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Find a dog trainer near Pittsburgh, PA

Find a dog trainer near Pittsburgh, PA

35 near you

Find a dog trainer near Pittsburgh, PA

35 near you

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Top 4 Dog Trainers near Pittsburgh, PA

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Q & A

Answers to commonly asked questions from the experts on Thumbtack.

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.   

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.

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.

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.

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 behave 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 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.

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.

Reviews for Pittsburgh dog trainers
Maria P.
Very professional work & knowledgeable about everything involving dog training. She has a lot of patience with my dog specifically since she is a baby and even more complicated to train.
Scooby Doos House of PlayScooby Doos House of Play
Thumbtack Customer
Deedee is an excellent dog trainer and business woman. Hire her!
Scooby Doos House of PlayScooby Doos House of Play
Rami G.
Linda adapted her training to our needs. We had a recently adopted a hound mix from a shelter and as new dog owners we needed just as much training as the dog. After just the first visit with Linda, we had a noticeably better relationship with our dog and our dog walks were far less stressful. One of the main reasons for looking for a trainer was to handle our dog's reaction to other dogs and people. Linda arranged for meet and greets with other dogs at our house and also in a fenced in area to help diagnosis that the problem was leash frustration. This set us at ease and gave us a goal to work towards. Linda was always punctual and generous with her time and advice. Our whole family is grateful for her helpfulness and expertise. We would recommend her to anyone looking for a dog trainer.
My Canine Counselor - MesquiteMy Canine Counselor - Mesquite
Thumbtack Customer
We had personal dog training in our home and it was invaluable! Christine was easy to work with and came prepare with a variety of toys, treats, and great ideas. She obviously has a love of dogs!
Happy Pets TrainingHappy Pets Training
Thumbtack Customer
Happy Pets Training was very helpful and great to work with. I highly recommend working with them, especially if you have a problem dog.
Happy Pets TrainingHappy Pets Training
Maryfrances G.
Christine was very professional and kind. Very knowledgeable on the actions and reactions of dogs. We are putting her training into action and will follow up, with hopefully, positive results.
Happy Pets TrainingHappy Pets Training
Ms P.
Only beginning training, BUT THUS FAR, SHE IS EXCELLENT! Only expecting great things for my super excitable dog. !!!! Great job in progress. Dee-Dee is very knowledgeable and includes me in the training process. (I'm the one that has to break some bad habits😂)
Scooby Doos House of PlayScooby Doos House of Play
Jeremy M.
Deedee helped me and my wife with our 1.5 year old german shepherd tremendously. He’s well behaved when he’s in “training” mode but can be a terror when he’s not focused or remotely distracted. With only four sessions, his behavior went from almost unbearable (always play biting, barking at everything, not great at walking, etc.) to the point where he’s getting compliments on his behavior. We participated in two separate (different locations) group-training sessions when he was younger but the results weren’t where we wanted them. I would highly recommend one-on-one training with Deedee because she teached us, the owners, as much -if not more- than she was able to teach our dog (it could be beneficial to do group training after an initial training with Deedee to socialize your dog/pup). I never realized how much we thought we were doing correctly (per the group training classes) that just wasn’t cutting it. He still has a ways to go but she sets a strong foundation. Overall, if you have a dog you simply aren’t seeing the results you want from training or a young puppy, call Deedee. We’ll likely be boarding our dog with her as well when we go on vacation. She’s very professional, responsive and accommodating. We both highly recommend her.
Scooby Doos House of PlayScooby Doos House of Play
Rebecca H.
Christine was fantastic and super helpful helping me with my puppy and making me feel hopeful that I can do this. I want to have a well trained dog and I know it starts with her training now and I am well on my way thanks to Christine!
Happy Pets TrainingHappy Pets Training
Hannah B.
Deedee was great! Unfortunately we were unable to conquer the dog chasing cat problem in our first 2 sessions but that may have had more to do with our cat being unresponsive to interacting with our dog. For the last 2 sessions, we worked on manners outside and we have had significant improvements in leash manners and people manners! Deedee gave us the tools necessary to continue working with our dog to continue to improve. Also, scooby doos house of play has a wide variety of options from train and board to personal lessons that we will utilize in the future to continue to conquer our puppy problems :) our dog was an 6 year old rescue so she can obviously help train out bad behaviors in older dogs too! Would go back if we ever decide to get another dog with behavioral issues. Thanks Deedee!
Scooby Doos House of PlayScooby Doos House of Play
Alexandra C.
We just finished week 2 of training with our dog and we have noticed a huge difference already. Can't wait to see how much more we can achieve
Scooby Doos House of PlayScooby Doos House of Play
Anne B.
I took my 3 year old rescue pup for a behavior evaluation, and though we didnt work any specific training that day , talking through my concerns with the trainers made a world of difference for me. Because of their professionalism, knowledge, and approach to training, I walked out more confident as an owner which helped me work with my dog better. Im enrolling my pup in the basic obedience package.
Off Leash K9 Training, PittsburghOff Leash K9 Training, Pittsburgh
Thumbtack Customer
I am not a fan of rating something before I'm through, but I thought it important this time. My 77lb lab boxer rescue, was a danger to both of us and other dogs and people. I had him for 4 months and I had tried "positive...all food is good" training and I still had bruises and scrapes and cuts from him pulling me everywhich way when a dog was in the area or a squirrel....deer not as bad... unless they ran. He also likes to lunge at people who are too close (we haven't gone through that training yet)That being said in one week I am no longer fearful that he will be a danger to anyone... though I'm still watchful. There are still some issues, but most of those are with me and they have been wonderful articulating where I am going wrong with amazing grace. Unlike my other 2 trainers who were kinda not so graceful... I have his attention now, I just need to learn how to direct him. With a rescue I'm realizing he was not socialized and has had no direction in life on even how to play. Paw and Order is using all different types of strategies to address his tude, and the biggest one is training ME. I was a bit intimidated and wanted all positive training, but I can assure anyone who is reading this with the same issues, of "oh my I don't want to hurt my dog" 1. You are NOT hurting your dog. There is a great combination of training that is happening with him and HE is JUST fine. 2. Ultimately HE will be MUCH safer and IS MUCH safer with just a few minor tweaks. It is incredible. I was stopped by a dog lover yesterday who was so impressed with him and simply said "all dogs learn differently, they have all been exposed to different life experiences, it is finding that training that ultimately keeps them safe." I could not have put it better. The photo of him is in his "place" while he watches a dog walk not more then 30' from him. A week ago, that would have been all kinds of crazy!
Paw & Order Dog TrainingPaw & Order Dog Training
Katie S.
Deedee helped me and my new rescue, Marley, on the right path to resolving her isolation anxiety. She is a completely different dog now than she was at the beginning of our training with Deedee. Thank you so much for all your help!
Scooby Doos House of PlayScooby Doos House of Play
Thumbtack Customer
Christine trained my beagle and me! She showed me how to get Lily to do good behaviors and had me do them with her. She brought a lot of things with her to see what Lily would respond to. I am very pleased with the progress we made and I know how to work with Lily now. Christine invited me to call her if I have any questions or problems. I highly recommend her to train anyone's dog.
Happy Pets TrainingHappy Pets Training
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