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The Best Dog Trainers in Michigan of 2023

Merlin Noble photo

Merlin Noble

May 23, 2023

Dog Trainers

Welcome to the Michigan Sniffspot top dog trainer list for 2023. This is a list of the top dog trainers in Michigan 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. 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 compiled 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 100% 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 Michigan Dog Trainers in 2023

Dagny Kaspar

I'm Dagny! I've been a scientist from day one, and graduated from MSU with a BS in Genetics. Along the way, I met my mentor and discovered that dog training is a perfect blend of my two passions: dogs and science. Thus began my dog training career. I've learned from and practiced with experts in the field. I've studied (and will continue to study) the science behind canine behavior, evolution, and learning because I am so passionate about the topic.

I never expected to do this as a profession, but after years of other people asking me to help them with their dogs, I finally created The Pals Canine Academy (named after my childhood dog, Pal) in an effort to improve the lives of people and their dogs. I've been helping families around my community for almost 5 years now. This is what I was meant to do!

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: The bulk of my work is in-home private lessons as these continue to be the most effective. I also offer lessons hosted at my local dog training center, classes on occasion, virtual consultations, a complete virtual dog training beginner's course, and board-and-train services.

I have also made some instructional YouTube videos, created one podcast episode (so far) about the science of dogs, spoken on the local radio about dog training, and been featured on our local pet store's Facebook page for training advice. As far as what I teach, I mainly work on manners, focus, recall, potty training, in-public behavior, listening skills (actually doing what their person asks of them), and making sure dogs are well-integrated into their families and know what is expected of them.

Most of my work is either solving relationship issues between people and their dogs that result in problem behaviors or socialization work to address reactivity. I am passionate about helping people understand their dogs better, and vice versa. I also have taught classes focusing on puppy, beginner, intermediate, and agility for confidence and fun! But the class I love teaching the most is one I invented called "Social Skills" and we focus on dog-dog interactions and socialization.

Behavioral issue focus: Most of the behavioral issues I see are jumping up, demanding behavior, destructive behavior, pottying in the house, ignoring recall, separation anxiety, lack of impulse control, reactivity, pulling on the leash, chasing the household cats, not getting along with other dogs in the household, digging, eating things off the ground, and lack of confidence.

Training methods: My process always starts with an introductory behavior consultation during which we discuss all questions, all problem behaviors, history, training goals, and first steps. I email various resources after the consultation to support the training plan. Moving forward, I usually see clients every 2 or 3 weeks for a couple months to check in on training progress, make sure everything is going according to plan, and adjust anything that needs changing.

For my methods, I focus on positive reinforcement for desired behaviors and addressing the dog's emotional needs. We always start with a lot of treats and emotional rewards (puppy parties, as I like to call them) and then after a while, the behaviors we reward become habit and the dogs WANT to listen to us because they want to please us. I leverage the dog's natural tendencies to make big changes in their behavior in a way that makes sense to them. I make sure to explain to the humans not just how we are going to make changes but why these methods work. We go into the science of behavior and break things down into understandable concepts. I never use shock collars, prong collars, harsh corrections, "dominance techniques", or violence of any kind because it's inhumane and simply not necessary. Our dogs have a natural need to be with us and be loved by us and that requires trust. Using violence destroys that trust and leaves the dog in a state of self-preservation, which is not only wrong but dangerous. My methods always prioritize preserving the trust between people and their dogs.

Why I became a dog trainer: I became a dog trainer because I can see all around me dogs trying to communicate with their humans, humans misunderstanding their dog's intentions, and tense relationships between humans and their dogs because of these misunderstandings and communication failures. Our dogs just want to love and be loved but they all have different needs and none of them are born with the ability to understand our language, customs, or expectations. I wanted to help people see their dogs for who they are so they could understand each other better. I believe the strongest relationships in life are built on clear, effective communication. Our relationships with our dogs are no different.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: My favorite part of my job is watching the relationship between humans and their dogs grow and blossom. The dogs gain confidence and show more of their personalities. The humans start to hear what their dogs are trying to tell them. The humans also start gaining confidence and are able to solve problems as they arise because they understand their dog's motivations. Watching a dog and human form a language between the two of them and start working together is the most beautiful thing to behold. There are no other animals in the world quite like dogs and fostering that relationship is a uniquely rewarding experience that I wouldn't trade for the world.

My #1 dog training tip: Don't assume that you know your dog's motivation! We have a strong tendency to project our own feelings and quirks onto our dogs. This is almost always detrimental to the relationship because if we're not seeing the real problem, we're not able to fix it. If you think your dog is doing something to make you mad, to get back at you, or out of jealousy, you're probably heading down the wrong path.

Service areas: Lansing, East Lansing, St Joseph, Dewitt, Mason, Charlotte, Grand Ledge, Haslett, Okemos, Bath, Williamston, Perry, Owosso, Eagle

Website: https://palscanineacademy.com


Jenn Gavin

Jenn Gavin, CPDT-KA, FPPE is the owner and founding trainer at A Pleasant Dog. She has been rescuing and training dogs for over twenty-five years. For the last ten years, Jenn has focused her practice on anxious and aggressive animals, and has become one of the most trusted trainers working with aggressive animals in our state. Jenn works extensively with veterinarians and veterinary behaviorists.

