The best dog trainers in Canberra

7

From poodles in Page to pugs in Parkes, Canberra is home to many beloved four-legged companions. And what is not to love? Their gentle nature, playfulness, and endless affection sees the humble hound top the list as Australia’s favourite household pet.

That said, if you have ever had to deal with dowdy dog behaviour you will know how frustrating it can be. Endless barking, incessant jumping, and a world-wide toilet can make even the most experienced owner restless. Not to mention socialising with family, and dare I suggest other dogs?

Whatever the age or stage of your darling dog, I am sure that they (and you!) could benefit from some helping hands. This where an experienced dog trainer can make the world of difference. Dog trainers are masters of behavioural modification. They use their knowledge of breed-based characteristics and an observant eye to vastly improve the nature of dogs.

And that’s not all. A well-trained dog reaps the emotional, physical, and mental benefits that comes with this type of stimulation. So, if mechanical, environmental, or reward lead training seems like too much just remember your dog will be better for it.

So where does one start? The good news is that we’ve shortlisted the best dog trainers that Canberra has to offer a mere few scrolls below.

What makes a great dog trainer?

Great dog trainers are canine lovers possessing a natural affinity with all breeds great and small. They are masters of behavioural training and can make even the most obnoxious pup a sheer delight. Here is what we think makes a great dog trainer:

  • Natural Affinity with Dogs. The best professional dog trainers are truly passionate about our furry four-legged friends. They utilise this affinity to uncover what drives them, the tactics to gain the best response. This is so important as effective dog training requires a deep understanding of natural dog behaviours, abilities, and habits. Without this insight getting the right outcome can be quite difficult indeed.
  • Qualified & Experienced. Your darling dog’s wellbeing is never something that should be left in the hands of amateurs. Therefore, when searching for the perfect trainer always prioritise qualifications and experience. While formal qualifications are not mandatory, they are most certainly advantageous. As such look for a certificate III in Dog Training and Behaviour or a certificate IV in Companion Animal Services. Another good measure of your trainer is membership with peak industry body, the National Dog Trainers Federation.
  • Positive Methods. Let’s be honest; dog training is not exactly play time for your pooch. While great dog trainers make it as fun as possible, training can be laborious work for your dog. Learning new things is challenging, and the lengthy sessions may make it hard for your dog to concentrate. Therefore, finding a trainer that utilises positive methods is quite important. Positive training methods seek to reward dogs for exhibiting the correct behaviours, and as such encourages future displays. For an enjoyable experience for both you – and your dog – look for a trainer that sings the praises of positive methods.
  • Observant. Much like us humans, no two dogs are ever the same! Their temperament and overall nature differs by breed, age, and from one dog to another. As such, careful and considered observation is needed to assess each dog and their individual needs. Moreover, an observant dog trainer will effectively read your dogs cues and tailor techniques to ensure they yield the best response. Dog training is by no means a one size fits all approach, so seek a trainer that uses observation to their advantage.
  • Compassionate. Certainly, all great dog trainers possess compassion in spades. This intuitive empathy ensures that a dog’s needs are always first and foremost in the mind of their trainer. Working at a lightspeed pace or pushing a dog too hard can have disastrous results. Equally, many dogs may come with predisposed anxiety or fear which needs to be treated carefully. A sensitive approach to communication and training all help to achieve the right outcomes.

The best dog trainers in Canberra

RiotACT’s editorial team has combed through 20 years of on-site comments to compile a list of the most recommended businesses according to you.

To be listed in our Best of Canberra series, each business needs to have consistently received positive feedback on RiotACT and Facebook as well as maintaining a minimum average of 4/5 stars on Google.

Paws2Play

Since the facilities inception over six years ago, Paws2Play have built a stellar reputation for their dog training, socialisation, and daycare services. Offering an extensive range of classes, Paws2Play caters to every age and ability level from puppy manners right through to masters training.

