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The Best Dog Trainers in Texas of 2023

Merlin Noble photo

Merlin Noble

March 29, 2022

Dog Trainers

Welcome to the Texas Sniffspot top dog trainer list for 2023. This is a list of the top dog trainers in Texas 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. 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 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 Texas Dog Trainers in 2023

Jennifer Caves

I have my M.Psy, CGC, FPPE and am always soaking up continued education experiences. I have a passion for rescue and partner with many rescues locally and throughout the state to create educational programs and support their fosters and adopters. I have been working professionally with dogs for 15 years. I also run a small non-profit Sanctuary for feral dogs and cats and a few behavioral animals. Our motto is, "Where Passion Meets Purpose." We live that code in our work with our clients and with the animals we have the privilege of helping.

Certifications: Masters in Psychology, M. Psy., CGC, FPPE

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: We provide holistic, positive reinforcement relationship building to reach any behavior or training goals. We specialize in all behavior modification and training.

Behavioral issue focus: Reactive dogs, fearful dogs, obedience issues, puppies, resource guarding, prey drive, separation anxiety and deaf and blind dogs.

Training methods: We offer Zoom and phone consultations that create an initial customized behavior plan and then we proceed with in persons as needed. Our work is comprehensive, relationship-centric and just as much about teaching the pet parent as it is the dog.

Why I became a dog trainer: To help give back to the community and create more ethical education on how animals learn and deserve to be treated in their life along side us.

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

My #1 dog training tip: Learn canine-body language and the science of how dogs learn.

Service areas: In person, DFW Area and Surrounding areas. Virtually, world-wide.

Website: https://www.realbehavior.com


Beth Berkobien

Beth began her dog training career in Milwaukee, WI over 20 years ago after graduating with an MS in animal behavior and is also certified in separation anxiety. She started her dog training career working for a dog training school in Wisconsin teaching manners, puppy classes and competition obedience. Beth titled her Rottweiler, Elmo, to Utility Dog and her English Setter, Schmog, to master hunter using only positive reinforcement.

Beth is passionate about continuing education and using modern science based methods. She owns Rehab Your Rescue behavior services where she sees clients virtually and in home. Beth specializes in aggression, reactivity and separation related behaviors. While Beth has a passion for the rescue dog (having 4 rescues of her own), she also works with dogs from breeders.

Certifications: MS, FDM, Cert. SAPT

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: Private in home sessions customized to you and your dog

Behavioral issue focus: I specialize in aggression (human, dog to dog, intradog), reactivity, fear based issues and anxiety based issues

Training methods: I start with a virtual behavior consultation to discuss your dogs history, issues and goals. Then I build a training plan using reward based methods.

Service areas: DFW metroplex

Website: https://rehabyourrescue.com


Nancy Kelly

I've been training professionally for over 30 years. I hold a bachelor's degree from Texas A&M and will complete my master's degree in behavioral psychology in 2023. I've had my CPDT-KA certification for 10 years, meaning I had to show education, experience, and training results and pass a comprehensive exam on animal training. I've competed with my own dogs in conformation, obedience, and rally; I've trained service dogs and family dogs and cats.

I enjoy taking my current mannerly dog with me wherever I go - he's visited 11 states at the age of 3, stayed in hotels, visited national parks, restaurants, and tourist attractions. I've racked up hundreds of hours of continuing education over the years, and continue to do so - check out my resume at themannerlydog.com

Certifications: CPDT-KA

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: Do you want the best possible lifelong relationship with the dog of your dreams? I have a wealth of education and experience in applied behavior analysis to share with you in a way that works for you and your dog to learn to be partners. Are you getting a new dog or puppy? Start training with me when you first bring your new dog or puppy home! Do you already have the dog of your dreams but you haven't yet gotten around to doing the training necessary to really feel that? Today is the first day of the rest of your life with your dog - let's work together to make your dreams come true.

Behavioral issue focus: Does your dog appear to not "listen" or have "selective deafness"? Maybe he's listening, but he just doesn't understand what you're talking about. I'll help you sort out how your dog is perceiving the world along with what you want him to do and create a training plan to achieve your goals. In most cases, foundation skills are missing so that's where we begin. Learning to be your dog's partner allows you to observe what's going on with him in a new way. Training for you and your dog together is the most effective way to work through behavioral issues like barking, bad manners at the front door, jumping on you and your guests, and making poor choices in general. With a strong foundation of skills and a repertoire of good choice-making, your dog can truly be a pleasure to live with.

Training methods: I am committed to science-based, positive reinforcement training and I'll teach you to do it skillfully. I start with an initial consultation in which we analyze problems and characterize your household and lifestyle, and then I'll recommend a training package, often the Beyond Basic Manners Curriculum. I often begin directly with Beyond Basic Manners if foundation skills are not where they need to be, because we need those foundation skills to solve behavioral problems. I provide detailed training plans and homework assignments that are easy to understand and perform and that give long-lasting results. The best training happens in small, detailed successes that we can build on. I stay in close communication with you throughout your training package through virtual training sessions, telephone homework reviews and coaching, and daily check-ins as needed.

Why I became a dog trainer: I originally became a dog trainer after I saw what training could do with my own first dog. I continued learning when I had more and more questions about how animals learn and how different training techniques worked. I continue to train because I am fascinated by the power of behavior change in both humans and non-humans, and I love knowing that there's a science of behavior we can rely on to understand how best to teach our furry best friends.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: My favorite part of being a dog trainer is the immense satisfaction and fulfillment I get from my students. When, at the last session of a training package, a student asks me how to approach their next training challenge and starts answering their own question using what I've taught and applying it to a new problem, I am ecstatic. I'm proud of myself but even more thrilled that this human is now able to use behavior science to solve training problems in a way that is fun and functional for the dog. That's what I'm here to do - teach the science of behavior in a way that is useful to my students.

My #1 dog training tip: My #1 dog training tip is "Make it easy for the dog to understand what you want." If it seems like the dog is not "listening," stop, look, and listen yourself - What did you say? What did you do? What else is going on? Your dog is "listening" to filter out the noise and find something that is meaningful to him; if nothing you say is meaningful, it's your job to make it so - and it's not hard to do. Be aware of what you're doing and use positive reinforcement to pair a few, specific words that you want to be meaningful with good things, and this problem will go away.

Service areas: Pasadena, Hobby area, Clear Lake, Pearland, Friendswood, Harris County, Heights, East End, Eado, South Houston, Webster

Website: https://www.themannerlydog.com


Hannah Barrera

Certifications: CPDT-KA, CGC Evaluator

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: Private training, basic obedience, reactivity

Behavioral issue focus: Reactivity, resource guarding, confidence building

Training methods: Positive reinforcement. Behavior consultations and training plans

Why I became a dog trainer: To help those who don't have a voice.

My #1 dog training tip: Patience. Your dog's behavior makes sense to them.

Service areas: San Antonio


Denise Ames

I am a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA). My focus is using modern, scientifically based, positive reinforcement training techniques. Providing education to owners so that they can build a better relationship and have a well-mannered dog.

I have been training dogs since 2010 while gaining extensive experience at a dog training facility that emphasis positive reinforcement training methods. While there I taught group classes in Puppy, Intermediate and Foundation Work, Rally and Obedience. I continued my education and became certified in 2014. My main focus is working one on one with my clients. Providing individual attention to be successful with the dog that they have so that they can take them out and about.

