The Best Dog Trainers in New York, NY of 2022

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Welcome to the New York, NY Sniffspot top dog trainer list for 2022. This is a list of the top dog trainers in New York 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 New York 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 New York, NY Dog Trainers in 2022

Russ Hollier

Russ has been a Region Coordinator for Guiding Eyes for the Blind (GEB), and has raised thirteen guide dogs for GEB. He has prepared new puppy-raisers for their first puppy and has taught weekly classes to the volunteer puppy-raisers until their dogs returned to the training school.

Russ is a retired social worker and has worked for over 25 years in the human services profession. As a therapist and clinical supervisor, he has provided services to people overcoming addictions and mental illness, and to those resolving family conflict. Russ’s career has reinforced his belief in the resiliency of people and the power of positive relationships. Growing up on a small farm in central New York, Russ has always been drawn to nature and relationships with animals. Russ learned to relate with animals in a calm, consistent, and rewarding manner while helping his father shepherd sheep and care for other livestock and companion animals.

Russ learned that working with animals is a sacred experience, that their needs come first, and that if you pay attention you learn a great deal about yourself in the process. Russ’s concern for animals was advanced in his training as a bereavement counselor to assist families through the difficult time of the loss of a loved family pet. Being a professional dog trainer is a natural integration of Russ’s human service career, guide dog experience, and animal affinity.

Russ holds a MS in social work from Marywood University, in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and a BS in education, with a major in outdoor recreation, from SUNY Cortland, Cortland, New York. He lives near Ithaca, New York, with his wife and offfice manager Beth, Toby a retired guide dog and therapy dog, Larkin a Great Dane, Zena the wonder cat and Pippin a Chihuahua

Certifications: Karen Pryor Academy Graduate. KPA

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

Reactivity, Resource Guarding Door Manners. Loose Lead Walking . Puppy Behaviors

Training methods:

Force Free, Positive Reinforcement, Clicker Training, Relationship Building

Service area:

Tompkins County New York State, and contiguous counties

Website: https://www.russhollierdogtraining.com/


Tricia Kennedy

Tricia is a graduate of the Karen Pryor Academy, which is dedicated to 100% positive reinforcement training (no punishment, corrections or aversive of any kind). Training is reward marker based; we mark behavior that we like with a “click” or a “yes” and ignore behavior we don’t like. Behavior that has been rewarded gets repeated and behavior that gets ignored, extinguishes.

Because your dog is making choices to do behaviors you desire and that you have rewarded him/her for previously, you learn how to communicate with each other and an increasingly strong bond is built. Instead of “commanding” your dog to do what you want you work collaboratively towards instilling mutually beneficial behaviors.

Certifications: Graduate of the Karen Pryor Academy

Services include:

  • Aggressive dog training
  • Reactive dog training

Website: http://yourthinkingdog.com


Pat Tetrault

Pat is a past President and Board Member of the DCSPCA, and is Chair of SOS-SRF, a 501(c)3 dedicated to helping homeless Siberian Huskies.

Services include:

  • Protection/guard dog training
  • Reactive dog training

Website: https://www.topnotchdogtraining.com/


Elizabeth Boucher

In your home Dog Obedience Training. I’ll teach you how to teach your dog.

Certifications: Animal Behavior College Dog Trainer

Services include:

  • In home training
  • Reactive dog training

Website: https://pawsfirstllc.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 New York

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

Boston, MA
Buffalo, NY
Philadelphia, PA
Pittsburgh, PA
Providence, RI


See The Best Dog Trainers In Other States Near New York

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

Massachusetts
New Jersey
Pennsylvania

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