March 29, 2022
Welcome to the Colorado Springs, CO Sniffspot top dog trainer list for 2023. This is a list of the top dog trainers in Colorado Springs based on votes from the Sniffspot community and the general public. Over 55,000 votes were used in compiling this list. We have only included the top trainers with sufficient votes and the trainers are ordered in terms of the number of votes received. Trainers that tied are ranked in reverse alphabetical order based on first name. All dog trainers on this list are positive reinforcement only, as defined by no force, fear, intimidation, or aversive methods used. This list is a subset of the broader Top Trainers in Colorado list. To learn more about our dog trainer contest, feel free to view the dog trainer contest post.
Dog training is one of the most important activities someone can do with their dog. Many come to dog training through a specific issue they want addressed, anything from barking to separation anxiety. Some have adopted dogs from animal shelters with an abusive experience and some just have happy puppies looking for everyday life skills. Trainers can help with all kinds of specific skills and issues, from leash manners to territorial aggression to anxiety around skateboards to common puppy challenges. However, what many discover is that working with a trainer is actually a way for a pet owner to deepen their relationship with their dog. The enhanced communication skills that result can increase quality of life, be a rewarding experience, be a social experience and lead to more harmonious relationships. Knowing that one’s dog is having a happier life can dramatically improve peace of mind. As the saying goes: happy dog, happy life. And it extends further than just the dog, to the pet owners. Owner empowerment can actually improve the relationship between owners. And finding the right trainer can make all the difference in the experience.
This list is sponsored by Sniffspot, which is the largest network of private dog parks for rent in the world. Each of the thousands of Sniffspot dog parks are hosted by locals on private land with all private bookings to maximize safety for guests and their dogs. Sniffspot offers various types of dog parks, including fenced, water parks, indoor dog parks, dog beaches and more. Sniffspot has worked closely with dog trainers to create safe spaces for dogs and our top trainer lists are a natural extension of that relationship. You can browse Sniffspot's local dog parks here.
Lydia Rakov started her animal journey working in the Animal Welfare field. Over eleven years, she worked with dogs in shelters around the US, including New Jersey, New York, Oregon, and Pennsylvania, in an array of situations, such as emergency evacuations, hoarding conditions, and cases of neglect and dog fighting rings.
She has also been fortunate to work with dogs from Puerto Rico, Mexico, and South Korea. For the past three years, Lydia has been working in Colorado teaching humans and dogs how to have better relationships with one another and learn how to communicate. She specializes in puppies and serious behavior cases.
Lydia loves teaching both dogs and humans and believes that learning should be enjoyable and informative for both parties. She is a firm believer in dog individuality and force-free/ fear-free training.She is a CPDT-KA certified trainer as of 2020, and is currently working towards her CBCC.
More info about service provided: I provide all types of training for dogs, but specialize in puppies and aggressive dogs. I teach obedience classes from basic through advanced CGC, and teach puppy socialization classes as well. I also teach reactive classes for dogs who struggle with their environment, and work privately with dogs involved in court cases. Two days a week I do day training for dogs that are sensitive to the 'daycare' environment, to help work on proper social skills and learning in a group setting.
Behavioral issue focus: I work with a lot of shy/fearful dogs, and dogs that struggle with intense reactivity to people or other animals including Stranger Danger dogs, and inter-household aggression.
I also work with a lot of puppies and teaching household management strategies, and good manners.
Training methods: I like to start with an Evaluation, to meet the dog in their environment and speak with the owners directly about the behavior issues that they are seeing. Then, we together come up with an individualized plan that meets the owners goals and sets realistic expectations for the dog to achieve.
I believe in positive, force-free, fear-free methods for teaching dogs, and showing them how to make good choices to get the rewards they are seeking. Each dog is an individual, and I believe in making training plans that are unique to every dog and their situation to help them be successful.
Why I became a dog trainer: I started working with dogs in a time in my life where everything seemed very dark, and dogs were the only thing that brought in the light and seemed to make sense. I started off volunteering in my local animal shelters and was there so often that I was offered a job. I started off as a dog walker, but quickly grew to love learning about dog behavior and training.
After a few years, and working with several different shelters, I became a member of the Behavior Team, and started working with the difficult dog cases that came through. Behavior consulting and training quickly followed, and I moved into the private training sector to work with households and individuals. I have been teaching training classes for four years, and I find great joy in watching dogs and humans find more effective ways to communicate with one another!
My favorite part of being a dog trainer: I love watching a dog‚Äôs confidence build, and seeing that moment of understanding between a dog and person. Watching a dog transform into their best possible self is a truly magical moment that cannot be described, but is the best feeling in the world!
My #1 dog training tip: Dog training should be fun! If you are not having fun, neither is your dog! It should be enjoyable for both parties.
