(904) 248-8309


Serving Duval, St Johns, Clay and Nassau Counties in Northeast, Florida

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Our Dog Trainers

The people behind Sit Happens Dog Training

Dave Stellato

Owner / Dog Trainer

Owner / Dog Trainer Jacksonville, FL.

Dave Stellato is a state-renowned and highly recommended dog trainer.

Dave Stellato is a state-renowned and highly recommended dog trainer and behaviorist, known for his ability to bring people and their dogs closer together through the our premier training system. He helps clients remove conflict from the training process and assists them with rehabilitating their dogs through emotional balance and structure.

“If you are going to do something, always do your best!”

Utilizing his background in training people to motivate others through enthusiasm, it came natural to instruct clients on how to motivate their furred friend. The Sit Happens Dog Training team of trainers is recognized for working with their own dogs at public spots throughout Duval and Saint Johns Counties.

Dave is able to get AMAZING results in a timely manner and is proficient with teaching people how to train as they live. This system allows each and every client to maintain a happy dog, with off-leash control under the severest of distractions. Dave coaches people to tap into their dog’s natural instincts and show leadership… then lovership.

With his motto of “if you are going to do something, always do your best”, passion is seen in his training, and he strives to transfer this enthusiasm to each of his clients. Dave remains a student to dog training and continues to grow as a person as well as a trainer.

Spend some time with us and we’ll show you how to “Live Beyond the leash!”.


Rayna Thornton

Dog Trainer

We’re so happy to have Rayna Thornton join our Sit Happens team! Rayna attended Animal Behavior college to become a Veterinary Technician in 2013. In 2014 she got her first dog, Dexter. She immediately began training Dexter to perform traditional training tasks, as well as fun and out of the ordinary tricks such as closing doors, picking items off the floor and handing them to her, and turning off the lights. Shortly after Dexter, Rayna grew her love in the form of two new dogs, Maisy and Jaxson. Rayna spent every day teaching Maisy and Jaxson how to behave, while also studying how to become an even better trainer. She taught all three dogs advanced obedience training, which she now uses with our team at Sit Happens. Rayna has experience with veterinary hospitals, fostering from various humane societies, and even specialized dog clubs. She actively attends workshops and new opportunities to advance her training techniques. Rayna is a dedicated and driven employee, a true animal advocate and a dog trainer filled with applicable knowledge and a desire to help every dog she sees!


Robin Charlton

Dog Trainer

Robin Charlton is originally from Alberta Canada and her Canadian sensibilities have yet to be diminished even though she has lived in the states for the last 18 years. Throughout the years a very adventurous and fulfilling lifestyle has led her to various parts of the world. Having owned a successful tattoo company in the Caribbean, Robin understands the customer relationship and service skill sets that have allowed her to seamlessly transition to her dog training career and indulge in her passion!!

Starting her dog training career in South Florida several years ago, Robin used this as a launch pad for education. During this time, she has journeyed extensively to broaden her knowledge within the industry from other experts. She is continuously attending conferences, workshops and seminars to obtain higher training certifications to better educated herself and broaden her skill sets. She is currently an active member of The International Association of Canine Professionals (IACP), is certified in Animal CPR and First Aid, and recently completed the JSDT1 certification with Joel Silverman. All of this knowledge and experience helps her diverse group of clientele achieve their training goals.

Being an Olympic Women’s Weightlifting competitor AND coach, Robin fully comprehends individual needs. People along with dogs learn in different ways and Robin is well versed in diverse teaching methods to achieve the desired results. She gains the satisfaction of creating better companions, more aware and prepared owners, and enhancing the relationship and family ties of her clients and their companions.

When you meet Robin you can see first hand her commitment to training. You will witness her dedication and abilities with her adopted Doberman, Tiberius. She believes in the system and lives her work.


Josh Jeffers

Dog Trainer

Head Dog Trainer, Jacksonville, Florida

Josh Jeffers has been training canines since 2010. He has owned dogs since he was a kid, including some of his time in the military. His love for dogs motivated Josh to became a dog trainer in Jacksonville.

