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The Best Dog Trainers in Maryland of 2023

Merlin Noble photo

Merlin Noble

March 29, 2022

Dog Trainers

Welcome to the Maryland Sniffspot top dog trainer list for 2023. This is a list of the top dog trainers in Maryland 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 Maryland Dog Trainers in 2023

Tanzi Leary

I have been teaching other people to help dogs for 10 years, and hold several credentials. I am a "Certified Dog Behavior Consultant" (CDBC), "Certified Professional Dog Trainer - Knowledge Assessed Level 1" (CPDT-KA), and "Pat Miller Certified Trainer" (PMCT1). That means I am certified by the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants, the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers, and by a famous trainer, Pat Miller, both via examination and demonstration of training methods in three intense academies. I am also an "SA Pro Trainer" (SAPT), meaning she has taken a course with Julie Naismith, certified behavior consultant and author of Be Right Back!, to learn how to work with dogs that experience separation anxiety. I earned a "Fear Free Certified Professional" (FFCP) certification from the Fear Free Pets organization to be able to assist clients and veterinarians with handling techniques to reduce fear, anxiety, and stress in dogs during visits.

In 2022, I won the #1 spot in Sniffspot's Top Trainer contest for Baltimore and Maryland and ranked #3 in the US.

Certifications: CDBC, CPDT-KA, PMCT1, SAPT, FFCP

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: I work one on one in private sessions with clients and their puppies and dogs to address behavior issues like puppy basics, manners, and big emotions like anxiety, fear, phobias, and aggressive behavior

Behavioral issue focus: Anxiety, fear, phobia, predation, aggression, and any manners work or puppy foundation work

Training methods: I teach my clients the basics of canine cognition, motivation, body language, and learning processes, to make small changes with a big impact on their dog's behavior. We look at how to set up their home and routines to be more successful with less effort. The first step is an hour-long intro call to gather info and set goals. then we follow up with private lessons. In lessons, we follow the Humane Hierarchy to train without trauma- no pain, threat, shame, or intimidation of dogs, or their people.

Why I became a dog trainer: I started fostering dogs for an organization, and each dog seemed to have more problems than the last dog. I had always been good with dogs and decided I should learn more about how to really work with them if I was going to continue fostering. I started taking classes from Pat Miller and then worked at MDSPCA for two years to really get my hands on a lot of dogs that needed help. Along the way, MDSPCA group class clients and volunteers started to ask if I could come to their homes to help, and my career began.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: I love helping people communicate better with their dogs. The "language" barrier gets in the way more than anything, and it can be life-altering for the dog and the people to understand each other.

My #1 dog training tip: Pay for anything you like with an entire bowl of food, piece by piece, daily for a couple of weeks, and you will have a different dog. Sitting, standing, lying down, eye contact - anything the dog offers on his own is fair game.

Service areas: Reisterstown, Glyndon, Owings Mills, Pikesville, Stevenson, Timonium, Lutherville, Towson, Mt. Washington, Hampden, Roland Park, Ruxton, Guilford, Homeland, Stoneleigh, Rodgers Forge, Sparks, Hunt Valley, Cockeysville, Parkville

Website: https://www.dogcrazylady.com/

Kelly Citrin

Always passionate about animals, Kelly fell in love with her first pit bull in 2006. She began to volunteer at MCHS, and then MCASAC shelters, working with difficult to handle dogs, studying behavior - attending classes every Sunday - and training specific dogs to make them more adoptable. She also joined OPH rescue and was the lead for developing the rescue in Montgomery County, MD.

In 2008, she began to rescue and rehabilitate pit bulls and still does so today. Kelly began teaching obedience and agility at Zoom Room in 2012, and also became the 'Pit Bull Mentor' for students struggling with their (mostly rescued) pit bulls.

Brutus, her actively working certified therapy dog, passed his CGC and they joined NCTD in 2014, attaining additional READ Certification immediately. Together, Kelly and Brutus began working with middle school aged children with behavioral problems in alternative education schools/programs. Kelly was elected to the NCTD Board in 2016 as an officer and still serves as Secretary.

In 2021, Kelly assembled a team who shares her vision and philosophy in training and founded 4 On the Floor. Our mission is to help every dog achieve their fullest potential and live happy and healthy lives through natural and positive solutions. We use ONLY positive, force free, harm free training methods. Since our inception, we have built a wonderful community and have grown through word of mouth referrals! The highest compliment we can get is a referral and your trust in us to care for the next dog just as well as we did yours.

We hope you and your dog will join us to learn, play, and have some fun

Certifications: CPDT-KA

Services include:

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

More info about service provided:

We provide training and socialization across Montgomery county through both group classes and private sessions. We teach classes in Rockville, Bethesda and Potomac and hold private sessions across the county.

We provide basic & obedience training and behavior, modification, day training, all levels of puppies, leash reactivity, aggression, therapy dog, adolescence & adults, out and about, distractions, canine good citizen, and dog sports, including agility, rally, tricks, and scent work.

Behavioral issue focus: Leash reactivity, aggression, fear/anxiety & undersocialization, bite cases, separation distress/anxiety, transitioning OUT of shock & prong collars and other aversive devices

Training methods: 4 On the Floor is a positive and harm free based dog training company that cares deeply about each dog that comes through our programs. Our trainers are certified and insured. 4 On the Floor is founded by Kelly Citrin, an active therapy dog instructor with a working therapy dog, who serves as secretary on the board of National Capital Therapy Dogs. We have classes to meet the needs of any dog owner from puppy classes, to CGC, to agility, to those who are ready to begin their path of becoming a therapy dog. We would love to help you find the best solution for you and your dog!

Why I became a dog trainer: Because I want to help humans understand their dogs, so that they may have the strongest, most trusting relationship possible to set them up for happy and healthy lives.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Puppy classes are always fun, but it is super rewarding to help leash reactive dogs evolve through our training process and learn to feel safer around other dogs

My #1 dog training tip: Quiet is so powerful. You will be amazed at what your dog offers you if you are quiet and you wait.

Service areas: Montgomery County, MD, including Rockville, Bethesda, Kensington, Wheaton, North Bethesda, Potomac, North Potomac, Gaithersburg, Silver Spring, Germantown, Burtonsville, Darnestown, Olney, Germantown. Also most of Anne Arundel County and NW Washington, DC

Website: https://www.4onthefloor.dog

Pat Miller

Pat Miller, author of The Power of Positive Dog Training (2001), Positive Perspectives (2003), Positive Perspectives 2 (2008), Play With Your Dog (2008), Do Over Dogs (2010), How to Foster Dogs (2013) and Beware of the Dog (2016) has been training dogs for more than 30 years. She has trained a variety of breeds and mixed breeds (her own dogs) including Rough Collies, a Bloodhound, Australian Kelpies, Bull Terrier, Irish Setter, St. Bernard, Scottish Terrier, Cardigan Welsh Corgi, Australian Shepherd, Pomeranians, and a Springer Spaniel, and competed successfully with many of them in the obedience and Rally rings. She also trained her first Australian Kelpie to herd sheep and ducks (or more correctly, Keli taught Pat to herd). Keli was Miller’s Canine Field Agent, riding with her on patrol during the years she was an Animal Services/Humane Officer in California.

Miller worked for 20 years at the Marin Humane Society in Novato, California, during which time she collaborated with Trish King to create the country's first 'Color Coding' system for shelter dogs and volunteers. This system was successful in reducing behavior problems in shelter dogs (with a corresponding reduction in euthanasia) by identifying difficult-to-handle dogs and matching them with more experienced and capable volunteer handlers.

Miller was a humane officer/animal control officer and testified successfully in numerous animal cruelty and abuse cases. She also played a major role in the development and implementation of Marin County and State of California Dangerous Dog laws.

Miller moved to California's Central Coast in 1996 after completing her BS degree in Business Administration with honors in the major. There she launched Peaceable Paws, LLC in Monterey/Santa Cruz, and introduced the Color-Coding system at the Santa Cruz SPCA while serving on the Board of that organization. She joined the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT) in 1996, was elected to the APDT Board and is past President of that organization. She is also a member of the Pet Professional Guild.

In the fall of 2001, Miller and her 14-year-old Terrier mix, Josie, were one of the first 23 dog/owner teams in the world to earn a title in the then-newest canine sport, at the first sanctioned Rally Trials ever held, during the APDT annual conference in Ellenville, New York. Miller was one of the first 136 trainers to be awarded the title of Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA) that fall, through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT), and has also received her CBCC-KA (Certified Behavior Consultant) through CCPDT, and served on that Board as well.

In the fall of 1999, Miller and her husband, Paul, relocated Peaceable Paws, LLC to Chattanooga, Tennessee. Where she helped create FOCAS - Friends of Chattanooga Animal Services - a non-profit organization whose mission is to support the work of the Chattanooga Animal Services Division. Also in Chattanooga, she opened the Peaceable Paws Intern Academy, which draws trainers from around the world. In cooperation with several other training professionals, she helped create TAPPT, the Tennessee Association of Positive Pet Trainers and MAAPPPT - the Mid-Atlantic Association of Positive Professional Pet Trainers. Miller also holds an Associate Degree in Administration of Justice, is a freelance writer and regular contributor to and Training Editor of The Whole Dog Journal. Her first book, 'The Power of Positive Dog Training' was published in August of 2001 by Howell Publishing and has been on Amazon.com's best-selling dog training book list since January of 2002. Her most recent book, 'Beware of the Dog (2016)' is a highly acclaimed work on canine aggression. In March of 2015 she was named by Dog Fancy Magazine as one of '45 People Who Have Changed the Dog World' and in October of 2018 received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association of Professional Dog Trainers.

Miller and her husband moved to Fairplay, Maryland in the Spring of 2004 where they live on an 80-acre farm with their three dogs, four cats, three horses and a pot-bellied pig. Pat and Paul operate their Peaceable Paws dog-friendly training center and Peaceable Pastures horse boarding facility there. Pat offers group dog training classes, private behavior consults, training camps, seminars and workshops worldwide, expert witness services for animal-related legal cases, and is Director of the Peaceable Paws Trainer Academies and Training Programs.

Certifications: Certified Behavior Consultant, Canine (CBCC-KA) and Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA)

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: We offer small group classes as well as private training and behavior counselling. Our private behavior modification services incunlde but are not limited to aggression, anxiety, arousal, reactivity, fear-based behaviors, and more. We also offer 1- and 2-day workshops at our 80-acre Fairplay campus, and 6-day academies for trainers and would-be trainers.

Behavioral issue focus: We work with all behaviors - fear, aggression, anxiety, arousal, reactivity and more. All force-free, of course.

Training methods: All force-free - I was one of the early leaders in the force-free training world. We use treats and clickers or verbal markers to communicate with the dog that her behavior has just earned a treat. Behaviors that are reinforced are likely to be repeated. Our behavior work is also all force free - we use operant and classical conditinoing to change behavior and give the dog a new association with the things that are upsetting or arousing to her. Training plans are individualized to each client.

