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About Chris Onthank, Founder Dog Gone Smart

Chris  Onthank is the owner and founder of Dog Gone Smart Canine Center. He has been working with animals for over 25 years and his unique training theory is a 2 pronged approach combining positive motivational learning and instinct. He is a noted expert in canine behavior who works with both dogs and their humans. Chris developed The Dog Gone Smart Training Philosophy and Technique to give pet owners the results  and the relationship they want with their dog both through instructional group classes, and private  lessons. His positive and structured training method creates a harmonious household, and has made him  a top trainer to many celebrities and their pets. Chris is often the lead animal handler for TV, film, commercial and magazine shoots. He has worked with everyone from William Wegman to Gene Wilder. Chris has appeared on Fox News, the TODAY Show, Martha Stewart and numerous radio talk shows.  He is frequently referred to as the “Dog Trainer to the Stars!”


Chris is an aggression specialist as well as the Head Behavioralist at many rescue organizations. His personal daily practice often involves helping dogs with special issues i.e. aggression, separation anxiety, fear, disabilities and training obstacles. He is often the last hope for many dogs. His outgoing personality and fun approach to learning have made him one of the most popular trainers in the country. His clients (both human and canine) are highly motivated to work and thoroughly enjoy their learning experience.

 Chris is a widely known expert in canine behavior. Chris’ mission is to inform, educate, entertain & encourage all dog owners to live their best lives together.  Chris is a frequent contributor on the media circuit as an animal behaviorist and pet industry expert. His passion for pets is shared on his radio show Canine Master, which is a popular resource for all things dogs; news, trends, info, tips, stories, photos & videos. His podcasts and articles provide in-depth coverage of dog-related topics including training, health, innovative pet products and general information on how to keep dogs happy, healthy and safe.


Chris has had a life-long involvement with animals. For over fifty years his family has been breeding and training dogs in Greenwich, CT. He honed his skills learning animal instinct and training through raising a variety of species. He studied positive motivational techniques working with marine mammals and parrots.


For the past twenty five years Chris’ focus has been on dogs. He has trained and put dogs through obedience, and titled numerous dogs in the conformation show ring and Schutzhund which tests the abilities of police dogs.


Chris is also founder and CEO of  Dog Gone Smart Pet Products, home of the Dirty Dog Doormat ™, Repelz-It™ Nanotechnology, and a global marketer of proprietary and innovative pet products.


Chris lives with his family on their farm in Wilton, CT.

To Schedule a lesson with Chris please email our

Training Director:


Chris is a member of the following organizations:



  • The Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT)


  • The United Doberman Club


  • The Doberman Pincher Club of America


  • The American Working Dog Federation

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