Do you look forward to walking your dog every afternoon, but wish they would stop pulling on the leash so much? Or perhaps you cringe every time you see someone walking towards your house because you know your dog is going to explode into a ball of barks as soon as your doorbell rings. No matter what problem you’re having with your dog – from minor to major, and from behavioral to anxiety, recall, obedience, or anything else – getting the advice of a qualified Vancouver dog trainer can make all the difference.
Just when you feel like you’re all alone and no-one else has ever experienced the same dog training problems that you’re currently going through, a conversation with one of the many expert dog trainers Vancouver has to offer will soon make you realize that there are plenty of other people who have not only experienced the same problem but overcome it as well.
If you would like to experience a better, more enjoyable, and less stressful relationship with your dog, consider contacting one of the following Vancouver dog trainers.
List Updated July 6 2020.
Here’s Our Rankings of The Best 11 Vancouver Dog Trainers in Vancouver
#11 Carey Trains Me
Carey Bolduc is a Vancouver dog trainer focused on creating confident city dogs. A firm believer in the power of clear, consistent communication, Carey specializes in training puppies, fearful, and shy dogs. Her balanced training approach combines positive reinforcement training with customized exercise, feeding, and nutrition routines to help prevent and correct deeply ingrained behavioural issues.
If you are looking for a trainer to support you and your dog through all stages of development, from puppy to maturity, Carey’s customized programs may be a great fit. As the Head Trainer at Bowen Island Dog Ranch, Carey’s Board and Train packages focus on creating structured training routines for puppies and adolescent dogs as well as helping to correct common “problem” behaviours in dogs of all ages, such as over hyperactivity, poor leash skills, aggressive play and inability to recall.
Founded back in 1975, Legacy Canine Training and Behaviour was built on fundamental principles of building excellent, sustainable relationships based on mutual understanding and respect between dogs and humans.
Dog training at Legacy is not solely focused on the dog. Rather, their qualified dog trainers believe that those on “both ends of the leash” need to modify their behaviour to reach a level of mutual trust and understanding. With training methods based on the philosophy of seeking to catch dogs in the act of doing the right thing, the trainers at Legacy show people how to set up your dog and the environment so that it’s easy and natural for your dog to make a positive choice, then how to reward your dog appropriately. Rewards include interactions, toys, and food as appropriate, while always recognizing that all dogs respond differently to certain types of rewards.
#9 Karma Dog Training
Karma Dog Training was founded by Jeffrey Leibowitz, who once said that humans who have chosen to raise dogs have an enormous responsibility to shape how their dogs see the world. Depending on training techniques utilized, dogs will either see the world as a place of love or a place of fear. You can train dogs using techniques that either break their spirit or uplift their spirit: the only difference is how each training technique makes you feel deep inside.
If you agree with this peaceful and loving philosophy, you’ll find Karma Dog Training
to be one of the best dog trainers Vancouver has to offer. Rather than “commands”, you’ll learn how to teach the seven requests for success, which include the following – go to your bed, leave it, heel, down, come, stay, and watch me. You’ll also learn how to train dogs without the use of treats along with 16 house rules everyone should follow,
and a simple, three-step formula to take care of any problem behaviours that may occur in the future.
#8 Discover Dogs
The team at Discover Dogs are some of the more unique dog trainers in Vancouver BC because their philosophy is that it is humans who need to be trained, rather than their dogs. Rather than focusing on what dogs need to do to improve, their philosophy is that humans need to be coached on how to have better interactions with their dogs. This training style can address all the usual forms of problem behaviour that dog owners express, including socialization, confident off-leash walking and playing, and excellent leash walking skills.
Discover Dogs offer private coaching in the comfort of your home, and also offer video coaching to help people in remote locations. Once you’re confident in your dog or puppy’s ability to interact properly within a group environment, Discover Dogs offer a
variety of group classes for puppies and older dogs alike, which include essential training techniques and enjoyable games and tricks.
#7 DOGSmart Training
In addition to a doggy daycare center, DOGSmart Training offers a range of dog training and obedience programs led by board-certified specialists. All training takes place inside their purpose-built 4,000 square foot modern indoor training center, which is
perfect for people who want to take their dog to a neutral environment to kickstart their training and address problem behaviours.
If you’re specifically looking to curb your dog’s reactive behaviours, DOGSmart Training provides some of the best aggressive dog training Vancouver has to offer. Aggression in dogs is often seen as a failing on the part of the owner, and in most cases is unfair and unjustified. DOGSmart Training tackles aggressive and reactive dogs head-on, offering private training to help owners of reactive dogs to understand the problem and to come up with an individualized plan to reduce or eliminate the unwanted behaviours.
#6 Dizine Canine
If you’re looking for some of the most experienced reactive dog training Vancouver has to offer, your first stop should be Dizine Canine Pet Dog Training. The trainers at Dizine Canine are certified and highly experienced at dealing with aggression, reactivity, and other tricky canine behavioural challenges. The trainers only use positive based reinforcement methods and specifically reject the use of shock, choke, and prong collars.