Jenn is passionate about learning and sharing what she has learned. She presents frequently to the training and veterinary communities. She has conducted research in animal behavior, and that research has been selected for presentation at the Veterinary Behavior Symposium by the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists. Jenn has also been an invited speaker before the West Michigan Veterinary Medical Association, The American College of Veterinary Behaviorists, The Science of Animal Behavior Conference, West Michigan Therapy Dogs, and others.

She has spoken on a variety of topics including "Helping Fearful & Aggressive Animals - It Takes A Village", with Kathy Sdao and Dr. Jill Sackman, DACVB; "Risky Business - Assessing and Managing Risk in Aggression Cases"; "How to Choose A Trainer" with Dr. Jill Sackman, DACVB; "Covid Puppies"; and "Body Language and Therapy Dogs" and more.

Jenn is a licensed Family Paws Parent Educator! She adores working with families and their dogs.

Certifications: CPDT-KA, FPPE

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: We provide at A Pleasant Dog private, group, and day training for everything from puppy kindergarten through advanced sport skills. Our trainers are recognized experts in behavior for anxious and aggressive dog. We also provide continuing education to the veterinary and training communities ; and conduct research in behavior and training to better the lives of people and their animals.

Behavioral issue focus: Obedience and manners, Separation anxiety, fear aggression, sensory processing disorders, resource guarding aggression, conflict aggression, interdog aggression, stereotypy, high arousal behaviors.

Training methods: We use positive reinforcement. Our private training, consultations and behavior consultations involve an initial history taking process through which we develop management and training plans, taking into account the client's goals and priorities for their dogs. When necessary, we are comfortable and frequently worked with veterinarians in veterinary behaviorists as needed.

Why I became a dog trainer: I came to training through rescue 28 years ago, but dogs have always been my passion. I started using positive reinforcement with my dog when I was ten years old.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Helping people understand their dogs so they can improve their lives and enrich the human animal bond.

My #1 dog training tip: Start by addressing your dog's underlying feelings about something before jumping to training obedience.

Service areas: Grand Rapids, Holland, Muskegon, Cadillac, Baldwin, Ludington; Kent County, Ottawa County.

Website: https://apleasantdog.com


Jean Carew

Force Free Trainer Jean Carew spends her time living her passion; teaching dogs and their owners how to develop better relationships through training. She trains in both private and group class settings at all levels. Jean is passionate about all dogs but has a soft spot in her heart for those that are fearful or aggressive. As a result, she co-developed one of the area's most successful reactive dog class programs.

Jean is an Associate Certified Dog Behavior Counselor member in good standing with IAABC and a member of the PPG (Professional Pet Guild). For the past several years, Jean was the owner of Sit Stay Swim, an indoor swim-fitness and training facility in Garden City, MI. While there, she taught owners and their dogs the benefits of warm water swim therapy and relationship-building. She now makes her training home at Lucky Dog Too dog training in Garden City, MI.

Certifications: ABC-DT, ACBDC

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: Jean Carew spends her time living her passion; teaching dogs and their owners how to develop better relationships through training. She trains manners and behavior modification in both private and group class settings at all levels. Jean is passionate about all dogs but has a soft spot in her heart for those that are fearful or aggressive. As a result, she co-developed one of the area's most successful reactive dog class programs.

Behavioral issue focus: I provide dog behavior modification programs for integration issues in new homes, puppy problem-solving ( house training, biting, jumping), Adult-dog issues (reactivity, resource guarding, fear shut down, fear aggression).

Training methods: I do training consultations and behavior planning sessions both in-home and in our facility. We use Force Free methods to train. We use no force, fear, or intimidation to train behaviors of any kind.

Why I became a dog trainer: My lifelong passion for animal welfare and an ongoing desire to help dogs and their people develop better communication and understanding of the other's respective needs seemed a perfect fit for my career choice.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: I love watching the light bulb go on in a dog's eyes when they realize they have a choice in making the next thing happen. It's magical.

My #1 dog training tip: If you like a behavior reinforce it. It will likely happen again. Reinforce it. See it. Like it. Reinforce again. repeat.....

Service areas: South East Michigan

Website: https://www.luckydoggardencity.com


Christine Fox

Wag n Tails creator Christine Fox has over 20 years of experience loving, training, and working with dogs. She has translated her life's work into bite-size pieces that help dog lovers everywhere.

Wag n Tails goes beyond dog training. Through our methods and approach, we promise an increase in love, abundance, patience, and mindfulness when it comes to understanding your pet. We believe pet ownership is one of the most rewarding, special, and educational opportunities that a human can experience.

