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The Best Dog Trainers in Denver, CO of 2023

Merlin Noble photo

Merlin Noble

March 19, 2024

Dog Trainers

Welcome to the Denver, CO Sniffspot top dog trainer list for 2023. This is a list of the top dog trainers in Denver 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 Colorado 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 Denver, CO Dog Trainers in 2023

Jamie Flanagan

Jamie Flanagan KPA-CTP, CPDT-KA
Senior Trainer
Our company owner and founder, Jamie began her career training dogs in 2008 and is now one of the most respected dog behavior experts in Colorado.

She is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer and a Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner.

Jamie handles our more significant behavior cases and court-ordered training but her favorite students are tiny dachshunds with huge attitude!

Jamie is passionate about helping people who think their dog is a lost cause or have seen other trainers that have made their dog's behavior worse! A little science goes a long way.

Ongoing education is incredibly important for all our staff, but Jamie says the dogs are her best teachers. Ask her what she has learned from them lately.

Certifications: CPDT-KA, KPA-CTP

Services include:

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

More info about service provided:
Offering on-site private lessons
and boarding at our facility in Broomfield, Colorado
in-home lessons in Boulder & Broomfield counties,
and remote lessons anywhere!

Behavioral issue focus: We specialize in modifying the behavior of
fearful and reactive dogs without the use of force.

Training methods: At Training Wheels, our objective is to streamline the training process, eliminate frustration, and empower both human and dog to work as a connected team. We do this by utilizing humane, reward-based training techniques to achieve our goals rooted in the science of how dogs learn. There's no need to punish your best friend in order to get results - in fact, you can teach your dog that he has a choice to offer those wonderful behaviors you want to see more of!

Why I became a dog trainer: I became a dog trainer because I had very difficult dogs of my own. None of the trainers I met with knew how to help me so I started doing a lot of research on my own. I found a new passion for understanding why dogs behave the way they do and never looked back.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: I am privileged to get to know some wonderful dogs that most people are scared of!

My #1 dog training tip: Pair the scary stuff with treats!!!! It works like magic but it's SCIENCE!

Service areas: Boulder County, Broomfield County

Website: https://www.trainingwheels.dog


Lydia Rakov

Lydia Rakov started her animal journey working in the Animal Welfare field. Over eleven years, she worked with dogs in shelters around the US, including New Jersey, New York, Oregon, and Pennsylvania, in an array of situations, such as emergency evacuations, hoarding conditions, and cases of neglect and dog fighting rings.

She has also been fortunate to work with dogs from Puerto Rico, Mexico, and South Korea. For the past three years, Lydia has been working in Colorado teaching humans and dogs how to have better relationships with one another and learn how to communicate. She specializes in puppies and serious behavior cases.

Lydia loves teaching both dogs and humans and believes that learning should be enjoyable and informative for both parties. She is a firm believer in dog individuality and force-free/ fear-free training.She is a CPDT-KA certified trainer as of 2020, and is currently working towards her CBCC.

Certifications: CPDT-KA

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: I provide all types of training for dogs, but specialize in puppies and aggressive dogs. I teach obedience classes from basic through advanced CGC, and teach puppy socialization classes as well. I also teach reactive classes for dogs who struggle with their environment, and work privately with dogs involved in court cases. Two days a week I do day training for dogs that are sensitive to the 'daycare' environment, to help work on proper social skills and learning in a group setting.

Behavioral issue focus: I work with a lot of shy/fearful dogs, and dogs that struggle with intense reactivity to people or other animals including Stranger Danger dogs, and inter-household aggression.

I also work with a lot of puppies and teaching household management strategies, and good manners.

Training methods: I like to start with an Evaluation, to meet the dog in their environment and speak with the owners directly about the behavior issues that they are seeing. Then, we together come up with an individualized plan that meets the owners goals and sets realistic expectations for the dog to achieve.

