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Ann Arbor Animal Behaviorists

Browse these animal behaviorists with great ratings from Thumbtack customers in Ann Arbor.

  • 16 years in business
  • 83 hires on Thumbtack
Ghalib A.
Verified review

Barbara came to our house to help us with our German Shepherd. We rescued our year and a half old GS from a shelter. I'll start this review by explaining what behaviors our dog needed to work on. He would play bite, he wouldn't listen when called, and would tug on his leash NON-STOP when on a walk. He was never aggressive towards us, but he would play bite. Barbara showed us how to get our dog to make eye contact with us, she showed us a variety of training methods to practice with our dog, and she showed us how to be in control when on a walk. We saw major improvements in the dogs attitude towards us within the first session. He no longer play bites, and with all the training methods Barbara showed us our dog is on his way to becoming an extremely well behaved dog. Barbara's session was extremely informative and fun for us and for our dog. We now have a much better understanding of our dog. I highly recommend Barbara to others, she's an expert and knows what shes doing when it comes to dog training and general dog behavior.

  • 12 years in business
  • 54 hires on Thumbtack
Evelyn P.
Verified review

Anna got Belladonna and I off to a great start. We still have things to work on but there is no way Belladonna would still be alive if Anna hadn't helped. Bella's behavior problems are so much more manageable and her improvement has surpassed anything I could have hoped for.

Top Pro
  • 4 years in business
  • 50 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Lori M.
Verified review

Prompt, courteous and caring about all of my animals.

Sit Means Sit
from 19 reviews
  • 10 years in business
  • 48 hires on Thumbtack
Susan R.
Verified review

I used the immersion training as I had two female dogs, 7 and 3, that had their first fight a year ago, followed by one a few months later, then about six months after that two fights, one severe enough to have two bloody dogs. I knew I needed some serious help, and after talking with their trainers, we chose this option. The change when they got home was very noticeable. It wasn't the idea of correcting the dogs when aggression was shown, but redirecting their heads to acceptable behavior. The added benefit of the dogs heeling nicely, and the other commands taught is good. ,

Patty's Dog Training
from 14 reviews
  • 8 years in business
  • 19 hires on Thumbtack
Dawn W.
Verified review

I have known Patty for years and have learned a lot of great training skills from her and have used her a number of times for dog sitting. She is an exceptional person, trainer and animal lover.

  • 11 years in business
  • 33 hires on Thumbtack
Ann P.
Verified review

We have a Great Dane puppy and when she was about 6 to 7 months old she started to display some rough/mildly agressive behavior. We tried other training methods, but our Vet recommended Dave at K9. After an evaluation our puppy started 2 weeks of behavior training. The difference was amazing, we are very happy with the results. Our puppy is now 18 months old and just under 100 lbs and we have continued with K 9 for daycare. She loves the people at K9 and the socialization with the other dogs.

BusyPaws Dog Training
from 7 reviews
  • 17 years in business
  • 9 hires on Thumbtack
Courtney T.
Verified review

First off, I don't think there are enough words to describe just how wonderful Alex was during this experience. I was going out of town for the holiday weekend and needed a pet sitter for my 2 adult cats and 2 kittens (fostering from ICAC). Alex was very responsive to my Thumbtack request and immediately made himself available by phone! He was VERY accommodating. We treat our pets like family, so I knew that we were asking for him to do a lot (4 cats is kinda annoying) and he was always so kind, considerate, understanding, and willing to go the extra mile! He texted me after each visit to give a re-cap (he also offers to just leave a summary at the end of the gig, so if you're not wanting to receive messages every day, that's fine too). He is also very thorough about getting information about the pets and their different needs (he offers a complimentary visit to get to know the animals before you book). You can tell he really knows his stuff and cares about making sure your pets are comfortable and well taken care of. Just to give a little perspective, we were in a bit of a hurry to leave and I mentioned very briefly that I had no more paper towel and that I was sorry! I came home from my trip to a whole roll of paper towel in my kitchen. When I said he goes the extra mile, I really meant it. His generosity is immediately noticeable. If you're going out of town or just looking for someone who will take extraordinary care of your pets at an extremely reasonable price, look no further than Alex at BusyPaws!

Ann Arbor Canine Coach, LLC
from 5 reviews
  • 13 years in business
  • 8 hires on Thumbtack
Tara A.
Verified review

Valerie's class was wonderful. I am more confident with my dog Mina. We have learned quite a bit in 6 weeks. Best part is I looked forward to class on Wednesday evenings because we were having fun while learning. I highly recommend taking this class with Valerie and we plan to sign up for more of her classes. No doubt our dog and her humans have benefited from this class. Thank you Valerie.

Pet Care
from 4 reviews
  • 22 years in business
  • 2 hires on Thumbtack
Ruth H.
Verified review

Barbara Jo is the best dog sitter ever. Warm, compassionate and knowledgeable about animals. Reliable and trustworthy. She is devoted to animals and to their care. Deserves a GOOD job.

Five Lakes Dog Training
from 3 reviews
  • 12 years in business
  • 1 hire on Thumbtack
Mary Sue A.
Verified review

We in-board trained our newly adopted puppy with Sami ...our 75 pound puppy who was full of energy and had no manners! Her amazing way with animals and understanding of their behaviors is the key to her success. When we adopted Kade, we wanted a dog that can go anywhere with us and behave well in all situations. That is exactly what we have. We are complimented whenever we go out on his wonderful manners. I highly recommend Five Lakes Dog Training for all of your training needs. We are so proud of our sweet boy and all of his accomplishments. We couldn't have done it without Sami and Five Lakes.

