The Best Dog Trainers in Arizona of 2022

Welcome to the Arizona Sniffspot top dog trainer list for 2022. This is a list of the top dog trainers in Arizona based on votes from the Sniffspot community and the general public. Over 45,000 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

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 Arizona Dog Trainers in 2022

Sara Miles

I've spent the last fifteen years of my life devoted to helping animals as a professional trainer and behavior specialist. I started out at the San Diego Humane Society, working as the Behavior Center Coordinator until I moved to Phoenix in 2016.I started Smiles Dog Training in 2017 to bring my expertise in training and behavior modification to pet parents of the Phoenix metropolitan area.

As a certified professional, I continue to pursue education and credentials that serve my clients. In 2018, I became a licensed educator for Family Paws Parent Education, a Pet Dog Ambassador Instructor/Assessor, and a Fear-Free certified professional. I also served as Co-Chair for the Education Committee for the Association of Professional Dog Trainers in 2019.In 2018, I also opened PHX Animal Behavior Center with co-owner Carrie Seay, giving Phoenix a place to complete positive reinforcement group classes.

I am so thankful for the gracious community support that helped us win Best of the Valley 2020!When the pandemic hit I refocused my energy into Smiles Dog Training, growing virtual training options for pet parents all over the world! My courses include 7 Habits of Perfect Puppy Parents, DIY Dog Training, Foundations for Fearful Fidos, and Mayhem to Mellow: Helping Your Reactive Dog.

Certifications: CPDT-KA, FFCP, ABCDT, licensed Family Paws educator

Services include:
  • Aggressive dog training
  • In home training
  • Reactive dog training
Behavioral issue focus:

Puppy skill building, growing families with children and dogs, and fear, reactivity, and aggression

Training methods:

Positive reinforcement with commitment to humane and fear-free methods

Service area:

Remote and Arizona: Phoenix, Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, Peoria, Glendale


Mary Price

My name is Mary Price, the owner of MP Dog Training Academy. I have over ten years of dog training experience with puppy training, dog obedience, behavior modification, and introduction to agility and rally. In my journey to become a certified dog trainer, through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT), I have taken a variety of classes to reinforce and build upon my skills to resolve unwanted behaviors, to teach obedience, and dog sports to help dog owners develop a better connection with their dog to enrich their lives.

As a member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT) I am committed to becoming a better trainer through continued education as I strive to continually improve my experience and qualifications. With a tireless dedication to educating dog owners to discover the benefits of basic obedience training, I am paving the way for the owner and dog to build a working relationship that helps them learn new activities or sports as they move from basic obedience to sporting actives.

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


Sam Freeman

Sam is the President and owner of Pet Behavior Solutions. She began her career in animal welfare in 1996, working with pet owners as well as animal welfare organizations, rescues, and animal control agencies. She is the creator of the Core Behavior AssessmentTM which is the behavior evaluation program used by many animal shelters and animal control agencies in Arizona. She is also the owner of EduCare for DogsTM.

Sam served as interim President and CEO of the Arizona Animal Welfare League and SPCA from May of 2006 until October of 2007. Sam Kabbel is certified through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers and has completed specialized education and training in psychology, learning theory, ethology, family counseling, behavior modification techniques, aggression, canine and feline behavior issues, and grief counseling. She is degreed as a Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter and has an Associate in Risk Management and Fraud Claim Law.

Sam is a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers. She has also served as a pet grief counselor for the Companion Animal Association of Arizona. She is experienced in all areas of training and behavior for dogs and cats, though she specializes in temperament disorders and aggression.

Sam continues to develop her professional skills on an on-going basis. She writes and frequently lectures at seminars, conferences, and workshops on animal behavior and animal welfare issues. She has authored many articles for magazines, newsletters, and other publications. She has appeared on local television and in print media and is certified as an expert witness in civil trials regarding animal behavior.

