The Best Dog Trainers in Tennessee of 2022

Welcome to the Tennessee Sniffspot top dog trainer list for 2022. This is a list of the top dog trainers in Tennessee 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 Tennessee Dog Trainers in 2022

Jenna Slutzky

I am a full-time trainer with Instinct Nashville, working with clients in our Private Coaching and Home School programs, as well as offering initial consultations for life skills, manners, and certain behavior issues; I specialize in puppy development and reactivity. I am enthusiastic about continued education and am a proud graduate of The Karen Pryor Academy and University of Washington's Applied Animal Behavior program. I'm constantly learning and attend as many webinars, conferences and workshops as I can squeeze into a year.

After spending over a decade creating structured and safe environments for dog daycare and boarding facilities in Tampa, St Petersburg, Chicago and Nashville, I made the switch to humane and welfare-centered canine and guardian coaching in 2O17. I have volunteered and hosted as a foster home with many animal rescue organizations & shelters along the way, and also teach pet first aid & CPR.

My own crew include my 9 year old Great Dane, Ichabod Dane, 6 year old APBT, Rosie & 4 year old, terrier mix, Lucy who partake in many of my favorite hobbies including hiking, camping, kayaking & paddle-boarding.

Certifications: KPA CTP, UW AAB

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

All things barky/ lungy while on leash, confidence building, dog:dog introductions

Training methods:

All clients begin with a kick-off consultation after completing a behavioral health assessment form. From there, we will recommend the most suitable program to help you accomplish your training and behavior goals. We always prioritize the emotional and physical wellness of our learners and regardless of the behaviors we are building or addressing you can expect us to utilize welfare-centered methods that will keep our learners feeling safe & having fun.

These include (but certainly not limited to) counter-conditioning, desensitization, differential reinforcement, behavioral adjustment training & positive reinforcement. Clients can expect support from behind the screen between in-person sessions along with technical support to help keep us organized.

Service area:

I cater to Davidson, Williamson & Wilson Co. & conduct sessions remotely as well.

Website: https://www.instinctdogtraining.com/


Katie Williams

Katie is a certified trainer and behavior consultant committed to helping her clients resolve their dogs' behavior issues while improving their welfare and relationship. She prides herself on using the most up to date, science-backed methods that do not rely on fear, intimidation, pain, or outdated approaches that can lead to significant behavioral fallout.

As a Fear Free Certified training professional (FFCP), Katie is experienced in reducing fear, anxiety, and stress associated with veterinary visits, grooming, and handling by empowering and teaching dogs to cooperate in their own care. Furthermore, as a Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner (KPA CTP), she has pledged to teach and train using force-free principles and techniques, and always in a manner that is consistent with a welfare-based approach to behavior change and learning. Katie has five years of professional experience creating structured and safe environments for dog daycare and boarding facilities, and four years of experience building collaborative training plans that produce lifelong results.

You may recognize Katie from her years co-building a training and daycare program with Nashville Tail Blazers, or working as the Behavioral Lead at the Nashville Humane Association. She has loved every opportunity she's had to improve the livelihood of dog's and their people over the years, and she can't wait to meet you and your best friend. Find Katie on Instagram @trainingwithrespect for more information and helpful training tips!

Certifications: KPA CTP, FFCP

Services include:

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

Website: https://www.trainingwithrespect.com/


Bre Kenworthy

I began my dog training journey as a balanced trainer, using aversive/corrective training methods in addition to positive training methods. However, I started noticing subtle changes in the dogs' overall behavior: they became more timid and shut down, and some even started showing reactive behavior. I knew there had to be a better way, so I started focusing on using positive training methods. The results were amazing!

The dogs regained their confidence, and most importantly, they were trusting their human companions again. Seeing the effect of positive reinforcement on these dogs convinced me to become a force-free trainer. During my career as a pet care provider, I've had the joy of working with dogs as a doggy daycare kennel tech, assistant/head trainer for board and train and private programs, and a trainer for group classes.I am a Certified Professional Dog Trainer and a Fear-Free Certified groomer.

