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The Best Dog Trainers in Tampa, FL of 2023

Merlin Noble photo

Merlin Noble

March 29, 2022

Dog Trainers

Welcome to the Tampa, FL Sniffspot top dog trainer list for 2023. This is a list of the top dog trainers in Tampa 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 Florida 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 Tampa, FL Dog Trainers in 2023

Laska Parrow

Laska has been training animals with positive reinforcement since a young age. Inspired as a child, she trained her cat how to walk on a leash and basic obedience skills. Finally her father agreed that she could foster and train dogs. She has been involved with training assistance dogs since 2000 and got involved in pet dog training in 2003.

Helping others with their pets led Laska to spend 7 years working at her local humane society. During her time there she taught reactive and fearful dog classes, as well as in-home training for cats and other small animals.

Certifications: CCPDT-KA, ANWI, FDM, CVT, FFCP

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: We provide in home training for the whole family. At All Ears Training, we develop personalized training plans for you and your dog. We work with newly adopted, nosework, aggression or reactive dogs, service and fun tricks!

Behavioral issue focus: Reactivity to dogs and humans. And separation anxiety

Training methods: We do initial behavioral consults to make sure we are the right fit for you and your dog. After that we develop a training plan for you and your dog. We are force free and positive reinforcement training only!

Why I became a dog trainer: To help people and their dogs better understand each other and live happily together. Going up as part of the veterinary community I could see the communication issues between dogs and their families and I wanted a way for them to live successfully together

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Making people's lives vetter and seeing the bond grow

My #1 dog training tip: Have fun! And appreciate the little things!

Service areas: Parrish, Palmetto, Bradenton, Sarasota, Venice, Northport

Website:  https://www.allearstraining.com/


Annalisa Berns

Annalisa is a real-life Pet Detective. She dreamed of working with animals from a young age. Annalisa found her life's work when she read Kat Albrecht's book, 'The Lost Pet Chronicles.' She works and trains Search Dogs specifically trained to find lost pets. She is passionate about educating people about how to bring their lost pets home and how to train dogs to sniff out lost pets.

Annalisa is the owner of Pet Search and Rescue and Pet Search and Rescue Investigations. She is a licensed Private Investigator in California. She wants to inspire you to consider training your dog (or adopting a new dog) to sniff out lost pets. Scent training is the ultimate enrichment for your dog, can help other people and their lost pets, and provide a rewarding job for you.

Certifications:

Missing Animal Response Technician with retired policewoman Kat Albrecht and Missing Pet Partnership, 2005.
California Licensed Private Investigator, 2014.
National Search Dog Alliance Member, Member Education Board NSDA (2009), Education Program Manager (2019-2022), 2007- current.
Registered Trainer and Member of Rescues2theRescue, 2023.

Services include:

  • Board and train

More info about service provided: I love to train dogs to help sniff out lost pets! There is a job for every dog, and some dogs love to help search for missing cats, dogs, reptiles and even horses. Dogs naturally use their nose to explore the world. It is rewarding when we learn to work with them as a team, and it helps missing animals and their owners too.

Behavioral issue focus: Most dogs benefit from having a job. I focus on scent training, which is enriching for them and their owners. This often improves behavioral issues, as it improves the dog's confidence, attention span and focus.

Training methods: I use positive reinforcement training methods. Each dog is different, and I embrace that in scent training. I utilize treats, toys, clicker or markers, and follow Search and Rescue methods for scent training. I offer free initial phone calls to talk about your interests and your dog for scent training for finding lost pets. You learn about options to use the training for fun and enrichment for your pet, as a volunteer or as a business. Evaluating your dog is the next step, and can be done online or in-person.

Why I became a dog trainer: I love working with animals, and found my life's passion in working specially trained Search Dogs to help find lost pets. After training dogs and working over 18 years in the field, a natural next step is training people and their dogs to sniff out lost pets.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: I love helping people to listen, understand and work as a team with our amazing dog partners!

My #1 dog training tip: Train your dog to find lost pets. Pay your dog. In turn, your dog can pay your bills.

Service areas: Remote Around the World. In-Person in Florida, New York, and California. Additional areas possible for lectures and group trainings, including internationally.