Certifications: CCPDT-KA, AKC Evaluator

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: Our mission is to use education and mindfulness to help pet parents strengthen their bond with their dogs while creating a calmer and more peaceful home environment along with giving back to the community. Services include: Online resources and education along with in person coaching. Examples include: Reaching goals, Confidence building for pet and parent, Group Yoga with dogs, Canine Good Citizen Classes encouraging therapy dog prep and Education Courses for Pro Groomers and Trainers.

Behavioral issue focus: Aggression, fear and anxiety with grooming. Common behavior problems include: barking, lunging, jumping up, house soiling

Training methods: We are a force-free organization following the LIMA (Least Invasive Minimally Aversive) methodologies. It's imperative that our clients are organized and somewhat technical as all of our resources, tracking and scheduling capabilities are handled digitally. Online lessons are performed via Zoom or Google Meets and homework and tracking sheets are emailed through our pet portal.

Why I became a dog trainer: I became a dog trainer so that I could be a dog teacher. Through teaching dogs I connect with their people, and this is how I'm able to build a bond of communication based on connection for families to prevent and treat behavior problems.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Speaking for dogs to their people!

My #1 dog training tip: Listen with your eyes - dogs do speak to those who know how to listen. Understanding body language is key!

Service areas: Macomb, Oakland, Hamilton

Website: https://wagntails.net/why-wag/


Laura Maihofer

I'm Laura Maihofer, a certified canine behavior consultant and a veterinary technician assistant with a Bachelors in Zoology. I have been training dogs since 2015 and take joy in constantly furthering my education in training and behavior.

I utilize cooperative, relationship-focused training to help people build positive and happy partnerships with their pets. My goal is to help people live peacefully with their pets, and help them provide their pets with the best care possible and fulfill their species-specific needs. I have a special interest in cooperative care and consent training to prepare dogs and cats for veterinary procedures and exams.

Outside of training, I enjoy playing with my dog and two cats, hiking, board games, Dungeons and Dragons, video games, and reading.

Certifications:

CPDT-KA
CBCC-KA

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: Basic manners classes, puppy preschool, private in-home and virtual training, cooperative care training for vetting and grooming

Behavioral issue focus: Socialization, adolescence, aggression prevention, handling sensitivities, anxiety, and reactivity

Training methods: Force-free, cooperative training
Private training starts with an in-depth behavior history followed by a management, training, and enrichment plan designed specifically for the individual dog

Why I became a dog trainer: I have always loved dogs, and after living with a dog who struggled with reactivity, I became passionate about helping dogs like him overcome their fears and live happy, healthy lives.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: My favorite part of being a dog trainer is seeing the relationship between people and their dogs grow and watching the dogs become more confident and comfortable in their lives.

My #1 dog training tip: Listen to what your dog is trying to communicate.

Service areas: Washtenaw County, Southfield, Virtual

Website: https://www.cooperativecreatures.com


Becky Kamp

Since becoming a certified dog trainer in 2012, I have worked with many types of dogs, different breeds, temperaments and lifestyles.

I can relate to dog owners who have behavioral issues in their home. I have a Beagle/Spaniel mix that loves to challenge me every day. I believe that all dogs and their owners are individual, and your training should be tailored to fit you and your dog.

Certifications: ABCDT

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: Obedience training, group classes (puppy & adult), trick class, loose leash class, day training, potty training, distraction training, reactive training, crate training, confidence boosting training, and in home behavior training

Behavioral issue focus: Dogs that are fear, resource guarding, pulling on the leash, door dashing and reactivity.

Training methods: Positive Reinforcement, force free, science based trainer. Private or studio consultations, homework sheets and handouts.

Why I became a dog trainer: I had a jack Russell growing up and I always wanted to understand his behaviors and see what I could of done to improve him. I want to teach people about dogs needs and behaviors so they can understand what is not being meant with their dog. I aim to keep each dog I work with out of the shelter

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: I enjoying meeting new people and of course meeting all the dogs the world has.

My #1 dog training tip: Meet your dogs needs. Practice and have patience

Service areas: Sterling Heights, Rochester Hills, Auburn Hills, Shelby Twp, Macomb, St. Clair Shores, Chesterfield, New Balitmore, Warren, Roseville, Madison Heights, Clawson, Maybee, Cadillac, Grosse Pointe Woods, Detroit, West Bloomfield, Bloomfield Hills, Farmington, Berkley, etc...

Website: https://www.wolfpackdt.com


Rose Adler

I am a Certified Professional Dog Trainer who services clients remotely as well as in person in the Ann Arbor area of Michigan.

My passion for dog training started in my early 20s with my first reactive dog - my first dog, in fact. When other training methods damaged our relationship, I started shadowing reinforcement based trainers in the area and at last found safety and compassion where I needed it.

I have since become a trainer myself, after (co) starting a non-profit organization for deaf and blind dogs where we aimed to put an end to the stigma surrounding impaired dogs. Here I found my true passion, unlocking the relationship between humans and their 'different' or 'untrainable' dogs.

My goal with humans as well as pets, is compassion, mindfulness, and education.

