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Top Rated Dog Trainers Around Ashburn, VA

TOP PRO
  • 2 years in business
  • 90 hires on Thumbtack
  • Response time: 2 hours

KfreeKaren F.

Verified review

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.

TOP PRO
  • 3 years in business
  • 281 hires on Thumbtack
  • Response time: 1 hours

Cindy Q.

Verified review

We love Ryan's enthusiasm! From our very first lesson you could tell how much Ryan enjoys training dogs. We quickly learned to use the same enthusiasm when following through on the different training techniques while working with Bailey. When I first inquired into training our dog I was skeptical about the cost. Ryan was able to put all of my skepticism at easy from our very first lessons. Every penny we've spent on training Bailey through Ruff House has been well worth it!

TOP PRO
  • 6 years in business
  • 80 hires on Thumbtack
  • Response time: 2 hours

Lindsey W.

Verified review

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!

TOP PRO
  • 5 years in business
  • 23 hires on Thumbtack
  • Response time: 13 min

Thumbtack Customer

Verified review

Jay of Canine Dominion is more than just the best dog trainer ever. Once you hire him, it's as if he's become a member of your family -- a really smart, experienced, savvy member of your family who's truly invested in the successful training of your dog. He stands behind his dog training 100% too -- willing to provide additional sessions if needed at no additional charge. Jay brings amazing skills plus integrity to boot. Now if only I could find an auto mechanic version of Jay. ;-)

  • 8 years in business
  • 40 hires on Thumbtack
  • Response time: 14 min

Piehler M.

Verified review

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 Bijou’s 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 I’m excited to take her to more places and on more adventures like camping in the Boundary Waters, I know she’ll stay where I tell her to in the canoe and will stay close to me on the trails. It’s so great being able to take my dog out with me vs. leaving her at home because I know she’ll behave. Thank you for all of your help Nick, you've truely improved Bijou and my quality of life!

TOP PRO
  • 3 years in business
  • 55 hires on Thumbtack
  • Response time: 2 hours

Cynthia M.

Verified review

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!

PackFit

4.3

(30)

  • 92 hires on Thumbtack
  • Response time: 4 hours
  • Lorton, VA

Gloriana E.

Verified review

After searching multiple sites and trying out two other trainers, we found Kimberly on Thumbtack and liked what we read. Her "holistic" approach to dog training really appealed to us and aligned perfectly with our view of the connection between nutrition, physical and mental health, and behavior. When we did the IBAC, we immediately felt a click between the three humans (Kimberly + puppy parents) and Lucy (puppy). Through our work with Kimberly during the training sessions and our practice at home, Lucy has become more calm, responsive, and seems now to recognize us as the "pack leaders". One of the most important lessons we learned is that adjusting on our own energy and behavior is key to effect change in our dog's energy and behavior. It is important to bear in mind that no trainer - no matter how good - can make a dog's behavior change consistently and permanently after the training program without the owners' follow-through. With Kimberly's guidance and our constant practice, we're confident that we will continue making steady progress and nurture a balanced, well-behaved dog and a loving, respecting bond between us.

  • 22 years in business
  • 14 hires on Thumbtack
  • Response time: 3 min

Amanda S.

Verified review

3 1/2 years ago, my husband and I got a Rottweiler puppy. I had wanted a Rott for the longest time and when I finally brought my puppy home I was so excited! After a couple weeks we noticed that she was beginning to show some signs of aggression. If we moved her while she was sleeping she would growl and bark and try to bite us. The thing that really made us realize we needed help was when my husband tried to take a bone from her and she buried her k9 tooth in his thumb. I contacted several trainers in the area but I didn't want the same old sit in a circle and love your puppy type of training. I wanted to know how I could help my dog become a better, happier dog. I got Jack's number for K9 Kollege through a friend of my mothers and I gave him a call. Within the first 5 minutes of our conversation I knew I found the right trainer. We started our training with Jack when our puppy was about 12 weeks old and by the end of our first session she was walking on the leash right by our side, not infront of us pulling like most dogs want to do. We trained with Jack for 12 weeks and because of that we now have the sweetest, happiest Rottweiler around. I owe all of it to Jack because he taught us how to teach our dog. He sets you up for success and there's no reason for failure when you train with him. Thanks for everything!