Website: https://www.petsearchandrescue.com


Ariel Lovely

My name is Ariel Lovely and I am a certified dog trainer. Before becoming a dog trainer I worked professionally as a doggy daycare caretaker, a shelter tech, and as an animal control officer.

With my own dogs I compete in dog shows and sporting events, all achieved using positive reinforcement!

I decided to begin my education in the dog training field after owning my own reactive dog and struggling to find humane and effective methods to decrease the behavior. Now I focus on helping dogs and their owners get through the same behavior struggles.

Certifications: IAABC-ADT

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: I specialize in reactivity and fearful dogs however offer a variety of services. I operate under 3 and 5 week training courses designed to offer owners continuous support throughout the training process.

Behavioral issue focus: I commonly work with reactivity and fear/anxiety.

Training methods: I use exclusively positive reinforcement methods. My training plans focus on ensuring owners feel safe and confident while handling their dogs during behavior training, while also ensuring the dogs are comfortable and safe. I do not believe there is any real definition of a 'well trained dog' and instead focus on helping dog owners find what 'well trained' means to them in their home!

Why I became a dog trainer: I was inspired to become a dog trainer after living with my reactive dog Precious, who has since passed in 2022 at the age of 11.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Helping owners understand why their dog's behavior is happening and giving them the tools they need to not only alleviate the behavior, but build a closer bond with their dog as well.

My #1 dog training tip: Meet your dog's biological needs before focusing on training! Sniffing, running, playing!

Service areas: I train locally in and around Brandon, Florida. As well as virtually from anywhere!

Website: https://k9adventuresfl.com


Christiana Parker

Christy has been working as a Professional Figure Skater traveling the world for 12 years. Originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, she decided to settle down in Florida when she accepted a figure skating contract at Busch Gardens. During this time, she began studying animal behavior in her spare time and hasn't stopped learning since.

Her passion for animals has existed since the day she was born. She believes she was put on this Earth to help animals; specifically, teaching dogs and their families how to build a strong bond through training.

She went on to start working in a dog shelter where she found a profound love for rescue. Christy got hands-on experience rehabilitating, training, and fostering a wide variety of breeds, as well as those exhibiting fear, aggression, anxiety, and reactivity. Christy is an active volunteer for multiple different rescues such as Husky Haven of Florida where she assists in fostering, transport, and performing behavior assessments on dogs entering the rescues.

Christy is proud to share her life with her 5 rescue dogs Keela (Retriever mix), Lumen (Siberian Husky), Teegan (Husky/Malamute mix), her first “foster fail” Zayn (Siberian Husky mix), and the newest addition, Jaxon (Husky mix).

Currently pursuing a Behavior Consultant Certification, she regularly attends dog training seminars, workshops, and jumps at the chance of any additional hands-on training and behavior modification opportunities.

Certifications: CCPDT-KA and Certified Separation Anxiety Trainer

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: Behavior modification for separation anxiety, reactivity, human and dog aggression, fear. Basic manners, puppy socialization, board and train, socialization skills for adult dogs, day training, distraction training

Behavioral issue focus: Dog aggression, human aggression, fear, reactivity, separation anxiety

Training methods: I am dedicated to positive reinforcement and welfare/relationship building based training. My training plans are designed to be customized to each individual dog. I recommend a 6-8 week starting point for one-on-one sessions weekly for both behavior consultations and private training.

Why I became a dog trainer: As I started my career in the rescue industry, I realized the biggest reason dogs are typically relinquished is due to unwanted behavior issues. If I am able to help families learn how to better understand their dog and live in harmony together, I am taking one smell step in helping keep dogs in a loving home and out of the shelter.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Watching the bond between a handler and their dog grow into a beautiful, understanding relationship.

My #1 dog training tip: Get your dog on an enrichment plan! Provide daily breed appropriate outlets.

Service areas: Hillsborough county, City of Tampa, Brandon, Seffner, Lutz, Wesley Chapel

Website: https://www.courteouscanine.com


Maddie Speirs

Growing up, I took every opportunity to work with animals that I could find. I volunteered at shelters, worked to ride at the barn, and got my first real job as a doggy daycare attendant in high school. When I got to college, where I chose to dual major in Animal and Environmental Studies, I joined a wildlife rescue team and have saved seabirds, birds of prey, squirrels, possums, and more.