Why I became a dog trainer: I have worked with animals all my life. After 20 years at the Marin Humane Society I decided it was time to have an impact on animal lives from a new direction. When my wonderful dog Bonnie hid under our deck rather than train with me, I realized I needed to reconsider my training methods. At that time (late 1990's) I was using what I now call "old-fashioned" coercive methods. It was how everyone trained in those days. I learned about positive reinforcement-based training, became a "cross-over trainer" and never looked back. I then made it my mission to share this then-new, humane and effective approach to dog training with the rest of the world to help improve the quality of life for our canine companions.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Seeing the relief on human faces when I tell them they don't have to hurt their dogs anymore.

My #1 dog training tip: You are your dog's advocate and guardian. Don't EVER let anyone do anything to her that feels wrong to you, or that you know will hurt her.

Service areas: All of the Mid-Atlantic Region - andwe are based in Washington County, MD. Students travel to us from long distances - trainers come to our academies from around the world.

Website: https://www.peaceablepaws.com

Kathy Forthman

I have over 15 years of professional dog training experience. I also have experience in corporate human resources and a masters and bachelors degree in Psychology.

Certifications: CPDT-KA, Certified Fear Free Trainer, Certified Family Dog Mediator

Services include:

  • Puppy training

More info about service provided: I provide pet manners training via group classes and private training. Puppy through intermediate levels using positive reinforcement methods.

Behavioral issue focus: Fear, mild resource guarding, mild separation anxiety

Training methods: I work with the owners goals and the dogs abilities. My training classes are structured to cover real life, usable skills and are taught at the dogs pace in a positive way.

Why I became a dog trainer: I started out as a student with my own dog and became really interested in learning about how dogs learn and how to motivate them.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Seeing the progress the dogs make over the course of a session, it is fun to watch.

My #1 dog training tip: See the dog in front of you and work with what you see

Service areas: I serve Harford county Maryland, Northern Baltimore County Maryland and South Eastern PA

Website: https://www.politepooches.com/

Rachel Drachman

I first started working at a dog daycare on a whim right after college. It was supposed to be a very temporary transitional job, but I absolutely loved learning about dog behavior. It wasn't until I got my corgi, Guster, that I really got into training.

I love working with him and teaching him new things. Our favorite thing to work on is trick training! Learning new tricks together solidified our relationship and taught me so much about how to communicate with him. He has made me a better trainer and challenges me to continue learning and practicing. I love teaching and working with owners to build a strong bond with their own dog and understand how to effectively communicate with them.

Certifications: CPDT-KA

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: I provide private sessions for puppy socialization and training, basic obedience, advanced obedience, and reactivity. I teach group classes for basic and advanced obedience as well as reactivity.

Behavioral issue focus: I often work with adolescent dogs on things like leash manners, impulse control, and general obedience. I also work quite a bit with reactivity in dogs.

Training methods: When working with clients I start by getting some background information on their dog including the behaviors they are seeing and what their goals are. From there we determine the root cause for any problem behaviors and work to address them. I demonstrate and coach owners through any necessary behavior modification and teach alternate behaviors so they can practice and reinforce any desired behaviors.

Why I became a dog trainer: I want to help people understand and communicate with their dog. Owning a dog should be fun for the human and the dog, not frustrating and difficult. I want to help owners be able to enjoy their dog, and help dogs live happy and fulfilled lives.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Many reactive dog clients come in for a session and are stressed and frustrated with their dog, understandably so. My favorite thing about training is working with people and helping to make them feel more comfortable and confident. I love when my clients feel that they understand their dog better and feel more confident and hopeful going forward with training.

My #1 dog training tip: Whatever gets reinforced gets repeated.

Service areas: Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Howard County

Joe Ryan

Joe is the General Manager of Enrichment and Training and Patrick's Pet Care. He specializes in behavior modification with a focus on reactive and aggressive dogs and has studied under Pat Miller at Peaceable Paws and Michael Shikashio, a world-renowned aggression expert.

Joe's knowledge of canine behavior mixed with his force- and fear- free training philosophies puts him among the most sought-after trainers in the DMV area. He recently came in 6th in Sniffspots Best R+ Trainers in DC of 2022 competition. Joe also works closely with nearby veterinary behaviorists to ensure the most efficient and effective care and training for his clients. 'In addition to force-free private training, Joe also manages our Small Group Classes, Drop and Train, Day Care 101, and Training Walks. He currently resides in Silver Spring and has been a part of the PPC pack since early 2018'.

Certifications: PMCT-1, CPDT-KA, FFCP (Trainer), VSA-CDT

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: Reactive and Aggressive behavior consultations. Private training lessons. Drop and Train.

Behavioral issue focus: Dog-dog and dog-human aggressive and reactive behaviors, confidence building, fear-based behaviors, resource guarding, behavior modification

Training methods: R+ only! Using counterconditioning to modify emotional responses, then using DRA to modify behavioral responses.

Why I became a dog trainer: To educate people about their dogs. Which will hopefully give the dog the best quality of life possible.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Seeing the relief from the clients, and the ah-ha moment from the dog!

My #1 dog training tip: REWARD WANTED BEHAVIORS!

Service areas: The DMV area

Website: https://patrickspetcare.com/

Angie Greenway

Angie resides in Fair Hill, Maryland and has been helping dogs and their people since 2005. She is a graduate of the Karen Pryor Professional Animal Training Program (KPA-CTP), and an AKC Evaluator for Canine Good Citizen, STAR Puppy, and Trick Dog Program. She is also a member of the IAABC (International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants), is a professional service dog trainer, and teaches group classes for The Academy of Dog Training and Agility in Newark, DE.

She has competed in USBCHA sheep dog trials all over the country in addition to her passion for Agility, Rally Obedience, Canine Musical Freestyle, and Trick Dog Training with her 4 border collies.

She is dedicated to helping dogs stay with their families by strengthening the relationship and opening the communication between dogs and their people. She is passionate about canine behavior and keeps her education current by attending national conferences, seminars, and workshops throughout the year.

Certifications: KPA-CTP

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: Certified Professional Dog Trainer and Behavior Consultant with over 15 years of experience training pet dogs, sport dogs, and service dogs.

I offer private in-home coaching, online coaching, in-person group classes, puppy jump start (board and train foundations), puppy adventure outings, as well as day training options while you are at work.

Behavioral issue focus: Some of the common behavior challenges that I work with are leash reactivity (barking and lunging at people or animals on leash), fearful dogs that display shy or aggressive behavior towards strangers, resource guarding of food/toys/spaces, overly excitable/inability to settle, and cooperative care training for dogs that have big feelings about handling their nails, ears, eyes, etc.

Training methods: All of my training methods are taught with games and positive reinforcement. I focus on the relationship between the dog and their person. My goal is to meet the goals of the human side while also meeting the needs of the canine. Everyone is happier once our needs are being met!

I prefer to meet on a weekly basis initially, and then taper off to a monthly check in, as needed. A written training plan is provided for the client to reference after each session.

Why I became a dog trainer: I "accidentally" rescued a dog that was running loose in the street. I could not find his owners and ended up keeping him until I could find him a home. He turned out to have every behavior challenge possible! I knew nothing about dog behavior at that time, so I dug into every book and internet chat group I could find (there wasn't as much information available as there is on the internet today!). I learned so much and became so fascinated with learning theory and behavior change that I began to volunteer for a rescue organization to learn as much as I could about canine behavior.

I just never stopped learning and finally took the plunge and changed careers so that I could share my passion with other dog owners in need of help with their own dogs' behavior challenges.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: I love helping people see the amazing things that their dogs are capable of. I enjoy watching the team develop between the dog and their person.

My #1 dog training tip: Reward your dog for every behavior you like.
Both dogs and humans will repeat what they are reinforced for. So if you want your dog to pay attention to you on walks, reinforce them every time they offer you eye contact, and they will do it again ;-)

Service areas: New Castle County Delaware, Cecil County Maryland, and South Eastern Pennsylvania

Website: https://www.mindyourpawz.com

Arrow Weiser

I am Sparrow aka Arrow, and I am the lead trainer and one of the owners of WeiserWays. I am a dog reactivity specialist and educator and I love to spread the knowledge of positive reinforcement.

I am trans and use he/him pronouns, I am Queer and love serving the LGBTQIA+ community.

I have my undergrad in Psychology and my Masters Degree in Animal Behavior concentrated in dogs.

I focus my work on creating a space where dogs have a voice and are able to communicate freely without the fear of repercussions; while also giving humans an environment where they are able to learn without the pressure of having to be perfect, and instead being intentional, empathetic, and self-aware.

We believe that training is a collaborative approach, and use an anti-racist lens when working on training. This means we believe in being vulnerable, deconstructing perfectionism, training, and feelings; dismantling the dog/owner binary, and instead creating a space where you and your dog can learn how to love and communicate with one another authentically.

WeiserWays is a hybrid business, we train on zoom worldwide, as well as in person around the DMV area.

Certifications: B.S. Psychology
MSC Animal Behavior

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: WeiserWays is a hybrid business (virtual and in person) and focuses on dog reactivity and aggression.

Our training is based in teaching the dog how to make decisions that are rewarding and enriching for both the dog and the human. In order for us to do this management is out in place to ensure that we are setting the dog up for success.

We use some cues in training, but mainly focus on teaching the dog how to make decisions on their own by giving the dog choices.

We do this so the dog learns how to make decisions and problem solve on their own instead of always waiting for the human to give them a cue.

This allows the dog to have more freedom of movement, freedom of choice.

Behavioral issue focus: I work with dogs that are lead reactive to other dogs, humans and other animals, dogs that guard their house, family, or barriers, muzzle training, dogs that are escape artists, and dogs that have bite records that need some extra TLC

Training methods: My training begins with a 90 minute virtual consultation that is all education based. This goes over the canine ladder of aggression, dog behavior postures and body language, WeiserWays definitions, dogs hierarchy of needs, how to fill your dogs cup up, the hierarchy of dog training, what Positive Reinforcement is and how to make it a lifestyle, the wheel of emotions, stages of competence, and a basic emotions print out.

Once we finish the consultation there is a one week observation period where the dog guardian uses the education from the consultation to observe their dog and better understand their stress signals, patterns of reactivity, takes the dog to the vet, changes the environment if needed, and fills out a daily observation log.

Once the observation period is over we begin training. The human tells me what they observed in their dog, this allows the human to be kore aware of the dogs emotions and better advocate for them.

Once we begin training I have a training plan for the dog and guardian that is unique to their training needs. This plan covers the expected duration of training, exercises we will be workin on, homework, a training log for the human to fill out daily, and a training portal to upload videos, take notes, see their homework, and ask questions.

