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Fairfax Animal Behaviorists

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

Top Pro
Ruff House Dog Training
4.9
from 170 reviews
  • 3 years in business
  • 313 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Jasmin G.
Verified review

We adopted a dog who unfortunately was very aggressive. The dog was nipping and jumping at the kids all of the time. We were worried that we had to give the dog back to the adoption agency because of his aggression towards our family. Ryan was able to change our dog’s behavior with just one lesson!! We were so surprised with the quick results! We are happy to say that Luke will be staying with our family!

Top Pro
Perfect Poochies
4.9
from 71 reviews
  • 2 years in business
  • 126 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Brittany M.
Verified review

Kathryn was very knowledgeable and left me with some great tips to help with my dog's behavior.

Top Pro
Horse and Hound Wellness
5.0
from 55 reviews
  • 6 years in business
  • 94 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Lenyta K.
Verified review

JoJo is a skilled trainer. I learned so much from her in our first session. I see an improvement in my dog's behavior already. I look forward to working with her again.

  • 7 years in business
  • 70 hires on Thumbtack
Chris C.
Verified review

I asked Jerry to help me with my dog's food aggression towards our new puppy. He came to our home in Springfield, VA, on a Sunday over July 4th weekend (!) because that was the only time me and my fiance were home at the same time. He arrived on time (early, even) and BLEW US AWAY with his expertise. He basically solved the food aggression issue in a matter of minutes when other trainers told me that this would be a life-long problem that I could NEVER fix! With that issue quickly addressed, he started identifying areas that we could focus our efforts on, even though we had only hired him for the one issue. He showed us how to get our hyper 2-year old 80lb dog to pay attention to us and respond to commands instead of running around like a goofball. By the end of the session our 2-year old dog was sitting, laying down, crawling, shaking, speaking, not-speaking, leaving treats until he had permission - things we had never been able to do before! He also showed us how to quickly housebreak our new puppy. We loved the fact that he was able to teach us in a way that was simple and super-effective. He also gave us advice on feeding, proper toys, dog parks - he allowed us to question him about anything and everything we could think of. He is very kind, patient, and non-judgmental (even when our dog jumped on the dining room chair and sat at the table like a dinner guest....talk about embarrassing in front of a dog trainer). He was not rushed at all and spent a ton of time explaining the basis for everything so we could understand the context of the dogs' behavior. After the session he e-mailed us the instructions that he had just taught us so we could have it all in writing to refer back to, and it is working like a charm. We cannot wait to have him back to help us address pulling on walks! He is the NoVA Cesar Millan, for sure!

Top Pro
Canine Dominion
5.0
from 32 reviews
  • 5 years in business
  • 46 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 35 reviews
  • 98 hires on Thumbtack
Gloriana E.
Verified review

After searching multiple sites and trying out two other trainers, we found Kimberly on Thumbtack and liked what we read. Her "holistic" approach to dog training really appealed to us and aligned perfectly with our view of the connection between nutrition, physical and mental health, and behavior. When we did the IBAC, we immediately felt a click between the three humans (Kimberly + puppy parents) and Lucy (puppy). Through our work with Kimberly during the training sessions and our practice at home, Lucy has become more calm, responsive, and seems now to recognize us as the "pack leaders". One of the most important lessons we learned is that adjusting on our own energy and behavior is key to effect change in our dog's energy and behavior. It is important to bear in mind that no trainer - no matter how good - can make a dog's behavior change consistently and permanently after the training program without the owners' follow-through. With Kimberly's guidance and our constant practice, we're confident that we will continue making steady progress and nurture a balanced, well-behaved dog and a loving, respecting bond between us.

