5-star reviews dog trainer in NJ

4.8+ Star Rating
Out of 110+ Reviews

We are located in New Jersey

Proudly Serving New Jersey, PA, & NY
More than 30 years of experience

Award winning dog trainers in New jersey

Top Dog Obedience Training Near You
In as little as two weeks

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(856) 783-4042


What Our Clients Say About Us

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Dog training client reviews

Not knowing what to expect, my wife and I took our 11 week old Doberman puppy, Keilo, to the School for Happy Dogs to inquire about puppy training sessions. Within fifteen minutes of meeting and getting to speak with Lilia, we were completely impressed with her insight, compassion and thorough knowledge of contemporary training techniques. During our initial meeting, Lilia explained puppy behavior to us in a way that was easy for us to understand, and we knew at that moment we wanted Keilo’s training to begin at the earliest possible time. Having just completed his second “puppy private training lesson”, we are very excited about the tremendous strides Keilo is making, not only while training at the school but at home as well, and we are anxiously looking forward to his next training session. I would (and will) highly recommend Lilia and John Soares and the School for Happy Dogs to anyone who is interested in having their dogs trained by experienced, patient, and caring professionals.

-Tom Doyle

Dog training client reviews

Being able to participate in the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show with my dog Rocco was a goal for 2013. My young Champion Great Dane had never competed in a ‘bench’ show let alone one of this magnitude in the big city. I went to Happy Dogs Boarding & Training to see if they would help me work with Rocco’s confidence and focus issues. I wanted him and I to be confident and willing participants but most of all I wanted to have fun with my dog. One of the challenges was/is finding a method without using the sit command. They first helped me work on focus and we are progressing with obedience commands conducive to creating a well balanced and focused dog. Following a simple formula of practice and consistency Rocco has in a very short time exceeded all of my expectations. He not only showed extremely well but be he was magnificent with the spectators, press and media he encountered. I am so happy I found Happy Dogs!

– Rocco

Dog training client reviews

I would like to thank you for the miraculous changes you were able to achieve in such a short time with Axel. Since you accepted the challenge of working with Axel I have observed a steady improvement in his maturity, attentiveness, response to commands and manners. Over the past twenty-five years I have worked with numerous trainers in many parts of the country…..without question you are at the top of my list of gifted trainers.

– Leslie Meller

Dog training client reviews

Happy Dogs Boarding and Training is one of the best places I have even seen. I am an older woman and have had many dogs. I also have had many trainers because I train my dogs to be Therapy Dogs. Lilia Bozzetti Soares helped me this time after two unsuccessful attempts with others, and she is the most amazing dog trainer. She is compassionate, knowledgeable, very effective, and knows exactly what she is doing. I have never worked with such a trainer who gets the job done immediately and my dog adores her. She is an outstanding teacher because I learned more than I have ever learned about dog training and her way with me was indescribably calm and the results were better than I ever expected.
One cannot go wrong using this woman. I would give her ten stars for her dog training. In addition, the place is spotless and the kennels, if one boards a dog, are really nice. They actually have dog runs so that your dog can be inside and out. The place is a true winner in all respects!f gifted trainers.

– Sondra Angus

Dog training client reviews

I have a four year old cocker spaniel, Buddy. Every time I took Buddy for a walk, he would pull me to wherever he wanted to go. If we encountered other dog(s) or people he would become vicious, sometimes biting. I would have to use all my strength to hold him back. My walks were filled with anxiety and apprehension. Not a good thing!
Last month I was told about happy dogs. I contacted the school and explained my situation. It was agreed that boarding and training would be the best option.

I had some reservations that a 4 year old dog could change his ways, but after 15 days of training, Buddy was a completely new dog. Now, Buddy and I enjoy our walks together; he always walks at my side.

No more pulling, lunging or snapping. Conversations with neighbors during our walks are now enjoyable.

Buddy sits at my side, even if the other person has a dog. The training has also helped us with other concerns we had with buddy…I highly recommend Happy Dogs.

-Leonard Wolff

Dog training client reviews

At 7 months of age we decided we could use some professional help with training our new Labrador retriever named Sadie. Our goal was to prepare her to be a Therapy Dog and an evaluator suggested training with John Soares at Happy Dogs. Her recommendation was based on his 25+ years of training, his work as a K-9 trainer and competitive medals won both here and internationally.
John has a facility where you meet to train both inside and out. He is competitively priced and we chose to do one on one training as opposed to working with a group. John did introduce other dogs when teaching Sadie how to deal with this everyday distraction.

