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San Francisco Dog Behavior Specialists

Browse these dog behavior specialist with great ratings from Thumbtack customers in San Francisco.

Top Pro
Pete's Dog Behavior Training
4.8
from 80 reviews
  • 18 years in business
  • 201 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Stacey F.
Verified review

i would highly recommend Peter if you are having behavior problems with your dog. He explained what I was doing wrong and what I was doing right. Both my dog and I are doing much better, thank you!

Logan's Animal Training
4.7
from 56 reviews
  • 6 years in business
  • 90 hires on Thumbtack
Elisabeth M.
Verified review

My dog was too much with her behavior but with him redirecting us and working with her and showing us how to work with her make her behavior change and slowly becoming a better dog thanks to Logan. :) Will use him again if we need his help. Awesome dog whisperer.

Top Pro
Devoted Dog Training
5.0
from 49 reviews
  • 2 years in business
  • 79 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Liz C.
Verified review

Courtney is one heck of an amazing trainer! She is not only wonderful with dogs, but she also has an incredible talent for working with people, too. She will help you to understand your dog's behaviors and she emphasizes fixing problematic behaviors instead of just managing them. I can't recommend her enough for anything from puppy training to advanced obedience and fear-based behaviors.

Top Pro
Alpha K-9 Academy
4.9
from 42 reviews
  • 19 years in business
  • 102 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Brandi M.
Verified review

Tammy is a wonderful dog trainer! I have had my dog for three years now. In the first year of adopting my dog from rescue center; he had a lot of anxiety and bark non- stop. In about seven months with working with the techniques Tammy would suggest he no longer barks when I'm not home. I encourage and recommend Tammy as your dog trainer . She has a lot of knowledge on the psychology of dog behavior , and you will see your dog have major improvements.

Top Pro
Executive Canine Services
5.0
from 35 reviews
  • 5 years in business
  • 47 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Lauren J.
Verified review

Les is friendly and offers real world solutions for dog training. He has taught my husband and I important tips on how we can get it dog to follow our commands better and to reduce negative behavior. We look forward to continuing to work with him to develop our dog's skills.

A Better Dog Trainer
4.9
from 24 reviews
  • 14 years in business
  • 79 hires on Thumbtack
Stephanie H.
Verified review

John is very knowledgeable about the psychology of dogs and he came to our house to show us how to deal with the specific problems we were having at home. Taking our dog out to another trainer was not addressing our specific behavior problems at home. John is very nice and caring of our dog and we have been very happy with his dog training. He has given us the tools that we need to work on our dogs behavior and let our dog be an active member of our family.

Top Pro
Pawgress Dog Training
5.0
from 21 reviews
  • 26 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
RoxAnne S.
Verified review

My rescue Astro, an Australian Shepherd/Akita/Husky mix, is naturally dominant, and fearful/anxious of almost everything. Rusty's knowledge and hands-on experience truly shine with these issues and breeds. Always professional, Rusty is flexible with working around our schedules. We have completed over 15 hours of training with Rusty. After an initial meet n' greet and one session, Rusty immediately had a good feel for Astro's fears and was able to pinpoint root causes. He provided in depth lessons for both me AND Astro. Much of the training is teaching us humans proper technique for recognition, prevention, and reaction to behaviors.Therefore, the true work starts at home, with the owners post lesson. Rusty has provided me with the tools I needed to become a genuine leader for my dog. I've learned SO much and cannot be more grateful to his dedication and patience. Rusty goes above and beyond EVERY time he meets with us, and I've never been disappointed. He provides a plethora of resources, even outside our training hours via email; from printable PDFs for your fridge, to recommended toys and dog food, to articles on a variety of topics! He will answer any questions you can throw at him, and if he isn't sure, he'll do in depth research to find the best answer! You name it, Rusty will provide solutions and advice. I've seen VAST improvements in my dog's behavior over the past few months! Consistency and dedication to your pet at home is key, for sure. However, we could not have done it without Rusty's guidance, and I could not be more happy with the tools and training he has provided us. I highly recommend Pawgress to all! Excellent job, keep up the great work! All our thanks! ~ RoxAnne & Astro

Dirty Paws
5.0
from 19 reviews
  • 5 years in business
  • 44 hires on Thumbtack
Carol S.
Verified review

Kevin impressed us with his willingness to work around our schedules and to patiently manage our young rescue dog. Our dog reacted to him better than others we interviewed so, in a sense, she chose Kevin. His rates are very competitive too. We hope this is the beginning of a long and successful relationship!

Majyk Paws Dog Training
4.8
from 19 reviews
  • 4 years in business
  • 35 hires on Thumbtack
Meghan K.
Verified review

Maj is a fantastic trainer. She is kind and patient with me, which makes me much more comfortable doing the things I need to do with my dog. She is wonderful with my dog and models the behavior I need to have with him so I learn even when she’s not teaching that specific skill. My dog is much better behaved and, while he’s always been a happy dog, he’s even happier now. He is definitely calmer. Thank you Maj!

