Tell us what you need so we can bring you the right pros.
Receive quotes from pros who meet your needs.
Compare quotes, message pros, and hire when ready.
Choosing the right trainer is a difficult and overwhelming task. The following is my experience with Kathryn and Perfect Poochies. Summarized: Kathryn is amazing. I have a whole new skillset at my disposal. My dog is calmer, has less anxiety and if new issues surface, I am better prepared to deal with them. If you are a new dog owner looking for a starting point or find yourself struggling with any number of unwanted behavioral issues, she can help. Kathryn is extremely knowledgeable, experienced, versatile and patient. She was never condescending or judgmental while helping me understand areas I needed to improve. She has an uncanny ability to understand dogs and what makes them tick. Once she gets to know you and your dog, she will provide an honest assessment of what she considers to be the underlying issue(s) and lays out a plan for correcting or managing it. The love she puts into her work is evident in everything she does from designing your personalized sessions, her regular follow-up and her encouragement to reach out any time you have questions or issues. Detailed: I am a first-time dog owner. Our 18-month, 170-pound Great Dane, Odin has been part of our family since he was 2-months old. We immediately enrolled in the first two puppy training classes at Pet-Smart. Our family has consistently applied what we learned. Everything was going great with Odin until somewhere around 7-months of age. Odin would occasionally start barking at a person for no apparent reason. This behavior gradually increased to include anyone reaching into his face, unexpected fast movements and large groups of people swarming in on him. We solicited advice from our Pet-Smart trainer and studied tons of training materials – books, training guides, Internet. Some of the techniques we tried helped, but if Odin was truly upset, the only thing we could do was apologize and leave. Odin remained excellent with dogs and children but the number of adults that triggered his barking was increasing. During the summer, I was having work done on my car and I brought Odin because there were plenty of paths nearby. It took longer than expected for the car to be finished and when we returned Odin was exhausted. A young man approached, and I quickly warned about Odin’s anxiety and in his over-tired state, his behavior would probably be worse than normal. The man assured me that he had experience with dogs, and slowly bent down near Odin, leaving plenty of space and not making eye contact. He gave Odin time to get used to him and smell him and soon enough Odin was comfortable and enjoying being petted. Unfortunately, when the man was ready to leave, he jumped up which surprised/scared Odin who then also jumped up and started lunging, growling and barking at him. The man was very kind and understanding, but it was time to seek out professional help. I searched online for trainers and dog-behaviorists and there were a number of options. As we were trying to choose one, I remembered a friendly and outgoing woman who had hosted a free local dog training session. Odin seemed comfortable around her, so I reached out to see if she would be interested in private training sessions. The woman was Kathryn of Perfect Poochies. Not only did she offer private training, but she had ample experience with large dogs and the exact behavior I described. Our first training session involved getting to know our family and Odin. She asked questions about what we were experiencing and what we tried to mitigate it. Next, she analyzed our actions and body language as well as Odin’s behavior, response, reactions, attitude etc. She used this information to create a custom training plan for fear-aggression. We met once a week wherein she would teach me new techniques and verify I could perform them correctly. She would evaluate my actions and behavior and if anything I was doing contributed to his anxiety, she would help me find alternatives. At the end of the session, she always left me with several things to work on before our next session – as with anything in life, the key to success is repetition and consistency. Occasionally, she would introduce me to new products that could help with Odin’s training. The products were not a ‘company product’ or money-making gimmick - they were products she had success using with other dogs. If I wanted to try them, I had to find/order them. Following six sessions, Odin had less anxiety and I am able to successfully manage what remains. Odin now looks to me when he gets nervous instead of instantly reacting. By changing my leadership style, he obeys commands more readily and consistently. Before Odin would lurch and jump to get to anything that excited him (squirrels). Now, he just gives a light tug on the leash or stares. When he is told to “Leave It”, he settles down immediately. Previously, I would make large loops to avoid passing people. I was worried he might start barking at them. Now we can walk right by and all I have to do is tell him to “Leave It.” Odin’s responding immediately to my commands has increased my confidence, which in turn has decreased much of his anxiety. There are a couple of dog walkers in the neighborhood with whom I walk Odin. In the beginning of our training, Odin had limited contact with people and dogs. When I had the chance to meet up with them again, they marveled over the transformation in Odin’s behavior and how calm he bad become. Another technique she suggested is Odin wearing a bright vest that says, ‘In Training’ and lists a couple of items not to do around him (things that trigger his anxiety). The vest has helped make others aware of Odin’s ‘special needs’ well before they approach him. I have also gotten much better at recognizing things that may trigger his anxiety so I can avoid, prevent or discourage it. Thank you for reading my review. I am very grateful for the help I received from Perfect Poochies. It was worth every penny. Speaking of which, don’t stress about the fees, Perfect Poochies is perfectly affordable.