Certifications: CPDT-KA, CTDI

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: Basic training, house manners, leash walking, off leash skills, deaf dog training, blind dog training, boarding, etc.

Behavioral issue focus: I commonly work with impaired (deaf/blind dogs, as well as unimpaired dogs) on a variety of issues including basic obedience, tricks, loose leash walking, reactivity, house manners, muzzle training, learning to settle, obsessive behaviors, and general stress reduction.

Training methods: I focus on meeting a dog's needs, and modifying behavior through managing the dog's environment and reinforcing desirable behaviors. My goals are compassion, kindness, research, and continued education.

Why I became a dog trainer: I became a dog trainer when I realized the impact I can make in someone's life, and in their dogs' lives. Dog training is my own enrichment, and there is something so special about helping people connect with their pets in a way they never thought possible.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: My favorite part of being a dog trainer is that 'ah-ha!' moment that dog guardians feel when they and their dogs understand each other in a new way.

My #1 dog training tip: My #1 dog training tip is to value where you want value. Examine your dog's reinforcement history, especially with you.

Service areas: Washtenaw County


Jane Wolff

Jane Wolff specializes in treating separation anxiety and is a Certified Separation Anxiety Trainer (CSAT). She also graduated with honors from The Academy for Dog Trainers (CTC), is certified through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers as a Certified Professional Dog Trainer - Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA) and is Fear Free Certified. She has been working with dogs professionally since 2014 and loves working with dogs and their people

Certifications: CPDT-KA, CTC, CSAT, FFCP

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: I primarily specialize in separation anxiety but I also love working on getting dogs comfortable with grooming and vet care and fearful dogs generally

Behavioral issue focus: I primarily work with fear and anxiety and specifically separation anxiety

Training methods: I do behavior consultations that follow up with daily written training plans and management plans when necessary. I use only force free training methods and do not scare or hurt dogs to train them

Why I became a dog trainer: Because I wanted to help people have a great life with their dogs

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: The dogs of course but also the people! I truly enjoy getting to know and working with my clients

My #1 dog training tip: If you like it, pay it! Rewarding dogs for stuff you like will make it more likely in the future

Service areas: Ypsilanti and surrounding area, remote nation wide

Website: https://www.goodwolff.com


Roz Granitz

Roz Granitz B.A., M.Ed., C.T.D.I. has shared her entire life with dogs. Her first dog, as an adult, was an Old English Sheepdog who was very rambunctious and in need of training. Through a friend she learned about obedience training. Roz and Hari signed up for an obedience class and they both were hooked.

Since that time Roz's training techniques have evolved from one of compulsion to one of compassion. Learning and applying the methods of positive motivational training have brought success in and out of the show ring. All three of Roz's Old English Sheepdogs earned many obedience titles. Early in the 1990s Roz learned of 'a new sport' Dog Agility.

At the same time Roz had added two Australian Shepherds (Kanga & Brava) to her family. As she stepped into the agility show arena, Roz continued to also show her dogs in Obedience. Both Kanga and Brava achieved the highest titles in AKC and ASCA obedience with Brava being ranked the number two obedience dog in Canada. As Roz continued to show her dogs (Coffee, Speed-Oh! and Eureka!) she continued to have success at local and National events.

Roz has been invited to National Specialties in both obedience and agility where she has earned national acclaim and ranking. Her dog Coffee was ranked number two open obedience dog in the USA and was a top ten finalist at the National All Star Dog Invitational event. Not only is Roz a competitive trainer, she is also a gifted teacher. She earned a Master of Education degree from Wayne State University and spent many years teaching high school English composition and literature.

She is a proud member of the Pet Professional Guild, a professional member of APDT, and is both a certified APDT C.L.A.S.S.instructor and evaluator. She is a AKC CGC & Puppy Star evaluator, an AKC Trick Dog Evaluator, Fit Dog Instructor, ACT Judge and a CTDT (Certified Trick Dog Trainer) and Certified Evaluator. Roz is continually learning new techniques and teaching methods by attending seminars, webinars and classes. She continues to be both a student and teacher. Roz is the owner of My Hero Dog Training

Certifications: CTDI

Services include:

  • Aggressive dog training
  • Deaf dog training
  • Reactive dog training
  • Service dog training
  • Off leash training

Website: https://www.myherodogtraining.com


Laura Witkowski

Laura Witkowski is a graduate of the esteemed Academy for Dog Trainers (CTC) and certified through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers as a Certified Professional Dog Trainer - Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA) and a Certified Separation Anxiety Trainer (CSAT).

Laura is Fear Free Certified and has a particular interest in helping dogs with body handling and fear-related behavior issues. She especially loves working with dogs adopted from area shelters. When she's not working with dogs, you can catch her doing stand up comedy.

Certifications: CTC, CSAT, CPDT-KA

Service areas: Ypsilanti MI

Website: https://www.goodwolff.com/


Sarah Fox

Sarah Fox M.A. SHRM-CP is a dog trainer, retired dog sledder, and business professional with over two decades of experience and knowledge working with dogs and people.

