Linda Michaels MA del mar dog training trainer

Linda Michaels, M.A., Del Mar Dog Training, offers a variety of services to help you develop a relationship with your dog built on a foundation of trust, boundaries, and love. Get lasting results by addressing the motivations that drive your dog’s behavior, rather than treating symptoms alone. Address troublesome issues that have just cropped up, or long-term problems.

Some of the unique benefits of training with Linda:

  • Fully customized treatment plans to fit your dog, your lifestyle and your family
  • Step-by-step guides to make the process easy for you and easy for your dog
  • Desensitization techniques to stop your dog from overreacting to triggers using force-free/fear-free/pain-free methods
  • Answers to questions on any behavior topic that concerns you from a very experienced professional with a master’s degree in animal behavior.

Positive method training demonstrates true leadership. “I use force-free training methods exclusively for the best results. Shocking, choking, or prong/pinch collars often cause fear, worsen behavior and cause aggression. We do not use marble or coin-can shaking that may contribute to hearing loss, chronic stress and noise phobias, and we do not use water or citronella sprays,” says Linda.



Behavior Consultation Training Combination Packages

5 Session Package: $940

Five customized lessons in your home addressing any combination of behavior problems your dog may have, such as aggression to humans, aggression to other dogs, separation anxiety, and/or housetraining, etc. This package includes a $35 savings compared to buying single sessions. See testimonials here.

See the History/Incident Report section in blue, below, if your dog has bitten a person or another dog.

10 Session Package: $1825

Ten customized lessons in your home addressing any combination of behavior problems your dog may have, such as aggression to humans, aggression to other dogs, separation anxiety, and/or housetraining, etc. This package includes a $125 savings compared to buying single sessions. See testimonials here.

See the History/Incident Report section in blue, below, if your dog has bitten a person or another dog.


Private Manners/Obedience Lessons

5 Session Package. Customized Private Manners Training: $940

  • Address the problems that are a priority for you and your family first
  • Receive in-home, customized, one-on-one instruction. Save precious traveling time
  • A comprehensive course. Five one hour and 20 minute lessons. Home visits weekly at your convenience
  • Available 6 days a week, including evenings. All household members are encouraged to attend
  • Everything you and your dog need to know to live “Happily Ever After”

The following skills are taught in each comprehensive training course:

Errorless House Training • Puppy No Bite! • Socialization with Other Dogs, Strangers, Moving Objects • Sit • Down • Eye-Contact • Wait/Stay • Leash-Walking • Come! • Positive Reinforcement Training Foundations • Separation Anxiety – Prevention and Treatment • No Jump • Clicker Training (if desired) • Nutrition and Exercise

Read testimonials here.


Training While You Are Working

Linda is able to train your dog while you are at work, or busy with other activities.

  • If you don’t have enough time or patience to train or practice with your dog
  • If you would like your dog to have the benefits of getting out of the house for socialization, practicing obedience in public with distractions, or a visit to the dog park.

Pet parents may meet for a private lesson or update once every other week. Your dog will demonstrate what she has learned, and you’ll learn how to continue with practice on your own. If you prefer, you can meet with Linda only after remedial training is accomplished.

Upon completion of each session, the pet parent receives a report detailing the formal training and activities for that day via email.

$195 per one hour and 20 minute visit

Behavior Consultations Single Issues

Note: The following types of cases require a comprehensive, preliminary history/incident report

  • Aggression to humans, with a bite history
  • Aggression to other dogs, with a bite history
  • Serious separation anxiety

A history report is also recommended (but not required) for all long-standing or chronic behavior problems


History/Incident Report: $90

A questionnaire form will be emailed to you within 24 hours, and leads to a fully customized treatment plan scheduled within 3 days of your return of the questionnaire so we can begin training immediately at our first appointment. This background/history/incident/assessment is required for all human and dog/dog aggression cases involving bites before treatment can be scheduled.



Aggression and Reactivity Therapy

If you’ve been struggling with human or dog-dog aggression at home or on walks, start treatment today. All Positive Method. No shock, no prong, no choke, no psychological or physical harm is necessary to effectively treat aggression and reactivity.

Human Aggression

Has your dog growled at you or bit the child next door? Aggression is a serious problem that should be addressed at the very first sign of trouble. All aggression toward people requires intervention, an assessment of the triggers, and a force-free behavior modification plan to resolve it. Read testimonials here.