Wagging Tails Training
4.9
from 14 reviews
  • 4 years in business
  • 30 hires on Thumbtack
Jay L.
Verified review

We have been working with Shauna since our Doberman was 10 weeks old. We started off with her beginner class and went all the way though to get our dog AKC CGC certified. Shauna is a great trainer who taught us a lot of great techniques. She is very patient and our doberman loves her.

  • 19 years in business
  • 4 hires on Thumbtack
Gosia H.
Verified review

Tricia is very knowledgeable and a pleasure to work with. She was very thorough in asking questions to assess my dog, and in our very first session I saw positive changes to my dog's behavior. Tricia followed up with an email reviewing everything we had worked on and discussed. She did not try to sell me a package of lessons. I am definitely planning to continue with her

ABC Dogs
5.0
from 8 reviews
  • 20 years in business
  • 1 hire on Thumbtack
Catherine K.
Verified review

John has been walking our lab pup for months now, and sending her off with him a few mornings a week was the best decision we ever made. This is my first dog ever, and John has been great at guiding me through dog ownership. He is extremely professional and has spent a tremendous amount of time educating himself on the ins and outs of dog behavior and training, and his hard work and attention has paid off for our dog. She loves going with him and his crew, and we love the results! She is healthy and happy and better trained than we ever could have gotten her to be without John's help. He has a FB page that he updates each night, with photos from the day's activities, so we have proof of the fun adventures our girl is having. I am beyond grateful for having found John and ABC Dogs!

Phoebe Bault
5.0
from 8 reviews
  • 2 hires on Thumbtack
Beth M.
Verified review

Phoebe is an animal behavior miracle worker and the best in the industry as far as I m concerned! I cannot say enough good things about working with her! In fact, I don t think words could do justice to how highly I regard her and how positively impact she has been to my life and my family (dog-children included, of course!)! I have two German Shepherd Dogs who are the loves of my life, but they can certainly be a handful without proper training, reinforcement and care. When I first met Phoebe, I only had my female GSD, Ranger, who was about 1yr old at the time and she owned me , so to speak (completely my fault). Thankfully, Phoebe was able to correct some of Ranger s bad behavior s (again, my fault), train me on being a good leader, and get her basic obedience in check, all while maintaining Ranger s personality and attitude . Soon after Phoebe began working with Ranger, my family decided to get a second GSD, Stryker. This time, we worked with Phoebe throughout the entire process of obtaining a new dog, i.e., selecting the right breeder; puppy testing to choose a puppy with the best temperament for my family; selecting a great veterinarian; proper nutrition and supplements; preventing injuries; choosing safe toys; socializing the new puppy; and, introducing the new puppy to the family and to my other dog, Ranger. Once Stryker was old enough, Phoebe trained him extensively and he is now just about the perfect dog, a gentle giant! I now get compliments almost daily on the behavior of my dogs during walks, but to be completely honest, if my dogs were not as well-trained, I probably wouldn't be able to walk them at all. Finally, to top it all off, Phoebe is just a great human being with a work ethic like no other. She has stayed in my home several times with my dogs for extended periods of time and not only have I always returned to clean, better-behaved dogs, but also to an immaculate house! I could go on forever. If anyone is on the fence about hiring her, feel free to call or email me. Choosing Phoebe to work with your beloved dogs will be one of the wisest decisions you make for both your dogs and your family!

YEEEPAW!
5.0
from 6 reviews
  • 9 years in business
  • 1 hire on Thumbtack
Cynthia H.
Verified review

YeePaw! has really made our transition to a new city a delight for my fur babies. Eliot, the owner, established a wonderful bond with our bulldog, Daisy, in a few short weeks. He also helped to care for our 16.5 year old Jack Russell while she was under hospice. Eliot has an uncanny ability to read and respond to animal behavior. He has taught Daisy how to play and relate to other dogs. I've hired several dog walkers/sitters over the last 15 years, and YeePaw! is undoubtedly the best pet care available in the Bay Area. I highly recommend anyone with dogs use YeePaw! for all of their pet care needs.

  • 5 years in business
  • 43 hires on Thumbtack
Felipe C.
Verified review

Simply put Koru K9 is awesome. I've made 3 behavior change sessions in the course of 1.5 months and puppy is way way better. She used to be a very nervous dog, afraid of everything and anything. Now she is calm, relaxed, walk beautifully by our side, doesn't bark to other dogs walking around. She still has lots to learn and training is an ongoing process, Koru K9 will teach you how to make your dog a better dog, they are great!

Silver Lining Pet Services
4.8
from 6 reviews
  • 10 years in business
  • 25 hires on Thumbtack
Jana B.
Verified review

We have been using Sue for years. We have a multitude of animals and she is competent with them all. Horse, chickens, cockatoo, turtles, cat and a rescue dog that she has helped us to improve her "issues." I highly recommend Sue.

