Fairfax, VA
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Fairfax Good Dog Trainers

Browse these good dog trainers with great ratings from Thumbtack customers in Fairfax.

Top Pro
Ruff House Dog Training
4.9
from 163 reviews
  • 3 years in business
  • 288 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top pro on Thumbtack
Pamela M.
Verified review

Ryan sat and LISTENED to me and my concerns with my Molly. He didn't try to sell me something I wasn't interested in but focused on MY concerns. We discussed his training technique and off we went. He reinforced process and was clear with his direction. He spoke with confidence but still had a sense of humor. Very patient with Me and with Molly. I totally feel that I can continue with what I was taught. If your on the fence, take the leap, Ryan and his training technique is worth ever penny. Thank you Ryan!!!!

Top Pro
Perfect Poochies
4.9
from 59 reviews
  • 2 years in business
  • 102 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top pro on Thumbtack
KfreeKaren F.
Verified review

Choosing the right trainer is a difficult and overwhelming task. The following is my experience with Kathryn and Perfect Poochies. Summarized: Kathryn is amazing. I have a whole new skillset at my disposal. My dog is calmer, has less anxiety and if new issues surface, I am better prepared to deal with them. If you are a new dog owner looking for a starting point or find yourself struggling with any number of unwanted behavioral issues, she can help. Kathryn is extremely knowledgeable, experienced, versatile and patient. She was never condescending or judgmental while helping me understand areas I needed to improve. She has an uncanny ability to understand dogs and what makes them tick. Once she gets to know you and your dog, she will provide an honest assessment of what she considers to be the underlying issue(s) and lays out a plan for correcting or managing it. The love she puts into her work is evident in everything she does from designing your personalized sessions, her regular follow-up and her encouragement to reach out any time you have questions or issues. Detailed: I am a first-time dog owner. Our 18-month, 170-pound Great Dane, Odin has been part of our family since he was 2-months old. We immediately enrolled in the first two puppy training classes at Pet-Smart. Our family has consistently applied what we learned. Everything was going great with Odin until somewhere around 7-months of age. Odin would occasionally start barking at a person for no apparent reason. This behavior gradually increased to include anyone reaching into his face, unexpected fast movements and large groups of people swarming in on him. We solicited advice from our Pet-Smart trainer and studied tons of training materials – books, training guides, Internet. Some of the techniques we tried helped, but if Odin was truly upset, the only thing we could do was apologize and leave. Odin remained excellent with dogs and children but the number of adults that triggered his barking was increasing. During the summer, I was having work done on my car and I brought Odin because there were plenty of paths nearby. It took longer than expected for the car to be finished and when we returned Odin was exhausted. A young man approached, and I quickly warned about Odin’s anxiety and in his over-tired state, his behavior would probably be worse than normal. The man assured me that he had experience with dogs, and slowly bent down near Odin, leaving plenty of space and not making eye contact. He gave Odin time to get used to him and smell him and soon enough Odin was comfortable and enjoying being petted. Unfortunately, when the man was ready to leave, he jumped up which surprised/scared Odin who then also jumped up and started lunging, growling and barking at him. The man was very kind and understanding, but it was time to seek out professional help. I searched online for trainers and dog-behaviorists and there were a number of options. As we were trying to choose one, I remembered a friendly and outgoing woman who had hosted a free local dog training session. Odin seemed comfortable around her, so I reached out to see if she would be interested in private training sessions. The woman was Kathryn of Perfect Poochies. Not only did she offer private training, but she had ample experience with large dogs and the exact behavior I described. Our first training session involved getting to know our family and Odin. She asked questions about what we were experiencing and what we tried to mitigate it. Next, she analyzed our actions and body language as well as Odin’s behavior, response, reactions, attitude etc. She used this information to create a custom training plan for fear-aggression. We met once a week wherein she would teach me new techniques and verify I could perform them correctly. She would evaluate my actions and behavior and if anything I was doing contributed to his anxiety, she would help me find alternatives. At the end of the session, she always left me with several things to work on before our next session – as with anything in life, the key to success is repetition and consistency. Occasionally, she would introduce me to new products that could help with Odin’s training. The products were not a ‘company product’ or money-making gimmick - they were products she had success using with other dogs. If I wanted to try them, I had to find/order them. Following six sessions, Odin had less anxiety and I am able to successfully manage what remains. Odin now looks to me when he gets nervous instead of instantly reacting. By changing my leadership style, he obeys commands more readily and consistently. Before Odin would lurch and jump to get to anything that excited him (squirrels). Now, he just gives a light tug on the leash or stares. When he is told to “Leave It”, he settles down immediately. Previously, I would make large loops to avoid passing people. I was worried he might start barking at them. Now we can walk right by and all I have to do is tell him to “Leave It.” Odin’s responding immediately to my commands has increased my confidence, which in turn has decreased much of his anxiety. There are a couple of dog walkers in the neighborhood with whom I walk Odin. In the beginning of our training, Odin had limited contact with people and dogs. When I had the chance to meet up with them again, they marveled over the transformation in Odin’s behavior and how calm he bad become. Another technique she suggested is Odin wearing a bright vest that says, ‘In Training’ and lists a couple of items not to do around him (things that trigger his anxiety). The vest has helped make others aware of Odin’s ‘special needs’ well before they approach him. I have also gotten much better at recognizing things that may trigger his anxiety so I can avoid, prevent or discourage it. Thank you for reading my review. I am very grateful for the help I received from Perfect Poochies. It was worth every penny. Speaking of which, don’t stress about the fees, Perfect Poochies is perfectly affordable.