I believe in positive, force-free, fear-free methods for teaching dogs, and showing them how to make good choices to get the rewards they are seeking. Each dog is an individual, and I believe in making training plans that are unique to every dog and their situation to help them be successful.

Why I became a dog trainer: I started working with dogs in a time in my life where everything seemed very dark, and dogs were the only thing that brought in the light and seemed to make sense. I started off volunteering in my local animal shelters and was there so often that I was offered a job. I started off as a dog walker, but quickly grew to love learning about dog behavior and training.

After a few years, and working with several different shelters, I became a member of the Behavior Team, and started working with the difficult dog cases that came through. Behavior consulting and training quickly followed, and I moved into the private training sector to work with households and individuals. I have been teaching training classes for four years, and I find great joy in watching dogs and humans find more effective ways to communicate with one another!

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: I love watching a dog’s confidence build, and seeing that moment of understanding between a dog and person. Watching a dog transform into their best possible self is a truly magical moment that cannot be described, but is the best feeling in the world!

My #1 dog training tip: Dog training should be fun! If you are not having fun, neither is your dog! It should be enjoyable for both parties.

Service areas: Denver Metro Area, Boulder, and surrounding CO areas

Website: https://www.GoodDogDyno.com


Kari Bastyr

I have been working as a professional dog trainer for 30 years, and received my Master's Degree in Animal Behavior in 1995. I specialize on dogs who have bite histories or are a bite risk, fearful and shy dogs, leash reactivity, and puppy training.

Certifications: BS and MS in Animal Behavior, CDBC, Certified Pet Nutrition Specialist, VSPDT

Services include:

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

Why I became a dog trainer: It's what I went to school for.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Working with people and helping them understand their dogs.

My #1 dog training tip: Focus on what you want your dog to do rather than what you don’t want them to do.

Service areas: Minneapolis and the western suburbs

Website:  https://www.wagandtrain.com


Rachel Harris

Rachel is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer with 11 years of experience training and living with dogs of all ages, breeds and temperaments. No matter your dogs age, breed or temperament, Rachel can help you understand how to get the most out of your relationship with your dog.

During her career she says "I've been privileged to work with families and dogs that have taught me about the power of the human/canine bond". Rachel has cultivated a skill set of meeting families where they are at and customizing the training to their needs and lifestyle. Rachel specializes in dogs who display reactive and aggressive behaviors, puppy raising and adventure dog training.

Certifications: CPDT-KA

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: Puppy Raising, Behavior Modification, Off leash reliability

Behavioral issue focus: Aggression, Reactivity, Over Arousal

Training methods: Behavior Consultations, LIMA

Why I became a dog trainer: To improve and enhance the human/canine bond

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Connecting with amazing dog guardians and seeing them greatly improve the way they connect and communicate with their dogs.

My #1 dog training tip: Training is a journey not a fixed point in time, enjoy it.

Service areas: North Denver, Westminster, Arvada, Broomfield, Thornton

Website: https://www.agoodfeelingdogtraining.com


Chrissy Messick

I have a passion for and much experience assisting in the healing of others, as well as a deep-rooted love for animals. My dream for many years was to combine the two - I am honored to offer my experience and passion to you and your animal companion so you may both enjoy an integrated, mutually beneficial, respectful, and loving relationship together. By educating the human and training the animal through positive reinforcement and the science of applied animal behavior, together, we can create an environment for both that is full of understanding, knowledge, trust, respect and love.

Working from a holistic point of view, I look at the whole animal to see what their needs are on a physical, mental, emotional and soul level. Understanding each of these needs creates a foundation to build upon to ultimately reach the desired goal(s)/purpose for the animal and human.

I received my Masters of Science from Indiana University in Kinesiology with a major in Athletic Training, and my Bachelors of Science in Physical Education with a major in Athletic Training from Washington State University. For 15 years I provided medical care for the athletes at the University of Washington. During that time, I was also on the medical staff and traveled with many USA teams,
including the USA Women's Soccer team for the 2000 Summer Olympic Games in Australia and the USA Women's Basketball team for the 2004 Summer Olympic Games in Greece.

