Victor Prieto - professional dog trainer in Southern California

I’m Victor Prieto, a professional dog trainer, working in the Santa Monica, Venice Beach, Palisades, Malibu, Topanga, Calabasas, and Westlake Village areas of Southern California.  I have been training dogs all my life, having been taught the art by my uncle, whose profession was training dogs for law enforcement agencies.

Dogs are loving, beautiful, animals that can give owners much happiness.  But to live joyfully with people, dogs need to learn what we like and don’t like.  That’s why expert training is needed.  Dogs have their own process by which they learn, which is different from ours.  An attentively trained dog is obedient and loving, and knows the behavior expected of them.  My training will not only teach your dog to learn good behaviors, but to unlearn bad behaviors.  And I will show you, the owner, how to maintain the right behaviors and have a fun and loving relationship with your dog.


My dog Ralf was extremely stubborn and for awhile I thought there was going to be no way he would ever listen to me. However, after Victor spent time training him and teaching him commands, Ralf was much easier to deal with. Ralf is a Shiba Inu and they are notorious for having minds of their own and making their own rules. Victor helped Ralf improve remarkably and he no longer has his old bad habits. I’m so fortunate that Victor was able to make it so Ralf can freely socialize with other dogs and does what he is told without needing a treat every time. Victor helped Ralf adjust after I moved from Washington D.C. to California, we are both happy we found him!

Olivia G – Malibu, CA

Victor is one of a kind. I Have not met another person who loves and understands dogs as well. He saved my sanity when we adopted our high energy, smart, little girl from the pound. At first, I had another trainer who came highly recommended, but after a few lessons, she told me that I might want to think about taking the dog back to the pound!!! Luckily, I found Victor, who worked with her and us (because we needed training, too), and now I cannot picture our family without her. She gets compliments all the time about how well trained she is and I always say… “it’s because of our trainer, Victor, he is the dog whisperer.”

Dawn F – Pacific Palisades, CA

I am very pleased with the transformation in my Doberman, Buddy. Because of Victor’s training methods, I can now have people come to my house without Buddy jumping on them. When I walk with him, he is not aggressive anymore toward other dogs. Victor has taught me and shown me many techniques that has allowed Buddy to become a well behaved family member. I would recommend Victor because of his love for dogs and his understanding of dog behavior.

David F – Malibu, CA

Victor is a true genius with understanding and training both dogs and their owners! His technique is calm, gentle and patient with both canine and human. I went to Victor to solve a specific problem: my 2 yr old Chocolate Lab “puppy”, Latigo, had developed a playful antic that nearly cost her life and my physical safety. During her escalating excitement to enter the car, she’d turn, firmly grip the leash and use her entire body weight to tug the leash away from me. Her end goal was merely to gain control of the leash so she could gather it up in her mouth and then independently hop into the car. While highly entertaining to both neighbors and friends, this was a huge safety issue for both Latigo and me. On two occasions Latigo drug me into a busy street and missed getting hit by a car by mere inches with me on the ground still trying to get her 73 pounds of muscle back under control. Victor not only fine tuned the mediocre basic training Latie and I had achieved from a group puppy class, but he found the solution to help me maintain constant on-leash (and off-leash) control of my beloved lab. Latigo still occasionally tests me with a wishful look at the leash, but I respond with a “leave it” and the subject is closed. I can now joyfully and safely enjoy the companionship of my dog, and her sense of humor and play has not been compromised in any way! I have to smile when people pass by us and say, “My what a good dog!” Victor is the gem!

Karen H – Venice Beach, CA

Victor was simply amazing with our young German Shepard.   She learned the usual sit and lay commands quickly.  But she now comes when we call her, and she is now more focused when she walks with us.  Her temperament greatly improved from Victor’s training. We’ve learned how to handle her and support the things we want her to do, and how to change the things we don’t want her to do.  Most importantly, she isn’t hooked on treats, as happens with other trainers. She’s a joy to be around. Our German Shepard is happy, and we’re happy.