TOP PRO
  • 3 years in business
  • 33 hires on Thumbtack
  • Response time: 2 hours

Rebecca A.

Verified review

I couldn't be happier with the training that we've received from Social Tailwaggers. Jodie, our trainer. is so patient and very knowledgeable. The first time we met, we discussed what training I was interested in and what goals we were trying to achieve for my dog, Cooper. Cooper was around 10-11 months old when we began our first training session. She immediately began to introduce new skills and commands to work on training Cooper. After each lesson, Jodie sends a detailed email outlining all of the skills we worked on and suggestions to help with practicing on my own. Jodie was also helpful with recommendations on types of toys and feeding bowls to help with the energy level of my dog. I would highly recommend Social Tailwaggers to anyone who needs help training a new puppy or an older dog. It is well worth the time, money and effort to have a well trained dog and not only are you going to have a well trained, better behaved dog, it's also a lot of fun time spent with your dog.

  • 5 years in business
  • Response time: 4 hours
  • Sterling, VA

Andrea L.

Verified review

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)!

TOP PRO
  • 17 years in business
  • 16 hires on Thumbtack
  • Response time: 14 hours

Carly C.

Verified review

Dolores was amazing! We had just rescued our dog, Taylan, from an organization in Thailand and were concerned about her behavior toward our two cats. We didn't want to start right off with bad habits and weren't sure how to desensitize Taylan to our boys, so we hired Dolores. Immediately we felt comfortable with her and were impressed with her expertise and knowledge of dog behaviors. She left us with professional materials and talked with us about strategies for desensitization, which we've been practicing since our session. She validated our work with Taylan and helped give us peace of mind that we weren't ruining our new girl :). I would recommend Dolores to anyone who is seeking professional, knowledgeable help with various dog behaviors...and also help with human uncertainty!

  • 33 years in business
  • 25 hires on Thumbtack
  • Response time: 6 hours

Kendra K.

Verified review

I can not say enough positive things about the excellent service, training, and support I have received from Haywood and his team. Background: I rescued an almost 3yr old neutered male GSD in December. My husband and I have breed experience so I was hoping that we'd be able to improve some of his problematic behaviors (barking, poor socialization, very territorial, and disordered pack mentality) and then join a group class. We quickly figured out that the behaviors were not related to bonding to us and his new GSD sister but rather that was just him. So we started looking at private lessons. When I arrived at Academy, I wasn't sure what to expect. Alexa and Adrianna started our evaluation. Haywood joined us half way through and it worked out perfectly that he did because the team was able to observe my dog's reaction to someone entering "his" territory and his reaction to men - both of which were significant. At the end of the evaluation, Haywood and Alexa provided their recommendation for training - private lessons to start with a transition to group classes for a fixed fee. My dog would learn multiple commands and how to be around other dogs. Again, I can not stress enough how economical Academy ended up being. It took us a little longer than the average client to be ready for group classes. If I'd had to pay per lesson at the market rate in this area, it would have cost DOUBLE. Seriously...I did the math. Three weeks ago, my previously barky, somewhat aggressive, territorial GSD graduated from Academy with the highest test score of his group. He didn't make a peep. He recognizes the humans in our home as alphas. He is able to walk on a leash in our neighborhood without lunging at other dogs...in fact, he was steady as a rock last week while a neighbor's small dog was barking up a storm. I honestly feel like Academy Dog Training saved my dog's life. If his behavior had continued to escalate, he eventually would have hurt someone and been euthanized. Haywood's method was exactly what my dog needed and Alexa (our primary trainer for private lessons) got to know both my dog and myself. There were days I was prepared to give up and without her encouragement, support, and knowledge were invaluable.

  • 10 years in business
  • 5 hires on Thumbtack
  • Response time: 47 min

Elizabeth G.

Verified review

Caroline is always there when I (my dogs and cats) need her, taking excellent care of them, reporting any problems to me as soon as she notices something, and taking care of my home, too! My dogs love her and absolutely go nuts for their "walkies"!