Snooze Dog Walks
5.0
from 5 reviews
  • 3 years in business
Nick D.
Verified review

We've been working with Suzanne for about 2 years, and could not be happier. We have a 3 year old German Shepherd who can be a bit of a handful, but Suzanne handles her masterfully. While we always try to keep a consistent schedule, she is always accommodating for last minute walk needs, and has NEVER left us in a pinch. Suzanne is able to read the body language and behaviors of the dogs in the pack so well, we are never concerned about having her take our pup. She knows how to group dogs that will get along best, and gets to know the specific personality of each and every dog she has in her groups! Her attention to the detail of every puppy-personality is second to none. She also does overnight / dog sitting which we've used a number of times- she leaves the house in perfect shape and we come back to an EXHAUSTED pup. We trust her with our fur baby and our home. She's the best!

PuppyLuv Academy
5.0
from 4 reviews
  • 1 year in business
  • 5 hires on Thumbtack
Sharla M.
Verified review

I really appreciate the work quality of Kelli on how she handle my dog's behavior. She is very responsive in my question and she really knows what she is doing. I can see and feel how she value and love what she is doing. I would highly recommend her to handle your dog behavior too....

Urban k9 Transformation
5.0
from 2 reviews
  • 8 years in business
  • 6 hires on Thumbtack
Jennilyn Y.
Verified review

Keynoe did a great job with getting my pit bull Rhylie back on track. We came to him with behavioral problems with leash pulling, not listening to us, recall issues, and greeting people who come into our house. After just a few weeks of sessions I can honestly say that my dog has significantly changed for the better! She listens to us, comes when called and walks are so much more enjoyable now for both of us.

The Canine's Voice
5.0
from 2 reviews
  • 10 years in business
Ken G.
Verified review

I've been working with Sabrielle for almost two years now. I wouldn't trust my dogs with anyone else. She knows how to inspire the right behavior. My dogs love her. I've referred her to many. Call her now!

Canine Centric
5.0
from 1 review
  • 5 years in business
  • 10 hires on Thumbtack
Mary F.
Verified review

We were concerned about our dog Lola and her anxious behaviors. We contacted Lea and we are so glad we did! Lea is kind, caring and understanding. She took the time to get to know our dog, Lola. She is experienced and really helped us to gain a better understanding of how to help Lola with her issues. She gave us strategies to work on before our next session. She said if we have any issues or questions to let her know so she can help us work through it with Lola. We definitely recommend Lea, without a doubt!

Q & A

Answers to commonly asked questions from the experts on Thumbtack.

How old should a puppy be for training?

Dog training shouldn’t wait until you’re having behavior problems. If you get a new puppy, start from the beginning with professional training to give both you and your puppy the tools you need for a healthy relationship. Dog training is as much about teaching the owner how to interact with their new dog as it is about the dog learning to behave. Puppy training can start as early as eight weeks old. Trainers who offer puppy training programs may works specifically with dogs between the ages of 8 and 18 weeks old. Trainers can teach owners about potty training and how to deal with accidents, working with separation anxiety, and training your pooch out of destructive behaviors like chewing, biting and demand barking. Puppies will start to learn to walk on-leash and other basic skills.

In addition to behavior training, socializing your puppy is an important part of dog training. Socializing your dog means they become comfortable and confident in a variety of settings and have a great foundation for becoming a well-adjusted adult dog. After your puppy has had the proper vaccinations, you can start to introduce it to a variety of different dogs and people in safe settings.

Which dog training method is best?

The best type of dog training for both you and your dog depends on the outcomes you hope to achieve. If you want your dog to learn agility training, go to someone who specializes in those techniques. Regardless of whether you want your dog to learn basic behavior or competitive-level tricks, the majority of dog training is actually about training the owner how to communicate with their dog. Most professional dog trainers agree that a model of training based on positive reinforcement breeds a happy, healthy, well-adjusted dog. The alternative to positive reinforcement training is using force or aggression techniques like physical punishment or shock-collar training to get the dog to do (or not do) a behavior. While the dog may learn how to behavior as you direct, it is also learning to communicate with force and aggression, and will in turn use those behaviors on other dogs (or people) that are smaller or weaker than it is. Before signing up with a dog trainer, meet with the trainer and ask for references. Watch the trainer interact with your dog, and make sure they treat your dog with patience and firm kindness. Ask them questions about their training methods:

  • What type of training methods do you use?
  • What is your background and training, and how did you become a dog trainer?
  • How long do you expect that we will work together before we achieve the results I’m after?

How long does it take to train a puppy?

Dog training depends on the dog and how much homework the dog owner is willing to put in. Puppy training is similar to dog training in that the onus of the work depends on the owner learning new ways to interact with their dog. For a quick crash course, you can opt for a single, two hour smart-start puppy training consultation to teach you the ins and outs of being a new dog parent. You can learn how to manage potty training and what to do if the puppy experiences separation anxiety. As long as you’re willing to work on dog training a little bit each day, your puppy will quickly learn these new behaviors. If you’re not confident about training your puppy yourself, you can enroll in a 6- to 8-week puppy training course, with weekly lessons touching on everything from bite control to obedience. Puppies usually need to be at least three months old for group training classes. If you want more intensive one-on-one work, you can opt for private lessons. Some behavior problems can be resolved in one session if the dog owner learns and can implement new skills. In the case of more serious issues, 3 to 10 private sessions can typically correct challenges.

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