Drayton Michaels / Founder

Drayton is an award-winning dog behavior expert specializing in positive, reward-based training, driven by science and research.  His education, multiple industry and public recognitions as well as experience level places Drayton in the Top 5 percent of all dog trainers in the country.

Drayton has been working with dogs for 18 years. In May 2007, Drayton earned his Certification in Dog Training and Behavior Counseling from the original intensive San Francisco SPCA Academy for Dog Trainers (known as the “Harvard of dog training”).  The SFSPCA Academy was a full-time, hands-on, comprehensive program where ten selected students trained esteemed canine behavior expert Jean Donaldson.

After graduating from the SFSPCA Academy, Drayton founded URBAN DAWGS (UrbanDawgs.com) in Red Bank, New Jersey, offering group classes and private training for dog guardians and their pets, as well as seminars, workshops and consulting services.  Soon after, he expanded his practice with a specialty subsidiary of URBAN DAWGS, to include Pit Bull Guru, offering contemporary training and behavior consulting focused on Pit Bulls and other large breed dogs of all ages.  Drayton also released The Pit Bull Hoax, a short film about breed specific legislation and Pit Bull dogs in 2009. This film went on to help end BSL at the state level in OH.

Dedicated to continued education, with the ultimate goal of implementing and sharing the latest research with his clients, Drayton completed Dr. Susan Friedman’s “Living & Learning with Animals: The Science and Technology of Behavior Change” in 2013.

  • Trained over 4,000 dogs and their guardians since 2007. Averages 400 dogs a year.
  • Jon Stewart, former host of the Daily Show and animal advocate called Drayton “the bomb… Drayton is the 21st Century of dog training; he’s next level.”
  • Credited / acknowledged in Stewart’s wife Tracey’s book “Do Unto Others: A Friendly Guide to How Dogs Live” (Artisan, 2015) Tracy said “Drayton is an invaluable teacher, I have yet to hear anyone speak as eloquently, intelligently and reasonably about pit bull dogs”
  • Featured expert in documentary short “Pit Bull Hoax” (2010) and the film Beyond The Myth (2012) (Netflix)
  • Speaker, commentator and advocate regarding breed specific legislation and proper dog training in print and television media. (Today show, WPIX CH 11 NY, UPN 9NY, CH 12 NJ).
  • Contributor to Dog Fancy magazine. Numerous articles and main contributor to their Pit Bull issue.

Voted or named “Best Dog Trainer” by New Jersey Monthly, Asbury Park Press, Monmouth Health & Life and Coaster Newspapers for years.