About Us

Based in Brooklyn, Urban K-9 offers a full range of private dog training programs as well as group classes in and around NYC. Choose an option below for more details or check out our video gallery to see our techniques in action.



Dani Santanella, cpdt-ksa

Owner, Canine Training & Behavior Specialist | Brooklyn & Manhattan

Dani has been training for over 14 years, using motivational, results-oriented techniques to open lines of communication between dogs and their owners. Dani started training in 2004 when her Husky mix started exhibiting aggression towards other dogs both on and off leash. With the transformation of her own dog her passion for training began. She is certified through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers and the Triple Crown Academy for Professional Dog Trainers. 


Previously, Dani has taught group classes through the Brooklyn Dog Training Center, served for four years as a behavior counselor at a dog daycare facility in Manhattan, and worked at several board and train facilities in New York and San Diego. She draws from a variety of techniques that are scientifically proven, motivational, and results oriented. Dani is passionate about training and continues to attend workshops and seminars with other professional trainers to expand her skills.

Dani is a professional member of the International Association of Canine Professionals (IACP) , and the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT). She is a supporting member of the IAABC and a Field Representative for Paws With A Cause. She is also a evaluator for the AKC Canine Good Citizen test. She has competed in Competition Obedience with her Husky Mix, Mila, earning a UCD title and is currently training her Labrador, Rain, in Agility and showing in Competition Obedience. Rain has earned an American Kennel Club CD and CDX title and a United Kennel Club UCD title, and is a certified service demo dog with Paws With A Cause.


Natasha Domanski

Canine Training and Behavior Specialist | Brooklyn, Manhattan & Queens

Natasha Domanski is a Canine Training and Behavior Specialist and is a Graduate of Star Mark Training Academy. She comes from the world of dog daycare where she was an assistant manager at Eva’s Play Pups for three years. There she became immersed in the world of dog socialization and behavior. She decided to further her animal knowledge by attending Star Mark Academy, in Hutto Texas.


Natasha is passionate about dog training and attends seminars regularly and is a graduate of the most comprehensive dog training program in the country. Natasha is versed in a variety of different methods and uses her vast toolbox to help clients from puppy training, to basic obedience to more complex issues such as leash reactivity. Natasha is also involved with Canines for Companions and assists in their fundraisers when possible. Natasha uses the rest of her free time to volunteer with Badass Brooklyn Animal Rescue by fostering dogs that were recently rescued from kill shelters in the South. She adopted her most recent foster, Luca from them. Natasha is available for private lessons, group classes, day training and board and train and assists in all aspects of caring and training of the board and train dogs.


Kieli Atherton

Dog Trainer and Behavior Consultant | Brooklyn, Manhattan & Queens

Kieli Atherton has been training for 12 years and is a graduate of three of the top dog training schools in the country; the Tom Rose School for Professional Dog Trainers, Tarheel Canine and the Michael Ellis School. She has also attended seminars hosted by Cesar Millan and animal behaviorist Ken Ramirez of the Karen Pryor Academy giving her a well rounded knowledge in dog behavior. Starting her career in pet obedience in 2006 she’s since trained dogs for competition obedience, search & rescue, agility, dock diving, scent detection, personal protection and specializes in rehabilitating dogs with reactive or fear based aggression.


Training methods focus on keeping it fun for owner and dog. She teaches how to be fair and balanced with training, shows you motivational techniques to keep your dog engaged in learning, and guides you through the training process so you and your dog can be successful. Kieli has a passion for dog training and stays active in the dog world. She is a member of Protection Sport Association (PSA) K9, a precision obedience and protection dog sport. Kieli competes on a national level with her Belgian Malinois Ichi. They have taken home National Vice Champion three years in a row, the award for the highest overall score in the country, and have achieved numerous first place, highest obedience and highest protection in competition awards.



Certified basic canine trainer, dog walker and dog sitter | Brooklyn

Tamaki is a very passionate person when it comes to taking care of animals. During Tamaki’s childhood years living in Japan, she grew up owning a large variety of animals, which included nine Yorkshire terriers, a cat, a ferret, two hamsters, five parakeets, a squirrel, a rabbit and many others. Her interest in animals garnered her compassion in caring for those with health issues and disabilities.