His first experience as a dog trainer came with PetCo where he helped hundreds of people develop better relationships with their dogs. He was responsible for over 600 group class sessions during his tenure.

While still with PetCo, Josh joined K9s for Warriors, an organization that provides service dogs to veterans with PTSD and other injuries resulting from their service in the military.

Josh has a passion for giving a “new leash on life”? to rescue dogs and to help wounded veterans. Josh is also a Canine Good Citizen Evaluator in Jacksonville. This allows him to not only train people and their dogs but evaluate and certify their abilities in leash-handling and other dog training skills. To further develop his skills he worked with Mayo Clinic’s “Caring Canines”? Unit, running seminars for their handlers.

Eventually, Josh went into private dog training. He wanted to provide a higher level of skill which dog owners were not getting through corporate-structured programs. He believes one-on-one dog training more effectively addresses the issue of distraction. This type of dog training provides faster and more rewarding results. Individual attention enables him to cater to the specific needs of a dog and the owner. He feels great personal reward throughout the training process.

Josh Jeffers chose to join Sit Happens Jacksonville Dog Training because company owner Dave Stellato employed specialized methods that produced a better relationship for Josh with his own challenging dog. He loves the work he is doing for Sit Happens and is thrilled to be a part of this growing company. Josh is known by clients as patient, non-judgmental and a very good teacher. He gets incredibly fast results using reward-based methods.


Danny Bungard

Dog Trainer

Sit Happens Dog Trainer Extraordinaire and Powerhouse People- Person Danny Bungard. Danny is an Army Veteran, former underwater welder and consummate family man. He previously owned a dog walking business. As a result, he realized to help more people he would have to make a change. Therfore,he decided to find a company that could take him to the next level. Danny joined Sit Happens after starting on a quest to expand his training knowledge. He explored other companies, but quickly realized they didn’t have what he was looking for. Our motto, “LIVE BEYOND THE LEASH”, directly applied to how he has shared his life with his own dog, Baron, a Border Collie. His love for animals and his outgoing personality make him a natural fit for the Sit Happens team. He has an innate way of connecting with people and their struggles to get along better with their dogs.

Always the perfectionist, Danny strives to constantly improve his training abilities. The main goal was to bring his dog everywhere the family goes, and to help clients do the same. Baron is always part of the adventure. Whether it’s summiting snow covered mountains in Alaska, pub crawling in Jacksonville, kayaking Florida’s springs or skateboarding through St. John’s Town Center.

The next time you’re visiting Town Center, look a little closer, you just might see Danny and Baron go rolling by.


Jenna Coffer

Dog Trainer

Jenna’s passion for animals started at a young age, when at 11 she begged her parents to get a dog. The passion lived on through high school as she showed chickens and beef heifers through FFA as well as worked in multiple dog daycare and boarding facilities.

She attended the University of North Florida, and graduated with a bachelors degree in Animal Science with a focus on behavior. Right after graduating, Jenna started a full time job at Southeastern Guide Dogs in Palmetto, Florida, There she helped train guide dogs and service dogs for placement in the real world! She learned many valuable training skills from a vast array of experts in the field of dog training.

After hearing about a friend who recently completed the Sit Happens Dog Trainings program, Jenna was very interested in becoming a dog trainer. Private dog training offered her the opportunity to go the extra mile and give clients the extra one on one attention she always wanted to offer.
After talking to Dave, the founder of Sit Happens Dog Training on the phone, she made the move from Tampa to Jacksonville and quit her full time job to pursue this new venture with Sit Happens Dog Training. Shortly after moving to Jacksonville, she adopted Astro, a spunky hound/lab mix who is completing the program now.

Through her 3 years of directly working with dogs and a lifetime of love for animals, Jenna is very excited about moving forward with Sit Happens and providing owners with the same freedom she now has with her own dog!


Chris Gobeli

Dog Trainer

“Be the most interesting human your dog has ever met.”

Chris Gobeli is a highly recommended dog trainer and behaviorist, known for getting results and helping people build a better relationship with their pets. He helps clients communicate with their dogs through clear and structured training and play.