Michigan Dog Training Inc.
from 3 reviews
  • 20 years in business
  • 3 hires on Thumbtack
Rose C.
Verified review

We attended some classes at MDT with Michael and Wendy in the summer of 2014. Our dog Casey has made leaps and bounds improvements in his behavior thanks to MDT!

Natalie H.
Verified review

Laurie definitely is a legit trainer. Everything I know about training and behavior modification I owe to her. Laurie is my aunt, so Ive picked up a lot of experience through watching classes, taking 4-H dog groups, showing. She definitely knows how to break it down to a teaching level. The dog training is definitely the easy part, it's re-training the owners. In a lot of ways, her sense of control with all animals has rubbed off on me and ultimately provided me with a long lived career in veterinary medicine. As tough as is its sometimes dealing with your pets at the times you just feel you can't live with them, you just have to work that much harder with them. Can't ever quit. Laurie taught me that. So take her courses, THEY WORK! She makes them fun and enjoyable for you, your family, and your pets. Plus you learn on how to make you dependent on praise and love for your dog than stuffing 100 treats daown their throats.

Julie M.
Verified review

Patty's trained both my dogs and they adore her, she has a wonderful way with animals. I would definitely recommend her.

Haley L.
Verified review

Amanda is reliable and responsibile with a passion for animals. She treats my animals like they are her own. I would highly recommend Amanda as a caretaker for your furry friends!

Rusted Rain Ranch
from 1 review
    Chris A.
    Verified review

    Been leasing with the people here for a couple of years now. Management is open, approachable, knowledgeable and professional. This barn has provided an excellent avenue to my teenage daughter for improving horsemanship, learning and implementing natural training methods and spending lots of time learning all the care that these animals require. More like extended family than just a boarding/training facility. Lessons on sound horses are excellent for the beginner rider, and leasing offers options for those with more experience who can ride without a trainer present which really increases rider performance and ability. I can't say enough about this barn. Come see for yourself! :)


    I have such a passion for animals, and I have been around dogs my entire life. I can do anything, from walking to feeding and brushing!


    I do animal sitting, and I wouldn't mind cleaning a little. I love animals and would love to take care of them since I can't have my own right now.


    My Philosophy: Animals are sensitive with real needs and emotions. They need safety through love, kindness, compassion, structure, leadership and patience, as well as to have a safe surrounding, and it's up to us to provide it. Animals convey their moods with vocal tones (different tones for different needs and emotions) and body languages (stance, eyes, relaxed or taut posture, and tail language). They feel safest with a human who is foremost a true leader who knows how to lead with a relaxed, calm and assertive manner, by guiding through positive reinforcement with a steady and firm tone and not yelling (makes them feel insecure and unsafe). Animals react to our energy -- good human energy attracts positive animal behavior, and bad human energy attracts negative animal behavior. Every animal has its own personality that needs to be understood and appreciated. Animals should be regarded first with compassion, amusement and humor and never with a bad temper by a human. The proper amount of structure should always be implemented. Most humans need training in how to relate with the instincts of their animal friends than the animals need training in how to be an animal. My commitment as a caregiver to you is that I will be attentive and respectful of any needs that your animal friend has, respect and follow your guidelines with regard to animal boundaries (in house and out of house) and instructions given by you about acceptable behavior and follow without deviation any boundaries that you have regarding your animal friend. I promise to be their next best friend. It breaks my heart when I hear about mistreated and abused animals. If you are looking for someone trustworthy and responsible and who will be attentive to the needs of you and your animal friends, please get in touch with me. I always enjoy making new friends (two legged and four). PS: I have been blessed to have an experience with a house filled with three giant breed dogs, one medium-sized dog, 14 cats, three hamsters, two fishes, and one parakeet, at different times, of course!

    • 8 years in business

    I am an animal lover who takes pride in helping people out with theirs pets in any way by pet sitting, walking, feeding, basic grooming/bathing and cleaning up after.


    Pet Teacher offers an in-home dog training and behavior consultations. We also offer E-mail and phone consultations as well as webcam sessions for distant dogs. No matter where you're located in the country, we can coach you and your dog using Skype on your computer or Skype Mobile on your smart phone. Contact us, and we will explain how our "distant dog sessions" work! We also offer video analysis by capturing your dog's behavior and E-mailing it to us. We will analyze the behavior and give you recommendations on how to help your dog. Pet Teacher has been providing a full-time dog training experience using strictly humane motivational training techniques for 11 years, with no choke chains, prong collars, or shock collars. Pet Teacher's instruction is based on a scientifically-proven and positive reinforcement studies. Pet Teacher offers the following: * Individual sessions * Customized packages * Good manners package * E-mail consultations * Phone consultations * Webcam consultations for distant dogs * Video analysis * Home-alone sessions * Day breaks Pet Teacher designs what you and your dog need to become a successful team! Please visit our website for detailed information.


    I love animals! I have one fur baby of my own. I have dog sat for dogs requiring medicine in the past.

    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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