Service areas: Denver Metro Area, Boulder, and surrounding CO areas
A lifelong animal geek, I first started training dogs at the age of 12 with my Toy Poodle, Kodi. I quickly became completely obsessed, and absorbed as much information as I possibly could. Kodi was an excellent first teacher - he was unmotivated and fearful. Determined to be a team, I sought help from talented trainers and slowly started to broaden and deepen my knowledge of canine behavior. Years later, Kodi earned his Master Agility Champion title. I have trained with many master animal trainers and devoted myself to becoming the best possible advocate for every dog. I have worked in animal rescues, boarding facilities, and studied under some of the world's top agility competitors.
In 2015, I brought home Mojo, my first Border Collie, who has been a devoted and accomplished teammate. From a young age, Mojo demonstrated aggression and anxiety and I had to quickly learn how to be his best advocate. Under leading trainers, I dove deeper into canine behavior and communication than ever before, and haven't looked back since. I understand that relationship-building, fluid communication, and trust are the fundamental building blocks for every human-dog relationship. In order for our dogs and us to work in unison, there must be inherent value and trust in the relationship. We build this through understanding our dog's needs and desires and advocating for such as best we can. I have supported many teams in reaching goals and overcoming barriers, but my favorite moment will always be when a team is able to effectively communicate and experience joy in their work together.
More info about service provided: I provide a vast range of services to fit you and your dog's needs. At this time, the majority of my work is conducted remotely through Summit Dog Training - I do still offer limited in-person training in Columbia County, NY. I work with puppies, adult dogs, nervous dogs, high-energy dogs, reactive dogs, and more. I am a positive reinforcement based trainer and am committed to the well being and success of each and every one of my clients.
Behavioral issue focus: Leash reactivity, human reactivity, transition stress, and mild aggression cases.
Training methods: When we begin working together, we become a team committed to your dog's success. I provide detailed training plans and flexible scheduling. My training is extremely flexible based on your needs and experience level.
Why I became a dog trainer: 2018
My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Creating solid lines of communication between human and dog.
My #1 dog training tip: Reinforce your dog for desired behaviors!
Columbia County, NY
New York, NY
Fort Collins, NY
When we rescue a dog, we commit for life. We treat our rescues like our own dogs, getting to know them, helping them heal, and preparing them for happy, fulfilling lives.
Because we love and believe in all our rescues, we work hard to ensure their long-term success. Before you adopt, we use an extremely thorough process to make sure you and your canine companion are a perfect fit. That means we fill you in on everything we know about the dog's past and are open and honest about his or her ongoing needs. And we stay in touch long after you take your new best friend home. We provide ongoing email and phone support throughout the dog's life and offer a comprehensive suite of training programs to help your relationship thrive.
Hi my name is Stevie Fields! I'm a Colorado Native and grew up in Falcon, Colorado, back when there was only a volunteer fire station and one gas station. I grew up surrounded by animals and had a neighbor with several horses that sparked my interest in the animals. I have always had a dog in my life but they always stayed outside and were not perceived as family members. Now I have three dogs and they are my family!
As I got older I went to the University of Colorado Springs Colorado and studied Interpersonal Communications. I realized this was not what I wanted to do with my life. I knew I wanted to work with animals but didn't know how to go about doing it. I was looking for an apprenticeship to become a dog trainer when I found Angie Neal, (CDBC). I became her apprentice in 2009 and completed the program in 2011. While learning with Angie, I also earned my Canine Behavior Science Technologist (CBST) certification in 2011 from the Companion Animal Sciences Institute, while at the same time worked with and learned from several rescue dogs at Lucky Dog Rescue.
After that I realized getting a job as a dog trainer was near impossible, so I started House of Dog Training in 2012. I didn't have a facility and only did private lessons for two years. When I was ready to branch out, I contacted Allison and Astrid and we found the location where we are today and the rest is historyI currently live in Colorado Springs with the love of my life, George Fields, and my reason for living, George Joseph Fields. I have a beautiful White German Shepherd named Leela, a distinguished old German Short Haired Pointer, Zeek and my sweetest one of all, Peanut, a toy Rat Terrier.
Certifications: Canine Behavior Science Technologist (CBST) certification in 2011 from the Companion Animal Sciences Institute
How are Colorado Springs dog trainers selected for this list?
These are the top dog trainers in Colorado Springs 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 Colorado Springs 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 Colorado Springs?
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 Colorado Springs 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 Colorado Springs cost?
Colorado Springs 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 Colorado Springs dog trainer. How can I get listed here?
As long as you have a training facility or do in person training in Colorado Springs 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 Colorado Springs?
Dog trainer earnings vary widely depending on many factors, such as whether a dog trainer is an employee or owns their own full-service professional dog training business. According to ZipRecruiter, the average dog trainer salary in Colorado was $35,180 per year and $16.91 per hour. It is impossible to say how much a dog trainer can earn with a full-service professional dog training company, because the size and profitability of companies can vary widely.
Ordered alphabetically, only included cities where there is enough data to compile a list
Fort Collins, CO
March 29, 2022
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