The 10 Best Dog Trainers Near Me (with Free Estimates) (2023)

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 severaldog trainers near you.

Learn more aboutdog training cost factors.

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.

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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.

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.

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.

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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 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. .

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.

Reviews for Ashburn dog trainers

Thumbtack Customer

Kathryn has been a wonderful trainer to our 10 month golden retriever. She is warm, friendly, and very easy to work and coordinate with. She is an effective trainer and within 2 visits we were seeing positive improvements in our dog's behavior and ability to respond appropriately to commands. She has a firm, but gentle approach to dog training which I appreciate having worked with another trainer in the past who was quite harsh with our former dog.

The 10 Best Dog Trainers Near Me (with Free Estimates) (1)Perfect Poochies

Vithal Ramesh S.

We are first time dog owners. Rocky six months old golden retriever now. We reached out Debbie couple of months back and Debbie helped us with puppy training and tips which are very helpful. She is a very patient, knowledgeable and good trainer.

The 10 Best Dog Trainers Near Me (with Free Estimates) (2)Whiskers & Paws

Thumbtack Customer

This guy Ryan really knows what he is doing. We have learned so much from him about how to deal with our bulldog. Training has become a fun activity to do with our dog rather then a fruitless experience. The difference is amazing. If you are questioning weather or it's worth it, IT IS!

The 10 Best Dog Trainers Near Me (with Free Estimates) (3)Ruff House Dog Training

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Thumbtack Customer

We had recently moved into the area and were having a hard time training our very excitable Bernese Mountain dog. She was nervous and scared and mischievous and she was clearly calling the shots. From the first time we meet Kathryn she was the pack leader. Literally from the moment she stepped inside. She was very patient with me and provided positive feedback and encouragement to both of us! While we were going through a period of aggression/fear of other dogs, she even brought her dog with her to go on walks with us. She taught me so much about my dog and techniques to becoming the pack leader! My girl is still her crazy highly energetic girl she was before, but she now listens and looks to us as the leaders. Highly recommended!

The 10 Best Dog Trainers Near Me (with Free Estimates) (4)Perfect Poochies

Brian M.

I can’t thank Debbie enough for helping our family learn how to train our Shichon puppy. In just a few sessions, our pup can consistently follow 7 commands, has almost completely stopped nipping, and is learning to walk confidently on leash. Debbie is punctual, warm and friendly and great with our family and dog. We have always felt encouraged without judgement. I highly recommend her and her services!

The 10 Best Dog Trainers Near Me (with Free Estimates) (5)Whiskers & Paws

Caryn C.

Canine Obsessions gave me a huge gift of a much better relationship with my dog, Apple Jax. Jax was 5 months when I adopted him. He was so hyper and very mischievous. He was chewing everything, pulling on the leash on walks, paws up on the counter, jumping on visitors to my home, going to the bathroom in the house, and so many little things I didn't know how to deal with. I never had a puppy before so it was painful coping with all of these annoying behaviors until I started training with Canine Obsessions. After just a coyote of sessions I was better equipped to handle any situation, he is much better behaved and we're both much happier. Now, he walks off-leash by my side when we take our daily walks, he no longer jumps on visitors when the step inside my home, he knows to stay off the counters, and he is almost fully house broken too. We have a much better relationship, he's my constant companion, he goes with me everywhere and is always so well behaved. I highly recommend Canine Obsessions. Natasha has a great understanding of dogs and people, which makes her great at what she does.

The 10 Best Dog Trainers Near Me (with Free Estimates) (6)Canine Obsessions

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How do I train my dog for free? ›

Sit. Go and sit good. Sit yes Oh Dwayne sit go ahead and whoo. I can build duration into the sit

How do I know if my dog trainer is good? ›

6 Signs Of A Good Dog Trainer
  1. They welcome questions.
  2. They share information for free.
  3. They have well-trained dogs of their own.
  4. They train with methods they developed.
  5. They see you and your dog as individuals.
  6. They have a high client retention.

Where is the best place to train your dog? ›

In the home.

The best environment to begin training your dog is in the home. With this 1st dog training phase it is recommended to use treats to condition your dog to general dog training commands. Inside the house will limit any major distractions to your dog and give you the best initial training results.

How do I find a good dog trainer near me? ›

There are many places to get a recommendation for a trainer, from people at the dog park to your knowledgeable neighbor. Or check out the AKC's list of approved CGC evaluators. You might also try the Certification for Professional Dog Trainers directory or The Association of Professional Dog Trainers trainer search.

What are the 7 basic dog commands? ›

From there, McMillan explains his playful, careful, and kind approach to training the 7 Common Commands he teaches every dog: SIT, STAY, DOWN, COME, OFF, HEEL, and NO.

What is a good release word for a dog? ›

Commonly used release words are “okay,” “break,” and “free.” Often a release word is followed by another command such as “come.”

Is paying for dog training worth it? ›

Whereas some newbie puppy owners enroll their pets in “obedience school,” some lifelong dog owners rely on their own know-how when they add a new dog to their pack. However, pet experts agree that every dog (and even experienced dog owners) can benefit from a dog trainer's expertise.

How do I choose a trainer? ›

Look for a trainer who uses primarily or only reward-based training with treats, toys, and play. Avoid any trainer who advocates methods of physical force that can harm your pet such as hanging dogs by their collars or hitting them with their hands, feet, or leashes.