At Adventures With My Dogs, we use scientifically proven and modern positive reinforcement dog training methods for behavior change that creates a higher quality of life for you and your dog.

Sarah specializes in outdoor adventures with dogs including hiking, backpacking, camping, and dog sledding.

Services include:

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

More info about service provided:

I create tailored training packages to best meet your dog’s needs. Some of my areas of focus include:

Reactivity and fear
Leash behaviors
Outdoor basics and advanced
Puppy training and socializing
Recall and focus
Outdoor sports: bikejoring, skijoring, camping, hiking
High energy dogs
General Enrichment
Crate Training

Behavioral issue focus: Sarah commonly works with reactive and fearful dogs. She also specializes in leash behavior and outdoor dog sports.

Training methods: Sarah provides behavioral consultations and individual training plans to best meet the dog guardian and dog’s needs.

During a 2 hour VIP Session, we will identify the foundational reasons behind your dog's behavior, and establish a plan that will eliminate this behavior as quickly and permanently as possible so that you can regain control and tranquility in your life. This session eliminates the need for ongoing lessons that can be time-consuming and difficult to fit into your life. This VIP Session is great for clients that are extremely busy and have a dog training need that can be addressed quickly with the help of expert guidance and strategies. After your VIP session, I am available for virtual consultation follow-ups and questions as needed.

Why I became a dog trainer: I've worked with dogs my whole life, starting at just 5 years old and raising a team of dogs for competitive dog sledding. As dog ownership continued to grow in popularity I saw a need to teach dog guardians tools to build their relationship so both dog and human can have a meaningful connection and life together. I specifically work with people who have an interest in outdoor dog sports so their dogs can come with them on their many adventures.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: I love helping people grow their relationship with their dog and create environments where their dog is not just a pet, but a family member and strong companion.

My #1 dog training tip: You can never over-reward good behaviors. Don't be stingy with the treats!

Service areas: Metro Detroit

Website: https://www.adventureswithmydogs.com


Delores Carter

Delores is the founder of The Learning Dog Academy in Whitmore Lake, Michigan. She's a certified professional dog trainer (Karen Pryor Academy). Learning is a lifestyle for her (and her pups). Delores earned a certificate in Applied Animal Behavior (University of Washington), completed a certificate in Aggression in Dogs, and maintains certification as a fear-free trainer.

Delores loves working with people and their pups. She's witnessed the joy that canine companions bring into people's lives. She's also seen how misunderstanding and miscommunication lead to unhappiness for both person and pet. As a Family Dog Mediator, her goal is to help people and their pets learn to enjoy their lives together.

Certifications: KPT-CTP, UW-AAB, FDM

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: Puppy, Adolescent, Loose Leash Walking & Recall group classes, Puppy Group Play, Fun & Fitness group classes (Weaves & Wobbles, Rally, Nosework, Parkour & Tricks), Doggie Zen for reactive dogs; In-home training, Day training

Behavioral issue focus: Behavior modification program for dogs with impulsivity, fear, anxiety, reactivity, and aggression. AARF! Support group for people living with Aggressive, Anxious, Reactive or Fearful dogs

Training methods: Whether teaching a group class, working with a private client, or doing behavior modification, my goal is to help people and pets live their best lives together. After meeting a client, I'll create a training or behavior plan that addresses the concerns of the client and the needs of the dog.

Why I became a dog trainer: I love my work as a dog trainer. Helping people and their dogs develop a special bond is the best part of the job!

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Seeing people and their dogs really enjoy spending time together, having fun, and being silly!

My #1 dog training tip: Enjoy your dog just for being themself - let them sniff, let them wander, and enjoy the adventure!

Service areas: Livingston and Washtenaw counties

Website: https://www.TheLearningDogAcademy.com


Jacqueline Drake

Jacqueline is a current graduate student with Virginia Tech completing her Masters in Applied Animal Behavior and Welfare! She completed her undergrad studies at Eastern Michigan University where she was a research student under Dr. Jamie Cornelius studying bird behavior, and physiology.

Jacqueline received her certification in Canine Emotion and Cognition from Duke University, and is pet CPR certified. She is working toward becoming an Associate Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist (ACAAB). Other certifications include: CPDT-KA, and Fear Free Animal Trainer.

Jacqueline has worked with numerous rescue/non-profit organizations including Animal Rescue Coalition, Villalobos Rescue Center, Detroit Bully Corps, Allforkarma, Humane Society of Livingston, MI Lab Rescue, Stiggys Dogs, DogAide, Blue Star Service Dogs, and Bark Nation. She has a strong background in working with rescue animals who suffer from fear-based aggression/anxiety. Jacqueline has been a foster, and now 'foster-failure' for Last Day Dog Rescue, and that is where her current rescue dog, Porter, came from.