Certifications:

CPDT-KA (Certified Professional Dog Trainer - Knowledge Accessed)
CCUI (Certified Control Unleashed Instructor)

Services include:

  • In home training
  • Puppy training

More info about service provided:

Private In Home Dog Training
Day Training
Basic Manners, Sit, Down, Stay, Loose Leash Walking
Out And About Training
Real World Training
Puppy Training

Behavioral issue focus:

Pulling on Leash
Jumping on Guests
Recall
Bolting Out the Door

Training methods: Training plans are created and customized to the clients needs. Dogs are taught though positive reinforcement.

Why I became a dog trainer: I became a dog trainer because I wanted to share my knowledge. To teach people and their dogs how to live their best lives together.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Watching people and their dogs grow together

My #1 dog training tip: The more often you reward your dog's good behavior the more often it will happen

Service areas: Arlington, Texas
Grand Prairie, Texas
Mansfield, Texas
Cedar Hill, Texas
Fort Worth, Texas
Tarrant County, Texas

Website: https://www.outandaboutdogtraining.com/


Lily Conine

I'm one of the training managers at Believe in Dog Training in the Houston Heights area.

Certifications: CPDT-KA

Services include:

  • In home training
  • Reactive dog training
  • Puppy training

More info about service provided: Private lessons, basic and advanced group classes, reactive dog group classes, day training for puppies

Behavioral issue focus: Reactivity, fears, over-arousal, leash pulling, jumping, excessive barking

Training methods: Positive reinforcement, LIMA, behavior consultations, training plans

Why I became a dog trainer: My own dog, Sammy, suffers from extreme anxiety. What started as a way to best help her navigate the world turned into a passion and a career.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: I love seeing the 'ah-ha' moment for both the dogs and the pet parents when everything clicks.

My #1 dog training tip: Always bring treats

Service areas: Houston Heights

Website: https://believeindog.com/


Whitney Spence

Whitney has always had a love for animals. When she just started high school, her family lost their last family dog and decided to adopt a dog. This is when they adopted a Jack Russell/Black Lab mix named, Hollywood. Very quickly they realized they needed help as she was very people and dog reactive. They found a trainer and it opened Whitney's eyes to the world of dog training. She began to research how dog's minds work and how to help dogs problem solve which led her to find positive reinforcement training. She now has a strong passion for working with reactivity and misunderstood dogs.

Nothing makes her happier than being able to help owners understand and build a connection with their dogs. Our dogs are always talking to us and it is up to us to acknowledge and understand.She doesn't just train the dogs, but she trains the humans too!

Whitney began training professionally in 2015. She is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer- Knowledge Assessed and an AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator. She continues going to conferences and attending virtual lectures to continue growing in the ever evolving science-based training. Whitney also competes in scentwork with her Border Collie mix, Kimchi, and her Pembroke Welsh Corgi, Soju.

Certifications: CPDT-KA

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: I provide varies amounts of services based on the human and dog's needs. I offer puppy training, basics, tricks, manners, canine good citizen, behavior modification, day training, and board and train.

Behavioral issue focus: The most common behavioral issue I work with is when dogs display the reactive behaviors of barking, lunging, growling, or pulling on leash towards other people or dogs whether that is excitablity, fear, or frustration. Austin is a very dog friendly city with dogs everywhere and owners wanting to take their dogs with them to dog friendly places. My goal is to help the owner identify their dog's needs and wants to ensure they can have a common goal and interest as their dog.

Training methods: I use science-based positive reinforcement training. We always start with a consultation to discuss their goals, what issues they are having, create a plan so we can achieve those goals, and continue with lessons and homework.

Why I became a dog trainer: I used to want to be a veterinarian but realized how heartbreaking it can be so I switch to wanting to help dogs and their owners in other ways. There is nothing more rewarding than being able to help others build a strong relationship and trust with their dog.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: My favorite part of being a dog trainer is being able to build such a strong trust and bond with fearful dogs. I also love to show owners just how amazing dogs can be!

My #1 dog training tip: Always make sure you and your dog are having fun!

Service areas: Austin, Georgetown, Round Rock, Pflugerville, Sun City, Jollyville, Buda, Taylor, Cedar Park, Leander, Wells Branch, Hutto

Website: https://Sweetpotatodogtraining.com


Sarah Alvarado

Sarah discovered a passion for training and behavior when she took her first dog home from a local shelter while attending Texas A&M University. Throughout college, she worked in a veterinary office. She graduated with a degree in Animal Science in 2007 and began teaching group puppy and obedience classes in 2010. In 2014 she began working with service dogs.

For three years she worked with female inmates in the Texas prison system teaching service dog training and handling. She is now focused on helping pet dogs and their families live together joyfully. Sarah is committed to continuing education and regularly attends seminars and conferences to improve her knowledge and skill. In September of 2017 she became a Certified Professional Dog Trainer, Knowledge Assessed. She shares her home with her husband, a 10-year-old Catahoula, a 4-year-old Rhodesian Ridgeback, and two 13-year-old cats.

Certifications: CPDT-KA

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: My primary service is small-scale in-home board and train. Additionally, I have a limited number of spots available for private lessons.

Behavioral issue focus: Most commonly, I help humans and their dogs work through reactivity. I also take on a lot of adolescent dogs who need a bit of help navigating their world. Additionally, I love to help puppies get off on the right paw with a puppy Board and Train that focuses heavily on healthy socialization and a few solid foundation skills.

Training methods: I begin with a 90-minute consultation, during which I take a thorough behavior history and help clients set goals. If a dog stays with me for a Board and Train, we follow the dog's stay with private lessons and written guidelines for continuing to build and maintain behaviors once the dog returns home.

Why I became a dog trainer: I was fascinated by behavior and how animals learn. I got hooked watching dogs learn, and now I enjoy I enjoy using that knowledge to help people get the most out of their relationships with their dogs.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: The relationships I form with both the dogs and the humans with whom I get to work. I am always learning from you!

My #1 dog training tip: Take time to play with your dog.

Service areas: I live in Troy and serve the surrounding areas including Temple, Belton, Killeen, Round Rock, Georgetown, Pflugerville, Hutto, Jarrell, and Salado.


Elizabeth Craver Faubion

I've been training dogs professionally for 14 years, specializing in building the human-canine connection through positive training methods

Certifications: CTDI

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: We offer in-home programs, board and train programs, dog walking, and socialization field trips

Behavioral issue focus: Reactivity, fear, and aggression, specializing in leash reactivity

Training methods: We use positive reinforcement methods- treats, toys, play, and environmental rewards as well as classical conditioning and desensitization techniques to change behavior

Service areas: Denton, Corinth, Argyle, Aubrey, Sanger, Lewisville, Highland Village, Flower Mound

Website: https://www.staypositiveanimaltraining.com


Lisa Corcoran

Lisa Corcoran is the owner and operator of The Confident Hound in Waco, Texas, where she has provided force-free dog training since 2020. She is a graduate with distinction from the Victoria Stilwell Academy for Dog Training & Behavior and holds both a bachelor's and master's degree in psychology. Not only is she qualified to understand and train your furry best friend, but she also has a deep understanding of the human element in the process.

Lisa has always been a lover of dogs, learning, and problem solving, which is why she has spent over 5 years volunteering at shelters and rescues to rehabilitate dogs, educate staff, and provide support to new adopters. Her creative thinking and attention to detail allow her not only to identify the cause of a dog's behavior, but also come up with solutions that serve both human and pup.

Lisa is passionate about building confidence in dogs and their guardians so they can both worry less and enjoy life more.

Certifications: Victoria Stilwell Academy Certified Dog Trainer (VSA-CDT)

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: The Confident Hound provides private, at-home training for dogs and their guardians. We offer dog training programs for basic manners, common behavior concerns, leash walking skills, puppy socialization, and puppy training. We also have behavior modification programs for dogs suffering from fear, anxiety, reactivity, resource guarding, and aggression. For dog guardians with unique needs, we can offer a custom program or direct them to one of our training eBooks.

