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The Best Dog Trainers in Santa Rosa, CA of 2023

Merlin Noble photo

Merlin Noble

May 10, 2023

Dog Trainers

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

Penny Locke

I'm positive reinforcement, fear-free training. I have been teaching for 20 years. Starting out with family & friends, then moving to paying clients. I have a back ground in rescue work, where many different dogs benefitted from training. Now my practice is varied, one dog at a time, one puppy at a time to bring structure, boundaries & kind training. I do not use equipment that causes harm, pain, stress or force to the dog.

Services include:

  • In home training
  • Reactive dog training
  • Puppy training

More info about service provided: In-home training, Day Training, general good manners, potty training, troubleshooting unwanted behavior.

Behavioral issue focus: Barking, recall, listening skills, adolescence, fearful behavior, adjustment to new homes thru adoption, jumping up, jumping on furniture, walking skills.

Training methods: Dog guardians buy sessions with me. The first is via Zoom, the following are in-person, unless they are outside my in-person range, then we continue with virtual. Customized sessions based on dog's progress. Starting in-person sessions at guardian's home, then as appropriate generalize behaviors to new settings.

Why I became a dog trainer: My own dog needed help, I needed to find ways to help him. I caught the bug, and haven't looked back.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Meeting guardians who really care about the best life for their dogs.

My #1 dog training tip: Learn about dogs' body language.

Service areas: Sonoma, Mendocino & Lake County


Kelli Staffieri


Certifications: Cdt, ccc

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: Group classes, private trainings, leash skills

Behavioral issue focus: Leash skills is my favorite to teach, dog commutation and body language education for owners

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Saving and changing lives

My #1 dog training tip: Your dog is your teammate not your opponent

Service areas: Lake county, Sonoma county, Mendocino county, Napa county

Quin Longino

Quin is both CPDT-KA, CCDT and SAPro certified and is a firm of proponent scientifically backed positive reinforcement and aversive-free training methods. She believes this training truly strengthens the bond between pet and owner.
Quin grew up with dogs, however it wasn't until she began volunteering at the San Francisco SPCA that she realized her true passion for dog training and behavior. It was also this experience that continues to drive her investment in helping shelter animals become successful in their homes.
When not working with your animals, Quin is hanging out with her own pups Airlie and Pilsner! They're quite the pair as a Golden Retriever mix and a Chihuahua mix! Quin also enjoys exploring all that the Bay Area has to offer.

Certifications: CPDT-KA, SAPro, CCDT

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: I typically do private training specializing in puppies, reactivity, basic obedience, and behavioral issues. I also teach group classes at the Humane Society of Sonoma County.

Behavioral issue focus: Reactivity, fear-based behaviors, handling

Training methods: I only practice positive reinforcement, force-free, science based training methods. I typically have an initial call with a client to discuss goals, etc and then meet with clients in-person for an hour each session.

Why I became a dog trainer: I fell in love with training while volunteering at the SFSPCA, and was very unfulfilled in my software sales job. So I left that industry to help shelter dogs succeed in their homes.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Working for myself. Seeing the impact on dog guardians.

My #1 dog training tip: Never leave home without treats.

Service areas: Sonoma & Marin Counties


Brian Galindo

After a motorcycle accident left me with a spinal cord injury, I had to reinvent myself and my career. I learned about Bonnie Bergin's school ( and enrolled in 2011. After graduating with an AS in Service Dog Ed, I began teaching clients and started No Limits Service Dog & Obedience. I've been working with clients ever since and love helping my community!

Certifications: AS - Assistance Dog Education, CPDT-KA, AKC Evaluator

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: Service Dog mentoring/testing, group classes & clinics, private training, board & training.

Behavioral issue focus: Lots of cases of under socialization and separation anxiety lately, most likely due to COVID. But with over 10 year's experience, there isn't much I haven't seen

Training methods: Completely force-free, positive reinforcement techniques and exercises. I'm a bond-based trainer who believes a strong relationship with your dog builds trust & reliability.

Why I became a dog trainer: I've always had a lifelong love of helping animals and people.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: The results!

My #1 dog training tip: Reward your dog for his attention!

Service areas: Greater San Francisco Bay Area


Trish King

I've been working with clients and dogs for over 35 years, and specialize in behavior problems like reactivity, resource guarding and separation anxiety. I am a speaker, and worked as Director of Behavior & Training at the Marin Humane Society for 23 years.

Certifications: CBCD, CPDT-KA

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: Consultations

Behavioral issue focus: I work with any problem areas

Training methods: Behavior Consultations with written notes and follow ups

Why I became a dog trainer: I love dogs, and didn't like being a radio journalist much

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: My clients and their dogs

My #1 dog training tip: Watch and listen to your dog

Service areas: Marin County, CA


Sniffspot Santa Rosa Top Trainer Frequently Asked Questions

How are Santa Rosa dog trainers selected for this list?

These are the top dog trainers in Santa Rosa 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 Santa Rosa 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 Santa Rosa?

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 Santa Rosa 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 Santa Rosa cost?

Santa Rosa 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 Santa Rosa dog trainer. How can I get listed here?

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

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
Sacramento, CA
San Diego, CA
San Francisco, CA
San Jose, CA
Santa Maria, CA
Stockton, CA
Vallejo, CA
Visalia, CA

See The Best Dog Trainers In Other States Near California

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


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Merlin Noble photo

Merlin Noble

May 10, 2023

Dog Trainers

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