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You are at Dog Training Elite serving the Tampa area
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Elite, Award Winning Dog Training in Tampa, FL

All Breeds. All Sizes. All Ages.

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Empowering Owners

We work with dogs of any breed, size or age - and we empower owners with lifelong skills to continue successes.

  • Leash & potty training
  • Staying & coming
  • Destructive chewing & digging
  • Stealing food, clothing, or other objects
  • Barking, howling & whining
  • Food guarding & begging
  • Mouthing, nipping & playing rough
  • Anxiety & submissive urination
  • Jumping up & hyperactivity
  • Aggression & anxiety

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We strongly believe that the key to sustained obedience and training is to empower owners to be an integral part of the training experience.

Dog Training Elite in Tampa offers expert in-home dog training near you in Tampa.
In-Home Training

Dog obedience classes are held on a consistent basis and are included in most packages. Our dog obedience training classes are designed to place yourself and your dog in public places (surrounded by other dogs, people, smells, and sounds)!

Dog Training Elite in Tampa offers professional group dog training programs near you in Tampa.
Socialized Group Training

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from Dog Training Elite!

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Award Winning Dog Training Services in the Tampa, FL Metro Area

Welcome to Dog Training Elite in Tampa! We are a professional, family owned Tampa, FL-based dog training company with over 40 years of experience that specializes in strengthening the bond between your dog and your family, with a strong emphasis on teaching your dog the highest level of obedience, despite even the toughest level of distractions. Our Tampa, FL dog training programs are certain to meet all of your training needs. Unlike a lot of other dog training companies, we understand that each client has different needs, so we tailor our dog training programs to accommodate your unique situation. Dog Training Elite in Tampa also trains service animals and dogs ready to volunteer in the community as therapy dogs and companions to those with special needs. We also offer a fun and challenging personal protection program as well!

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Meet Our Trainers

(Click photo for full bio)

Tonya Stafford

Owner & Trainer

Luis Rodriguez

Owner & Trainer


Training Dog


Training Dog



Our Balanced Theory

We base our training around the "Classical Conditioning" model (a.k.a. "Pavlovian" or "respondent conditioning"). This includes developing conditioned or automatic reflexes to commands. In its simplest form (after proper conditioning), when the owner says "sit," the dog automatically sits without thinking about it. Our unique techniques ensure our program is a success no matter what behavior we encounter.

  • Empowering Owners
    We empower Owners to train so their dog knows who to obey at all times.
  • Personalized
    We deal with problem behaviors on a personal basis.
  • Environment Specific
    We train wherever issues tend to arise (i.e. jogging, park, home).
  • Supportive
    We support Owners in the off-hours (when training is "not in session").
  • Involved
    We work with all members of the household.
  • Simplified & Customized
    We plan training around the owner's schedule and require only 20 min/day follow-up practice.
  • Continued Training
    Additional programs / group sessions offered after in-home training.
  • Lifetime Investment
    We follow up & are invested in the owner's success long-term.
  • Satisfaction Ratings
    Our high client satisfaction rating sets us apart from competitors.
Dog Training Elite in Tampa has award winning in-home dog trainers and top rated dog training programs.

Why Dog Training Elite in Tampa?

Lifetime Investment

We follow up & are invested in the owner's success long-term.

Value Priced

We pride ourselves on being able to offer our professional services at prices that are budget friendly.

Local Trainers

All of our local dog trainers are trustworthy, willing to be there for our clients and love what they do.

Simplified & Customized

We plan training around the owner's schedule and require only 15 min/day follow-up practice.

Come Meet Us!

We are often at home shows in your area! Our passion for dogs and service sets us apart. All of our local dog trainers are trustworthy, willing to be there for our clients and love what they do. We want to build a community for our clients that love their dogs just as much as we do and once you begin the training process with us, you become a part of the Dog Training Elite family.

Proud Sponsor of The Malinois Foundation

At Dog Training Elite in Tampa, we believe that Service Dogs save lives. It is our mission to make these life-saving companions available to our Veterans, First Responders, Women Survivors, and Children with Medical Needs. Whether it be for PTSD, Mobility Support, or Special Needs, Dog Training Elite in Tampa works with the Malinois Foundation to heal and empower these individuals with a specialized service animal, a partner in life, and a new best friend.

Learn More

We help your dog become a valued companion and beloved member of the family. Read what our customers have to say and then give us a call!