I see my clients once a week and depending on the severity of the dogs Reactivity, and if the human is doing the homework outside of training sessions we work together anywhere from one month to two years.

My training is founded in Positive Reinforcement and anti racist practices. This means we don't believe in punishment, and we dismantle the dog-owner binary. Words matter in my training, and the way we work with dogs is always collaborative and curious.

Why I became a dog trainer: I became a dog trainer because I was adopted and a reactive kid when I was younger and I felt that no one understood me. It wasn't until I worked with a therapist that used her dog in our sessions that I felt more understood and comfortable. Because of my reactive past I understand reactive dogs on a different level and want to give back what they gave to me.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Teaching people the beauty of being vulnerable with their dogs, and giving dogs a space where they can be their authentic self without judgement.

My #1 dog training tip: Become more self aware of your emotions so you are able to recognize how you are feeling, this way you will not react to your dogs reactions, and you will create more space for yourself to recharge.

Service areas: I work mainly in Baltimore and Washington DC covering Baltimore city, Baltimore Country, Prince George's county, Bethesda

I cover all of DC and am often working with clients in Capital Hill, Columbia Heights, pleasant Plains, Silver Springs, Brightwood Park, Brentwood

Website: https://weiserwaystraining.com

Hannah Sigel

Recent transplant from Boston, MA! I am looking forward to growing with the Baltimore dog community! My name is Hannah Sigel (she/they), I work with humans and their dogs to develop better communication to teach desired behaviors and relieve frustration & unwanted behaviors.

Certifications: IAABC-ADT, AKC CGC Evaluator, Fear Free Shelters, PFA, First Aid

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: Offering both in home one-on-one personalized sessions and group training classes. Training can be online or in-person. Included when purchasing a package is unlimited text/call support between sessions. Payment plans and sliding scale available. Check out @BaltimoreK9Tutors on Instagram for more details!

Behavioral issue focus: Fear, anxiety, stress, reactivity, aggression, sensitivities, foundational skills and manners.

Training methods: Effective, ethical, dog training based in science. Consistent and positive dog training builds trust and confidence between dog and human. From puppies to seniors, positive dog training promotes overall well-being through strengthening social, mental and physical health.

Why I became a dog trainer: As soon as I was able to read, I always had a dog encyclopedia in my hand. At 11 years old, I began apprenticing with K9 Tutors and had my own clients by the time I was 15. It was a huge help to my mental health and relationships. Now skip ahead an 'unrelated' college degree and several careers later (one of which was a music early childhood teacher and community choir, where I became a certified yoga teacher and social-emotional learning facilitator, as well as Psychology first aid/post-traumatic stress management certification among other trainings which helped me practice intentionality and inclusivity. Then boom, the COVID-19 pandemic, like many others I took the leap and quit (or put in a month notice) and created Boston k9 Tutors, now Baltimore k9 Tutors. I still am very much that little kid with the dog encyclopedia in my hand. I find myself always learning and doing my best to stay up to date with the most current scientific consensus in order to use the least intrusive minimally aversive strategies when training and creating behavior modification plans. Long story short, I enjoy dogs, dog behavior, humans, collaboration and behavior modification.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Watching relationships develop, communication improve, being able to be learner focused and of course, dogs!

My #1 dog training tip: Measure your dog's food out for the day, use 1/3 in the bowl, 1/3 for training and 1/3 for enrichment.

Service areas: Baltimore City, Hampden, Charles Village, Federal Hill, Fells Point, Canton, Inner Harbor, Townson, Mt Washington, Ruxton, Guilford

Website: https://baltimorek9tutors.com

Melissa Dilla

Melissa and Bodhi, her Rough Collie, work as a therapy dog team, and Bodhi's also a certified R.E.A.D. dog. They're titled and active in a variety of AKC and UKC dog sports such as Obedience, Rally, Coursing, FCAT, Barn Hunting, Scent Work, Conformation, Tricks, and Herding. They've earned the CGC, CGCA, CGCU, ATT, VHM, and Farm Dog titles as well. Melissa instructs several levels of Tricks and CGC classes and conducts evaluations at a local volunteer dog training club.

She's stewarded at the club, volunteered at club trials, and introduced a pilot project of Fit Dog. Melissa and Bodhi have contributed several admissions to the AKC PupPals program. She also volunteered at Hero Dogs for several years. Over the years, Melissa has volunteered and been a representative at functions and festivals, as well as demoed with Bodhi at several workshops. In addition to her own private business, Melissa instructs classes at a non-profit in Rockville, Maryland.

Certifications: KPA-CTP, PMCT, CPDT-KA, CBCC-KA, SDC

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: In-person and online training classes. Private in-home sessions, day training, and Service Dog task training. Behavior consultations and modification, obedience, basic cues, potty training, and distraction training.

Behavioral issue focus: Reactivity, Fear, Resource Guarding, Anxiety, Aggression

Training methods: Force Free, Fear Free, Rewards-Based Positive Reinforcement Marker/Clicker Training, Behavior Consultations, Modification, and Training Plans

Why I became a dog trainer: A lifelong interest in human and animal psychology and behavior drives my passion to better understand both the complexity and simplicity of the science, emotion, and feeling beneath the surface of people and dogs.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: I enjoy bridging the gap to help people understand their dog, and to help their dog understand their people. Also, being a part of the process of creating, building, and deepening the foundation, relationship, and bond between people and their dogs - all based on mutual trust and understanding.

My #1 dog training tip: Attention is the Mother of All Behaviors

Service areas: Potomac, Rockville, Travilah, Bethesda, North Bethesda, Chevy Chase, Kensington, Olney, North Potomac, Gaithersburg, Derwood, Silver Spring, Leisure World, Colesville, Germantown, Redland, Cabin John, Glen Echo, Seneca, Poolesville, Laytonsville, Darnstown, Boyds, NW DC"

Website: https://metropolitandog.com

Liz Catalano

Liz has extensive experience teaching and developing specialty classes, including dog-to dog aggression classes and has created varied classroom curriculum to train dogs to all levels of performance. In addition to training dogs and their people, Liz has also mentored and provided instruction to trainers on learning theory, ethology, instruction skills, classroom management, and dog handling as part of a nationally recognized accreditation program.

Dedicated to continuing education, Liz routinely attends seminars, intensive study programs and operant conditioning workshops to enhance her knowledge and increase her skill. She has been mentored by the internationally known trainer Bob Bailey and was privileged and honored to have co-taught two seminars with him in 2017: Effective Coaching for People and Dogs, and Training Dogs and People Efficiently.

Liz is a regular contributing writer to Maryland Dog Magazine. She has also been published in APDT's Chronicle of the Dog, a peer-review journal on the special considerations in training a deaf dog,'Pet Parent' Magazine, and appeared on NJ's local Channel 12's 'Pet Stop'. Liz was a featured speaker at the 2011 Hunter College Psychology Symposium and at the 2012 International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants Educational Conference.

Liz's own dogs are trained as a classroom demonstration dogs, are Certified Therapy Dogs, have earned titles in agility and obedience, Nosework and have even 'played' with sheepherding. Her dogs have appeared in books, calendars, commercials, fundraising campaigns and nationally-released training videos. When not training dogs, Liz works on her book and is an amateur artist and photographer. She has enjoyed the company of multiple canine companions for many years and currently shares her life with her husband and their three deaf Australian Shepherds.

Liz is a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT), The International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC), The Animal Behavior Society (ABS) and an AKC Evaluator. Liz holds a Master's Degree in Environmental Management and a Graduate Certificate in The Advanced Psychology of Animal Behavior and Conservation from CUNY's Hunter College.

Certifications: CPDT, CDBC, CTDI

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: Liz teaches all levels of pet training classes from puppy kindergarten to advanced off-leash. She also teaches classes for reactive dogs, along with tricks and Rally. She offers behavior consultations for problems behaviors and works with Veterinarians and Veterinary Behaviorists. She owns The Coventry School, Howard County's premier dog training facility, which offers training, day camp, grooming, and boarding.

Behavioral issue focus: Liz specializes in behavior modification for anxiety, compulsive behaviors, fear and aggression.

Training methods: Using positive reinforcement methods, Liz develops training plans in conjunction with behavior consultations.

Why I became a dog trainer: Training dogs is my passion.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Watching dogs understand what I am asking them to do.

My #1 dog training tip: Don't talk so much!

Service areas: Howard, Baltimore, Anne Arundel, Frederick

Website: https://www.thecoventryschool.com

Brittany Fulton

My life experiences with animals have contributed to the highly motivated dog trainer that I am today. I have a degree from the University of Oregon in psychology with an emphasis on animal behavior. I also have Certification in Training and Counseling from The Academy for Dog Trainers. Starting in 2011, I learned from and worked beside a successful dog trainer, Dina Pavlis of Surf City Dog Training, in Florence, OR.

I have interned with various domestic and wildlife organizations in Utah (Best Friends) and throughout Oregon. Since moving to the D.C. area, I completed an internship with the Smithsonian National Zoo, working on the American Trail. There, we utilized positive reinforcement training, the same approach I use with canines. You may have met me at the Humane Rescue Alliance in Washington, D.C., where I taught behavior modification classes for several years. Outside of work, I have been active with local humane shelters, both fostering and volunteering.

Certifications: Certified in Training and Counseling by The Academy for Dog Trainers
Completion of Master Course in Aggression in Dogs

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: I offer in-home or virtual private sessions. I also offer in-home day training. My specialties are aggression, fear, and reactivity. My other areas of focus are obedience training, house training, and puppy training.

Behavioral issue focus: With both experience and a thorough education in fear and in aggression, I commonly address difficulty with strangers, other dogs (including reactivity), and guests. I also offer leash walking training, house training, puppy training/socialization, basic behaviors such as Stay, Come, Down, etc., and training to address other challenges associated with sharing a home with a canine.

Training methods: I use only positive reinforcement, force free methods. Initial consults involve review of the behaviors in question- why they may exist and what we can do to improve matters. Thorough session summaries are emailed along with handouts. I am available to provide support both during and after our training packages together.

Why I became a dog trainer: From a young age, I have always befriended and sought the company of animals. I have a long-time fascination with behavior, both human and non-human. I am passionate about animal welfare and want to contribute to the successful coexistence of dogs and their people. I love fostering bonds between people and dogs and seeing the development of their mutual understanding. Building communication between canine and human is a truly fulfilling endeavor for me.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: I love the ah-ha! moment for either the dog or the human guardian. Sometimes this moment occurs when a guardian understands why a particular approach works well or why their dog is exhibiting a certain behavior. Sometimes it's when the dog understands what their human is trying to achieve or ask for. It's a beautiful experience to witness.