Behavioral issue focus: Reactivity, Aggression, Resource Guarding, Fear, Anxiety

Training methods: Our training approach involves meeting the dog’s needs, preventing and redirecting unwanted behaviors, and training new habits using positive reinforcement. All dog guardians begin with a 2-hour consultation/orientation in the comfort of their own home. During this initial visit, we collect important information about the dog's history, behaviors, routine, and more. Then, we identify and prioritize all of the concerns and goals. This allows us to provide useful resources, educate on relevant topics, assign immediate solutions, and recommend an appropriate training program. Following the consultation, we meet weekly to teach guardians how to resolve their concerns and reach their training goals. After a program is finished, guardians can receive continued support through individual sessions or another program.

Why I became a dog trainer:

Our first dog Artemis struggled with fear and anxiety from the day we brought her home. Feeling overwhelmed, my husband and I dove into learning about dog behavior and how to help her. Along the way, we fell in love with dogs for who they are naturally and became passionate about training.

We decided to start volunteering our skills at shelters and rescues to help dogs like Artemis. Once we realized we were pretty good at training, we sought out formal education and certification. It was around that time that Artemis passed from an aggressive, rare cancer at only 5 years old.

Losing her so soon was devastating. We felt like we spent so much of her short life learning how to help her and wished we could have done so faster. Knowing that other dog guardians may be struggling too, we decided to share our knowledge and skills by opening The Confident Hound.

For more on our journey with Artemis, you can read our blog article: https://theconfidenthound.com/the-hound-that-started-it-all/

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: My favorite part is seeing my dog-human teams celebrate their progress, grow in their confidence, and strengthen their bond. When this happens, I feel like we are honoring Artemis' memory and living our mission.

My #1 dog training tip: Your dog can't dog better until they feel better! Focus on proactively meeting their needs and you will prevent many unwanted behaviors.

Service areas: McLennan County, TX area (Waco, Woodway, Hewitt, Robinson, Lorena, McGregor, Beverly Hills, etc)

Website: https://theconfidenthound.com/


Pam Tobias

I've been training dogs for for 8 years, all at The Canine Center for Training & Behavior. I am currently owned by a rescued German Shepherd Dog who makes me a better dog trainer every day. Our philosophy is "Life is short, have fun with your dog" I teach sports - agility, hiking with your dog, dog powered sports. I also specialize in reactive and aggressive dogs, retraining their brains to make different choices.

Certifications: CPDT-KA, CGC Evaluator

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: Obedience, Agility, Reactive/Aggressive Dogs, Shy/Fearful Dogs, Hiking with Dogs, Dog Powered Sports, Classes, Day Training, Boarding

Behavioral issue focus: Human & Dog Aggression, Human & Dog Reactivity, Separation Anxiety, Shy/Fearful, Sound sensitivity

Training methods: Positive reinforcement, relationship-based training. Consequences for bad behavior are never painful. Training done through private lessons, classes, day training.

Why I became a dog trainer: I enjoy the challenge of problem solving how to motivate a dog to choose to behave in the way I'd like . Plus I love dogs!

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Watching a dog learn! And the puppy kisses.

My #1 dog training tip: Be your dog's best friend!

Service areas: Austin and surrounding Hill Country

Website: https://morefunthandirt.com


Stephanie Bennett

Stephanie Bennett, CPDT-KSA, is considered one of Houston's top dog trainers and behavioral experts, as well as one of the city's most innovative dog education and enrichment entrepreneurs, helping to create balance between mind, body, and spirit.

Stephanie is recognized as Houston's original puppy expert and is the founder of the city's first all-encompassing, puppy-focused training programs. Her unique and effective puppy programs were developed under the guidance of her mentor, Dr. Ian Dunbar, who revolutionized dog training when he designed the world's very first off-leash puppy class. Stephanie has made it her mission to educate new puppy owners and local veterinarians on the importance of early puppy training and socialization.

Stephanie is passionate about her education and has had the pleasure and distinction of working and studying with some of the world's best dog trainers, including the great Dr. Ian Dunbar, who continues to be her valuable mentor today. Stephanie remains appreciative for opportunities to pay it forward and frequently mentors new trainers. Not only has she has taught her positive puppy training methods and fun & games group class curriculums to dozens of trainers, but she has also guided them towards their certification through the Council of Certified Pet Trainers.

Throughout her career, Stephanie served as the Director of Training at LA Dogworks in Los Angeles, started her own in-home private training company, Get Along Little Doggie, and co-founded Peace Love and Dogs in Houston.

In 2017, she had a vision of a new Canine and Training Enrichment Center. She decided to build and develop something fresh and innovative 'îwhat she considers to be the next stage in the evolution of dog education and enrichment'îBelieve in Dog Training.

As a result of her comprehensive education and hands-on experience, Stephanie has expertise not only in dog & puppy training, but also a wide variety of solutions to dog behavior problems, especially fear and leash reactivity. Because each dog is unique, Stephanie works with her clients to create a custom training program addressing the individual dog's needs while meeting the goals of their human companions.

With over 15 years of experience, Stephanie has helped thousands of dog owners create beautiful relationships with their pets. Her goal is to help her clients become the center of their dog's universe!

Stephanie regularly contributes her expertise to media outlets and television segments, including Houston Life, where she became the resident 'Puppy Whisperer' after training KPRC's station dog, Tex. She frequently writes for Houston Pet Talk Magazine and has had terrific opportunities to work with and train dogs for The Alley Theater, The Astros, The Houston Ballet, and Texas Children's Hospital.

'Stephanie carefully observes and gives positive reinforcemenet to both pooch and pet parent. She's patient and, most important, realistic. Her guidance is designed for what is best for the animal, understanding that all dogs are different. From group classes to one-on-one training, Bennett is as good as it gets, no matter what the breed or temperment.'

- Houston Press, Named Stephanie Best Dog Trainer

Certifications: CPDT-KSA

Services include:

  • Reactive dog training
  • Puppy training

More info about service provided: Specializing in puppy training and leash reactivity. Our signature program is our popular Puppy Day School Program. Additionally, we offer private lessons for behavior modification and up to 20 group classes every week. We have a wide variety of classes ranging from puppy classes, adult basic manners, CGC, Tricks, FitPaws, Reactive Rover, Adventure Classes, Skills Clinics, and more!

Behavioral issue focus: Leash Reactivity, Fear & Anxieties, Baby Makes 4

Training methods: positive, science based methods (with feeling!) that emphasize communication, mutual respect, consistency, and real-life training. We believe that methods that focus on dominance, punishment and/or tools that cause pain, are outdated, can do more harm than good, and are never necessary. The most effective way to teach and motivate dogs is with rewards such as praise, play, affection, and/or intermittent treats.

Why I became a dog trainer: Try to make the world a better place, one dog at time. Attempt to train people in hopes of preventing all types of positive punishment.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Creating a community of active, educated, and like minded dog owners.

My #1 dog training tip: The Magic Relationship Ratio. Tell your dog 'yes' 5x more than telling them 'no'.

Service areas: Houston Heights

Website: https://believeindog.com


Tiffany Baker

Tiffany is a certified canine behavior consultant as well as the founder and owner of Boss Babe Dog Training, LLC.
She has been professionally working with dogs and canine behavioral modification for over 9 years. Tiffany specializes in aggression, with a focus on families with disabled pets. She is a licensed Family Paws Parent Educator, has received her title as a Certified Behavior Consultant Canine (CBCC-KA), a Certified Control Unleashed Instructor (CCUI) through Leslie McDevitt's program, and a Certified Family Dog Mediator (FDM) through Kim Brophey's Applied Ethology LEGS course.

