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The Best Dog Trainers in Trenton, NJ of 2023

Merlin Noble photo

Merlin Noble

May 24, 2023

Dog Trainers

Welcome to the Trenton, NJ Sniffspot top dog trainer list for 2023. This is a list of the top dog trainers in Trenton 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 New Jersey 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 Trenton, NJ Dog Trainers in 2023

Jaime Caponetta

I'm Jaime Caponetta, IAABC Certified Canine Behavior Consultant and the proud owner of Pawsome University. My most important title, however, is 'Mom.' I have 2 small boys and 3 amazing rescue dogs, who I consider to be my actual children.

I started out in 2016, working as an animal care attendant at my local SPCA. In 2017, I started Pawsome Walks - my first company that focuses on pet care with a high standard of care - and got ABCDT certified. I continued to gain experience and knowledge, eventually earning the certification of Canine Behavior Consultant from the IAABC. that's when we started Pawsome University, a positive reinforcement behavior modification training company!

I am most known for my one-on-one work with my virtual clients (Ranked #1 Remote Dog Trainer in the USA - 2022 by Sniffspot), my interviews on The Pregnancy Podcast discussing dogs and babies, and for my (in person) Reactive Class where reactive dogs come to my farm to learn how to make positive connections with others! I'm quick and efficient at getting to the bottom of what's going on at home without even needing to see your dog and come up with a behavior modification plan that is fun, fear-free, and works for EVERYONE involved. I absolutely love what I do, not a day goes by where I feel as I'm going to 'work!'

Certifications: ABCDT, ACBC-IAABC

Services include:

  • Aggressive dog training
  • Deaf dog training
  • Reactive dog training
  • Puppy training

More info about service provided: I specialize in all behaviors - reactivity, aggression, guarding, separation anxiety and dog/baby relationships. I have puppy & teenager group classes, one time socialization classes with other dogs, one on one sessions, virtual sessions and virtual workshops. We also have a rehab boarding program for rescue and shelter dogs!

Behavioral issue focus: Reactivity, Aggression, Resource Guarding, Overstimulation/Low Impulse Control, Safe Relationships with babies & kids, Anxiety and Separation Anxiety, Dog Socialization and Puppy Behavioral

Training methods: All Positive Reinforcement Behavioral Training - I focus on getting your dog to a happy and healthy state and less on cues and distractions. No bandaids or management training! I offer free consultations, questionnaire prior to first session, assessment, behavior modification plan, homework, and written resources.

Why I became a dog trainer: Big rescue advocate and I was tired of seeing many dogs euthanized because on staff trainers couldn't handle the issues. I wanted to give people hope that big behavioral issues are fixable and that rehoming isn't necessary!

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Helping families find peace with their dogs and have the amazing relationship they both want. Explaining what the dog needs to the pet parent, watching it all click and then see the dog succeed when the changes are made is probably one of my most favorite aspects

My #1 dog training tip: No dog needs a heavy hand and every behavioral issue can be fixed with positive reinforcement!

Service areas: Monmouth County, NJ


Peet Johnson

I’ve grown up with dogs, they've always been there for me and I've always been there for them. I started my training journey in my 20's but didn't actively pursue it full time until 2 years ago when I joined the Philly Unleashed team! I'm CPDT-KA certified and am passionate about helping our dogs live their best lives with us!

Certifications: CPDT-KA

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: Reactive dog classes, private lessons, boarding, impulse control

Behavioral issue focus: On leash aggression, dog and people reactivity, inter household aggression

Training methods: I offer training plans including behavior modification, basic training, and behavior consultations using only positive reinforcement and science based approaches.

Why I became a dog trainer: I love dogs! I also adopted a special needs dog and needed to do more than basic obedience with him, then I rescued a reactive dog and I wanted her to enjoy her life with as little stress and anxiety as possible.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Helping create a language between the people and their dogs! Training creates such a strong bond and helps both parties understand each other!

My #1 dog training tip: Reward what you want, ignore everything else!

Service areas: The greater Philadelphia area


Andrea Kilkenny

Andrea Kilkenny has been an animal lover since she was a child. Over the last two decades, she has shared her home with cats and dogs. In addition, foster dogs and foster cats have come to live with Andrea and her own personal pets, gaining basic training, social skills, and/or physically healing from illness or injury.She entered the animal welfare field as a shelter volunteer in 1996, eventually leaving a teaching career and becoming employed full time at a municipal Animal Control facility.

Over the years, she has held several positions including Volunteer Coordinator, Kennel Assistant, Animal Care Technician, Shelter Manager, and Animal Control Officer at shelters in the Midwest, Pacific Northwest, and East Coast. She has helped build volunteer programs and established training and enrichment protocols for the shelters she has worked at, and has served as a consultant for other shelters, rescues, and doggie daycare facilities.