Certifications: National Certification provided through Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers, CPDT, 2001 to present.
American Institute for Property and Liability Underwriters, CPCU, Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter, 1994.
Insurance Institute of America, ARM, Associate in Risk Management, 1995.
American Educational Institute, FCLA, Associate in Fraud Claims Law, 1996.
Specialized education and training in psychology, learning theory, ethology, counseling, behavior modification techniques, aggression, canine and feline behavior issues, and grief counseling.
Attend Arizona Veterinary Medical Association annual conference.
Attend Association of Professional Dog Trainer‚ annual conference.
Attend continuing education seminars and workshops.

Services include:

  • Aggressive dog training


Jason Johnson

Jason is a Professional Dog Trainer with a background as a Law Enforcement K9 Handler and has exceeded 17,000 dog training hours. For upwards of 6 years, he was a member of the National Police Canine Association (NPCA) and the National Police Bloodhound Association (NPBA). During this time, he worked with Patrol Dogs in Narcotic Detection and Suspect Apprehension, and also worked with Human Scent Trailing Bloodhounds for Search and Rescue.Jason is certified as an AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy Trainer & Evaluator and AKC Canine Good Citizen Trainer & Evaluator.

He is also affiliated with the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT). He is committed to providing the most effective, convenient solutions to his client's dog training needs. Jason avidly pursues ongoing continuing education and professional development by attending several seminars a year and keeping current on all industry literature.With his experience as a decoy that specializes in bite building and development, he volunteers his time assisting the Arizona Law Enforcement Canine Association (ALECA) during the Annual Desert Dog Police K9 Trials.

When Jason is not working with clients or volunteering his time he pursues his own passion, training his own dogs to compete in Nose Work competitions.

Certifications: AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy Trainer & Evaluator and AKC Canine Good Citizen Trainer & Evaluator. He is also affiliated with the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT)

Services include:

  • Board and train


Emily Sianez

Hi! My name is Emily and I love to geek out about the science behind animal learning and canine behavior. I developed an interest in training when, as a veterinary technician, I saw so many perfectly healthy dogs relinquished or put to sleep simply for behavior related issues. People were thinking of training way too late! Dog trainers were thought of as last resorts when really, we should be considered when you first get your puppy or adult dog.

My educational background started with a Bachelor's Degree in Tourism Development and Management from Arizona State University. I then earned my Dog Trainer Certification through Animal Behavior College, an internationally recognized school approved by the Bureau for Private Postsecondary and Vocational Education. I am truly passionate in educating people about the importance of early puppy socialization, preventative dog training and positive reinforcement techniques. My goal is to teach owners how to be proactive rather than reactive. I provide practical, common sense dog training for the modern owner and family dog.

When I'm not training, I love camping, whitewater rafting, snowboarding and traveling. I also love finding new, unique restaurants around the valley (recommendations always welcome)!

Certifications: Dog Trainer Certification through Animal Behavior College, an internationally recognized school approved by the Bureau for Private Postsecondary and Vocational Education

Services include:

  • In home training


Emilie Adams

Welcome to Golden Puppies located in West Valley Arizona. We are a breeder specializing in Golden Retrievers and small breed dogs (Yorkshire Terrier, Biewer Terrier). Not only do we love our puppies, we want what is best for the owners as well!

Our dogs are carefully selected and bred to ensure that we are producing quality family members with great temperaments. They are a part of our family and all of of our puppies are raised in our home to make sure they receive as much love and care as possible!

Our goal is to raise happy, healthy, well socialized puppies that make each family very happy.We want to help you find the perfect puppy so ask as many questions as you would like and we will be happy to answer them all!


Sniffspot Arizona Top Trainer Frequently Asked Questions

How are Arizona dog trainers selected for this list?

These are the top dog trainers in Arizona 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 Arizona 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 Arizona?

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 Arizona 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 Arizona cost?

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

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

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 Arizona was $30,275 per year and $14.56 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 Arizona

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