San Marcos, CA149 Animal Behaviorists near you

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San Marcos Animal Behaviorists

Browse these animal behaviorists with great ratings from Thumbtack customers in San Marcos.

Top Pro
The Top Dog Trainer
4.9
from 112 reviews
  • 18 years in business
  • 228 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Beverly D.
Verified review

Beth was right on time and was very knowlegable on dog behavior. Even though there was a lot of directions given, she was so helpful with teaching tools for me. If I need any help, with anything, she is only a phone call away.

Top Pro
Dog-Skool
4.9
from 65 reviews
  • 13 years in business
  • 142 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Terry S.
Verified review

Our experience with Dog-Skool was outstanding. John really helped us to understand our dog's behavior. His positive reinforcement methods have been very helpful. We felt like he really cared about our dog and our relationship with him. He clearly loves dogs and teaches a positive and respectful relationship between dog and owner. He was very patient and thorough in his teaching. We are super grateful and highly recommend John.

Top Pro
  • 62 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Lisa S.
Verified review

Paula is very knowledgeable about animal behavior and readily shared that knowledge, aiding me in learning to better communicate with my adopted puppy. With Paula's guidance, I have developed a strong foundation on which I can build as I continue to work with my puppy. Her post-session notes have helped to solidify the activities we've worked on in each session and are a great reference.

  • 8 years in business
  • 62 hires on Thumbtack
Candice L.
Verified review

We and our cats just adore Lori. She's reliable, so sweet, and really puts our animals first. I love getting her texts when we're out of town. Highly recommend!

Dogpanion, LLC
5.0
from 23 reviews
  • 2 years in business
  • 37 hires on Thumbtack
Brad S.
Verified review

Look no further for a dog trainer, Mel is the best. She is passionate, patient, and excellent with animals. In the short time that we have used her we have seen results and a more disciplined dog. She cares so much about your animal that she is always available for consultation over the phone. She has boarded and trained our dog when my family went on vacation and sent follow up videos and photos of our puppy on our vacation. We look forward to a long term relationship with Mel and our adorable and well trained puppy.

i Speak Dog Training
4.8
from 23 reviews
  • 11 years in business
  • 22 hires on Thumbtack
Diana B.
Verified review

We had a 1.5 hour first "lesson" with Tommy this morning, and the experience was amazing. Not only is he extremely knowledgeable about dog behavior and behavioral modification, he also provided my husband and me with specific, easy-to-use strategies which are already working. I would definitely recommend Tommy! So glad to have found him!

Top Pro
Taylor Made Working Dogs
4.9
from 21 reviews
  • 12 years in business
  • 40 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Jessica V.
Verified review

I bought a dog (german shepherd puppy) from Kris a couple years ago for sport work. He set me up with training and my dog is THE best trained dog I have ever owned. She has a balanced and stable temperament on top of fantastic obedience and protection. I am so incredibly happy with her and Kris is extremely knowledgeable in dog behavior and dog training of all aspects. I recommend Taylor made Working Dogs for any source of dog training or buying.

Pet Matters San Diego
5.0
from 17 reviews
  • 4 years in business
  • 20 hires on Thumbtack
Ann S.
Verified review

Very grateful for Lis's arranged phone call, our meeting with Cesar and Lis tomorrow, and their professionalism. Looking forward to working with them for my precious dog Quincy!

Top Pro
Canines4Life
4.9
from 16 reviews
  • 4 years in business
  • 20 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Erin E.
Verified review

Maureen was very responsive to texts/calls/emails. She made sure to address the individual needs of my family/pet. She packed in so much information into just one session and provided us with some unexpected extras. We have already seen an improvement in our puppy's behavior after one session. I love her positive approach to modifying behavior. She was also super patient with us (first time dog parents). We had some very basic questions but she spent extra time with us to make sure we were set before she left. Will definitely use her again and refer friends in need of doggy help.

Top Pro
  • 22 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Stephanie L.
Verified review

David is a great trainer. He has helped us tremendously with our Pitbull Shiloh. He was reactive towards other dogs and we just couldn't take him anywhere. We were looking for a long term trainer we can rely on and David has definitely been reliable. We did his behavior modification then his basic obedience and his advanced obedience. Shiloh can now walk nicely on his leash around other dogs even in stores!