When I'm not working with animals, I love spending time with my husband (Kevin), 2 girls (Rylee & Kensie) and Ginger.

Certifications: MS, CTC, CPDT-KA

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: In-person or virtual training for reactivity, fear, aggression, basic manners/obedience, advanced obedience, puppy training, relationship building, animal communication, resource guarding

Behavioral issue focus: Reactivity, fear/anxiety, aggression, resource guarding and general everyday unwanted behaviors.

Training methods: A 20min informational call is scheduled to see if we are a good fit, we pick a program that works for them, prepayment and dates are scheduled. Initial appointment is gather info and then a training plan is made. Each appointment consists of education/exercises and homework and builds on the previous session. Once we are done with the package, one-off sessions are scheduled if needed. I can be reached in between sessions if there are questions. My approach is force - free and we go at the human's and animal's pace. I DO NOT use any type of aversive training. The goal is to build a trusting relationship between human/animal.

Why I became a dog trainer: I have a passion for and much experience assisting in the healing of others, as well as a deep-rooted love for animals. My dream for many years was to combine the two - I am honored to offer my experience and passion to you and your animal companion so you may both enjoy an integrated, mutually beneficial, respectful, and loving relationship together.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Seeing the strength and understanding of the relationship grow between the human and animal.

My #1 dog training tip: Above all else, have fun with your animal and make sure they feel safe and happy.

Service areas: Boulder County and surrounding areas - Lafayette, Louisville, Erie, Boulder, Superior, Longmont, Broomfield, Nederland, Jamestown, Ward.

Website: https://www.theanimalnature.com/


Cassie Sorensen

Hi! My name is Cassie and I've been training the animals of Denver since 2016. I have my bachelors degree in Zoology and Animal Behavior. I began my career at the Downtown Aquarium determined to take care of marine life. I began as a volunteer and was working my way up the ladder when I got a job offer from the Denver Zoo.

Being fresh and eager to advance my career I took the job and became a trainer. However while I was there something just felt off. I spent the next couple years getting trained at animal clinics and working various jobs trying to find the right path. A friend of mine then reached out about training questions for her new puppy and everything began to click. I left the exotic animal world behind, picked up my clicker and training treats and stepped into my new role as a dog trainer and I haven't looked back!

Certifications: B.S. Animal Behavior and Zoology

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: I provide one on one in home training to help you and your dogs reach their goals! I teach basic manners courses for puppies and adult dogs, reactivity, day training, and trail training!

Behavioral issue focus: I often work with dogs who are dealing with reactivity - on leash, in the house, in the car, etc. I work one on one with you and your dog to build a training plan that will assist them moving through this behavior challenge in the best way to help them live a calmer, more comfortable life.

Training methods: I base all of my training on a positive reinforcement reinforcement model with the least intrusive ways to train. I always begin with a consultation to see what your goals are for your dog and what you are currently dealing with. This time helps me to get to know you and make sure I am the best fit for your needs. From there I create a training plan around those needs based off single sessions on a weekly basis.

Why I became a dog trainer:

I believe that owning a pet is an amazing and rewarding experience, but also a responsibility, not a luxury. Training your pets properly will lead you to a greater understanding of your dog and build a life long trusting relationship and it's a reason why I became a dog trainer in the first place.

I firmly believe in the owner-pet relationship being one of mutual understanding and respect! My goal as a trainer is to help my clients find the best way of communicating with their pets to further that relationship.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: So many things! I love meeting new dogs and people, I adore working with puppies, and I love the day to day activities of training. The thing I love the most though is when I am working one on one with clients and get to see how excited they are when they are noticing progress and finally feeling like they are able to communicate with their pets. It's such a great feeling bridging that gap.

My #1 dog training tip: Don't ignore reinforcement.

It can be hard to separate what treats are in our mind from what they are to dogs. And I know it can feel like you are giving your dog this endless supply of extra food each day but they are such a great tool in teaching our dogs what they are doing correctly as well as have the ability to change the emotional response around certain situations.

