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Rockville Aggressive Dog Trainers

Browse these aggressive dog trainers with great ratings from Thumbtack customers in Rockville.

Top Pro
Ruff House Dog Training
4.9
from 168 reviews
  • 3 years in business
  • 310 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
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.

Top Pro
  • 17 years in business
  • 192 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Tracy M.
Verified review

Denise has been a true blessing to us. Our Cane Corso (Italian Mastiff) has not been able to be around new people since he turned 2 (he is now 4). He is a very fearful passive aggressive dog. He was well socialized and trained as a pup but as he got older he just changed and would growl, lung and bark at people. We were very uncomfortable having people around him. When Denise first met him he greeted her with threatening growls and nasty side eye glances. She assessed him and we came up with a plan of training. We did various exercises with him and soon Denise was able to take the leash and work him. We decided to transition him from leash work to an e-collar. We had been very hesitant to put such a collar on a fearful dog but Denise put us at ease and walked us through it and we have been hugely successful with it. By the 4th session Denise was greeted like an old pal. She was able to pet and interact with him and he was extreamly relaxed around her. We actually cancelled that session and reschedule for a more intense training with some new people and the dreaded doorbell. We are very happy to report that session was a huge success. Denise has provided us with extremely valuable training tools and we are confident that we can have people over again! We will continue with Denise and his training and would highly recommend her to anyone who has an aggressive/fearful dog. Denise knows dogs and can handle herself even with the largest beasts. Our Cane Corso is 150 lbs. Thank you Denise and we look forward to continue to work with you and help build his confidence!

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
Horse and Hound Wellness
5.0
from 52 reviews
  • 6 years in business
  • 90 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 !!!!!

Top Pro
Canine Dominion
5.0
from 31 reviews
  • 5 years in business
  • 41 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Brian J.
Verified review

I used Canine Dominion to help me with my aggressive dog. My dog would go after other animals and sometimes people. Jauvarie the owner took a special interest in my case and came out to help. When the lessons was over my dog was a completely different dog. Jauvarie's knowledge and skills are amazing. I would definitely reomment him to my friends.

PackFit
4.5
from 34 reviews
  • 96 hires on Thumbtack
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.

Top Pro
Paw Patrol of VA LLC
5.0
from 26 reviews
  • 3 years in business
  • 60 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Gretchen A.
Verified review

Vicky came to my house for our lessons. This was helpful because of the Winter weather and because my dog is reactive with other dogs. She worked with us with Obedience. We were able to incorporate our Agility needs into the Obedience lessons. Vicky is excellent at communicating and she was always on time and prepared for our lessons.

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

I called Lara when my three dogs ended up in a nasty fight, resulting in an expensive surgery. She was able to help us in a short amount of time. She is an incredibly skilled and knowledgeable teacher and dog trainer. She never tried to talk us into unnecessary products or sessions and I thoroughly enjoyed each of our sessions. Additionally, she was participating in ongoing professional development while we were working together. This is a sign of how seriously she takes her work and that she is constantly learning more. My dogs loved her and they have been wonderful ever since! I cannot recommend her enough! I can't imagine that you will find a better trainer in this area! I have the utmost respect for Lara Cohn.

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.

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!

  • 33 years in business
  • 27 hires on Thumbtack
Michael C.
Verified review

Mr. Haywood and his dog trainers could not be any nicer. Our Wheaten Terrier is much smarter then we thought she was and is listening to us better then we could have imagined. We have also continued to use their services for boarding when we are away. We have been super happy with the results and on going work.

Top Pro
Dolores Murray
4.9
from 14 reviews
  • 17 years in business
  • 17 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
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!

FourDogLovers
5.0
from 10 reviews
  • 4 years in business
Ed C.
Verified review

Best deal you'll ever get for a dog trainer. He is gentle, patient and kind. He took great care with our dog and spent lots and lots of time with her. I recommend him to you without any reservations.

Top Pro
  • 11 years in business
  • 11 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
April A.
Verified review

This was our first experience with a professional dog trainer. Sharon was very knowledgeable and professional in explaining to us the different types of dog behaviors while explaining at the same time the solutions to correcting bad behavior. Sharon took the time to ensure that we understood the lessons and was more than happy to continue each action until we were comfortable. We are glad that Sharon is available to answer any questions we have. Having a great first time experience with Bark Busters, we would recommend their help to others.

Animal Paradise Pet Care
4.9
from 10 reviews
  • 1 year in business
  • 32 hires on Thumbtack
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.)

Family Dog Business (FDB)
5.0
from 9 reviews
  • 1 year in business
  • 5 hires on Thumbtack
Steve S.
Verified review

Anthony was a pleasure to work with unlike the first dog trainer I tried who was uptight and took the fun out of the process. Anthony showed up with a smile on his face because as he says, he likes to help families. Anthony is fun, and he made training my puppy enjoyable with his simple, easy-to-remember practical suggestions. My puppy is much better trained now. Anthony is also a bargain compared to other dog trainers. He's easy to recommend.

Doggydawgs Pet Services LLC
5.0
from 7 reviews
  • 1 year in business
  • 3 hires on Thumbtack
Daniela M.
Verified review

The best dog care and professional in this area. Honest! Accountable, reliable, fair and affordable. Very accommodating and loving of your pet. Have been using her for YEARS.

PuppyLovin
5.0
from 6 reviews
  • 5 years in business
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)!

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.

Reston Dog Trainer
5.0
from 1 review
  • 1 hire on Thumbtack
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

Axiom Pet Resort
5.0
from 1 review
  • 4 years in business
Megan D.
Verified review

I recently contacted New Breed Canine about my aggressive dog. I was able to speak to someone the same day and set up an in-home evaluation. During the evaluation, I was given realistic tips and realistic goals. I really like that they wanted to do an evaluation first rather than telling me they know just what to do before meeting my dog and seeing how he behaves and reacts for themselves. Very knowledgeable and personable.

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.

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