My #1 dog training tip: "Connect with your dog!" I find it incredibly valuable to improve the connection between a dog and their guardian. Once both dog and guardian expect recognition and awareness of one another, they are operating as a team. If difficult or uncertain experiences arise, they can address them together, which is comforting for both. We can build this connection through general and targeted training in a variety of environments.

Service areas: Southern parts of Montgomery County, Maryland, Northern parts of NW Washington D.C.,

Website: https://www.dancesdogs.com/

Alex Bond

Hi! I am Alex Bond and I am a pet dog professional. I have worked with pet dogs in various ways for 30+ years, as a Veterinary Assistant, Dog Sitter and Walker, Surgery Assistant for a shelter clinic, Foster Mom, and Shelter Volunteer.

Beginning my formal behavior and training education and career has been the most fulfilling experience of my life. I am passionate about helping pups and dogs find their place, not only in our hearts, but fitting into the family and household to the best of their abilities.

My goal is to help build a mutually beneficial and respectful relationship between you and your dog. I'm not focused on obedience of old, but rather determining what works for your family and dog, not every family dog needs the same skills.

I am committed to continuing education and integrate new ideas into my training. I keep up with the new science and I do not have a one size fits all 'system'. There is so much happening in canine behavioral science! Today's technology allows me to have so many teachers, the best professionals in the world are accessible for learning opportunities.

Certifications: CPDT-KA, PMCT1

Services include:

  • In home training
  • Reactive dog training
  • Puppy training

More info about service provided: I provide private in home and outdoor lessons at my location. I also offer group classes.

My focus is on companion dog behavior and training. Puppy foundation. Helping new dogs acclimate to their home. Basic good manners. I also work with fearful dogs, reactivity, and some aggression.

Behavioral issue focus: I am passionate about helping dogs and puppies fit into their homes and helping folks realize how easily they can meet their dogs needs and have a happy home.

Training methods: I use positive reinforcement methods to encourage your dog to learn behaviors we want, to take initiative, to have agency in their lives, and to learn to handle the stressors of everyday life as best they can. I also teach management and provide you with appropriate outlets and activities for your dog. I help you teach your dog to think!

The first priority of training is to meet your dog’s needs, when we remember this, our training is so much easier! I will teach you to understand how your dog communicates with you and help you communicate more effectively with them.

I will not use fear, pain, pressure, or intimidation in training or behavior modification. There is no need to ever use electronic (shock) collars, prong (spike, pinch) collars, choke collars, or slip leads. All of these tools work via pain, fear, and/or intimidation. They do work to shut down behaviors, however, they do not teach our dogs what to do.

I adhere to the standards of training and behavior modification set by the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behaviorists:

Why I became a dog trainer: Because watching dogs fascinated me and brings me joy. Helping people and dogs connect and learn is the most rewarding thing in my like. Positive reinforcement works!

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: When a dog and their people. Are stressed and being able to show them ways to remedy that.

My #1 dog training tip: Meet your dog's needs and so many stressors go away! It's win win.

Service areas: Davidsonville, MD and surrounding Anne Arundel County Maryland

Website: https://dog-only-knows.com/

Jennifer Shearer

My journey began as a distressed dog parent with an extremely reactive dog. In my naivety, I followed the recommendations of friends and our rescue and experienced the dark side of "balanced training" firsthand.

I realized that there is a major flaw in balanced training: Its punishment techniques are overdeveloped while its positive reinforcement techniques are severely underdeveloped. Those positive reinforcement techniques were the missing piece for my dog and me. Once we learned them, punishment started falling to the wayside until we let it go completely.

I became a dog trainer in the hopes that no other family would have to go on a wild goose chase to get results and find relief. Together we can create a community of quirky dogs and devoted owners who have the skills and knowledge to navigate our fast-changing world. As a trainer, I empower humans and their dogs equally to optimize learning at both ends of the leash. We'll build competence to create purpose-driven confidence, and I can't wait to work with you.

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: Puppy Socialization, Remedial Socialization, Basic Commands, Potty Training, Leash Manners, Confidence Building, Enrichment

Behavioral issue focus: I specialize in dogs struggling with arousal-based issues, especially those exhibiting reactivity. My work is best suited for shy, fearful, and hyperactive dogs who need help learning how to manage their big feelings and cope with the human world.

Training methods: I always start with a behavior consultation, where clients can ask and share anything about their dog(s) in a safe and confidential space. From there, we develop a sustainable and accessible training plan, which utilizes in-person and virtual learning opportunities. Client support continues after completing your training plan with follow up lessons.

Why I became a dog trainer: I became a dog trainer to help average folks navigate this complex, unregulated, and often contradictory industry. Dog training should be joyful, accessible, and liberating. I am excited to help dog guardians tackle difficult issues without the soul-sucking seriousness of some dog training methods.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: The best part of dog training is supporting interspecies communication! Watching a pet guardian and their dog get on the same page and respond to each other's needs is pure magic.

My #1 dog training tip: Go slow to learn fast! Cracks in your foundation will always catch up to you, so linger at the beginning to ensure a smoother future together.

Service areas: DMV, Prince George's County (MD), Charles County (MD), Fairfax County (VA), Arlington County (VA)

Website: https://www.doggedpursuits.com

Sandy Issler

PhD research scientist who changed careers to become a positive reinforcement dog trainer. Years of experience training dogs and horses.

Certifications: Karen Pryor Academy of Animal Training and Behavior (KPA-CTP, #81511)

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: Basic Manners, Life Skills, Puppies, Reactivity (over-arousal, aggression), Emotional Regulation, Adolescent challenges. Behavior Modification. In home private lessons. Teach classes (Puppy, Basic, Therapy Dog) at Academy of Dog Training and Agility, Newark, DE

Behavioral issue focus: Jumping, mouthing, barking, leash walking, emotional regulation, reactivity, house breaking, some aggression cases.

Training methods: Initial behavior consult. Identify training needs. Custom training plans for each individual client to address training needs and behavior issues.

Why I became a dog trainer: To learn more about how to help dogs (and their owners) through clear communication and how dogs learn most effectively.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Helping people and their dogs build a better relationship and helping dogs learn how to cope and live in our chaotic modern world.

My #1 dog training tip: Communication with your dog is a 2-way conversation. Learn to listen to your dog.

Service areas: North Delaware and surround states (PA, MD)

Bethany Poese

Hello! I'm Bethany (she/her). I have been training professionally for 7 years, and started my own training business in 2022. I share my life with a nearly 12 year old pit bull, named Juno, who is responsible for introducing me to the world of R+ training for reactivity, and a 7 year old cocker spaniel mix, Maxwell, who has given me more empathy for those living with 'difficult' dog than I really wanted to have!

A proud crazy cat lady, I also have 3 cats, and shhh - I'd sooner go without dogs than cats. (Gasp!) I am an avid and obsessive reader, and an absolute sucker for medical/crime dramas on TV.

Certifications: KPA-CTP, CPDT-KA

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: Puppy, Adolescent Manners, and Reactive Dog group classes, as well as private training for everything from new puppies to intra-household aggression. Day Training is available for puppies, basic manners, and reactivity.

Behavioral issue focus: I love working with reactive (barky/lungey) dogs and their families, but also work with intra-household issues, resource guarding, overarousal related behaviors, fear, and general anxiety.

Training methods: I follow a LIMA (least intrusive, minimally aversive) framework for my training, and really focus on doing my best to set the human half of the equation up for success as much as possible. All of my private clients start with an initial consultation - generally held via Zoom - so we can get down to the nitty-gritty of the trouble they're having. After a consult, clients receive a written report going over plans for management, exercise, enrichment, and a basic overview of our training goals. After each lesson, clients receive an email with instructions for the week! And yes - I encourage folks to email and text with questions, videos, brags, concerns, cute pictures, whatever. I'm always happy to hear from you!

Why I became a dog trainer: Juno, my 12 y/o pit bull, was a leash reactive adolescent - and her rescue recommended I work with a force based trainer. When her reactivity didn't improve, and more harsh corrections were 'required', I started looking elsewhere.

Helping people, and helping animals, has always been my calling - childhood career goals included sea lion trainer, animal assisted therapist, art therapist, & equine assisted therapist - so settling in to dog training was a natural progression.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Seeing that lightbulb moment - for both dogs and humans! It's an addicting feeling! I also love the look of relief on an owner's face when I tell them they can comfort their dogs when they are scared, that we can be kind and still train effectively.

My #1 dog training tip: When in doubt, throw some cookies at it.

Service areas: Frederick & Carroll counties, as well as parts of Montgomery and Howard!

Website: https://dogearedtraining.com

Lela Schreiber

I have been a Dog Trainer for 11 years in the Frederick MD area. I live and train with 4 dogs and participate in a variety of sports including FastCAT, Lure Coursing, Conformation, Rally, Agility, and Nosework. I particularly enjoy geeking out over Nosework and Canine Fitness.

Certifications: CPDT-KA CPCFT

Services include:

  • Puppy training
  • Agility training

More info about service provided: Offer group classes and private lessons at my location covering a variety of topics including manners, puppy socialization, Nosework, Canine Fitness, and Agility.

Behavioral issue focus: I focus on making sports and fitness training accessible for the average pet parent. I cover basic manners needed for sports and life in the big world.

Training methods: I use reinforcement based methods to build a fun relationship between humans and their dogs. I think all dogs can have fun working and playing with their humans!

Why I became a dog trainer: Obviously I love dogs, but I found I also enjoyed spreading this knowledge and solving problems for other families. I get to give into my love for learning and help others in the process.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: I love when I get to find something that dog and human team really loves to do. I get to see them bond and watch how amazing their dog is.

My #1 dog training tip: find what your dog loves and feel that joy.

Service areas: Located in Knoxville MD close to Frederick MD, Harpers Ferry WV, Lovettsville Va and surrounding areas.

Website: https://www.fitnacitydogs.com

Alyse Mineroff

I am a reward-based trainer and founder of Hungry Dog Training, LLC in Maryland. I am multi-certified (KPA CTP and CPDT-KA) and share my life with my husband and 3 dogs - 2 German Shepherds and a Samoyed. I enjoy participating in a variety of dog sports with each of them.

Certifications: KPA CTP, CPDT-KA

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: I offer a variety of in-home training services such as private coaching, day training sessions, and virtual coaching and online programs. These can cover anything from puppy manners training, adult dog basic training, reactive dog training, aggression, resource guarding, cooperative care, and more.

Behavioral issue focus: Fear, reactivity, anxiety, and aggression; fear at the vet; issues with handling; resource guarding

Training methods: We start with addressing the dog's basic needs and ensuring they're healthy and fulfilled - both physically and mentally. Then, I'll introduce management strategies to prevent problem behaviors from being rehearsed. Finally, we jump into training and behavior modification to replace the unwanted behaviors with better ones!

Why I became a dog trainer: I became a dog trainer because I saw how prevalent harmful, dominance-based techniques were. I was a volunteer puppy raiser for a service dog organization that used these methods, and felt uncomfortable utilizing them. I wanted to offer people a kinder alternative to avoid experiencing what I did!