Chris Utilizes his background in military and corporate training to guide his clients and their furry friends. Through his experiences in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom he has learned that any training must be adaptable and specific to the situation and environment at hand. He firmly believes that “The Secret to Success is Constancy to Purpose” and instructs his clients to be consistent and have an achievable goal with their pups.

Chris helps clients accomplish results in a timely manner and teaches them how to incorporate training into their everyday lives. The system we teach allows each and every client to maintain a happy dog, with off-leash control under the severest of distractions. Chris coach’s people to understand their dogs’ natural instincts and shows them how to use it to maintain better balance in their home.

When it comes to training, Chris believes in this motto: “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” He pushes his clients to get out of their comfort zone and LEARN to communicate with their dogs by rolling up their sleeves and getting to work.

Spend some time with Chris and he will show you how to “Live Beyond the leash!”.



Dog Trainer

Madison is enthusiastic and results driven trainer. She is always up for a challenge and works hard for her clients to help them achieve all their training goals. She joined Sit Happens in 2021 and is looking forward to bringing a fresh drive for success to the team. Madison has been a lifelong animal lover who understands the balance between wanting an obedient dog and a best friend.

She attended the University of North Florida, and graduated with a bachelors degree in Animal Science with a focus on behavior. Right after graduating, Jenna started a full time job at Southeastern Guide Dogs in Palmetto, Florida, There she helped train guide dogs and service dogs for placement in the real world! She learned many valuable training skills from a vast array of experts in the field of dog training.

Madison has experience training most breeds, sizes, ages, and temperaments of dogs. She is not one to shy away from a challenge! She has experience training dogs in a facility, board and training, individual lessons, and group classes. Madison wanted to become a dog trainer because of all the dogs who are rehomed, put in shelters, or euthanized due to poor behavior. She believes with the right training and consistency any dog can live happily as part of a family. For Madison every dog requires something special and she really individualizes her training for each client's and dog's needs. The best advice she has for anyone looking to start training is to remember to have fun! If you're having fun your dog will too!



Dog Trainer

David Charlton is committed to providing the most effective solutions to his clients’ dog training needs. David has extensive experience in customer service having been in the customer service industry for most of his adult life. He served 8 years as a Navy Hospital Corpsman, 6.5 years as a Psychiatric Nurse, and spent 20 years in the tattoo industry. David is not only concerned with the benefits training can have for your dog; he is also focused on helping you, the client, to enjoy easier lives with your canine companions by strengthening the bond you share with your furry friends. David avidly pursues continuing education and professional development by attending seminars and keeping current on industry literature. David has extensive experience working with dogs dating back to his childhood as a volunteer dog handler for various animal shelters. When David is not training clients dogs, he spends his time with his wife working their 100 lbs. Doberman and 6.5 lbs. Chinese Crested.



Dog Trainer

Ken was born and raised in Chicagoland. He moved to Jacksonville after marrying his best friend in 2011. Ken’s love for dogs started before he could walk and he has never looked back. Ken has never been afraid to stop traffic to help a turtle cross the road, of be late to work to help a lost dog find safety. Ken has always had between one and three dogs, sometimes more when fostering, and played a significant role in training them since the age of 12. The only gaps in daily dog interaction in Ken’s life were while attending Milwaukee School of Engineering and while serving in the United States Army Cavalry during operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.

Ken built his career around customer service, having led teams of over 100 people, trained and developed countless people, and managed a number of multi-million-dollar businesses. When Ken decided to find a more rewarding and fulfilling career his first though was finding a way to work with dogs on a daily basis. Ken has always believed in training dogs using love and positivity to have behavioral impacts on your furry friends to keep them safe and build life-long relationships with their people. Ken is grateful for the opportunity to work with Jacksonville’s best dog training team, and utilizes his experience managing and developing people in a corporate environment as well as his discipline and structure from his military service to help families have better lives with their dogs.



Rayna was very professional and knowledgeable. We were very pleased with the progress our dog Brodie made with her help. He was being very stubborn at first. Thanks again to Sit Happens and Rayna.

