The Best Dog Trainers in Pittsburgh, PA of 2022

Welcome to the Pittsburgh, PA Sniffspot top dog trainer list for 2022. This is a list of the top dog trainers in Pittsburgh 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 Pennsylvania 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 Pittsburgh, PA Dog Trainers in 2022

Tena Parker

Tena Parker has been working with dogs for over 15 years. She earned her Master's Degree in Education and her Bachelor's Degree in Psychology (with a "minor" in Physics, just for fun) from Sarah Lawrence College and is the head trainer for and owner of Success Just Clicks Dog Training.

She is a nationally Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (CDBC), a nationally Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA), is a member of the APDT (Association of Pet Dog Trainers), is a Certified APDT C.L.A.S.S Evaluator (and instructor), and is a Certified AKC Canine Good Citizen and S.T.A.R. Puppy Evaluator. Tena's background in education has played a critical role in how she runs her classes, develops her curricula, and works with her individual students. Her deep understanding of how humans learn allows her to teach dog owners how to be very skilled trainers and teach them how to continue to help their dog.

Students quickly learn that having fun is an important part of how she teaches classes and interacts with clients. If training is not enjoyable, it's not likely to happen but if everyone involved enjoys the process, it's much more likely to be worked on and refined.

Certifications: Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (IAABC), Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CCPDT), Certified Trick Dog Instructor (DMWYD), AKC CGC Evaluator

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

We work with reactivity towards dogs/people on leash, aggression issues, troubles with guests coming in the home, resource guarding (food/toy aggression), fears/phobias, anxiety driven behaviors, arousal issues, and more

Training methods:

For private training, all dogs start with an initial consultation where we will get details on the primary behavioral complaints, provide some immediate solution, and use the information garnered to recommend a training package and create your custom behavioral modification plan.

We use science based Least Intrusive, Minimally Aversive methods with dogs. We utilize clickers or verbal marker signals to tell when dogs are correct and use tangible rewards like food or toys. We want to emphasize the positives so we prevent as much of the unwanted behavior has possible while the dog is learning what they SHOULD be doing.

While we have a set of ethics with regards to our general philosophy, we teach each dog in front of us and use a wide range of techniques to help dogs learn what we want. We might use 3 different techniques to teach a down in a class with 7 dogs --all of those techniques are reward driven.

Service area:

We have a training center in Spring Garden Ave on the north side of Pittsburgh and students from all over our region come to us for lessons/classes. Our in-home service area is based on each individual trainer but generally north hills and the city neighborhoods--we do NOT service the south hills at this time.


Christine Dang

Animal behavior and training have been a passion for Christine ever since childhood, when she eagerly studied every training book in the library and regularly volunteered to walk shelter dogs on the weekends. Since then, she has worked with a wide variety of animals, from a resource guarding Yorkie to a fearful Labrador, and even other species such as guinea pigs and rabbits!

Christine's training philosophy focuses on bridging the gap between humans and pets through relationship building, clear communication, and using rewards to motivate and encourage learning. She also strongly believes that providing enriching activities for dogs to fulfill their natural instincts helps improve confidence and promote mental wellness.

Certifications: CPDT-KA

Services include:

  • Board and train
  • Reactive dog training
  • Off leash training


Sniffspot Pittsburgh Top Trainer Frequently Asked Questions

How are Pittsburgh dog trainers selected for this list?

These are the top dog trainers in Pittsburgh 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 Pittsburgh 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 Pittsburgh?

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 Pittsburgh 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 Pittsburgh cost?

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

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

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 Pennsylvania was $30,779 per year and $14.80 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 Pittsburgh

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

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Cincinnati, OH
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See The Best Dog Trainers In Other States Near Pennsylvania

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

New Jersey
New York