Top-Rated Dog Training In Pittsburgh, PA

Meet Our Team

Eric Stanbro, Owner & Dog Trainer

Eric is a 27-year veteran of law enforcement. During his career, he served in patrol, and narcotics. SWAT, K9, and the training Division. From May 1996 to November 2018 Eric worked for the Canton Police Department. Eric joined the Canton Police K9 Unit in 2005. This unit is one of the busiest K9 programs in the state. He handled 4 dogs during his 13 years in the program. 

In late 2010, he was named the Head K9 Trainer of the unit. The assignment also made him the Training Director for the Police K9 Association, which is a conglomerate of local agency’s K9 units. Eric consistently trains between 30-40 canine teams year-round. In October of 2013, Eric took a leave of absence for 4 months and went out to San Diego and assisted Cobra Canine in training the US Navy Seals West Coast K9 teams. Eric came back and picked back up as the head trainer for the police department. That became his full-time assignment in August of 2014 and remained his role until he retired. Eric has traveled all over the United States training K9 teams in all aspects of their jobs.
Eric started VanEss K9 Academy in 2015 to provides quality police dogs to agencies all over the country. Eric also started training select pet dog clients as well. In June of 2018, VanEss K9 opened a local facility to provide doggie daycare as well as pet dog training. VanEss K9 quickly became the #1 training company in the area. Going from one trainer to now ten trainers, Eric and his staff have firmly set their feet in the pet training industry, having trained hundreds of dogs of all breeds, ages, and sizes.
It soon became apparent that Eric needed to separate the pet and police K9 training divisions of VanEss K9 Academy. He teamed up with Aaron Taylor (founder and owner of Ridgeside K9 LLC) to bring the proven Ridgeside K9 brand, training, and service to all of Ohio in 2020. Ridgeside K9 Ohio was born and opened in a brand new 6,000 sq ft facility. Eric and his team offer the best dog training and daycare anywhere in Ohio.
In 2023, Eric decided to branch out even further by opening a second Ridgeside K9 location in Pittsburgh, PA. Ridgeside K9 Pittsburgh offers top-quality dog training programs customized to suit each individual dog’s needs.

Amanda Horn, Owner & Dog Trainer

Amanda has always had a passion for animals since a young age. From her own pets to volunteering with local animal shelters since 2012. In 2019, Amanda decided to make professional dog training her full-time career.

Animals have always been and will continue to be a major part of her life. Amanda currently owns two rescue Pitbulls, a Cane Corso, and a Doberman. Her canine companions have allowed her to gain additional experience with these smart but tough breeds.

She knows how time consuming and tough training your own dog can be. By helping bring families peace of mind to make their own dog a go-everywhere, do-everything canine companion allows her to bring her true passion to life.

CJ Byers, Dog Trainer

CJ has had a deep passion for dogs for his entire life. Fortunately, the passion came full circle in 2014 when I was selected to be a Police K9 Handler. From there his passion and drive for knowledge exploded.
CJ was lucky enough to be in a position to surround him with experienced trainers and mentors willing to pass on their years of knowledge. He continued to push forward until his Police K9, Ramos, retired after 7 years working the road. At that point, CJ decided to pursue a career in dog training full-time.
To this day, his dog training experience has been surreal. CJ looks forward to helping people create a healthy relationship and bond with their dogs that will last a lifetime!