Megan White

Positive: very professional and knowledgeable!
Rayna has been a great trainer for me and my pup. She's very knowledgeable, professional, and passionate about what she does. She is always willing to help with questions and advice. If you're looking for an instructor for good obedience training look no further. I have a working dog line, and having an instructor familiar with their temperament and drive really helps. Thanks Rayna

Ronda Stilman

Positive: Rayna has been a great trainer for me!
This training is not just for puppies! We decided we needed to have our doberman puppy trained, but wanted some training for our 10 year old pittbull. Rayna was amazing! She was flexible with our schedules and with our move. She worked with Obi (dobie) first and he took to the training immediately. We figured he would, but when she started with Patches (pittbull) we were still very impressed with the training and techniques she provided. In fact she kept in constant contact about Patches' training. Patches has severe door anxiety and on walks she get anxious to get back to her space. Rayna helped with all of that. We still have to work with the dogs daily (obviously), but now I can place Patches when the door bell rings and she will settle down. We will be hiring Sit Happens again with our newest member Luna and are so happy to have Rayna back to train another one of our puppies. I was concerned about the initial expense, but it was more than worth it. I love being on a walk and getting compliments about how well trained my dogs are. This training system works and is more than worth it. You can teach old dogs new tricks. :)

Laura Hammock

Positive: This training is not just for puppies!
We recently completed Sit Happen's training program with Jenna and are ecstatic about our AmStaff's change in behavior! Our 8 month old pup follows commands and behaves in at home/in public and around other animals/strangers/visitors of all ages. Jenna was also SO flexible with our school/ work schedules and personal events. We highly recommend!

Kailyn Marcelo

Positive: We highly recommend!
My Cubby loves his trainer Michele. Our training has been very personalized for our specific needs. I like that they work with you in your environment around your home life and is tailored to what you and your dog needs. I would highly recommend Michele!

Donetta Taylor Heligman

Positive: Punctuality, Quality, Responsiveness, Value
Michelle is stellar. She took our rowdy Rottweiler and turned his energetic behavior into obedient behavior. She curtails each session to your dog's needs, no one size fits all with her. She also absolutely loves what she does. Michelle is a wealth of knowledge, enjoyable, responsive and has seen it all. Go with Sit Happens, you won't regret it.

Nigel P

Positive: Punctuality, Quality, Responsiveness, Value
Michelle worked amazing with 5 month old Leo. She gave us direction to help Leo follow all commands no matter the distraction. She listen to our concerns and gave a workable solutions each time. A night and day difference in just 3 lessons! I would recommend them to anyone needing help with dog.

Jennifer Pinto

Positive: Punctuality, Quality, Responsiveness, Value
My yorkie Jax was struggling with anxiety that would lead him to bark non-stop. That was our biggest issue. Walks outdoors were more like runs as I tried to keep up with him, and he was very reactive to strangers and unfamiliar sounds. Finally my husband and I decided to find help with our little guy as we had reached enough! We called Sithappens and Robin our trainer was more than great- she is AWESOME! From the beginning she was very thorough and lead both Jax and myself all the way through our sessions. She would always go above and beyond to make sure I felt comfortable with the trainings. My husband and I are so grateful for her guidance with Jax. In just 5 months Jax has grown tremendously! She gave us the tools we needed to help our little guy gain the confidence he needed! We now are able to take him out into public with great behavior and manners. I would 150% recommend Robin to anyone facing behavioral issues with their fur baby. She’s down to earth, has a passion for her work and clients, and super reliable! Thank you Robin!!

Ellie Whittum

Positive: Professionalism, Quality, Reliability, Responsiveness, Value
Chris was an excellent trainer! Our Golden Retriever puppy was doing what puppies do—-which is fine to a point. But, he was getting out of control to the point no one was having fun on walks. Our puppy went from not knowing the expectations of a walk to now walking with little guidance from me! Our puppy is happier and so are we! Our puppy also doesn’t jump on the kids or other people or counter surf! Makes real life practical with a big breed dog (62 pounds and growing)!

