The Best Dog Trainers in Arkansas of 2022

Welcome to the Arkansas Sniffspot top dog trainer list for 2022. This is a list of the top dog trainers in Arkansas 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 Arkansas Dog Trainers in 2022

Elizabeth Silverstein

I didn't have any natural ability with dogs. I didn't end up with a challenging dog that set me on the path to dog training. I just always loved animals, and I wanted that sort of spiritual connection people in books and movies seemed to have with their dog or horse. I wasn't like them, however, and instead I pursued my other love of writing as a career.

I got my dog, Jeeves in 2012, and started training with him. Then in 2016, I gave dog walking a chance after I moved to New Jersey. It reminded me how much I just enjoyed animals. In 2017, I found a paid opportunity to become a dog trainer on a southern New Jersey farm. I was quickly promoted to communications coordinator and Farm Camp manager. It was a sink or swim sort of environment that taught me a massive amount about dog behavior, since we primarily handled and trained dogs with behavioral issues while using positive reinforcement methods.

In less than a year, I was eligible to become certified through the Certification Council of Professional Dog Trainers, and I passed the exam in October of 2020. The strenuous 250-question exam also required 300 hours of hands-on dog training.When I moved to Little Rock in 2018, I quickly started volunteering with local rescues. I tried working for some local dog businesses, but I started Telltail Dog Training because I saw a need for force-free, positive reinforcement training that focused on communication, while catering to the busy individual who might need evening and weekend opportunities.

Certifications: CPDT-KA (certified professional dog trainer, knowledge assessed)

Services include:

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


Shanthi Steddum

Shanthi Steddum B.S., KPA-CTP, CCPDT-KAShanthi is a Certified Training Partner of the Karen Pryor Academy for Animal Behavior and Training (since 2015). She also received her Knowledge Assessed certification by the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers in 2019.

She began training her own dogs in 1996 with her Doberman "Niko". It was through her ten years with him that she learned to listen to her dogs by observing their body language. That knowledge, along with her positive reinforcement training, quickly gained her recognition around the local dog park as well as the obedience club she was attending. In 2004, she took over teaching the Basic Obedience class using play and training to strengthen the bond between dog and human.

Using fun and easy techniques, Shanthi has helped countless dogs stay in their home by learning how to be a well mannered member of the family.

Certifications: CCPDT-KA,KPA-CTP

Services include:

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


Denise Holmes

Over the course of my 25 years of pet training in Northwest Arkansas, I've seen it all. From aggressive dogs that others recommended for euthanasia to dogs that owners didn't realize were deaf, I've rarely found people with pet problems. Instead, I usually discover pets with people problems. In these situations, successful communication is key; I help pets and people understand each others' languages.

My education and experience reflect my passion for socialization and effective communication and contribute greatly to my abilities to help people get the most out of their relationships with their pets.I have a Bachelor of Science in microbiology and a minor in psychology from the University of Arkansas. I've actively applied this knowledge to help further the health and well being of both people and animals through my work to establish successful animal-assisted therapy programs and to train volunteers throughout the state.

As a consultant for Arkansas Children's Hospital, in 2001 I helped bring about their very first animal-assisted therapy visits and develop the T.A.I.L.S. (Therapeutic Animal Interventions Lift Spirits) program. My work has been published by the Child Life Council in Bulletin, and I contributed to Pet Partners‘ first book educating visiting animal teams on interactions with hospitalized children. I became a Pet Partner visiting animal team with my St. Bernard in 1994 and I'm also a trained team evaluator.In addition to being a professional pet trainer, I have also served the Northwest Arkansas community by helping to develop visiting animal programs at many facilities.

In 2002, I created Sit. Stay. Read!, the first animal-enhanced reading program at the Fayetteville Public Library, and BARK (Behavior and Respect through K-9s) at the Washington County Juvenile Detention Center for which I received the Arkansas Juvenile Detention Center Association's Volunteer of the Year Award.I served for more than five years on the Washington County Sheriff's Office Search and Rescue Team as both a dog handler and a field searcher, and for two years I was the training specialist on the area's first pet program, All Pets Considered, aired on Jones Television Network.After witnessing my clients' needs for more advanced "family planning" in 2009 I produced a CD of baby sounds titled My New Best Friend to help pet parents prepare and introduce their pets to a human newborn.

My most recent project, Travel Tails, was launched in 2015. Travel Tails is a unique blog detailing travel adventures with my terrier mix, Henri. Together we encourage our readers to hit the road with their own dogs with the slogan, "Adventure is Everywhere!" Whether you're training, traveling, volunteering, or just hanging out in your own backyard, I can help you make the most of your relationships with your pets.

I offer both problem-solving and basic to advanced training for dogs and many other animals.

Services include:

  • Aggressive dog training
  • In home training
  • Deaf dog training


Sniffspot Arkansas Top Trainer Frequently Asked Questions

How are Arkansas dog trainers selected for this list?

These are the top dog trainers in Arkansas 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 Arkansas 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 Arkansas?

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 Arkansas 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 Arkansas cost?

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

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

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 Arkansas was $27,165 per year and $13.06 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 In Other States Near Arkansas