Service areas: North Metro Denver, Westminster, Broomfield, Thornton, Brighton, Central Park


Lisa Ullery Gallegos

My name is Lisa Gallegos, and I've been professionally dog training since 2014. My passion is helping people and their dogs learn to communicate effectively and improve their bond through R+ training.

Certifications: CPDT-KA, Catch Academy Mentor, CGC evaluator, ATD certified therapy dog team

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: Dog Daycare/Training, board & trains (In home), service dog training, therapy dog training prep, puppy training, day training, CGC prep, leash reactivity, and basic manners

Behavioral issue focus: I work with dogs who pull/react towards other dogs, jumping/counter surfing, excitement, stranger danger, and more!

Training methods: I always start with a Behavior consult, and then we work through each goal as the human client fills out a 'pawgress tracker' to monitor any patterns in training.

Why I became a dog trainer: My first dog training experience was being on a famous (aversive) TV trainers puppy training DVD. After I found out his methods were actually making my dog worse, I discovered the world of positive reinforcement and never turned back!

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: I love that there are endless learning opportunities and the amazing community of trainers who also value continuing education! Also, by having a solid understanding of dog behavior, this knowledge has helped my human relationships as well.

My #1 dog training tip: Always look at WHY your dog is doing a behavior (versus just the behavior itself). For example, training your dog to stop 'barking' can vary depending on WHY your dog is barking. Are they barking due to a scary noise? To get out of a crate? Or to get your attention? All of these training plans would look very different so it's important to look deeper than just the behavior itself.

Service areas: North Denver, Arvada, Westminster, Wheat Ridge

Website: https://collabdogtraining.com


Misty Deal

I am a mother to a type 1 diabetic. We needed an alert dog, I started my journey to dog training to help my own child. As I learned and grew, I found my passion, I enjoyed watching the dogs change. I attended Catch Canine Academy to learn more. I am currently enrolled at Unity College with a goal of getting my PhD in animal behavior. I love everything I do with dogs.

Certifications: CCPdt, aggression/fear dog trainer, force free

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: We provide private in-home lessons in obedience and behavior modification. We offer weekly, bi-weekly, and day train packages.

Behavioral issue focus: I work with dogs that are suffering from over-threshold, fear, fear/aggression, separation anxiety, generalized anxiety.

Training methods: We use desensitization protocols, counter conditioning methods, each client has a training plan, we do consultations with each client and work together with them to harmonize their lives

Why I became a dog trainer: To help my type 1 diabetic daughter. Then I realized my life's passion.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Watching the dogs and handlers change and grow in their homes.

My #1 dog training tip: Consistency. Start small work consistently to realize results

Service areas: All of the Denver metro, castle rock, brighton

Website: https://gooddogsstay.com


Blythe Bouchard (Neer)

Hi! I'm Blythe. I am a multi-certified dog trainer specializing in service dogs, scent detection, and behavior modification. My favorite clients to work with are those who are excited to work with their dog every day, love to know all of the information and why behind the exercises, and want to learn as much as they can about their dogs. My client base is primarily service dog handlers and pet guardians in the neurodivergent, disabled, or LGBTQIA community. I am also disabled and neurodivergent, so I love to help those like me overcome their barriers to dog training.

Certifications: IAABC-ADT, CPDT-KA, CCUI, ANWI, FFCT, CTDI

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: I specialize in behavior modification for reactivity, aggression, resource guarding, and separation anxiety. I also specialize in service dog training and more specifically scent detection tasks. I primarily train via zoom remotely in order to help dog guardians worldwide. I have a low cost membership for those who need a little support but don't need full one on one training.

