About Us

North Pittsburgh Animal Behavior is owned and operated by Beth McGonigal, CPDT-KA, ABCDT. Beth began her training career in 2006 with local shelters and rescue groups and has worked for other privately held companies as an assistant trainer. She has been training dogs in their homes for a decade and opened her own training facility in April 2016. Beth is recommended by several veterinarians throughout the Pittsburgh region and partners locally with BelaCoop Animal Hospital of North Park to provide happy visits, puppy classes, and socialization based curriculums to their clients.

Beth is a nationally Certified Professional Dog Trainer, accredited via the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers. She is a mentor trainer for Catch Canine Academy and graduated from the Animal Behavior College with Honors. She is an AKC Canine Good Citizen and STAR Puppy evaluator and a Premium Professional Member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers. Beth is a partner of Allegheny County Parks and holds classes at various parks throughout the county to encourage dog owners to get out and enjoy their parks with their best friends.

Beth has had the honor of guest speaking at Kaplan Career Institute and Pittsburgh’s Vet Tech Institute to educate students about behavioral aspects of their future animal medical careers. She is proud to serve on the Board of Directors for Essence of Love Animal Rescue, Inc. and has been a resource to several locally based rescues including SPARRO (Southern PA Retriever Rescue Org), Shades of Grey Rescue, Home Sweet Home Animal Rescue, Western PA Great Pyrenees Rescue Group and Forever Home Beagle Rescue. Beth also works with several breeders to ensure their puppies are behaviorally solid before going to their forever homes.

Beth is committed to force free, science based, positive reinforcement training in order to enhance the human-animal bond. Her approach is always to look at the whole dog and the whole family and the most effective ways to achieve results via nutrition, exercise, mental stimulation, and enrichment. She employs family friendly techniques and is an advocate for children being involved in their pet’s training process.

Beth holds undergraduate degrees in Management, Marketing, Accounting and Finance from La Roche College and is in pursuit of her Graduate Degree in Psychology with a focus on Animal Behavior Studies.

As a Certified Professional Dog Trainer, she is required to have continuing education units. Each year, Beth surpasses these requirements by at least double. She feels it is incredibly important for professionals to keep up to date on the most effective and dog friendly methods available.

Beth has attended the Association of Professional Dog Trainers Annual Conference, and seminars with Dr. Ian Dunbar, Trish King, Grisha Stewart, Malena DiMartini Price, Suzanne Clothier, just to name a few. Beth and her assistants are all insured through Business Insurers of the Carolinas and have passed drug testing screens, background checks and have passed Act 34 clearances as well.

Personally, Beth resides with her 5 rescued dogs in Gibsonia, PA.

Jefferson, half rottweiler, half golden retriever (rott’n retriever!) has been with her for 10 years and is the inspiration for her profession. With a host of behavioral issues, Jefferson taught Beth about the human-animal bond and the power of positive reinforcement. He has been her greatest challenge and her greatest reward.



Juneau arrived as a puppy in Beth’s life from the Animal Rescue League and is a social butterfly. She is a Labrador, Malamute and German Shepherd mix and is an overall amazing dog. She loves the outdoors and appointed herself as “Inventory manager” at the training center, making sure all the treats are accounted for an inspected before being put on the shelves. Juneau is a Canine Good Citizen, a registered Therapy Dog and visits UPMC hospitals regularly. Her favorite patients to visit are children, and she often politely demands their attention in public. Juneau has competed in the sport of Nosework and has earned her NW1 title.


Fuzz the Old English Sheepdog arrived in Beth’s home in 2010. She is a goofball of a dog with many eccentricities. Not the brightest bulb in the pack, but she sure does try her hardest and is a total lovebug. Fuzz has dabbled in Nosework and has completed 3 stages of her ORT.


Beth always wanted a beagle, and in the winter of 2012, she found one in the woods. At 15 years old, his owner no longer wanted him as his hunting skills had gone by the wayside. (He still hunts out the cookie jar just fine!) Chance was an amazingly sweet dog and has more Facebook friends than Beth does. Chance passed in August 2016.



Chip should be a poster boy for chihuahuas. He loves to snuggle and has a signature “coo”ing noise that is absolutely adorable. Not a chihuahua fan? You need to meet Chip! Having a small breed dog taught Beth new and innovative ways to work with small breeds dogs & their unique behavioral challenges and skills.


Sallie, more affectionately known as Baby Sal, was adopted into the home when Beth’s other dogs were already in their golden years. A rabbit hunter extraordinaire, her bays are recognizable to all of her friends. Sallie LOVES to play with other dogs and hike in the woods.


Professional Certifications and Memberships

Contact Info

Owner / Operator:
Beth McGonigal, Certified Professional Dog Trainer
4358 Gibsonia Rd. Suite F Gibsonia, PA 15044

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