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Service Dog Training Programs Close to You

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Service Dog Training Programs Close to You

Top Rated Service Dog Training Programs Around Ashburn, VA

Top Pro
Perfect Poochies
4.9
from 70 reviews
  • 2 years in business
  • 119 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
Paw Patrol of VA LLC
5.0
from 26 reviews
  • 3 years in business
  • 60 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
Ruff House Dog Training
4.9
from 168 reviews
  • 3 years in business
  • 310 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Ms. G.
Verified review

I could not believe the expertise and professionalism shown towards my pet as well as towards me. There was some training I also needed. My pet is now relaxed, and obedient when we go for our walks without hardly any prompting from me and it has only been a few days since training. I called him a dog whisperer because I could not believe the change I saw in my pooch. I highly recommend any one who needs assistance in training their pooch how to obey commands and be an absolute joy to be with to use this dog training service. You won't regret it! I know I won't!

Top Pro
Canine Dominion
5.0
from 31 reviews
  • 5 years in business
  • 42 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
Horse and Hound Wellness
5.0
from 52 reviews
  • 6 years in business
  • 91 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Leota L.
Verified review

JoJo did a great job training my dog, Keesha. In just a few sessions she had Keesha following basic commands such as sit, stay and come. By following her directions I am now able to have a much better behaved dog. Kudos to JoJo. I can,t thank you enough !!!!!

PackFit
4.5
from 34 reviews
  • 96 hires on Thumbtack
M Scott B.
Verified review

Kimberly brings 5-Star experience, client education, and long-term after-program support to training dogs and their soon-to-be ecstatic owners. If you are looking for a trainer to bring peace and joy to you and your dog, you found her!

For Pup's Sake, LLC
4.9
from 21 reviews
  • 4 years in business
  • 48 hires on Thumbtack
Michael Chelo G.
Verified review

Lara Cohn assisted us with puppy training. She was very specific with milestones she was looking to accomplish and the plan that was needed to get there. We spent an hour session one day a week for 4 weeks and the progress we saw was incredible. She made herself available any time we needed her and showed great passion for her job. Looking forward to more sessions with her soon.

FourDogLovers
5.0
from 10 reviews
  • 4 years in business
Kendra E.
Verified review

After enrolling my dog in a group class and being told to "try again when she's older" I decided to hire Kevin to do private training sessions with my dog Winnie. In the few weeks we worked with him we saw a great improvement in our dog. She is able to do several commands, began to do some agility training and is more focused. Kevin was patient and very knowledgeable about dogs. Would definitely recommend!

Consistent Canine, LLC
5.0
from 5 reviews
  • 3 years in business
  • 2 hires 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!!!

Family Dog Business (FDB)
5.0
from 10 reviews
  • 1 year in business
  • 5 hires 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.

  • 33 years in business
  • 27 hires on Thumbtack
Katherine G.
Verified review

Haywood and his team are true professionals in the dog training world. They are superb in helping any dog, of any age or behavior, become better mannered, and safer to have in public. They understand dogs, and translate that expertise into practical, effective training programs for both the owners and the dogs. The important aspect is the owner is trained to reinforce the new behaviors. Haywood ensures that basic commands are learned by both dog and owner before they leave his care. Once you meet Haywood and his team, you won't go anywhere else. We did the the dog day care program, and we're heading back for more advanced training in the Fall. We've gone from being afraid to take our reactive dog out for walks, to being confident and comfortable walking anywhere thanks to the folks at Academy Dog Training.

  • 8 years in business
  • 4 hires on Thumbtack
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!

  • 5 years in business
About

My clients get the full support they need to achieve all of their training goals. From home visits, to phone and email support, all of us at Beltway Dog Training ensure that you always achieve your training goals.

About

We believe we can help you build a happy relationship with your dog with constancy love and guidance. We do not use harsh training methods.

About

We are here to help better the relationship between you and your canine family member. Even after training, we are still available for questions.

Adventure Paws
4.9
from 18 reviews
  • 3 years in business
  • 22 hires on Thumbtack
Alison L.
Verified review

Orla and Ricky have been wonderful training our 3mo frenchie puppy! We're working with them for two straight weeks and have seen such progress already half way through. Trustworthy, responsive and friendly, our pup loves these two. Highly recommend.

Animal Paradise Pet Care
4.9
from 10 reviews
  • 1 year in business
  • 32 hires on Thumbtack
Alan R.
Verified review

Laura is fantastic! I started working with Laura for my two dogs who needed training. We started with puppy basics, and are currently in adult 1. Laura not only trained my dogs, but she really trained me, gave me pointers and made training easy and fun. Now, I use Animal Paradise for all my needs! Laura comes twice a week to walk my dogs, and soon will be watching them while I go on vacation. I could not be happier with Animal Paradise. Hands down best business in Fairfax, can’t believe it’s literally brand new!

Angie Madden
5.0
from 1 review
    Kiffanh L.
    Verified review

    Angie helped us to work with our very young, energetic black lab puppy. She came to our house and also worked to train our family on how to train the dog. She is very kind, caring and knowledgeable! I highly recommend her services!

    Elisa Allen Pet Services
    5.0
    from 18 reviews
    • 21 hires on Thumbtack
    Megan P.
    Verified review

    Elisa has been wonderful to work with! She has been training our dog Zoe for over 1 month now and we have seen great results! Zoe is a border collie mix and can be very stubborn at times, and as her parents we didn't do the best job with correcting her behaviors when they began. She is now 5, and despite her age Elisa has been able to teach us how to train her properly and address her problematic behaviors. Elisa has a great connection with animals and has done an amazing job with training Zoe and with training us as well. She provides in-home training sessions which are extremely helpful, and she is always flexible with our work schedules, even meeting us on weekends if needed. We really enjoy working with her and are happy with the results so far! We recommend her to anyone who needs training/dogwalking/petsitting services!

    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.

    About

    I give the best in care when you can't be there. I also teach them to be a good companion to you and you to them. When it is time for them to go, I offer support and guidance. I have made it my work to become a part of their lives in all aspects. I have now taken this one step further. I have become a vet tech, an ABC DT (certified dog trainer), and an animal shepherd. I can help with all phases of you and your companion's lives. I will watch them when you can't. I will show you both how to become well-trained partners.

    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.