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Dog Trainers Close to You

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Dog Trainers Close to You

Top Rated Dog Trainers Around Ashburn, VA

Top Pro
Perfect Poochies
4.9
from 65 reviews
  • 2 years in business
  • 111 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top pro on Thumbtack
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
Horse and Hound Wellness
5.0
from 51 reviews
  • 6 years in business
  • 88 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top pro on Thumbtack
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
Social Tailwaggers, LLC
4.9
from 19 reviews
  • 3 years in business
  • 33 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top pro on Thumbtack
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.

Top Pro
Paw Patrol of VA LLC
5.0
from 26 reviews
  • 3 years in business
  • 59 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top pro on Thumbtack
Uttara K.
Verified review

Vicky went above and beyond to help me train our new dog and my family. To train our dog to be around d other dogs, she brought her own dogs to the training session! That really helped me and made a big difference! She was very responsive over emails throughout the session and responded to my questions/concerns over email within few hours. She adjusted the training to suit my specific needs. Will definitely recommend to friends.

Top Pro
Canine Dominion
5.0
from 27 reviews
  • 5 years in business
  • 33 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top pro on Thumbtack
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. ;-)

Top Pro
Ruff House Dog Training
4.9
from 165 reviews
  • 3 years in business
  • 300 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top pro on Thumbtack
Heidi P.
Verified review

I HIGHLY recommend Ryan from Ruff House Dog Training! To say that he is great at what he does is an underestimate! I must say that I was hesitant at first as our dog has been really aggressive. Ryan assured me not to worry and that he could handle himself. After 10 minutes with Bruno, Ryan had him under control. He was super informative and knew exactly what he was talking about. In only ONE session, Bruno is a completely different dog. We have a lot of work to go with him, but the foundation has been laid and it is now up to us to continue to improve our role as the Alpha. Thank you so much, Ryan! Gone are the days of living in fear and hello to tomorrow!

Off-Leash K9 Training
4.9
from 19 reviews
  • 8 years in business
  • 41 hires on Thumbtack
Alex D.
Verified review

The OLK9 crew has given us a whole new perspective on dog training and obedience. We went to OLK9 with the goal of having our APBT "Casino" stop pulling on leash during walks and to stop mild dog aggression. At first we were hesitant with using an e-collar for training, but Garry was able to address all of our concerns during our first lesson and made us feel at ease with the training regimen. One month and 2 lessons later, and we couldn't be more impressed with the results we've seen so far. Our training has given us and Casino more confidence not only on leash, but we are now comfortable walking him off leash even with distractions. We have two basic classes left and have already registered for our advanced lessons. Nick comes highly recommended and responds quickly to any questions you may have regarding training or the e-collar. We've already recommended other family members to enroll in the program and look forward to the continued confidence gained from training. Our only regret is not starting our training sooner...

PackFit
4.5
from 30 reviews
  • 95 hires on Thumbtack
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.

  • 33 years in business
  • 27 hires on Thumbtack
Gina D.
Verified review

I adopted a Staffie (American Pit Bull) when he was 4 months old - he grew into a 55 pounder more quickly than I was prepared for. By the time he was 12 months old I was afraid to walk him, he was so reactive and strong; it was a chaotic mess. Haywood was recommended to me by the person who works in a nearby pet supply store, he knew customers who got trained there, and he saw the dog class walking by his store and the results over a period of time. When I arrived at Academy Dog Training for my first appointment (meet and greet and evaluation) - I had to ask Haywood to come out to my car to get my dog. I really mean I could not walk him, even a short distance. We agreed on working together to train me and tame Blue. After the first training session, I learned how to control him and was able to start taking him on short walks. What I gained was my confidence, what Blue gained was his self control. I have learned that "training" is a perpetual thing; just like raising a child. Haywood showed me how to be the leader - how to be consistent - how to administer correction - how and when to reward. The training started one-on-one; conducted indoors. Then we moved out doors, then we moved to a small group,and out in the real world of streets, shopping centers, all of us, large and small dogs, all different breeds together. It was amazing how quickly we progressed. What is unique is the real life training environment, not just in a store in an enclosed environment. It's been 4 months now and I can walk my dog anywhere, safely and sanely. And, I walk my 2 dogs together - the pit and a jack. I would recommend Haywood for anyone who has a dog and wants to have an enjoyable, happy pet. Sincerely, Gina

Urban Canine
5.0
from 4 reviews
  • 5 years in business
  • 8 hires on Thumbtack
Kate O.
Verified review

I was a little nervous about sending my puppy away for puppy camp but Jessica made it so easy. We were in touch multiple times a day, my dog had THE BEST time and came out of it no longer afraid of people and other dogs. At a small gathering of friends the other night, I beamed with pride as my friends described her as just "loving everyone." This is in part because she learned socialization early and it's easier for her to bond and trust (and learn!) Thank you Jessica!

