The Best Dog Trainers in Chicago, IL of 2022

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Welcome to the Chicago, IL Sniffspot top dog trainer list for 2022. This is a list of the top dog trainers in Chicago based on votes from the Sniffspot community and the general public. Over 45,000 votes were used in compiling this list. We have only included the top trainers with sufficient votes and the trainers are ordered in terms of the number of votes received. Trainers that tied are ranked in reverse alphabetical order based on first name. All dog trainers on this list are positive reinforcement only, as defined by no force, fear, intimidation, or aversive methods used. This list is a subset of the broader Top Trainers in Illinois list.

This list is sponsored by Sniffspot, which is the largest network of private dog parks for rent in the world. Each of the thousands of Sniffspot dog parks are hosted by locals on private land with 100% private bookings to maximize safety for guests and their dogs. Sniffspot offers various types of dog parks, including fenced, water parks, indoor dog parks, dog beaches and more. Sniffspot has worked closely with dog trainers to create safe spaces for dogs and our top trainer lists are a natural extension of that relationship. You can browse Sniffspot’s local dog parks here.

The Best Chicago, IL Dog Trainers in 2022

Shir Limazati

When I was younger, I always heard people say – “I’ll give you one more chance” I used to think , what if that’s not enough? I knew when I grew up I would tell others – you can have as many chances as it takes‚ I definitely didn’t think I was ready for a dog, but when I needed him, he was suddenly there.

I had experienced rough roads, a high stress corporate job and a few too many traumatic life changing events in a short period of time. Then one fateful day I met a little nine week old chocolate lab that changed it all. I wasn’t prepared for a dog. I could barely take care of myself. But I took one look at him and we decided to give each other another chance. And that became his name. I am someone who believes that challenge brings change, and that things are simple but never easy. I never took the easy route, even when I thought I was.

As someone who started a whole new career during her middle aged years, there is nothing you can tell me that would convince me that something is impossible to attain. Having a dog is a life time commitment. Having me at your side? It’s like having a village cheering you on to keep your commitment, by reminding you why you made it in the first place.

Certifications: ABCDT, CPDT-KA

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

We work with common puppy behaviors – nipping, jumping , barking. We also work with attention seeking behaviors – begging , demand barking , scratching. We specialize in dogs with anxiety – dogs who are shy with new people , and also leash reactive dogs.

Training methods:

We are 100% positive reinforcement and use clicker training in our sessions. Each client receives a free 30 minute phone consultation to go over their dog’s story and your goals. Most clients sign up for 5 sessions , in which we meet every other week at your home or an offsite location for an hour.

Shir brings her laptop to every session and writes all notes from your session. Notes are emailed to you at the end of every session and every client gets 24/7 text support in between sessions. Every client receives homework which is encouraged to be worked on for an hour a day , broken up into 15 minute chunks.

Service area:

ACT serves most Chicago neighborhoods and some northern suburbs. From Evanston to the north , to Streeterville to the south.

Website: https://www.anotherchancetraining.com


Judit Arroyo

Judit was only 17 years old when she found herself in over her head with her first dog, Puffy. Always a timid pup, at two years old he became very aggressive and reactive towards people and other dogs. Not willing to give up on her dog and not able to afford training Judit was determined to learn the art of dog training. In 2002 she launched her career as a professional dog trainer when he applied for a dog training internship in one of Chicago’s only training schools at that time and was then hired to be part of their training staff.

While other teenagers were hanging out with friends, Judit was spending her Friday nights accompanying her mentor to obedience trials, her Saturdays observing obedience classes, and her Sundays volunteering at shelters and assisting her second mentor certifying therapy dogs.Fast forward more than a decade and a half, and Judit’s passion for dogs and behavior continues to grow. After receiving her BA in Sociology with a Psychology minor, Judit continued her dog-training career.