Prior to working in animal welfare, she spent over a decade teaching youth and adults with disabilities in public school, group home, vocational, and clinical settings. She was a certified public school teacher and holds a Masters degree in Special Education. Applied Behavior Analysis was a focus of her graduate and post-graduate studies and research.Andrea has taught basic obedience, puppy kindergarten, agility, flyball, pet therapy, and canine good citizen (CGC) classes across the country. She is a CPDT-KA certified trainer and also a Canine Good Citizen evaluator through the American Kennel Club.

In addition to classes, she has provided in-home consultations and private lessons for clients. She has worked with numerous shelters and rescues, evaluating animals and helping place them for adoption as well as supporting owners after adoption matches are made. Through her classes, consultations, and shelter work, she has worked with literally thousands of dogs and cats over the years, of all breeds and mixed heritage.

Andrea is also a responder with the ASPCA and has worked on several large cruelty cases; she deploys as part of the Behavior Team, working with animals in the temporary housing/shelters after the animals are confiscated.She has been a member of several obedience and dog sport clubs, and is currently a member of the Northeast Staffordshire Bull Terrier Club and the Staffordshire Bull Terrier Club of America. She and her dogs train and actively compete in Obedience, Rally Obedience, Agility, Scentwork, Dock Diving, and Lure Coursing. She and her dogs have earned several titles in multiple dog sports.

Andrea and her dog Rumble were also a pet therapy team registered with the Delta Society (now called Pet Partners) Her dogs have participated in demonstrations at county fairs, college sporting events, prisons, schools and neighborhood centers, and were also featured weekly in a humane education program on Public Access TV. Several of her dogs have been filmed in TV show or commercials, and print ads such as My Crazy Love, Mysteries of the Museum, Sealy Mattress, Barkbox, etc . They have presented on topics such as dog bite prevention, pet adoption, basic pet training, managing multiple pet households, and shelter volunteering.

Andrea was a presenter at the 2017 Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT) conference, and spoke about her work with her rescue dog Finn, and other dogs who were victims of cruelty and their rescue and recovery. Charlie, Page, and Andrea performed an agility demo at the 2017 APDT conference. In 2018 and 2019, Andrea, Charlie, and Maceo performed a FitPAWS and agility demo at the 2018 World Dog Expo, and presented on training topics.

Andrea enjoys working with clients and helping improve the human-pet bond. Working with animals and teaching are her two passions that she has combined into lifelong work.

Certifications: CPDT-KA certified trainer and also a Canine Good Citizen evaluator through the American Kennel Club

Services include:

  • Aggressive dog training
  • Reactive dog training


Grace Heck

Grace is the owner and founder of Hounds of Heck. She started in Agility with her Mixed Breed dog Riley, and now competes with 3 Border Collies (Finnick, Rue, and Ember). Grace's loves getting the opportunity to travel the world and compete with her dogs! Grace and Finnick are the 2022 UKI US Open Masters Series National Champions, and were selected as Alternates for the 2022 WAO Team USA.

Certifications: 2022 UKI Master's Series National Champion, WAO Team USA 2022 Alternate

Services include:

  • Puppy training
  • Agility training

More info about service provided: Good Dog Skills classes (manners, CGC, AKC Star Puppy), Competition Obedience classes, Rally classes, Agility classes, Disc Dog classes, private training in Manners Agility Rally Obedience and Disc, Sport specific seminars, Trials and Events

Behavioral issue focus: We do not perform behavioral training

Training methods: Positive reinforcement based methods. Clients can join one of our group classes or book a private consultation.

Why I became a dog trainer: I became a dog trainer to share my analytical coaching style with fellow agility enthusiasts.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Watching teams grow and master new skills.

My #1 dog training tip: Engagement is the key to success.

Service areas: The Hounds of Heck facility is located in Stockton, NJ. All classes, privates, seminars, and events are held at this location.


Laurie Lyons-Bowen

I have been involved with training dogs for over 40 years. I currently have 5 Border Collie. All have obedience titles and agility titles. I love working with dogs and helping their owners achieve their goals


Services include:

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

More info about service provided: Agility instructor for both fun and competition. Obedience training for Ralky..and CD

Behavioral issue focus: Lack of socialization and structure. Pulling on leash and lunging at digs and people

Training methods: Positive reinforcement positive motivation. Each dog is different. I evaluate then set a plan of action

Why I became a dog trainer: When I got my first 12years old

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Seeing the dogs understand what is being asked of them

My #1 dog training tip: Focus..get your dog to focus on you

Service areas: Monore county..Lehigh valkey..East Stroudsburg Stroudsburg..easton..flanders