  • 7 years in business
  • 3 hires on Thumbtack
  • Response time: 11 min

Jim O.

Verified review

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!

  • 38 years in business
  • 28 hires on Thumbtack
  • Response time: 17 hours

Megan D.

Verified review

We've had two sessions with Maxine (an initial 3 hour visit and an hour long follow up visit) and couldn't be happier. We took in a 3 year old lab/beagle mix named Hamish about two months ago and needed some help with basic obedience training and also some specific problems: nuisance barking, pulling on the leash, and some occasional guarding behavior. After just one session, we were able to communicate much more effectively with Hamish and his problem behaviors lessened. And the extra guidance we got at our follow up session today has already proven extremely useful. Hamish used to bark and bark at passersby and not heed any of our efforts to quiet him. Now he barks less frequently and when he does we're able to get his attention and he stops. His recall has also improved dramatically. Overall, he's also much calmer - it's obvious he feels more comfortable now that he understands our respective roles and what's expected of him. We feel fully supported by Maxine and highly recommend her services.

  • 3 years in business
  • Response time: 6 hours
  • Frederick, MD

Dawn B.

Verified review

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!

  • 18 years in business
  • 7 hires on Thumbtack
  • Response time: 12 hours

Jennifer C.

Verified review

Jane took care of our FIVE little fur-bearing family members while we were away for a week. She is by far the best pet-sitter we have ever had! She started with an initial meeting in our home, which was incredibly thorough. It's clear she has a real love for and understanding of dogs, and real skill handling behavioral issues with pets. It's also clear now that we've had her support that the full range of services she offers is delivered with the same gentle, insightful, and steady care that every pet owner wants for their four-legged loved ones. She also retrieved our mail and made sure the house was safe while we were away--a real bonus! Jane provides daily written updates, which were incredibly helpful (she also identified an issue with our bathroom ceiling that would have taken us a few days to notice after we came back). She even found our shy guy, Skinner, every day, even though he is very good at hiding from strangers! We returned home to a happy, snuggly, healthy menagerie that had been expertly cared for. It was such a comfort knowing we had reliable, thoughtful care while we were away. We'll definitely reach out to Jane again the next time we're out of town. Strong endorsements from both of us humans and our furry five-some!

  • 12 years in business
  • 1 hire on Thumbtack
  • Strasburg, VA

Laurie M.

Verified review

Tammy and her crew did a fantastic job working with my stubborn Great Dane, Stella!!!! She was a different dog when I picked her up and, she LOVED her trainers!! I got updates along the way and pictures to hold me over until I could pick her up again. I would definitely use Creature Comfort Inn again if needed!!!

Love Those Paws

New To Thumbtack

  • Elkridge, MD

About

Love Those Paws is dedicated to providing the highest level of loving care for your pet. We are professionals who love animals, and we will care for your pet just as we care for our own pets. Love Those Paws provides services for dogs, cats, caged animals and birds. Our services include dog walking, pet sitting, training and customized care. We are bonded and insured, and we have many satisfied clients. One of the best features of Love Those Paws is that we will take care of your pet in the comfort of your own home. This is where your pet prefers to be and the place where your pet is most content. Some of the many advantages of your pet's being cared for in the environment to which it is accustomed to are: continuity of daily routines, reduced stress and reduced risk of exposure to illnesses and diseases that are spread in kennels. Whether you are going on vacation, going on a business trip, working, not feeling well or you are limited to the indoors, call Love Those Paws. Love Those Paws will give your pet the individual love, attention and customized care it needs and deserves. While you are away, our services also include collecting mail and newspapers, alternating lights and watering plants. These services help in the deterrence of crime. Love Those Paws provides pet services in Howard County, Maryland including Columbia, Ellicott City, Elkridge, Savage and Jessup.

Island Way For Dogs

New To Thumbtack

  • 1 hire on Thumbtack
  • Summit Point, WV

About

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.

  • 8 years in business
  • 4 hires on Thumbtack
  • Odenton, MD

Lavender J.

Verified review

Ashley is great with dogs. She goes above and beyond. She made adjustments as needed along the way to suit your animal. Definitely recommend!