Behavioral issue focus: Reactivity (fear or excitement), Aggression, Resource Guarding, Separation Anxiety, Pulling on Lead, Barking, Growling, General Fear and Anxiety

Training methods: My methods would be best described as force free. The tools I use are non-restrictive harnesses, leashes, clickers, treats, and flat collars. My membership community is open all the time and is a small monthly fee for access to all of my online courses, live calls, and daily q and a. I also offer one on one private training. This starts with an application, then a behavior evaluation so I can get to know you and your dog, then a custom training plan for your situation. These can be conducted in person or remotely via zoom anywhere.

Why I became a dog trainer: I became a dog trainer after becoming disabled and learning to train my own service dog. It was an incredible experience, and I've always loved animals. I love to teach and share what I learn, so training dog guardians was the next best step for me. I noticed gaps in the industry for those of us who are disabled, neurodivergent, or LGBTQIA, so I wanted to provide a solution for those like me.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: My favorite part of being a dog trainer is watching dog guardians learn just how incredible their dog really is and how individual each dog's personality is as well. I love watching the relationships grow and the guardians leaving me with the tools to solve any behavior struggle on their own. They leave empowered, and it's really awesome to watch.

My #1 dog training tip: Meet your dogs' needs. Whether they are a pet, service dog, or working dog, all dogs have dog-like needs. In order to experience success in training, all of these needs must be met first. This is the biggest thing I see missing in my client dogs when first working with me.

Service areas: Loveland, CO, Greeley, CO, Fort Collins, CO, Kersey, CO, Ault, CO, Eaton, CO

Website: https://www.deltatails.com


Amanda Sanchez

I have worked in many facilities/companies that offered daycare, boarding, grooming, and training. I initially started my education with a veterinary assistant program, and quickly noticed that there were many correlations between behavior and medical needs.

After completing my veterinary assistant program, I changed my focus to training and behavior in dogs. I also have rescued and rehabilitated quite a few dogs that I eventually adopted as I knew they would need someone who could focus on helping them live a fulfilled life. Several of these dogs I have adopted came to me with pretty intense trauma.

I soon grew a passion for helping such dogs become acclimated to their new lives. I care about the dog's overall well being and want to do what I can as a professional to help support other families who have adopted dogs with similar backgrounds.

Certifications: Veterinary assistant, obedience and training, k9 first aid and CPR

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: Focused on a real world training program to address owner's/dog's needs and help translate to be successful at home and in real world situations; we work on an array of training tasks and needs.

Behavioral issue focus: Separation anxiety, fearfulness, reactivity towards people and other animals, helping prepare dogs to enter new environments such at vet offices or grooming facilities.

Training methods: I base my training plans off each household's individual needs and finding the best, positive-based process that the dog is most receptive to.

Why I became a dog trainer: Dogs have always been a passion of mine. I want to be able to help dogs lead happy and fulfilling lives by helping the dogs and their families address any unwanted behaviors while continuing to support the dog's boundaries and needs. Advocating for dogs it extremely important to me and my work as a trainer.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: All of the wonderful dogs and people I have the pleasure of working with. I adore each dog, just as much as I do my own. It always makes me extremely happy when I can gain the trust and start a trusting relationship with a dog who may take a bit longer to warm up to new people.

My #1 dog training tip: Creative problem solving! Just because something works for others doesn't always mean that it will work for your dog, having creative problem solving skills can be very beneficial in these situations and finding ways to help the dog be successful.

Service areas: Denver metro region

Website: https://www.padfootpets.com/


Keecia Reid

My name is Keecia Reid I have been an R+ trainer for a little over 7 years and absolutely love what I do and I wouldn't change it for the world. I am the owner of Proper Paws Dog Training LLC my facility is located at 7679 W 88th Ave., Arvada 80005. Proper Paws Dog Training was awarded "Arvada's Best Dog Trainer 2022" at the end of last year. I am the only employee for my company but we will be expanding in the foreseeable future.

I work closely with a few rescue groups. I work with the dogs that are looking for homes that might have a few issues that are keeping them from getting adopted. I also work with the dogs that are newly adopted and already in their forever homes.

