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Training Professionals​

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Akin Family Dog Training

Lilian Akin CBCC-KA, CPDT-KA

(412) 977 - 7690  

Service Area: Within a 30 minute drive from the North Side of Pittsburgh


Lilian Akin is a practicing attorney and dog behavior consultant with almost 30 years of experience working with dogs.  Her background includes working with shelter animals extensively and with dogs and their owners. She teaches group classes, provides in-home dog training, and behavioral consulting for dogs, cats, and their families. 


She helps families and their dogs with nearly any behavioral concern and basic training goal.  She offers a puppy-selection service to help owners identify what to look for in a new dog/puppy that will fit into their family nicely, teaches families how to train their dog the basic manners they need, and provides behavioral consulting for reactivity and aggression concerns.  Her services extend to working with cats as well. 


She works with all members of the family and aspires to make behavior modification and training fun and rewarding for both the dog and the family. 



Moon-Walkers Private Dog Training Academy

Andrea Lamping CDBC, CPDT-KA

500 Huntington Ave. Emsworth, PA 15202 (training center)

Service area:  Sewickley, Moon, and surrounding area


Moonwalkers is a great place for dogs to be dogs. They offer puppy classes, private as well as group sessions, play dates, and special events at their 2800sf training center that includes two out door play yards.


Their most popular offering is their Momentum Program.  It is essentially a puppy day school where people can drop off their pup to participate in a structured day of training and group play.  


Moonwalkers takes a special interest in helping shy, fearful and reactive dogs be part of the fun by offering semi-private classes (maximum of 4 dogs per class) and behavior modification set-ups with neutral dogs.

They also offer programs where the dogs learn fun games like retrieving, nose work, and enrichment workshops to keep dogs busy and mentally engaged. 

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North Pittsburgh Animal Behavior

Beth McGonigal, CBCC-KA, CPDT-KA

4358 Gibsonia Rd. Gibsonia 15044 (Training Center)

Service area: 20 minute radius from training center location


North Pittsburgh Animal Behavior offers positive reinforcement based classes. Our family friendly environment welcomes everyone in the home to partake in the fun of creating a bond between dog and owner. Classes offered include puppy classes, socialization based classes, adult dog manners classes, as well as outdoor classes and skills focused classes (like loose leash walking). Pup is already a superstar? Have them join us for a Canine Good Citizen class and testing, or the C.L.A.S.S. program!


If your dog is fearful, shy or reactive, we are happy to help build your dog's confidence and give science based, positive solutions and guidance for long term results. Our private consults and training lessons are custom tailored to your dog's needs


Success Just Clicks Dog Training

Tena Parker CDBC, CPDT-KA

1932 Spring Garden Avenue Pittsburgh 15212 (Training Center)

Service area:  North Hills, Cranberry, Sewickley, many City of Pittsburgh neighborhoods

We offer private in-home training, private training at our training center, and group classes in our 4,000sf training center. We offer services for puppy training, basic manners, CGC, dog sports foundation skills, competition Obedience/Rally-O, Scent Work, foundation agility skills, trick dog training and evaluation, fun and games classes, and more!


We also have successful behavior modification services for reactivity, aggression, and anxiety issues. All behavior modification is custom designed to the needs of the individual dog and owner--we approach all of our work to fix the root cause of behavior, not mask the symptoms. 


We firmly believe that training should be fun for everyone, even if what is being worked on is very serious.  Come join us and treat yourself to a well-trained dog!

Paula's Dog Training and Behavior Consultations

Paula Shimko KPA-CTP


Service area:  South Hills and Surrounding areas. Peter's Twp Parks and Rec

I am the first Karen Pryor Academy clicker graduate in Pittsburgh. Using a clicker and rewards helps me communicate and teach an animal many behaviors. Using a clicker is an effective and gentle way to teach dogs what we would like them to do, instead of correcting unwanted behaviors.

My goals are to help owners and their dogs to work together as a well-structured and happy team. I want my dogs to have complete trust that I am going to keep them safe and happy. Training with positive reinforcement methods helps me build that trust. One huge bonus using the clicker method is, animals learn 45% faster and dogs love learning this way.


Nadine Walz Josephs M.Ed., CPDT-KA


Service area:  East End Neighborhoods of Pittsburgh

​There is nothing I enjoy more than working with dogs and their humans. Because dogs become a member of the family and are an important part of everyday life, it is essential that they are well-trained. I believe training should be fun and strengthen the relationship between the owner and the dog.

I provide customized training lessons for basic and advanced manners and problem solving for pet dogs. I use scientifically based positive reinforcement methods.