Consistent Canine, LLC
5.0
from 3 reviews
  • 3 years in business
  • New on Thumbtack
Joanna P.
Verified review

I have a 5 year old, 85 pound pit bull/boxer mix named Bella, who is as sweet as they come, but she was a beast on the leash....pulling and choking herself making walks really unpleasant for everyone. We tried many different things with her, but nothing seemed to be working. We had Kristy over for 1 hour for training. She gave us some new tools to work with and some new techniques and literally I was able to walk her within 15 minutes!! She is like a new dog, and we are BOTH loving the walks together. I HIGHLY recommend Kristy for any dog training that you need. She is fantastic!!!

Canine Curriculum
5.0
from 10 reviews
  • 3 years in business
  • 16 hires on Thumbtack
Amy S.
Verified review

We could not have been more pleased with our dog training with Canine Curriculum. Annmarie is kind, experienced and very organized. We have a large family and a large dog, and she was extremely patient with all of us. She took our suggestions and made a "curriculum" for us so we knew what to expect for every session.

  • 38 years in business
  • 29 hires on Thumbtack
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.

For Pup's Sake, LLC
4.9
from 21 reviews
  • 4 years in business
  • 47 hires on Thumbtack
Sherry P.
Verified review

I had a 9 year old dog who had not been through any training since he was a pup. I was unsure how to go about "re-training" him. Lara was great and got the situation quickly corrected.

  • 10 years in business
  • 6 hires on Thumbtack
Whiskey D.
Verified review

We have been with Spoiled Paws for almost 9 years now. It is worth having her stop by the house to let my dog out and enjoy the sun for some time during the day. Caroline does a great job with our dog.

  • 11 years in business
  • 9 hires on Thumbtack
Kris C.
Verified review

It has only been a couple days since my inital meeting with Sharon but the leash tugging has substatially reduced! My dog and I have some new items to continue working on but the snowstorm today has put a small crimp in our plans. Regardless, we'll do some fun indoor stuff. Highly recommend Bark Busters and Sharon (she 100% understands how to read your dog *and* translate to you so you can begin to learn how to be the leader/owner the dog needs). I cannot overstate the importance of the tools you, as the dog owner, need and will gain through connecting eith BarkBusters. Sharon is an excellent instructor and guide, with great timing and considerable experience!

Family Dog Business (FDB)
5.0
from 5 reviews
  • 1 year in business
  • 1 hire on Thumbtack
Gerald A.
Verified review

Mr. Anthony arrived 15 mins early and immediately got to work with my dog. He was extremely professional and well knowledgeable about dogs. He was able to walk my family and I through the entire process of training ourselves and training our dog. I loved his energy and warm spirit. With all that he taught us on how to train our dog I know we’re looking towards a brighter future for our family. Our baby Dice is already getting the hang of the training. He’s so excited to learn. Thank you Anthony for all of your help and knowledge I will DEFINITELY be passing your Information off to other pet lovers.

Jane's Dog Care Service
5.0
from 6 reviews
  • 18 years in business
  • 8 hires on Thumbtack
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!

  • New on Thumbtack
About

I love all animals and have several in my family. I groom, feed, and walk all pets that are possible to walk. I am loving and very caring for all animals.

Zabzoo Services

New To Thumbtack

  • New on Thumbtack
About

We offer pet training. We are a behavior consultant and also do pet sitting and enrichment. For all your pets' needs, we have a solution.

Party of 4 Legged Friends
3.5
from 2 reviews
  • New on Thumbtack
Niki M.
Verified review

The service that my dog has received from the Party of 4 Legged Friends, has been fantastic. My husband and I have abnormal work schedules and CC is always willing to work with our schedules and takes the time to look out for the well being of our dog. She has been walking our dog for about 9 months now. We don't know how we would manage without her.

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.