John exceeded our expectations. He shows a great deal of compassion towards dogs however is not afraid to give corrections when needed. He sets the dog up to succeed and has realistic expectations in relation to the dog’s maturity. It became evident that many problems lay with us as handlers. He never made us feel self-conscious and gave us clear articulate instructions each step of the way. He was always willing to answer our questions and address any of our concerns. Sadie was always happy to see him which is a great recommendation in and of itself.

Sadie now reliably sits, comes, lies down and walks with no pulling. We decided to move on for a second series of lessons and Sadie is now able to go for walks beside us off leash which is very handy when hiking.

I know that anyone who takes their dog for training at Happy Dogs will be more than pleased with the results. We won’t hesitate to return when Sadie needs to brush up on her skills when going through her teenage years.It was agreed that boarding and training would be the best option.

I had some reservations that a 4 year old dog could change his ways, but after 15 days of training, Buddy was a completely new dog. Now, Buddy and I enjoy our walks together; he always walks at my side.

No more pulling, lunging or snapping. Conversations with neighbors during our walks are now enjoyable.

Buddy sits at my side, even if the other person has a dog. The training has also helped us with other concerns we had with buddy…I highly recommend Happy Dogs.


Dog training client reviews

After losing our 14 year old fox terrier I decided to bring home my dream dog. I had three other small dogs still at home. I am 44 years old. I have two children 19 and 12 and a husband. I took a 4 month old female doberman from a family who did not want her. We named her Lilly. At first all I thought about was the excitement of having a dog i thought of having for many years. Then it hit me. Wow, i own a doberman. In the beginning i took her everywhere. She came to me as an insecure dog who had not been socialized. Bringing her to places like pet smart for example as she grew (quickly) became not only embarrassing(as i would hear passer bys make their comments ) but would scare everyone out of the store. I could no longer bring her anywhere. The walking her on a leash in town i completely stopped because i had no control. I thought to myself one day that maybe i made a mistake. I have alot of experience with many animals and felt secure with my decision at first but began losing confidence. Lilly could definitely feel this from me. Finally i came to and remembered “training.” My husband had remembered seeing a gentlemen years back with a dog who was unbelievably behaved. The only doberman i had seen in my life was about 15 years back when i worked in an animal hospital. This dog sat like a statue. I thought lilly would be just the same. After researching and researching (something i do well) I finally found john Soares. I did not know this was who my husband had seen years ago. He could not remember his name. When i showed my husband who I thought was the best for our Lilly he said “Thats him, thats the man i saw!!” I called john right away. He wanted me to bring in for an evaluation and I chose to leave my beloved lilly with him for the two week boarding/ basic training package. Although i think i can do anything lol I knew this was best for Lilly and I was so comfortable with John. Lilly stayed about two and a half weeks. John sent me pictures and updates. I missed her terribly. The day came to pick my lilly up and take her home. I myself then trained with john so he could teach me what she knew. At first, as any mom ,i felt guilty disciplining her. I remember john saying to me, “Remember Regina, she knows everything, you are not disciplining her for something she does not know,dont feel bad”
Thats all i needed to hear and ive remembered those words. It was so true. She knew it all. Mommy had to do her part now.
Anyway time went by and i have to say i noticed more and more how priceless it was to have john train lilly. I believe i will see even more as time goes on and she is out and about with her family. I have since brought lilly into the farm supply store, petsmart etc etc. I was floored. People came in and I didnt even need to say anything to Lilly. She sat and stayed and the compliments poured in. I didnt know how to react. I was soooooooo proud and thought of john everytime. I had to have the verizon company come in to my home several times recently. I assumed i would have to lock lilly in my room 🙁 Well, the men came in while i was walking her up the steps and what did she do??? She sat. She looked so beautiful. I kind of looked at her thinking “who are you?” The men said the same thing i have been hearing. Wow she is such a well mannered dog. I was proud. Very proud. I could take a deep breath it was awesome. I walk and run lilly every day. Our walks now are so enjoyable. Again i get compliments. I can walk her by other dogs with out her going insane. I enjoy being out with her. I could NEVER have done this especially in such a short period without John. I watched John with her. I saw how he was a strong leader but would praise her with such respect for her. Lilly will continue other types of training. I feel so lucky we found him. When lilly and I would return to Johns for my sessions she went nuts to get out of the car and go in. His handler Chris was very kind to my lilly as well and seemed sad to see her leave. I will continue to see the benefits of what John has taught us especially with the warm weather coming in. Even with that training complete he still puts up with my many questions and texts about anything. I never knew how important just the basics were for lilly to learn. They are the foundation to everything else she can learn. Thank you John Soares. I want to thank his wife also who was so kind and took time to teach me some things about feeding etc. So much knowledge and care from them. I tell everyone about John. Cant thank you enough. The journey goes on.
Do not waste time with other trainers. There is no better.