Training dogs and their humans is the most rewarding thing I have ever done. I breath, eat, sleep etc.. dog training (you could say I am a tiny bit obsessed lol)
I share my home with two American Pitbull Terriers. My female Pitty Is named Azi she just turned 7 years old and my male Diesel who just turned 5 years old.

Certifications: AKC CGC, AKC URBAN CGC, AKC TRICK DOG EVALUATOR, 2022 Recipient of Arvada's Best Dog Trainer, Canine First aid and CPR

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: beginning and intermediate obedience, day training, puppy socialization, reactive dog programs, exposure training, puppy board and train, potty training, kennel training, loose leash walking, we offer custom training plans as well, we offer in home privates and we have a facility at 7679 W 88th Ave., Arvada, CO 80005

Behavioral issue focus: dog to dog reactivity, dog to human reactivity, fear, resource guarding from humans and dogs, dogs who pull on leash, over excitement, jumping up on people, counter surfing, anxiety, leash reactivity, dogs who hate to have nails trimmed, have a bath, get brushed, ears cleaned... adult and puppy potty training, fear of being kenneled, barrier frustration and much much more.

Training methods: Positive reinforcement, fear free, force free. We offer group and private programs for beginning obedience, intermediate obedience, reactivity, puppy socialization classes, puppy board and train, custom training plans etc...

Why I became a dog trainer: Because I love helping dogs and their humans better understand each other and when they understand each other the deeper relationship between dog and human is formed.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: After a couple sessions with a dog /human pair it is beautiful to watch the human grow into a super confident
and very competent handler in turn brining confidence to their dog. It is a great thing to watch!!!

My #1 dog training tip: You get out of it what you put into it!!
Will it be easy? Probably not. But it will definitely be worth it!

Service areas: Jefferson County, Adams County, Denver County, Arapahoe County...

Website: https://properpawsdogtraining.com


Stephanie Folkman

My goal is to use my unique background and set of skills to improve your life with your animals by helping you create relationships built on trust, communication and understanding. While also helping you reach your training goals!

I love working with all different types of breeds and their people but I particularly love my herding and working dogs! I also have a soft spot for working with households that have multiple species, I am passionate about showing people that cats and dogs can truly live together in peace and happiness!

Certifications: KPA-CTP & ABC

Services include:

  • Reactive dog training
  • Puppy training

More info about service provided: In person training, reactivity training, cooperative care training, remote training

Behavioral issue focus: Reactivity

Training methods: Initial get to know you consults, training plan, training package

Why I became a dog trainer: To help better the lives of dogs by creating better communication & understanding between dogs & their people

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: When a new behavior "clicks" for the dog & person together!

My #1 dog training tip: Make it fun

Service areas: South Denver Metro, Littleton, Centennial, Highlands Ranch

Website: https://www.agoodfeelingdogtraining.com/


Linda Aaron

Denver Dog Trainers Thomas and Linda Aaron are the owners of FetchMasters. Tom is a certified dog trainer through both Animal Behavior College and the Certification Council of Professional Dog Trainer (CCPDT).

Linda instructed canine and equine massage therapy for the Rocky Mountain School of Animal Acupressure and Massage before leaving that job to continue supporting the growth and success of FetchMasters Dog Training. She also is a certified dog trainer through CCPDT.

Both Tom and Linda specialize in high-performance obedience and off-leash reliability in high distraction environments, as well as behavior modification for a number of dog behavior problems.

Tom grew up in West Virginia and was introduced to the dog world by his father who raised and trained hunting hounds. He spent his early years hunting for small game in the mountains of West Virginia with a dog known as a 'bench-legged feist'.

Linda grew up in New Mexico, competing in junior rodeos and spending countless hours in the barn and pasture with her horse and faithful cattle dog who watched over their family's livestock.

Tom spent several years in the military and tech industry and badly needed a change of pace. When they found a Labrador Retriever puppy in the high desert near Alamosa, Colorado, Linda suggested that Tom train the pup for bird hunting as a way to get outdoors more.

