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The Best Dog Trainers in Salem, OR of 2023

Merlin Noble photo

Merlin Noble

May 27, 2023

Dog Trainers

Welcome to the Salem, OR Sniffspot top dog trainer list for 2023. This is a list of the top dog trainers in Salem 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 Oregon 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 Salem, OR Dog Trainers in 2023

Roman Gottfried

I'm a certified dog trainer and trauma-informed holistic behavior consultant. I guide dog guardians, fosters and dog professionals to solve even the most complex challenges. I use a mind body spirit approach, as well as holistic-, trauma-informed, secure attachment-based, and the Do-No-Harm approach to get results.

I am a firm believer in educating dog professionals, handlers, caregivers, and the public about positive training and the damaging effects that the use of aversion and outdated dominance theory can have on dogs, especially dogs with trauma.

What Is Holistic Dog Training
Holistic Dog Training is a trauma-informed, secure attachment-based, behavior consultant, i follow a Holistic, Do-No-Harm Training and Animal Care Philosophy.
I believe that dogs are sentient beings that deserve to be treated with respect, should be allowed to express their emotions, live in a healthy, stress free, species appropriete environment. They should be allowed to become full members of our family, that ensures that the dogs hierarchy of needs are met, and creating and maintaining a positive human/dog relationship naturally, for life.

Holistic parenting and training approach addresses all of these elements so they can exist in harmonyI'm a certified dog trainer and trauma-informed holistic behavior consultant. I guide dog guardians, fosters, and professionals to solve even the most complex challenges. I use a mind-body-spirit approach, as well as a holistic-, trauma-informed, secure attachment-based, and Do-No-Harm approach to get results. I am a firm believer in educating dog professionals, handlers, caregivers, and the public about positive training and the damaging effects that the use of aversion and outdated dominance theory can have on dogs, especially dogs with trauma.

Certifications: Certified dog trainer, Holistic behavior consultant, Reiki master teacher

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: Trauma informed behavior assessment, separation anxiety, holistic training, attachment problems, siblings rivalry, do No harm

Behavioral issue focus: Commonly working with families with reactive and aggressive dogs, dogs with developmental problems, anxiety and phobias

Training methods: I'm working with Families to learn how to educate and help the dogs establish a secure attachment, identify trauma, and communication, challenges, and better understand the dogs breed traits and individual personality. After the assessment, I put together a behavior treatment plan based on the dogs needs and the family's abilities.

Why I became a dog trainer: It was always my passion to help dogs feel safe and cared for in homes. I also have a passion to help dogs with no family to find one, help them with their behavior problems and heal trauma

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Being able to manage my time, working with clients, working with people and dogs, living a healthy lifestyle and helping dogs

My #1 dog training tip: My number one training tip is not a training tip, before you train your dog, establish a secure attachment relationship

Service areas: USA, England, Australia, New Zealand, Canada

Website: https://holisticdogtraining.org


Carolyn Rositano

Carolyn's love for animals started when she was a kid, and she has gained a lot of knowledge about dogs through her various jobs and experiences throughout her life. Her passion for animals first led her to pursue a Bachelor's degree in biology/zoology.

After graduating, she started working in her local shelter in Upstate NY. While working there, she started noticing how many amazing dogs were given up for 'problem behaviors' that the owners just didn't have the tools or knowledge to help fix. She loved the shelter world but ended up deciding to further her education and pursue a possible career in Veterinary Technology.

While in school, she got a job at a doggy daycare in Buffalo, NY and her love for all things dog behavior began. She completed her degree and became a Licensed Vet Tech, but quickly realized that her interest lied more with dog behavior than with the medical side.

After moving and spending a few years living in Charlotte, NC, Carolyn began to pursue her career in animal behavior and became a Certified Dog Trainer through Animal Behavior College. While completing her volunteer hours at the Humane Society of Charlotte, a part time job working with the behavior department opened up. She spent about 7 months working there and learning from her mentor at HSC and eventually ended up taking over the shelter Behavior and Training Coordinator role.

She has worked with a large variety of dogs and behaviors, including under-socialized puppies, over-stimulated dogs with reactivity issues, dogs from hoarding cases who had never met other humans, dogs with bite histories, and everything in between! She quickly realized that she had a passion and talent for understanding the 'behaviorally challenged' dogs and helping their owners do the same. She also has extensive experience working with and interpreting dog-to-dog interactions.

Her main goal as a trainer is to help pet parents connect with and better understand their dog for who they are, while providing them with the tools to help them continue to live fun and happy lives together.

