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The Best Dog Trainers in Salisbury, MD of 2023

Merlin Noble photo

Merlin Noble

May 22, 2023

Dog Trainers

Welcome to the Salisbury, MD Sniffspot top dog trainer list for 2023. This is a list of the top dog trainers in Salisbury 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 Maryland 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 Salisbury, MD Dog Trainers in 2023

Pat Miller

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

Miller worked for 20 years at the Marin Humane Society in Novato, California, during which time she collaborated with Trish King to create the country's first 'Color Coding' system for shelter dogs and volunteers. This system was successful in reducing behavior problems in shelter dogs (with a corresponding reduction in euthanasia) by identifying difficult-to-handle dogs and matching them with more experienced and capable volunteer handlers.

Miller was a humane officer/animal control officer and testified successfully in numerous animal cruelty and abuse cases. She also played a major role in the development and implementation of Marin County and State of California Dangerous Dog laws.

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

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

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

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

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

Services include:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Sniffspot Salisbury Top Trainer Frequently Asked Questions

How are Salisbury dog trainers selected for this list?

These are the top dog trainers in Salisbury 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 Salisbury 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 Salisbury?

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 Salisbury 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 Salisbury cost?

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

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

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 Maryland was $36,973 per year and $17.78 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 Maryland Cities

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

Baltimore, MD
Frederick, MD

See The Best Dog Trainers In Other States Near Maryland


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Merlin Noble photo

Merlin Noble

May 22, 2023

Dog Trainers

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