Dog Training

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Q & A

Answers to commonly asked questions from the experts on Thumbtack.

How much does dog training typically cost?

The average cost of dog training ranges from $60 to $155 per hour. But, your dog’s training might cost more or less depending on a number of different factors. For example, you might pay less if you schedule group classes instead of private instruction. The type of training (aggressive behavior, basic obedience, off-leash training, etc.) could have different prices as well. 

Get an exact cost estimate by contacting several dog trainers near you

Learn more about dog training cost factors.

What’s the best way to set up a consultation or an appointment with a dog trainer during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Utilize as many digital means as necessary when setting up appointments or consultations with dog trainers near you during the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently, the best way to begin is by conducting a search for dog trainers online. Compare services side by side, and ask each dog trainer you contact if it’s possible to schedule a consultation or appointment completely virtually. During this time, you should also discuss strategies for completing training and payments through digital means.

Are there ways to be safe if I hire a dog trainer when social distancing?

Current CDC guidelines state, “Do not let pets interact with people or animals outside the household.” It also explains that more studies are needed to understand if and how animals could be affected by the virus that causes COVID-19 and how this might affect human health.

If you’re uncomfortable with hiring a dog trainer right now, you can reach out to dog trainers in your area to see if they will let you book an appointment in the future when social distancing guidelines are lifted. Or, ask if they offer virtual or remote services.

If you do decide to hire a pro to train your dog in person, limit any physical contact with the trainer. Stay 6 feet apart, sanitize items and surfaces, and use digital payments instead of cash or a check.   

Is dog training worth the money?

Dog training can be a highly rewarding investment for most dog owners. With dog training, you can establish a better, healthier relationship with your dog, who will learn to understand your commands and wishes. Your frustration levels may decrease, and you might be able to resume activities you’ve put off, such as having people over or taking your dog to public places (though, this is hard to guarantee because each dog is unique). 

Just remember that no amount of dog training will pay off if you don’t practice and follow the directions the dog trainer gives you. Consistency is the most important factor.

Is it ever too late to start training a dog?

It’s never too late to train your dog — “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” is a myth. Whether you adopt an older dog from the shelter or simply want to have a better relationship with your elderly dog, hiring a dog trainer can be a good investment.

What do professional dog trainers do?

Dog trainers can perform a range of activities, ranging from training law enforcement dogs to working with therapy dogs or search-and-rescue dogs. However, most people hire dog trainers for obedience training. This is largely a process of training the human — much of how a dog interprets our behaviors, commands, tone and body language is counterintuitive at first. The trainer will typically come to your home to observe your relationship with your dog, teach you how to train a command and give you guidance for reinforcing it.

Can I use digital payments to pay for dog training?

Many professional dog trainers accept digital payments instead of cash or check. One effect of the COVID-19 pandemic is that it is encouraging companies and services to onboard digital platforms like PayPal, Zelle, Google Pay, Venmo and Square Cash as a means of curbing virus transmission risk.

When you contact dog trainers near you, ask if they’ll accept digital payments. This information is also typically available on their online profiles.

Do dog trainers offer remote or virtual services?

Although dog training is traditionally performed in person, the COVID-19 pandemic may have caused some professional dog trainers to move to remote training and virtual services. You can contact dog trainers near you to ask about the possibility of remote or virtual services. Also, ask whether all aspects of the process can be digital, including payment.

How can I find out if a dog trainer is considered an essential COVID-19 service provider?

Guidelines on essential services are constantly being updated by local and federal government agencies. To see which services qualify as essential COVID-19 service providers, start with your city or state’s government website.

A reliable list of federal guidelines is available on CISA’s Identifying Critical Infrastructure During COVID-19 webpage. However, not all jurisdictions follow CISA’s definitions of critical infrastructure.  .

Does a dog trainer need to enter my home?

Depending on the type of dog training you need, a dog trainer may need to enter your home. Many behaviors that need to be corrected are associated with the dog being in the house. However, some types of training can take place virtually or even outside while observing safe social distancing practices.

Start by asking dog trainers in your area if they’ll perform a video consultation instead of an in-person one, and ask if they need to enter your home.

Reviews for Ashburn dog trainers
Thumbtack Customer
Kathryn has been a wonderful trainer to our 10 month golden retriever. She is warm, friendly, and very easy to work and coordinate with. She is an effective trainer and within 2 visits we were seeing positive improvements in our dog's behavior and ability to respond appropriately to commands. She has a firm, but gentle approach to dog training which I appreciate having worked with another trainer in the past who was quite harsh with our former dog.
Perfect PoochiesPerfect Poochies
Vithal Ramesh S.
We are first time dog owners. Rocky six months old golden retriever now. We reached out Debbie couple of months back and Debbie helped us with puppy training and tips which are very helpful. She is a very patient, knowledgeable and good trainer.
Whiskers & PawsWhiskers & Paws
Thumbtack Customer
This guy Ryan really knows what he is doing. We have learned so much from him about how to deal with our bulldog. Training has become a fun activity to do with our dog rather then a fruitless experience. The difference is amazing. If you are questioning weather or it's worth it, IT IS!
Ruff House Dog TrainingRuff House Dog Training
Thumbtack Customer
We had recently moved into the area and were having a hard time training our very excitable Bernese Mountain dog. She was nervous and scared and mischievous and she was clearly calling the shots. From the first time we meet Kathryn she was the pack leader. Literally from the moment she stepped inside. She was very patient with me and provided positive feedback and encouragement to both of us! While we were going through a period of aggression/fear of other dogs, she even brought her dog with her to go on walks with us. She taught me so much about my dog and techniques to becoming the pack leader! My girl is still her crazy highly energetic girl she was before, but she now listens and looks to us as the leaders. Highly recommended!
Perfect PoochiesPerfect Poochies
Brian M.
I can’t thank Debbie enough for helping our family learn how to train our Shichon puppy. In just a few sessions, our pup can consistently follow 7 commands, has almost completely stopped nipping, and is learning to walk confidently on leash. Debbie is punctual, warm and friendly and great with our family and dog. We have always felt encouraged without judgement. I highly recommend her and her services!
Whiskers & PawsWhiskers & Paws
Caryn C.
Canine Obsessions gave me a huge gift of a much better relationship with my dog, Apple Jax. Jax was 5 months when I adopted him. He was so hyper and very mischievous. He was chewing everything, pulling on the leash on walks, paws up on the counter, jumping on visitors to my home, going to the bathroom in the house, and so many little things I didn't know how to deal with. I never had a puppy before so it was painful coping with all of these annoying behaviors until I started training with Canine Obsessions. After just a coyote of sessions I was better equipped to handle any situation, he is much better behaved and we're both much happier. Now, he walks off-leash by my side when we take our daily walks, he no longer jumps on visitors when the step inside my home, he knows to stay off the counters, and he is almost fully house broken too. We have a much better relationship, he's my constant companion, he goes with me everywhere and is always so well behaved. I highly recommend Canine Obsessions. Natasha has a great understanding of dogs and people, which makes her great at what she does.
Canine ObsessionsCanine Obsessions
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