Meet Your Trainers

A Shared Passion For Seeing Dogs Thrive

Since 1984, Kathy Santo Dog Training has been dedicated to helping individuals and families enjoy better relationships with their dogs.

Tens of thousands of dogs and their humans have benefited from our program’s unique and fun-filled approach to training, both online and in person.

We believe that learning is a lifelong process for both humans and their dogs. So we make sure our program is accessible and convenient for dog lovers!

We’re available 24/7, so if you have a problem that needs an immediate answer, you can call, or text us for a solution.

We’re proud of the effectiveness of the Kathy Santo training method. And we’re even prouder of the number of current and former students who keep coming back for more. As a Kathy Santo Dog Training graduate, you become part of our dog training family!

Contact us today to get started on training your dog!

Our Trainers


Kathy Santo

Owner | Head Trainer

About Kathy Santo

Kathy Santo (IACP CDT, CDTA, PDTI, CCAS) is the Head Trainer of Kathy Santo Dog Training, Inc. located in Waldwick, New Jersey. Kathy is a published author and an accomplished AKC Obedience Competitor as well as routinely a guest speaker with major media outlets and other publications.

Since 1984, Kathy Santo Dog Training has been dedicated to helping individuals and families enjoy better relationships with their dogs, to help develop wonderful dogs that people enjoy having in their presence. Tens of thousands of dogs and their humans have benefited from Kathy’s proven methods in dog training, and her fun-filled approach to both online and in person development.


During the national tour for her book, ‘Kathy Santo’s Dog Sense’, Kathy made TV appearances on the Today Show, Fox and Friends, CNN, CBS Early Show, Diane Rehm’s NPR Show, and was featured as a regular guest on the Martha Stewart Show.

She’s also created a puppy training video series for IAMS, has written articles for Good Housekeeping as well as being a contributing editor/columnist for House Beautiful’s ‘Ask The Dog Shrink’. Since 2007, Kathy has been the AKC Family Dog’s “Behavior and Training” columnist.

In addition to teaching at her school, she also works with AKC.TV to create training videos, and she makes regular appearances on AKC.TV’s ‘Ask The Expert’, and has been given the title of AKC’s “Master Trainer”.

Competitive Titles:

Kathy has earned the prestigious “Obedience Trial Champion” title several times over and has competed with AKC at the national level for more than a decade.


Online Training:

Kathy Santo Dog Training has been a leader in online and virtual training for more than a decade. Kathy offers multiple online training courses with the primary goal being to help pet owners who can’t attend her in-school sessions but still require high level instruction and training. Kathy’s strength in online and virtual training helped Kathy Santo Dog Training succeed during the Covid pandemic, ensuring our clients and students continued to get white glove service during this difficult time.

Training Facility

Kathy Santo Dog Training, Inc. has training facilities in North Jersey and Colorado. The company’s primary facility is located in Waldwick NJ where they enjoy nearly 13,000 square feet of indoor training space as well as ample outdoor grass and turf fields. The facility has a boutique-style grooming shop, and an underwater treadmill for rehab and conditioning work, and much more!


Stacey Samela

Trainer | Therapy Dog Program Director

Stacey has been a dog trainer and involved in therapy dog work for 20 years and teaching at KSDT since 2011. She’s worked with animal shelters and rescue groups teaching them how to be better trainers to increase successful adoptions. Her achievements include numerous American Kennel Club performance awards in conformation, field trials, earthdog, tracking, and obedience trials with wire-haired dachshunds of her breeding as well as training other breeds small and large to achieve their titles. Her college degrees include Elementary Education and Psychology.

Lauren Tobin

Assistant GM | FastTrack Training Manager

Lauren has been training dogs at KSDT for over 6 years now. She has her Animal Sciences degree from Penn State University. During her college career, she worked with both domestic and wild animals, volunteered at a Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, and interned at the Central Park Zoo. She’s an IACP Certified Dog Trainer, and a Certified Canine Athlete Advisor for Canine Conditioning. She also holds her CGC/CGCA Evaluator for the AKC.


Sarah Bayles

KSDT Colorado Dog Trainer | Social Media

Sarah spent years mentoring directly under Kathy Santo and her team of trainers at the NJ training facility before moving to Colorado to open a second Kathy Santo Dog Training location!

She regularly attends dog training seminars and workshops across the US, and travels back to NJ to work at the NJ facility so that her knowledge and skills continue to grow.

Sarah’s training background is in family puppy and dog obedience as well as behavioral issues with a special interest in canine fitness to help dogs live a longer and healthier life.

She is a Certified Canine Athlete Advisor, and in her spare time is also working towards her Certified Canine Fitness Trainer from FitPaws and The University Of Tennessee and her CDT from the IACP!

Nikki Miller


Nikki has her certification from Animal Behavior College, and has been an incredible addition to the Kathy Santo Dog Training team. Nikki teaches group classes, private lessons, and trains dogs in our FastTrack program every day. She has a furry friend at home named Pepper – she’s a cat, but they’ve been working on some tricks, too!


Tori Freymuth


Tori graduated from SUNY Cobleskill May 2019 with a Bachelors of Technology in Animal Science with a Concentration in Canine Studies which focuses on the training, behavior, health, and nutrition of dogs. This program exposed her to all types of dogs, training methods, and behavioral modification techniques. Previously, Tori worked as a trainer for two non-profit service dog training organizations, which only fueled her passion for her career. In addition to her formal  education and training experience, she has also trained her own service dog for medical alert tasks!

Sierra Knotts


Sierra got started in dog training at age 13 as a Puppy Raiser for the NJ Seeing Eye. She went on to study Animal Sciences at Penn State University, and in the years since graduating she has furthered her dog training career with experiences at The Guide Dog Foundation in New York and later Freedom Service Dogs in Colorado.

Sierra has lived in Thailand, hiked the Appalachian Trail, and plays violin in a folk band. Her and her husband have 2 adopted dogs at home, Loki and Rusty.


Allie Kozell

FastTrack Trainer

Allie has been dogsitting for many years. She initially decided to study Psychology in college, but found her true passion working with dogs. She has now been on the KSDT team for two years, and has trained with Kathy and the rest of the team. Allie also has two dogs who are 12 years old, who prove that you CAN teach old dogs new tricks! ​


Get Started With Kathy Santo Dog Training Today!