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: My favorite part of being a dog trainer is watching my human clients experience things with their dogs that they couldn't before. Whether that's a calm walk in the neighborhood, or sitting at a patio enjoying a beer, I feel every one of my clients' wins.

My #1 dog training tip: My #1 dog training tip is to find more things to reinforce! So often, we wait for the unwanted behavior to happen before stepping in. In reality, rewarding all of the good choices your dog makes is the way to get more of those!

Service areas: Montgomery County

Website: https://www.hungrydogtraining.com

Rachel Lachow

I have a degree in biology and post-graduate work in zoology. I have been a professional dog trainer for 30 years. I compete with my own dogs in agility, obedience, rally and conformation.

Certifications: CPDT-KA, AKC Good Citizen/Trick Dog Evaluator

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: I provide in-home training for all behavioral issues and for beginning sports dog training. I also offer short-term board and train as well as on-line classes and private sessions.

Behavioral issue focus: Housetraining, puppy and adult house manners, separation anxiety, aggression to dogs and humans, socialization skills and reactivity.

Training methods: I do force-free training based on scientific principles of how dogs learn. I use a clicker paired with rewards as well as real-life rewards. Clients are coached through training their dog and given extensive notes.

Why I became a dog trainer: It was a hobby that became a profession.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Helping people understand their dogs and create a loving partnership with them based on mutual trust and respect.

My #1 dog training tip: Reward the behaviors you love.

Service areas: Reisterstown, Finksburg, Westminster, Owings Mills, Pikesville, Towson, Baltimore City, Catonsville, Timonium, Hunt Valley

Website: https://www.positivelyobedient.com

Emily Anderson

Animals have always been a huge part of my life. I grew up in a house with an assortment of critters; I have cared for not just dogs and cats, but everything from gerbils, to birds, to reptiles. When a relative or neighbor needed someone to pet sit for them, I was always the first to eagerly volunteer. I was a year old when I got my first dog, a Border Collie named Cody.

As my family tells it, when I met Cody, there was an instant bond. So strong, in fact, that I began to bark and howl like I was trying to communicate with him and the other dogs in our neighborhood. I like to think that this was the first indication that dog training was what I was made for!

While working on my Bachelor's Degree in Psychology, I got a job in a pet store and became interested in positive reinforcement dog training. I pursued the position and worked as a trainer while I completed my degree. It was then I realized how similar the field of psychology and dog training were, and discovered my true passion in working with dogs.

Over my career, I have worked as a dog walker, volunteered as a training coordinator for a rescue, and managed a training facility. After seven years in the industry, I received my CPDT-KA (Certified Professional Dog Trainer - Knowledge Assessed) through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers. I am also a supporting member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants. I have completed Michael Shikashio's Aggression in Dogs Master Course, which provides over 23 hours of education on a variety of topics, including resource guarding, multi-dog household issues, and how to safely break up a dog fight. Continuing education is extremely important to me to ensure I am able to provide my clients with a variety of techniques and up-to-date methods.

With Mischief and Manners, I hope to help dog owners learn to love the quirky, mischievous, and unique personalities of their dogs. Rather than fixating on 'bad' behaviors, I strive to help my clients understand why their dogs act a certain way - whether it's the ankle nipping of a Border Collie or the squeals of excitement when your Terrier sees a squirrel.

Through positive reinforcement training, we can learn to effectively communicate with our canine companions without the use of force, harsh corrections, or physical punishment. Your pup can learn the necessary manners to thrive in our Human World, while embracing the traits that make them who they are!

Certifications: CPDT-KA, Fear Free

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 private training, walk & train services, obedience training, reactivity training

Behavioral issue focus: leash reactivity, inter-household aggression, mild separation anxiety, cooperative care/handling, resource guarding

Training methods: initial consultation with client to develop training plan and evaluate dog, training is based in positive reinforcement and force/fear free methods

Why I became a dog trainer: Have always enjoyed working with animals since I was young, including training with my dad and our family Border Collie. Began working in the pet industry during college and quickly became fascinated by the dog training field, as I was a psychology major and I enjoyed the crossover between what I was learning and applying that to dogs

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Through the years as a trainer, I have always enjoyed helping strength the bond between humans and their canine companions. As I developed my passion for working with reactive dogs, and adopted a reactive dog of my own, I really enjoy helping owners feel more confident and relaxed with their dog and opening up new possibilities for dogs who are reactive and may struggle in the world.

My #1 dog training tip: Never take yourself or your dog too seriously

Service areas: Frederick, Walkersville, Mount Airy, Middletown

Website: https://www.mischiefandmanners.com

Jackie Moyano

Jackie Moyano transitioned careers from a respiratory therapist to dog training. In addition to caring for patients, she also taught both patients and respiratory therapy students. Jackie's medical teaching experience lends itself well to teaching people how to train their dogs. Pssst! Dog training is really people training!

Jackie's dog training expertise and education comes from completing 3 of Pat Miller's training academies, attending Ken Ramirez' Animal Training Seminar at SHEDD Aquarium, attending Sue Sternberg's Eden Internship working with Alaskan husky sled dogs, plus completing all 5 of the Bailey-Farhoody chicken workshops where Jackie learned animal training science and practiced training skills with chickens.

Jackie actively pursues continuing education and has added a separation anxiety credential, SAPro to her name. Jackie's training partners are her Siamese cat and her Dachshund Terrier mix. Jackie enjoys commuting much more in her electric car. Jackie's dog enjoys riding in the electric car to wooded trails for hiking - a favorite pastime.

Certifications: CPDT-KA, PMCT, SAPro

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: Behavior United, LLC has ten years of experience training dogs of all ages from puppies and adolescents to adult through senior dogs. Behavior United, LLC offers dog training for basic manners and advanced training around distractions. Behavior United LLC, also offers behavior modification for dogs experiencing reactivity, aggression, fear, and separation anxiety.

Behavioral issue focus: Jackie Moyano at Behavior United, LLC has been doing behavior modification with her own dog and clients' dogs for ten years. She really enjoys helping dogs living with reactivity, aggression, fear, and separation anxiety plus the people who love them.

Training methods: Life is challenging enough, training your companion animal doesn't have to be. Behavior United, LLC provides proven, aversive-free, efficient, reward-based solutions with all of our clients, human and animal alike. Whether it's basic canine obedience training or more serious dog behavior issues, we apply the science of behavior and a team approach to help you meet your goals. Training time should be rewarding for both people and their pets. Training/behavior consultations in-person and live online, we offer curated training/behavior modification packages and single sessions to balance your busy life with your quality pet time. All private training/behavior consultation sessions include a training plan summary with the skills introduced and tailored to your dog's needs, your lifestyle, and your goals. Between sessions, we're available for support via email, text, or phone calls as you and your dog progress.

Why I became a dog trainer:

I am a dog trainer because of my cat and my mom. In 2007 my mom passed away from breast cancer. Suddenly, life was so finite. Why am I wasting time in a career I no longer enjoy? What do I enjoy? I didn’t know what my next step was, but I knew I didn’t want to be a respiratory therapist for the rest of my life. Time to make another dream come true, because who knows how much time any of us has left.

I slogged through the grief abyss, experiencing milestones like marriage and buying our first home without my mom. She loved my husband and would have loved the condominium, except for the original 1980s kitchen. After surviving a challenging 3-month kitchen remodel during snowmageddon 2010, I wanted to reward myself with a companion animal. Because our condo was on the 8th floor, we decided to adopt a cat instead of a dog. We named our 1-year-old gray Siamese cat Slinky.

One night after we had gone to sleep we heard a crash. We jumped out of bed and immediately realized our kitchen design flaw. Open shelves above the countertop instead of cabinets. Slinky knocked a stemless wine glass off of the shelf. Not a great financial loss, the glass cost about $3. The financial and wellbeing impact was watching Slinky try to eat the glass! “WHY!?” we shrieked. We were able to intervene in time and no Slinkys were harmed.

Glass eating had to be prevented. I did what anyone with animal problems does, I asked Google. I spent hours researching cat behavior articles and books. I finally ordered a book called “Think Like A Cat” by Pamela Johnson Bennett. With a few changes in my behavior, I was able to change Slinky’s behavior. That was incredibly reinforcing for me.

Helping Slinky change his behavior reminded me of my childhood dream. I wanted to work with animals! I cold-called trainers asking if I could apprentice with them. One woman turned me down because I had a cat instead of a dog. I described the training and behavior modification I had done with Slinky, but that did not matter to her. That 'no' was the best thing that happened to my training career. Because of that 'no', I apprenticed with another trainer, Sandy Modell of Wholistic Hound Academy in Alexandria, VA. Sandy told me about Pat Miller's academies at Peaceable Paws. I completed all three of Pat Miller's academies making me a Pat Miller Certified Trainer. At Pat Miller's 1st academy, another trainer told me about Bob Bailey, ScD. I worked for and completed all 5 Bailey-Farhoody Operant Conditioning Workshops where, after scientific lectures, training principles were practiced by training leghorn chickens.

In addition to numerous hours of animal training education, I passed the Certified Professional Dog Trainer exam. Between 2013 and March 2018 I volunteered at an animal shelter, I got my first paid part-time dog training job, quit my job as a respiratory therapist, transitioned to a full time dog trainer, adopted my own dog, became an entrepreneur and launched Behavior United LLC with my former business partner. Had you told me at the launch of Behavior United, LLC in 2018 that I would have to navigate a government shutdown, business partner moving away, and a pandemic, I wouldn't have believed you. But, we're still here, helping dogs and their people live their best lives!

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: My favorite part of being a dog trainer is helping people communicate and improve their relationship with their dogs.

My #1 dog training tip: My number one dog training tip is to ask yourself, "What do I want my dog to do?" Next, realize that your dog can't change his/her behavior until you change your behavior.

Service areas: Montgomery County, MD (Frederick MD was the closest city on the list, but it's not a place I service.)

Website: https://www.behaviorunited.com/

Deborah Byloff

Deb Byloff has been blessed by dogs choosing to be in her life since she was very young. She spent her growing-up years searching for ways to help her own dogs by identifying and solving their problems and helping them enjoy life by playing games with them and teaching them behaviors. Her interest and passion have only grown since then, and she has been helping others do the same for their dogs for many years.

Through the years, Deb has made it a mission to expand her knowledge by attending as many live and virtual training seminars as possible. Among those from whom she has learned are John Rogerson and Jeannine Rash of Papillonia Dog Training Academy, and she also attended consultations by behaviorist Pat Miller at Peaceable Paws.

Deb has been professionally training dogs since 2000. From 2006 to the present, she has been instructing at Papillonia Dog Training Academy where she teaches Basic Obedience, Canine Good Citizen, Rally Obedience, Tricks, and Canine Musical Freestyle. Deb has been teaching freestyle since 2003, has formed a freestyle club, and hosts annual competitions since 2003.

