Dog Care Services in Northern, NJ

Steve Del Savio

Owner & Founder

Steve Del Savio, Owner & Founder of Pack Leader Dogs, is a Certified Dog Behavior Expert and Trainer who has turned his passion for animals and their behavior into a flourishing career in dog training. He is a graduate of Pace University where he studied Business Management while playing NCAA Division 1 Baseball. After graduation, Steve began working as Director of Operations for a prominent subsurface construction company in New York City.

During his spare time, he began studying dog behavior and psychology through books, seminars, videos and real life hands on experience working with shelter dogs and dogs owned by friends and family. This was when he discovered his talent and desire to work with dogs.

After leaving his career in NYC, Steve created Pack Leader Dogs with the determination to become a world renowned dog behaviorist and to teach owners how to achieve balance and harmony with their dogs through real world dog training.

Through working with dogs for over 10 years, Steve has gained a wealth of knowledge and experience that ranges from basic obedience to severe aggression along with the rarest behavioral issues and everything in between. Over the years, Steve found that most “dog trainers” and “dog behaviorists” around the world are stuck in a specific “method” or “style” of training dogs, which he believes is not practical in an environment where every dog, every human and every situation is unique. What Steve brings to dog training is not only experience, knowledge, instincts, creativity and expertise with dogs but also an amazing ability to communicate with owners. By providing owners with a crystal clear understanding of dog psychology from a basic and simplified instinctual level, he continuously produces amazing real world results.

Hands-On Experience with Cesar Millan

In 2006, Steve discovered Cesar Millan, “The Dog Whisperer.” He spent years studying the dog psychology Cesar spoke about. Steve’s life changed when he was selected to attend the first ever Training Cesar’s Way Workshop, taught by Cesar himself, at the world renowned 43-acre Dog Psychology Center in Santa Clarita, California.

During the course, he worked hands-on with Cesar, learning about dog psychology from the most sought after dog behavior expert in the world. After graduating the course, Steve was invited to come back and assist Cesar at his next workshop for a new group of students.

Steve is 1 of the 6 Official Trainers of Cesar Millan

Since then, he has continued assisting at every workshop and is now 1 of only 6 official trainers of Cesar Millan. Steve also accompanies Cesar working backstage as a production manager and primary dog handler whenever he is on tour in the Northeast for his “Cesar Millan Live!” shows. He was also the primary backstage dog handler for Cesar’s live show in Las Vegas which was televised on the National Geographic channel where he handled many extremely difficult dogs backstage along with taking care of Cesar’s personal pack.

Steve has appeared on “Cesar 911” as well helping in rehabilitation and handling dogs on screen. Working with Cesar has been a dream come true for Steve and he now considers Cesar not only a mentor but a great friend. Steve continues to travel and work with Cesar regularly.

A Network of Top Trainers

Steve is continuously in communication with a network of top trainers and behaviorists based all over North America, Europe, Asia, South America and Australia. He knows many of these behaviorists not only on a professional level, but on a personal level as well. He is always involved in high level discussions pertaining to new methods, tools, cases, situations, innovative styles, and countless life changing success stories.

Mentored by Cesar Millan’s Head Trainer

Steve is mentored by Colleen Steckloff of LAK9’s, Cesar Millan’s head trainer. Colleen has been an invaluable part of Steve’s development and has continuously helped in so many ways to help Steve become the best dog behavior expert and trainer he can possibly be. She has been featured on many episodes of ‘the Dog Whisperer” and “Cesar 911.” Colleen is featured on stage with Cesar at all of his live shows, nationally and internationally. She has been not only an incredible mentor for Steve, but also a great friend which he is very grateful for.

Certified in “The Force Free Method”

Steve is a graduate of The Force Free Method of training, developed and taught by world renowned trainer and behaviorist Marc Goldberg.  Steve worked one on one with Marc learning his innovative style of training that has produced fantastic results worldwide.

Memberships, Certifications & Volunteer Work

Steve is a professional member of the IACP (International Association of Canine Professionals), certified trainer by CCPDT (Certification Council of Professional Dog Trainers), professional member of PSI (Pet Sitters International) and NAPPS (National Association of Professional Pet Sitters), a Canine Good Citizen Evaluator for the American Kennel Club and member of the HDA (Hoboken Dog Association).

He has volunteered at the Liberty Humane Society shelter where he trained dogs and reintroduced them into the community to provide real life exposure. Steve also works with the board at Hi-Tor Animal Shelter in Rockland County, NY on changing the entire way the shelter operates by teaching classes and training the volunteers and staff to create a better environment for dogs to exist. This will not only increase adoption rates but also increase the rate of dogs that stay adopted.

“Any dog, any size, any age, any breed, any problem.”

Any dog, any size, any age, any breed, any problem. This motto is something that Steve truly believes in.  He has committed his life to saving as many dogs as he possibly can and changing people’s lives for the better by educating owners and providing them with the techniques and blueprint necessary to produce lifelong, real world results.  His dream is a world where humans and dogs live together through balance and harmony.  He continues to work towards this goal every day and hopes to have you as part of this movement and a member of the pack!

What our customers are saying…

“Steve is not only knowledgable and professional, he clearly cares, a great about the animals in his care and supervision and we see that every week with the respect and excitement that Riley greets him with.”
— Katie R. & Riley

“I have found Steve to be extremely trustworthy, dedicated, and a generally great guy. He is kind, generous, and one of the most pleasant people to work with as a customer that I have ever come across. I wish all of my service providers were so easy to work with and accomodating.”
— Gideon S.