The trainers are excellent and provide a customized training program to address your dog's individual needs! They are extremely customer focused and provide the utmost customer service !!! We would highly recommend Dog Training Elite Suncoast!!
— Juan Nadal
Posted March 30th 2024
Tanya is very skilled in her profession! She had my Bully Dog obeying her commands within 20 minutes! My dog had a problem with jumping with excitement when I received a visitor. She is 70 pounds and her action was painful and annoying. Thanks to DOG TRAINING ELITE, that behavior has stopped.
— E thel Fentzlaff
Posted February 17th 2024
First a little background.... I have this sweet, very active, energy plus Staffordshire Terrier that was my daughter's. She became very ill and couldn't handle him. I am 83 and couldn't handle him, also. I decided I needed to rehome his ad it was not fair to keep him where he was getting no exercise and little attention. We were unsuccessful in finding someone (truthfully, I was very picky and down deep didn't want to let him go). I decided to look for training and hopefully, keep him. This is where ELITE comes to the rescue! I was impressed with them right away. They are professional, friendly, animal lovers. Ryan came to interview TAZ and me and brought one of his own babies to show how little time it takes just get them understanding the basics. He even worked with TAZ for a short while and was impressed at how quickly he responded. We have had 4 sessions, and I am so impressed and proud of my boy! Because of the professionalism and dedication, they show these animals, I am able to keep my baby!! THANK YOU, ELITE: RYAN, AARON AND KIM. Carol Long
Posted February 16th 2024
Tonya was awesome!! Can’t say enough good things about our experience with Dog Training Elite!! Tonya was timely, efficient and so good with our dog Maverick!!! She truly is the best and has become like family!!
— Mechelle Merrell
Posted February 11th 2024
DTE Suncoast is absolutely what we needed for our 6mo Border Collie, Herbert. The instructors are genuine and clearly skilled to manage specific breeds needs. I am incredibly happy with the progress we’ve made and the support Herbert has to make good decisions! Love, love, love this training program!
— Suzan Tutko
Posted February 5th 2024
I decided to enlist some trainers, with my great Dane puppy, Moon Pie. I chose Elite after meeting with them because I found them to be both professional and knowledgeable. I thought they could teach me how to train my dog properly and when you’re dealing with a dog that will eventually outweigh you, training is a great idea. I can’t say enough good things about these folks. I have been with them for about five months now and definitely see a difference in the puppy. You have to do the work after the lessons, but it’s so worthwhile. I’m really loving the group classes too because training outside of your home is essential to having a great dog. I highly recommend these folks.
— Living With Giants
Posted February 2nd 2024
Tonya is an excellent training instructor. She has the patience needed to deal this old guy and also our now 7 month old Mayley. Tonya has always been on time for our training sessions, which are done at our home whether it be done inside or out in the yard. Another plus is the Saturday sessions at a local park where Marley can socialize with other dogs in attendance. There are plenty of distractions be they other dogs being walked or very young toddlers wanting to pet our puppy. Marley still has her moments but she is still a young pup after all. I highly recommend Dog Training Elite. You will not be disappointed.
— John Cerone
Posted February 2nd 2024
Great trainers who are passionate about dogs!
— Renee C
Posted February 1st 2024
100% recommend! I hired Dog Training Elite Greater Tampa for my Cane Corso puppy and he is an angel now. The training is tailored to the owner and the pup. It is kept simplistic and tools you can use over and over again. My issue with finding a company was that I could not go to places in the early evening/late morning during the weekday. Tonya and Luis come to your house which is really a force multiplier when training your dog in their own home. If you need your dog trained, this is the place to go.
— Kevin Lowe
Posted January 31st 2024
Wow! I can’t say enough about Tonya and Dog Training Elite - Greater Tampa. I was no stranger to training dogs, but my current dog, Scarlett, can be very head strong. She loves people and has no impulse control. She pulled on her lease when walking and rushed the door for visitors. I could tell she knew and understood my commands, but she decided when to follow them. It was a frustrating situation, and I was becoming impatient with Scarlett which was not good for either of us. Tonya to the rescue!! Tonya is extremely patient (with me and Scarlett) and seemed to know exactly what we both needed to get us over our impasse. You can tell Tonya really cares about both her human and dog students. We both had a great experience and Scarlett absolutely loves her. I recommend Dog Training Elite to anyone who is serious about training their dog. Training your dog isn’t magic, you must work at it but having the right tools and trainer is a difference maker. Scarlett now walks beside me, comes when called, sits the first time she is asked and no longer jumps on complete strangers. Thank you, Tonya for everything! It was worth every penny.