Aside from her rescue work, Jacqueline has been fortunate enough to work in the medical field of animal welfare as well, first working for Countryside Veterinary Hospital for almost three years as a receptionist fielding urgent calls, and assisting the veterinarians/technicians with holding/soothing animals during procedures. She then worked as a technician during the vaccine clinic days for the public at the Humane Society of Livingston, and eventually at Oakland Veterinary Referral Services as a technician assistant in the ER. Because of this,

Jacqueline has strong insight on common medical problems that can lead to behavioral issues which allows her to better assist her clients and their dogs.
Jacqueline has been a professional dog trainer since the launch of her business in March of 2014, and has worked in the field of animal welfare since November of 2012. She is a force-free trainer offering services in the southeast Michigan area. All breeds, sizes, and ages are welcome!

Certifications:

Fear Free
MS in Applied Animal Behavior and Welfare (in progress)
IAABC CDBC (in progress)
previous CPDT-KA

Services include:

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

More info about service provided:

Day Training
In-home Private Lessons
Virtual Lessons

Behavioral issue focus: Aggression, Reactivity, Fears, Phobias, Vet prep (cooperative care), Basics

Training methods:

Science-based training
Consultations
Lessons

Why I became a dog trainer: My first adopted dog Puma has severe fears and phobias, and is the face of my business and inspiration behind what I do!

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Creating a team between clients and their dogs.

My #1 dog training tip: Patience!

Service areas: Pinckney, Dexter, Chelsea, Howell, Brighton, South Lyon, Gregory, Whitmore Lake

Website: https://trainingbyjacqueline.com


Diana Waserman

I've lived in Eagan for about 3.5 years and have been training since October of 2011 when I graduated from the Animal Behavior College (California). I did my internships with MARS (Midwest Animal Rescue) & Animal Ark. I am additionally certified in training reactive and aggressive dogs focused on getting reactive and aggressive dogs rehomed out of shelters.

I am also certified in canine massage. I have a 4-year-old German Shepherd mix that is a rescue from a neglect situation. He was reactive and aggressive and we have created a solid program for him in which he's happy, healthy, confident and comfortable.

Certifications: ABC certified, positive reinforcement certified, ABC reactive and aggressive training certified, ABC certified in canine massage.

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: In home training; I come to you. I've practiced in puppy training, basic commands, reactive dogs, service dog training, ESA training using positive reinforcement training utilizing conditioned and unconditioned reinforcers. I utilize treat training specifically keeping in mind calorie count based on dog weight, I worked in the veterinary industry for many years and am skilled in proper feeding by breed and weight. I have additional certification in training reactive and aggressive dogs. I can help you and your dog learn basic commands such as sit, stay, come, leave it, down, shake, fetch and many more. I can also help you fix common canine behavioral problems, such as: inappropriate elimination/potty training, separation anxiety, barking, chewing,j umping, nipping, digging, humping, chasing, begging, consuming feces (Coprophagia - the leading spread of bacteria and parasites among dogs).

Behavioral issue focus: Things that I've encountered and overcome in my time working with people and animals are: digging, coprophagia (eating poo), barking, pulling, loose leash walking, defecating in home/potty training, recall, front door manners and so much more.

Training methods: Consultations are free of charge via zoom where we can discuss and see if we are good fit. My training plan is generally 9 to 11 weeks with six training sessions breaking in between for at home practice with you and your dog. At the consultation, we will discuss core issues and current practices and at the first session I will explain how I've designed the training program based on those issues.

Why I became a dog trainer: I love dogs and want dogs and people to live in happy symbiosis. My motto is "everything is fixable" meaning you might not be able to train every dog out of every behavior but it's up to us human parents to adjust our thinking habits to build our dogs up to being confident, brave and successful.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: I love seeing dogs being successful and happy and seeing their human parents more relaxed and able to really understand the language of their canine companion.

My #1 dog training tip: Consistency.

Service areas: Twin Cities Metro, Minnesota or remote anywhere in the continental US.

Website: https://www.facebook.com/PawsitivePoochDogTraining


Angela Schmorrow

Angela loves helping owners better understand their dogs using force-free methods and positive reinforcement that make training enjoyable for both people and dogs. She has a particular passion for helping dogs overcome fear, anxiety, and reactivity. Angela is a Certified Shelter Behavior Professional, a Karen-Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner, and a Certified Professional Dog Trainer.

Certifications: CSB-D (IAABC), KPA-CTP, 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-home behavior consultation and training, group classes (puppy, adult dog, reactive dog classes)

Behavioral issue focus: Reactivity, aggression, resource guarding, fear/anxiety, body handling sensitivity, puppy raising, basic manners training.

Training methods: Humane hierarchy (Least intrusive, minimally aversive), positive reinforcement trainers.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Helping people understand and enjoy their dogs more.

Service areas: Ann Arbor and surrounding areas (Ypsilanti, Saline, Dexter, South Lyon, Plymouth, Canton, Whitmore Lake)

Website: https://harmonyk9.com


Kate Wilson

Kate is our Director of Training at K9 Turbo Training and is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA) as well a Certified Behavior Consultant (CBCC-KA) through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers. Kate has her Bachelors of Science from Michigan State University with a focus in Applied Animal Behavior and Neurobiology. She trains both dogs and exotic animals.

