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The Best Dog Trainers in Worcester, MA of 2023

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Merlin Noble

May 22, 2023

Dog Trainers

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

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

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

The Best Worcester, MA Dog Trainers in 2023

Andria Young

Andria Young is one of only ten Certified Canine Behavior Consultants (CCPDT and IAABC) in the entire state of Massachusetts and one of 200 in the world. With her additional certification as a Fear Free Professional and Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA) Andria instructs all group classes, private lessons and behavior consults.

When not assisting students, Andria enjoys continuing her education in all things canine behavior related, spending time with her human and animal family, adventuring and competing her rescue dogs.

Certifications: International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants - Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (CDBC)

Certification Council of Professional Dog Trainers - Certified Professional Dog Trainer - Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA)
Certified Behavior Consultant Canine - Knowledge Assessed (CBCC)Fear Free Certified Professional (FFCP), Family Dog Mediator (FDM)

Services include:

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

More info about service provided:

STAR Puppy Class and Beginner Obedience beginning March 1st at 6pm and 7pm, respectively. Classes are limited to six students to allow individualized instruction for all; currently only two spots left in each class.

 Advanced Obedience and Advanced Trick Class (for students whose dogs have completed their Novice and Intermediate Trick titles) also starting in March.

 Our classes are all taught by a Force and Fear Free certified Professional Dog Trainer and Behavior Consultant (IAABC and CCPDT certified) utilizing positive reinforcement based training methods (no choke, prong or shock collars) helping you learn how to raise and train your dog to be an enjoyable adventure buddy, family member or competition partner!

 Behavior consults for reactivity , aggression and anxiety also available as well as private lessons.

 As a 501c3 non-profit charity, all proceeds of our classes directly benefit the animals in sanctuary here at Unmistaken Stars.

Behavioral issue focus: Specializing in aggression (dog to dog, and dog to human), reactivity, and anxiety.

Training methods: All methods are force and fear free, utilizing up to date science based humane training principles with no shock, prong or choke collars ever used.

Why I became a dog trainer: 2000

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: The most enjoyable part of being a dog trainer is watching the bond between dog and owner grow as they deepen in understanding and trust of one another, working towards a particular skill, or as they overcome a challenging behavior.

The mission of our center is to provide a place where people and animals may help one another heal, and witnessing that healing through the growth of a safe human canine relationship is truly a great joy of mine.

My #1 dog training tip: Focus on setting your dog up for success so that they are able to learn what you seek to teach them.

Service areas: Serving all of Massachusetts and beyond, in person and virtual instruction


Lauren Storm

Hello , My name is Lauren Storm. I work with puppies and service dogs. I am certified through the IAABC. I want currently working on getting my CARAT certification to better place service dog puppies in future homes. I love task training and hope to someday teach scent work as well!

Certifications: IAABC-ADT

Services include:

  • Service dog training
  • Puppy training

More info about service provided: 1:1 puppy training and training guides , Service dog Task workshops , Basic manners , Socialization guides and session for puppies , Enrichment and exercise consultations

Behavioral issue focus: Puppy bitting , excited behavior while working as a service dog , Lack of relaxation skills

Training methods: daily training guides , litter evaluations , group lessons , 1:1 lessons

Why I became a dog trainer: I became a dog trainer because I was training my own service dog and did so many things that held us back when I lacked education in the beginning, and I wanted to not only educate myself but others as well.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: I think my favorite part of being a dog trainer is task training, when you watch the dog complete a task for the first time that will make a client's life better or save their life it is so refreshing.

My #1 dog training tip: My number one dog training is slow is safe!

Service areas: I am primarily remote


Erika Jackson

Erika is the owner and senior dog trainer of Blue Dingo Dogs. Growing up around dogs and horses in the grooming, training, and show worlds it was her first group class with the family dog that solidified her love of dog training. As soon as she was able she volunteered with local dog organizations and local shelters to learn as much as possible about all facets of dog training from pets to working dogs, to shelter dogs and rescues.

Certifications: Ccpdt- KA, IAABC Accredited trainer, CGC instructor, Do More With Your Dog Instructor, Fear Free Trainer, Fear Free Boarding and Daycare

Services include:

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

More info about service provided: Basic Obedience, Group classes, In Home private lessons, Virtual, Reactive dog, Puppy, Service dog, Therapy Dog, Trainer run daycare

Behavioral issue focus: Reactive dogs, fearful dogs, newly adopted adult dogs.