Certifications: CPDT-Ka, Fear Free Certified Groomer

Services include:

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

Website: https://thecooperativecanine.com


Manuela Connatser

Hello, my name is Manuela Connatser, and I am a certified, professional dog trainer. What started as a passion for dogs, has turned into my career that I love. I started The Canine Clubhaus in 2012 with a vision to help dogs be understood by their owners and to help owners have a dog that is an well behaved, compassionate, and loyal companion.I originally moved from my hometown of Heidelberg, Germany in 1998 to the United States.

After I married my husband, an army Staff Sergeant, I was determined to follow the American Dream. My first step was to leave my position as a Safety Manager at UPS. In order to become a Certified Dog Trainer I started my education at the Animal Behavior College in California. I graduated with honors in 2008, and started The Canine Clubhaus in 2012. I had lived and worked as a dog trainer in Germany, California, and North Carolina. We finally settled down in my husband's hometown of Powell, Tennessee.

Since living here, I have worked with several organizations including: The Humane Society of East Tennessee, Young Williams Animal Center, Oak Ridge Animal Shelter, and various Rescues in and around East Tennessee and beyond. Dogs have always been a lifelong passion of mine. They are loyal companions who will never leave your side, no matter what the situation. They become part of our lives, our family and are always there for us.

Certifications: 2008 Certified Dog Trainer Behavioral College
2008 Petco Dog Training Certification
2009 Shelter Dogs Course
2010 Mentor Trainer Certified
2008-2014 Yearly Conference Training certifications
2015 Learning Dog Conference
2016-2022 Online Dog Courses to stay current with updates on science
2022 Absolute Dogs Pro Dog Trainer Course

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

Housebreaking
Jumping
Not coming when called
Separation Anxiety
fearfulness
Hyper-Activity
Dog-to-Dog Aggression
Dog-to-People Aggression
Door bolting
Leash pulling
Barking
Chewing
Digging
Growling
Housebreaking Car sickness
Raiding the litter box
Cat relationships
Car chasing
Leash reactivity
Uneasiness with Strangers
Body Handling Sensitivity
Multiple Dog Home and much more...

Training methods:

The Canine Clubhaus provides non-shock collar, in-home services for dog households looking to build trust, respect, and companionship for their dog.

We help dog households achieve a harmonious and balanced relationship with their companion through positive and progressive reinforcement.

Whether it's obedience, behavior or behavior modification, The Canine Clubhaus works with all dogs.

I offer easy, customizable, and flexible training plans, behavior consultations designed to meet the specific needs of each dog household. I also offer private classes when there are specific problem behaviors:

Fear, Aggression, Basic / Advanced manners that is a custom fit to your dog households situation.

Service area:

Knoxville and all surrounding counties and neighorhoods and also remote training, online classes around the globe.

Website: https://thecanineclubhaus.com


Telani Lasoleille

I became passionate about dog training in 2001 as the owner of a dog-reactive dog. I worked with a mentor to help me and my dog build a better relationship with each other. Together, we overcame my dog's fear-based reactivity. I was inspired by the positive reinforcement techniques my mentor imparted to me, and I wanted to give others the gift of effective, force-free dog training.

Certifications: CPDT-KA, CBCC-KA, Fear Free, UW-AAB

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

Reactivity, resource guarding, aggression (bite history no greater than level 3), pet acclimation, fear/anxiety.

Training methods:

We use force-free, fear-free methods in all our services. We offer a 6-week basic manners class for puppies and adults and an 8-week advanced class working with distractions for adult dogs. We also offer a CGC prep class, which includes an evaluation at the end of the class. Private consults are available for basic manners or behavior modification. We encourage purchasing a package for a discount.

We also offer in-home day training where we come to your house 4 times a week for 4 weeks to train your dog in basic manners. If you are going out of town and want a pet sitter + trainer, we offer our Stay & Train service for basic manners. If you'd rather do Board & Train, we offer that as well.

Service area:

We serve all of Nashville, Brentwood, Franklin, & Mt. Julieet.

