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Harrisonburg Animal Behaviorists

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

Second Chance Kennels
from 34 reviews
  • 6 years in business
  • 155 hires on Thumbtack
Erin S.
Verified review

My experience with Patricia has been great so far. Before we started with my dog, Reef, I didn't have much hope for him, but it turns out he has been easier to train than I thought, thanks to her! We are still in training, but I am confident it won't take many more sessions for his behavior to be right where I want it. She has helped restore my faith in my little buddy! I definitely recommend her!

Rod Jackson
from 11 reviews
  • 8 years in business
  • 20 hires on Thumbtack
James T.
Verified review

This is a great place with great people. My dog Shakka loves it there and is thriving. His love for all animals is unmatched by many and generosity is endless. He became my friend the first day we met and been great every since. His home environment allowed Shakka to transition very easily and allowed her to grow and not stress. I recommend Charlottesville pet care to anyone and everyone. It's great. It's home away from home for your fury friends and children.

  • 3 years in business
  • 5 hires on Thumbtack
Lorraine W.
Verified review

My dog Maisy was with Carly for boarding/training for 3 weeks and it was a wonderful experience! The 1:1 sessions were very helpful. And the support she provides is excellent! I would highly recommend Carla's services for dog training and behavior modification. Thanks a bunch,Carly 😊

Kelly's Pet Sitting
from 5 reviews
  • 4 years in business
Susan S.
Verified review

We have had Kelly take care of our 3 dogs twice when going out of town and have been very satisfied with the service. He was very detailed in the information he needed us to leave for him and very personable and we could tell he enjoys caring for animals. Everything that was requested as far as their care was done. It has been a big help and relief to have someone reliable to care for our pets.

  • 18 years in business
Kathleen W.
Verified review

What a find! I can not say enough wonderful things about Riegle Animal Care. Upon moving to Madison, CT I was worried that I would not find a sitter for my Havanese who was cared for by the same person all her life. Now, my worries are over! It was obvious from the start that it is not just a job for Cynthia, she genuinely cares for our dog and has taken the time to get to know her and our family. Cynthia's experience and knowledge of pets is outstanding. Her insight is amazing. My Havanese actually cries when we approach Cynthia's home. She can not get to the door fast enough. She especially loves her play dates and extended stays. I highly recommend.

Jennifer's Pet Sitting
from 3 reviews
  • 3 hires on Thumbtack
Evan J.
Verified review

Jennifer was an absolute joy to work with. She sent updates at each visit, and I could tell that she genuinely enjoyed taking care of our animals. We will 100% use her again when we need help with our pets.

Heather L.
Verified review

Karin has been an ideal dog trainer! We brought our rescue puppy with behavioral issues to Karin for socialization and assistance with basic obedience. Her hours were flexible and she always showed compassion, knowledge and support in working with Teddy. She also assisted us with lining up additional resources in the community to help with his behavioral/socialization issues. In addition, the first day that I left him there, she sent me photos and emails during the day to give me updates. I felt comfortable leaving my dog with her and appreciated the amount of effort she put into identifying our dogs needs. I recommend her to friends and will continue to highly recommend her.

Perfect Pet's Paradise
from 1 review
    Jill P.
    Verified review

    Heidi has an innate talent with animals of all sorts. She does an excellent job handling and caring for my rabbits. She has also been a big part of my 2 rescued dogs lives. She walks them, trains them, and provides 24 hour care by pet sitting in my home when I need to go out of town. She does exactly what I ask her to do regarding walking, exercising, feeding and bathing the dogs and they really enjoy her company. I highly recommend her services to anyone who wants outstanding care for their animals. If you are considering hiring her feel free to contact me if you have any questions! jpartin26@gmail.com


    I am involved and concerned...I care I attend to details as well as the larger picture I do not give up easily...I work hard at it and enjoy what I am doing I am reliable, dedicated and honest with references

    • 4 years in business

    I am a licensed wildlife rehabilitator in Virginia, and I am trained to handle wildlife as well as having the proper licensing to do so legally. The animals' well-being is the highest priority. Solutions can be found in human conflicts with wildlife without resorting to harmful measures. Pet owners and their pets can both be retaught in such a way that both parties are happier and secure in their roles in the family. This takes hard work and patience along with the right amount of stubbornness. I give the tools and provide support and analysis of the situation throughout the process.


    The service I provide is dog behavior modification training. I am a professional woman who was a teacher for many years and very familiar with behavior modification practices. For 20 years, I have loved and taught my own pups and would like to pass that knowledge to you. Each dog is unique, so sometimes what will work for one will not work for another. Though we love and cherish our dogs, we may be giving them wrong cues without even realizing. There are hundreds of 'dog behaviorists' who will instruct you do X, Y, and Z and say everything will be fine. Some of their methods will work with some animals but not others. Training should be as natural as possible and doesn't have to be for long periods. Training never should be something that should stress the human or the dog. Change will come in its own time by a carefully laid, consistent training plan. What's important is to hone in on those key areas that are making your life and your dog's life stressful and being consistent in the training -- this means the whole 'family' is on the same page. After an initial evaluation, I will teach you the most important things to decrease your dog's anxiety, so you will live a much happier, less stressful life. Look forward to a much calmer and enriching lifestyle with your best friend.


    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.

    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?

    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.

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