Kate has had a lifelong passion of observing and studying animal behavior. As the lead trainer at the Creature Conservancy in Ann Arbor, Kate also trains and works with various exotics including cougars, coyotes, alligators, sloths, warthogs, kangaroos, and porcupines.

With a strong focus on improving the lives of the animals in her care, she works tirelessly to provide constant enrichment, allow the animals ample opportunities to practice natural behaviors, and provide them with training to allow for low-stress vetting and handling experiences. Previously, Kate worked as an educator in math and zoology, and has traveled around the world observing animals in their natural environments. Now, with K9 Turbo, she helps ensure that every trainer on the team is educated to the highest level, is up-to-date on current research, and is following our company's strict code of ethics. Kate also runs and presents for our community education lectures and seminars. Additional certifications/associations include: Pet CPR and First Aide certified

Certifications: Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA) as well a Certified Behavior Consultant (CBCC-KA) through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers
Pet CPR and First Aide certified

Services include:

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

Website: https://www.k9turbotraining.com/


Kj Johnson

While new to dogs, KJ Johnson has an extensive background in training exotic animals. We have loved working with her in a variety of ways over the years, and are so thrilled to have her transition over to helping dogs and their people.

Certifications: CPDT-KA

Services include:

  • Off leash training

Service areas: Ferndale, MI

Website: https://k9turbotraining.com/


Nancy vonKoehnen

I've been training dogs for over 50 years always learning about the sports I train and compete in. I've been training people to train their dogs for over 40 years. I've been competing in dog sports for over 40 years. I've been learning from the world's top trainers for most all of those years using the most current, up to date training methods.

More info about service provided: Freestyle (tricks and obedience choreographed to music), Rally, Rally Free (Rally with trick signs), Nosework

Training methods: All training is fun with lots of rewards helping dog know when they are right whether nosework or rally or other - I have learned from top trainers around the world and share my knowledge in classes I continue my education continually to keep up to date on the best practices. I compete so know personally about the sports I teach

Why I became a dog trainer: I love having fun with my dogs. I love sharing the information I've learned with students

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: My favorite part with my own dogs is learning about what motivates my dogs as well as the actual training and competition. Why I train others: Sharing the success of my students whether at home or in competition.

My #1 dog training tip: 2 tips: look for the good and catch your dog doing something right! ALSO little bits of training thru a day provides big rewards toward your goal

Service areas: Oakland and surrounding counties

Website: [email protected]


Abby Knue

Abby comes to K9 Turbo Training with an eclectic bag of experience. Abby was a Kindergarten teacher in a Montessori setting for 18 years before becoming the Education Director at The Creature Conservancy in Ann Arbor. It was there that she was introduced to positive reinforcement training and was hooked! If you can train a warthog to calmly rest its chin in your hand while its tusks are dremeled, the possibilities seemed endless! It is now a passion of hers to pursue and explore the newest science based information in animal behavior and to be able to promote a force-free philosophy through education.

Abby has always had a love for animals having grown up with dogs and horses. As a teacher her greatest joy was being able to help struggling students by observing their strengths and weaknesses and preparing their learning environment to meet their needs and set them up for success. She has found this same joy in helping dogs and their people build relationships based in trust and respect and to help domestic and captive animals have their best life possible.

Additional certifications/associations include: Pet CPR and First Aide certified

Certifications: Certified Professional Dog Trainer, Pet CPR and First Aide certified

Services include:

  • Aggressive dog training
  • Board and train
  • Reactive dog training

Website: https://www.k9turbotraining.com/


Dianna Heverly

I am a licensed veterinary technician with a passion for dog training. I have been training dogs in some form for over 20 years. I compete in IGP/schutzhund, agility, and rally. I love incorporating enrichment into the daily lives of dogs I am working with. I believe it is important to address the overall well-being of the dog when addressing problem behaviors.

Certifications: Licensed Veterinary Technician, Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner, Certified Fear Free-Veterinary, Certified Professional Dog Trainer-Knowledge Assessed.

Services include:

  • Board and train
  • In home training
  • Puppy training

More info about service provided:

Puppy foundations including socialization, crate training, housebreaking, leash manners, and recalls.
Board and train geared towards basic obedience, confidence building, and enrichment.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: My favorite part of being a dog trainer is enriching the live of the dog and providing owners with the skills and knowledge to do the same.

Service areas: Oakland County, West Bloomfield, Commerce Twp, White Lake

Website: https://www.k9-fundamentals.com/


Rebecca Lane

Rebecca started as a kennel attendant, veterinary assistant, and daycare attendant at Union Lake Pet Services in 2011 and has been a part of the Union Lake training team since 2012. She continues to immerse herself further into the training and behavior world and is especially excited about working with dogs with behavioral problems like anxiety and aggression.

