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The Best Dog Trainers in Oakland, CA of 2023

Merlin Noble photo

Merlin Noble

March 29, 2022

Dog Trainers

Welcome to the Oakland, CA Sniffspot top dog trainer list for 2023. This is a list of the top dog trainers in Oakland based on votes from the Sniffspot community and the general public. Over 55,000 votes were used in compiling this list. We have only included the top trainers with sufficient votes and the trainers are ordered in terms of the number of votes received. Trainers that tied are ranked in reverse alphabetical order based on first name. All dog trainers on this list are positive reinforcement only, as defined by no force, fear, intimidation, or aversive methods used. This list is a subset of the broader Top Trainers in California list. To learn more about our dog trainer contest, feel free to view the dog trainer contest post.

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

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

The Best Oakland, CA Dog Trainers in 2023

Josh Beckler

Hi, my name is Josh Beckler...
...and I am a professional dog trainer passionate about helping dogs be well-behaved and happy.
I used to use punishment and force to train dogs, but now use force-free training with positive reinforcement and rewards.
Dogs trained using force-free methods are more confident, happy, and willing to learn, and trainers are able to build stronger relationships and trust with their dogs.

I've seen the benefits of force-free training for both dogs and trainers and am dedicated to staying current on the latest research and techniques. I believe every dog deserves kindness and respect and am committed to helping dog owners build positive relationships with their dogs.

Certifications: Pending Canine Science Behaviorist Certification

Services include:

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

More info about service provided:

We specialize in reactivity and aggression, focus on communicating and motivating animals without the use of corrections or tools. At our training center, we understand that dogs have their own personalities and quirks. That's why we tailor our training programs to suit each dog's individual needs to thrive.

Over the last 14 months, we have had the pleasure of working with close to 1200 dogs, and we're proud of the positive results we've achieved. Our commitment to the well-being of our furry clients has earned us a reputation as a trusted resource for dog training in the Bay Area.

We're also passionate about supporting rescue organizations in our community. We believe that every dog deserves a loving home, and we're dedicated to doing our part to help rescues and their furry residents.

So, if you're looking for a dog trainer who will work with you and your furry companion to achieve positive results without the use of harsh corrections or tools, look no further than our dog training services. We can't wait to help you and your furry friend on your journey toward a happier, healthier, and more harmonious relationship.

Behavioral issue focus: Resource guarding, reactivity, aggression, fear, anxiety, in home behavior issues, etc

Training methods: Utilizing all elements of motivation and rewards and staying in the vein of communication. Avoiding pain and fear as a mechanism for teaching or rehabilitation.

Why I became a dog trainer: Growing up, I had a difficult childhood. I lived in a neglectful and abusive home, and there were few sources of comfort and support for me. Dogs were my only escape from the pain and trauma of my daily life. One of my fondest memories from this time was roaming the Tennessee hills with my cocker spaniel, Lela May. She was my constant companion, and the love and loyalty she showed me were a source of solace in a dark and difficult time.

Despite the challenges I faced at home, I always had a deep love and connection with dogs. They provided me with a sense of security and belonging that I couldn't find anywhere else. Eventually, the state intervened and removed me from my home. I was placed with my aunt, who became my legal guardian and provided me with the love and support I had been missing for so long. Although I left my childhood behind, I never forgot the role that dogs played in helping me to survive and thrive. I made a commitment to myself to use my experiences to help others, and I became a dog trainer as a way to give back to the animals that had given me so much.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: The relief and confidence that clients obtain seeing that their can dog make better choices and thoroughly enjoy the process.

My #1 dog training tip: Dogs never know what the hell is going on. Maybe help them out a little. Spend the time

Service areas: Northern California/Bay Area

Website: https://www.k9optima.com

Ali Sutch

Hi! I'm Ali (she/her) and I live in Oakland with my two dogs, two cats, one gecko, and one human partner. Before moving to California in 2016, I was a zookeeper. I love learning about behavior and how it's not just about dogs- the laws of behavior apply everywhere, in our interactions with everyone (human and animal alike). Making sure everyone's needs are met, and that they are set up for success, are important in every relationship we have. Being a good dog trainer is a lot like being a good friend.

