separation anxiety. As I developed my understanding of canine behavior, and learned about who Wyatt was individually, an extreme passion emerged, and I have never left Tug Dogs - I am now a trainer with them! I wanted to help others acquire the understanding I did, so that they could see the beauty of who their dogs are - even through the behaviors they are working on with their dogs - and strengthen the bond and love and understanding between them.

Certifications: I (Tug Dogs - the organization I train with) specialize in dogs with fear, anxiety and aggression; we also specialize in puppies and obedience!

Services include: General anxiety, separation anxiety, fearfulness, aggression (including intra-household aggression), and more.

More info about service provided: I (Tug Dogs) develop and provide customized "training" (via several program options), that is founded in science and is dog guardian-sustainable, so that families can navigate canine behavior, build cooperation between dog and human, and facilitate mutual ability to live an enriched life together.

Behavioral issue focus: I have loved dogs my whole life; through "training", I was able to help a severely anxious dog live his best life with me. He taught me SO MUCH about dogs (and life), and I wanted to help others be able to understand, too, to improve the lives of our dogs.

Training methods: Both the dogs and their guardians, and the positive transformations in their relationship as they learn about each other.

Why I became a dog trainer: I have loved dogs my whole life; through "training", I was able to help a severely anxious dog live his best life with me. He taught me SO MUCH about dogs (and life), and I wanted to help others be able to understand, too, to improve the lives of our dogs.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Both the dogs and their guardians, and the positive transformations in their relationship as they learn about each other.Listen to what your dog is telling you, as we will be building upon that.

My #1 dog training tip: Listen to what your dog is telling you, as we will be building upon that.

Service areas: NORTHERN CALIFORNIA

Website: https://teachtraintug.com


Lisa Wasielewski

I am a CPDT-KA, NASDA judge, and UKC Elite Shed Dog Series judge. I have 2 Standard Poodles. My older boy has over 40 performance titles and is one of only a handful of dogs with their NASDA Shed Dog Master Champion title. When I am not teaching, I spend most of my free time judging or trialing in various scent sports.

Certifications:  CPDT-KA, NASDA Judge, UKC Elite Shed Dog Series Judge

More info about service provided: NASDA classes, UKC Shed Dog classes, Scentwork classes

Behavioral issue focus: High drive dogs that need help channeling their drive, reactive dogs that need an outlet, shy/nervous dogs that need confidence building

Training methods: Using scent based sports to channel drive, provide an outlet for reactive dogs,and build confidence in shy/nervous dogs

Why I became a dog trainer: I love enriching dogs' lives by teaching them how to use their nose.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Seeing dogs be successful!

My #1 dog training tip: Provide your dog lots of enrichment!

Service areas: Loomis, Orangevale

Website: https://www.commonscents.dog


Sniffspot Sacramento Top Trainer Frequently Asked Questions

How are Sacramento dog trainers selected for this list?

These are the top dog trainers in Sacramento 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 Sacramento 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 Sacramento?

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 Sacramento 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 Sacramento cost?

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

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

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 California was $33,714 per year and $16.21 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 California Cities

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

Bakersfield, CA
Fresno, CA
Huntington Beach, CA
Los Angeles, CA
Modesto, CA
Oakland, CA
Oxnard, CA
Riverside, CA
San Diego, CA
San Francisco, CA
San Jose, CA
Santa Maria, CA
Santa Rosa, CA
Stockton, CA
Vallejo, CA
Visalia, CA


See The Best Dog Trainers In Other States Near California

Arizona
Nevada
Oregon

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Merlin Noble photo

Merlin Noble

March 29, 2022

Dog Trainers

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