She enjoys working with dogs of all ages and sizes, but her main passion is working with dogs with behavioral issues involving fear and aggression to develop ways of resolving those behaviors. Her passion for dogs with behavioral problems is fueled by her own quirky Jack Russell Terrier. With Leo being her first dog, she quickly sought out the advice and expertise of Union Lake's training team and veterinary staff for help. After working with her own dog and seeing how many other owners dealt with issues similar to her own, she started learning more and more about dogs with behavioral problems.

Rebecca is a Karen Pryor Academy (KPA) Certified Training Partner and an AKC-Canine Good Citizen Evaluator. In 2017, Rebecca also became certified through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers as a Certified Professional Dog Trainer.

Rebecca currently runs our behavior training department which includes the following services: Quirky K9s classes, private in-home, and private in-facility behavior modification, and drop-off training services. She takes pride in using positive training techniques that are based on modern scientific studies and that are completely force free to reduce the fear and anxiety of dogs in these programs. Her personal goal in any of these programs is to improve the quality of life for the dog and therefore improve the quality of life of the owner.

Certifications: KPA-CTP, CPDT-KPA

Services include:

  • Board and train
  • Puppy training
  • Agility training

Website: https://unionlakepetservices.com/


Laura Perkins

Laura Perkins has a lifetime of hands-on experience working with dogs and a masters of science in behavior analysis.

Laura's passion is teaching people to solve the behavior problems they have with their pets using positive, science-based training techniques.

In her free time, she practices agility, obedience, and nosework training with her 2 dogs.

Certifications: CPDT-KA, Master of Science in Behavior Analysis

Services include:

  • Reactive dog training
  • Puppy training

More info about service provided: I offer training for basic household behaviors, leash walking, reactivity, minor aggression cases and sports for fun (nosework, agility)

Behavioral issue focus: Leash reactivity, resource guarding, dog-dog interactions, jumping, pulling, fear of people/dogs

Training methods: I use R+ (positive reinforcement) methods and follow LIMA/Humane hierarchy in all cases. To me, this means starting with medical needs and environmental arrangement and then using R+ to teach any needed behaviors. I include a lesson summary and handouts for each session.

Why I became a dog trainer: I loe helping people to better understand and enjoy their dogs. My favorite thing is to see a dog/person team enjoy their time together.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: I love when clients want to understand their dog better and teach their dog with kind approaches.

My #1 dog training tip: Change your own behavior to change your dog's behavior.

Service areas: Chelsea, Dexter, Jackson, Ann Arbor, MI

Website: https://lauraperkinsanimalbehavior.com/


Kalie Wiser

We offer a holistic approach to dog training that will help owners and their dogs reach their full potential.

Certifications: BSW, CPDT-KA

Services include:

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

Service areas: Washtenaw County, Southwest Detroit, Virtual training worldwide

Website: https://wiserdogs.com


Meghan Smith

Meghan is our Lead Dog Trainer here at Mighty Pet. Meghan holds the distinction of Certified Professional Dog Trainer-Knowledge Assessed*, the only trainer in the greater Marinette-Menominee area having attained this certification.

In addition to having her 'CPDT-KA', Meghan is also a graduate of Micheal Shikashio's Aggression In Dogs master course and a licensed Veterinary Technician.

Meghan joined Mighty Pet in 2017 to help build the training program and teaches group classes on basic obedience, Rally Obedience, AKC Canine Good Citizen test, therapy dog training, and nosework. Meghan also offers private training and behavior modification services conducted at Mighty Pet or in the clients home. Through the training program, Meghan helps pet parents develop their dog into a welcome member of the family by understanding the unique needs of each client and their dog. By using the least invasive, minimally aversive methods possible, Meghan develops a structured, yet flexible training plan, utilizing modern learning theory and training techniques.

In addition to classes and private training, Meghan also holds workshops on a variety of topics such as Polite Leash Walking, Holiday Management, Place Training, and more.

Meghan lives on a small farm with her husband, their dogs, Lark, Fe & Willie. As well as three cats, numerous pheasants, pigeons, chickens, and turkeys. Outside of work, she enjoys upland hunting with her dogs, running canicross (dog powered cross country running), bikejoring (dog powered mountain biking), conducting therapy dog visits, and large game recovery with tracking dogs.

Certifications: CPDT-KA

Services include:

  • Puppy training
  • Obedience training
  • Day training

Service areas: Menominee Michigan and Marinette Wisconsin

Website: https://www.mightypet.net/


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Sniffspot Michigan Top Trainer Frequently Asked Questions

How are Michigan dog trainers selected for this list?

These are the top dog trainers in Michigan 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 Michigan 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 Michigan?

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 Michigan 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 Michigan cost?

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

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

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 Michigan was $32,963 per year and $15.85 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 The Best Dog Trainers By City In Michigan

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

Ann Arbor, MI
Detroit, MI
Flint, MI
Traverse City, MI


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See The Best Dog Trainers In Other States Near Michigan

Indiana
Ohio
Wisconsin

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Merlin Noble

May 23, 2023

Dog Trainers

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