Ryan is a very competent dog trainer. His calm demeanor and innovative style help the sessions be engaging and very useful. When you present him with an issue or concern he immediately addresses it. For example our son described how he wanted to control his interactions with our 7 month old big, energetic lab puppy when he was sitting on the floor with her. Ryan immediately sat on the floor and showed us what he would do. He is firm, consistent, playful and kind with the dogs he is training he utilizes humor with the people he is training. He is a very good listener. I have been a dog owner( this is my 5th dog) for over 41 years. I know dogs. But I was challenged by the behaviors of our new puppy. He built on things I already knew but also added insight and different approaches that we have found very helpful. I would highly recommend him and am available as a reference. Joan Fraser, Alexandria, VA.
Jo came to my house for some basic training guidance for my dog Olive. She was excellent with Olive! She gave me some really great advice, showed me some of the simple mistakes I had been making, and really helped us to control Olive when people come to the door and also when she is on the leash. I would recommend Jo to anyone looking for some one-to-one training for their dog!
If you are looking for the trainer who can make the impossible possible, Jack is your trainer. My dog Zeus (German Pinscher) was a vicious dog with multiple behavioral problems. We tried different trainers, but we thought things were hopeless. After losing all hope, we were at the point of returning Zeus back to his breeder, but we decided to give one last try and hired Jack. Thanks to his methodology and vast experience, we started to see changes almost immediately, after the very first class. His personal commitment and dedication to classes is also outstanding. He loves dogs (he has his own pack of 8), he loves teaching and he is just a very, very good person. Therefore, if you are looking not for just a dog trainer, but for a good one with a very positive personality and with broad experience, Jack is for you.
I highly recommend her puppy camp. We got our Labradoodle, Rexy, when he was 10 weeks. I was online immediately looking for a trainer since Rexy was a big boy--he weighed 23 lbs at the time. Jessica had excellent reviews on Yelp. Initially we had Jessica come by for in-home training, and we had some really productive sessions. He learned the commands for sit, down, stay, and a recall command. She only uses positive feedback training methods which was great, and Rexy was a quick learner. She even took him on a walk around the block to help us train him on loose leash walking. We really wanted to get him into her puppy camp before he turned 16 weeks, however, she was fully booked at the time. She promised to let us know if there were any cancellations. Around the time Rexy was 15 weeks, we had to go out of town for a few days--a trip that was planned before we got Rexy and could not be cancelled. We were really nervous about having to leave him at such a young age (he had separation anxiety), so I asked Jessica to recommend a good pet sitter, which she did. The week before we were scheduled to leave, Jessica had a cancellation from one of her puppy camp clients, and she let us know immediately. We took that spot and she even adjusted the dates so that she could take him on the days we were going to be out of town. I was so relieved! During the camp, she called to give us daily updates, and texted pictures. On the third day of camp, she informed us that Rexy's separation anxiety was more severe than we had realized since he got very anxious (constant whining and crying) whenever she wasn't near him. She asked if she could abandon the training plan she had for camp, and focus on relieving his anxiety. Of course we agreed! I was so glad he was with Jessica and not with a sitter-- if not we would have had to take the next flight home. During the rest of the camp, she worked on building his confidence--she took him on hikes, and even took him swimming to a local canine pool (we had no idea he was a natural at swimming). We came back a whole new puppy who was much more confident. She had several recommendations for us on continuing to work on building his confidence. Thanks to her, he has a come a long way from the shy and reserved puppy we brought home.
My sister and I first approached PackFit in 2014 for help with our Chihuahua Mix – her name is Mandu – that we had adopted from the shelter. She was terrified of anything that moved and coped by barking. We tried different methods that other dog trainers offered to no avail. Ms. Kimberly is excellent with both dogs and people – her dedication to them is awe-inspiring. The time and effort she’ll put into making your life and your dog’s life better shows her passion to her cause: “training dogs, empowering people, and changing lives.” PackFit offers more than dog training; PackFit gives you a role model that will help you with your own issues – without you even noticing – so that your dog won’t feed off of those anxious and negative cues. Now, this doesn’t mean that Mandu and I are perfect after our in-home sessions with Ms. Kimberly. However, two years later, we’re still taking baby steps in the right direction. I miss Ms. Kimberly and her own pack ever since our in-home sessions ended but thanks to her, Mandu and I are slowly conquering our fears.
