Dog Training

Find a dog trainer near Portland, OR

Find a dog trainer near Portland, OR

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Top 5 Dog Trainers near Portland, OR

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Q & A

Answers to commonly asked questions from the experts on Thumbtack.

How much does dog training typically cost?

The average cost of dog training ranges from $60 to $155 per hour. But, your dog’s training might cost more or less depending on a number of different factors. For example, you might pay less if you schedule group classes instead of private instruction. The type of training (aggressive behavior, basic obedience, off-leash training, etc.) could have different prices as well. 

Get an exact cost estimate by contacting several dog trainers near you

Learn more about dog training cost factors.

What’s the best way to set up a consultation or an appointment with a dog trainer during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Utilize as many digital means as necessary when setting up appointments or consultations with dog trainers near you during the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently, the best way to begin is by conducting a search for dog trainers online. Compare services side by side, and ask each dog trainer you contact if it’s possible to schedule a consultation or appointment completely virtually. During this time, you should also discuss strategies for completing training and payments through digital means.

Are there ways to be safe if I hire a dog trainer when social distancing?

Current CDC guidelines state, “Do not let pets interact with people or animals outside the household.” It also explains that more studies are needed to understand if and how animals could be affected by the virus that causes COVID-19 and how this might affect human health.

If you’re uncomfortable with hiring a dog trainer right now, you can reach out to dog trainers in your area to see if they will let you book an appointment in the future when social distancing guidelines are lifted. Or, ask if they offer virtual or remote services.

If you do decide to hire a pro to train your dog in person, limit any physical contact with the trainer. Stay 6 feet apart, sanitize items and surfaces, and use digital payments instead of cash or a check.   

Is dog training worth the money?

Dog training can be a highly rewarding investment for most dog owners. With dog training, you can establish a better, healthier relationship with your dog, who will learn to understand your commands and wishes. Your frustration levels may decrease, and you might be able to resume activities you’ve put off, such as having people over or taking your dog to public places (though, this is hard to guarantee because each dog is unique). 

Just remember that no amount of dog training will pay off if you don’t practice and follow the directions the dog trainer gives you. Consistency is the most important factor.

Is it ever too late to start training a dog?

It’s never too late to train your dog — “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” is a myth. Whether you adopt an older dog from the shelter or simply want to have a better relationship with your elderly dog, hiring a dog trainer can be a good investment.

What do professional dog trainers do?

Dog trainers can perform a range of activities, ranging from training law enforcement dogs to working with therapy dogs or search-and-rescue dogs. However, most people hire dog trainers for obedience training. This is largely a process of training the human — much of how a dog interprets our behaviors, commands, tone and body language is counterintuitive at first. The trainer will typically come to your home to observe your relationship with your dog, teach you how to train a command and give you guidance for reinforcing it.

Can I use digital payments to pay for dog training?

Many professional dog trainers accept digital payments instead of cash or check. One effect of the COVID-19 pandemic is that it is encouraging companies and services to onboard digital platforms like PayPal, Zelle, Google Pay, Venmo and Square Cash as a means of curbing virus transmission risk.

When you contact dog trainers near you, ask if they’ll accept digital payments. This information is also typically available on their online profiles.

How can I find out if a dog trainer is considered an essential COVID-19 service provider?

Guidelines on essential services are constantly being updated by local and federal government agencies. To see which services qualify as essential COVID-19 service providers, start with your city or state’s government website.

A reliable list of federal guidelines is available on CISA’s Identifying Critical Infrastructure During COVID-19 webpage. However, not all jurisdictions follow CISA’s definitions of critical infrastructure.  .

Do dog trainers offer remote or virtual services?

Although dog training is traditionally performed in person, the COVID-19 pandemic may have caused some professional dog trainers to move to remote training and virtual services. You can contact dog trainers near you to ask about the possibility of remote or virtual services. Also, ask whether all aspects of the process can be digital, including payment.

Does a dog trainer need to enter my home?

Depending on the type of dog training you need, a dog trainer may need to enter your home. Many behaviors that need to be corrected are associated with the dog being in the house. However, some types of training can take place virtually or even outside while observing safe social distancing practices.

Start by asking dog trainers in your area if they’ll perform a video consultation instead of an in-person one, and ask if they need to enter your home.