3 Session Minimum: $585

Dog-Dog Aggression

Are you unable to take a stress-free walk with your dog in your own neighborhood? Are you wondering if the dog park is still a good choice for your dog? Although Dog/Dog Aggression is difficult for most trainers to effectively treat, there is much that can be done with the help of a Behavior Modification expert. We’ll examine the management of triggers at home, learn how you can use basic obedience skills to redirect bark/lunge behavior, and best of all, discover how to “change the way your dog feels” about other dogs. Read testimonials here.

3 Session Minimum: $585

3 Session Package of Aggression Therapy (minimum number of sessions)
AND the History/Incident Report (required for dogs with a bite history)


Separation Anxiety

Assessment and Treatment Plan

Learn to provide the comfort items and containment that will set your dog up for success. Learn how to practice “separation trials, how to use basic obedience to speed the process, and the desensitization techniques that are required for a more confident secure pet.

3 Session Minimum: $585

Severe Cases of Separation Anxiety require the History/Intake Assessment before the onset of treatment ($90).

3 Session Package of Separation Anxiety Therapy (minimum number of sessions)
AND History/Incident Report (required for severe cases)

Note: The following types of cases do not require the history/incident report

Barking — Stop Incessant Barking

Does your dog bark while running in circles, bark at people walking by your home, bark at bugs, or scare your visitors out of their boots? We will identify WHY your dog is barking and provide a customized plan to decrease barking. We don’t shock, use citronella, shake cans, squirt guns, hurt or frighten your dog in any way. Two (2) one hour and 20 minute consultations are based upon a preliminary assessment by email, and include a customized plan for your dog.

2 Sessions: $390


Dogs and Babies (How to Keep Your Baby Safe and Your Dog Happy)

Achieve safety and harmony through proper preparation and careful management in advance of bringing your the baby home. As responsible baby and pet parents, it’s your job to learn to protect your baby from your dog, and to protect your dog from your toddler! Learn to create a Dog Zone and a Baby Zone. Learn how to habituate and desensitize your dog to your new baby. Read testimonials here. Two (2) one hour and 20 minute consultations are based upon a preliminary assessment by email, and include a customized plan for your dog.

2 Sessions: $390


Fearfulness Therapy

If your dog is shy/fearful, learn to quell fears and build confidence in your dog by desensitizing and counter-conditioning triggers. Two (2) one hour and 20 minute consultations are based upon a preliminary assessment by email, and include a customized plan for your dog.

2 Sessions: $390


Housetraining Lessons

Home Set-Up and Protocols for Errorless Housetraining. Learn everything you need to know to get housetraining under control for new or long-standing problems. Two (2) one hour and 20 minute consultations are based upon a preliminary assessment by email, and include a customized plan for your dog.

2 Sessions: $390


Jumping and Hyperactivity Problem Solving

If your dog is “overly-enthusiastic” or out of control, learn to teach impulse control, manage, teach alternate behaviors, and desensitize your dog’s triggers without using punishment. This one hour and 20 minute consultation is based upon a preliminary assessment by email, and includes a customized plan for your dog.

1 Session: $195


Phone Consultations

Phone consultations with Linda Michaels, M.A., Del Mar Dog Training can easily help everything from nuisance problems, such as housetraining, to basic manners skills.

  • Convenient
  • Less expense than private or group training
  • Solve problems right now
  • Customized tips sheet emailed to you after the session

The following problems may all be addressed by phone consultations:

Housetraining • New Puppy Issues • Jumping Up • Incessant Barking • Sit, Down, Wait, Come • Leash-Walking Gear, Techniques to Stop Pulling • Mild Separation Anxiety and Fearfulness Tips and Techniques • Clicker Training Technique

Sign up for a Phone Consultation!

You will be contacted within 48 hours to schedule an appointment at a time convenient to you

30 Minute Phone Consultation: $75

45 Minute Phone Consultation: $100

60 Minute Phone Consultation: $125


Speaking Engagements

Linda Michaels, M.A., Del Mar Dog Training has been named one of the Top Ten Dog Trainers in the United States by Top Ten Magazine. She was a featured speaker at the inaugural Pet Professional Guild (PPG) international trade summit (2015) and is a sought-after speaker for veterinary, meet-up, breed, shelter, rescue and other dog-centric groups interested in fascinating, well-researched dog behavior modification and positive training topics. Read testimonials here.