-The McClellan Family

Why Choose Us?

michael Quigley Jrmichael Quigley Jr
01:24 10 Dec 23
I want to thank John Soares and his staff, for their remarkable training with our 5 year old German Shepherd, Duke. Prior to training with John Soares, my wife found Duke to be unmanageable when walking Duke outside. Duke became Dog Aggressive. Duke's tugging and barking had to be addressed.Having trained with John Soares years ago with success, I had total confidence, John and his excellent experienced staff would correct Dukes behavior. After John evaluated Dukes behavior, John explained to my wife and I in great detail, why Duke behaved in this manner. John designed a custom training plan to aid in Dukes training. Understand, No two dogs are alike.With Johns advice, my wife and I scheduled Duke for a Board and Stay Training. On a frequent basis during Dukes stay, John sent use training videos of Dukes improvement. John always maintain open lines of communication.After completing Dukes stay, John did a series of one on one training sessions with Duke, both my wife and I. The results were positive and enlightening.Both my wife and I applaud John Soares and his excellent and experience training staff with working with Duke. Having worked as a volunteer in a local kennel, I seen to many dogs surrendered for this type of behavior. I knew if anyone could correct this behavior, John Soares could.There are dog trainers and then there is John Soares. The teacher of trainers. Johns knowledge and experience with canines must be recognized as Outstanding. John has a God given Gift with training and communicating with Mans Best Friend.Both my wife and I highly recommend John Soares and no other.John with out doubt is a FIVE STAR TRAINER an a Great Guy!!!
Jah GJah G
01:48 26 Nov 23
Our 1 year old GSD just finished his board and train. We cannot say enough great things about John and his training. I mean just look at his history! You can immediately tell his passion for this is genuine. We cannot recommend him enough. Our Echo had a tough life before us. We all believe he was not dumped, but he was an escape artist and they forgot to microchip him on time. With that, he did not know proper manners. After the shelter found him as a stray, he was adopted and then surrendered THREE times by THREE different families. All because he lacked obedience, which was never his fault. John has not only trained Echo, but also trains us so that we are setting him up for continued success. We will definitely be continuing training with him. Thank you John and your team for taking great care of our boy.
Doodle DogDoodle Dog
18:27 06 Nov 23
Excellent! Worth the wait! I wouldn’t hesitate recommending!
02:20 12 Sep 23
There is no enough what I can say about john and his knowladge and patient to teach you and your dog,no 1.
Melissa (Mel725)Melissa (Mel725)
18:27 13 Oct 22
Highly recommend!!! John is amazing at training. He and the entire staff have gone above and beyond to ensure our dog was properly trained. He provided clear instructions and responded promptly to any of our questions. We are forever grateful to John and his team. Our dog is so much better at walking— no more pulling me or dragging me across neighbors lawns or chasing squirrels!!! . Again I highly recommend this place for any dog training needs. You will not be disappointed! Thank you John!
19:24 05 Sep 22
We highly recommend John as a trainer! After interviewing many trainers in for our 18-month old Rottweiler, and after he evaluated our dog, we though that John was the best at setting our expectations for her training, putting in practical terms what goals we could achieve and how we would get there. Our dog spent 5 weeks with John and we are really happy with her training. John not only trained our dog but the 4 post-board training sessions with us and our dog, trained us how to handle her as well. We found John to be really observant correcting our body language and verbal cues, explaining to us what our dog’s perspective is. This helped us to adjust our routines with her at home and proof his training. We look forward to her next training session with him as we make progress together!

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Award-winning New Jersey dog trainers.

Award-Winning Trainers

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We are one of the few licensed dog training facilities in New Jersey.

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We have 30+ years of experience in dog training.

30+ Years of Experience

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