Most of my spare time is spent hiking with my dogs (Minnow and Juice Box). I also enjoy powerlifting and playing Stardew Valley.

Certifications: KPA-CTP, CCUI

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: I work mostly with dogs who have "big feelings" - fear or frustration based reactivity, high arousal, stranger danger, etc. I offer private coaching (you + your dog + me) and day training (mostly just me + your dog), depending on the case and individual needs. I also offer group classes (currently we are offering Control Unleashed classes).

Behavioral issue focus: Barking/lunging at triggers (other dogs, strangers, etc), jumpy mouthy arousal issues, guest protocols (what to do when you have people over), recall, dog-dog play interactions

Training methods: We'll start with a brief phone call (~15 min) to see if I'm the right fit for you. Then we'll have an in-person consultation (~60 min) to dive into your dog's life and the needs of your household. From there, I'll write an assessment (including overviews for management and enrichment) and suggest how we might move forward - how many sessions, day training vs coaching, generally setting expectations, etc. Generally I meet with coaching clients every 2-3 weeks, and day training has a minimum of 2 sessions per week.

Why I became a dog trainer: I've had many training-adjacent jobs, and always felt like becoming a trainer was the ultimate goal. I am so fascinated by behavior science, and I think the most beautiful thing is when we can intersect that knowledge with compassion for the learner. Dogs are perfect beings. They are never wrong. They are always on uncomplicated quests to have their needs met, and I find that so refreshing and humbling.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer:

I love helping clients realize that they can shed all of that icky socially-indoctrinated crap about dominance, being the alpha, etc, and instead they can embrace softness as a form of strength. It can take a lot of unlearning to fully accept positive reinforcement, especially when you are living with a "big feelings" dog. I love when people realize how wonderful it can be.

Of course I also love the part where I get to work with dogs! I love breaking behavior down into small pieces and getting creative with it. I love helping them learn new skills. I love that they are always honest.

My #1 dog training tip: Give your dog some slack! Literally - using a longer leash can be revolutionary. And figuratively - dogs are always doing the best they can.

Service areas: Oakland, Berkeley, Alameda

Website: https://www.uptosnuff.net

Nancy Frensley

Nancy Frensley,CPDT-KA, CAP2, AKC Evaluator, Scent Work Judge

Nancy is the Senior Behavior and Training Manager at Berkeley Humane. Besides developing a training program full of variety and fun for students, during her 30 years at Berkeley Humane, she is involved on many levels with shelter and adoption from intake to evaluation and training of shelter staff. She operates the organization’s Behavior Advice line, helping people to live well and fully with their dogs.

Besides her work at Berkeley Humane, she participates in all sorts of dog sports including Agility, Canine Freestyle, Competition Obedience, Rally, Tracking and Scent Work and brings sport training into the program. She has operated her own dog training business Finesse Dog Training, in which she taught dog sports.

Her goals have always been to provide solid, effective training along with a variety of options and games to all human and canine students.

Certifications: CPDT-KA, CAP2, CGC Evaluator, FitDog 3, AKC Scent Work Judge

Services include:

  • Aggressive dog training
  • Reactive dog training
  • Puppy training

More info about service provided: Basic, Intermediate, Advanced Skills training, Puppy training, Rally sport training, Scent Work, Specialized Walk training, Canine Good Citizen, Trick training classes. private behavior consults

Behavioral issue focus: Reactivity and Separation issues, Owner education for start up dogs-excitability, mouthiness and other common issues

Training methods: Primarily class training that includes written behavior and training handbooks. Online and in person consultations with a follow up individual training plan.

Why I became a dog trainer: I have had a lifelong passion for interacting and communicating with non humane creatures. It was a natural progression to become a trainer and behavior counselor

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Seeing the results in my animal and human clients. There is a genuine joy and fascination in seeing their progress toward their objectives and teamwork.

My #1 dog training tip: Dogs want stuff. We show them how to get it.