She is extremely talented in her ability to not only effectively modify behaviors in dogs but also provide tremendous support, compassion, and guidance to pet guardians. She advocates for positive reinforcement, science-based teaching, and coaching style. She believes that these methods create an effective and enhanced understanding of the canine-human relationship. With each dog and handler team, Tiffany has the pleasure of working with, her dedication and drive to continue learning and developing her skills in the animal behavior field grows.

Certifications: CBCC-KA, LFDM-T, CCUI

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: We offer private in-home training as well as virtual training and specialize in aggression, fear and anxiety based behaviors. We also offer training walks, sniffari's and separation anxiety training.

Behavioral issue focus: Stranger directed aggression, reactivity, intra-housemate aggression, resource guarding, puppy development and socialization, adolescent training

Training methods: We utilize positive reinforcement based training, start our training plans with an initial consultation and then move to either in home training or remote training.

Why I became a dog trainer:

Most behavior trainers have a dog that brought them into the behavior world, and Tiffany's journey in founding Boss Babe Dog Training was no different. Nadia is the dog that started it all, earning the nickname 'Naughty Nadia'. She was adopted by Tiffany as an adolescent, and let's just say she was not prepared for the rollercoaster of behaviors Nadia exhibited. On leash reactivity? Check! Dog selective aggression? Check! Arousal Control concerns? Check!
Tiffany soon realized that in order for her to support Nadia, she needed to learn more and that's exactly what she did. Tiffany read all the books, attended all the seminars, began certification programs, and supported Nadia in becoming the only sometimes Naughty girl she is today. Along the way, Tiffany's education grew into a passion. She began training and taking private clients, and soon Boss Babe Dog Training blossomed. Tiffany has immense compassion and commitment to working with both the dogs and the humans through training, and can't wait to see how BBDT continues to grow!

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: I love being a part of the growth in relationship and communication between dog and human!Rather than look at a behavior concern as a bad behavior, take a deeper compassionate look at why the behavior exists.

My #1 dog training tip: Rather than look at a behavior concern as a bad behavior, take a deeper compassionate look at why the behavior exists.

Service areas: Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex

Website: https://www.bossbabedogtraining.com


Joanna Wachowiak-Finlaison

Since starting my journey in animal behavior, first in Kuala Lumpur caring for abandoned dogs & cats, I've made it my mission to show pet parents just how easy it can be to solve behavior issues with the right combination of environment, detailed training plan, and guidance from a trained & certified professional.

As a member of IAABC, Pet Professionals Guild, the Shock Free Coalition, and the Fear Free movement, I'm dedicated to providing Houston area dog and cat parents with the most up-to-date, effective, scientifically-valid, and compassionate behavior and training techniques available. At High Five Animal Training we believe dogs, cats, & their owners thrive by teaching animals to 'behave' because they know how and want to, not out of fear of punishment.

Certifications: CPDT-KA, CCBC, CCUI, Fear Free Certified Trainer

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: I help parents of aggressive, reactive or just overexcited dogs. Find your best life with your dog through private, in-person training and customized programs that include day training sessions for overwhelmed owners.

Behavioral issue focus: I work with dogs that are reactive to other dogs; fearful, anxious or scared of new humans or situations; dogs that react with aggression (including bites) or that guard their resources.

Training methods: My training goal is to strengthen human-dog bond by giving owners knowledge and skills that will give them confidence to help their dogs. Our plan includes management for safety, enrichment for better quality of life and training.

Service areas: Houston Heights, GOOF, Rice Military, Montrose, West University, Midtown, Downtown, River Oaks, Inside The Loop

Website: https://www.highfiveanimaltraining.com


Megan Coleman

Megan Coleman is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer, Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA), Fear Free Certified Professional, and an AKC Evaluator.

She began her professional career with dogs after welcoming a fearful German Shepherd named Jojo into her family. Jojo's extreme level of fear led Megan to positive reinforcement based dog training, and inspired her to pursue a career in animal sheltering.

During her 6 year career in animal sheltering, Megan led the Behavior & Enrichment team at Austin Humane Society, was a Shelter Manager at the Bastrop Animal Shelter, and was also a member of Austin Animal Center's Behavior Team.

Megan worked with a wide array of shelter dogs (and cats) with varying behavior challenges and needs. Many of the shelter dogs she worked with displayed aggressive behavior, reactivity, or high levels of fear, anxiety, and stress. Her career path provided ample hands on experience in addition to her education in dog training and behavior.

A few highlights of Megan's sheltering career include creating a comprehensive enrichment program for dogs and cats at the Austin Humane Society, providing countless hours of behavior modification and training for shelter dogs, teaching incarcerated people in jail about dog training while working for Austin Animal Center, and keeping many dogs out of the shelter by providing training and behavior guidance to dog guardians and adopters.

Megan's experience with shelter dogs gave her a love for "difficult" or "naughty" dogs. As a Professional Dog Trainer, she loves working with reactive, fearful, and aggressive dogs, and is eternally grateful for the lessons that dogs have taught her both in and out of animal shelters.

Megan formed Train Your Dog in 2018, and thoroughly enjoys helping her clients. Her favorite part of being a dog trainer is seeing all the 'ah-ha' moments of both dogs and people, and watching relationships between dogs and guardians flourish and transform.

When Megan isn't training dogs, you'll likely find her in the garden, or working on land/home improvement projects with her husband and son on their rural property in Paige, TX.

Certifications: CPDT-KA, Fear Free Certified Trainer

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: Megan provides in-home Private Lessons, Dog and Puppy Home School, and Virtual Dog Training and Behavior Consultations.

Behavioral issue focus:

Megan specializes in helping dog guardians through behavior challenges. She has a soft spot for shy and fearful dogs, and also loves working on behaviors that fall under the 'reactive' label.

She also helps new dog guardians and puppy parents learn how to prevent future behavior issues, and meet their dog or puppy's needs.

Training methods:

You can rest easy knowing that Megan's dog training methods are evidence based, ethical, and constantly evolving to reflect new research and information in dog training and behavior.

She believes in lifelong learning and places a huge importance on continuing education.

Megan's dog training methods are based on the principles and concepts of learning and behavior, having a clear understanding of dog body language, and ensuring both you and your dog's needs are being met.

She methodically uses reinforcement, enrichment, and changes in environment to increase or decrease behavior. Reinforcement can be treats, toys, play, sniffing, or anything else that your dog enjoys! Megan prides herself on achieving your training goals without the use of aversive tools or methods.

Why I became a dog trainer:

Megan became a dog trainer to guide people and pets through behavior challenges ethically and kindly.

She believes in positive reinforcement based learning for both the dogs and the people, and creates a judgment free learning environment.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Seeing relationships between guardians and dogs transform and flourish. Seeing moments where everything just clicks in training. Creating meaningful relationships with clients.

My #1 dog training tip: Find ways to meet your dogs needs that fits into your lifestyle and learn about dog body language!

Service areas: Bastrop, TX
Smithville, TX
Paige, TX
Elgin, TX
McDade, TX
Cedar Creek, TX
Giddings, TX

Website: https://www.trainyour.dog


Payton Brewster

working with animals from a young age, growing up doing 4-H and FFA showing a variation of livestock. As I got older I started to intern at any small animal and large animal clinics to learn even spent some time at an equine clinic. I work in a variation of boarding and daycare kennels and fell in love with training canines. I am a hard working and motivated individual to see not just your canine succeed but also you as an owner.

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: Potty training, adult basics, socialization for puppies, day training and overnight in home care.