Lamb Brooke

Positive: Professionalism, Quality, Reliability, Responsiveness, Value
Michelle is amazing!!! She is extremely knowledgeable, professional and always available to answer questions or offer guidance. I have a 14-month-old, 125# French Mastiff. Michelle helped shift the dynamics of trust in the dog/owner relationship, which makes all the difference. Her confidence in being able to handle any situation, regardless of Titan's size and strength, along with the method’s Sit Happens uses really works! I had issues with my pup pulling on walks, passing other dogs and opening/exiting the front door. Of course, it takes consistent training, but she was able to help me modify his behavior from day one. Now that Ty trusts me that “I’ve got this”, we can be out and about, which is a huge sense of freedom and happiness for the both of us.

k s

Positive: Professionalism, Quality, Reliability, Responsiveness, Value
We had a wonderful experience with Michelle, our trainer. Our puppy, Samson, started training at 7 months old because we wanted him to be a well behaved dog and listen to us especially outdoor, around people and other dogs. The training is effective and we saw quick results. But the owner needs to put in the hard work of training with repetition and follow through. We highly recommend this pet training service.

Diane Engelhardt

Positive: Professionalism, Quality
We have a 4 year old Weimi who still thinks she is a puppy, so trying to keep her focused for any kind of training was absolutely impossible. Luckily, we were referred to Sit Happens and have been so impressed! Chris has been very patient with me, as I am a nervous mom when it comes to my four legged babies! He’s given us all the right tools to keep her on track and keep her squirrel brain focused. 10/10 would recommend as they have been available at all times to answer any of my questions!

Stormy Day

Positive: Professionalism, Quality
Working with Michele has been amazing! I have a 7 Month Labrador, Marina, that I have been training on my own. I hired sit happen to reinforce training habits and make up for areas that I am not as strong. Michele took Marina at her advanced level and was able to teach ME exactly what I needed to round out her training. I feel confident after each lesson that I have the tools to train Marina for her whole life. Michele is an incredibly educated and hard working trainer. I especially appreciate that sit happens comes to YOU and teaches YOU how to train your dog. I highly recommend Michele and sit happens.

Shaynah True

Positive: Professionalism, Quality, Reliability, Responsiveness, Value
Sit Happens has completely changed my relationship with my dog. I went from being hesitant taking her places like the beach and dog park because I wasn't sure if she would listen reliably, to having to most well behaved dog in the room no matter where I go. Billy genuinely loved North and made training FUN & a way for my dog & I to bond with eachother. Because of SH, I can look forward to a future with my dog doing anything and everything together. Thank you so much!

Kaley Dean

Positive: Professionalism, Quality, Reliability, Responsiveness, Value
We cannot recommend Sit Happens enough! Michele is such an amazing trainer. Just after the first lesson we saw a difference in our wild, jumpy, aggressive dog. Our dog is such a better listener now, has less anxiety, and is a great leash walker, all thanks to Michele! When we have people over, they cannot get over what a big difference the training has made, and it’s only been a month! If you’re looking for a trainer and have a very stubborn dog, Michele is your person to go to. She is very attentive during training and even when she is not with us, she will answer any questions we have. She is very patient and will work on anything you feel is important. I feel like she truly is excited every time our pup succeeds. Michele is the best!

Hope Lawson

Positive: Professionalism, Quality, Reliability, Responsiveness, Value
We had the pleasure of working with Jenna to train our new puppy. She is very knowledgeable and after she left we did what she told us to do and now our dog is very well behaved! Bravo Jenna!!

SSUMC Children’s Ministry

Positive: Professionalism, Quality, Reliability, Responsiveness, Value
After we moved, our dogs needed a refresher and conditioning. Sit Happens has a lifetime guarantee, so it was easy to call and get an appointment on the books. We were lucky to get our original trainer too! Danny, and Chris joined too, were great - as expected. Chris had experience with German Shepherds, which was excellent! And Danny knew our pups, and what they needed based on our frustrations. Great company, and money is well worth it!