Service areas: Alameda and Contra Costa Counties

Website: https://www.trainthebay.org

Sara Scott

Sara Scott has been training dogs professionally in the Bay Area since 2000 and comes with a wealth of knowledge and experience that can only be gained through time and dedication to the art and science of dog behavior and training. She is deeply educated and brings her knowledge to application with great insight, grace and compassion for both species; human and dog.

Certifications: SAPro CPDT-KA

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: Join the online coaching program and systematically work toward reaching your dog's behavior and training goals. No need to commit to a strict schedule, train when it's convenient for you and get the dog behavior support you need for lifelong success.

Behavioral issue focus:

Dealing with aggressive behaviors can be stressful for both dog and owner alike. Learn the root cause of your dog’s aggressive or reactive behavior and implement a behavior plan that is both effective, evidence-based, safe and humane. Let me guide you on a path toward healing and behavioral wellness for both you and your dog.

Dogs who experience fear and anxiety can be reactive, destructive, non-responsive and more. Helping your dog feel more comfortable in their skin is the best way to improve behavior problems so you can enjoy a peaceful life together.

Separation anxiety and other separation related behavior problems can be disruptive to everyday life. When you’re unable to leave your dog home alone, it can take a toll on both of you. Learn how to use systematic desensitization and help your dog be comfortable staying home alone.

Training methods:

The dog training field is unregulated and so you'll find lots of conflicting information about training mythologies when you start to research your options. Force free, balanced, R+, Compulsion, Relationship-Based - there are many labels trainers will use to identify themselves with a certain method, technique or school of thought. However, there is no debate when it comes to behavior science and evidence-based best practices. We know exactly what works and why, don't be fooled when someone tells you anything differently. Looking at effective evidenced-based training techniques through an ethical lens, I will strive to make training a safe and fun space for both you and your dog to learn and grow.

Start with a consultation conducted over Zoom video conferencing. The goal of the consultation is to get to the bottom of what's happening, give you a clear assessment of your dog's behavior and address management strategies for immediate relief.

Join the dog behavior coaching program, get access to your training plan, learn the logistics of how we will work together and share video, get your training gear ready and prepare yourself to get rolling for your first week.

Here comes the fun part - start training your dog! I'll use evidence-based practices to help you set attainable behavior goals with a focus on making practice a consistent habit. Show up, put in the work and be on your way to a well mannered dog.

My #1 dog training tip: Train the dog in front of you.

Service areas: Worldwide

Website: https://dogtrainingwithsara.com/

Brian Galindo

After a motorcycle accident left me with a spinal cord injury, I had to reinvent myself and my career. I learned about Bonnie Bergin's school (BerginU.edu) and enrolled in 2011. After graduating with an AS in Service Dog Ed, I began teaching clients and started No Limits Service Dog & Obedience. I've been working with clients ever since and love helping my community!

Certifications: AS - Assistance Dog Education, CPDT-KA, AKC Evaluator

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: Service Dog mentoring/testing, group classes & clinics, private training, board & training.

Behavioral issue focus: Lots of cases of under socialization and separation anxiety lately, most likely due to COVID. But with over 10 year's experience, there isn't much I haven't seen

Training methods: Completely force-free, positive reinforcement techniques and exercises. I'm a bond-based trainer who believes a strong relationship with your dog builds trust & reliability.

Why I became a dog trainer: I've always had a lifelong love of helping animals and people.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: The results!

My #1 dog training tip: Reward your dog for his attention!

Service areas: Greater San Francisco Bay Area

Website: https://www.NoLimitsServiceDog.com

Lea Orloski

Lea has always had love and a natural talent with dogs growing up. She began working with dogs in 2006 as a dog handler and began observing and assisting with training dogs & classes in 2009. In 2013 she attained a certificate in training and behavior from the Dog Training Internship Academy created by Janis Bradley. A 6-month course that focused on positive reinforcement dog training, dog behavior and professional client consultation. She also has her CPDT-KA Certification from the The Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers.

