The Best Dog Trainers in Pittsburgh, PA of 2022

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Welcome to the Pittsburgh, PA Sniffspot top dog trainer list for 2022. This is a list of the top dog trainers in Pittsburgh 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 Pennsylvania 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 Pittsburgh, PA Dog Trainers in 2022

Tena Parker

Tena Parker has been working with dogs for over 15 years. She earned her Master’s Degree in Education and her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology (with a “minor” in Physics, just for fun) from Sarah Lawrence College and is the head trainer for and owner of Success Just Clicks Dog Training.

She is a nationally Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (CDBC), a nationally Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA), is a member of the APDT (Association of Pet Dog Trainers), is a Certified APDT C.L.A.S.S Evaluator (and instructor), and is a Certified AKC Canine Good Citizen and S.T.A.R. Puppy Evaluator. Tena’s background in education has played a critical role in how she runs her classes, develops her curricula, and works with her individual students. Her deep understanding of how humans learn allows her to teach dog owners how to be very skilled trainers and teach them how to continue to help their dog.

Students quickly learn that having fun is an important part of how she teaches classes and interacts with clients. If training is not enjoyable, it’s not likely to happen but if everyone involved enjoys the process, it’s much more likely to be worked on and refined.

Certifications: Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (IAABC), Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CCPDT), Certified Trick Dog Instructor (DMWYD), AKC CGC Evaluator

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

We work with reactivity towards dogs/people on leash, aggression issues, troubles with guests coming in the home, resource guarding (food/toy aggression), fears/phobias, anxiety driven behaviors, arousal issues, and more

Training methods:

For private training, all dogs start with an initial consultation where we will get details on the primary behavioral complaints, provide some immediate solution, and use the information garnered to recommend a training package and create your custom behavioral modification plan.

We use science based Least Intrusive, Minimally Aversive methods with dogs. We utilize clickers or verbal marker signals to tell when dogs are correct and use tangible rewards like food or toys. We want to emphasize the positives so we prevent as much of the unwanted behavior has possible while the dog is learning what they SHOULD be doing.

While we have a set of ethics with regards to our general philosophy, we teach each dog in front of us and use a wide range of techniques to help dogs learn what we want. We might use 3 different techniques to teach a down in a class with 7 dogs –all of those techniques are reward driven.

Service area:

We have a training center in Spring Garden Ave on the north side of Pittsburgh and students from all over our region come to us for lessons/classes. Our in-home service area is based on each individual trainer but generally north hills and the city neighborhoods–we do NOT service the south hills at this time.


Christine Dang

Animal behavior and training have been a passion for Christine ever since childhood, when she eagerly studied every training book in the library and regularly volunteered to walk shelter dogs on the weekends. Since then, she has worked with a wide variety of animals, from a resource guarding Yorkie to a fearful Labrador, and even other species such as guinea pigs and rabbits!

Christine’s training philosophy focuses on bridging the gap between humans and pets through relationship building, clear communication, and using rewards to motivate and encourage learning. She also strongly believes that providing enriching activities for dogs to fulfill their natural instincts helps improve confidence and promote mental wellness.

Certifications: CPDT-KA

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

Reactivity (barking/lunging at triggers, usually on leash), anxiety (most commonly isolation distress, noise phobias, fear of novel items), general manners (learning how to walk on leash, polite greetings), and cooperative care (grooming, nail trims)

Training methods:

As we are primarily a daycare/boarding facility, many of the training & enrichment clients are referred to the program when their dog does not thrive in the standard daycare model. The initial temperament test is performed by the daycare team, unless my help is requested. The dogs who do not do well in daycare are then referred to our program as an alternative. I am provided notes on what the staff and family may have concerns about, which allows me to create a plan to best address these issues.

Commonly, the issue is either lack of confidence or lack of manners during play, so these dogs are paired with appropriate playmates for shorter periods of time and reinforced for good decisions such as taking breaks, recalling away from play, etc.

Other dogs are simply do not enjoy dog-dog interactions, and those are provided with one-on-one activities depending on their preferences. Many go on to enjoy agility, nosework, tricks, etc. We also commonly work on addressing leash reactivity and other anxieties using Control Unleashed pattern games to teach the dogs a healthier alternate behavior.

Service area:

Pittsburgh, PA


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 Pittsburgh

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

Buffalo, NY
Cincinnati, OH
Philadelphia, PA

See The Best Dog Trainers In Other States Near Pennsylvania

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

New Jersey
New York

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