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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.   

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.  .

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.

Reviews for Ashburn dog trainers
Sarah H.
Very very good dog trainer! Bruce gave us the tools we need to train our dog in our home setting. Very knowledgeable. Recommended
Dog TrainingDog Training
Tony c.
Maybe they should concentrate more on the dog's problem then trying to sell a training package.
K9katelynnK9katelynn
Dani W.
Bruce helped us with our dog's fear/anxiety aggression. Bruce is incredibly insightful and was able to give us a plan with strategies to help us train our dog. We've applied these strategies over the last few weeks and have seen an observable change in our dog. We couldn't be more thankful!!!
Dog TrainingDog Training
Kaitlyn S.
I had issues crate training my dog for anxiety, and aggresive issues towards people and dogs its been like this for awhile with my dog. I dont know how to positively reinforce her in the right direction. I wanted help showing me hands on. I basically got told its okay she barks at people when they come in (wanted training how to stop that) also basically got told to leave her out of the crate let her do her thing. Was basically told she's a good dog and things i already knew. Didnt feel like my concerns were addressed or taken seriously. Really wanted hands on and in depth training. Says $120 here in our messages for 2 hours, but he stayed about an hour and 10 minutes and ended up charging $140. Overall very nice guy, just not the training I was looking for or thought I was going to get. Seems better for dogs with minor issues and not destructive behavior if you want it fixed.
Dog TrainingDog Training
Karyn L.
I was contacted within minutes (about 2 or 3) and set an appointment for an evaluation this week! I have dog aggressive issues...will post another after training is complete.
K9katelynnK9katelynn
Kim V.
Responded promptly and was able to schedule our initial consultation to occur within a few days of contact. We’re very excited to begin our training with our dogs next week!
K9katelynnK9katelynn
Holly B.
Bruce was very good at communicating throughout the booking process and arrived right on time! He was able to give me insight on my dog’s behavior and taught me how to set rules and create boundaries in my home with my dog. My dog even improved dramatically within the 1st session! I love how he places emphasis on also teaching the owner! I was so worried i would have to spend thousands and boarding training but now I am confident that I can meet my goals with working on my dog on my own with the tools Bruce gave me!
Dog TrainingDog Training
Thumbtack Customer
Bruce offered great insight and helpful tips from his personal experience. He was very personable and listened to us, which is really important to make sure our needs were being met! He was extremely fair and we will be using him in the future for our dog training needs!
Dog TrainingDog Training
Paige H.
Bruce was great. My dog is so timid and he felt comfortable around Bruce. We worked on commands and most importantly Bruce empowered me to become the teacher and gave me the skills to best train him, rather than trying to make me feel like I had to keep hiring him.
Dog TrainingDog Training
Romina L.
She is a scammer!! i paid her to come see my dog and wanted me to pay $500 upfront without any training sessions. She then canceled on me twice leaving me suspicious voicemails. The first one said that she had just lost her license because of an unpaid ticket and the second one said that it was because she had just buckled her knee and was going to the emergency and room. she canceled on me twice back to back. It’s just funny how the first time she came over to just see my dog she wanted the full payment. Be careful.
I love your Dog Pet ServicesI love your Dog Pet Services
Cynthia M.
This review I am leaving is not about the quality of the trainers ability to train the dogs but the ABSOLUTE WORST EXPERIENCE EVER regarding the initial meeting. Not only was Tod/Tom disrespectful of my Mother but also showed a HUGE LACK of understanding. He would cut us off mid sentence saying "Yeah you already told me that". He was very narcissistic and only cared about telling us about his achievements on his cheap business card. He is the type of person that loves to make other people look dumb to boost his fragile ego. If I had to rate this company I would give it a 2/10. They are getting a 2 because the lady on the phone is very nice. Also there is only 1 option for a trainer and GUESS WHO IT IS? All in all the worst "professional" 20 minutes that I had to sit through and the worst $35 ever spent. Thank you, an Unsatisfied Customer.
K9katelynnK9katelynn
Megan T.
This was my original review: Katelynn was so prompt answering all of my questions and I look forward to working with her. Update: So I put a lot of thought into whether or not I should write this review only because I hate complaining and typically just let things go. That is the reason for my late review posting. However, I felt inclined to fully do my research this morning on K9Katelynn because something wasn’t sitting right with me STILL. I went onto Thumbtack where I initially found this company for a dog trainer and looked at all the lowest rated reviews. Boy did I relate to all of them. First red flag that I explained to my husband and mother in law as to why I had a bad feeling about this company is that Tom had me write a good review on his prompt reply…why? As a business owner and someone in the service industry shouldn’t being prompt to respond already be something exceptional and expected without thanks before a service was already provided? I caved and gave a good review on his promptness which I felt weird about because he sent me like 4 links to give good reviews before I even met this person in real life. The second red flag for me was the attitude, demeanor and rudeness of this man. He did not greet me when I walked in the door. He sat on the couch with my husband as I walked in and did not make eye contact, did not say hello, did not introduce himself and furthermore asked a series of questions off a printed questionnaire that I could’ve answered online. This costed us $35. The third red flag was that he was abrasive and I couldn’t understand a word he was saying. He spoke very mumbled and in times of Covid did not wear a mask or ask if he should wear a mask. He sounded very congested and muffled. I would ask anyone that comes to any of his review pages to do their due diligence to read the 1 star reviews of this company. The reason he has people review his services before he even provides a service is to overshadow the real 1 star reviews of real customers. The other funny thing I saw while reading these 1 star reviews is that the people that have either worked with him or had a consultation with him provided screenshots of the conversation and his reply was always “I have never talked to this person” or something along the lines of calling these people liars and defending himself. Which is clearly a lie on his part with provided proof of conversation. I am sure he will rudely reply to this review as well, which hopefully will show the next victim they cannot trust this person. I knew we found the right dog trainer after this interaction by just a phone consultation I had with another trainer. It was day and night difference on tone and professionalism with the other dog trainer I spoke to. I am so happy we decided not to go with K9Katelynn I knew my gut was right when he left our home and I did let my friends and family members looking for dog trainers know that the owner of this company is rude, tried to push us to a $2,800 package and kept asking “so do you want to do it” over and over until my husband told him we would get back to him. We never did get back to him regarding services because we felt as though he was somewhat intimidating and bullying. Please please please do your research before either hiring this man or scheduling for a consultation. There are actually really nice and professional dog trainers out there with more fair pricing for the desperate dog owner.
K9katelynnK9katelynn
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