The Best Dog Trainers in San Diego

Professional dog training isn’t just for dogs with problem behaviors. Many dogs can benefit from getting professional instruction. Having a trained professional who understands dog behavior work with your dog can improve your dog’s behaviors and help you understand why your dog acts the way he or she does.

But if your dog is exhibiting problem behaviors getting help from a professional is the best way to correct those problems. If you don’t fully understand dog behavior and you try to fix the problem yourself you could end up just frustrating yourself and your dog.

Choosing the Best Dog Trainer

Before you commit to training with one particular trainer it’s a good idea to take your dog and meet the trainer first. Set up an initial appointment just to get together and see how your dog interacts with the trainer. And to see how the trainer acts with your dog.

During that meet and greet appointment you can ask the trainer any questions that you have about their training style. And you can give them the particulars about the behavior that you want addressed.

But don’t feel obligated to commit to the first trainer that you meet. It’s important that you find a trainer that really understands your dog and that your dog seems comfortable with. Go see at least a few different trainers before you pick one.

If possible visit the trainer’s facility and watch the trainer working with other dogs. Talk to some of the other owners. That’s the best way to find out for yourself if the trainer knows what they are doing and will work well with your dog.

The Best Dog Trainers in San Diego, CA

13 Best Dog Trainers in San Diego California

For dog owners in San Diego, California there are hundreds of choices when it comes to professional dog training. You can enroll your dog in a boarding type training where the dog works one on one with the trainer for a period of weeks. Or you can choose on site training where you and the dog work together with the trainer on an appointment based schedule. Many owners find it helpful to attend training classes with their dogs.

Based on recommendations from other local owners, here are the best dog trainers in San Diego, CA that we've picked out from many others.

Specialty Dog Training

SDT has more than 20 years of experience training dogs and can help dogs learn through positive reinforcement and quality training. There are many different kinds of training programs available including boot camp style short training sessions and individualized training. They are happy to work with you to create a custom training program based on your dog’s personality and needs.

Tully’s Training

Tully’s Training believes in an individualized approach to dog training. You can schedule an initial consultation for free. That gives you and the trainer a chance to meet and gives the trainer the chance to meet your dog and assess whether the trainer is a good fit for  your dog.

Bark Busters

Bark Busters is part of an international chain of dog training facilities. With more than ten years of experience Bark Busters San Diego can help dogs with a wide variety of behavioral problems including excessive barking. Bark Busters is a great fit for dog owners who just want to get some basic training for a dog or teach a puppy some basic commands without incurring a huge training cost. Bark Busters can handle larger and more serious behavioral problems but they are also fantastic to teach dogs basic commands and general good behavior.

Veterinary Behavior Consultants

Veterinary Behavior Consultants is a great fit for anyone who truly wants an expert in animal behavior to train their dog. Dr. Melese is a licensed and certified behaviorist who is experienced in working with dog on all types of behavior from learning simple commands to correcting dangerous or escalating aggressive behavior.


Pawtopica has been voted the best dog training facility in San Diego for the last three years. They offer group dog training classes as well as private training. In addition they offer a type of doggie day care that includes training disguised as play. They have flexible training plans designed to fit your dog’s individual needs.

Grumpy Puppy Dog Behaviorist

Grumpy Puppy has fantastic testimonials and reviews and they offer a free online quote so if you’re looking for a dog trainer that other dog owners trust start by getting an online quote from the trainers at Grumpy Puppy.


Dog Zenergy is focused on your dog’s emotional health as well as physical health. They offer a free initial consultation and offer a lot of discounts for dog owners on a budget who need to get professional training for their dog. If you want your dog to be happy and well trained Dog Zenergy may be the right trainer for your dog.

Animal Healing Center

The Animal Healing Center is another training center that is has a holistic approach to dog care and behavior. By focusing on the dog’s happiness and emotional state as well as on behavioral training the AHC is committed to making dogs happy and healthy. They are focused on whole dog wellness and not just correcting behavior. If your dog has suffered trauma in the past or comes from an abusive background the Animal Healing Center is a great choice for training. They will work on healing past traumas as well as correcting behaviors that are problematic.

Absolute K-9 Dog Training

The trainers at Absolute K-9 have a combined 40 years of experience in dog training. They have consistently been rated one of the top San Diego dog training facilities and have many celebrities as clients. They offer group classes and training boot camps as well as individualized training programs. No matter what type of training your dog needs the experts at Absolute K-9 will create a program to give your dog the best training possible.

Karma Dog

Karma Dog is another top rated San Diego dog training facility. Karma Dog focuses on only positive training and reinforcement to help dogs and owners create a bond of love and trust. Karma Dog has been national features on NBC, Fox, and other national TV. They are also trusted dog training advisors for ABC News. You can get a free initial consultation so that you can see if their holistic approach to dog training is the right fit for your dog.

Woof Dog Training

Like many other training facilities Woof offers both group and individualized training for dogs. The trainer/owner of Woof Erin Vejar has been certified by the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers and the Karen Pryor Academy. Woof is also a member of the Association For Force-Free Professionals. The focus at Woof is on positive reinforcement and training to help dogs develop a confident and trusting bond with their owners.

Who’s Walking Who Dog Training

Who’s Walking Who bills itself as “Dog Training For The Real World”. The trainers have impeccable reviews from happy dog owners. Their practical approach to dog training is designed to help dogs and dog owners solve everyday behavior issues as well as more serious behavior problems. They also offer a boarding facility where dogs can be trained on site or boarded during vacations or holidays. Group classes are available as well as individual training plans.

Sit Means Sit Dog Training

Sit Means Sit Dog Training has been featured on many national TV shows and channels including ESPN, CNN, The Today Show, and The Discovery Channel. Sit Means Sit Dog Training offers the standard group lessons or individual training but they also offer in home training which can be a big plus for busy dog owners that don’t have a lot of time to make it to lessons.

Additionally they offer a lot of great resources for clients on their website like training videos and additional support to help dog owners take a proactive approach to managing their dog’s behavior. They have a perfect 5 customer satisfaction rating on Google and have lots of testamonials from happy dog owners who highly recommend their services. They offer a free initial consultation so that you can get more information on their training programs and so that they can meet your dog and see if they are a good fit for your dog.

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James has been a certified veterinary technician for the last 8 years in Birmingham, UK. After working with many dogs, he's changed his focus to writing, building businesses and researching subjects on canines and products created for dogs.