The Best Dog Trainers in New Jersey of 2022

Welcome to the New Jersey Sniffspot top dog trainer list for 2022. This is a list of the top dog trainers in New Jersey based on votes from the Sniffspot community and the general public. Over 45,000 votes were used in compiling this list. We have only included the top trainers with sufficient votes and the trainers are ordered in terms of the number of votes received. Trainers that tied are ranked in reverse alphabetical order based on first name. All dog trainers on this list are positive reinforcement only, as defined by no force, fear, intimidation, or aversive methods used

Dog training is one of the most important activities someone can do with their dog. Many come to dog training through a specific issue they want addressed, anything from barking to separation anxiety. Some have adopted dogs from animal shelters with an abusive experience and some just have happy puppies looking for everyday life skills. Trainers can help with all kinds of specific skills and issues, from leash manners to territorial aggression to anxiety around skateboards to common puppy challenges. However, what many discover is that working with a trainer is actually a way for a pet owner to deepen their relationship with their dog. The enhanced communication skills that result can increase quality of life, be a rewarding experience, be a social experience and lead to more harmonious relationships. Knowing that one’s dog is having a happier life can dramatically improve peace of mind. As the saying goes: happy dog, happy life. And it extends further than just the dog, to the pet owners. Owner empowerment can actually improve the relationship between owners. And finding the right trainer can make all the difference in the experience.

This list is compiled by Sniffspot, which is the largest network of private dog parks for rent in the world. Each of the thousands of Sniffspot dog parks are hosted by locals on private land with 100% private bookings to maximize safety for guests and their dogs. Sniffspot offers various types of dog parks, including fenced, water parks, indoor dog parks, dog beaches and more. Sniffspot has worked closely with dog trainers to create safe spaces for dogs and our top trainer lists are a natural extension of that relationship. You can browse Sniffspot's local dog parks here.

The Best New Jersey Dog Trainers in 2022

Jaime Caponetta

Jaime left her 9-5 desk job and started her journey as a kennel attendant for a K9 boarding facility before transferring to the Monmouth County SPCA where she gained invaluable animal welfare experience. During her time at the MCSPCA, she was part of the team of handlers that assisted Law Enforcement on the largest case of animal hoarding in NJ. She also completed rigorous schooling to obtain her certification as a K9 trainer from the Animal Behavior College in California.

In 2017 she put her experience to the test and started Pawsome Walks NJ. A Dog Walking, Pet Sitting, and (at the time) Dog Training company. Her training methods and level of care have resulted in countless behavioral transformations, happy pets, and relieved families. Jaime earned the title of Assoc. Certified K9 Behavior Consultant from the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants.

Achieved by over 300 recorded hours of behavior consulting, and 150 hours of course work in addition to her standard dog training certification, and is actively expanding on her knowledge through the IAABC's advanced courses. This additional certification and education affords her the skills needed to solve complex behavioral issues that far exceed the abilities of a standard dog trainer.

Thus, Pawsome University was born! Jaime is very involved in Animal Welfare. She is the Pet Therapy Certifying Trainer at the MCSPCA. Helps out local shelters and rescues, such as Sammy‘s Hope and East Orange Animal Alliance, with discounted trainings and advice for foster parents to ensure difficult dogs make it out the door and into the arms of their forever families. And Jaime is second in command at The Opal Fund, a 501(c)3 in honor of Opal Caponetta, that provides MRI scans to pets suffering from Neurological Disorders. Jaime's vast experience in animal welfare has equipped her for even the most challenging cases, and her unique connection with the dogs in her care is why so many clients and organizations trust her with their pets.

Certifications: Certified Dog Trainer, ABCDT, Certified K9 Behavior Consultant, IAABC

Services include:

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


Lynne Petermann

In business for 20 years specializing in Puppy Kindergarten & Therapy Dog

Certifications: Certified Dog Trainer, Certified AKC CGC Evaluator, Certified Therapy Dog Evaluator


Andrea Kilkenny

Andrea Kilkenny has been an animal lover since she was a child. Over the last two decades, she has shared her home with cats and dogs. In addition, foster dogs and foster cats have come to live with Andrea and her own personal pets, gaining basic training, social skills, and/or physically healing from illness or injury. She entered the animal welfare field as a shelter volunteer in 1996, eventually leaving a teaching career and becoming employed full time at a municipal Animal Control facility.