Behavioral issue focus: Confidence Building and Canine Reactivity towards other canine's.

Training methods: Consultation, one hour or thirty minute session to make a productive plan where owner and canine are set up for success.

Why I became a dog trainer: It's a passion for me.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Working with the animals and seeing them succeed

My #1 dog training tip: Prevent Failure

Service areas: Austin, Dripping Springs, Kyle, Buda, Bee Cave and Lakeway. Towns in Texas and Boulder Colorado in June 2023.

Website: https://www.pmpetcareandtrainingatx.com/


Mads Mathias

I was a musical theatre actor auditioning for broadway shows before the pandemic. During the pandemic, I walked dogs around New York City and became passionate about helping people and their relationships to their dogs. I started my education at Catch Canine Trainer's Academy and assisted group classes around the city. My first dog training job was at a reward based Board & Train facility called Instinct Dog Behavior & Training in East Harlem. I got married to my beautiful wife in 2022, and decided to move closer to her family in Dallas, TX.

In Dallas, I started working for an amazing dog training facility called What A Great Dog! and continue to teach there! I teach 8 group classes a week, and work the puppy day training program. I also have my own rescue dog, Gambit, who has fun training in agility and tricks.

Certifications: CPDT-KA, CCDTK (Catch Certified in Dog Training Knowledge)

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: Group training classes in Manners, Puppy Training, Tricks, and Canine Good Citizen (CGC) Programs. Private lessons and day training for manners, puppy training, tricks, CGC and reactivity.

Behavioral issue focus: Teenage Reactivity, Sound Reactivity, Confidence Building, Frustrated Greeters

Training methods: I strive to create a training schedule and solution that works best for the dog AND human. I'm very mental health centered, and make my teaching accessible to a variety of different ages, genders and ethnicities. I also strive for my dog clients to be successful 99% of the time, if they are having a difficult time - we are taking steps back so they can feel successful and confident. I will also make sessions as fun and positive as possible!! I am HUGE about meeting your dog's needs first and letting your dog be a dog with breed-specific enrichment.

Why I became a dog trainer: When I was young, I had a very dog reactive shetland sheepdog. He also had a bite history. I never knew how to help him feel better around his triggers, but we still had a beautiful relationship that I loved and treasured. I became a dog trainer to help myself and others work on their relationship to their dogs and understand them and their needs better.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Rebuilding people's relationships with their dogs. Puppies and dogs can be difficult and frustrating, but the more we understand their needs, the better our relationship is.

My #1 dog training tip: LET THEM SNIFF!! They will be more mentally stimulated and you will be less frustrated.

Service areas: Dallas-Forth Worth Area, Remote

Website: https://whatagreatdog.com


Jane Del Re

Prior to starting The Canine Center, Jane was working in the IT industry leading a successful corporate career. She found herself spending all of her spare time and money on her true passion; dogs. When the opportunity came along to start her own business and take on a team that she was already a part of, she did not look back. She put retirement on the back burner and focused all of her energy into her new business.

Jane is one of the few people out there lucky enough to combine her two passions; helping dogs and people find harmony, all while growing a business. Jane is an expert in dealing with deaf and disabled dogs, feral and under socialized dogs, dog anxiety, aggression, and puppy development. She also finds passion in working with sporting dogs. When Jane is not working, she enjoys spending time with her three dogs at home.

Jane has an Australian Cattle Dog/Dalmatian mix who is her go-to training buddy, a formerly feral German Short Hair Pointer who works as a role model for other dogs, and last but not least, her working line Dalmatian who is her own personal bird dog and queen in waiting. Jane also dedicates time to fostering dogs for various rescue groups. If Jane wasn't doing what she loves at The Canine Center, you would find her on a beach somewhere.. retired.

Website: https://morefunthandirt.com/


Maida Barbour

Maida Barbour, CPDT-KA, has been training dogs in the Austin area for over fifteen years. She specializes in Assistance Dog training, including Service Dog, Therapy Dogs, and Emotional Support Animals.
She uses trust-based techniques to create a safe, easy learning environment for both dogs and clients.
Her background is in Cognitive Theory and maintains an ongoing education in animal communication and learning theory.

Certifications: CPDT-KA

Services include:

  • Deaf dog training
  • Reactive dog training
  • Service dog training
  • Puppy training

More info about service provided: Obedience classes for puppies and adults, Canine Good Citizen classes and testing, Assistance Dog training and Public Access testing, behavioral training, daycare

Behavioral issue focus: Anxiety, reactivity, mouthing, house training, grooming and handling, loose leash walking, recall, focus around distractions

Training methods: All clients begin with an evaluation and then a training plan is developed, which may include private lessons, classes, day care, and sports and activities. All training is based on trust-building and positive reinforcement.

Why I became a dog trainer: My husband has a Service Dog, and I know the power of dogs to bring out the best in humans, and vice versa.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: The moment when the dog connects with the training program and shows delight that they're finally understood.

My #1 dog training tip: The human-dog bond is strongest when we focus on the positive. Show your dog how happy you are (with affection, attention, access, or food) when they do the right thing.

Service areas: Austin area

Website: https://morefunthandirt.com


Karen Deeds

Karen Deeds, is a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant through the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC). She is the co-owner of Canine Connection in Ft. Worth, TX with her husband, Bob Deeds, a retired Federal K9 Handler on Texas Task Force I.

Karen started her business in 1994 after realizing the need for educating the public about dog training and behavior while volunteering for a local humane society. She worked in the Assistance Dog Field for 15 years and currently provides her expertise on behavior problems including fear, anxiety and aggression. She has consulted and worked with thousands of pet dog owners, various shelters and many rescue organizations, as well as has testified in dozens of court cases regarding dog bites.

She currently teaches at two facilities in the Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex focusing on Reactive Integration and Competitive Obedience and Rally. She also specializes in Puppy Problem prevention in the home and working with Reactivity and aggression cases.Karen has presented seminars to the general public, rescue groups, animal control officers, at various dog training clubs, dog training facilities, and various shelters throughout Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Ohio, and Tennessee. She has presented at the Dallas SPCA, Texas A&M Veterinary College Behavior Club, Texas Animal Control Association Conference (2016 & 2017) as well as the annual Texas Unites for Animals (2017 & 2018) . She is often called upon to help rescue groups make difficult decisions about behaviorally challenged dogs in their care

Certifications: Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (IAABC)

Services include:

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

Website: https://www.deedscanineconnection.com


Carla Pineda

For as long as I can remember, I have been mesmerized by and amazed by nature and its creatures. I have been an enthusiastic observer of animal behavior and avid learner of it. To this day, I continue to nurture my passion by working with the living creatures that are closer to us on a daily basis: our dogs.

Website: https://dogspurpaws.com/


Tess Windhauser

I originally went to Texas Christian University to become an art teacher with a plan to eventually become an art therapist, but a puppy came into my life. As I learned more about how to be the best pet parent I could be, I started realizing that the path I was on was not my own. I changed my major and graduated with a major in Studio Art, a minor in Psychology, and a minor in Educational Studies (Teaching). While art still remains a hobby, my true passion for helping pet parents to also be the best they can be has become a life-long mission.

I am not a dog owner who thinks I'm good at training dogs and made a business out of it. I have worked hard to earn all of my certifications so my clients can be confident that the information I give them is based on the most humane, ethical, and scientifically-sound information available today.

