Header image courtesy of Eddie Junior (via Unsplash)
Originally published by Stephanie Lown. Last updated by Kopal Manglik.
We cannot resist their cuddly charm and unconditional love, but not all of us are dog whisperers, and there is nothing more important than learning how to best train your pup. From basic obedience group classes to veterinary behaviourists for more specific behavioural issues, we get the low-down on the best dog training services in Hong Kong to help make your buddy a very good boy indeed.
Obedience training is a great way to strengthen the bond between you and your four-legged friend, and group classes offer a great introduction to socialising your pup to new people, dogs, and environments. Not only are the following classes trusted and run by professionals, but you will also be helping animals in need through supporting these incredible organisations.
Aptly described as a “dog-human training course,” Positive Partners—which is run by Hong Kong Dog Rescue— aims to coach human parents (a.k.a. paw-rents) in understanding and communicating with the new addition to their family by using positive reinforcement to bridge the communication gap between man and dog.
These are the only training class in Hong Kong with all CPDT-KA trainers. Classes (starting from $1,900) last an hour and a half and are held over the course of four weeks at Whiskers N Paws, in either Chinese or English. The classes cover positive training, basic cues, socialisation, and important training techniques.
Whiskers N Paws, 10/F, Horizon Plaza, 2 Lee Wing Street, Ap Lei Chau | (+852) 2552 6200
SPCA offers hour-long behaviour and training courses (starting from $2,000)—or obedience courses—which are held regularly every month, over the course of six weeks, across the organisation’s Hong Kong and Kowloon centres. Classes are open to pups over 18 weeks of age and their paw-rents, and are held by breed size: large or small. Your little fur babies must be fully vaccinated before they can attend the training course.
If your pup has not quite reached the age limit just yet, you can opt for the puppy socialisation course, which aims to teach them important house training and socialisation skills. If neither of these classes quite fit your situation—whether it’s a behavioural issue or simply down to your schedule—then you can seek out private classes with the trainers at SPCA or even book a one-to-one session with a behavioural consultant.
If the type of training your pup requires is more along the lines of rehabilitation or “behaviour modification,” then you might want to seek advice from a veterinary behaviourist or behavioural trainer, who can put together a more tailored training programme. Here are some good options around Hong Kong.
Certified professional dog trainer Alice Lau has been an instructor of Hong Kong Dog Rescue’s very popular Positive Partners training class since 2012. She has been doing private training (starting from $600) for more than 10 years, working with all breeds of dogs on good manners as well as behaviour modification.
She is your go-to person when it comes to rambunctious puppies or shy rescue dogs, and she works diligently with the owners to set them up for success. As a graduate of the Academy for Dog Trainers at the San Francisco SPCA, and certified by The Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CPDT-KA), Lau is a true believer in science-based positive reinforcement training, using only force-free and fear-free training techniques. Reach out via Instagram to learn more about her services and how she can help you and your pup.
Cactus Mok, the education and training manager extraordinaire at Hong Kong Dog Rescue, and is now offering her very own online dog behaviour & training consultation (starting from $600) at Cactus N Dogs. She has seen and dealt with it all—aggressiveness, fear and anxiety, resource guarding, nipping, playing too roughly, digging, and excessive barking, and much more. Her online consultation is the perfect way for you to spend two hours in the comfort of your own home improving the behaviours of your dog.
Mok will assess your dog, outline strategies and methods to polish your training skills, and use them to overcome specific problems. Her service gives you the tools and techniques to manage and address the behaviour issues using force- and fear-free techniques. Online consultations are suitable for all dogs, especially the nervous, anxious, and reactive dogs (as no other dogs or unknown people in the room!). Reach out via email or Facebook to schedule your consultation.
Sarah Kennedy has over 20 years of experience working with local Hong Kong rescues, including VKB and Tails Lantau, which eventually inspired her to her qualify as a canine psychologist and behaviour trainer. She is the only ISCP-certified behaviourist in Hong Kong. Kennedy uses focused and tailor-made behaviour modification training, which helps carers understand and rehabilitate their dogs.