Over the years, she has held several positions including Volunteer Coordinator, Kennel Assistant, Animal Care Technician, Shelter Manager, and Animal Control Officer at shelters in the Midwest, Pacific Northwest, and East Coast. She has helped build volunteer programs and established training and enrichment protocols for the shelters she has worked at, and has served as a consultant for other shelters, rescues, and doggie daycare facilities.

Prior to working in animal welfare, she spent over a decade teaching youth and adults with disabilities in public school, group home, vocational, and clinical settings. She was a certified public school teacher and holds a Masters degree in Special Education. Applied Behavior Analysis was a focus of her graduate and post-graduate studies and research. Andrea has taught basic obedience, puppy kindergarten, agility, flyball, pet therapy, and canine good citizen (CGC) classes across the country. She is a CPDT-KA certified trainer and also a Canine Good Citizen evaluator through the American Kennel Club.

In addition to classes, she has provided in-home consultations and private lessons for clients. She has worked with numerous shelters and rescues, evaluating animals and helping place them for adoption as well as supporting owners after adoption matches are made. Through her classes, consultations, and shelter work, she has worked with literally thousands of dogs and cats over the years, of all breeds and mixed heritage.

Andrea is also a responder with the ASPCA and has worked on several large cruelty cases; she deploys as part of the Behavior Team, working with animals in the temporary housing/shelters after the animals are confiscated. She has been a member of several obedience and dog sport clubs, and is currently a member of the Northeast Staffordshire Bull Terrier Club and the Staffordshire Bull Terrier Club of America. She and her dogs train and actively compete in Obedience, Rally Obedience, Agility, Scentwork, Dock Diving, and Lure Coursing. She and her dogs have earned several titles in multiple dog sports.

Andrea and her dog Rumble were also a pet therapy team registered with the Delta Society (now called Pet Partners) Her dogs have participated in demonstrations at county fairs, college sporting events, prisons, schools and neighborhood centers, and were also featured weekly in a humane education program on Public Access TV. Several of her dogs have been filmed in TV show or commercials, and print ads such as My Crazy Love, Mysteries of the Museum, Sealy Mattress, Barkbox, etc . They have presented on topics such as dog bite prevention, pet adoption, basic pet training, managing multiple pet households, and shelter volunteering.

Andrea was a presenter at the 2017 Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT) conference, and spoke about her work with her rescue dog Finn, and other dogs who were victims of cruelty and their rescue and recovery. Charlie, Page, and Andrea performed an agility demo at the 2017 APDT conference. In 2018 and 2019, Andrea, Charlie, and Maceo performed a FitPAWS and agility demo at the 2018 World Dog Expo, and presented on training topics. Andrea enjoys working with clients and helping improve the human-pet bond. Working with animals and teaching are her two passions that she has combined into lifelong work.

Certifications: CPDT-KA certified trainer and also a Canine Good Citizen evaluator through the American Kennel Club

Services include:

  • Aggressive dog training
  • Reactive dog training


Regina Dougherty-McCarren

Services include:

  • Aggressive dog training
  • Reactive dog training
  • Off leash training


Nancy T

I am a certified trainer and canine behavioral specialist for the past 14 years with a true passion for working with dogs I started my business Peace In The Pack to help dogs with behavioral issues to learn, understand and to become confident and peaceful I love to work from the canine's point of view to help them learn from their perspective It always works!I call my dogs my teachers and professors because I still learn from every case.

I teach my Peace In The Pack canine behavioral courses at Camden County College and at Rowan at Gloucester RCGC and at Audubon Community Ed I have been the resident canine expert and pet reporter on KYW Newsradio for nine years and have been an expert witness to speak on canine behavior on various cases. With my extensive background as a professional broadcaster and public speaker, (NBC4 , KYW and various Phila radio stations).