Classes are run by qualified, knowledgeable, and experienced trainers who utilise positive reinforcement techniques. For courses anchored in fun and practicality, look to Paws2Play for building confident and resilient dogs.

Craig Harvey shared this short but sweet review on Google, Great spot for puppy training.”

The ACT Companion Dog Club

The ACT Companion Dog Club is a not-for-profit organisation run by volunteers who are passionate about dogs and improving dog behaviour. They offer comprehensive obedience and behaviour training, as well as a raft of activities from fly ball to dancing and more.

The team champions positive training methods to reshape behaviours in healthy and supportive ways. Suitable for pooches young and old, their training and sports classes will transform a mischievous dog into the perfect four-legged companion.

As Bashir Muhammad said on Google, It’s a good place to train your dog friend to make them a better family member.”

Belconnen Dog Obedience Club

For over forty years, the Belconnen Dog Obedience Club has been helping owners nurture their dogs to develop happy and healthy behaviours. As a not-for-profit organisation they are run by experienced and knowledgeable dog-loving volunteers.

Well regarded for their canine companion classes, the Belconnen Dog Obedience Club also offers ancillary activities from agility, to disc dog, and even dog sports. With four levels of training available the Belconnen Dog Obedience Club makes for an excellent choice.

Lu Weck has this to say about the club on Google, Really down to earth trainers, completely approachable with intelligent, passionate and patient advice. Because it’s run on the backs of volunteers you know that they are there for the right reasons.”

Tally Wags Dog Training

Having trained over 2,000 dogs and counting Tally Wags Dog Training have proven skills, experience, and understanding of dogs. Utilising their own balanced training methods that have been perfected over the years, they reward with positive reinforcement to nurture happy and confident dogs.

For puppies they offer extensive puppy training services from toilet training to socialising and more. Should your dog benefit from some positive behavioural changes, their dog training services may be just what you need.

Abbey Tamsett shared her experience on Google,I had an amazing experience 10/10! Evie learnt to heel, not to react to other dogs on walks and better car manners all in one session. I’m so happy with our experience with Tally Wags!”

Sit Drop Stay

Positioned as one of Australia’s premium dog behaviour and training companies, Sit Drop Stay Canberra offers holistic psychology-based techniques.

This approach utilises energy, body language, emotions, and presence to compliment purely mechanical training techniques. The overall philosophy is based on fostering better dog-owner relationships.

Services are offered on a private basis and includes dog training, behavioural modification, and in-home puppy training. For tailored sessions with the whole family in the comfort of your own home look to Sit Drop Stay Canberra.

Carrington Melbourne had this to say on Google, Ally was absolutely fantastic! Our pup had non stop barking and while we knew it would be a few weeks before she was better, Ally managed to reduce barking the day she left!….”

There’s a lot that comes with providing the best care for your pet. Check out our articles on the best dog groomers, the best vets, the best emergency after-hours vets, and the best pet shops and pet supplies for more helpful information on Canberra’s best pet services!

If you’re interested in finding somewhere for your pet to stay whilst you’re away, our articles on Canberra’s best dog walkers and pet sitters and best dog boarding kennels and catteries may be helpful.

Finally, if you’re looking to adopt another furry friend, our article on the best places for rescue dogs in Canberra may be of interest to you.

Your experience with dog trainers in Canberra

Thanks to our commenters who have provided insightful feedback. If you believe we have got it wrong, please let us know.