Reviews for Portland dog trainers
Deborah S.
Hayley is an amazing dog trainer. She is patient and clear. A welcome and wonderful experience.
Nakama Dog TrainingNakama Dog Training
Thumbtack Customer
Very helpful and informative. Kari will give you all the knowledge you need to successfully train your dog. Couldn't be happier with her training service.
Thumbtack Customer
Kari is great, very professional and available for any questions I have between trainings. This is my first dog training experience and I highly recommend Kari.
Thumbtack Customer
Amazing trainer! Best choice I’ve ever made for my dog! I highly recommend!
Yappy to HappyYappy to Happy
Thumbtack Customer
Kari worked with my wife and me to provide advanced training for our adolescent lab pup Ruckus. Kari's training tips were instrumental in significantly improving Ruckus's response to COME, SETTLE and other critical commands. She gave us detailed written follow ups to our training which we used continuously. Kari is great about explaining the dog's motivational response to different environments and scenarios. We highly recommend Kari as a dog trainer
Sheryl P.
Hayley provided excellent materials and information. Training will take time as rescued dog has many issues. Agreement was to retain Hayley on an as-needed basis.
Nakama Dog TrainingNakama Dog Training
Gareth A.
Deborah has been wonderful training our dog who had some very severe problems with aggression towards people and animals. He started making progress after just a couple of sessions. Deborah's approach to training was very positive and loving, which is the opposite advice anyone had given us about our dog's issues, and, unlike any other attempts we'd made, it worked! Our dog is much better behaved and noticeably happier than before we started training, and I have learned so much about how to handle the behavior problems. I would recommend Patient Pawz to anyone!
Patient PawzPatient Pawz
Eric A.
Hayley was experienced, professional, and exactly what we were looking for in a trainer. She was great at explaining the techniques she was using and preparing us for what to expect. Her initial assessment was for a 6 session course, but after getting to know us and our dog, she suggested a cheaper package with fewer visits. She had so many tools to help us better the relationship with our dog, and now he's calmer than ever! We are so grateful for Nakama Dog Training, it's everything we were hoping for.
Nakama Dog TrainingNakama Dog Training
Julie B.
Haley was amazingly effective in helping me train a rescue Shih Tzu with fear aggression! My little dog Bo is a totally confident and social animal now. Haley was kind an accommodating, coming to our home. She really knows and loves dogs. I highly recommend Haley!!!
Nakama Dog TrainingNakama Dog Training
Joan M.
Excellent trainer, highly knowledgeable and skilled. We learned so much from Kari in just the first lesson. Our dogs were very attentive and quick to respond to her cues.
Sarah R.
Haley is wonderful! My new shelter dog is so, so anxious and we were lost before Haley. She has given us the tools to help him adjust and train him into becoming the family dog he wants to be. She is respectful and sensitive to him and our family. I would recommend her to anyone!!
Nakama Dog TrainingNakama Dog Training
Angela T.
Kari is a kind and knowledgeable trainer who takes her time explaining both the human and canine responses and behaviors that we have, and how to speak dog successfully. We are very excited to have connected with her.
Faith U.
I have a fear reactive Catahoula/German Shepherd mix. We couldn't even go for walks before I sent Norah to Cynthia for three weeks. The fact that we also had training sessions that came with those three weeks has been SO helpful for post training life. I've recommended her to several people I know, and I recommend her to anyone that is reading this. Cynthia is affordable and down to earth. Norah is a completely different dog, happy to go out and to meet other dogs and have new experiences.
Jessica B.
Hayley is an empathetic and highly skilled dog trainer who makes the process easy to understand, providing great insight and tools. After our first session package we purchased with Nakama, I felt we better understood our 2 small dogs and their barking was 75% better than it had been, after years of struggle on that behavioral issue. We’ve just purchased our second session package to continue our progress, and our we and our dogs are thrilled. Highly recommend!
Nakama Dog TrainingNakama Dog Training
Matt M.
Kari has been excellent with helping train our dog Mesquite in the 2 appointments we've had with her. She has a natural affinity for dogs and a rapport to match, that is very clear! Kari provided many direct and teachable methods that have made both our life and our dog's life easier - making sure he doesn't try to run out the front door, helping him not try to steal food, etc. We found it a little challenging with our work schedule to meet up with her, but that's why her Saturdays are booked. Definitely recommend Kari to help you with your dog!
Grae A.
There are so many great things to say about Nakama Dog Training. I'll start with the fact that Hayley is an absolutely fantastic human. She is kind, considerate, thoughtful, hard-working, and empathetic. She's a deep listener who seeks to understand the issues that you're facing with your pup and how that's impacting your well-being as well. She's also incredibly supportive and her training style is consistent and effective. What I have enjoyed most about working with Nakama Dog Training is that the advice and instruction are top-notch and effective. The things I have learned with Hayley are practices that I still use often and are staples for me now. I have a particularly fearful/anxious pup and Hayley provided us with clear-cut strategies and also space for support and understanding that has really been incredibly beneficial for me. I highly recommend that you work with Hayley for any and all of your training needs.
Nakama Dog TrainingNakama Dog Training
Thumbtack Customer
Kari is a marvelous trainer! The training began at the door when she walked in, to teach our puppy not to jump up. Our puppy responded well to her teaching. Kari gave us great instruction to manage behaviors and followed up with written instructions. She sent information before her first visit to get us started in puppy training. She was available to consult between visits to help us stay on track! Its amazing to watch how well our puppy responds to her instruction so quickly! She is the dog whisperer! Great training Kari! Come, Stay!