I asked Jerry to help me with my dog's food aggression towards our new puppy. He came to our home in Springfield, VA, on a Sunday over July 4th weekend (!) because that was the only time me and my fiance were home at the same time. He arrived on time (early, even) and BLEW US AWAY with his expertise. He basically solved the food aggression issue in a matter of minutes when other trainers told me that this would be a life-long problem that I could NEVER fix! With that issue quickly addressed, he started identifying areas that we could focus our efforts on, even though we had only hired him for the one issue. He showed us how to get our hyper 2-year old 80lb dog to pay attention to us and respond to commands instead of running around like a goofball. By the end of the session our 2-year old dog was sitting, laying down, crawling, shaking, speaking, not-speaking, leaving treats until he had permission - things we had never been able to do before! He also showed us how to quickly housebreak our new puppy. We loved the fact that he was able to teach us in a way that was simple and super-effective. He also gave us advice on feeding, proper toys, dog parks - he allowed us to question him about anything and everything we could think of. He is very kind, patient, and non-judgmental (even when our dog jumped on the dining room chair and sat at the table like a dinner guest....talk about embarrassing in front of a dog trainer). He was not rushed at all and spent a ton of time explaining the basis for everything so we could understand the context of the dogs' behavior. After the session he e-mailed us the instructions that he had just taught us so we could have it all in writing to refer back to, and it is working like a charm. We cannot wait to have him back to help us address pulling on walks! He is the NoVA Cesar Millan, for sure!
Vicki was very patient with me in learning how to work with my dog. We are on the road to success! Harley LOVES Vicky! and I can see that she is truly a dog person! Lessons are going well and Harley is a joy to walk now!
A dog can be a great experience or a dog can be a disaster. As an owner, you must be willing to invest the time and resources your dog wants and needs in order to communicate your expectations. With that said, I want to take time to let you know how exceptional Mr. Haywood Perry's Academy Dog Training is. When we brought home our Rottweiler, my wife and I knew that we had our hands full. From the beginning, Haywood understood what I was looking for both in a dog and a trainer and he did not disappoint. What I like best about Academy Dog Training is Haywood's knowledge and tailored service. Not only did he have answers to our problems and suggestions for our issues, but he also was able to provide custom solutions that fit our home. We opted to do the day-care training and it was really the best thing for our family. My wife can now walk my growing puppy without me and the dog weighs more than she does! He is calm, patient, and attentive to us (his handlers). There are plenty of options for dog training in the area, but DO NOT BE FOOLED. Every dog is different and you NEED to take a tailored approach. Without question, I would recommend you invest in your dog and that you do so with Academy Dog Training. I would be more than happy to recommend Haywood's service and can be reached at (313) 528-9443 if you have any questions. ~Sherman Taylor
Amazing work. The changes are immediate and we are able to continue teaching our dogs. Their behavior was truly modified virtually instantly with the training provided by Steve!
We couldn't be any happier with the training we got for Oakley! Kristy helped us make Oakley a patient and obedient dog! Thank you for all you help! We highly recommend you!
I recently had my dog participate in the basic obedience class. Bijou is a rhodesian ridgeback and I adopted her 3 months ago and she was 1 year old. I quickly learned that Bijou was extremely smart but very stubborn. She would only listen to my commands if I had a treat and would basically pull my arm off on walks. Bijou was also house trained but because of her stubbornness she would have "accidents" in the house every single day not matter how often we took her out to go to the bathroom. In addition, Bijou got attacked by 3 dogs at a dog park and it changed her personality from playful to scared and she would get nasty every time she saw another dog out of her fear of being attacked. After day 1 of training Bijou was completely different. She was listening to all of my commands and it was obvious her confidence was coming back. After the 2nd training session Bijou stopped having "accidents" in the house and started going to the bathroom on command outside when I asked her to. Using the instructors approach to training we've been able to teach Bijou endless tricks and quickly. It's been a pleasure being able to take her on runs in the city off leash (and she'll stay right next to me even with other dogs around) and eat at resturants outside and not have her freak out. The best part is she plays so nicely with dogs again, and we were able to take her back to "A Dogs Day Out" because she plays so well again and it's due to having her confidence back. My sister stayed with me the past weekend and brought her dog Huck, a golden doodle, and everything was so peaceful in the house and they played so nicely outside together. One of the biggest compliments is when we are eating outside in the city and people stop in Aw of Bijous obedience and we get asked by complete strangers where she was trained and wish their dog was as well behaved. I think Nick's training is so effective because he discovered a way to communicate to dogs that fills that gap and better connects dogs with their owners. My sister was so impressed by Bijous improvement in obedience when she visited with her dog that she is now driving all the way from North Carolina to get Nicks training. My sister has completed 3 other dog training courses with little results. The best part is Nick guarantees results, and it's because he has a 100% success rate. Because Bijou is so obedient Im excited to take her to more places and on more adventures like camping in the Boundary Waters, I know shell stay where I tell her to in the canoe and will stay close to me on the trails. Its so great being able to take my dog out with me vs. leaving her at home because I know shell behave. Thank you for all of your help Nick, you've truely improved Bijou and my quality of life!