However, the puppy was fearful and could not withstand the harsher methods used by traditional gun dog trainers. So, Tom began researhing ways to train the dog using positive reinforcement methods. This decision led to their researching the capabilities of positive training methods in high distraction environments on thousands of pet dogs and hunting dogs in Colorado, which quickly built their reputations as the go-to trainers for off-leash reliability in and around Denver.

Their knowledge has culminated in the formation of the region's only Positive Gun Dog Training Program, the nationally known Positive Gun Dog Association, and being featured on the blog of Victoria Stillwell (host of Animal Planets ‚'It's Me or the Dog').

When not training dogs, Tom and Linda travel nationwide giving workshops designed to teach hunting dog owners and other dog industry professionals how to train high-drive dogs without the use of shock collars, choke chains or other aversive techniques or devices

Certifications: Certified dog trainer through CCPDT

Services include:

  • Aggressive dog training
  • Board and train
  • In home training
  • Off leash training

Website: https://fetchmasters.com/


Kat Salcedo

Kat has had a strong passion for dogs since she was a little girl. Before she could read, all she wanted were books with pictures of dogs. Kat loves to study dogs, their behaviors, and breeds. With the help of books, podcasts, videos, and her own dedication, she helped build up her pup's (Kyle's) confidence and now he's a wonderful little member of society. Her enthusiasm for training her own pup gave her the inspiration to help other dogs stay in their forever homes.

This NYC girl started her career with dog handling and dog walking and has been training Denver dogs for 3 years. Kat avidly pursues her ongoing continuing education and professional development by attending several seminars and keeping current on industry practices. Kat's favorite kind of pup to train is the one at the end of the leash!!

Prior to her career in training, Kat worked as an executive assistant, caring for clients' finances and homes. She uses that experience as our Pet Services Manager to give the best support to your home and your pets. Kat's mission is to not only help dogs cope with their new environments, but to teach dog owners how to communicate with their furry friend! "I teach people how to speak dog."

Services include:

  • Puppy training

Website: https://www.padfootpets.com/


Eric Gillaspy

I love helping dogs understand their humans better. I want every single one of my clients to have an amazing relationship with their pet. Having a special bond with a pet is an amazing experience that I want every one of my clients to have. I look forward to helping you have the best life possible with your furry best friend.
Eric's dog training career started in Seattle, Washington at the Academy of Canine Behavior.

There, he specialized in working with aggressive dogs. Simultaneously, he taught classes at Downtown Dog Lounge and was the head trainer at Pit Bull Rescue.

Eric moved to Colorado in 2004 and became a Certified Professional Dog Trainer in 2006. Eric became a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant in 2022. For the past 15 years, he was the head trainer at Lone Tree Vet. There, he built and ran a wide variety of behavior services including Boarding School and Playcamp, ran AKC STAR puppy classes and Canine Good Citizen evaluations, and provided private lessons both in home and at the facility.

His written work has been featured on Petfinders, Petocracy, and Good Dogs Rule.

In his freetime he loves to spend time with his wife Karen and dogs Lulu, Knuckles, and Kitty. He is in his element in the mountains or on a river, especially if he's on a snowboard or kayak.

Certifications: CDBC, CPDT-KA, AKC-CGC Evaluator

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: Classes, Behavior Modification, Aggression

Behavioral issue focus: I work mostly with aggressive dogs and teach classes

Training methods: We use evidence based, positive methods for behavior modification and training

Why I became a dog trainer: I love dogs and teaching people to live their best lives with their dogs.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Helping people live the best lives they can with their dogs.

My #1 dog training tip: Go Slow. Understand your dog.

Service areas: Denver and surrounding area

Website: https://www.behaviorvets.com/


Ana Melara

Ana Melara has been working with dogs and their families for over two decades, originally in N.Y.C. and since 2001 here in Colorado.