Certifications: FFCAT, KPA CTP, CBCC-KA, CPDT-KA, ABCDT

Services include:

  • Puppy training

Service areas: Fort Worth, TX

Website: https://dogownertrainingwithtess.com/


Tara Stermer

For over 30 years, I have been helping owners understand their canine companions by teaching them how to communicate through body language and pack behaviors. Over the years I have researched and tested interactions, and cues, dogs use on each other, and developed our K9 Workingmind programs. I found it fascinating that dogs do not use pain or fear against each other as humans have been told for years. They are strict, they have boundaries, but they are not aggressive by nature. I decided I wanted to help people understand this technique and it became quite the obsession of mine. Through my research and rehabilitation programs, many dogs deemed dangerously aggressive and unadoptable have been able to live calm, happy lives with their owners.

I started my career as a veterinary technician, where I quickly observed the lack of communication between human and dog. This is when I decided to dedicate my life to helping humans understand their dogs. I have never turned a dog away because most aggressions are human taught, through miscommunication. This means they can be rehabilitated with a dogs innate behaviors. My methods are based on how dogs communicate with each other by following their natural instincts, and, most importantly, keeping them in a "working-mind." My own pack includes 8 wonderful rescue dogs, most of which had serious aggression issues, or were misunderstood. They are now all "good citizens" that help us help other dogs resolve their issues.

I fight everyday for all dogs and try to educate as many people as possible through our community programs, work with area shelters, and seminars; in hopes that our research and experience may someday help the public understand our "misunderstood" dogs. We believe a dog should WANT to learn, so force and fear have no place in the training world.

Service areas: East Austin

Website: https://www.k9workingmind.net/


Victoria Beckham

Victoria is an experienced dog trainer with a life long passion in working with animals. She firmly believes in positive reinforcement training methods and scientifically proven marker training techniques. She created Positively Pups to make it her life working with animals and helping families get the dream dog they've wanted thru using these methods that get results.

"I enjoy showing how effective it can be to maintain training positively, keeping a balanced and attentive dog at the same time in a realistic way that my clients can apply themselves day to day. Helping clients achieve the companion animal they imagined is one of the best parts of my job."

Victoria has always had a natural draw to animals of all kinds- large and small! Born and raised in Texas, she had a great opportunity to see and experience a variety of animals and loved working with them all. Having a strong background in horses & the equine community, she learned how to communicate gently and effectively from the beginning with a respect for the animals she worked with & loved.

Certifications: APDT

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: Board and train, private sessions, classes, boarding, owner absent training etc.

Behavioral issue focus: Behavior modification, reactivity, fear issues etc.

Training methods: Positive reinforcement, clicker/marker training - science based without fear or pain involved

Why I became a dog trainer: Love of animals and an opportunity to work for myself!

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Helping people understand their animals and further bond. The dogs themselves!

My #1 dog training tip: Be kind and understanding. Baby steps, respect the dog you have.

Service areas: Dfw metroplex and beyond occasionally

Website: https://www.positivelypups.com


Anne ONeill

I've been training for over 20+ years with thousands of happy clients. My goal is to educate people on why their dog does what they do. So they have a healthier, happier and more communicative relationship.

Certifications: ABCDT

Services include:

  • In home training
  • Deaf dog training
  • Puppy training

More info about service provided: Professional in-home, Zoom and group class dog training

Behavioral issue focus: Fear, anxiety, basic skills and puppy raising

Training methods: We use only positive reinforcement and fear-free training.

Why I became a dog trainer: Because I love working with people and their pets.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Puppies!!

My #1 dog training tip: Watch your dog for communication - they are an open book if you pay attention!

Service areas: DFW Metroplex

Website: https://www.specialtypettraining.com


Rona Distenfeld

I went from training horses using Natural Horsemanship methods to training dogs, and applying the same approach. I spent two years studying dog cognition and behavior as part of a mentorship program to learn to really understand what drives a dog's behavior.

After working as part of the behavior team at Austin Pets Alive for 8 years I left to work with people directly to help dogs not end up at APA and other shelters.

Certifications: Certified Integrative Behaviorist, Canine Good Citizen Evaluator

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: I help you become the parent your dog WANTS to follow and listen to. From basic puppy needs like potty training to Canine Good Citizen level obedience. I also help reactive and aggressive dogs learn to focus on their person instead of the distraction and change their conditioned emotional response to their triggers. I work with you in your home or online and a lesson runs an hour. Most people find that 3-5 lessons is all they need.

Behavioral issue focus: Leash reactivity, dog and people aggression, pottying in the house, barking, fearful skittish responses.

Training methods: I help owners become the parent their dog wants to listen to because they trust them, not because they fear punishment. I use a purely positive approach and start by making sure the dog's needs are being properly met and that there is two-way communication so the dog has a voice and isn't a prisoner.

Why I became a dog trainer: To help dogs have better lives and not end up in shelters due to fixable behavior issues.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Seeing a dog blossom and his family become happier.

My #1 dog training tip: See your dog as a 2-year old child and recognize that every behavior is about him trying to get some need or want met.

Service areas: Austin, Round Rock, Pflugerville, Buda, Kyle, Cedar Park, Manor, Bee Cave, Lakeway

Website: https://www.GoodDogTraining.biz


Jennifer Wright

Teaching group classes for 13 years, did Therapy dogs for 10 years, search and Rescue for 22 years, commercial/movie work off and on for 15+ years

Certifications:

Services include:

  • In home training
  • Puppy training

More info about service provided: Group classes, nosework, CGC, trick classes, private lessons

Behavioral issue focus: General pet dog behaviors

Why I became a dog trainer: To help people with their dogs to be more knowledgeable to work with their dog where they are

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Seeing the growth in the dog and handler

My #1 dog training tip: We need clear communication for the dogs.

Service areas: Bryan/College Station, Brazos Valley

Website: https://www.puppylovetraining.com


Ashton Gray

I am an accredited dog trainer through the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants and a certified Family Dog Mediator through Kim Brophey's Applied Ethology LEGS course. I have also studied under Michael Shikashio CDBC, completing his Aggression in Dogs Master Course.

I have been working with dogs and their families professionally since 2012, starting off working in the shelter environment and later doggy daycare, before switching to training full-time in 2017. I've worked with dogs with an assortment of problems, but I specialize in aggression. My science-based, positive reinforcement approach to training puts an emphasis on clear communication, compassion for handlers and dogs, and having fun with each other. I believe in looking at the whole picture for both humans and dogs to help them learn to live their best lives together.

Certifications: IAABC-ADT, FDM

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: I work at the What a Great Dog Training Facility in Frisco and Richardson where I teach an assortment of manners/obedience and nose work classes. I also teach private lessons there with a focus on reactivity. I also do in-home training through RAD Animal Training, specializing in aggression cases.

Behavioral issue focus: I primarily work with aggressive dogs, whether that aggression is directed at people or other dogs. This can be cases including leash reactivity, resource guarding, and more.

Training methods: I tend to refer to myself as a Least Intrusive Minimally Aversive trainer. I focus primarily on teaching dogs what we want them to do while preventing them from doing what we don't want them to do. I start with a consult to talk with the owners about what is going on and gather information about their dog and their lives together. We will discuss putting a training plan together and adjust as needed.

Why I became a dog trainer: My dog training journey started as many dog trainers do: with a dog that presented behavioral challenges. Potter, a coonhound mix with big feelings and an explosive personality, was my introduction to the world of behavior modification. Helping Potter learn how to navigate a world that overwhelmed him sparked a deep passion in me to want to help others with their own dogs.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: My favorite part of being a dog trainer is helping dogs and owners learn how to communicate and understand each other - getting conversations going between them so that they can live their best lives together.

My #1 dog training tip: You can never over reward a behavior, but you can under reward.