Have you had experience with any of the dog trainers listed above? If so, share your feedback in the comments below.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does a dog trainer do?
A dog trainer is an animal care professional who works with dogs and their owners to teach dogs to obey their owner’s commands and exhibit appropriate behaviour. Aside from obedience, dog trainers can at times also provide specialised training in other areas such as working with livestock, search and rescue, law enforcement, and protection.
Is it worth getting a dog trainer?
Dog trainers can be incredibly helpful for dogs of all ages and at all stages. Whether you are faced with challenges mastering basic commands or behavioural issues such as aggression a dog trainer can help. If you are finding your dog’s behaviour challenging it might be worth consulting with a trainer to assess opportunities for improvement and the development of a training plan.
What age should dog training start?
Dog training should start from the minute you bring your beloved pet home. Many experts agree that earlier is best, with most puppies being able to start formal training from as little as 7-8 weeks of age.
What do dogs learn in training classes?
While not all training classes are the same, you can expect to see a few fundamentals in each course offered by a trainer. These include things like communication, toilet training, handling, biting or jumping, socialisation, and obedience. If in doubt, contact your local dog trainer for a broader discussion on your dog’s needs.
How often should I train my puppy?
To kick start your pups behavioural and social skills formal training can certainly help. Many dog trainers offer courses from as little as once a week for 4-8 weeks. This can be enhanced with daily reinforcement at home for 10-15 minutes or spread out in 5-minute increments. Each dog will of course have different needs so the above is merely a guide only. Speak to your dog trainer for advice on your pup.

What's Your Opinion?


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7 Responses to The best dog trainers in Canberra
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zllauh zllauh 2:11 pm 27 Jul 15

i taught my labra and a bull dog from youtube . lol :p
worked for me teaching them basics

Jessmmac Jessmmac 1:57 pm 07 Dec 14

I work for a business called A.B.C.D.O.G, and run one-on-one training sessions. Having worked in an animal shelter for a fair while I have a lot of experience with working breeds (plus I’m a Kelpie owner) If you’re interested have a look at our website abcdog.biz

Zultan Zultan 7:46 am 07 Dec 14

When we got our puppy in March, I tried to reach out to the Belconnen dogs club and despite multiple attempts received no replies. Instead we went to http://www.paws2play.com.au in Macgregor with great results. Cannot recommend Geraldine enough.

JackW01 JackW01 10:04 am 05 Dec 14

taninaus said :

The specialist companies are good for one off or time limited training and will certainly give you tips on managing your pooch. However (unless you have the financial means) they do not provide socialisation and ongoing activities.

there are 4 Dog Obedience clubs in Canberra that offer a range of activities including obedience, agiligy, flyball, dancing with dogs, rally-o and lots more. membership to the clubs is quite affordable with an annual fee somewhere around $200 to access an activity for a year. the training is in group situations and if you go regularly the dogs and owners develop connections. Kelpies and other energetic breeds are certainly a breed that is prominant at the clubs. contact details are available on the Dogs ACT website at the bottom of this page: http://dogsact.org.au/Club_lists.htm

She is fairly social already, it might be worth looking ito the different activities. Thanks for the info 🙂

JackW01 JackW01 4:22 pm 04 Dec 14

Mess said :

We have two Kelpies and older one and a puppy. We use a company called Naughty Dog. He helped us out with some issues we had with the older one, and our puppy is currently attending his puppy school. Highly recommended!

Thanks for the advice I will look them up 🙂

taninaus taninaus 1:45 pm 04 Dec 14

The specialist companies are good for one off or time limited training and will certainly give you tips on managing your pooch. However (unless you have the financial means) they do not provide socialisation and ongoing activities.

there are 4 Dog Obedience clubs in Canberra that offer a range of activities including obedience, agiligy, flyball, dancing with dogs, rally-o and lots more. membership to the clubs is quite affordable with an annual fee somewhere around $200 to access an activity for a year. the training is in group situations and if you go regularly the dogs and owners develop connections. Kelpies and other energetic breeds are certainly a breed that is prominant at the clubs. contact details are available on the Dogs ACT website at the bottom of this page: http://dogsact.org.au/Club_lists.htm

Mess Mess 12:51 pm 04 Dec 14

We have two Kelpies and older one and a puppy. We use a company called Naughty Dog. He helped us out with some issues we had with the older one, and our puppy is currently attending his puppy school. Highly recommended!

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