March 29, 2022
Welcome to the Alabama Sniffspot top dog trainer list for 2023. This is a list of the top dog trainers in Alabama 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.
I believe it is vital to keep current with the most modern aspects of dog training and behavior; therefore I am active every day on discussion lists with Professional Dog Trainers, Veterinarians, Certified Pet Behavior Counselors, and other canine professionals worldwide!
Online webinars, seminars etc. are also on my weekly to-do list!
Certifications: NADOI certified, SF/SPCA certification, IAABD Accredited Dog Trainer
More info about service provided: Puppy & Adult Obedience classes, Agility for Fun classes, individual lessons, Home-style dog boarding
Behavioral issue focus: Specializing in early doghood education - new puppies, and new-to-the-family older dogs!
Training methods: I do not use prong collars, e-collars, choke chains or other forms of punitive methods!
Why I became a dog trainer: When I see the "lightbulb" go off in both dogs' and owners' minds... incredible. Now I'm doing that for my career ;-)
My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Connecting owner and dog to form a bonded, friendly relationship.
My #1 dog training tip: training is like a wonderful dance - both have to be happy doing it!
Service areas: Mobile, Fairhope, Daphne, Theodore, Grand Bay, Irvington, Malbis, Spanish Fort
30+ years of dog training and behavior experience ranging from training my own dogs to providing foster care and training to numerous rescue dogs. Thousands of temperament tests performed in shelter settings. Complete dog behavior geek. Having trained dogs using aversive methods in the past (pre 1989) I have successfully continued training and modifying behaviors without them. I continue to maintain and increase my knowledge and education about how dogs and many other species learn and thrive without the use of fear, pain, or intimidation.
Certifications: ACDBC with IAABC (International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants)
More info about service provided: Specializing in manners and properly raising puppies to help owners avoid common issues during growth. I offer a variety of services including private, in-home coaching lessons, board & train, boarding, day training, husbandry/grooming, playdates, field trips in public, mental and physical enrichment guidance, and advanced skills.
Behavioral issue focus: I commonly help owners with their dog's reactivity, resource guarding, separation anxiety & isolation distress, housetraining, crate training, loose leash walking, excessive barking, leash pulling, multiple dog household issues such as fighting, fear, and nuisance behaviors such as digging, destructiveness, and attention-seeking.
Training methods: My services are completely customized to each client. We begin with a consultation which allows me to assess behavior, environment, and get to know my clients (human and canine). From there I determine the changes which need to be made and implement a plan to meet the needs of both my client and their pets. My goal is to provide sensible, simple solutions which reduce stress and make life better in general. Each client is offered the best options for them in regards to homework and resources. I provide emailed support and on-going guidance for my clients. I often consult with clients' veterinarians if a behavior plan requires. Often my clients are relieved that simple changes are all it takes to vastly improve their situation.
Why I became a dog trainer: I became a dog trainer because I am extremely motivated to help dogs and their owners live peaceful and enriching lives together. I am fascinated by canine behavior and how they learn. During my time with rescue groups, I found myself offering free behavior and training advice which led to many people keeping their dogs rather than relinquishing them to rescue or shelters. This motivated me to become certified in behavior and begin offering training and behavior modification services to my community.
My favorite part of being a dog trainer: My favorite part of being a dog training is when clients tell me that they finally have hope for their dog. When they express emotions and feel relief that their dog is going to be okay. When I receive messages from clients bragging about their dog's behavior and thanking me for changing their lives with their pet. The ability to help people and dogs is immensely satisfying and reinforcing!
My #1 dog training tip: Reward behaviors you like! Reinforced behaviors repeat.
Service areas: Serving West Mobile, Theodore, Tillman's Corner, Dawes, Semmes, Bayou La Batre, Grand Bay, and select areas in Mobile County, Alabama
With over 10 years of experience working with animals, and 5+ years in the field of professional dog training, I have trained various breeds of all ages and temperaments. I am certified through the Certification Council of Professional Dog Trainers and a member of the Pet Professional Guild and the Association of Professional Dog Trainers.