  • Customized presentations to suit your organization’s needs
  • Educational and entertaining seminars and talks
  • Includes video clips and hand-outs
  • 45 minute lecture with a 15 minute Q & A after the presentation

Sample Topics:

  • Understanding Research: Making the Case for Force-free Dog Training
  • How Using Positive/Force-free Methods in Your Veterinary Clinic Helps Staff and Patients
  • The Top 10 Things to Teach Your Dog
  • Taking Your Dog Beyond Aggression, Fear and Reactivity
  • Top 10 Ways to Say “Thank You” to Your Dog
  • Puppy Training 101
  • Positive Dog Training—How It Works
  • Dogs and Babies

Read about Linda’s past speaking engagements on the bottom of the About Us page

Have Linda at your next event! 858.259.9663

$15 per attendee. Minimum of 15 attendees.

NOTE: “Lunch and Learn” presentations to veterinary clinics and hospitals available upon request.


Overnight Pet Sitting/Training

Linda combines loving pet sitting with behavior modification training for clients whose dogs have completed a private course with her. Available in the following locations: Del Mar, Solana Beach, Rancho Santa Fe, Southern Encinitas, Carmel Valley, Torrey Pines, Torrey Hills, Fairbanks Ranch, and Cardiff by the Sea. Read testimonials here.

Your dog is more comfortable and secure remaining in her/his familiar surroundings, maintaining regular routines. Boarding dogs often creates behavior problems.

3-night minimum stay

We provide a truly special pet sitting service that includes:

  • House sitting
  • Companionship for your dog with less than 5 hours of alone time each day
  • A fully insured professional
  • Professional training while you are away
  • Maintenance of already learned behaviors
  • Trouble-shooting behavioral issues
  • Email reports of our activities and progress if desired

If you are interested in a live-in dog trainer, click here to read more.

The forms below are required. Please complete and return to us by email at:

Word Document Form: Overnight Pet Sitting

Word Document Form: Authorization for Veterinary Services and Insurance Notification with Disclaimer

Online Form: Overnight Pet Sitting

Online Form: Authorization for Veterinary Services

$125/night for one dog
$160/night for two pets
$175/night for three pets

Email to schedule pet sitting.


Veterinarian Endorsed

“I applaud the promotion of no dominance/non-aversive training in the veterinary and dog-loving communities, as training methods may affect over-all health and well-being. Linda has my unreserved professional endorsement.” -Dr. Tamara Hebbler, DVM, Solana Beach, CA



Celebrity Endorsed

“Linda brings tremendous academic credentials and extensive training to her work, but what really makes her special is her passionate devotion to helping the dog-owning community understand the benefits and effectiveness of using positive training methods as opposed to flawed compulsion and dominance-based techniques.” ~Victoria Stilwell for Lillian Cox, Coast News

Media Endorsement

The Rancho Santa Fe Review reports that dog psychologist and trainer, Linda Michaels’ master’s degree in psychology and graduate research in learning at San Diego State University, put her at the front of the dog training pack.


Testimonials ~ Behavior Consultation Training Combination Package

“When out walking, Teddy was hyper-vigilant and miserable, plus, he was extremely intimidated by strangers, those who came to the house and especially those we encountered on our walks, and also by other dogs.

After only a few lessons with Linda, Teddy became much more comfortable around strangers, including children, even though he had vigorously shied away from them in the past. In public, he willingly approached strangers for treats. At home, he was also more willing to accept visitors, even asking them to play. Teddy also became more comfortable with other dogs in a public setting,

Linda’s knowledge of canines and her understanding of canine behavior are impressive. She has a complete arsenal of advice, hints, and techniques at her disposal to help make the family dog a happier, more contented creature. Her love for animals comes shining through using her gentle, non-punitive style.”

~Karen Coombs, Solana Beach

Testimonials ~ Manners/Obedience

“Because of your influence we were able to continue with our gentle hands philosophy with Sadie, while learning positive methods that allowed for a well behaved companion dog who is fun loving, very affectionate, and obedient without fear. You helped us find a better way to feed her, too, and she has never been healthier. I sincerely think you have dogs all figured out.” ~ George and Dianna Huszar

“I loved everything about this training and would absolutely recommend it to my veterinarian and friends. Bentley learned to sit and to loose-leash walk a lot better. Linda is very well educated on dog training methods and it is obvious she love dogs!” ~ Dana Ochoa with Bentley

“Coal will now ‘come’ at the dog park from 50 feet away! I like Linda’s calm and gentle manner — always even-footed, pleasant and personable.” ~ Lynn Kelley, Carmel Valley

Testimonials ~ Human Aggression

“We went to so many behavior experts for help, and your help was the most valuable we received. Sofie came into our lives as a force to be reckoned with! You helped us train and deal with Sofie in a way that allowed us to have so many happy memories of our years with her. Thank you, Linda.” ~ Debbie and Bart Castellitto