Sam E.
We brought our 1yr old lab/border collie to Cynthia for obedience training. It didn't take long to see that she definitely has skills when it comes to K9 training, after only two sessions with Cynthia working with us and Bowie, we already see a new side to our dog that were pretty stoked about. No regrets in going with Cynthia, and looking forward to upcoming sessions...
Susan F.
We cannot thank Cynthia enough for all she has done for us and for our German Pointer dog Dutch. He is a young (1 1/2 year old) and highly energetic German Pointer. We adopted him in January from a breeder who raises hunting dogs. He lived in kennels with the other dogs and had never been trained other than some rudimentary hunting training. He was clearly a very sweet and loving dog but entirely without manners! He had never lived in a home before, had no idea how he was supposed to behave as part of a family and, as Cynthia said he did everything at 90 miles an hour. We thought at first that we could manage him ourselves since we have always had dogs. But we soon started thinking that we would never be able to take him for walks and hikes without being pulled off our feet, could never have visitors over to our house again because of his over enthusiastic greetings and could never travel with him because of the fuss he made in a car. We had never hired a trainer before and were reluctant to surrender him to someone else's care. We also did not want him to go anywhere where ecollars or coercive methods were used. After some long and very helpful talks with Cynthia over the phone and a training session we decided to send him to stay with her for one month. I have to say that I worried about him that whole month thinking that he would be lonely or unhappy and that the training would cause him to loose his energy and spirit. I need not have worried - he clearly liked Cynthia and worked hard at his lessons. By the time we took him home he was walking at heel, could go for long walks on a (mostly) loose leash, would sit quietly by our sides when other dogs or people passed by and would sit and stay when we asked him to. We now have a dog who can listen to us and knows how to respond. We and Dutch are all much happier! So I highly recommend Cynthia. I like her training methods, firm but kind. She is experienced and knowledgeable and has been very responsive to our needs in the training program. Above all, Dutch clearly liked her. That says a lot.
Thumbtack Customer
I have only had one lesson with Cynthia so far but will definitely be coming back! I have a GSD-mix puppy who's about 4 months old. He has been testing my authority over the past few weeks and, despite being a lifelong dog owner, I found that I really didn't know the proper way to handle him when he gets bratty on the leash or barks back when I give him instructions. I took him to a 6-week generic puppy obedience training class before looking for a private trainer, and learned absolutely nothing about proper dog handling. After just one lesson with Cynthia I feel so much more confident handling my dog. Our walks over the past couple of days since the lesson have been, by far, the best we've ever had. His improvement in such a short time has really blown me away. Cynthia is an exceptionally knowledgeable and caring trainer who I plan to stick with as long as she is willing to help me train my pup! I would recommend her to anyone.
Thumbtack Customer
I hired Cynthia as my dog trainer for several reasons. She got back to me right away, she was reasonably priced, she had great reviews, she has worked with a lot of German Shepherds, and she comes to my home. She has been here twice and is teaching me how to train my dog. She is patient, kind, and really knows her business. She is always encouraging, never impatient or unkind. I am looking forward to more lessons and I plan to take my dog to her for a two week stay so that she can really get my girl going in the right direction. Keesha is somewhat fearful so I feel that for Cynthia to be able work her magic she needs to have Keesha close by on a daily bases.
Blake B.
Molly Wong was great with our puppy! She was super friendly and really knows her stuff. Our puppy loved her too! She gave us a lot of insight and tips to continue training our dog. Will continue working with her and would definitely recommend to anyone and everyone!
Growing Up K9Growing Up K9
Jenn W.
Hailey was wonderful to work with! She is patient, knowledgeable, and amazingly understanding. She recognizes that all dogs have different needs, and was super helpful giving us the tools we needed to help Kairi react less to things. She was also very very patient with her high energy personality. We completed the walk and chill program with her, and also learned some nifty tricks like how to get our dog to file her own nails! Would 100% recommend for all types of dog training needs, and I'll happily be contacting her again if we need further help with anything!
Nakama Dog TrainingNakama Dog Training
Christina s.
I was extremely leery about leaving my dog there. He has never been away from us. But I read alot of other reviews and since they were all good I scheduled an appt. When we arrived Cynthia & JD were so welcoming I instantly felt more comfortable leaving my dog. I honestly didn't know if the training would work since my dog was not very cooperative with me. But Cynthia gaves us updates and after just one week I couldn't believe the difference! My dog stayed a total of 3 weeks and I had 3 lessons myself along the way. At the end of the 3 weeks I was extremely satisfied. I am very happy with the work they did & how patient they were with my dog... and me lol. I will definitely refer them to others. Thank you Cynthia & JD.
Meg N.
I enjoyed the support and insight Mike provided for my puppy. He took ample time in answering my questions and it was refreshing to work someone with the same level of respect and compassion for training dogs. I would highly recommended Mike to anyone needing guidance with your furry loved ones!
Frayed Hat Dog TrainingFrayed Hat Dog Training
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