She is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer and member of the (APDT) Association of Professional Dog Trainers and a member of (IAABC) International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants. She is TAGteach Advanced Certified. (This means that she's also very good at teaching people.)

She keeps herself current by attending and hosting various workshops, seminars and conferences. Her training techniques are founded on praise-based, dog-friendly and people-friendly methods, and a fundamental belief that, as dog guardians, we are responsible for their well-being and training. Whether she is teaching basic manners, puppy house-training or addressing a dog's aggression issues, Ana emphasises to all of her human clients the profound importance that their gentle guidance and loving leadership plays in their dog's training.

Ana lives in Lakewood with her daughter and her two amazing dogs. Chaka, her 7 year old, brilliant, silly, crazy-pants trick dog and her youngest infant son; 5 year old Baldr, a sweet, baby Malinois/GSD X who has self appointed himself as the family therapist who drags around his queen sized woobie.

Ana can be reached by emailing Ana@GraceDog.com, or calling 303-238-DOGS(3647).

Certifications: CPDT-KA

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: basic manners, polite leash walking, potty training, coming when called, aggression management...

Behavioral issue focus: aggression, fear, over arousal...

Training methods: I train with praise-based, gentle methods. I see dogs and their people in person and virtually.

Why I became a dog trainer: I was put on this planet to help dogs to stay in their homes and to help homeless dogs to get a good home.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: I love helping dogs to be more lovingly understood.

My #1 dog training tip: Start training as soon as you get your dog or puppy.

Service areas: Denver Metro

Website: https://gracedog.com/


Tyler Parsons

My name is Tyler Parsons. I am a transplant to Colorado from Kansas. While growing up, I lived in a house with four German Shepherd dogs. I live with my wife and two dogs, a lab/shepherd mix named Karma and a Harley shapard husky mix.

I have worked with dogs professionally for 15 years. Starting as the lead trainer for the Kansas Humane Society, where I would lead classes such as puppy and basic manners. I also assisted with reactive dog classes and was a Canine Good Citizen evaluator during my time.

After working for the Kansas Humane Society, I was the owner and lead trainer of Outside the Box Pet Solutions. I provided services such as private consultations and worked to find unique solutions for individuals who live with disabilities to build bonds with their pets.

Since moving to Colorado, I have worked Humane Society of Boulder Valley and started Padfoot Per Services with Kat Salcedo in 2019. I am working on getting my CBATI -ka, and IAABC

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: We focus on Pets joining the world with their owners, Real-world applications and Providing regular socialization, With a focus on Fearful, shy, and reactive dogs.

Behavioral issue focus: Fear, Reactive behavior, Human aggression, B.A.T., and genal anxiety and socialization.

Training methods: Membership is where a trainer comes and offers support on a weekly basis and supportive care. Reactive group class and in-home private training.

Why I became a dog trainer: I love making an impact in the home and working as an EMT gave me the ability to help families in hard situations.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Being able to step away and know that the families are closer and have better empathy for each other.

My #1 dog training tip: Less is more and take the opportunities that are in front of you. and forgive yourself for the ones you miss.

Service areas: Denver, Arvada, Golden, Westminster, Thornton, Northglenn

Website: https://www.padfootpets.com


Megan Danitz

Certifications: IAABC - ADT

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: Obedience and behavior modification.

Behavioral issue focus: Reactivity, fear/anxiety, manners

Training methods: Free consultations.

Service areas: Highlands ranch, lone tree, littleton

Website: https://www.fullpawtential.com


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Sniffspot Denver Top Trainer Frequently Asked Questions

How are Denver dog trainers selected for this list?

These are the top dog trainers in Denver 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 Denver 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 Denver?

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 Denver 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 Denver cost?

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

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

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 Colorado was $35,180 per year and $16.91 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.


See TheSee The Best Dog Trainers In Other Colorado Cities

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

Colorado Springs, CO
Fort Collins, CO


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See The Best Dog Trainers In Other States Near Colorado

Arizona
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Merlin Noble

March 19, 2024

Dog Trainers

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