Specialising in severe behavioural issues such as aggression, resource guarding, and fear-related issues, along with more minor behaviour problems, Kennedy ultimately helps you build a trusting and harmonious relationship with your loving companion. Her holistic behaviour modification training using only positive reinforcement, force-free and fear-free methods and a completely medication free approach. Sessions are an hour long and cost $700 per session. Packages with four or six are also available. Contact Kennedy at (+852) 9335 8075.
Eric is a well-known Hong Kong dog trainer who himself is a father to five furry kids! He comes strongly recommended as a positive trainer who excels in basic puppy training, behaviour modification of all ages, as well as helping rescue dogs to fit in adopters’ environment. His ethos is evident, as an advocate for positive reinforcement training, he works with his clients to understand their furry companions.
Just knowing the commands or techniques is not enough. Understanding why we need to be persistent and repetitive is key. He also promotes positive reinforcement through his Facebook and Instagram channels, as most people in Hong Kong still focus on the traditional force- and obedience-based training.
Eric aspires to educate the public that gentle guidance would not only result in a happier, more comfortable doggo, but also a greater bond between you and your best friend. Costs start from $800 depending on the location and situation. He conducts home visits and can be contacted via mobile at (+852) 9681 3961.
Sebastian Alcaraz, the brain and heart behind Island Kennel, was a psychology major working in customer service and sales when he realised his true passion lay in all things dog-related. He spent the majority of his time volunteering at local dog shelters, and decided to pursue an education on dog behaviour to understand the science behind a dog’s character and traits (an extension of his studies and interest on human psychology).
He now provides in-house customised training services, working with the entire family to coach each member on skills and effective communication between them and their furry companion. Ultimately, this builds trust and gives them the knowledge and confidence to enjoy their time together at home and outside. Initial assessments cost $800 for 90 minutes, with each following session starting at $600 per hour.
Yonnie Kwok, the founder of Pawsitive Training, is a CPDT-KA, Fear Free-certified dog training professional, who, above all, is a dog mother herself. She firmly believes that dogs are friendly by nature, and aggressive behaviours are usually provoked by unpleasant life events. Kwok also believes that it is our duty to rebuild the trust, strengthen the relationship, and put our pups back on track.
She offers in-home private lessons, as all good and bad habits start from home! All family members are encouraged to participate to ensure the best results. She follows the motto that “a well-trained dog is a happy dog. An educated owner makes a good leader.” She challenges her clients to be good leaders and raise a happy dog! Are you ready to sign on? Contact Kwok via WhatsApp at (+852) 9360 0531 for more information.
Established by ex-SPCA veterinary surgeon Dr Cynthia Smillie back in 2010, Pet Behaviour HK provides a holistic approach to dealing with behavioural problems, offering preventative counselling, pre-selection consultation (for clients looking to adopt), as well as follow-up rehabilitative training. An initial consultation will take place in the comfort of your own home, and may take between two and a half to three hours, to identify the issue and come up with a comprehensive plan moving forwards. Her charges are $2,100 for dogs and $1,800 for cats.
DogManGoWoof was started by Mark Peters in 2003, but has been owned and run by friendly dog trainer Deb Debes since 2021. Debes joined Peters when the team began and has spent the last decade helping your dog live its best life. She has a diploma in canine behaviour training and a certificate in pet psychology.
Debes will be your trusted expert, given her experience in everything from basic puppy care and beginner’s training to advanced obedience commands and behavioural and social issues. In particular, she has worked extensively with rescue dogs and can help pet parents understand how best to communicate with and help dogs who may have had a bumpy start in life. She provides at-home consultations with rates starting at $800 per hour, with discounts for rescues and packages. Reach out via mobile (+852) 9776 0950 or email [email protected] to schedule your consultation.
As the mother of a young boy and a Pomeranian, Eurica Li, founder and owner of Dogniversity, is experienced in working with parents and children to ensure great dog training. She is an expert in handling reactive dogs and resource guarding and will work with you, your child, and your dog to create an everlasting bond. She is a graduate of the Karen Pryor Academy in the USA and is one of the very few people in Hong Kong who is a CPDT-KA certified dog trainer.