More info about service provided: I offer Day training and Boarding and Train. I focus on teaching basic manners and working with fearful dogs.
Behavioral issue focus: I like to work with fearful/ nervous dogs that need help building confidence around people. Usually the focus is on guests in the home or walking on leash. I also work with dogs going through adolescence that pull on leash, jump on people, and younger puppies that are teething or need help with potty training.
Training methods: I am a positive reinforcement trainer and use ethical, science based methods for training dogs. I start all my clients with an initial consultation to assess and discuss their issues to create a custom training plan prior to starting a Day Training or Board and Train program.
Why I became a dog trainer: I started out as a dog trainer at a part time job when I was in college. As I continued working with animals through the years in different fields as a vet tech and zookeeper, I realized my passion was working with dogs and their families.
My favorite part of being a dog trainer: I love studying animal behavior with dog training and figuring out each clients unique situation with their pets. It's not just training a dog, it's work that impacts the entire family and their relationships with their pets. It's brings peace and understanding to each end of the leash.
My #1 dog training tip: Focus on what you want your dog to do, rather than focusing on what they are doing wrong and prevent them from practicing what it is you don't want them to do.
Service areas: Mobile, Theodore, Tillmans Corner
Kirsten is a graduate of St. Mary's College in Maryland with a BA in Sociology and Anthropology. One of her first jobs was with the Montgomery County, Md. Humane Society where part of her duties were to euthanize unwanted companion animals.
Working with the Humane Society began a lifelong journey for Kirsten to educate herself and others in the art and science of training and living with dogs as companions. Beginning her career as a dog trainer over 35 years ago, Kirsten first learned more traditional methods which relied heavily on punishment and the use of equipment such as choke chains and pinch collars.
Kirsten found many problems could not be solved using punishment and coercion and most dogs actually seemed to get worse. Thus her journey began researching and questioning alternative methods for changing behavior and improving the human animal bond. I will continue to spend my life researching and implementing the most up to date humane, scientifically based training techniques to enhance our relationships with our dogs'.
Kirsten belongs to the Association of Professional Dog Trainers, International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants and the Pet Professional guild. She supports initiatives such as SPARCS , The Family Dog Project and Darwin's Dogs. These organizations and the many training and behavior lists she belongs to help to her keep up to date on industry trends while providing her with a valuable network of other professional's as resources in the field of animal behavior.
Kirsten has earned her CPDT , the first international certification for dog trainers in history. She holds a certificate of completion in animal behavior consulting: principles and practices. Kirsten believes in continuing education and has attended many seminars most notably the benchmark in animal training, all 5 Chicken Workshops given by Bob Bailey in 2002 and repeating them again with Bob Bailey and Parvene Farhoody in the summer of 2015.
'The right training makes such a positive difference in the lives of so many dogs and their owners. I feel very fortunate to be a part of their success'.
Abigail is the founder and owner of Roverchase and has been a professional dog trainer for nearly two decades. As one of the most certified dog trainers in the southeastern U.S., she a certified canine behavior consultant, a certified professional dog trainer, and one of just 70 trainers worldwide selected by Victoria Stilwell to hold the prestigious title of Victoria Stilwell Professional Dog Trainer.
Abigail previously has worked as a veterinary technician, professional groomer, and professional pet sitter. When Abigail is not at Roverchase, she can often be found on her small hobby farm in Alabaster and working within the non-profit The Roverchase Foundation.
Certifications: Victoria Stilwell Professional Dog Trainer
Certified Canine Behavior Consultant
Certified Professional Dog Trainer
Licensed Family Paws Parent Educator
Pet Professional Guild Member
Association of Professional Dog Trainers
Pet Sitter International Professional
Pet Professional Guild Member
Service areas: Peltham, Birmingham
How are Alabama dog trainers selected for this list?
These are the top dog trainers in Alabama 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 Alabama 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 Alabama?
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 Alabama 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 Alabama cost?
Alabama 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 Alabama dog trainer. How can I get listed here?
As long as you have a training facility or do in person training in Alabama 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 Alabama?
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 Alabama was $28,523 per year and $13.71 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.
March 29, 2022
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