“Madison’s last years were spent as a completely different dog based on the work you did with her. She was nice to everyone and had a completely different personality. Her favorite day was Halloween. She helped pass out candy, greeting each child as they came to the door as if they were a long lost friend. It was truly amazing!” ~ Kathleen and Taylor Pacurar, San Diego Hospice, Vice-President. Kensington

Testimonials ~ Dog/Dog Aggression

Sibling Rivalry. “I wanted to extend a THANK YOU. We’ve heeded all of your wonderful advice. Our older husky and Lakota get along much better now. They actually play and chase each other in a playful, non-aggressive manner around the backyard. They hang out indoors together. Lakota is more cautious and respectful around the older dogs about their space and privacy. Best of all, I’m no longer sleeping on the couch! Last week Lakota started spending the evenings in our bedroom along with our older dogs and he’s been quite peaceful and they’ve been content with no issues. He gets along wonderful with other dogs. He’s turned out to be an excellent dog, and with your advice, and our patience, we’ve overcome and helped him become a great animal. He’s very intelligent and has learned that he has found his forever home. Best wishes. We can’t thank you enough!” ~ Lanette and Frank Fieser, Beverly Hills, CA

Testimonials ~ Dogs and Babies

“Linda is probably the most thorough professional/consultant of any kind that I have had the pleasure of working with. As she teaches, she models a contagious love for dogs that has helped me strengthen my own bond with Hattie, our family dog. Having Linda work with us is one of the best decisions I have made for the sanity, safety, and happiness of our family. I feel confident that now I have the skills and knowledge to keep my toddler safe, and her relationship with ‘Hattie-girl’ a happy one! I now see that positive reinforcement training is really the only appropriate training for our anxious dog, and I wish that I had started earlier. You will be thrilled with Linda’s enthusiasm and attention to detail. Thank you, Linda!” ~ Elizabeth, Arik and Annemyn (2.5 years old) Moreno

Testimonials ~ Speaking Engagements

“Thank you for your wonderful presentation and the beautiful takeaway brochures you provided to everyone. You covered all the different aspects of introducing your baby to your dog and vice versa. The turn out was great and we were pleased so many people came to hear your helpful advice and tips. Thank you for doing such a great job!” ~ Julie and Laura Fairchild, Babies by the Sea Boutique – Cardiff by the Sea

“The Saks Fifth Avenue Dog Days of Summer was a hit and your participation was greatly instrumental in its success. Your incredible dedication was greatly appreciated and contributed to the festive atmosphere throughout the store. The general goodwill created in part by you will, undoubtedly, serve us both until the next Dog Days of Summer rolls around and we hope that you will once again be onboard.” ~ Cathy Jones, Saks Fifth Avenue

Testimonials ~ Overnight Pet Sitting/Training

“Linda is the BEST pet sitter and dog trainer in San Diego!”

~ Annalisa Berns, Pet Detective. Dog Search and Rescue.







Appointments outside the La Jolla through Oceanside area:

  1. Travel fee is $60 per lesson for visits North of Oceanside to Huntington Beach
  2. Travel fee is $150 per lesson for visits North of Huntington Beach to Beverly Hills

Two or three lesson sets are offered on the same day for pet parents from Oceanside to Beverly Hills.

Rescheduling, Cancellation, Time Limit on Packages and Fees Policy:

There is a 3-month limit from date of purchase to complete sessions on 5-lesson packages.

There is a 6-month limit from the date of purchase to complete sessions on 10-lesson packages.

Rescheduling an appointment with more than 72 hours (3 days) notice prior to the appointment will not incur a fee.

Rescheduling an appointment with less than a 72 hour (3 days) notice will incur a 15% fee.

Cancellation and refund of 5 and 10-lesson pre-paid packages with more than 72 hours (3 days) notice before the next scheduled lesson will incur a cancellation fee of 10% on the number of lessons remaining.

Cancellation and refund of 5 and 10-lesson pre-paid packages with less than 72 hours (3 days) notice will incur a charge of 15% on the number of lessons remaining.

These fees are necessary in order to keep business running smoothly. Thank you for your cooperation.

Discounts (Discounts available within the La Jolla to Carlsbad coastal areas only.)

  • 10% for any rescue animal from a shelter or rescue organization, upon request.
  • $15 discount on any service with choke collar relinquishment
  • $25 discount on any service with prong collar relinquishment
  • $45 discount on any service with shock collar relinquishment