Lea is also AKC Canine Good Citizen (CGC) evaluator, a member of the Pet Professional Guild (PPG) and teaches classes through Sirius Puppy & Dog Training founded by Ian Dunbar. Lea's passion for dog training can be seen through her work. She loves teaching students 'how to speak dog' and how to better connect with their canine companions. When not hiking with dogs, doing training sessions with clients or with her personal dogs, she is continuing her dog education through continuous hands on experience, seminars, conferences, webinars and books. Lea shares her life with an awesome husband and her canine companion, Gambit the Belgian Malinois.

Certifications: CPDT-KA, CTBC

Services include:

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

Why I became a dog trainer: I had a difficult dog, while learning about how to be better for him, I discovered I really liked dog training and it came natural to me.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Seeing the success! Making owners feel like it's not the end of the world!

My #1 dog training tip: Consistency and clarity make all the difference in communication with your dog.

Service areas: Oakland, Richmond, Berkeley

Website: https://www.caninecentric.net/

Trish King

I've been working with clients and dogs for over 35 years, and specialize in behavior problems like reactivity, resource guarding and separation anxiety. I am a speaker, and worked as Director of Behavior & Training at the Marin Humane Society for 23 years.

Certifications: CBCD, CPDT-KA

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: Consultations

Behavioral issue focus: I work with any problem areas

Training methods: Behavior Consultations with written notes and follow ups

Why I became a dog trainer: I love dogs, and didn't like being a radio journalist much

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: My clients and their dogs

My #1 dog training tip: Watch and listen to your dog

Service areas: Marin County, CA

Website: https://www.canine-behavior-associates.com

Analisa Six

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I have been working with dogs since 2015. I started working with reactive dogs in Oakland and moved to the high desert in 2020 and began working with dogs of most temperaments and various ages.

Certifications: DWA, DTIA

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: Coaching, day training, puppy training, reactivity, fear, barking and lunging, trail manners, in home

Behavioral issue focus: Barking, lunging, stranger fear, predation end of life needs, anxiety, global fear, basic manners

Training methods: Consultations and written training plans as well as online coaching

Why I became a dog trainer: I love dogs

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Helping dogs find better ways to navigate a human world and advocating for them.

My #1 dog training tip: Behavior is never fixed. Don't let yourself get stuck in a plan that isn't working.

Service areas: Yucca Valley, Joshua tree, Pioneertown, Morongo Valley

Rebekah Piedad

Rebekah Piedad, KPA-CTP knew she wanted to train animals since she was a small child. As a toddler, she had her heart set on training lions and tigers in local zoos, but dogs stole her heart in adulthood.

Rebekah has owned and fostered countless dogs ranging from greyhounds to Cane Corsos. She has volunteered for greyhound rescue, pit bull rescue, and served on the Board of Directors of the Humane Society of Stanislaus County. She eased into the dog profession as a pet sitter and dog walker.

In 2013, Rebekah became a Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner. She worked at a high-volume boarding, training, and daycare facility in the Central Valley of California before starting her own business in the Bay Area. Rebekah has trained dogs for commercial advertising, and she revitalized both public and shelter animal training programs at the East Bay SPCA where she worked as the Manager of Behavior and Training before moving to Shasta County where she opened her own private training facility.

Specializing in fearful and aggressive behaviors, Rebekah has worked with private clients and collaborated with rescue groups, shelters, veterinarians, and veterinary behaviorists. She seeks to constantly expand her knowledge and skill set by continuing her education in the behavior sciences and the most progressive animal training techniques. She believes that all training should be fun for both humans and dogs and seeks to inspire a collaborative mindset so that each human and dog can enjoy their companion to the fullest.

Rebekah currently lives in Shingletown, CA with her two dogs and a cat. When she is not training, she is usually hiking or backpacking through the Cascades.

Certifications: KPA-CTP

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: Offering board and train specializing in fear and aggression, intensive training programs, local in-person consultations and private lessons for all pet dog issues, and remote training via Zoom.