Service areas: Dallas, Denton, Fort Worth, Frisco

Website: https://whatagreatdog.com


Michele Mendoza

A lifelong dog lover, Michele started dog walking and pet sitting to earn extra money while working in corporate marketing roles. A long-term client opened her eyes to positive reinforcement training and inspired her to learn more about dog behavior.

In 2010, she left the corporate world to open a training facility, training thousands of dogs in everything from manners to agility. After realizing that her true passion was helping those who typically couldn't afford traditional training prices, she started working with the Behavior Team at Austin Animal Center and connected with Miranda over a shared passion for dog behavior. (She/Her)

Certifications: CPDT-KA

Services include:

  • Agility training

Website: https://www.everydogaustin.org/


Meagan Johnson

Meagan Johnson is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (Knowledge Assessed) through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers and a Certified Family Dog Mediator (FDM). Meagan joined the WAGD staff in 2018. Meagan has worked with families and their dogs around North Texas and virtually since 2012. She teaches Agility, Tricks, Rally, and Pet Manners classes, while also working one on one with families and their dogs addressing a myriad of behavioral issues like fear, frustration, anxiety, and over arousal.

Meagan dove deep into learning the science of force free training as she trained her first dog, Twig. Twig went on to become her first competitive agility dog in 2012. She has been passionate about the sport of dog agility ever since. Meagan has attended many seminars and webinars with the top agility handlers from around the world, taking new knowledge and fusing it together for training that's always fun, energetic, and progressive. Meagan provides instruction that is engaging for students and their dogs. When it comes to agility, she believes it's not just about the dog completing an obstacle, but how much they enjoy doing it and understand their job. Clarity brings confidence, and a good time for everyone!

Meagan's current dogs include Brix, a socially awkward and fear reactive Border Collie that loves trick training, competes in Rally and Nosework, and is Meagan's wingman in many of her classes and private lessons. She also competed nationally in Agility prior to retiring last year  and taught Meagan and others that just because it's a Border Collie, doesn't mean it's easy! Tia is an Australian Shepherd that dabbles in Agility, Tricks, and Nosework. And finally, Coney Dog is a Chihuahua/Shih-Tzu mix rescued at the beginning of the pandemic who is getting ready to kick off his own Agility and Rally career, having earned his first couple of titles in both! You'll see these guys around quite a bit, virtually and in person!

Certifications: FDM, CPDT-KA

Services include:

  • Agility training

Behavioral issue focus: Fear, frustration, anxiety, and over arousal.

Service areas: Frisco and Richardson, TX

Website: https://whatagreatdog.com/


Jennifer Burns

My name is Jennifer Burns, and I am the founder of Conscious Dog Training. I am one of only 161 Certified Professional Behavior Consultant Canine- Knowledge Assessed (CBCC-KA) in the world. I am also a Certified Professional Dog Trainer-Knowledge Assessed though the Certification Council of Professional Dog Trainers, a Certified Fear Free Animal Trainer, a Professional member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers, a professional member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants, a professional member of the Pet Professional Guild, a Certified AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator, a Certified CATCH Mentor Trainer, and I have been published by the APDT as well as the CCPDT. I have a Masters Degree in Psychology, an extensive background working with children, over 16 years of dog training experience, and I proudly serve on the board of directors for the Certification Council of Professional Dog Trainers.

My dog training adventure started in 2004 when I sought out a professional dog trainer for my Adolescent Lab/Boxer mix named Rocco. We barely survived puppyhood, and despite my best efforts to exercise and entertain him with seemingly endless hours of fetch per day, I realized that I was essentially training my dog to be 88 pounds of hyperactivity with the stamina of a marathon runner, and I needed professional help. As soon as I started working with Rocco's trainer, I was enthralled with the training process. I realized that dog training was rooted in psychology and learning theory, and discovering how to apply that to dog behavior was magical for me.

With the guidance of Rocco's trainer, I started observing dog training sessions and reading every dog training book that he recommended. With the knowledge and skills that I had attained, Rocco transformed from an out of control, hyper dog to a Certified Pet Partners Complex Therapy Dog. In addition to my early years of observation, I worked at a high capacity dog kennel where I had the opportunity to observe hundreds of hours of dog training and behavior as a kennel technician and an assistant trainer. Since then, I have trained anywhere from 50-100 dogs per week on average, and I have resolved a variety of behaviors ranging from potty training to aggression using only force-free and science based methods.

I believe that dog training is truly about training the human, and while I can train any dog, my greatest gift to dog training is the ability to coach the dog parent how to train and effectively communicate with their dog, thereby enhancing the human-dog relationship. The ability to bridge the communication gap between a dog and a human is priceless, and I am incredibly grateful that I can use my innate gifts to help dogs and people on a daily basis. However, the most rewarding aspect of dog training is witnessing clients shift from frustrated dog parents to calm, trustworthy dog parents that not only understand a dog's behavior, but can effectively manage and modify a dog's behavior using the force-free and choice based methods and techniques that I teach.

My goal is to empower my clients to create a conscious relationship with their dog that is based on clear communication, joyful cooperation, and connection; a relationship that encourages dogs to become conscious thinkers so that behavior can be both attained and maintained for the lifespan of the dog.

Certifications: M.A., CBCC-KA, CPDT-KA

Services include:

  • Board and train
  • In home training
  • Puppy training

Service areas: Austin and surrounding areas

Website: https://www.consciousdogtraining.com/


Gerry Brown

Gerry has been teaching agility since 1997. In 2002 he moved to the outskirts of Austin, Texas and opened DePaw Agility Training Center in Manor. Gerry teaches a variety of skills so that all handlers (regardless of athletic ability) and all dogs can have fun and be successful. With a full range of available skills, handlers can analyze and make effective handling decisions.

Above all Gerry believes that agility should be fun for both the handler and dog. He looks for positive and creative ways to motivate dogs through timely and well-placed rewards and through playing games with the dogs that result in the desired behaviors. More importantly than anything though, Gerry believes that agility can enhance and strengthen the lifelong bond that is built between dogs and handlers.

Services include:

  • Agility training

Service areas: Leander, TX

Website: https://www.depawdogsports.com/


Lindsey Demko

I am a certified dog trainer through animal behavior College. My husband and I own a dog training company where we come to you and all of the training is done in your home. I find dogs learn best in their own environment.

Certifications: ABC Certified Dog Trainer

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: We train all dogs in their home for anything from puppies, obedience, and behavior modification. As well as aggression and reactivity.

Behavioral issue focus: Puppy, nuances, reactivity, and aggression

Why I became a dog trainer: I started out as a sign language interpreter, but found that I did not like sitting behind a desk all day. I took my love for animals, and understanding of body language, and turned it into my passion

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: My favorite part of being a dog trainer is watching dogs transform into the pets we know they can be

My #1 dog training tip: My number one dog tip is to take it slow and work at the pace of your dog. Make a list of what’s most important to curtail and start with that

Service areas: Houston, Tx

Website: https://www.divinecanineranch.com


Jyl Hershman-Ross

I found my way to dog training through a very fearful, reactive disabled pup. She led me to TTouch where I paired the two skills. I continue to learn from teachers around the world to hone my skills, and work with rescue groups and shelters as well as private clients. I base my practice on the concept of Tikkun Olam - to make the world a better place.

Certifications:

CPDT-KA
L3 CA TTouch Practitioner
Certified in Pet Loss and Grief Support
FEMA Certified
AKC/CGC Certified

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: I am a TTouch Practitioner who trains dogs in a cooperative way. I teach group classes including Rally-O, Scentwork and Tracking, as well as TTouch and Babies and Dogs, Relaxation for Reactive Dogs, Leashwork, Skills for Shelter Dogs, Integrating a new dog into the home, and more.