In 2006 she started a program at the York SPCA where she guided a team of trainers to identity and solve problems that the shelter dogs had to make them more adoptable. The SPCA dog walkers were interested in the program and joined the project. The team's primary goal was to help the shelter dogs be more stable with a secondary goal of teaching them the elements of the AKC CGC. Once the team's training card was placed on a shelter dog's cage, the canine was in demand and usually found a home before the team could CGC them. Deb also hosted monthly live seminars that were open to the public to solve dog problems and keep them in their homes. Both live programs at the SPCA ended in 2020. Deb co-hosted virtual seminars in 2021 and now co-writes bi-monthly articles for the SPCA newsletter.

Deb has honed her skills of identifying and solving dog problems, but she feels that the most important thing she has realized is that both dogs and people learn in a variety of ways. She is adept at finding individual teaching methods for people who seek her help. Because she tailors her methods for each client and each dog, Deb's students go home with practical guidelines for training their dogs in their everyday lives. Her training motto is 'I can't make any dog do anything, but I can make them want to do it'.

Deb is not a person who craves the spotlight but is honored that she must have made a difference in someone's life that they nominated her. She will return that honor by participating in this program but feels the most important aspect of the program is to put positive training in the spotlight so that people having problems with their dogs or who want to train them a skill will know where to seek help.

Services include:

  • Reactive dog training
  • Puppy training

More info about service provided: Basic Obedience, Canine Good Citizen, Rally Obedience, Tricks, and Canine Musical Freestyle

Behavioral issue focus: Dogs that have fear and anxiety

Training methods: Group classes and private lessons available

Why I became a dog trainer: I have been training dogs since childhood

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Helping the dog and owner understand each other.

My #1 dog training tip: Love and treasure the dog that you have

Service areas: Red Lion PA and surrounding areas

Shauntay Shadrach

I grew up on a small farmette in Maryland, where I fell in love with animals! At 14 years of age, I started volunteering at my local Ambulance Hall, which kicked off my nursing career. I obtained my EMT-B, EMT-I, CNA, and GNA by the age of 18 through my local Technical High School.

After high school, I went to College for Health Administration and Practical Nursing. I received my Practical Nursing, Home Health Care, and Pharmacy Technician certifications as I worked in various hospitals, nursing homes, pharmacy's and performed in-home patient care. In my late 20's, I volunteered and worked at two Veterinarian's offices. At the age of 32 and after 17 years in the medical field, I decided to change careers. I opened my own in-home Daycare business. I successfully managed that for 5 years while I studied to become a professional dog trainer. It was the best decision of my life!

Certifications: PMCT, Fear-Free, KPA, VSA, APDT, PPG

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: Force-Free, Fear-Free basic manners and behavior modification services, socialization, puppy training

Behavioral issue focus: Under socialized, guarding, handling, leash work, counter conditioning to people, animals and places.

Training methods: Phone consults, behavioral modification plans, protocols, and private in-home training - All force-free, fear-free, and non-aversive.

Why I became a dog trainer: I love animals and dogs are my favorite besides dolphins ;^)! I want to help humans and dogs co-exist on a more enjoyable level without fear and pain being involved!

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Watching dog owners have 'ah-ha' moments with their beloved pets' opens lines of communication for the human and canines to understand one another better.

My #1 dog training tip: Reward the behaviors you want to see more of!

Service areas: Jersey Shore, Lock Haven, Avis, Williamsport, Mill Hall, PA

Website: https://www.yourpawsandme.com

Jen Boyd-Morin

Jen has a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology, is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA) through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers, and obtained her Pat Miller Certified Trainer (PMCT1) status as a top-scoring graduate of her Peaceable Paws Academies.

Jen has also completed multiple intensive Operant Conditioning Workshops led by world-renowned animal trainer Bob Bailey, where she fine-tuned her hands on skills while training chickens.

Jen is committed to training and caring for animals without fear, anxiety, stress, or pain. She is the only boarding facility owner in her area to hold a Fear Free Boarding and Daycare Certification, and she is in the process of obtaining her Fear Free Trainer Certification as well.

Prior to starting Play & Train Dog Behavior, LLC, Jen worked for The Coventry School for Dogs & Their People, Inc. and was heavily involved in working with several local organizations, including Greyhound Welfare, Partnership for Animal Welfare (PAW), and Prince George's County Animal Services. When she's not training, Jen can be found working in her garden or hiking, playing, & training with her 'Kentucky mutt' Skye.

Certifications: CPDT-KA, PMCT1, FFCP

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: Play & Train Dog Behavior offers services for puppies, including Puppy Explorer Camp (in-home boarding for puppies ages 10 weeks to 5 months), group classes, and play groups, with an emphasis on socialization, fear free protocols for handling and veterinary care, and enrichment. We also offer reward-based private training, behavior & aggression consultations, and group classes for adult & adolescent dogs. Our training utilizes humane and effective training methods, along with a bit of humor to help pet owners achieve their training goals. Our goal is to communicate clearly and effectively with you, as well as to teach you to communicate clearly and effectively with your dog, always through a lens of empathy and compassion. We look forward to being a part of your journey with your canine companion!

Behavioral issue focus: We offer behavior consultations for dogs exhibiting noise sensitivity, fear, anxiety, compulsive behaviors, overarousal, predatory behavior, reactivity, and aggression.

Training methods: Our Training Philosophy is...Training inspired by kindness:
Behavior change can be accomplished efficiently without the use of fear, pain, force, or intimidation. Therefore, we will never ask you to hurt or scare your dog. Instead, we coach you to: reward desirable behaviors to increase their likelihood in the future make adjustments to the environment to increase your dog's chances of making desirable choices address fear, aggression, and other behavior issues by changing your dog's associations and emotional state from negative to positive.

We also collaborate with veterinary professionals to address contributing medical factors.

Training informed by science: We are committed to using the most up-to-date, evidence-based training and behavior modification techniques. In order to stay informed, we regularly take professional courses, attend conferences & seminars, and read recently published literature.

Training designed to be fun: Training dogs (and their owners) brings us joy! We want training your dog to bring you both joy as well. Focusing on ‚'real life' skills rather than traditional obedience cues, meeting your dog's needs through play and games, and offering your dog choices when it's safe to do so will keep training enjoyable and lead to a rewarding life with your dog!

Why I became a dog trainer: I started learning about animal behavior & training when I was fostering retired racing greyhounds and just fell in love. It was a natural progression from seeking out more knowledge and using it to help the dogs I was fostering to wanting to be able to help owners with their companion dogs.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: I love helping people better understand their dogs and to see that much of the behavior we may find frustrating or difficult to live with is understandable when we look at it from the dog's perspective. And of course that we can also modify that behavior to make living together more enjoyable.

My #1 dog training tip: If you find yourself struggling with something your dog is doing, try to find a way to minimize the possibility that the behavior can happen, and then seek out help from a professional to modify the undesirable behavior.

Service areas: Serving Laurel, MD and surrounding areas

Website: https://www.playandtraindogs.com

Amie Glasgow

Respected by professionals in all walks of animal welfare, Amie often garners professional referrals from other trainers, veterinarians and vet staff, and animal control officers, as someone they can trust to give educated, fair, and humane advice to their friends, family, and clients.She has a special place in her heart for fearful and reactive dogs, but finds behavior fascinating and loves the 'human enrichment' she finds teaching scent games. She truly enjoys working with the wide range of issues her clients bring.

Certifications: CDBC, IAABC-ADT, FDM, CSAT, CCUI, FSG-1

Services include:

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

Website: https://oscarwinningbehavior.com/

Sarah Stoycos

Owner/Trainer of Laughing Dog Academy. I work with dogs and their people to create the best possible life together. I've been training dogs, using only force-free methods, for more than a decade. In addition to working with dogs, I previously had the opportunity to rescue seals and care for sanctuary monkeys and chimps. I am a Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner.

Certifications: KPA-CTP

Services include:

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

Website: https://laughingdogacademy.com

Liz Cummins

Liz Cummins began her training journey with her own puppy, Mouse, in 2011. The challenges, support, and incredible relationship she found with her dog as a result of training resulted in her beginning to assist and then teach in classes, and finally committing to training full time in 2019.

Life as a pit bull terrier mom has made Liz particularly passionate about managing and training reactivity, and celebrating the small victories that come with owning and loving a reactive dog. Liz also welcomed Figueroth (Fig), an adolescent German Shepherd, to her family in 2022. As Mouse is enjoying retirement at over 10 years old, Fig is Liz's demo dog and all around work buddy. Liz is certified by the CCPDT as a Professional Dog Trainer and continually seeks further education and experience in animal behavior.

Certifications: CPDT-KA

Services include:

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

Website: https://www..likemagicdogtraining.com

E. Foley

FoleysDogTraining.com provides beginner-friendly instruction in agility and rally obedience.

Certifications: CPDT-KA

Services include:

  • Agility training

Service areas: Montgomery County, Prince George's County, Howard County, Silver Spring

Website: https://foleysdogtraining.com

Sophia Turshen

Sophia brings a wealth of experience in training well-behaved, well-adjusted dogs and equipping pet owners with the confidence, knowledge, and tools to maintain that training at home. Sophia is certified in Dog Training and Animal Nutrition and has worked in the field of pet care and training for over five years.

In addition to running her own professional pet care and training business, Sophia also has experience leading group classes for dogs of all ages. She has worked as a volunteer specializing in behavior and training for the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria since 2019. Her greatest passion is to improve the lives of animals, and she believes that training is a vital tool in building better lives for dogs and their humans.

Areas of Focus

Leash Manners
AKC Canine Good Citizen test preparation
AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy Training
AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator
Separation Anxiety
Resource Guarding
Leash Reactivity

Certifications: AKC CGG evaluator, Positive Rewards certification

Services include:

  • Board and train
  • In home training
  • Deaf dog training
  • Reactive dog training
  • Puppy training
  • Agility training

More info about service provided: I provide obedience training, reactive dog, Canine Good Citizen, agility, potty training, resource guarding, separation anxiety, day training, leash training, focus training

Behavioral issue focus: Basic manners, resource guarding, anxiety, separation anxiety, puppy socialization, dog reactivity

Training methods: I am a positive rewards dog trainer, and I offer consultations, training plans, and follow up sessions.

Why I became a dog trainer: Before working with animals, I was working a corporate soul, sucking job. After I left that place of work and was in between jobs, I walked dogs for income. I found that I absolutely loved working with animals, and then started my journey to become a dog trainer. I feel that this is what I am supposed to do with my life combining dogs and Positive, fun education to help owners and their dogs learn to communicate and bond!

