Dana Vachon, CPDT-KA


Dana grew up in a family of animal enthusiasts. After graduating from The College of New Jersey, she worked for several years in technology and project management, always looking to move into the world of animal behavior. In 2011 Dana took the plunge and began working as the resident puppy expert at Philly Unleashed.

In 2012, Dana earned her CPDT-KA (Certified Professional Dog Trainer – Knowledge Assessed). Dana currently works with Philly Unleashed specializing in coaching dog owners through their dog’s life stages, from early development and adolescent behavior into adulthood.

In 2016, her talents were recognized when she was asked to film an instructional video through TawzerDog on building and running a safe, fun, and effective puppy curriculum.

Dana also specializes in canine anxiety issues, in particular:  separation anxiety, agoraphobia, and low low-stress handling for dogs who suffer from trauma after being trained using aversive or harsh methodology.

Dana is an AKC-certified, Canine Good Citizen Evaluator, and currently co-instructs the Shelter Behavior Rotation for the University of Pennsylvania’s Matthew Ryan School of Veterinary Medicine.

In addition to training dogs, Dana volunteers to train exotic and farm animals! She has volunteere at the Philadelphia Zoo, where she worked in animal care, learning husbandry and practicing positive reinforcement training in an effort to promote low-stress handling for the animals at the Zoo. Dana also volunteers with Pennsbury Manor, helping with their sheep shearing and wool processing program along with developing training plans for their program animals. Her current training project is working with the animals at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia!

Dana resides in South Philadelphia with her rescued pit bull, Fawkes, and two cats, Olive and Jasper.

Dana Vachon, CPDT-KA

What People Are Saying

“From the first day we worked with basic commands our Luna was responding. Dana made everything easy to understand and easy to follow. She gave us pointers if we had any issues as well as ways to progress between sessions if we were having a lot of success. Dana is always quick to respond if we have any questions or concerns. I love the friendly positive reinforcement style of training. When we adopted Luna we knew she had a difficult past so this method is rapidly helping us bond with Luna as well as earn her trust. Luna absolutely adores Dana, and we are all looking forward to our remaining sessions.”

Melanie S. & Luna

“I have had both private lessons and group lessons with Dana Vachon and I can’t say how lucky we are to have come across her. She gives great advice and really knows what she is doing. We needed help with issues regarding pack leadership and separation anxiety and the tips that were given have helped tremendously. Now we are in her puppy kindergarten class and both my dog and I are really enjoying it. 5 stars!”



  • Obedience & Manners
  • Puppy Development & Behavior
  • Leash Reactivity & Dog Aggression
  • Separation Anxiety
  • Fears, Phobias & Anxious Behavior
  • Aggression Towards People
  • Intra-household Aggression
  • Cat Behavior
  • Dog Sports, Tricks & Agility

Certifications & Affiliations

Certification Counsel of Professional Dog Trainers: Certified in 2012

University Of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine- Development and teaching of shelter behavior rotation

American Kennel Club-Canine Good Citizen Evaluator

CATCH Canine Trainers Academy – Training Mentor

Philadelphia Zoo-Volunteer Animal Care for KidZooU

Pennsbury Manor-Volunteer Animal Trainer

Check out our other trainers!

Nicole Larocco-Skeehan, CPDT-KA

Kelsey Rich, CPDT-KA

Jessica Kochmer, CPDT-KA

Christine Cuvo

Kate Lowe, CPDT-KA

Kat Kelly

Alicia Harantshuck

Lindsay Root, CPDT-KA

Collin Vito