Maxine has truly been a life saver for me!!! We have been working with her over a month now and the results in our new puppy is amazing!! If you have problems with your pup she definitely has the answers!! You will not be disappointed with her training!! She has been very patient in teaching me the steps to success with my puppy . She has been available whenever I have an issue that needs working on and I am confident that I will have the best pup around with her continued support!!! My experience has been a great one with her!! Thanks Maxine!!
Jennifer has helped me with training dogs on several occasions. She is extremely knowledgable about dog behavior and is able to explain what to do in very simple and effective terms. On one occasion, she assisted me with a very difficult situation in which my dog had bitten another person. She was able to look at the problem from all perspectives, but held my dog's best interests at the forefront. She came up with a creative,but effective solution for all involved that led to a very happy outcome for everyone. I would not hesitate to hire her again in a second for any matter pertaining to dog training or care. She is a knowledgeable, caring, passionate person who loves dogs and people alike.
WOW! Brenna took 2 of my dogs and made such a huge difference in such a short time. A 3 year old and a 5 month old with such different personalities. We have been more than pleased with her help even after the week training. Our follow up appt was great. The dogs did well and we learned more on how we can improve our training techniques. Brenna is very knowledgeable and was very thorough in explaining her techniques. We are so happy we found Brenna!
I am so grateful to Julie of PuppyLovin for her work with my dogs and can not recommend her and her services highly enough! Julie loves and cares for my dogs like they’re her own, and they adore and respect her back. She has been taking care of them for 2.5 years now, providing them daily walks during the workweek that feature exercise, adventure, and training, and boarding them often at her place when I travel. Of the numerous area dog care providers I’ve used over the past 7 years, Julie is hands-down the best and I’ve not considered using anyone else since I met her. What she has provided that the others have not is knowledgeable, consistent training, in particular for my anxious rescue mutt. The change in him through Julie’s loving but disciplined care and expertise has been remarkable -- he’s become much more relaxed overall, and now welcomes comfort and takes my lead when he’s anxious rather than acting out. He’s truly a changed dog, which brings me such relief! Both of my dogs have also become much better walkers and much better behaved when in proximity to other dogs, all thanks to Julie, who has involved her own dogs in the training of mine, to great effect. Julie is very generous with her time -- she updates me on her progress and explains what I can do to ensure I get the same great results she does. I’m confident you won’t find a more caring, committed, and professional trainer to work with you and your dog(s)!
Ricky and Orla first came to the house two weeks ago to meet my lovely pup Charlie. It was the initial "meet and greet" and couldn't have gone smoother! Ricky was very communicative about what to expect, and he met all of my expectations. After the initial visit - Ricky sent me an email which was inclusive of his evaluation of Charlie, his recollection of what I voiced was important to achieve through training, as well as his broad plan for Charlie. I was in the market for a dog trainer to help me with some restructuring for my puppy and Ricky so far has been a perfect fit. This past week was the second time Ricky came to the house to train Charlie, prior to the visit he sent me an email breakdown of how he was going to spend the session, which was very helpful! After the first true training session which was this past Tuesday I was very impressed with the repoire Ricky and Orla are developing with Charlie. He is a very smart dog - and is taking to their training tactics well. Their pricing is affordable in my price range and they have great customer support. My plan is to have Ricky train Charlie twice a week - and I am very hopeful for the results I desire! So far so good! I am hoping after each week to get feedback from Ricky as to the progress he feels he is making, in addition to more short term details as to his plan and how he will intensify the training. Basics are one thing - which Charlie has down pat - and I am interested to see how he specifically plans to continue the progression with Charlie. Overall - I couldn't be happier!
New To Thumbtack
I thoroughly enjoy training animals whether it be dogs or horses. I have been training for over 30 years. Taining involves spending time with your animal and that is good for everyone.
Elisa has been wonderful to work with! She has been training our dog Zoe for over 1 month now and we have seen great results! Zoe is a border collie mix and can be very stubborn at times, and as her parents we didn't do the best job with correcting her behaviors when they began. She is now 5, and despite her age Elisa has been able to teach us how to train her properly and address her problematic behaviors. Elisa has a great connection with animals and has done an amazing job with training Zoe and with training us as well. She provides in-home training sessions which are extremely helpful, and she is always flexible with our work schedules, even meeting us on weekends if needed. We really enjoy working with her and are happy with the results so far! We recommend her to anyone who needs training/dogwalking/petsitting services!
Angie helped us to work with our very young, energetic black lab puppy. She came to our house and also worked to train our family on how to train the dog. She is very kind, caring and knowledgeable! I highly recommend her services!
New To Thumbtack
I walk dogs at the park, make them relax, clean up their shit, and run, play and teach them how to behave.