Training methods: We offer a consult prior to all training services, written training plans for each client, and we work with clients veterinarians as needed

Why I became a dog trainer: Her passion for positive reinforcement training came with the adoption of her first dog, Earl. When the more traditional techniques she had learned over the years caused less than ideal results Erika took classes from skilled trainers and researched alternative methods to get the results she was looking for. In their time together Earl overcame her noise phobias, fear of people, resource guarding, and reactivity toward other dogs. With the switch to positive reinforcement techniques Earl earned her CGC, several trick dog titles, was a class demo dog, and a wonderful neutral dog for fearful/reactive dogs.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Working with clients to improve the lives of their dogs and their families. Being even a brief part of the journey together as a team is what makes hard days worth it!

My #1 dog training tip: Reinforce the behaviors you want to see more of.

Service areas: Worcester County, Essex County, Middlesex country


Lizzy Flanagan

Hi! I'm Lizzy, a multi-certified, insured positive-reinforcement dog trainer and behavior consultant. My dogs Tuck, Finch, and Idgie and I live in a cottage near the woods in Worcester, MA.

Whether you're in Worcester, Massachusetts, or Walla Walla, Washington, I'm here for you! I graduated with honors from Jean Donaldson's esteemed Academy for Dog Trainers, where I studied dog behavior and training and learning theory. My dog training spans basics like teaching "sit" to advanced aggression cases. I see clients in private one-on-one sessions, online via Zoom, and in classes.

More recently, I earned the Fear Free and Separation Anxiety Professional Trainer certifications (SA PRO).

My Approach

I vow to use efficient, force-free, Fear Free methods in our work together. I will respect your time and financial investment. It would be unethical for me to make promises about outcomes regarding animal behavior, but I am all about honoring your goals!

I'll bring compassion, patience, knowledge, and kindness to every session--maybe a few laughs, too! Also, bags of chicken, cheese, or turkey.

Certifications: Fear Free and Separation Anxiety Professional Trainer certifications (SA PRO)

Services include:

  • Aggressive dog training

Training methods: I vow to use efficient, force-free, Fear Free methods in our work together. I will respect your time and financial investment. It would be unethical for me to make promises about outcomes regarding animal behavior, but I am all about honoring your goals!

Service areas: Worcester, MA


Jess Harris

My name is Jess, and I have been teaching group classes for a little over 3 years. I compete in Rally, Obedience, and Nosework with my two Rottweilers, and enjoy offleash hiking with them. I have taken classes with KPA and attend seminars as often as possible, and I hope to get certifications one day soon.

Services include:

  • Reactive dog training
  • Off leash training
  • Puppy training

More info about service provided: I specialize in pet dog training, focusing on helping clients raise happy and confident puppies, and helping them regain confidence with struggling adult dogs.

Behavioral issue focus: I work with dog to dog and dog to human reactivity, as well as everyday behavioral issues with our pet dogs.

Training methods: I subscribe to the most recent scientific methods and I am always trying to learn more about the kindest ways to train our dogs. I use force-free R+ 2.0 methodology in my clients, and often borrow from Control Unleashed for reactive dog clients.

My #1 dog training tip: Management is your friend!

Service areas: Worcester County

Kat Klein

Kat Klein CPDT-KA, CBCC-KA is a life long dog lover. Kat became a dog trainer after her journey with her own reactive/aggressive dog Meadow. She has a strong working knowledge of learning theory and the science of animal behavior. Kat is certified by the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers as both a Professional Dog Trainer and a Certified Behavior Consultant.

She is a Certified Family Dog Mediator. She is a Family Paws Parent Educator and is passionate about helping families with dogs prepare for life with children. She is an AKC evaluator and a Certified Trick dog Instructor with Do More With Your Dog. She is a Fear Free Certified Trainer. This allows her to work in partnership with veterinary teams to prevent and alleviate fear, anxiety and stress and improve an animals well being during veterinary care and home care.

She is a supporting member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants. She is a member of the Pet Professional Guild. She is certified in canine and feline CPR. It is her goal to help owners build a stronger training bond with their dogs.

Kat lives in West Brookfield and enjoys training and competing in several different dog sports with her dogs.

Certifications: Cpdt-Ka Cbcc-Ka Family Paws certified. CFDM CTDI

Services include:

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

Why I became a dog trainer: I found myself with a difficult dog. While trying to help her I discovered a love of reward based training.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: My favorite part of my job is showing people how smart their dog really is.

My #1 dog training tip: Have fun with your dog

Service areas: Spencer, the brookfields and surrounding towns


Sniffspot Worcester Top Trainer Frequently Asked Questions

How are Worcester dog trainers selected for this list?

These are the top dog trainers in Worcester 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 Worcester 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 Worcester?

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 Worcester 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 Worcester cost?

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

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

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 Massachusetts was $33,576 per year and $16.14 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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See The Best Dog Trainers In Other Massachusetts Cities

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

Boston, MA
Springfield, MA

See The Best Dog Trainers In Other States Near Massachusetts

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

New Hampshire
New York
Rhode Island

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Merlin Noble photo

Merlin Noble

May 22, 2023

Dog Trainers

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