Dog Training

Find a dog trainer near Arlington, VA

Find a dog trainer near Arlington, VA

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Top 4 Dog Trainers near Arlington, VA

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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.

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.

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.

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.

What is a dog boot camp?

A dog boot camp is basically a board and train program that focuses on training your dog or puppy. The trainers will work with your dog to curb unwanted behavior, teach them basic skills and show them how to walk on a leash.

Dog boot camps and training programs might differ when it comes to their services, so it’s always a good idea to do your research and ask them to explain exactly what they offer — and how much they charge.

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.

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?
Reviews for Arlington dog trainers
William S.
Chris has been excellent so far in helping my 3mo old rottweiler learn the puppy basics. The sessions are personalized to your individual dog to help target weak points in his training; Chris is constantly providing feedback on areas of improvement, toys and training aid recommendations, and minor details to adjust the training to best fit your dogs personality and level of progression. He is also highly responsive via email and text, and flexible in terms of scheduling. Can't recommend him enough.
Joanna D.
Debbie was such a pleasure to work with and really knows what she’s doing! My 4 month old puppy needed help with leash walking and learning basic commands so I reached out to Debbie for one-on-one training. She was extremely responsive from the start. She used great tactics and provided a lot of suggestions that made the rest of home training a lot easier. I would 100% recommend Debbie as a dog trainer!
Whiskers & PawsWhiskers & Paws
Emma W.
Chris did a great job with my dog Pepper! She started responding to the training almost immediately, and he gave me plenty of techniques and tips to improve her behavior and adapt to her new living situation.
Leslie K.
Natasha Jones (owner of canine obsessions) is the best dog trainer in the DC, Northern Virginia and Maryland area. Four months ago I used her board and training program for my unruly, wild and disobedient German Sheppard puppy "Gio". I was even considering giving him back to the breeder. He was biting all of us, acting crazy every time he saw another dog, tearing up the house, and not listening to any command. When I picked him up four weeks later he was a COMPLETELY different pup. He was calm, sweet natured, and 100% obedient. All of his bad behaviors that brought me to tears were a distant memory. I never knew this was possible! It was and is amazing! I have continued Natasha’s training techniques and at nine months old Gio continues to be the best trained and calm dog. He is a huge asset to our family and I get compliments everywhere I go. Thanks to Natasha and Canine Obsessions our lives were changed for the better. I also plan on using her to train Gio in the near future to be an Emotional Support Dog (ESD) for my severely autistic daughter. Natasha has experience in doing this and I am honored to work with her. I also continue to use her boarding services. Thank you Natasha! You are the best!
Canine ObsessionsCanine Obsessions
Avi C.
Natasha has been the best trainer I have come across so far. I rescued a 1 year old husky who never lived inside a house but in a farm, and had extreme separation anxiety. 1 month with Natasha and he was a completely different dog and is well behaved to the point of a professional guard dog. I live in a small carpetted apartment and my husky is fully house trained to the point where he will never go potty or urinate inside the house... like ever. There has been instances where he had an upset stomach, but he knows how to let me know that he needs to go outside. My husky went from marking every place to staying inside a small apartment by himself for a whole day without destroying anything. He is also now fully off-leash trained even in public, extremely social with kids and small dogs and I can take him everywhere now. Natasha also periodically checks in to see if he is relapsing in his training and his progress on learning new things, and she always a phone call away.
Canine ObsessionsCanine Obsessions
Nikki K.
Chris was fabulous! Our pup, Mila already had a pretty decent foundation of commands but we needed help tackling leash training and needed some separation anxiety tips. After one session, we already saw an improvement in Mila’s behavior on the leash! Chris also sent us a comprehensive summary of our training after each meeting which was very helpful to reference after each visit. Mila was so attentive to Chis- he is truly a dog whisperer!! I highly recommend him for all your training needs!
Daniella R.
Our experience with Ryan was amazing! In just one session Ryan was able to combat Zuki's walking difficulties with his skill and magical collar. Would definitely recommend Ryan and Ruff House Dog Training to anyone who is having any problems with their fur-baby. Thanks again Ryan!
Ruff House Dog TrainingRuff House Dog Training
Thumbtack Customer
Ryan is incredible with dogs. He showed us ways to deal with our 7 month old, crazy lab. We appreciated his calm demeanor, and he was able to correct us politely, while carefully explaining what we needed to do to have a well trained pup. It's obvious how much he loves dogs and how good he is with people, too. Our pup responded very well to him. Both my husband and I took long turns practicing with our puppy, while Ryan advised and patiently helped us handle the puppy correctly. This is my 3rd lab, so I'm not a new dog owner. Ryan really seemed to have a way with dogs (even our older dog was paying attention, as well as a neighbor's who we met along the walk). I appreciated that he came to us. I'd highly recommend his services!
Ruff House Dog TrainingRuff House Dog Training
Jonathan S.
10/10 would recommend doggenius. I did the 7 classes once a week. my dog went from 10% recall and leash pulling to 90% recall and heeling next to me. DogGenius was great working with my 1.5 year old GSD and really set the fundamentals during our sessions so my training in between sessions was a lot less frustrating than when i was training before starting with DogGenius. DogGenius really made the effort to accommodate the training to my pup to make him successful and the results greatly exceeded my expectations. Work with DogGenius and you won't be disappointed.
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