Ani Bertot

CPDT-KA dog trainer, Ani Bertot Dog Training LLC, APDT Member, CPD Pet Psychology, KPA Foundations...but my friends call me "treat lady"

Certifications: CCPDT-KA

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: Dog Camp, agility exercises, discdog, treibball, group training, socialization, behavior modification, exposure therapy, social psychology

Behavioral issue focus: social anxiety, play manners, leash etiquette, over-energetic, hyper-awareness, impulse control, sharpness, body awareness

Training methods: I like to curate a balanced group with 100% positive reinforcement training and supervision. My program consists of picking up a small dog pack and taking them to a safe outdoor space where the dogs get to socialize and bond and each pup gets their own individual sport-specific or behavioral conditioning training. I'm a very small company that can personally tailor a client's experience depending on a dogs' natural characteristics, needs, and benefit from the program.

Why I became a dog trainer: Because it feels like my calling and I'm happy to pick up every day.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: I get to laugh. A lot.

My #1 dog training tip: Training never stops!

Service areas: Manhattan, Hoboken, Weehawken, West New York, Long Island City, Hamptons, Upper East Side, Upper West Side, Greenwich Village, Tribeca, Battery Park City, NYC


Laura Harris

Hi! I'm Laura. Thanks for coming to meet me! I have been training and working with animals for 23 years. I started with rehabilitating abused track horses that had come to our barn for rescue and placement. After retiring from working with horses I began to work with dogs.

I have always been focused on positive experiences and outcomes for the animals I train. It is easy for us as humans to see our dog's behavior as an inconvenience to us but what we often fail to notice is that our pup's behavior can tell us a lot about how they are experiencing the world around them. I train by the motto, 'All behavior serves a purpose.' In this way I evaluate the root cause of the behavior and seek to find behaviors that are beneficial to both dog and owner.

I have worked in sheltering designing and implementing behavior modification plans for fearful, under socialized, aroused, reactive, and even aggressive dogs. I am also a member of the Association of Professional Dog trainers and am a Fear Free certified dog trainer. I believe that every dog deserves a chance to succeed in being a member of our families. I can't wait to help you along on that journey!

Certifications: Fear Free Certified

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: Puppy Prep School, Foundations, Behavior Care, and Sports programs. Each lesson is custom tailored to your needs and is done in the comfort of your own home. Puppy Prep School is designed to give your puppy a head start at good manners and basic obedience. This program includes housetraining, proper socialization, manners, and more. Foundations is designed for dogs 1 year and older. We will work on good manners and basic obedience in and out of the home. Behavior care is designed to help dogs with behavior concerns up to and including aggression. Sports include many options such as agility or rally obedience for fun!

Behavioral issue focus: Undersocialization, Fearful Behaviors, Over Arousal, Reactivity, Barrier Frustration, Resource Guarding, Aggression, Bite Histories

Training methods: My training process includes an initial consultation, customized learning or behavior plans, your actual lesson, and detailed notes with your concerns, my observations, and any relevant homework instructions listed for future reference. I use only science backed positive reinforcement methods when working with your pet

Why I became a dog trainer: I became a dog trainer because of two very special dogs in my life. My childhood dog Treasure was truely a real life Lassie. I was fascinated by training with her and she sparked my love for training animals at a very young age. I began to work with behavior care animals because of my dog Bert. Bert is a gunshot victim from North Carolina. When I first adopted him he was terrified and reactive to everyone he saw. I resolved to learn everything I could to help him feel safe, secure, and resillient in our world. This ingnited my now 6 year career in sheltering and behavior.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: My favorite part of being a dog trainer is that feeling of triumph and happiness I get to see between my clients and their dogs when communication clicks. If I could bottle that feeling, I would!

My #1 dog training tip: My number 1 dog training tip is, listen to what your dog is telling you. Often times we're really annoyed by our dog's behaviors. Maybe they're chewing our shoes during the day or maybe they're barking or lunging on the leash, either way our dogs are trying to tell us something. The dog that chews shoes my need more mental stimulation during the day. The dog barking and lunging on the leash is asking for more space from a scary thing. It may seem like our dogs are doing these things to be annoying to us but they're actually telling us what they need. All behavior serves a purpose, we just have to be open to listening.

Service areas: Philadelphia, Southern NJ, Central NJ, Northern NJ


Sniffspot Trenton Top Trainer Frequently Asked Questions

How are Trenton dog trainers selected for this list?

These are the top dog trainers in Trenton 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 Trenton 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 Trenton?

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 Trenton 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 Trenton cost?

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

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

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 New Jersey was $30,666 per year and $14.74 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.

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 New Jersey was $30,666 per year and $14.74 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

May 24, 2023

Dog Trainers

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