When Tamaki was a teenager she adopted a Yorkshire terrier named Taro. Taro was an aggressive dog that was timid and fearful. His behavior problems were not easy to contain during their first encounter. He was not sociable with other dogs or with people; he was also abandoned twice before he was embraced by the Shimada family. Having to live with Taro, Tamaki was curious to know why Taro had such behavior problems. This is when she started to study dog behavior and psychology. After reading many books she started training Taro. The methods she learned helped change Taro’s behavior immensely. From that moment, Tamaki found a whole new joy and it became her mission to help other animals change their negative behaviors. In 2010, Tamaki earned a Basic Canine Trainer certification from the dog training school Walk This Way located in Brooklyn, New York. Tamaki is currently enrolled in Catch Canine Training Academy and is currently apprenticing with Urban K-9 and offering animal care, training and walking to Urban K-9 boarding clients. Tamaki works with many dogs through Animal Loving Care and is always learning more about canine training and animal behavior.


Melissa Dibernardo

Canine Training and Behavior Specialist | Central and Northern NJ

Melissa Dibernardo has been working with dogs since 1990. She started her career working as a kennel attendant at Roxdanne Kennels in Warren, NJ. She then went on to to be a supervisor at this premier Kennel. This was the start of her lifelong journey dedicated to the health , overall well being and  happiness of dogs. Melissa also spent 5 years working as a veterinary technician for Dr Blaicher in Plainfield, NJ. In 2005, Melissa attended Triple Crown Dog Training Academy, now Starmark. She received her certification as a Canine Training and Behavior Specialist.


Since then she has been training dogs in basic and advanced obedience and resolving behavioral issues for all breeds. She is a professional 10 year member of the IACP and continues her education by attending seminars and conferences. She is versed in all methods of dog training. Melissa’s passion for training began with the rehabilitation and training of her German Shepherd Keisha. She adopted Keisha after she was rescued from a fire. Keisha was a beautiful dog but was both human and dog  aggressive. Life with Keisha was challenging. Training Keisha and watching her transform has helped Melissa become a wonderful  trainer. Melissa is able to help clients with more difficult behavioral cases  because she was there too. Keisha was a very difficult dog, but Melissa never gave up on her. They enjoyed many good years together.  She now  shares her life with her German Shepherd Una and dabbles in Protection Sports with her.



Demo Dog | Brooklyn

Rain often accompanies Dani to lessons and group classes to help other dogs ease their anxiety, gain social skills and just have a calm neutral dog around to help with facilitating behavior modification, obedience or socialization. She is a wonderful obedient companion and the dog love of Dani’s life. She holds a UKC UCD Title as well as an AKC CD, and CDX Title and is currently training in Utility Obedience. She dabbles in Agility here and there and is just an overall amazing friend. Rain’s passions are her frisbee, tugging, eating and of course retrieving.


Upcoming Classes

May 09

Proof Your Training In Prospect Park

Brooklyn | 6:30 PM | 4 weeks

This class is only open to Urban K-9 Clients who have completed a minimum of three private lessons or have  attended a basic obedience class with us.


Leash walking and public etiquette skills can always be improved with your dog. This class focusses on proofing your training with a variety of distractions. From a walk around the park, skateboards, runners, dogs and the general unpredictability of city life, you will learn to navigate through busy city life in a calm manner with your dog. Learn the value of relaxed stays and how to teach your dog to be calm and obedient in a busy city park. Through using reward markers and perfecting leash handling we will help you become a better handler and improve your outdoor experience with your dog.


This Class Meets On The Following Wednesdays: May 9th, May 16th, May 23rd and May 30th


Prospect Park Picnic House
95 Prospect Park West
Brooklyn, NY 11215
Google map

May 24

Reliable Recall Prospect Park

Brooklyn | 6:30 PM | 4 Weeks

Recalls or come when called is the most important behavior your dog can learn. It gives you and your dog more freedom to enjoy the outdoors and it can keep them out of harms way. This class focusses on the tools to get your dog off leash. This class takes place in Prospect Park and uses the use of reward markers, food, toys, and long line training to establish a more reliable recall.

Class Meets On The Following Thursdays: May 24th, May 31st , June 7th and June 14th 


Prospect Park Picnic House
95 Prospect Park West
Brooklyn, NY 11215
Google map

Success Stories

Get In Touch

Say Hello

Brooklyn: 347-416-2535
email: Dani@UrbanK-9.com

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