The Best Dog Trainers in New York, NY of 2022

Welcome to the New York, NY Sniffspot top dog trainer list for 2022. This is a list of the top dog trainers in New York 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. This list is a subset of the broader Top Trainers in New York list.

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

This list is sponsored by Sniffspot, which is the largest network of private dog parks for rent in the world. Each of the thousands of Sniffspot dog parks are hosted by locals on private land with 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 York, NY Dog Trainers in 2022

Russ Hollier

Russ has been a Region Coordinator for Guiding Eyes for the Blind (GEB), and has raised thirteen guide dogs for GEB. He has prepared new puppy-raisers for their first puppy and has taught weekly classes to the volunteer puppy-raisers until their dogs returned to the training school.

Russ is a retired social worker and has worked for over 25 years in the human services profession. As a therapist and clinical supervisor, he has provided services to people overcoming addictions and mental illness, and to those resolving family conflict. Russ's career has reinforced his belief in the resiliency of people and the power of positive relationships. Growing up on a small farm in central New York, Russ has always been drawn to nature and relationships with animals. Russ learned to relate with animals in a calm, consistent, and rewarding manner while helping his father shepherd sheep and care for other livestock and companion animals.

Russ learned that working with animals is a sacred experience, that their needs come first, and that if you pay attention you learn a great deal about yourself in the process. Russ's concern for animals was advanced in his training as a bereavement counselor to assist families through the difficult time of the loss of a loved family pet. Being a professional dog trainer is a natural integration of Russ's human service career, guide dog experience, and animal affinity.

Russ holds a MS in social work from Marywood University, in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and a BS in education, with a major in outdoor recreation, from SUNY Cortland, Cortland, New York. He lives near Ithaca, New York, with his wife and offfice manager Beth, Toby a retired guide dog and therapy dog, Larkin a Great Dane, Zena the wonder cat and Pippin a Chihuahua

Certifications: Karen Pryor Academy Graduate. KPA

Services include:
  • Reactive dog training
  • Service dog training
Behavioral issue focus:

Reactivity, Resource Guarding Door Manners. Loose Lead Walking . Puppy Behaviors

Training methods:

Force Free, Positive Reinforcement, Clicker Training, Relationship Building

Service area:

Tompkins County New York State, and contiguous counties


Tricia Kennedy

Tricia is a graduate of the Karen Pryor Academy, which is dedicated to 100% positive reinforcement training (no punishment, corrections or aversive of any kind). Training is reward marker based; we mark behavior that we like with a "click" or a "yes" and ignore behavior we don't like. Behavior that has been rewarded gets repeated and behavior that gets ignored, extinguishes.

Because your dog is making choices to do behaviors you desire and that you have rewarded him/her for previously, you learn how to communicate with each other and an increasingly strong bond is built. Instead of "commanding" your dog to do what you want you work collaboratively towards instilling mutually beneficial behaviors.

Certifications: Graduate of the Karen Pryor Academy

Services include:

  • Aggressive dog training
  • Reactive dog training


Pat Tetrault

Pat is a past President and Board Member of the DCSPCA, and is Chair of SOS-SRF, a 501(c)3 dedicated to helping homeless Siberian Huskies.

Services include:

  • Protection/guard dog training
  • Reactive dog 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


Sniffspot New York Top Trainer Frequently Asked Questions

How are New York dog trainers selected for this list?

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

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 York 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 York cost?

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

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

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 York was $36,025 per year and $17.32 per hour. It is impossible to say how much a dog trainer can earn with a full-service professional dog training company, because the size and profitability of companies can vary widely.

See The Best Dog Trainers In Other Cities Near New York

Ordered alphabetically, only included cities where there is enough data to compile a list

Boston, MA
Buffalo, NY
Philadelphia, PA
Pittsburgh, PA
Providence, RI

See The Best Dog Trainers In Other States Near New York

Ordered alphabetically, only included states where there is enough data to compile a list

New Jersey