Top Pro
Horse and Hound Wellness
5.0
from 48 reviews
  • 6 years in business
  • 84 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top pro on Thumbtack
Alyssa H.
Verified review

JoJo was such a huge help with training my newly adopted dog and helping her get along with my older dog. My new dog had food aggression issues and would bite my other dog and myself, but JoJo offered many ideas to help and after trial and error with the different options, it finally worked and now both dogs get along great and there has been no aggression! She helped greatly with basic dog training as well. I also learned how to be a leader for my dogs and JoJo provided many leadership skills for me to work on and owns dogs listen so much more. I felt so overwhelmed when I adopted the second dog but JoJo has definitely helped to improve my leadership skills in order to help my dogs.

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

I couldn't be happier with the training that we've received from Social Tailwaggers. Jodie, our trainer. is so patient and very knowledgeable. The first time we met, we discussed what training I was interested in and what goals we were trying to achieve for my dog, Cooper. Cooper was around 10-11 months old when we began our first training session. She immediately began to introduce new skills and commands to work on training Cooper. After each lesson, Jodie sends a detailed email outlining all of the skills we worked on and suggestions to help with practicing on my own. Jodie was also helpful with recommendations on types of toys and feeding bowls to help with the energy level of my dog. I would highly recommend Social Tailwaggers to anyone who needs help training a new puppy or an older dog. It is well worth the time, money and effort to have a well trained dog and not only are you going to have a well trained, better behaved dog, it's also a lot of fun time spent with your dog.

Top Pro
Paw Patrol of VA LLC
5.0
from 26 reviews
  • 3 years in business
  • 57 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top pro on Thumbtack
Uttara K.
Verified review

Vicky went above and beyond to help me train our new dog and my family. To train our dog to be around d other dogs, she brought her own dogs to the training session! That really helped me and made a big difference! She was very responsive over emails throughout the session and responded to my questions/concerns over email within few hours. She adjusted the training to suit my specific needs. Will definitely recommend to friends.

Top Pro
Wag Ur Tail Dog Training
5.0
from 24 reviews
  • 41 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top pro on Thumbtack
Thumbtack Customer
Verified review

We did a two week board and train with Mike and he was great to work with and my Bernese Mountain dog, Muesnter, really enjoyed his time there. Mike took good care of our dog and actually recommended we change foods to something better for a picky eater and now he has no problem finishing his meals. He also recommended we switch harnesses to something that gave us better control. Mike listened to what we wanted Muesnter to be trained on and he kept us updated on his progress with videos, pictures, and texts. Muesnter had a problem coming when called, pulling on his leash, and picking up things he shouldn't. Mike taught us strategies for how to deal with these issues and worked with Muesnter to get him to listen better.

PackFit
4.3
from 30 reviews
  • 95 hires on Thumbtack
Jessie P.
Verified review

My sister and I first approached PackFit in 2014 for help with our Chihuahua Mix – her name is Mandu – that we had adopted from the shelter. She was terrified of anything that moved and coped by barking. We tried different methods that other dog trainers offered to no avail. Ms. Kimberly is excellent with both dogs and people – her dedication to them is awe-inspiring. The time and effort she’ll put into making your life and your dog’s life better shows her passion to her cause: “training dogs, empowering people, and changing lives.” PackFit offers more than dog training; PackFit gives you a role model that will help you with your own issues – without you even noticing – so that your dog won’t feed off of those anxious and negative cues. Now, this doesn’t mean that Mandu and I are perfect after our in-home sessions with Ms. Kimberly. However, two years later, we’re still taking baby steps in the right direction. I miss Ms. Kimberly and her own pack ever since our in-home sessions ended but thanks to her, Mandu and I are slowly conquering our fears.