In her 15 years of hands-on experience, Judit served as Director of Training for a daycare facility in the South-loop for 10 years, led the training program for Animal Career Academy for 6 years, and served as the dog/handler-team test evaluator for Sit Stay Read for 10 years. She writes about dog behavior and two of her articles have been published in The APDT Chronicle of the Dog. Judit’s Reactive Dog class was modeled in The APDT Chronicle of the Dog, and she was the on-set trainer for the forthcoming movie, Beast. She has competed in Rally-O, CPE, and AKC Agility with her Miniature Aussie, Lilu Manai. In addition, Judit has co-authored a manuscript for dog trainers on working with human clients.

Judit has also written a manuscript on training urban dogs, and one on troubleshooting problematic dog behaviors. Education is a big part of Judit’s passion and commitment to the welfare of dogs. She currently sits on the board for the Inner Pup Org as their behaviorist, and travels yearly to New Orleans to volunteer in their three-week education program at local schools. When she is not teaching, blogging, or training, Judit enjoys weekly trips to the forest preserve with her dogs, Lilu and her adopted American Bulldog, Saint. She enjoys her daily fetching outings with Lilu and sign language training with Saint, who is deaf.

You can also find her posting photos and running Lilu and Saint’s Instagram page. Puffy lived 15 wonderful and happy years- he will always remain Judit’s inspiration to learn and help other people who find themselves in the same boat she was 16 years ago.

Certifications: Certified professional dog trainer

Services include:
  • In home training
Behavioral issue focus:

Separation anxiety, general anxiety, fear aggression, leash reactivity, dog aggression, people aggression, hyperactivity and more.

Training methods:

I teach group classes, behavior consultations both in-person and virtual as well.

Service area:

Chicago, IL

Website: https://anythingispawzible.com/


Mallory Kratimenos

I’m passionate about improving your relationship with your dog, helping you find joy in training, and engineering some optimism in both you and your dog’s lives. I offer virtual training services where I coach you to train your dog in the comfort of your own home. I specialize in dog-dog reactivity, trick training, and cooperative care.

Certifications: VSA-CTD, FDM, CTDI, FFCP-Trainer

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

Reactivity, Fear

Training methods:

From the comfort of your own home, I will coach you through custom training and/or behavior modification plans while checking in with you along the way to ensure that all learners are set up for success. After an initial consultation where we dive deep so I can get the whole picture, I will design a custom training or behavior modification plan, enrichment plan, and send a thorough initial consultation report with immediate advice.

From there, I offer training packages or individual training sessions where we continue together on helping to meet your and your dogs needs. My goal is to help you better understand your dog, focus on building desirable behaviors, and build confidence in your relationship.

Service area:

Remote

Website: https://www.engineeringoptimismdogtraining.com/


Nancy Paolucci

Nancy graduated from Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa with a degree in Marketing and found herself in the world of promotional products where she met her husband. They adopted their first dog in 2007 and Nancy never looked back. She delved into training and dog behavior research, realizing her dream of working with dogs. In March of 2013, she completed a six month behavior and training program at CanineLink Academy in Chicago and began training with AnimalSense.

In 2017 she became a Certified Professional Dog Trainer, CPDT-KA and continues to learn and grow as a trainer. Although she loves working with puppies, Nancy has a soft spot for dogs with both anxiety and reactivity issues, having had rescue dogs with both. She has taken Agility, Nosework and Dock Diving classes with her own dogs, past and present. Present including Gunner, a yellow lab and COVID pup, Rocco, an English Bulldog/Pittie mix.

Certifications: CPDT-KA (certified professional dog trainer, knowledge assessed)

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

Leash Reactivity, Multi Dog Households, Fear reactivity to people and other dogs, shy dogs

Training methods:

Positive Reinforcement utilizing management, training and counter conditioning/desensitization approaches. All lessons conclude with written follow up and supportive resources.