Whether your dog is destroying your furniture, displaying poor leash walking skills, inappropriately barking or jumping up on people, or behaving aggressively or reactively, the team at Dizine Canine has the skills and expertise ready to help. Their philosophy begins with building a solid relationship between humans and dogs based on trust and mutual respect. From there, they teach you how to motivate your dog to make good choices, regardless of their age, breed, or temperament.
#5 Zen Dog Canine Training
Established in 2002, Zen Dog Canine Training is one of the oldest Vancouver therapy dog training providers still in operation. The trainers at Zen Dog Canine Training believe
in only utilizing strategies and training that are based on positive reinforcement, and never utilize fear, intimidation, or punishment training techniques. If you’re interested in why positive reinforcement consistently provides better dog training results, check out 10 reasons why punishment fails in dog training.
Offering a mixture of private consultations, group classes, and distance sessions, the team at Zen Dog Canine Training can help you and your dog work through issues with on-leash reactivity, impulse control, focus, and other formal and informal obedience training. With obedience training offered in three different levels, many people choose to work through levels one and two at their own pace and then stay in level 3 as they enjoy spending regular time with the amazing community of dogs and humans committed to sharing a special bond of love, trust, and respect.
#4 Bravo Dog
Bravo Dog Training & Behaviour operates with the philosophy that “training should always benefit the human and the animal.” Bravo Dog trainers follow rewards-based humane dog training methods that always prioritize a dog’s emotional well-being. By helping clients understand that changing a dog’s behaviour also means changing their own behaviour, the team at Bravo Dog works collaboratively to make positive changes for dogs and their owners.
Discovering what motivates a dog – treats, praise, toys, affection – is key to changing that dog’s behaviour. The Bravo Dog team works with you and your dog to understand the dog’s motivation and uses that to reinforce positive behaviours and prevent negative ones. They offer both private dog training options (in-person or virtual via Zoom) as well as small group classes and online training courses. If you’re a puppy pet parent you may be especially interested in Bravo Dog’s Puppy Kindergarten class, which helps owners raise socially confident dogs, and the helpful resources available through their Project Puppy program.
#3 Canine Align
By educating people on how dogs learn and communicate, Canine Align works to create trust-based relationships between dogs and their owners. This focus on education also extends to the multi-credentialed staff at Canine Align, who participate in ongoing education courses each year to stay current on industry trends and techniques.
With a background in assessing and training shelter dogs with varying behaviour issues, Canine Align has a deep understanding of dog behaviour. Their science-based positive
reinforcement training takes a dog’s emotional state into account and works to help the dog feel safe and comfortable in various environments. By offering a mixture of private dog training sessions, including customized virtual sessions via Zoom; group training classes to improve focus and increase socialization; and advanced problem solving sessions to cover fearful or reactive behaviours, Canine Align teaches you how to gain your dog’s respect and trust with force-free methods. They also offer corporate seminars and lunch hour group classes for dog-friendly offices!
#2 Yaletown Dog Training
As one of the most well-reviewed dog trainers servicing the downtown Vancouver area, Sarah Pennington, owner of Yaletown Dog Training, has a unique ability to transform troubled dogs into wonderful family pets. Sarah trains your dog to do what you want by teaching him to want to do it. This includes transforming activities your dog might normally find stressful, like nail trims, into easy and enjoyable experiences. Through a combination of in-home training sessions and detailed, customized training plans, Yaletown sets pet owners up for long-term training success.
As an honors graduate of The Academy for Dog Trainers and a current faculty member, Sarah uses her wealth of dog training knowledge and experience to mentor and coach other aspiring dog trainers. Yaletown is proud to be one of the first dog training services in Vancouver to become BC SPCA AnimalKind accredited. They are especially skilled at teaching basic dog manners (and offer classes specifically for puppies) and have helped transform many fearful, aggressive and reactive dogs using positive reinforcement and fear-free training methods.
#1 Annika McDade – Canine Connection Training
Annika McDade is a multi-certified canine behaviour specialist and professional dog trainer.
The owner of Canine Connection Training, Annika has an enormous wealth of experience including working with Great Pyrenees and wolves for films, to working in a busy city pound to assess aggressive dogs.
Through her varied training services including one-on-one private consultations, group classes, and behaviour assessments, Annika tackles an enormous range of dog behaviour issues, including aggression and reactivity, jumping, biting and pulling on the leash, guarding resources, separation anxiety, problems with recall, and barking issues of all kinds. If your dog has a problem with barking, you may like to read our ultimate guide for how to stop dog barking – growling and barking solutions.
While Annika offers puppy training programs to guide young puppies through their crucial first 20 weeks, she also believes that dogs of any age can be trained to have good manners and become a pleasant, contributing member of any family.
Whether you decide to go for one-on-one dog training consultations or take advantage of one of the many dog training classes Vancouver dog trainers have to offer, you can be assured that your dog trainer will be able to help you with all the specific problems you are currently experiencing with your dog.
When your dog is exhibiting undesirable behaviours of any kind and you just don’t know what to do, don’t suffer in silence. Always remember that there are plenty of other dog owners who have been through the same issues in the past, and most dog problems – whether behavioural, obedience related, or anything else – are easily solved if you follow the right advice.
Feel free to choose from one of the top 11 Vancouver dog trainers ranked above, and while you’re waiting for your appointment or training class, check out our top 10 tips on how to train your dog.