Adventure Paws
4.9
from 17 reviews
  • 3 years in business
  • 22 hires on Thumbtack
Jennifer J.
Verified review

Ricky and Orla first came to the house two weeks ago to meet my lovely pup Charlie. It was the initial "meet and greet" and couldn't have gone smoother! Ricky was very communicative about what to expect, and he met all of my expectations. After the initial visit - Ricky sent me an email which was inclusive of his evaluation of Charlie, his recollection of what I voiced was important to achieve through training, as well as his broad plan for Charlie. I was in the market for a dog trainer to help me with some restructuring for my puppy and Ricky so far has been a perfect fit. This past week was the second time Ricky came to the house to train Charlie, prior to the visit he sent me an email breakdown of how he was going to spend the session, which was very helpful! After the first true training session which was this past Tuesday I was very impressed with the repoire Ricky and Orla are developing with Charlie. He is a very smart dog - and is taking to their training tactics well. Their pricing is affordable in my price range and they have great customer support. My plan is to have Ricky train Charlie twice a week - and I am very hopeful for the results I desire! So far so good! I am hoping after each week to get feedback from Ricky as to the progress he feels he is making, in addition to more short term details as to his plan and how he will intensify the training. Basics are one thing - which Charlie has down pat - and I am interested to see how he specifically plans to continue the progression with Charlie. Overall - I couldn't be happier!

The Perfect Dog
4.2
from 26 reviews
  • 35 hires on Thumbtack
Michael S.
Verified review

We hired Shawn because traditional positive reinforcement training did not work for our two Goldendoodles (ages 4 and 1 1/2) who always paid more attention to other elements in their environment than food. In addition, our younger dog was coming into her maturity and challenged our older dog for dominance - which created unsafe situations at home. We hired Shawn for on-leash training, and have noticed a huge difference in our dogs' behavior since returning home just two weeks ago. Our dogs no longer rule the roost - we don't have to worry about them not paying attention to our commands because they aren't motivated by the treat we're offering. We've also seen them transform into much calmer dogs - they no longer jump on us or our guests, pull us through the neighborhood on walks, scratch and paw at people or items, or bark incessantly at the mailman. My husband and I had no exposure any training method other than treat-based training, and were brainwashed by bad information from former dog trainers. The best part about Shawn's program is the incredible amount of time he spends with owners to de-program mis-information and bad habits, and teach you the WHY and HOW of successful dog training. He trains the owners several times throughout the Board & Train program so you can successfully transition the dogs back home with all of the knowledge they (and you) have learned. Learning Shawn's methods proved harder than I expected, because I think we were the ones who had the most growing/learning to do - instead of the dogs. Shawn never hesitates to spend time answering all of my questions on the phone - and has spent countless time doing so. This was true before, during, and after training - and I cannot thank him enough for the support along the way! There's no question in my mind that Shawn & Holden are the best at what they do!

  • 5 years in business
  • 18 hires on Thumbtack
Pierre J.
Verified review

Although I have known Tracye since she was eight years old and was familiar with her business, I have never had a cat and never used her pet sitting service. We have always owned Yorkshire terriers under five pounds. After meeting my Yorkie, Tracye agreed to care for zak in our home for eight days, stopping by once per day to take him outside and spend some time with him. She did a great job. She even put the mail in a box daily for us so as not to look out of town. Since my dog is half the size of her cat, I hope Tracye will agree to house dog sit for us again. One more thing, we asked her to stop by between 5 and 6 pm daily. I can not speak for all eight days, but on two days we observed Tracye by remote cameras from the beach in Martinique and Barbados. Doing her thing and right on time. I also think my dog minds Tracye better than me. She's the best. She should definitely expand to toy breed dogs. Thank you!!

Top Pro
Canine Dominion
5.0
from 23 reviews
  • 5 years in business
  • 29 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top pro on Thumbtack
Thumbtack Customer
Verified review

Jay of Canine Dominion is more than just the best dog trainer ever. Once you hire him, it's as if he's become a member of your family -- a really smart, experienced, savvy member of your family who's truly invested in the successful training of your dog. He stands behind his dog training 100% too -- willing to provide additional sessions if needed at no additional charge. Jay brings amazing skills plus integrity to boot. Now if only I could find an auto mechanic version of Jay. ;-)

Top Pro
Dolores Murray
5.0
from 13 reviews
  • 17 years in business
  • 16 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top pro on Thumbtack
Jon M.
Verified review

Dolores is a true professional and clearly an expert in her field. Beyond that she seemed to truly care about our dog and really went above and beyond to tailor the training to our needs. Highly recommend her to work with your dog!