Website: https://thecooperativecanine.com/


Lauren Spratlin

I am thankful to be the guardian of an affectionate, goofy boxer named Gizmo and I credit him for leading me down the path of becoming a dog trainer. When I brought him home I did not know he was deaf. Upon quickly realizing that he was different, I entrenched myself in learning about force-free, positive reinforcement training. As I began working with him, any initial worries I had about being able to communicate with him quickly faded away.

Training a deaf dog wasn't harder than training a regular dog, it was just different. I was amazed at how attentive, eager and smart he was, as well as how training together was not only fun, but fostered a bond like no other I've had with a dog. I was hooked.I began working at a doggy daycare, which led to my pursuits as a dog trainer. I am dedicated to continuing education and firmly believe scientifically sound techniques, compassion, and a focus on dogs' welfare are paramount in effective, humane training.

I strive to provide people with the knowledge and skills they need to foster positive relationships with their dogs and set them up for a lifetime of success together!I am in the process of obtaining my certification as a dog trainer through the Karen Pryor Academy and through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers.

Services include:

  • Aggressive dog training
  • In home training
  • Protection/guard dog training
  • Deaf dog training
  • Reactive dog training
  • Off leash training

Website: https://thecooperativecanine.com/


Ingrid Komisar

Ingrid is our go to trainer for leash reactivity, adolescent woes, resource guarding and many other nuanced behavior problems. She loves seeing clients understand and treat their dog's anxieties!

Certifications: CCPDT-KA

Services include:

  • Protection/guard dog training
  • Off leash training

Website: https://calmcanineacademy.com


Julie Farris

Julie Farris is co-owner, co-Director of Training and a Certified Behavior Consultant for Instinct Nashville. Julie oversees our board and train program as well as provides behavior consultations involving fear, anxiety and aggression for our clients. She is certified in both behavior and training through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT) and a graduate of University of S. Florida with a degree in Mass Communications.

Julie has over 22 years of experience working with dogs and coaching owners, including work with Board Certified Veterinary Behaviorist, Dr. Beth Strickler for over 8 years. Julie also serves as a board member for Bonaparte's Retreat, a Nashville dog rescue owned by country music legend Emmylou Harris. Julie and her husband share a farm outside of Nashville with their rescue dogs & cats, horses, goats, chickens and ducks.

Certifications: Certified Behavior Consultant - Canine (CCPDT), Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA), Professional Member, APDT, Supporting Member, IAABC

Services include:

  • Aggressive dog training
  • Reactive dog training

Website: https://instinctdogtraining.com


Ayelet Berger

Ayelet is co-owner and co-Director of Behavior & Training at Instinct Nashville. She oversees the In-Home training team and programs and provides behavior modification services to dogs in the Greater Nashville area. Ayelet works with clients on a wide range of behavior goals such as puppy development, leash reactivity, resource guarding and many more. Her passion is working with dogs experiencing fear and anxiety.

Ayelet is co-Founder of Force Free Tennessee, a Certified Professional Dog Trainer, a Family Paws Licensed Educator, a Fear Free Certified Trainer, a Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner and is currently working towards her Behavior Consultant Certification through IAABC. Ayelet has taught group classes at Davidson County Male Correctional Facility, where inmates are paired with rescued Greyhounds to help prepare the dogs for adoption and she is currently a mentor for CATCH Academy and Victoria Stilwell Academy. She holds a BFA from The Hartt School at the University of Hartford and lives in Nashville with her husband, their two sons and senior dog, Chloe (beagle mix).

Certifications: Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA), Karen Pryor Academy, Certified Training Partner (KPA-CTP), Fear Free Certified Training Professional, Family Paws Licensed Educator, Supporting Member - IAABC, Professional Member - APDT

Services include:

  • Aggressive dog training
  • Reactive dog training

Website: https://instinctdogtraining.com


Sniffspot Tennessee Top Trainer Frequently Asked Questions

How are Tennessee dog trainers selected for this list?

These are the top dog trainers in Tennessee 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 Tennessee 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 Tennessee?

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 Tennessee 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 Tennessee cost?

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

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

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 Tennessee was $29,877 per year and $14.36 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 In Tennessee

Nashville, TN


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