On a camping trip during my sophomore year of college, I found a dog who had been dumped on the side of the road. Knowing I couldn't leave her there, I took her in, and when I couldn't find her owner or a willing home, I decided to keep her. That dog threw me into the world of dog training, and I never looked back. Both of the dogs that I have shared my life with have come to me with significant behavioral issues, so I have developed plenty of empathy for dog guardians who are struggling with their dog.

I know how hard it can be to share your life with a dog who is having a hard time, and I am excited to make life easier for both you and your dog! I am a certified SA Pro, so if your dog struggles with alone time or being separated from 'their person' I am here to help! Helping dogs and their people through separation anxiety and similar behaviors is a passion of mine because comfortable alone time is often such a relief for both the humans and the dogs.

Because I know how hard life can be with difficult dogs, I am also really passionate about working with dogs through puppyhood and adolescence to create stable and resilient adult dogs. I have become a firm believer in positive reinforcement and consent based training. I want the dogs that I work with to be enthusiastic and unafraid learners who feel comfortable showing me how they really feel. I am a lifelong learner, and I am dedicated to continuing my education, and staying up to date on the most humane and effective ways to train. I’m

Certifications: SAPT

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: Adventure dog classes, basic manners, separation anxiety training, puppy socialization and off leash training

Behavioral issue focus: I am certified in separation anxiety training and I love working with difficult puppies and young dogs to create long lasting foundations for life as a resilient and stable adult dog.

Training methods: We start with a behavior consultation to gain a holistic understanding of our client's needs and form a personalized training plan that will be effective and achievable. Each dog is giving a holistic training plan that encompasses mental and physical health by addressing sleep, feeding, exercise and more. Training goals often include settling and socialization for young dogs, and gradual desensitization to alone time for my separation anxiety dogs.

Why I became a dog trainer: I love working with people and I really love working with animals. My learning journey with my own two difficult dogs really opened my mind to dog training as a career, and I have been pursuing it since.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: I love that I have the chance to improve people's lives with their dogs, and it brings me joy to know that the people who I work with enjoy their dogs more after our time together, and the dogs I work with enjoy their people more as well.

My #1 dog training tip: Focus on the skills that really make a difference in your life with your dog, and forget about the rest.

Service areas: Saint Petersburg, FL

Website: https://pawsitivefutures.com


Jenna and Yesmin Ivey and Feliciano

Bring a little MAGIC into your dog's life!
Mythic Bones takes pride in providing your dog's greatest adventure. Check out our Doggie Daycare, Boarding, In-Home Training and Board & Train Services!

Certifications: CPDT-KA

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: Doggie Daycare, Boarding, In-Home Training and Board & Train! Basic Training, Puppy Training, Potty Training, Mild Reactivity, Training in Public Places

Behavioral issue focus: Socialization is our specialty! We love to help dogs learn to be comfortable and confident in their own fur. Basic training in new environments and with new dogs and people helps our dog to not only excel in their social skills, but build their training in the presence of distractions as well! Our main goal is to help humans and dogs build their relationship into something MAGICAL!

Training methods: We utilize positive reinforcement and welfare-based training techniques. All training services come with a demo at the end to ensure that all parties are on the same page in regards to training and practice! Our goal is always to help both our client and their dog to live their best life together. We are available post-training for additional questions or concerns to ensure success!

Why I became a dog trainer: We became trainers because we love dogs - we continued training because we want to see them succeed!

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: The 'ah-ha!' moment your dog experiences when they figure out what you're trying to ask them‚ that look in their eyes is indescribable. The joy that follows is magical.

My #1 dog training tip:

Service areas: Tampa, Ybor City, Brandon, Riverview, Apollo Beach, Ruskin, Wimauma

Website: https://www.MythicBones.com


Sniffspot Tampa Top Trainer Frequently Asked Questions

How are Tampa dog trainers selected for this list?

These are the top dog trainers in Tampa 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 Tampa 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 Tampa?

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 Tampa 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 Tampa cost?

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

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

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 Florida was $27,527 per year and $13.23 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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Merlin Noble photo

Merlin Noble

March 29, 2022

Dog Trainers

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