— Mechelle Jarvis
Posted January 29th 2024
I am so pleased with my little Benita. With the help of Kim and Aaron she’s really picking up things quickly. So happy I made the choice to have her trained and chose Elite Dog Training .
— Patty Grace
Posted January 5th 2024
Good afternoon and Happy Sunday! I hope you all have had a great day. I just wanted to share that Mars is doing very good on his training just on two sessions. As a responsible dog owner and following my requirements of at least 15 minutes a day. I have a new dog. At night and during the day when he’s off training mode. He’s without his harness and collar. He still follows commands and just needs a little reinforcement here and there. He’s not the barker anymore 😂 When my other dog Reese’s barks at something he hears. Mars goes and checks at what he’s barking at and comes right back to me. It’s sad to even think that I was planning to rehome him.
— Miguel Troche
Posted December 22nd 2023
Tonya has helped our dog so much! Being an aussiedoodle she has a lot of energy and can be stubborn. Her behavior has completely changed since working with Tonya and everyone tells us how well behaved she is now. I am so glad I chose them to work with us and Stella. Excited to keep training with them!
— Olivia Price
Posted December 10th 2023
Tonya has helped our dog so much! Being an aussiedoodle she has a lot of energy and can be stubborn. Her behavior has completely changed since working with Tonya and everyone tells us how well behaved she is now. I am so glad I chose them to work with us and Stella. Excited to keep training with them!
— Olivia Price
Posted December 9th 2023
I first started looking for training for my puppy because I want him to eventually become a service dog. The training he’s been given has not only improved his behavior, but it’s also given me the tools I need to practice and train with him on my own. My puppy went from not listening and going potty in the house, to behaving even when I’m not giving commands. I was so worried that I wouldn’t be able to handle my new dog, and this service gave me confidence that he could become a well behaved pup.
— Joselyn Hernandez
Posted November 25th 2023
I highly recommend Dog Training Elite Suncoast and would refer them to anyone without hesitation!! They are professional, caring, knowledgeable trainers and we were extremely happy with our entire experience. We were very close to rehoming our French bulldog Luke due to his aggressive nature, but thanks to Aaron, Ryan and Kim...we still have our pup and he is so much better than before!! They worked wonders with Luke and also taught us (as his owners) so much. We are thankful that we chose Dog Training Elite Suncoast for our training needs...they are absolutely awesome!!
— Rebecca Phillips
Posted October 10th 2023
Elite Training has helped us tremendously with our dog. She was always a good dog but she is so much more obedient now then she was before we started with them. We have had several people compliment on how well-behaved our dog is. Thank you so much for helping us get her to the point she is now.
— Deborah Williamson
Posted September 21st 2023
Working with you was an incredible experience. Working on a 6 year old dog, I thought was impossible, I was wrong. Now Kooper is amazing and he is my service dog. Kooper learned many new things and lost bad old habits. I can do anything with him, even without a leash. For whatever needs you have with your dog, I recommend Tonya ad Luis, they are amazing.
— Francesca Ciancio
Posted September 15th 2023
Very knowledgeable and extraordinarily patient with dog and client. Tailored the training to our specific needs. Always on time with organized lesson plans. Truly a dog-changing experience. Thank you Tonya.
— Ed Mandel
Posted September 14th 2023
These words are not enough to thank Tonya for what she did with our beloved Sheepadoodle Teddy! She started teaching him the basics (sit, off, stay, place, heel, down) and being so smart that helped us to teach him a few extra commands like "paw", "watch". "high five". Teddy is a lovable puppy but has TONS of energy which gives him frequent "zoomies" or burst of enthusiastic desire to play, run, and jump over us and being big and heavy, by accident tends to push or pulls us really hard. Tonya has been able to teach him (and us!) to manage these bursts of energy and he is way calmer than before (and at the moment I'm writing this he is still a 8-month old BIG and HEAVY puppy (a bit over 60 lbs). THANKS TONYA for your continuous help, for being so caring and dedicated for your job. She is a natural animal lover so she does her job with that in mind: LOVE. THANK YOU!!
— Steven Padin-Aquino, P.E.
Posted September 1st 2023

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