Service area:

North Shore of Chicago (North Side Chicago Neighborhoods, O’Hare area, Park Ridge, Glenview, Northbrook, Skokie, Wilmette and Winnetka)

Website: http://www.animalsense.com


Megan Ores-Uhrich

Megan and Jennifer started Capricorn Dog Training, LLC in 2012. After working her magic with many Chicago dogs and their owners, Megan relocated to St. Louis in late 2021. She now works in the behavior department of the Humane Society of Missouri. The dogs and people of Chicago will miss her extraordinary dog behavior and training knowledge. Megan is currently not taking new clients.

Certifications: KPA CTP, CPDT-KA

Services include:
  • Reactive dog training
  • Off leash training
Behavioral issue focus:

On leash reactivity, stranger danger, separation anxiety, confidence issues

Training methods:

We meet in the clients home to discuss history and current issues, we discuss management strategy, design a training plan and start training

Service area:

St louis, mo

Website: https://capricorndog.com/


Debbie Bickford

Since 1999, “Debbie’s Dogs” has helped thousands of dog owners train their dogs in Chicago.Many of her students are referrals from past students, Chicago area vets, and rescue organizations. Her studies in psychology at Hofstra University (NY), where she earned a four year BA degree, have played an integral part in her understanding of behavior and training.

Certifications: Certificate in Training and Counseling (CTC) with honors, from the Academy for Dog Trainers, under the direction of world renowned trainer and author Jean Donaldson (“The Culture Clash”, “Dogs are from Neptune”, “Fight”, and “Mine”)

Services include:

  • Aggressive dog training
  • In home training

Website: https://debbiesdogs.com/contact


Randa Clark

At Tailchasers, our mission is “Chasing a better world, one tail at a time.” Our training is based on helping dogs increase the frequency of desirable behaviors and decrease the undesirable behaviors by rewarding the behaviors we want to see and finding alternate behaviors for the behaviors we want to eliminate. We specialize in behavior problems and work with many local rescues to help dogs become more adoptable.

Certifications: Arizona Canine Academy, Pet Tech Instructor, Canine Good Citizen Evaluator

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

We spend a lot of our sessions working in improving behavior problems, such as resource guarding, impulse control, leash walking, house manners, and leash reactivity.

Training methods:

We use science based positive reinforcement methods and we help pet owners develop boundaries in the home to help reinforce desired behaviors and eliminate inappropriate behaviors.

Service area:

Northwest suburbs of Chicago including Arlington Heights, Palatine, Barrington, Lake Barrington, Fox River Grove, Kildeer, Lake Zurich, Long Grove, Deer Park, Buffalo Grove, Cary, Crystal Lake, Inverness, Barrington Hills, Schaumburg, Hoffman Estates, Mount Prospect, Prospect Heights, Wheeling, and Elk Grove Village

Website: https://tailchasersinc.com/


Sniffspot Top Trainer Frequently Asked Questions

How can I get in touch with these 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 dog trainers certified professionals?

Each dog trainers certifications are listed in their profile. Dog training is not regulated at the federal or state level, so there is no standard dog training certification. However, many private institutions offer certifications. 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.

What methods do these dog trainers teach?

There are many methods for teaching dogs. All of the trainers included on this list are positive reinforcement only, as defined by no force, fear, intimidation, or aversive methods used. You can see more information in each trainer’s profile regarding their training specialties.

How much do these dog trainers cost?

Dog trainers have a wide range of costs for different services. 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. Going through a training process with your dog can improve the bond that you share with them. Also, training can do a lot to improve the confidence of a dog; it gives them more certainty that they understand how the world around them works. And lastly, it’s just fun for the dog and for you. Training can be very stimulating and enriching for a dog.

Can an aggressive dog be trained?

Yes! Any dog behavior can be worked on through training. Aggression 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. If you believe you have an aggressive dog, we recommend reaching out to one of your local top trainers to get their diagnosis and advice.

I am a trainer. How can I get listed here?

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.


See The Best Dog Trainers In Other Cities Near Chicago

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

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See The Best Dog Trainers In Other States Near Illinois

Indiana
Kentucky
Missouri
Wisconsin

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