Behavioral issue focus: Fear and aggression toward people, dogs, moving objects, and novelty; separation anxiety; generalized anxiety; intra-household dog aggression; resource guarding; potty training; and general manners

Training methods: Board and trains are 4 or 8-week programs followed by 5 days of in-person training with a written training plan and Zoom followup. Consultations involve assessment with management and training plan and a followup email giving instructions and video example. Private lessons offer live demonstrations, step by step instructions, followup written training plan with videos, and opportunities for client video submissions for feedback.

Why I became a dog trainer: I became a dog trainer initially to help dogs with challenging behavior find and remain in good homes. My motivation quickly expanded to helping owners and dogs live their best lives together, increasing the human-dog bond, and enabling both dog and owner to become their best selves within their partnership.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: I adore watching dog owners develop deep pride in all their dog's strengths, growth, and individuality as well as in their progress together as a team.

My #1 dog training tip: The dog does what is reinforced. Pay attention to what is reinforcing your dog's behavior so that you can understand your dog's motivations and change your behavior accordingly.

Service areas: Located in Shasta County and serving Southern Oregon, Western Nevada, and Northern California including the Bay Area and Sacramento

Website: https://yesdog.org

Kristin Lucy

Kristin is a 2020 Honors graduate of Jean Donaldson's Academy for Dog Trainers.

When she was without a dog of her own at home for many years, Kristin got her 'doggie fix' by volunteering at Tony La Russa's Animal Rescue Foundation ('ARF') in Walnut Creek, beginning in 2013. She completed ARF's 'Shelter U' program which provided a basic background in positive reinforcement and force-free handling. She then assisted with ARF's Puppy Manners, Basic Manners and Reactive Rover classes. She also spent some time as a Behavior Volunteer at Berkeley Humane.

Her primary gig is still as a full-time practicing attorney, but she enjoys using her CTC to teach Puppy 1 classes in Walnut Creek. Kristin is endlessly intrigued with the application of known, scientific principles of animal learning to individual dogs. She recently welcomed her own dog into her family with the addition of Obed, a Rhodesian Ridgeback. Obed has provided Kristin with an education in the real-life challenges of both puppyhood and teenager-dom.

Certifications: CTC

Services include:

  • Reactive dog training
  • Puppy training

Service areas: Alameda \| Oakland, Rockridge \| Piedmont \| Berkeley \| El Cerrito

Website: https://bravopup.com/

Shane Stanis

I have been training professionally since 2002, and have a passion for supporting both humans and dogs as they navigate challenging behavioral needs.

I have an extra soft spot for shy & fearful dogs, and enjoy living with a pair of semi-feral dogs myself.

Certifications: IAABC CDBC, CPDT-KSA

Services include:

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

More info about service provided:

Behavior Consultant for fear, aggression, anxiety, Vet Behavior support plans.
Specializing in fear including semi-feral and rescues from trauma (hoarding, puppy mills, lab survivors, meat trade)
Private consultation & training in person and virtually
Online group program for shy & fearful dogs
Private manners & puppy training also available

Behavioral issue focus: Reactivity towards all triggers, intra-household dog aggression, dog directed aggression, human directed aggression, resource guarding, separation anxiety, anxieties and phobias, fear, compulsive/stereotypic behaviors, support for Veterinary Behaviorist training plans

Training methods:

Evidence based positive reinforcement training (aka "clicker training") and behavior modification. I adhere to the ethical guidelines of both the IAABC & CPDT, and do not utilize aversive equipment or ethos in training. Certified Fear Free trainer for cooperative care (veterinary/husbandry).

Work together begins with an intake assessment, followed by coaching sessions in person or virtually depending on location, as well as dog's needs and ideal training plan.

Clients are given an outline of the training plan after intake, and support supplements including notes, logs and worksheets as needed between sessions.

Online program for shy & fearful dogs includes both individual training plans and group virtual coaching sessions live 3 times/month, as well as support lessons/assignments & video review

Why I became a dog trainer: I explored primatology in college, but started to believe I'd miss not being able to connect directly with the animals I was studying. I started volunteering at an animal shelter, and fell head first into dog training from there.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Seeing the gears turn in a dog's head, and helping stressed owners begin to be able to feel like they can breath again.