Wag Ur Tail Dog Training
4.7
from 31 reviews
  • 2 years in business
  • 55 hires on Thumbtack
Sara L.
Verified review

Mike is fantastic ! I was able to schedule our training sessions during the holidays while visiting family. He was very accommodating. Mike's training uses a positive reinforcement - no fear or intimidation and no shock collars! Our 7 month old puppy, Capone, (APBT) was becoming a little stubborn with distractions, making it somewhat difficult to get him out and about. Mike also provided an amazing amount of information on dog behavior and dog psychology. After the first training session I noticed Capone had a change in behavior he was better behaved and within 4 and was obeying commands much better. Mike spent as much time teaching/training us how to react or not react to our puppy in order to discourage or praise him for his certain behaviors. So glad I chose Mike at Quarter Moon Kennels and will be contacting him again if needed!

Top Pro
Paw Patrol of VA LLC
5.0
from 26 reviews
  • 3 years in business
  • 61 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Sonny S.
Verified review

I purchased the six week training package with Vicky. On the initial meet and greet I could already see that she had a good rapport with my dog. After the initial meeting we set up a regular date/time and Vicky was always vigilant on sending a reminder text the day before to confirm our appointment and she always arrive on time every time. Vicky does an excellent job in guiding you to train your animal, she provides both positive feedback on the things that you and your animal are doing right and what needs to be corrected. She was able to successfully correct the main issue that I had with my dog which was pulling on the leash.

Top Pro
Social Tailwaggers, LLC
4.9
from 19 reviews
  • 3 years in business
  • 33 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Meg O.
Verified review

Jody came by to coach us through some issues we've been having with our puppy: nipping, barking, jumping, and leash pulling. Jody spent 1.5 hours teaching us techniques to work with our puppy, and managing our expectations so that we know what's normal puppy behavior. We're already seeing great results! Jody was very patient, knowledgeable, and helpful as we work to train our puppy to be the best dog she can be! All of her techniques are positive, and reinforced with treats. No awful choke collars, shock callers, or leash jerking necessary.

  • 33 years in business
  • 27 hires on Thumbtack
Jeff M.
Verified review

I started with Academy when our rescue 14 month GSD was a year old and am very pleased with the results. I'm not sure who is being trained though. If you have the time and opportunity definitely take the group class over a period of time. In a subtle way Haywood shows you insights into your dogs behavior while you work with the dog. There are no "trade secrets" in his classes. He explains in a friendly manner the whats, whys, and how to train and its dependent on the particular dog. Some dogs connect differently. You will eventually have a moment when you're home working with your dog when you realize that you're actually communicating with your dog. Reading the dog and answering back. Its amazing. I firmly believe that this is the place if you seriously want to understand your dog and have a well trained dog. There are many options available here for training. You really can't go wrong. Haywood has over 30 years in the business. I'm getting good results with him.

Family Dog Business (FDB)
4.4
from 13 reviews
  • 1 year in business
  • 6 hires on Thumbtack
Mariah G.
Verified review

Working with Anthony has been amazing. He was so patient with Kennedy, she’s older so she can be a bit stubborn but he was understanding and attentive. He was honest and forthright, very flexible. I work a lot so my schedule can be crazy but he worked with me consistently and didn’t hold it against me when I had to reschedule last minute because of scheduling conflict. I’m so grateful for him, I have noticed such a huge improvement in my dog’s behavior. Would recommend him to everyone.

Top Pro
  • 11 years in business
  • 12 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.)

Pet Sitting
4.9
from 8 reviews
  • 5 years in business
  • 11 hires on Thumbtack
Christine F.
Verified review

I am exceptionally pleased that I chose Jenny to dog sit for me. I have a shy dog, and Jenny took the time to introduce herself to my pup to make sure they were comfortable with each other. She sent text updates and pictures so I wouldn't worry while I was away, and also wrote out detailed descriptions of every visit. It's obvious that Jenny loves animals (especially with her background in animal rescue), and I would not hesitate to use her services again or recommend her to a friend.

  • 5 years in business
  • 14 hires on Thumbtack
Adriana C.
Verified review

Christine has been a wonderful help and great trainer! We adopted our dog from a shelter and we needed help with his confidence and fearfulness. We were not sure about his history and we wanted to make sure we were not part of the problem. Christine has helped us get better at idenitifying the body language and understanding the behavior of our dog. We really like the positive reinforcement used with the clicker training and our puppy responds great to it. We also appreciate how she is always available when you need her with something you may not be sure of. She has provided a wealth of reading material and she knows what material you need based on your dog. We would definitely recommend her to a friend.