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: I love it when I see frustrated pet parents turn to me in relief when something I have suggested, or the positive training techniques make a big difference in their training journey.

My #1 dog training tip: Patience, it's a marathon, not a Sprint as you work, learn to communicate and grow together.

Service areas: I service the Washington DC Metropolitan area! Central and Southern MD, Washington DC, and Northern Virginia

Website: https://districtdogtraining.com

Rachel Ash

A graduate of the prestigious Academy for Dog Trainers and certified professional dog trainer, Rachel discovered her passion for working with reactive dogs while on a journey to help her fearful pup, Maya.

After being re-homed multiple times at an early age, Maya became profoundly fearful. By the time Rachel fostered her, she knew Maya would not be able to handle another re-homing. The environmental changes were too overwhelming — the once playful and relaxed puppy was now growling, lunging, and barking at both strangers and dogs.

Rachel decided to adopt Maya and embark on a journey to teach Maya to feel safe in the human world. Fear and aggression are challenging problems that require well-planned interventions by an experienced trainer. For these reasons, Rachel focused her education and practice on preventing and treating fear and aggression in our canine companions.

Rachel also worked as an instructor for the Maryland SPCA, teaching reactive rover classes, private lessons, and puppy socials. Her commitment to combating animal surrenders to shelters goes one step further by providing services to her puppy clients to prevent fear and aggression via adequate socialization and aggression-prevention exercises.

Rachel's life with Maya has given her a unique insight into the challenges that come with living day in and day out with a fearful, reactive dog. This experience has better equipped her to help her clients and their dogs live happier lives and has made her the perfect choice for a fear and reactivity trainer.

Certifications: Certified Trainer Consultant (CTC), CPDT-KA

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: We provide simple solutions for complex behavioral challenges. We specialize in the prevention (puppies) and treating fear, aggression, and reactivity in our companion dogs using humane, force-free methods.

Behavioral issue focus: Puppy training, on-leash reactivity, aggression towards unfamiliar people, resource guarding, and fear-based challenges.

Training methods: It starts with a 120-minute online consultation followed by behavior-focused in-person sessions.

Service areas: Baltimore City and County: Perry Hall, White Marsh, Kingsville, Parkville, Overlea, Towson, Lutherville, Timonium, Cockeysville, South Bel Air.

Website: https://www.pawbehaviorsolutions.com

Beth Joy

Beth began her dog training journey over 12 years ago, apprenticing and interning for Pat Miller, eventually becoming a Pat Miller certified trainer, and leading training classes for her.
Beth's specialty is Reactive Dogs and holds reactive
dog classes as well as does in-home training for
behavior modification as well as for basic skills.
Beth continuously attends educational seminars
and workshops to broaden her scope of knowledge
in the field of dog behavior and training.

She also serves as an on-call dog trainer and
assessor for various animal rescue organizations.

At home, Beth lives with her husband, her Border Collie, Belle, Noodle the cat,
and small breed mix rescue, Leo.

Certifications: CPDT-KA, PMCT

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: In-home private training for puppies or adult dogs. Basic Good Manners. Reactive Dog Training. Training for Aggression, Fear and Anxiety. Day Training.

Behavioral issue focus: Reactivity, Aggression, Fear, Anxiety, Resource Guarding

Training methods: Purely Positive, Force Free Training.

Why I became a dog trainer: I love working with people and dogs. I love being able to figure out why a dog does something and how to work with it.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Helping people be able to have a better relationship with their dog.

My #1 dog training tip: Socialization: Take your puppy everywhere and make sure you take chicken with you to treat any time they seem worried about something. Making sure that you don't overreact when/if they overreact.

Service areas: Frederick County, Carroll County, Howard County, Baltimore County and Montgomery County, Maryland

Website: https://www.unleashedjoy.com

Amanda Fuller

I have been involved in agility for 12 years and love helping new teams get into the sport!
I also specialize in deaf/blind dogs.

Certifications: Kpa-ctp, FFCP

Services include:

  • Deaf dog training
  • Agility training

More info about service provided: Agility training, deaf/blind dog training

Why I became a dog trainer: Because of my deaf dog Keller. She pushed me to learn more and other ways to communicate

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Helping people bond with their dogs

My #1 dog training tip: Have fun with your dog!

Service areas: Baltimore, Harford, Cecil County

Linlin Cao

My goal is to provide effective and fun training to clients to help build a strong relationship with their dogs

Certifications: CPDT-KA, CCUI

Services include:

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

Website: https://dogtortraining.com/

Charlotte Hoberg

Charlotte is the owner of Sit'n Stay Training and specializes in Reactivity and Sports Training, but has plenty experience in basic manners and puppy foundations as well. She attends training seminars as often as possible to continue to educate herself in the field of dog training.

Along with training other people's dogs, Charlotte works hard to progress her own dog's training. Pax (pictured) is her mixed breed dog who competes in Rally, Obedience, and soon in Nosework. Her adult German Shepherd, Beowulf is in training for Schutzhund and recently earned his intro level title for the demanding sport. Ghibli, her youngest , is an adolescent German Shepherd who will be following in her brother's footsteps learning Schutzhund.

Certifications: CPDT-KA

Services include:

  • Aggressive dog training
  • Board and train
  • In home training
  • Protection/guard dog training
  • Reactive dog training

Website: https://www.sitnstaytraining.com

Phyllis Saroff

Phyllis Saroff is committed to helping dog owners learn positive reinforcement training and management techniques to achieve a high quality of life for their dogs. Phyllis is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer. She is also a Pat Miller Certified Trainer through Peaceable Paws in Fairplay, Maryland.

She has had dogs for the last thirty years starting with a Norwich Terrier. She and her little terrier earned his AKC Companion Dog title in obedience in 1989. She has discarded the choke chains used thirty years ago in exchange for non-compulsory, positive techniques based on evidence and promoted by the Certification Counsel for Pet Dog Trainers.

Phyllis loves to see dogs enjoy training as a game or puzzle to be solved. Her goal is to help dogs thrive in our man-made environments. She teaches the dog and human team how to use what they learn in class for practical every day applications. The result is a safe, happy and pleasant canine companion. Phyllis has two mixed breed rescue dogs who are both retired from being Pet Partners Therapy Dogs. Spud the Norwegian Elkhound shepherd mix, visited children with disabilities who enjoyed reading to him. The ten pound curly haired Cosmo brought smiles and silliness to hospice patients. Despite their senior status, both dogs love learning new tricks.

Certifications: CPDT-KA PMCT

Services include:

  • In home training
  • Reactive dog training
  • Puppy training

More info about service provided: Good manners classes are held at Beechnut Kennels in Edgewater, Maryland. I provide basic training and good manners for puppies and adult dogs and reactive dogs.

Behavioral issue focus: I commonly work with issues such as basic communication, enrichment, good manners, and reactivity.

Training methods: My training methods are based on positive reinforcement, mark and reward training, counter conditioning and desensitization, mental and physical enrichment.

Why I became a dog trainer: I decided to become a dog trainer after many years of being consulted about dog behavior by friends and neighbors. I also love the communication that training provides and the bond that develops with the animal. I love helping humans develop that bond and communication with their dogs.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: I love seeing the human realize how intelligent and perceptive their dogs are.

My #1 dog training tip: Teach your dogs nose games!

Service areas: Annapolis, MD.

Website: https://humanecaninetraining.com

Susan Aceti

For 15 years, I shared my life with Molly, a black lab mix. She was my first dog and I adopted her at six months from a local animal shelter. I knew her history - that she had been locked in a basement for the first six months of her life, but I didn't know how much it would affect her. I didn't know that she would react to any new dog or person with a scary display of hostility.

You can see more of Molly's story here. I learned how to work with her to develop a calm response to the things that scared her and she lived a wonderful life with a few human and dog friends. Molly died in 2017 and I still miss her. But I decided to put off getting another dog and started a dog boarding business in 2018. Not having a dog of my own, I figured I could provide a place for owners whose challenging dogs couldn't be around other dogs.

Soon I found myself constantly turning down requests for bookings because the nature of challenging dogs inherently limited what I could do. Usually, I could only take one dog at a time (unless they already lived in the same household). Out of this came the idea for Challenging Dogs Boarding and Daycare to increase my capacity by contracting with a small pool of other sitters who would follow the same stringent guidelines I do: carefully helping fearful dogs in a positive, safe way and ensuring a comfortable safe space for them.

Services include:

  • Board and train

Website: https://challengingdogs.com/

Mary Huntsberry

I'm a full time Associate Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist, running a small business focusing on pet behavior consulting and training classes. I've been involved in the modification of animal behavior as a researcher, veterinary technician, trainer, and animal behaviorist for the past 19 years. Before starting Helping Pets Behave, I worked at the National Institutes of Health doing behavioral research. This experience has given me a profound understanding of pet behavior.

Most animal behavior scientists would agree that much of the information about cats and dogs on the internet and on popular television shows is largely inaccurate. This is frustrating for all involved, but it's our pets that suffer the consequences. It seems that all too often a fearful dog labeled as dominant is mistreated with unnecessary, harsh methods that can contribute to bites to humans. It's the inaccurate assessments that leads to a missed opportunity for application of the correct behavior modification treatment.

The latest research in animal behavior allows us to train our pets what TO DO using positive training instead of what NOT to do using aversive means. My methods are science-based meaning I look at the pet's environment to determine the triggers for the unwanted behaviors and the consequences that are maintaining them. I'll teach you humane and innovative training techniques proven effective for training the most challenging of dog and cat behavior problems.

Certifications: Associate Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist,
Elite Fear Free Certified Professional, Canine Good Citizen (CGC) Evaluator by the American Kennel Club, Associate Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist (ACAAB) by the Animal Behavior Society, Registered Laboratory Animal Technician (RLAT) by the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science,Animal Assisted Therapy Certification, Winchester Medical Center

Services include:

  • Puppy training

Service areas: Montgomery County, MD

Website: https://helpingpetsbehave.com/

Kyle Malone

After graduating, both Kyle and Labrina were officially Certified Professional Dog Trainers and are members of the International Association of Canine Professionals, Canine Good Citizen evaluators, certified in Pet first aid & CPR. Having worked at a number of facilities with a wide variety of dogs, they gained the experience needed to pursue their dream. In 2019 they were excited to announce the opening of Maryland K9 Training, LLC and began welcoming dogs of all shapes, sizes and behaviors into their program. If you're in need of help managing your dogs behavior or furthering your understanding of dog training principles reach out to us via the contact form below.

Certifications: Certified Professional Dog Trainer

Service areas: Central Maryland

Website: https://www.mdk9training.com/

Karen Kreig

I haven't always been a dog trainer. My journey to this work started with a deeply loved and very difficult dog, then LOTS of my tears, mountains of frustration and guilt, and finally hopelessness. And then I met an amazing dog trainer who helped me understand how to understand my dog's needs so we could form a real relations that was based on both of our needs and not just on my assumtions about what owning a dog was supposed to be.