My #1 dog training tip: Take a step back. We are often fearful that if we don't push our dogs we won't accomplish our goals, but this can backfire and ultimately slow us down. If we take a moment to assess what we can do differently, our dogs will do better, and we'll see real, lasting improvement.

Service areas:

In Person: Central & East Contra Costa County
Hybrid: Greater Bay Area
Remote: Nationally

Website: https://www.mightymuttsdogtraining.com

Ally Lantis

Ally Lantis' dog training journey began like many, with a very naughty dog! Working at Pet Food Express as a teenager, she got referred to an excellent positive trainer for assistance with her unruly Border Collie. Very quickly she became hooked and became his apprentice for a few years. Ally taught with him at ARF and then left for college to pursue vet school. While in Oregon studying hard, it became apparent her calling was animal behavior. She worked for various pet stores, mentored under another trainer, worked in an animal research lab, became a district trainer for a pet store chain and then started TDT in Oregon. Ally has her bachelor's degree in animal science with an emphasis on behavior. She is a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers, American Kennel Club evaluator and has titled her dogs in many dog sports (Flyball, Agility, Herding, Barn Hunt). Ally continues her education by attending cutting edge positive training seminars and workshops year round, as well as reading constantly and staying in touch with many trainers around the world, learning about complex cases. Ally has been professionally training dogs for 14 years. She has two children and three dogs.

Certifications: BA

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: Group classes and private lessons

Behavioral issue focus: Reactivity, resource guarding, anxiety

Training methods: Behavior consult, positive reinforcement

Why I became a dog trainer: Love of helping people bring out the best in their dogs.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Seeing lightbulb moments.

My #1 dog training tip: Consistency

Service areas: Concord, Clayton, Antioch, Martinez, Brentwood, Oakley, Danville, Lafayette, Pleasant Hill

Website: https://www.tailoreddogtraining.com

Rayel Friesen

I've lived with dogs all of my life, but didn't realize that there was a carrier working with dogs until my early 30s when I started working at a dog boarding facility. From there I was brought into training from a trainer that worked for Sirius Puppy Training. She taught me how to work fear and aggression outside of the classroom. After apprenticing for a couple of years I was given my own classes to teach. I've also had the opportunity to learn from a couple of the greatest minds in dog training like Dr. Ian Dunbar and Kelly Dunbar

Services include

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

More info about service provided: I do obedience training, puppy training, minor aggression, reactivity and in home training. I also do group classes through Sirius Puppy and Dog Training.

Behavioral issue focus: Reactivity, fear, and minor aggression as well as basic behavior modification.

Training methods: For in home training we start with a consult and figure out what your dog needs and take it from there. Whether it’s basic obedience, house breaking, getting to calm. We work on getting the owner and dog relationship together. The group classes through Sirius build on a curriculum.

Why I became a dog trainer: I love dogs.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Seeing the relationship between dogs and their humans grow.

My #1 dog training tip: Be patient

Service areas: Marin, parts of San Francisco, parts of the East bay down to north Oakland

Website: https://www.barkknightdogtraining.com

Sniffspot Oakland Top Trainer Frequently Asked Questions

How are Oakland dog trainers selected for this list?

These are the top dog trainers in Oakland 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 Oakland 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 Oakland?

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 Oakland 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 Oakland cost?

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

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

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 California was $33,714 per year and $16.21 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 InSee The Best Dog Trainers In Other California Cities

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

Bakersfield, CA
Fresno, CA
Huntington Beach, CA
Los Angeles, CA
Modesto, CA
Oxnard, CA
Riverside, CA
Sacramento, CA
San Diego, CA
San Francisco, CA
San Jose, CA
Santa Maria, CA
Santa Rosa, CA
Stockton, CA
Vallejo, CA
Visalia, CA

See The Best Dog Trainers In Other States Near California

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


Merlin Noble photo

Merlin Noble

March 29, 2022

Dog Trainers

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