PoshPaws
5.0
from 11 reviews
  • 13 years in business
  • 8 hires on Thumbtack
Jade T.
Verified review

I can't say enough good things about Posh Paws! Laura is AMAZING! She is so accommodating and has been a lifesaver for me and the pups. She always makes room at her house for my pups, even when I contact her last minute. My dogs love going to her place and they are already so comfortable in her home. It's also a HUGE plus that she has a back yard and doggy door! Laura knows how to handle all types of animals and she knows how to read their personalities. One of my dogs is sort of moody, and she knows how to deal with his crazy personality and weird moods! In the past, it's been hard for me to find a person that understands him, but Laura picked up on his personality quirks right away!! She is so patient and loving towards my animals, and I could not think of a better place for them to go every week! Laura is great with texting me updates, pictures and videos. She always responds quickly to my calls and texts! If you are looking for any kind of help with your furbabies, Posh Paws is the only option. Laura is the best!!!

Better K9
5.0
from 8 reviews
  • 7 years in business
  • 25 hires on Thumbtack
Pat D.
Verified review

Audrey was great to work with. She is very patient and took her time working with me as well as Max. I am pleased with Max's much improved behavior and new skills.

Mimi's Pet Services
4.9
from 8 reviews
  • 4 years in business
  • 19 hires on Thumbtack
Erin M.
Verified review

Jennifer is great with my pups! She's reliable, trustworthy and such an animal lover! Highly recommend her!

Desirable Family Pets
4.8
from 8 reviews
  • 25 years in business
  • 9 hires on Thumbtack
Mae L.
Verified review

I heard about Desirable Family Pets from a lady at the dog park, so I felt like it was worth a try. My pug used to be a crazy ball of energy bouncing off walls and now he has learned to calm down enough to listen to what I am saying. I learned from Desirable Family Pets how to communicate with my pug what is acceptable and unacceptable behavior in a positive way. I would definitely recommend Desirable Family Pets to my friends.

Tricks for Treats
5.0
from 7 reviews
  • 2 years in business
  • 6 hires on Thumbtack
Tiari G.
Verified review

I learned so much from Heidi during our session. Give gave me some very valuable and appreciated advice in how to train my dog to walk in a leash and also just some simple obedience cues. She is great of you’re having trouble with your pets behavior or just need some advice on how to begin training your pet. I highly recommend her for her knowledge and friendliness :)

K9 City Play & Stay inc.
5.0
from 4 reviews
  • 29 years in business
  • 15 hires on Thumbtack
Jamie A.
Verified review

Paul at K9city was amazing. Very honest, professional and caring. He has helped us so much with our dogs behavior problems. Still a work in progress but Paul continues to check in with us, gives us feedback and suggestions and supports us in any way he can. Paul and K9city have been a lifesaver for our family and our dog, we can not thank him enough!!

Crowncierge
5.0
from 3 reviews
  • 1 hire on Thumbtack
Sharrie W.
Verified review

Sam has always done a great job pet sitting my two dogs, as well as providing daily walks and playtime for them. He's a true animal lover and now he is the only one I trust him with "my babies" for their daily care and overnight care when needed.

Brian Grasberger
5.0
from 2 reviews
  • 2 years in business
  • 3 hires on Thumbtack
Nancy C.
Verified review

Brian came out today and spent 90 minutes teaching us the basics. I do believe our biggest issues are the way we have been dealing with it. We made huge progress and he will be coming out again later in the week. It is obvious he knows a lot about dogs and the reasons behind their behavior issues. We recommend him highly!

  • 6 years in business
  • 4 hires on Thumbtack
Natasha R.
Verified review

Melissa has been here twice already, and our Rottweiler puppy has really improved a lot. I would highly recommend her to train anyone's puppy/dog She is still working with us

About

Companion Animal Nanny is founded on the philosophy that gentle and compassionate kindness for your four-legged kids should extend beyond their day-to-day life and into the realm of professional pet care.

  • 30 years in business
About

Dr. Patrick Melese is one of the very few veterinary specialists board certified by the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists and for many years was the only one in the Southern California area. He uses state of the art, humane, proven and gentle pet-oriented methods to help pet owners solve behavior problems they are having with their pet. Unlike non-veterinary doctors and dog trainers, as a veterinary specialist Dr. Melese is held by local, state and national legal and professional standards to provide you with the best, most legitimate and cost effective methods and practice available.

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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