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

Jenny came to our home and assessed our situation and gave us pertinent advice that made a difference right away! Advice such as purchasing a crate, and explained to us how to use it, using a calming collar and to stop the self feeding for the pups. She will be returning on a weekly basis for a while to train us and our dogs! ( : Very professional and to the point! Thank you!

Off-Leash K9 Training
4.8
from 18 reviews
  • 8 years in business
  • 40 hires on Thumbtack
Richard G.
Verified review

Don't waste your time- GET YOUR DOG TRAINED HERE. My dog is wrapping up her 2 week board and train and all I can say is these guys really are pros and leaders in dog training. Amazing results are seen from day one (you get daily updates with pics and videos) and my pup was a VERY special case. I couldn't be happier and thankful I found this place! My pups life has been greatly improved and a happy obedient pup means happy house. The sooner the better for proper amazing dog training. If any one has questions hit me up I am more than happy to share my experience.

Fido Fitness and Play, LLC
5.0
from 7 reviews
  • 10 years in business
  • 1 hire on Thumbtack
Barbara C.
Verified review

Fido Fitness and Play has been a fantastic service I have used for years. I totally trust my dog to them. They are great about reporting how things are going during their care and at the end. They contact me immediately with any questions that comes up while I am away. They are dependable in their care and I give them a supper star rating.

  • 33 years in business
  • 27 hires on Thumbtack
Michael C.
Verified review

Mr. Haywood and his dog trainers could not be any nicer. Our Wheaten Terrier is much smarter then we thought she was and is listening to us better then we could have imagined. We have also continued to use their services for boarding when we are away. We have been super happy with the results and on going work.

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

Jane took care of our FIVE little fur-bearing family members while we were away for a week. She is by far the best pet-sitter we have ever had! She started with an initial meeting in our home, which was incredibly thorough. It's clear she has a real love for and understanding of dogs, and real skill handling behavioral issues with pets. It's also clear now that we've had her support that the full range of services she offers is delivered with the same gentle, insightful, and steady care that every pet owner wants for their four-legged loved ones. She also retrieved our mail and made sure the house was safe while we were away--a real bonus! Jane provides daily written updates, which were incredibly helpful (she also identified an issue with our bathroom ceiling that would have taken us a few days to notice after we came back). She even found our shy guy, Skinner, every day, even though he is very good at hiding from strangers! We returned home to a happy, snuggly, healthy menagerie that had been expertly cared for. It was such a comfort knowing we had reliable, thoughtful care while we were away. We'll definitely reach out to Jane again the next time we're out of town. Strong endorsements from both of us humans and our furry five-some!

Top Pro
Animal Paradise Pet Care
4.8
from 10 reviews
  • 1 year in business
  • 32 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top pro 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.)

  • 9 years in business
  • 3 hires on Thumbtack
Corey C.
Verified review

Paul is a great Dog training, not only is he knowledgeable but also his enthusiasm about what he does. I am a first time puppy owner and we often think that it’s the dog that has the issue. But Paul teaches us that it’s all about being able to communicate with your dog because all they do is want to make you proud. I took Paul’s training class and after 4 weeks I seem to have a new dog. No the dog was the same he just though me to be patient and help me to relay what I wanted my dog to do. The environment is very welcome not to mention how clean it is. I would advise anyone who thinks they have an issue with their dog to visit Pawsitive Paul's Dog Training. You and your dog will leave with a smile on your face.

Good Dog Pet Care
5.0
from 1 review
  • New on Thumbtack
Jan G.
Verified review

Good Dog Pet Care is wonderful! We are experienced dog owners but our latest rescue turned out to be a "dominant" dog & we had no experience with that. Alex saved the day (& the dog)! His knowledge of animal behavior is superior & he taught us so much. His dog walking service is also superior. His employees all share his love of dogs, are prompt & reliant, & our dog always returns happy & tired! All I have to say is "Alex is coming" & she sits @ the front door waiting for him, without moving, until he gets here. It is very obvious how much Fiona loves Alex! We have used Alex's services for over a year now & couldn't be happier. Right now Alex & his dog Hank are staying @ our house for 2 weeks while we are on vacation. We are truly relaxed knowing that Alex is there & Fiona is happy & content. You will not regret using Alex!

Tessa Rinn, ABCDT

New To Thumbtack

  • 12 years in business
  • New on Thumbtack
About

My passion for dogs and their well being comes first in my own home. I have made lifestyle changes for my dogs.

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