Certifications: ABCDT

Services include:

  • In home training
  • Reactive dog training
  • Puppy training

More info about service provided: Private training & day training for fearful, undersocialized, and anxious dogs. I also specialize in dog to dog interactions, work with reactive dogs, and offer basic manners & life skill training

Behavioral issue focus: Fear & general anxiety, undersocialized rescue dogs, dog to dog interactions, leash reactivity.

Training methods: I use force free methods and believe that every dog/human pair are unique and need individualized care. Behavior consultations are required for any behavior modification clients. I have general training plans that I follow for all of my clients but I adjust and tailor them regularly based on the dog and the human client.

Why I became a dog trainer: In vet tech school I noticed that all of my interests were centered around dog behavior. After losing a dog of my own to aggressive behavioral issues, I was determined to be able to help others going through challenges with their dogs.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Seeing both the dogs and the clients have their 'aha' moments and watching the bond they have grow even more when they start to understand their dog on a new level

My #1 dog training tip: Building a trusting relationship with your dog is the foundation to long term training goals

Service areas: Salem, Keizer, Independence, Monmouth, Dallas

Website: https://www.partnershipdogs.com/


Dorothy "Dodie" Slaton

Helping our pets live their best lives is a common goal among pet guardians, but at times, it can be complicated. As a Licensed L.E.G.S. Family Dog Mediator and a Certified Professional Trainer, I help guardians understand their pet's needs and behaviors and help open the lines of communication between people and their pets.

As a Family Dog Mediator, I assess your pet's learning history, environment, genetics, and individual self to determine how we can assist you and your pet on your life journey together. Many behaviors that may be problematic in the home are generally natural behaviors expressing themselves. Therefore, by finding less problematic methods to allow your pet to express themself and utilizing enrichment and decompression, we can reduce problematic behaviors.

As a certified trainer, I will help you understand your pet's behaviors and determine how to better manage or change the behaviors that are causing problems in the home. Together, we will evaluate the behaviors and find more suitable behaviors that are compatible with the environment.Together, we will formulate an achievable plan that fits your and your pet's needs, and with the ongoing support program, part of my mediation/training packages, you can check in, send videos for evaluation, and communicate any difficulties or successes as they occur.

Certifications: CPDT-KA, Licensed L.E.G.S. Family Dog Mediator

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 provide individualized support to meet your and your pet's needs including basic obedience training, puppy socialization, cooperative care training, day training, potty training, distraction training, counter conditioning/desensitization for fearful/reactive behaviors, off-leash manners for hiking, decompression activities, and enrichment activities, etc.

Behavioral issue focus: I specialize in fearful/reactive dogs but also work on preventing these behaviors in dogs and puppies with socialization, general obedience, decompression and enrichment activities, and by properly meeting a dog's individual needs.

Training methods: I offer training packages that are specifically designed to meet your needs. My training packages include email and/or text message coaching support which allows you to ask questions as they arise, send videos for evaluation, discuss challenging situations, check in about your progress, and get the accountability you may need during your training journey. I strive to make the process as comfortable for my clients and their pet(s) as possible.

Why I became a dog trainer: I did an internship in a shelter and saw so many pets surrendered for behavior problems. I seek to keep pets in homes.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Making people and their dogs happier.

My #1 dog training tip: Meeting your pets' intrinsic needs makes training easier and more effective.

Service areas: Corvallis, Salem, Eugene, and surrounding areas

Website: https://simplypawesomepets.com


Helping our pets live their best lives is a common goal among pet guardians, but at times, it can be complicated. As a Licensed L.E.G.S. Family Dog Mediator and a Certified Professional Trainer, I help guardians understand their pet's needs and behaviors and help open the lines of communication between people and their pets.

As a Family Dog Mediator, I assess your pet's learning history, environment, genetics, and individual self to determine how we can assist you and your pet on your life journey together. Many behaviors that may be problematic in the home are generally natural behaviors expressing themselves. Therefore, by finding less problematic methods to allow your pet to express themself and utilizing enrichment and decompression, we can reduce problematic behaviors.

As a certified trainer, I will help you understand your pet's behaviors and determine how to better manage or change the behaviors that are causing problems in the home. Together, we will evaluate the behaviors and find more suitable behaviors that are compatible with the environment.Together, we will formulate an achievable plan that fits your and your pet's needs, and with the ongoing support program, part of my mediation/training packages, you can check in, send videos for evaluation, and communicate any difficulties or successes as they occur.

Certifications: CPDT-KA, Licensed L.E.G.S. Family Dog Mediator

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 provide individualized support to meet your and your pet's needs including basic obedience training, puppy socialization, cooperative care training, day training, potty training, distraction training, counter conditioning/desensitization for fearful/reactive behaviors, off-leash manners for hiking, decompression activities, and enrichment activities, etc.