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Steel City Pack Leader

Andrew Marrangoni (Fear Free Certified)

Service area: Service Area East End and Mt Washington

Steel City Pack Leader has created a personalized, canine concierge service designed to work hand-in-hand with dog owners to help them make wise decisions about their pet’s care. Most dogs share the same needs: exercise, enrichment, and affection. However, each dog differs in the way they react and adapt to these needs. This is why Steel City Pack Leader begins our relationship with all clients with a complete evaluation of their dog’s health, temperament, and behavieor. The results of this evaluation will enable us to create a service plan tailored specifically for you and your dog. Services Include: Dog Walking, Dog Training,Dog Grooming and Pet Care Liaison. We have found that using the hierarchy of dog needs as our foundational base for creating care plans, has a longer more substantial result than just concentrating on one aspect of care.


Debbie Thomas CPDT-KA, IAABC-ADT 


Service area: Greater Pittsburgh area – within a 30 mile radius of Cranberry.

Debbie has a simple philosophy about dog training, it should be Force Free, Fear Free and include Positive Reinforcement. Maintaining a positive attitude while training is important for the dog as well as the owner.  Training and managing dog behavior can be challenging. She works with all ages and breeds, because it’s never too late to teach an older dog a new trick and it's never too early for a puppy to start to learn. Being a Certified Enrichment Mentor, Debbie incorporates Brain Games and Enrichment activities into her Behavior Plans. Enrichment is a valuable tool for very active dogs in helping them to slow down and think. It is also particularly helpful for shy and fearful dogs in building confidence and creating a more positive attitude.

Debbie teaches group classes at various facilities and offers in home private dog training. Educating the entire family is a main goal for Debbie, and she welcomes all family members to take part in the training classes.


Positive Foundation Dog Training

Andrea Tomsic ABCDT


Service area: Pittsburgh & South/West, South Hills, Washington

Andrea offers in-home dog training services. She trains former and current shelter dogs, as well as puppies and adult dogs that have behavior issues that the owners do not know how to help or change.   She hopes to help dog owners understand dog body language so that they may better communicate with their dogs.   She uses LIMA (Least Intrusive Minimally Aversive), R+ methods, games and exercises. 


With this training and guidance, the dog becomes more comfortable in the home, trusting of her owners, and a confident, respectful member of the family.    Positive reinforcement (R+) of the desired behavior is scientifically proven to help the dog repeat wanted behavior, while extinguishing or diminishing the unwanted behavior.  We don’t want our dogs to be robots or lose their personalities, but we want them to be safe and happy, and know that their human caretakers are trustworthy and fair advocates for their lives.

Upswing Total Pet Care

Rachel McMichael

Service area: Butler Area

Rachel offers behavioral help, enrichment, and training services in and around Butler County.

Rachel is a Catch Certified Dog Trainer, Certified Trick Dog Instructor, is a member of the APDT, and supporting member of IAABC. She holds a degree in Veterinary Technology and has worked many years as a Veterinary Technician with a focus on behavior in shelters. Rachel is always attending lectures and seminars and brings all of these experiences with her as she works training her students.

Rachel is passionate about creating enriching, rewarding and lasting bonds between pets and their families and she views training as an integral and imperative part of overall wellness for our beloved pets. She strongly believes that a great relationship with your dog is more important than any trick you could ever teach and you can teach your dog just about any trick if you have a great relationship!

Kelly Wilson CPDT-KA 

Service area: East Pittsburgh, greenfield, squirrel hill, shadyside, highland park, oakland, point breeze.

Kelly is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer and is a certified Canine Good Citizen and Star Puppy Evaluator for AKC.  She started her path to dog training as a volunteer at the humane society 20 years ago cleaning dog kennels and worked her way to becoming a lead trainer for their group training classes. 

She’s passionate about helping owners meet their dog’s training goals and build a great relationship with their dog through positive training and canine enrichment. She loves working with puppies and their families to help them learn how to raise a well-mannered and well-adjusted dog.

She offers private in-home training for puppies and basic manners challenges through her business Noah’s Ark Pet Sitting (no longer seeing pet-sitting clients).


She teaches a variety of group manners classes for Success Just Clicks Dog Training and Humane Animal Rescue.

Lisa Bartel, CPDT-KA, DN-CET


Service Area: includes Robinson Township and western suburbs

As a Certified Professional Dog Trainer and Certified Canine Enrichment Technician Lisa’s goal is for your dog to be the best companion he can be by fulfilling his daily needs and minding his manners but still having a personality! We will accomplish this goal together through customized training programs that include both mental and physical exercise. Lisa has been working with companion pets since 2013 through volunteering, with personal clients, and as an instructor in group classes. She only uses positive reinforcement methods, reward based training, and proven evidence-based training techniques. Lisa provides In Person and Virtual Coaching training sessions as well as Dog Enrichment Services.


Lisa focuses on Enrichment Essentials and Companion Manners. She can help with Basic Cues, Leash Manners, Recall Basics, Mat Training, Relaxation, Crate Training Basics, Jumping, Focus and Attention, Therapy Dog/CGC Prep, Confidence Boosting, Scent Work for Fun, and Mental Exercise/Brain Games.

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