Over the years, I have learned much of what I know about dogs from my favorite social media platform, Instagram.
When I was struggling with Laila’s training, I was introduced to the world of balanced training for dogs, and began to look for dog trainers to follow on Instagram in order to absorb all that I could.
Many post regular videos, infographics, and provide lengthy descriptions about what we think we know about dogs. They answer our training questions, show us their work, and give us a lot of information to help set up our dogs for success.
The trainers listed below are all balanced trainers. This isn’t because I’m against any other methods, it’s just that this is the method I use and the trainers below incorporate a variety of methods to teach their clients.
More importantly, they train the dog that’s in front of them, using the tools and methods that best work for that individual dog.
Follow These 8 Dog Trainers on Instagram
Ruben Montes runs Kindred Dog PDX based out of Portland, OR with his brother, Shane. I worked with him to train Sitka soon after I adopted him. I love that he broke new behaviors into very small steps. It made a huge difference in Sitka’s learned skills.
His specialty is training dogs for existence in everyday life, whether you’re going for an urban adventure or having fun at the beach.
Melissa and her dog, Floyd are my good pals and is based out of Central Oregon, though also does virtual sessions. You’d never guess that Floyd used to bite people. She’s done an amazing job with him and has proven her skills with his demeanor today.
I’ve had the opportunity to shadow Melissa with a few clients and asked her plenty of training questions when it came to Sitka. Sh
e’s a great teacher and handler. Melissa is one of the few people I trust to watch my dog!
She is great about using a variety of techniques to train the dog in front of her. Her speciality is training adventure dogs who regularly hit the trails and camp with their humans.
Adam Spivey is a no bullshit dog trainer based out of Essex, UK. When I say no bullshit, I mean that he is very direct about eliminating dog behaviors. Here’s an example.
Spivey frequently does Q&A on Instagram stories and replies to the questions he can quickly answer without a ton of explanation or need for a trainer.
I just love Natalie Dobkins of Canine Performance. The North Carolina trainer offers board and train, private online lessons, and has an online community with access to Natalie, group forums where owners can ask questions, and training courses.
She regularly hosts Instagram Lives where she answers training questions and produces solid, informative, and educational content about dog training.
Bethany Johnson of Orlando, Florida has a similar story to many of us who had a monster dog she needed a training solution for. That led her to balanced training and ultimately becoming a trainer herself.
She regularly posts infographics that explain different tools, scenarios, and training tips in a quick and easy way to read. I have tons of them saved on Instagram and come back to them repeatedly as a reminder of dog behavior.
Blake Rodriguez is the owner of Dream Come True K9, a sizable dog training business based in NYC. He posts videos regularly, explaining various behaviors, discussing solutions, and raising awareness about tools and methods.
If you don’t live in NYC and want to train with Blake, you can sign up for his online course here at a super affordable rate.
Jasmine is the lead trainer and owner of the Golden Mal based in the Bay Area. Her main specialty and passion is service dogs, however, she works with pet dogs as well.
I love her Instagram posts, not only for the beautiful photos, but especially for the lengthy, informative captions. She’ll do a quick deep dive into one subject matter relating to dogs and explain her point of view.
She’s also working on training one of her dogs, Stinky (the Mal of the GoldenMal) as a police dog, so it’s fun to see different ways to train for specific duties.
Run by Haley and Brad, Red Beard Dog Training is based out of Greensboro, NC and regularly posts great information content on Instagram dissecting, explaining, or debunking assumptions we learn about our dogs.
A few bonus Instagram Dog Training Accounts from Non-Dog Trainers
I wanted to highlight a few additional accounts from knowledgeable folks who are not dog trainers by profession. Like me, they are passionate about the topic, avid learners, and share what they know to help educate other dog owners.
What I love most about many of the accounts below is the way they document their teamwork, because truly that is what matters most when it comes to dog training.
With no relationship, you’re going to have problems.
Jenna Hlady is dog mom to Falco, a dog she rescued from Saudi Arabia. A copywriter by profession, Jenna has educated herself extensively about dog behavior and training.
She is a huge advocate for using tools like e-collars, muzzles, and prong collars, and has inspired dog owners across the ‘Gram to #showyourtools, posting photos of all the tools they use to train their dog (ahem, which almost always include a leash and food, just like any dog trainer would use).
Jenna posts thought-provoking text images that generate wonderful and informative conversations about dogs.
I only recently started following @itshenrythebully (they’re buddies with Falco above) and not only does the account have beautiful photography, but also provides well-written breakdowns that explain misunderstandings about certain tools or reasons why she doesn’t do certain activities with her dog (hello dog park!).
I don’t know the name of the human behind this account, but she is a scientist and she graciously dissects dog training studies, in particular, those which study the use of e-collars. She explains what the results and data collection means in language the average reader can understand.
She explains what makes sense and what doesn’t and tells when the results are suspicious or when there simply isn’t enough data to land on a true result.
Balanced training methodologies are often said to not be “science-based,” meant as an insult to the style, however what the truth actually seems to be is that the studies of dog training in general is a bit hazy when it comes to scientific results.
Haley is mom to Scout, an adorable cattle dog. Her posts are generally musings about encounters or experiences from that day or her thoughts on all things dog-related. She’s also a book nerd and does a lot of research and self-education about dog behavior and is always sharing what she’s learned with her fans.