I've been where you are now. I deeply understand that feeling of, 'It's a dog - I should know how to do this. This was supposed to be fun'

I'm Karen Krieg and promise I can help you with your dog.

Meeting that trainer years ago shifted my ability to truly LOVE having dogs in my life and that's become a personal mission for me.

There is nothing better in the world to me than watching a truly heart-centered relationship form between dog and owner.

Is your dog?

Or any other behavior that drives you crazy?
I've got you.

We have everything we need to re-train and build trust between yourself and your dog.

We can stop these reactions and fears.

Together, we identify your unique learning style and the best ways to connect you and your family with your dog so you can have the relationship you’ve always hoped for.

Our philosophy is that each situation and relationship is different and acknowledging that FIRST is where the most powerful and impactful strategies begin.

Many trainers have a system they try to place on every person and their dog, but we know from experience that no one system is going to work for everyone. This is why so many people come to me after working with others.

My approach is to evaluate and observe both you and your dog first. While sometimes issues relate to a dog's history (with a rescue, for example), but that doesn't mean that the best way forward is up to training just the dog. I work with both of you. Because both of you have to work to meet each other in the middle. After all, your dog is trying to navigate your world just as much as you're trying to understand theirs.

So when you work with me, expect it to be a team effort. We (you, me, and your dog) all have to build trust to find the best steps to move forward safely and happily.

Certifications: Canine Trade Group, Certified Dog Trainer
Syn Alia Training Systems, Certified Conditioned Relaxation Trainer
International Association of Canine Professionals (IACP), Professional Member
Studies with some of the most excellent Dog trainers all over the world; I am a perpetual student of the most effective systems and trainings.
Training Between the Ears (TBTE) Trainer

Services include:

  • Board and Train
  • In home training

Service areas: DC, Arlington, Montgomery, Fairfax, Howard, Frederick, and Prince George's Counties

Website: https://dreamyskiesdogtraining.com/

Janet Oquendo

With the extensive education and training this ensures she is fully versed on all animal behavior: so she understands how dogs think and learn, and most importantly she is committed to never harm the physical or emotional state of any adult dog or puppy.

Janet does not support the use of fear, pain nor intimidation to train. She uses positive reinforcement dog training techniques only.

Janet received continued education from Veterinary Behaviorist Dr Ian Dunbar (founder of Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT)), and she was mentored by Debbie Winkler (Animal Behavior Consultant) of Humane Domain, Maryland. She also received continued education and support from Dr Ian Dunbar author of 'Before you get your puppy'‚ 'After you get your puppy' puppy training books because he is a well renounced Veterinary Behaviorist and dog trainer!

Janet spent several years as a dog trainer / behavior consultant at 'WARL' (Washington Animal Rescue League now called 'Rescue Alliance' in Washington DC), and was responsible for developing animal rehabilitation programs for aggressive, fearful and puppy mill dogs, as well as teaching a series of puppy and adult dog training group classes.

Certifications: Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CCPDT-KA) and Certified Dog Behavior Consultant - CDBC - (IAABC)
She is a professional member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers - APDT,
IAABC(International Association Animal Behaviors) and PPG (Pet Professional Guild

Services include:

  • Board and train
  • In home training
  • Puppy training

Service areas: Silver Spring, Bethesda, Aspen Hill, Kensington, Rockville, Potomac(Limited), Fulton, Chevy Chase, College Park, Hyattesville, Olney, Brookeville, Derwood, Wheaton, Columbia, Adelphi.. and surrounding Maryland areas.

Website: https://www.pawzforhealth.net/

Clare Owings

With over 20 years experience breeding, competing and training dogs. I have competed in obedience, rally, scent work, barn hunt, and tracking. My love for learning more about the K9 and what makes them tick has taken me from coast to coast to across the pond.Continuing education in reactivity, shaping, separation anxiety, tricks and games based training. I enjoy helping pet parents bring the brilliance out in their dogs for years to come.

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: Obedience, Rally, Scent Work Training, Puppy Training, Adolescent Dog Training, Work with Rescue Dogs, Training Classes and Private In-Home Lessons

Behavioral issue focus: Behavioral issues include - Resource Guarding, Anxiety, Separation Anxiety, Reactivity

Training methods: Reinforcement based trainer, behavioral consultations, training plans for competition, adolescent, puppy and rescue dogs.

Why I became a dog trainer: To help others bring see the true potential in their dogs.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: The success stories that I hear from my students and learning new things in the K9 arena.

My #1 dog training tip: Short, fun training sessions that keep your dog wanting more.

Service areas: Harford, Cecil, Howard and Baltimore Counties

Website: https://k9cdt.com

Vivian Leven

Certified Behavior Consultant Canine – Knowledge Assessed (CBCC-KA) through the Certification Council of Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT)

Certified Professional Dog Trainer-Knowledge & Skills Assessed (CPDT-KSA) through the Certification of Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT)

Fear Free Certified Professional through Fear Free Pets

Certified Family Paws Parent Educator through Family Paws

Holds the status of TAGteach Primary through TAGteach International

Professional member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT)

Professional Member of the Pet Professional Guild (PPG).

Associate Member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC)

Currently serves on the Certification Council of Professional Dog Trainers Examination Committee as subcommittee member for the KSA exam.

Certifications: CBCC, CPDT, IAABC Associate, Family Paws, Fear Free

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: Behavior consulting business, all private sessions

Behavioral issue focus: Reactivity, separation anxiety, resource guarding, impulse control, anxiety

Training methods: Modern dog training (all positive) anchored in animal behavior science and learning theory.

Why I became a dog trainer: I adopted a rescue dog with behavior challenges and it was very difficult to find qualified help. It became the launching pad for me to learn as much as I could about behavior and help other people and their dogs.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: As a dog behavior consultant I like the creative aspect of coming up with approaches and solutions that work for that person and dog. Also to see the outcome of good results, grateful clients and happier dogs staying in their homes.

My #1 dog training tip: Build on reinforcing your dog to do what you want and less energy focusing on what you don't want

Service areas: Metro DC area (Nova, MD)

Website: https://www.positivedogsolutions.com

Julie Davidson

I became a trainer as a result of adopting a dog who turned out to be extremely reactive to other dogs. I had to become a very educated consumer. The number of trainers who don't truly understand how to best help the dog was disturbing to me when I looked for help with my dog. Learning about dog behavior, emotions and cognition has brought my connection with dogs to a new level. It is amazing to get to know so many wonderful animals.

Services include:

  • Deaf dog training
  • Reactive dog training
  • Puppy training

More info about service provided: I have been working with 4 On The Floor Dog training as a trainer for the past few years. The company offers puppy classes, dog sports classes, reactive dog classes and in-person private training sessions for cues and behavior modification, as well as offering virtual session.

Behavioral issue focus: I often work with reactive dogs. I also work with dog's that are easily over-aroused or particularly fearful. I enjoy getting to know each dog and helping people better understand their dog's motivations and needs, and helping them create a plan that starts by addressing the dog's emotional state and well being.

Training methods: I see the first step as learning about the dog in front of me, and determining what is motivating the dog's behavior. I help the owner create a plan using enrichment, routine & prevention to create an environment that meet the dogs needs. I empower the owner with information and tools that helps them keep their dog's from going over threshold so we can lower their stress levels. Once that has succeeded, we begin desensitization at a level the dog can easily cope with, and create a plan that progresses at a pace that is set by the dog. All training of cues is done with reinforcement-based training. The equipment I recommend is a harness that attaches on a front ring. My goal is to teach the dog that s/he is safe in the world, learning and new experiences can be fun, and that it always makes sense to listen to their people.

Why I became a dog trainer: To help advance knowledge and understanding of proper training techniques, and make the world a safer, happier better place for dogs!

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Seeing the lives of dogs and their people improve.

My #1 dog training tip: Be aware of your energy and how your dog responds to it.

Service areas: Montgomery County, MD

Website: https://4onthefloor.dog

Becky Causey

32 years training experience, competition obedience titles, professional service dog trainer

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: pain free, force free, positive trainer for private in home obedience, AKC evaluator, service dog training, board and train

Behavioral issue focus: puppy training, basic and advanced obedience, leash manners, AKC CGC

Training methods: evaluations of behavior and environment and positive reinforcement training to resolve behaviors with comprehensive approach

Why I became a dog trainer: To help families and their dogs to live happily together

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: I love helping people understand their dogs' behavior and how to help achieve the training to create the family pet they want

My #1 dog training tip: Pay attention and reward good choices!

Service areas: Jefferson and Berkeley Co WV, Frederick, Washington and Montogomery CO MD, Winchester and Loudoun CO VA

Website: https://www.CauseyLabradorsandTraining.com

Tara Murtagh

Tara has a bachelor of science degree from Suffolk University in Boston, MA. She is a Certified Behavior Consultant Canine-Knowledge Assessed (CBCC-KA) and a Certified Professional Dog Trainer-Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA), from the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers. She is also a certified Fear Free Animal Trainer.

Tara comes to Dog Latin from Homeward Trails Animal Rescue where she served as the rescue's Behavior Manager. Prior to that time, she was a member of the Behavior Team at Austin Pets Alive, a large animal shelter in Austin, TX.

Tara also has experience volunteering at shelters and animal rescues across the country. Working and volunteering in animal shelters has given Tara the opportunity to gain hands-on experience with a variety of different behavior challenges among dogs of all ages, sizes and breeds.

When she's not working, Tara enjoys spending her free time with her husband and three rescue pitbulls, Junebug, Boo and Squeak.

Certifications: CBCC, CPDT-KA, Fear Fear Certified Animal Trainer

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: Private sessions and day training

Behavioral issue focus: On-leash reactivity, resource guarding, fear-based issues, human directed aggression and dog directed aggression.

Training methods: Behavior consultations, custom behavior plans (including training, management and enrichment needs for each client)

Why I became a dog trainer: I am fascinated by both animal and human behavior, and I love finding ways to help people and their pets live successfully and happily together, and strengthen the bond between pet and pet parent.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Helping build confidence and trust between dog and handler

My #1 dog training tip: Training should be fun and empowering for dogs and humans!

Service areas: Washington DC, Potomac, Bethesda, Silver Spring, Alexandria, Arlington

Website: https://doglatindogtraining.com/

Sniffspot Maryland Top Trainer Frequently Asked Questions

How are Maryland dog trainers selected for this list?

These are the top dog trainers in Maryland 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 Maryland 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 Maryland?

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 Maryland 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 Maryland cost?

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

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

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 Maryland was $36,973 per year and $17.78 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 Maryland

Baltimore, MD
Frederick, MD
Salisbury, MD

See The Best Dog Trainers In Other States Near Maryland


Merlin Noble photo

Merlin Noble

March 29, 2022

Dog Trainers

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