Our Founder

Award Winning Certified Dog Trainer

& Behavioral Consultant

and is able to succeed where others have failed. He regularly achieves results in cases thought to be hopeless by owners and trainers alike. His skills have gained him national and international recognition in the pet industry as one of the best trainers in the world and is the chosen trainer of celebrities, athletes, and CEOs including:




Renowned throughout the world and known affectionately as The Russian “Dog Wizard” Vladae Roytapel practices his legendary canine training techniques through his Southern California-based business, SoCal Dog Training. With 40 years of international experience in 5 different countries, Vladae is hailed as a miracle worker by dog owners of a wide variety of breeds with a host of different behavioral problems, 




  • Howie Mandel - TV Host of  America's Got Talent

  • Robin Bertolucci - KFI AM 1150 iHeart Radio

  • Sheron Bellio - KFI Radio Producer

  • Lisa Erspamer - Vice President of Oprah Winfrey Network

  • Steve Yzerman - Hall of Fame NHL Player

  • Nate Thompson - NHL Player

  • Cameron Fowler - NHL Player

  • Rickard Rakell - NHL Player

  • Kirk Maltby - NHL Player

  • Aaron Ward - NHL Player

  • Kevin Bieksa - NHL Player

  • David Wichmann - United Health Care CEO

  • Stephen Oswald – Ducommum Charman,CEO & President

  • Henry Nicholas - Broadcam Co-Founder

  • Jack Nasser - Former CEO of Ford

  • Edward Christian - CEO Saga Communications Inc.

  • Todd Miller - Director of Talent for Discovery Network

  • Thomas Hearns - World Boxing Champion

  • Joe Dumar - Former President of Detroit Pistons

  • Dick Purtan - Hall of Fame Radio Announcer

  • Bill Bonds - Legendary TV News Anchor

  • Carmen Harlan - Legendary TV News Anchor

  • Paula Tutman - Emmy Winning TV News Anchor

  • Val Clark - Investigative News Reporter

Education and Awards:

Vladae won his first local obedience championship in the city of Baku at age 12 with his first Siberian Husky, Berta. At 17, Vladae achieved first-degree national champion in the Soviet Union, and later, he was honored to have a legendary chief master dog trainer/instructor as his mentor and teacher. In addition, Vladae was the winner of the National championship in obedience training in both Moldova and the Soviet Union. 

The grandson of a former Chief Biologist for the USSR, Vladae gained early childhood experience with behavioral instruction for animals. While his grandfather conducted Pavlov-type experiments, young Vladae observed these animals (wolves, coyotes, and foxes) and his grandfather’s successes and failures in behavior modification.

In Moldova, Vladae went to the prestigious private dog training school Avante and became a  Certified Dog Trainer/Instructor/Behavior Therapist. Vladae graduated from the National Cinological Association/Club of Moldova where he continued his research of academic Pavlov theories. He also studied foreign scientists along with animal behavior researchers such as Peter Kropotkin, Konrad Lorenz, and others. During his 13-year professional career in the Soviet Union, Vladae trained hundreds of dogs for over 12 diverse types of specialty training services for the Russian government, the Red Army, and the private sector. Specialty training included: gas leak detection, customs patrol, bomb-sniffing, border patrol, guard dogs, personal protection, search and rescue, sled dogs, leader dogs and more.

Vladae and his family immigrated to the United States in 1995, where he became manager of the K9 security department for the prominent non-profit organization, Focus Hope, located in the heart of Detroit. At Focus Hope he bred, raised and trained and lived with the pack of 15 Bouvier and German Shepherds for 3-1/2 years. The Pack was used for guarding and patrolling streets in cooperation with Detroit Police department. The Dog pack was so meticulously trained that stories of his success spread throughout Michigan. After partnering with another trainer, Vladae created Alternative Canine Training in Michigan, which combined his innovative European dog training with contemporary American training. The company quickly gained fame for their unique system of training which lead Vladae to be honored with the first-ever State of Michigan “Dog Trainer of the Year” award presented to him by the Governor of Michigan.

Proficient in four languages, Vladae has made a name for himself largely through his fluency in a fifth, which he calls “Doglish.” Understanding that dogs cannot be expected to communicate the way that humans do, he has leveraged years of training and observation to devise a coherent structure and vocabulary through which dogs communicate. By speaking “Doglish”, the Dog Wizard can issue commands in ways dogs clearly understand and then obey.

Vladae teaches people to be the leader and set the tone in the relationship with the dog. To often, households with problem dogs are lead by the dog, not the owner. The dog wants you to be the leader, so it can fulfill its role of a loving companion and helper. Vladae teaches dog owners how to walk as a leader, talk as a leader, think as a leader, and act as a leader in a way the dog will understand. He believes that if you are not the leader both you and your dog will be frustrated.

Respected Media Expert and Published Columnist:

Featured on numerous prestigious news programs such as NPR, CNN’s Situation Room, and CBS’ Late Show with David Letterman, Vladae has also served as a pet columnist for many local and national publications. Vladae has previously hosted a segment on Animal Radio network, the most-listened-to pet talk radio network in America. Currently, he is hosting a regular podcast o KFI 640 in Southern California, rated #1 in news, talk radio, and sports in the greater LA and OC area.

He is a regular contributor to many local and Nationally syndicated pet-related publications. He has been featured as a leading expert in numerous TV and Radio Pet programs across America. His training style has gotten him awarded best dog trainer three years in a row on the OC Hot List and Dog Trainer of the Year in Detroit Michigan. 

Vladae teaches people to be the leader and set the tone for the relationship with the dog. Too often, households with problem dogs are lead by the dog, not the owner. The dog wants you to be the leader, so it can fulfill its role of a loving companion and helper. 

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We are seeking new clients that have a loving heart and open mind that want the best training for their dog and family.  We specialize in loving firmness coupled with a sincere desire to teach our clients how to make their dog welcome and accepted in most situations.  Our dogs, like our children, need firm boundaries, routines, and loving discipline.  We define clear-cut roles and expectations. 

Our head trainer has over 40 years ‘of international experience and SoCal dog training firmly believes that we have developed one of the best training programs in California. We recognize that different owners and dogs experience life in different ways.  Therefore, we will provide individual training and programs to meet these needs.  A good trainer can train the dog, a great trainer coordinates the individual owner and his beloved pet so that both the dog and the owner understand their roles and how to best reach the end goal of a well behaved dog and a proud and relaxed owner that is confident that he can control his dog in the most challenging situations.  Our training team is well versed in best practices and how to work with the dog and owners and help them to become the best team imaginable.

Our trainers will work with you to create harmony and joy with your dog.  We have many tools and methods based on many years of success.  We often receive recommendations from other trainers, breeders, and Veterinarians for dogs that others have given up on due to their behavioral issues.  Once you experience the joy of success, you will understand why our methods work when others fail. 

We serve the greater Souther California area including: Bel Air, Los Angeles Palos Verdes   Los Angeles ..Irvine ... Newport Beach..Corona Del Mar.. Newport Coast  …  Huntington Beach.. Laguna Beach ..Costa Mesa ..Aliso Viejo ..Tustin ..Mission Viejo.. San Clemente ..Dana Point ..Laguna Niguel.. Lake Forest.. Yorba Linda…. San Juan Capistrano… Fountain Valley.. Laguna Hills.. Rancho Santa Margarita, California.. Coto de Caza..Trabuco Canyon 

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