Behavioral issue focus: My special interest is fear and fear reactivity, but I also work with in-house aggression between dogs, human reactivity, frustration on leash, separation issues, leash walking issues, puppy behaviors...

Training methods: I am totally non-aversive in my methods. I use TTouch paired with reward based skills through all my training and explain my methodology as "holistic" - working with the needs of the dogs in a respectful way

Why I became a dog trainer: my dog told me to

My #1 dog training tip: Just do the work.

Service areas: Travis, Hays, Williamson and nearby counties

Website: https://www.sweetheartpetservices.com/


Anisha Murarka

My love for dog training started with my own pups as they developed issues I had no clue how to manage. I sought out help from a trainer, but my dogs didn't respond well to force, fear, or intimidation. I started learning more about positive dog training, which lead me to became a certified dog trainer through Animal Behavior College in 2017.

My initial goal was to help shelter dogs become more adoptable, but in time, I noticed how many pups were being returned for behavioral issues. I realized I wanted to help dogs keep their forever homes by training them alongside their human family members. In becoming part of this community, I saw how many families felt the need to put off vacations or reunions or work trips because they couldn't find safe or personalized care for their 'quirky' pup. I knew I had to be part of the solution.

In my free time, I enjoy traveling , going for hikes, reading, and engaging in fun classes with my pups.

Certifications:

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: Dog socialization sessions for dogs who cannot go to dog parks or daycares and need a structured environment, dog sitting for pups who also cannot go to boarding facilities due to behavior concerns or socialization issues, one on one training with the pups, human focused dog training, dog walks for dogs who need a little more care.

Behavioral issue focus: On leash reactivity, defensiveness, reacting to strangers, territorial, dog-dog socialization, resource guarding, jumping, mouthing, cat-dog integration, crate training, separation anxiety

Training methods: We conduct meet and greets prior to social sessions, dog walks, dog sitting, we have trial dayboarding and overnights if dogs are staying at our homes to make sure the environment here is the right set up for them. Trial social session is required for daycare. We will do thorough behavior consultations during our first human focused dog training session.

Why I became a dog trainer: My pups were developing behaviors I had no clue how to manage. I sought out help from a trainer, but my dogs didn’t respond well to force, fear, or intimidation. I started learning more about positive dog training. My initial goal was to help shelter dogs become more adoptable, but eventually started falling for the more behaviorally challenged pups and learning how to help them be successful.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Working with families and their dogs and helping them communicate with each other and build better relationships

Service areas: Austin

Website: https://www.toothandtaildogservices.com


Erica Williams

Im an Army Veteran and currently train service dogs for a non profit. This non profit trains service dogs for free for military and Veterans. I do also help on the side for behavior issues. In addition to that I assist training for Waco Agility Group.

Certifications:

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: Basic obedience, behavior issues, service dog training, agility training

Behavioral issue focus: Reactiveness, jumping, bolting out the door, barking

Training methods: positive reward based training

Why I became a dog trainer: I love dogs and being able to give Veterans their freedom back through a dog is so rewarding

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Helping people have a healthy and happy relationship with their dogs.

My #1 dog training tip: Training your dog is simply learning how to communicate with them.

Service areas: Killeen, Harker Heights, Fort Hood, Belton, Nolanville, Temple


Macy Holdrich

Macy has been involved in the pet care industry since 2016. She joined Rover as a dog walker and pet sitter, taking on the care of animals with a variety of health and behavioral needs.

After adopting her border collie mix, Atticus, from a local shelter, Macy realized she had quite the behavior project on her hands. Atticus, like many herding breed dogs, struggles with noise phobia and environmental sensitivity. With no formal dog training experience, she dove headfirst into the world of behavior modification. After discovering R+ based training online and through a training center, she discovered her passion for training and behavior science.

She specializes in helping fearful dogs and enjoys developing life long skills with puppy owners. Her holistic approach to training focuses on how we can create long lasting improvements for owners and dogs alike by not only training new behaviors for client dogs but also emphasizing the need for appropriate enrichment, activity and management

Certifications: CGC Evaluator

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: I work at What a Great Dog training facility where I day train puppies, teaching them basic obedience, handling skills and early socialization. I also perform in-home services for fearful and reactive dogs and also help maintain skills by providing in-home training

Behavioral issue focus: Reactivity towards other dogs and people, fearful behavior around people outside and in the home, desensitizing dogs to triggers

Training methods: I spend about 1-2 hours consulting with clients to see what training they've used in the past, to understand their goals and to also help them adjust their goals based off their dog's needs. All of my training plans revolve around having a happy, fulfilled dog and human, carefully crafting any learned skills around necessity and making sure they're easy to understand.

Why I became a dog trainer: I have a border collie mix that I adopted that needed a lot of help behaviorally. His needs pushed me to learn more about dog behavior

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Watching client's bond with their dog grow even stronger. Breaking down barriers with accessible information and watching my clients breathe a sigh of relief that their puppies are normal or that their dog's behavior needs are not the end of the world. That they don't have to believe certain dog behavior myths.

My #1 dog training tip: The best training is play. Regardless if you're using food, toys or praise, make it fun to work on for your dog and for yourself.

Service areas: Collin and Dallas County

Website: https://whatagreatdog.com


Brittany Wingfield

Dog trainer who started in the zoological industry. Been training officially for over 5 years and unofficially since I was a little kid asking my dog to 'shake' not having a clue what I was actually doing!

Certifications: IAABC-ADT, FDM

Services include:

  • Reactive dog training
  • Off leash training
  • Puppy training

More info about service provided: Group Classes, Private Lessons, Scent Work

Behavioral issue focus: Dog Reactivity, basic manners, AKC & UKC centered scent work

Training methods: LIMA based trainer, group evaluation prior to group classes, private lessons are information gathering, skill building, training plans and homework

Why I became a dog trainer: Dog training was as close as I could get to being able to communicate with my dog and become Dr.DoLittle. I like being able to listen to my dog and be able to understand and respond.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: I like helping people understand and embrace their dog.

My #1 dog training tip: People don't work for free, your dog isn't much different.

Service areas: In facility, Dallas, Richardson, Plano, Frisco, Prosper

Website: https://www.whatagreatdog.com


Sarah Bartley

Originally from England, I moved to the USA in 2001, I began my dog training journey in 2014. I love dogs and my passion is to help the people that care for them

Certifications: CCPDT qualified, Fear Free, canine nutrition & animal emotions

Services include:

  • In home training
  • Reactive dog training
  • Puppy training

More info about service provided: Puppy training, basic manners, reactive and fearful dogs

Behavioral issue focus: Fear and reactivity

Training methods: Fear free, force free, R+ relationship based. Holistic (we look at the whole dog). The initial consultation and foundation skills are done virtually, we also work on managing the environment to prevent behaviors and offering some relief for dog and human, then begin a behavior modification plan.

Why I became a dog trainer: I had an anxious, fearful, noise phobic, dog reactive dog that I made worse because I didn't know what I was doing and I watched too many TV shows on 'dog training'

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Watching dog and human connect and be happy. Of course I love doggy kisses too

My #1 dog training tip: Slow down, dogs don't understand time, they need time to take it in, to process, to heal, to sniff, to watch, to play - to just be and we could take a leaf out of their book

Service areas: Yuma, AZ/San Marcos, TX & remote

Website: https://www.confidentk9.org


Sniffspot Texas Top Trainer Frequently Asked Questions

How are Texas dog trainers selected for this list?

These are the top dog trainers in Texas 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 Texas 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 Texas?

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 Texas 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 Texas cost?

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

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

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 Texas was $30,675 per year and $14.75 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.


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Merlin Noble

March 29, 2022

Dog Trainers

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