Behavioral issue focus: I specialize in fearful/reactive dogs but also work on preventing these behaviors in dogs and puppies with socialization, general obedience, decompression and enrichment activities, and by properly meeting a dog's individual needs.

Training methods: I offer training packages that are specifically designed to meet your needs. My training packages include email and/or text message coaching support which allows you to ask questions as they arise, send videos for evaluation, discuss challenging situations, check in about your progress, and get the accountability you may need during your training journey. I strive to make the process as comfortable for my clients and their pet(s) as possible.

Why I became a dog trainer: I did an internship in a shelter and saw so many pets surrendered for behavior problems. I seek to keep pets in homes.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Making people and their dogs happier.

My #1 dog training tip: Meeting your pets' intrinsic needs makes training easier and more effective.

Service areas: Corvallis, Salem, Eugene, and surrounding areas

Website: https://simplypawesomepets.com


Oregon Humane Society

Our trainers are Certified Professional Dog Trainers (CPDT) or working towards their certification.

Certifications: CPDT-KA,

Services include:

  • Aggressive dog training
  • Reactive dog training
  • Puppy training

More info about service provided: Our training and behavior department offers in-person and virtual training classes, private consultations, and pet parent classes for your dog, puppy, cat or kitten. We specialize in our Levels classes, which is basic manners, but at times you choose rather than a series of classes. Levels, along with puppy, adolescent, reactive, and private training offers something for everyone.

Behavioral issue focus: Reactivity, Basic Manners, Home alone issues, anxiety issues, Litter box issues for cats, territorial aggression with cats in the same home, new pet adjustments

Training methods: Our training philosophy focuses on building a strong, healthy bond between a pet and their owner through positive reinforcement. We do not like to use fear or intimidation-based tactics in our training. OHS trainers believe that reward-based techniques and educating pet owners on animal behavior is the best way to promote a trusting and respectful relationship between individuals and their pets. We offer private training classes with training plans, multiple class options and continued communication with our clients.

Why I became a dog trainer: Our trainers are here because they want to keep pets in their home. They have a love for animals and want to keep the bond between you and your pet. With their education, they hope you and your pet can work together and understand each other.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Seeing our clients enjoying time with their pets, having the happy animals that come through our classes and the gratitude we have from our clients makes us all very happy.

My #1 dog training tip: Have patience with your pet, relax when around them and call our behavior helpline if you have questions.

Service areas: Portland and Salem Metropolitan areas

Website: https://www.oregonhumane.org/


Patty Bensene

I've been training for over 25 years, companion obedience, puppy and behavior classes. The last 15 years has been mainly focused on all aspects of agility including serious competition and relationship building.

Certifications: CPDT-KA

Services include:

  • Reactive dog training
  • Puppy training
  • Agility training

More info about service provided: I teach competition agility, companion obedience, puppy skills and behavior classes. Most classes start as private then as skills of the handler and dog improve I will move you into a group class so you can practice and refine your skills in a distracting environment. I teach classes in Oregon City, Monday through Thursday, morning to evening.

Behavioral issue focus: Reactive dogs or over stimulated dogs. Dogs with no focus or drive.

Training methods: I like to lure dogs into behavior or let them offer desired behaviors for rewards. I want the dogs to think for themselves offering appropriate behaviors/tasks to solicit rewards whether its a treat, toy, touching or verbal.

Why I became a dog trainer: I became a trainer because I've always been interested in the animal/human communication and bonding process. I've had family dogs my entire life but as a young adult I wanted my own dog. Although I thought my first dog was the greatest dog ever, she had some serious problems. I wanted to know how people managed to have such "perfect" dogs and so began my journey into the world of dog knowledge and training.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Watching a dog blossom into the great dog they were meant to be and the joy of the owner/handler being able to take credit for the success.

My #1 dog training tip: Do not force your dog to do anything. Teach them to learn and they will be successful at any task you train them for.

Service areas: Multnomah, Marion, Washington, Clackamas County, OR.
Clark County , WA

Website: https://ffdogschool.com


Sniffspot Salem Top Trainer Frequently Asked Questions

How are Salem dog trainers selected for this list?

These are the top dog trainers in Salem 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 Salem 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 Salem?

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 Salem 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 Salem cost?

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

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

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 Oregon was $29,335 per year and $14.10 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 Oregon Cities

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

Bend, OR
Eugene, OR
Portland, OR
Salem, OR


See The Best Dog Trainers In Other States Near Oregon

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

California
Nevada
Washington

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Merlin Noble photo

Merlin Noble

May 27, 2023

Dog Trainers

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