She is a positive reinforcement-based trainer, using force-free methodology to teach dogs good behaviour without the need for physical or emotional punishment. Along with onsite behaviour training and consultation, Eurica also hosts popular training courses, including the become a little dog trainer course for kids aged 3–10, as well as classes for parents of toddlers, babies, and newborns on how to best integrate dogs into the family. You can contact Eurica via email, Instagram or her website.
If you are too busy during the week to train your buddy or planning on heading out of town, you can always opt to enrol your dog in daycare or a boarding and training programme, such as the following.
Dogs, Inc. is a firm favourite amongst many followers of Hong Kong Dog Owners and comes highly recommended. Owner Clare Benson offers a variety of services in Sai Kung and surrounding areas, including dog boarding, daycare, adventure play dates, and, of course, training for your four-legged friend.
All services are tailor-made to suit each and every paw-rent and their hound. She offers both private, one-on-one training sessions (starting from $700) and group classes ($1,800 for four sessions) for those looking to socialise their pups and learn some skills to practise at home. Benson conducts home visits for her classes.
From puppy training to dealing with specific behavioural issues, her aim is to help you improve communications and bring out the absolute best in your dog. As each person is different, so is each dog. Benson works to create a harmonious household and develop a stronger, lifelong bond between you and your dog. Judging by the many happy snaps of smiling dogs on their Facebook page, you know your pup is well cared for!
With two pools, two grass playfields, and spacious boarding suites, Petworld Resort is the ideal holiday spot for your pets when you go away on vacation. But did you know that this resort also offers daycare, grooming, and hydrotherapy services top of training? Petworld Resort’s Lodge & Learn programme ($12,000) offers boarding and training over the course of four weeks, but if your canine companion requires a bit more attention in certain areas, you can always enrol them in the custom Lodge & Learn programme or private training programme.
Petworld Resort, 351 Shui Mei Tsuen, Kam Tin, Yuen Long
If you are looking for a service that goes beyond your average obedience class, then you may want to consider one of the following courses, which are available in Hong Kong.
Run by training director and environmental consultant James Leung, Dog Training Hong Kong offers professional dog training services and solutions, from basic obedience classes and pet nutrition advice to canine behaviour modification. Leung has extensive experience working with canines, receiving numerous dog training certifications throughout his career, so you know your pet is in good hands.
His past experience includes working at the Police Dogs Centre Holland, and training and handling dogs in search and rescue, service and therapy, tracking, canine scent detection, protection, and police K9 units. Leung is also certified and trained to handle narcotics, explosive, and bed bug detection dogs. With such an impressive curriculum vitae, you can rest assured that your four-legged friend will be under the guidance of the best teacher possible. Here are some of the many courses on offer:
As seen on the television show Crufts, agility training ($5,700 for six lessons) allows the dog handler and dog get to tackle an obstacle course of weave poles, ramps, tunnels, and jumps, helping owners to develop a deeper bond with their pet, all while stimulating them both mentally and physically.
Canine scent detection
Given his training, Leung incorporates training techniques into his canine scent detection course ($1,100 per lesson, $6,000 for six lessons) to teach pet dogs to improve their nose work and find odours such as anise, clove, and birch. Just like you see straight out of true crime detective shows, you too can train your dog to recognise and search for a pre-determined odour through scent work, and final indication!
If you’ve walked off-leash with your furry friend, you will know how important recall is. Leung has developed a series of fun, powerful, and scientifically proven training techniques specifically targeted to ensure an effective and timely recall. Complete recall lessons ($6,900) are more intensive training compared to some of the other courses—covering two to three sessions per week for a total of six sessions—but this is the perfect course for those wanting to join hikes and explorations with Exploring Dogs Hong Kong.
Dog Training Hong Kong, Unit 1506, Harbour Industrial Centre, 10 Lee Hing Street, Ap Lei Chau