Barbara & Michael K – Calabasas, CA

Victor really has a way with our dog. Just as important, he trains the owner on the proper way to handle their puppy. We have had many dogs, but this is the first time we have felt that our needs are being completely met. We highly recommend him.

Joy & David T – Pacific Palisade, CAs

I took my French Mastiff to Victor after he tried to eat the last trainer (no joke). He was amazing with my dog. He transformed him from being a dog that was so aggressive to being a great family pet… and it only took him 6 weeks when other people told me it would take at least 5 months. In my case I would go to Victor for obedience, but he is so much more. We joke and call him the dog whisperer. If we had not found him it could have gone very very bad for a dog.

Jeanene P – Pacific Palisades, CA

I first met Victor when he trained our boxer, Molly. Molly had several troublesome behaviors, in particular she would not walk with a leash! After spending 3 weeks training with Victor, the difference in her behavior was amazing, she was calm and well behaved. Victor worked with our family as well, in the end we were all impressed with Victor and his calm way in dealing with dogs.

We now have two sheep-a-doodle puppies, and again, Victor is amazing with them! He takes our dogs out two to three times a week for long walks/exercise and they now are well trained on the leash and also socialize easily with other dogs and people. Victor is excellent in dog bathing and has boarded our puppies as well, I know they are always well cared for and well exercised!

Victor is honest, hard working, reliable and responsible and I would highly recommend him for dog training, walking, boarding or baths.

Maureen M – Westlake Village, CA

My dog, a Brittany Spaniel male called “Navan” had his first lesson with Victor when he was 6 months old (Aug 2011) and we did a series of weekly lessons over the course of 3 to 4 months. I was very pleased with how Victor approached each training class, always making recommendations, each week, on what techniques I could implement to further develop my dogs progress and so it was fun to take what we had learned in class and apply the same lessons at home. I recall Victor commented during Navan’s first assessment that he was very social and high energy dog and that one of Victors goals was to teach the dog when he is allowed to be in (free mode) or (working mode). I had not thought of that concept until Victor took the time to explain, the benefits of this overall technique, so the dog learns proper boundaries. This also helps the dog lead a balanced life and helps the dog relax more, knowing what is expected of him, (and when), with clear instructions he can understand in dog language! Victor also was
very quick to assess my dogs personality and what “triggers” make my dog, get too high energy and how to keep an eye on that so he stays relaxed. I also wanted to work on my dogs “recall” and make it 100% that he would always “come” when called, even if it was a fair distance. So we went through various steps including the long (30 foot) line and the Remote Control Training Collar so Navan would always learn to “stay in track” of me, when off leash. My dog picked up the training method very quickly with the remote control. It also was a good investment as I took my dog to his first rattle snake
avoidance clinic as we do go hiking often and at the clinic they used a remote control training collar, so my dog was already prepared!

Victor has a great personality! He is very good communicator and I like how he customized each lesson for my dog, making sure we stay on track with progress so I highly recommend Victor, he clearly has a natural talent and amazing gift with working with the human / canine relationship and his techniques really do work well.

Helen M – Tarzana, CA


My technique is about working with the energy of your dog. My methods are independent of breed or age, and work regardless of whether the dog is very smart, naughty, or just plain lazy! I work with you and your dog so that your dog bonds with you, your home, and your routine, and both of you connect together.

You will learn to observe and read your dog’s body language, and to use your own body language as well as your non-verbal skills to teach and control your dog.

I will introduce you to the art of working mode and free mode, when to use them, and what you can expect of your dog in each one.

I also work with training collars, and will teach you both the theory and practice of how to properly use one in an effective way.

Always reward good behavior! But avoid using treats to teach obedience. A properly trained dog will obey for the sake of pleasing you, without expecting a treat in return.

I train you to be the master of your dog, so that both of you will have the freedom to enjoy each other.


Victor Prieto is an expert dog trainer operating in the Santa Monica, Venice Beach, Palisades, Malibu, Topanga, Calabasas, and Westlake Village areas of Southern California.

He can be reached at 323.301.8097, or you can email him at