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In-Home Dog Trainers Close to You

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In-Home Dog Trainers Close to You

Top Rated In-Home Dog Trainers Around Ashburn, VA

  • 2 years in business
  • 90 hires on Thumbtack
  • Response time: 3 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.

  • 3 years in business
  • 281 hires on Thumbtack
  • Response time: 2 hours

Steven C.

Verified review

We found out about Ryan when researching Northern VA dog trainers. We had a 6 month old German Shepherd and didn't know where to turn. To complicate things I was trying to also groom him to be a working dog which requires excellent obedience. After dropping a couple of hundred on a group class at Petco I feel we barely scratched the surface let alone had an obedient dog. Ryan offered exactly what we wanted. A reasonable intensive in-home solution that incorporated the whole family. Ryan was able to see how he interacts at home, on walks and we even go into public areas to increase socialization. After 6 weeks we have seen a dramatic change. K9 Sigmund is now even more prepared to start his career as a K9 SAR member thanks to Ryan.

  • 6 years in business
  • 81 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!

  • 3 years in business
  • 56 hires on Thumbtack
  • Response time: 53 min

Anota E.

Verified review

I have been using Paw Patrol services for more than a year now and it has been great. My dog Fritz was faced with the possibility of being left at home alone for more than 9 hours a day when my daughter started college and a part-time job. Thankfully, I found Paw Patrol. They walk Fritz and play with him. He loves the attention and I love the peace of mind knowing that he is being cared for by true animal lovers. I also use Paw Patrol when my family goes out of town. Fritz is so much happier being at home than being boarded at a kennel. If you love your pets and need a helping hand, I highly recommend Paw Patrol. You won't regret it.




  • 93 hires on Thumbtack
  • Response time: 2 hours
  • Lorton, VA

Jessie P.

Verified review

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.

  • 22 years in business
  • 14 hires on Thumbtack
  • Response time: 4 min

Igor V.

Verified review

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.

  • 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.

  • 33 years in business
  • 26 hires on Thumbtack
  • Response time: 34 min

Sherman T.

Verified review

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

  • 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)!

  • 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"!

  • 17 years in business
  • 16 hires on Thumbtack
  • Response time: 20 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!

  • 38 years in business
  • 28 hires on Thumbtack
  • Response time: 19 hours

Michelle C.

Verified review

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!!

  • 18 years in business
  • 8 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!

George G.

Verified review

Susan is the dog walker, trainer, running companion, and home away from home for our three year old Carolina dog Sandy. The American Kennel Club says Carolina dogs are the most hierarchical breed which means until you establish yourself as their alpha, they can be willful, exhibit dominance (i.e., they want to be at your face level so they jump up), and have almost boundless energy. We were told that Sandy would be as energetic at 13 years as she was at 13 months. We said, What have we gotten ourselves into? But Susan has turned Sandy into a perfect lady. First she taught her to sit in the care\ and not bother the driver. Sandy now loves her rides. Susan took Sandy on long runs. Sandy came home so tuckered out she only wanted to lie on her pillow and sleep. When Susan arrives for Sandy’s run, Sandy gets so excited she wants to jump up and kiss Susan’s face (remember dominance). Susan uses that as a teaching moment so that Sandy minds her manners and has to wait and sit before she gets to go on her run. Susan has four dogs of her own and when she boards Sandy for the weekend the dogs have a wonderful time together. Susan's dogs teach Sandy their good manners. In short, Susan has taken one of the most difficult breeds to train and turned her into almost the perfect pet, because once Sandy learned her manners all she wants to do is kiss and hug you. We love Sandy and she is a full member of our family and we cannot thank Susan enough for helping us train her. In short if you are looking for help with your dog from simple regular exercise, to boarding, to basic and then complex training, we cannot recommend anyone more highly than Susan Rubin for that service.

  • 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!!!

  • Rixeyville, VA

Jill P.

Verified review

Heidi has an innate talent with animals of all sorts. She does an excellent job handling and caring for my rabbits. She has also been a big part of my 2 rescued dogs lives. She walks them, trains them, and provides 24 hour care by pet sitting in my home when I need to go out of town. She does exactly what I ask her to do regarding walking, exercising, feeding and bathing the dogs and they really enjoy her company. I highly recommend her services to anyone who wants outstanding care for their animals. If you are considering hiring her feel free to contact me if you have any questions!

  • 5 years in business
  • 11 hires on Thumbtack
  • Frederick, MD

Christine F.

Verified review

I am exceptionally pleased that I chose Jenny to dog sit for me. I have a shy dog, and Jenny took the time to introduce herself to my pup to make sure they were comfortable with each other. She sent text updates and pictures so I wouldn't worry while I was away, and also wrote out detailed descriptions of every visit. It's obvious that Jenny loves animals (especially with her background in animal rescue), and I would not hesitate to use her services again or recommend her to a friend.

  • 3 years in business
  • 22 hires on Thumbtack
  • Vienna, VA

Jennifer J.

Verified review

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!

  • 1 year in business
  • 32 hires on Thumbtack
  • Fairfax, VA

Jessica W.

Verified review

I can't speak highly enough about Laura and Animal Paradise Pet Care and Sitting. My husband and I needed help working with and training our rescue pup, and from our initial contact with Laura, we were certain we made the right choice. After discussing our needs over the phone, we met in person to allow Laura to make her assessment and create a plan. Throughout our time working together, Laura was always quick to respond, flexible with scheduling training sessions, and displayed the utmost in professionalism. Laura effectively customized (and modified as needed) our pup's training needs, ensuring that everything requiring attention was properly addressed. Again, I can't say enough great things about Animal Paradise Pet Care and Sitting, and HIGHLY recommend you consider working with Laura before going elsewhere. (And this bit of advice is coming from someone who exhaustively researched dog trainers before choosing to work with Animal Paradise.)

  • 1 hire on Thumbtack
  • Reston, VA

Linda W.

Verified review

I just want to thank Sarka so much for helping us out with training our dog, Hnupka. We had a very difficult time coping with Hnupka before we decided to contact Sarka and ask her for her expert help. Sarka taught Hnupka basic obedience and helped him to socialize with other dogs, humans and daily busy city life. Sarka also showed us techniques on how to handle Hnupka ourselves, set his expectations, and build his respect for us in a humane and loving way so that he would obey. Hnupka is now a much more manageable part of our family. I would highly recommend Sarka as an obedience trainer. She loves dogs and they love her back. Linda

  • 2 hires on Thumbtack
  • Response time: 13 hours
  • Bowie, MD


Any age, Any breed, Any any issue. I come to you. Indoors & outdoors. On & off leash. No punishment, no treats. I teach natural canine communication & use natural instincts to help you achieve a relationship based on understanding, trust & respect.