The Best Dog Trainers in Kentucky of 2022

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

Mandy Eakins

Manners Matter Dog Training and Daycare is the Lexington Kentucky area’s premiere dog training and care facility. Our facility has the most certified trainers on staff of any other facility in the area. We hold ourselves to the highest standard of care when it comes to your dog. Our training methods are effective and veterinary approved.

We offer day training, group classes, private lessons, and daycare.

Certifications: CPDT-KA, KPA CTP

Services include:

  • Aggressive dog training
  • Reactive dog training


Devin Zimmer

Devin has been training dogs since 2011. She currently offers group classes at Bluegrass Dog Training Academy in Lexington and behavior consultations at PetVet365 in Brannon-Crossing and Harrodsburg Road. She follows the LIMA guidelines in her training (least intrusive, minimally aversive).

Certifications: CDBC, CBCC-KA, CPDT-KSA, IAABC-ADT, Fear Free Certified Professional

Services include:
  • Aggressive dog training
  • Reactive dog training
Behavioral issue focus:

Owner directed aggression, fear aggression, aggression toward people entering the home, dog directed aggression, on-leash reactivity, intrahousehold aggression.

Training methods:

I rely heavily on positive reinforcement (based on what the dog finds reinforcing), and LIMA (least intrusive, minimally aversive) methods for all services. Behavior consultations include behavior write-ups/training plans and group classes get homework sheets for each week.

For behavior consultations, it is required to meet with the doctor first to rule out medical causes (Dr. Brumley for Brannon-Crossing location, Dr. Dawes for Harrodsburg Rd location). Then I’ll send an intake form and we can schedule a consultation from there.

Visit Bluegrass Dog Training’s website to register for group classes!

Service area:

Lexington, Fayette County, KY; Remote.


Christina Wakefield

Christina Wakefield started teaching in 1998 and her specialty is teaching Dog Agility classes of all levels, including distance skills. She’s taught a vast variety of breeds from chihuahua’s to great danes to mixes of all kinds. Her goal is to combine an informative and structured class, that’s a lot of fun for both dog and handler. Christina has competed at the National level in AKC, USDAA, and TDAA.

Christina put an ADCH on her border collie Ticket, a TACH on her rat terrier Oreo, a TACH and TACH2 on Brian’s border collie Tess, and several TACH’s, MACH, PACH, and 2 TNAC’s (Teacup National Agility Champion – winning TDAA Nationals 2 years in a row) on her boston terrier, Stitch. Stitch also won High in Trial at the TDAA Nationals in 2015. In 2016, Christina and Stitch were the #1 ranked boston terrier performance team in AKC and earned the right to compete at the AKC Invitationals in Orlando, FL, where they completed 4 clear rounds and were fast enough to be able to run in Finals!

Christina is a TDAA agility judge (and judged the TDAA Nationals in 2018) and a Hide ‘N Seek judge. She does trial secretary work for AKC Herding, CPE Agility, and Hide ‘N Seek. Christina has also competed in AKC, ASCA and AHBA Herding (her border collie, Ticket had points toward a Herding Championship and won many High in Trial and Reserve High in Trial and her border collies Finn and Ace are now competing), competitive obedience in AKC and ASCA, Rally in AKC, conformation in ASCA, Hide ‘N Seek and Barn Hunt.

Certifications: Competed at the National level in AKC, USDAA, and TDAA.

Services include:

  • Protection/guard dog training


Wendy Katz

For as long as I can remember, I have loved all animals. I have been training my own dogs since the age of ten, and have been committed to using force free methods since 1998. I take great pleasure in sharing with my clients the thrill of achieving harmonious partnership with dogs and other creatures through positive reinforcement training, seeing a hyperactive puppy choose to take a nap after a training session, or a formerly barky-lungey dog able to walk calmly past other dogs.

I began teaching dog training in 1999 as an apprentice, and started an independent training business in 2005. I have participated with my dogs in service projects and group activities with Dog Scouts of America, and enjoyed making nursing home visits with a certified therapy dog. I have honed my training skills through workshops, webinars and conferences. I became a Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner (KPA CTP #63199) in 2013. As part of this experience, I added cat training to my repertoire. I obtained my CPDT-KA certification from the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers in 2019.

With a Ph.D. in biology, I am employed in biomedical research in the Department of Pharmacology and Nutritional Sciences at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine. I enjoy the synergy between my training in biological science and the science-based approach to pet training that I learned through Karen Pryor Academy and my continuing education.

Certifications: Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner (KPA CTP #63199) and KA certification from the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers, Fear free professional

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

Barking/lunging on walks, aggressive behavior (small dogs only), fearful behavior, annoying behaviors such as counter surfing, helping dogs get along with the household cat.

Training methods:

Training methods are based on positive reinforcement and minimal stress principles. We aim to make training fun for pets and humans. Behavior cases begin with a consult to get history, set up safety measures, and begin foundation training. After the consult a training plan is proposed.

Service area:

In person: within 10 mile radius of downtown Lexington KY; remotely anywhere


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 trainer’s certifications, if provided, 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 services.

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.

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