I also lecture to help people to better understand canine behavior to help create balance and stability in dogs' lives Its been fulfilling to have worked with bite cases that have rehabilitated and ultimately became therapy dogs! My individual session work is where I can observe one to one and help families communicate better with their best friends.

Certifications: ABCDT, CPDT PVMA award recipient

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

All issues including aggressive tendencies

Training methods:

Free phone consult/Program Plan and Lifetime Walks included with Full Program

Service area:

NJ/PA and Remote


Maria DeLeon

Maria began working with dogs professionally when she worked at a Siberian Husky competitive sled dog kennel for three years. She has apprenticed under a graduate of the world-renowned Karen Pryor Academy. She has aided in the training of guide dogs, service animals, and therapy dogs. She offers private training and consultations in Central New Jersey and Bucks County. PA.

Maria is an advocate and educator of positive reinforcement based training. Having worked with exotic animals and primates as a trainer and having studied Psychology at Rutgers' University, her knowledge of learning theory is the core of how she instructs dogs and their owners. Her pet chihuahua, Tundra, is a Canine Good Citizen, certified member of Therapy Dog International, and has trained in Rally Obedience and Agility. Her newest dog, Lo the terrier mix, enjoys Earthdog and Obedience. She believes every dog is capable of achieving great things!

Certifications: Graduate of the world-renowned Karen Pryor Academy, Certified Dog Behavior Consultant

Services include:

  • Board and train
  • In home training


Elizabeth Boucher

In your home Dog Obedience Training. I'll teach you how to teach your dog.

Certifications: Animal Behavior College Dog Trainer

Services include:

  • In home training
  • Reactive dog training


Amanda Steffy

Born and raised in Northern NJ, Amanda had a plethora of animals to take care of growing up. It was inevitable that she would take interest in a career working with animals in some way. In school, Amanda gravitated towards math and science so becoming a veterinarian was naturally the way to go. She worked hard through her high school and college years to make this dream happen.

Amanda ultimately graduated from William Paterson University with a Bachelor's Degree in Biology. Unfortunately veterinary school wasn't in the cards but it didn't stop Amanda from finding a career working with animals while still making a difference. Dogs have always been a huge part of her life. Training family and friend's dogs wasn't uncommon for Amanda.

It wasn't until she was an adult dealing with other people's dogs and her own personal dogs on a daily basis, she saw the struggle. This is where Amanda saw dog training as an avenue she wanted to pursue because there's nothing more rewarding than seeing people being able to enjoy their dog again or getting their new puppy started off on the right path.

Dog training is more than teaching your dog obedience commands and tricks: it's a lifestyle. 365/24/7 if you will. She wants to help dogs make better choices every day but most importantly give owners the guidance they need to set themselves and their dogs up for success. Amanda volunteers at a local shelter dealing with many dogs that need the extra attention to help them become more adoptable and make the transition into home life a little easier on everyone.

As you can imagine a shelter environment is very overwhelming so the extra one-on-one time with these dogs is super beneficial to get them interactive not only physically but mentally! She regularly attends seminars where trainers will troubleshoot any problems owners are experiencing with their dogs. This is a great opportunity to expand a trainer's knowledge on techniques and ask questions for the experts that use these methods within their training programs.

Amanda is also continually learning and growing to better her dog training craft. Dog training is an art and one technique for one dog may not work for another. It is up to us as trainers that deal with dogs on a daily basis to continue our education to better the tools in our tool bags.

Services include:

  • Reactive dog training


Sniffspot New Jersey Top Trainer Frequently Asked Questions

How are New Jersey dog trainers selected for this list?

These are the top dog trainers in New Jersey 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 New Jersey 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 New Jersey?

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 New Jersey 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 New Jersey cost?

New Jersey 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 New Jersey dog trainer. How can I get listed here?

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

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 New Jersey was $30,666 per year and $14.74 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.

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