Morgan Graley

Positive: Professionalism, Quality, Reliability, Responsiveness, Value
We just finished our last lesson with Sit Happens for our 6 month old German Shepherd. I am amazed with the progress our pup has made. He sits, he stays, and he places and stays. I feel confident he is able to go anywhere with me now, which is awesome! Danny, and Michelle were both so amazing to work with, and always got back with me whenever I needed anything. I highly recommend Sit happens to anyone needing a well behaved doggo. I am thankful that Miramar Animal Hospital recommended them to me.

steve townsend

Positive: Professionalism, Quality, Reliability, Responsiveness, Value
We completely recommend Sit Happens! We love the convenience of the in home training. We’re so happy that we chose them! The training was customized for our 6 month old German shepherd Lola. We have been working with Chris who has experience with German shepherds of his own! He is professional, knowledgeable and accommodating. He was available to answer any questions when we had them. He has given us the tools to feel confident with her training and tips on how to help with her anxiety around new dogs. He also provided help with her crate training, jumping and focus. He taught us about our confidence, body language and tone of voice which is helpful to gain a better relationship with our puppy. As long as you do the homework provided you’ll be able to get the most out of your training. Thank you!

Marianna Calahorrano

Positive: Professionalism, Quality, Reliability, Responsiveness, Value
Wow! what a difference training makes... We started training Duuuval (Standard size Australian Labradoodle) when he was 4 months old. We needed to have him enrolled in training ASAP! Sit Happens was contacted and we are totally satisfied with the outcome of the behavior of Duuuval. But if you want to know, the outstanding part came when we had to reschedule numerous time due to family issues. NEVER once was there an issue with this. NOW, the very best part is our Trainer Jenna and her assistant “Astro”, she is an effective communicator both with your furry family member and YOU! She is pleasant, skilled and accommodating. **Personal thanks to Jenna from the Hemphill's. *

Cynthia Hemphill

Positive: Professionalism, Quality, Reliability, Responsiveness, Value
Danny with Sit Happens has made owning a Malinois/Shepherd mix a pleasure. The 5 lesson program is fantastic. Danny did great teaching me how to teach my dog Charlie! It is fun to have a big dog that does not dash out the door, walks easily on a loose leash and so many other things! Thanks Danny!

Joseph Tober

Positive: Professionalism, Quality, Reliability, Responsiveness, Value
Robin was a wonderful communicator who was always prompt and professional. Robin was exceptional at praising our puppy for doing well as much as she praised us for demonstrating the behavior that would best help train our puppy. To have one on one attention with immediate feedback was priceless. Thank you Robin

Naomi Lederman

Positive: Professionalism, Quality, Reliability, Responsiveness, Value
My dog Zoey was the alpha of the house. She dragged me around on walks and almost never listened to commands. After only 3 sessions with SitHappens, Zoey is a whole new dog. You can tell that Michelle really loves what she’s doing & is very knowledge about dogs and their behaviors. She can quickly transform your dog into anything you’re willing to work for! I can now take my dog out in public without worrying about being dragged around. Would recommend this service to anyone, it is well worth the cost.

Emily Williamson

Positive: Quality
Robin was fantastic with my 1 year old rescue mix. Extremely friendly, professional, and knowledgeable. My dog loved her and she was outstanding in helping me nail down everything from the basics to more challenging training as well as specific problem areas. Couldn’t be more satisfied and highly recommend working with her.

Tom Gosnell

Positive: Quality
Michelle was amazing! I recommend her to anyone who needs help. We just rescued our boy Boomer in February and we were a little nervous if we would be able to keep him with the aggressive way he was around our 11 year Soft Wheaton Terrier at first but with Michelle and Sit Happens training he is a night and day difference now. Now Boomer is the scholar in our canine family. On command he can sit, lay down, leave it, go to his place and stay until told he’s free, come, heal, and best of all I can walk him around my neighborhood, public stores, parks, and the beach all while being OFF LEASH without him running after other dogs or people! We are so happy. Thank you Michelle and Sit Happens!

Mike Post

Positive: Quality