We strongly recommend that every new pet parent attend at least one series of group training classes, or work with a private trainer. Even if you have previously trained your own dog(s), remember that each dog is an individual and you can learn something new by attending classes with your new dog. It will also help strengthen the bond between you and your dog. Please also select your dog trainer carefully, and check out our recommendations below!
Check out some common dog training myths here.
Selecting a Dog Trainer
The dog training industry remains unregulated, which means that anyone can consider themselves to be a “dog trainer” and run a dog training business. There is no officially-sanctioned dog training license or certification, however there are a handful of certifying organizations that conduct tests, require certain qualifications, and are generally respected in the training community. Check out KPA certified trainers, Fear Free certified professionals, IAABC behavior consultants, CCPDT certified trainers
Always consider the methods that a trainer users, and not just whether they produce results. There are different ways to achieve the same results and it is important to consider the process and ensure a positive experience for your dog.
Check out the humane dog training statement from the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior (AVSAB).
Group classes (for puppies and adult dogs):
- Bravo Pup
- East Bay SPCA Dog Training
- Sirius Puppy and Dog Training
- Train the Bay by Berkeley Humane
- Training at Pet Food Express with Tammy Quirin
- Dodger’s Paws (Pleasanton)
- Humane Society Silicon Valley (South Bay)
- Marin Humane (Marin County)
Recommended trainers (East Bay):
- Dog Training with Sara – Sara Scott
- Devoted Dog Training – Courtney Briggs
- Pawgress Dog Training – Rusty Barnes
- Underdog Academy – Kara Fike & Hannah Senadenos
- Paws4Learning – Cheryl Collett
- Teixeira Training – Aaron Teixeira
- The Canine’s Voice – Sabrielle Melton
- Cafe Dog Training – Sioban Bowyer
- Up To Snuff – Ali Sutch
Recommended trainers (Bay Area) – note that many trainers are also now offering online/remote consultations:
- Canine Behavior Associates – Trish King & Tricia Breen (Marin & Sonoma Counties)
- City Pup SF – Josh Boutelle (San Francisco)
- Prime Paw – James Baybayan (San Francisco)
- SF SPCA Behavior Consultations (San Francisco)
- Lynn Brown (South Bay)
- Stacey’s Wag n Train – Stacy Braslau-Schneck (South Bay)
- Tug Dogs – offers board and train (Northern CA)
Be aware that there are trainers and board and train programs, not listed here, who prioritize producing quick results over consideration of your dog’s overall well-being!
- Bravo Pup (East Bay)
- Happy Hound (Oakland)
- Humane Society Silicon Valley (Milpitas)
- Peninsula Humane Society (Burlingame)
- Prime Paw (San Francisco)
- SF Puppy Prep (San Francisco)
- Tony La Russa’s ARF (Walnut Creek)
Click here to watch a short video to learn about the importance of puppy socialization.
Want to learn online? Instinct offers a few free online dog training courses here.