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Training​ with David, CPDT-KA

Citizen Hound's Dog & Owner Training™ is designed to train guardians to be great leaders. Mixing a focus on dog learning theory and the detective-like work we'll do in figuring out your unique case I've coined what I do furensic pyschology.

I’m a Certified Professional Dog Trainer with over a decade of experience both working with private training clients and managing the largest, most lauded dog care firm in San Francisco. It’s there, in what I call my labradoratory, where years of being surrounded by as many as 100 dogs every Monday through Friday, all of it out in nature and unleashed, has gained me more understanding than the average trainer and dog lover.

My passions are both study and teaching. I study both the science and nature of how dogs learn, and take joy in coaching people just as much as the dogs. I want you to be the hero, and I am your guide. I’m you’re Obi Wan, your Dumbledore, your Mr. Miyagi.

My background as a copywriter taught me how to encapsulate ideas in sticky little nuggets, and a core objective is to make more advanced training ideas very understandable and digestible for the layperson. What makes working with me unique is that unlike many 101 level dog trainers I have a strong desire for you to understand the why while I show you the how to.

Sessions that involve owners are $100 per hour, while sessions worked solely with your dog are $50.

Jr. Dog Trainer Program

$40/hour for dog training is unheard of, especially in SF, but many of my dogwalking staff members aim to be professional dog trainers themselves and just need the experience to elevate their skills. At that price you could get a dog professional on a budget. It's also a great way to supplement lessons with me, especially for busy professionals. The only caveat is that you have to first buy a consultation with me. That way I can assess whether one of my staffers could do it and help them create an actionable protocol to implement for the rest of their work with you. 

What's a CPDT-KA?

Certified Professional Dog Trainer - Knowledge Assessed. Until the creation of the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers in 2001, there was no true certification process for canine professionals. Many schools teach dog trainers and offer certifications for their specific programs. These certificates, therefore, reflect the teachings and quality of a specific school. Other organizations offer take-home tests for "certification". These canine professionals are not monitored to ensure they are completing the test without any assistance or collaboration nor is the testing process standardized. This unprecedented process was originally implemented by the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT), the largest association of dog trainers in the world, founded by noted veterinarian, behaviorist and author Dr. Ian Dunbar. A task force of approximately 20 internationally known dog training professionals and behaviorists worked for three years to research and develop the first comprehensive examination. Professional Testing Corporation (PTC) was hired to ensure the process met professional testing standards. APDT then created a separate, independent council - The Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers - to manage the accreditation and pursue future development. It is the standard for professional dog training designations.

New puppy or new adoption selection - $50 hour


Getting a new dog is a giant commitment to a lifetime together. You can hope your dog is a great match for you and your lifestyle, but we can provide you with another option - consultation with a professional. I'll work with you before your search to identify key elements of your lifestyle that'll help us narrow down a selection, and then I'll join you to help you find the perfect companion. 

Puppy training

Private in home puppy training. We do not offer classes. Potty training. Nipping or biting. Jumping up on people. Loose leash walking. Eating junk on the streets. If you're struggling with any part of raising your puppy or adolescent, put me in, coach!

General Anxieties or Phobias 


This is my specialty. It's hard to imagine the emotions that many fearful dogs resign themselves to live with. Often those feelings can present themselves in very strange ways, like aggression. Helping them requires much more than petting and cooing to them. It's important to get to the root of the problem and understand what your dog needs to feel safe.

Destructive Behaviors 


He's not doing it just to spite you! With Dog and Owner training, I'll give you the tools you need to prevent coming home to that guilty face... the one that means your wardrobe just got smaller, again. 



Reactivity / Leash Manners 


Walking your dog should be fun and it's important. It's a release. It can calm the mind, or, if they do not have leash manners it can frustrate them and you. Make no mistake, harnesses are a crutch and do nothing to teach the impulse control necessary to walk calmly on leash. Leash training is hard, it takes a long time and a lot of work, but if you're committed you can do it. 

Separation anxiety 


Separation anxiety is one of the most difficult areas of dog training. Some trainers won't even work on it because of the low likelihood of results. Results are based on one thing, and it's not the dog, it's you. If you need to get rid of separation anxiety call me in to show you how. 



Surprisingly, many trainers often refer away people with aggressive cases. We've also all heard stories of vets and trainers telling owners that they're better off putting the dog to sleep. Where are the people who have cases of extreme aggression supposed to turn? Don't give up hope! Turn to me if your trainer tells you that they can't help.

"Unlike other trainers with a one size fits all approach, David provided what was truly a personalized curriculum -- giving me actionable instruction based on my dog's breed, our environment, my personality among a variety of factors. He devised training plans. Demonstrated how to put them into practice. And followed up regularly with me on our progress.​"

- Melissa W.

"David is a dedicated trainer. He is patient and takes time to learn what is going on so that he can address it. He works hard with the owners so that they feel confident and relaxed. His calm and caring demeanor puts pets and owners at ease. His recommendations are straightforward and easy to implement."

- Ana L.

If you have any question concerning behaviors, training methods, prices, scheduling or anything else just email or call. Talking out the problems will help us find the best solutions for you.


Check out articles routinely submitted by owner David Levin as well as many other dog pros:
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