Debbie's Pet Services
5.0
from 7 reviews
  • 12 hires on Thumbtack
Andrew M.
Verified review

Our animals took to Debbie's Pet Services with ease and were clearly well cared-for. We got regular updates while we were away. I recommend Debbie's Pet Services and would use again.

  • 7 years in business
  • 3 hires on Thumbtack
Birgitt H.
Verified review

everything was very relaxed and the dog enjoyed learning the necessary behavior. It was a pleasure working with Melissa.

Jane's Dog Care Service
5.0
from 6 reviews
  • 18 years in business
  • 8 hires on Thumbtack
Dan H.
Verified review

We were desperate about our Shepherd - Lab rescue's behavior when we started working with Jane. Our friends and family were not comfortable in our house because of his fearful / aggressive behavior and intimidating barking. We were not able to walk him or go anywhere in public without worrying. We saw a change after the first week of lessons with Jane. She knew exactly what to do to get Arlo to settle and to help us work with him in a different way. Six weeks later he is comfortable with strangers and we are able to walk him almost anywhere with confidence. Jane was a life saver.

Consistent Canine, LLC
5.0
from 5 reviews
  • 3 years in business
  • 2 hires on Thumbtack
Andrea V.
Verified review

Kristy is amazing! She will come out and meet you and your pooch and spend time getting to know you and your needs. I dropped my boy (Jax - 90 lb. 9 months German Shephard) Saturday morning and he stayed with her for 3 weeks. A huge bonus is that she has other dogs, kitties, bunnies, and chickens - so Jax was exposed to and learned how to behave and be patient with them. We had a mid-training visit (she will do this with you during, OR after training) and spent two hours going over what he had learned. Even after only a week or so he had picked up many skills. It was me that needed to learn now:). Once home Jax immediately investigated the entire house and literally did some of his initial behaviors (like he was trying to make up for lost time and fit them all in within a few minutes). It was pretty funny actually. He knows the commands he was taught - there is no doubt. The more time I spend with him the more he is learning that he needs to follow those with me, as well, and not just Kristy:) He does test me, and in all honesty, I find myself breaking into laughter with him (not good for reinforcing his learning by the way). But, when I recompose myself and calmly and firmly bring him back to a place of obedience, he does "fall in line". He may not like it (the subtle whining is one indicator), but he does it. Part of the success once you have your pooch home is recognizing when you simply do not have their trainable attention. When Jax's energy and hormones are driving his puppy behavior I've found that isn't the time for me to "win" (frankly, because I don't, and reinforcing him winning is not good). I chose Kristy after connecting with her about in-home visits while I'm at work. That's how I learned of her training business. We met and honestly I just liked her. Jax liked her too - and that was important. My favorite part was the 3-week break and being able to clean my house without Jax thinking everything I was doing was for his enjoyment. Aside from that, it's clearly the effectiveness of Kristy's work. She also stays in touch with you to let you know how things are progressing. The biggest takeaway is learning how to properly use a pinch and/or e-collar, and that I need to be committed to reinforcing all the learned commands. What's truly great about Jax now is that I can, with confidence, take him hiking, out for walks, around other dogs (still a bit of a struggle - but honestly - that's a tough one for any pup!), public places, etc. and I know I have a different kind of control (he'll sit and remain sitting until I say otherwise).

County Animal Care

New To Thumbtack

    About

    I can do dog walking during mornings until noon. I can do dog sitting in the mornings until 3:00 pm. I can do bathing and minor grooming. I also offer external health assessment and look at vital signs.

    Tammi

    New To Thumbtack

      About

      I am an owner of dogs, cats, chickens, a goat, and a turkey. I am very knowledgeable with animals. I have a flexible schedule.

      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.

      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 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?
      Hire skilled professionals for absolutely everything.