The Best Dog Trainers in San Diego, CA of 2022

Welcome to the San Diego, CA Sniffspot top dog trainer list for 2022. This is a list of the top dog trainers in San Diego 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 California 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 San Diego, CA Dog Trainers in 2022

Ashley Valentine

Ashley Valentine is a Nationally Certified Canine Behavior Consultant (CBCC-KA) and Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA). She has completed a Complete Canine Certification in Canine Aggression master course through world-renowned Michael Shikashio who is fully Certified through the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants. She uses positive reinforcement, management, and safety techniques to help owners and dogs with all levels of aggression, reactivity and anxiety.

As with any canine, her goals are happy, loved dogs with confident, knowledgeable owners. In addition, she has also completed a master course on separation anxiety by Moira Hechenleitner DVM, CSAT, in which the training method is a positive and relaxing experience for the dog, which will allow them to desensitize and learn to be home alone comfortably. To go along with her canine CPR and first aid qualifications, Ashley has also completed her certification in Recognizing Pain in Dogs and is a supporter of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC).Ashley has completed her certification as a Family Dog Mediator (F.D.M) through Kim Brophey and is working on getting her licensing in this methodology which gives understanding to the many aspects as to WHY dogs behave the way they do and how we can help them in a humane, enriching and enlightening way.

This methodology helps bridge the gap between human and dog in order to have a better understanding, communication and trusting relationship from both ends of the leash.She has a special affinity for helping fearful and aggressive dogs reach a state of happiness and is always the common face at every local rescue event and takes pride in giving back to the canine community through her training, fostering, volunteering and her specialization in behavioral rehab.Ashley pursued her passion by obtaining her bachelor's degree in Animal Science from The University of Connecticut in 2007.

Her passion for her animal training career began early, with riding horses at the age of 8 and by 19, she was managing a riding facility. She also built/owned/operated 2 riding facilities in which she trained horses to compete in Hunter Jumper competitions all over the East Coast. She then moved to San Diego in 2015 and put that education to work. Since then, she has become the go-to socializer for the most extreme fear cases found in a variety of rescues in San Diego and overseas.

Certifications: CPDT-KA, CBCC, F.D.M., Aggression cert through Michael S and Sep Anx through Moira H

Services include:
  • Aggressive dog training
  • Board and train
  • In home training
  • Deaf dog training
  • Reactive dog training
  • Service dog training
Behavioral issue focus:

Aggression, Separation Anxiety, Leash reactivity, Fear and general anxiety.

Training methods:

Positive Reinforcement method training style. Training plans are customized for each dog based on dog and owners goals.

Service area:

San Diego, Del Mar, Encinitas, Chula Vista, Escondido.

Website: https://www.zoesdogtraining.com/


Leeyah Wiseman

Separation Anxiety Specialist

Certifications: SFTD-CPT

Services include:
  • Reactive dog training
Behavioral issue focus:

Separation anxiety. Isolation distress. Reactivity.

Training methods:

During a consultation we'll review your dog's unique history and your training goals together and give you a clear starting point.

Service area:

San Diego, California in person and remote!

Website: https://galdogtraining.com


Sniffspot San Diego Top Trainer Frequently Asked Questions

How are San Diego dog trainers selected for this list?

These are the top dog trainers in San Diego 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 San Diego 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 San Diego?

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 San Diego 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 San Diego cost?

San Diego 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 San Diego dog trainer. How can I get listed here?

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

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 In Other Cities Near San Diego

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See The Best Dog Trainers In Other States Near California

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

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