What kind of dog training is best? ›

Almost all vets agree that positive reinforcement training is the most effective method of dog training. Positive reinforcement training essentially focuses on rewarding your pet for good behavior, rather than punishing bad behavior.

How much is dog training? ›

In the Midwest, where Kalnajs is based, you can expect to pay a trainer about $100 to $200 per hour for individualized sessions. She charges $140 per hour for her basic training sessions.
How Much Does Dog Training Cost?
ExpenseAverage Cost
Individual training sessions$1,500 – $2,000
Group training classes$150 – $200
Stay-and-Train services$4,000
23 Aug 2022

How do I find someone to train my dog? ›

You can also find a trainer through the Association of Professional Dog Trainers ( If there are no trainers in your area, contact one of the trainers listed and ask him/her to recommend someone.

How long should a dog stay in place? ›

Do not expect him to stay for more than 10 seconds in the beginning, slowly extend the time as you practice. Slowly add distractions, such as people walking by, toys, and the doorbell. Continue to extend the time your dog is in his place. Don't feel bad for him, this should be a relaxing time for the dog.

What is the difference between a dog trainer and a behaviorist? ›

Dog trainers have experience in training methods and how a dog relates to learning. Dog behaviourists have an in depth knowledge of the dogs mind and will use psychology to gain the desired behaviour and may bring in elements of training to help support the behavioural modification plan.

What can I expect from a dog trainer? ›

First, they'll explain the behavior, then demonstrate the behavior (sometimes with their own dog, but more often with a student's dog), have the students all practice the behavior, and give feedback. At the end of each weekly class, you'll receive some homework to practice before the next group training class.

What words dogs understand? ›

Altogether, there were ten words or phrases specifically recognized by more than 90 percent of all the dogs. These common words and phrases included the dog's name, as well as 'sit', 'come', 'good girl/boy', 'down', 'stay', 'wait', 'no', 'ok', and 'leave it'.

How long should you train your dog a day? ›

Keep your training sessions short.

Five minutes per session is more than enough. Anything longer, and you risk having your dog become bored or frustrated. If you keep things fun and stop before your dog loses interest, it will help build enthusiasm for future training sessions.

What does heel mean in dog training? ›

The definition of heel is for your dog to be at your left side, walking parallel to you with no more than six inches between you. The right side of your dog's head is lined up with your left leg.

What is a negative marker in dog training? ›

Negative Marker – A word or sound that tells your dog to try something else. The action or behavior they are doing is not exactly what you are looking for. Common negative markers are saying “Eh Eh” or as Cesar Millan uses “Shsst” or “Wrong”.

What order should I teach my dog commands? ›

According to Ray, the basic commands that every dog should learn (in this order) are: heel, sit, stay, and come. Heel – With the dog at knee level on your left side and the leash in your hand, start walking with your left foot first as you give the "Heel" command, using the dog's name.

Do dogs have favorite words? ›

It's no surprise that 'walkies' scooped the top spot, with a dog's heart rate increasing by a whopping 36% every time they hear the phrase. Other words that make our four-legged friends the happiest include 'treat', 'get it', 'fetch' and 'get your toy'.

Should I train my dog myself or get a trainer? ›

I would enlist the help of an experienced dog trainer before trying to train the dog myself. First, you may do more harm than good if you don't know what you're doing. And if that happens, you will have the responsibility (and will probably need the help of a trainer) to undo the damage and retrain the dog correctly.

Should I train my dog myself? ›

If you understand the causes of your dog's behavior, it will be easier to treat them. In addition, training your canine friends by yourself will allow you to get to know each other better and make your life together much more pleasurable and comfortable.

Can I train my dog without a trainer? ›

Even just teaching a reliable sit can solve a lot of problems. Obedience begins with focus so the more your dog loves being around you and the more he is reinforced for offering you the behavior you want from him, the more harmonious life will become for both species. You can do a ton of dog training yourself.

Who is the famous dog trainer? ›

Americans own about seventy-three million dogs. Many people have problems training their animals. Some are turning to dog expert Cesar Millan.

What is a dog trainer called? ›

Dog trainers, also known as behavior counselors or pet therapists, have varying levels of knowledge and experience. Their training may include both formal and informal education. Many dog trainers are self-taught through reading, while others attend professional classes.

What are the 4 types of dog training? ›

Four Training Techniques
  • Positive Reinforcement.
  • Negative Reinforcement.
  • Positive Punishment.
  • Negative Punishment.

What are the three main methods of dog training? ›

Though it seems confusing at first, they all boil down to three main techniques: the traditional dominance method, the scientific method and the positive reinforcement method.

What is the best free dog training app? ›

Puppr is by far the best free dog training app we've seen, and it has millions of pet parent fans. This easy-to-use app has over 80 lessons taught by celebrity dog-trick trainer Sara Carson & The Super Collies (an America's Got Talent top-5 finalist).

How do you house train a dog? ›

3 Easy Things to Teach your NEW PUPPY! - YouTube

Are dog training apps worth it? ›

They're a convenient in-your-pocket solution (literally), that take you through training step-by-step, and also week by week. In fact, some dog training apps are extra kind and give daily reminders to train, as well as nuggets of info you'll find useful for your puppy.

Is every dog app free? ›

The download and usage of the app are free of charge. The upgrade to Premium gives you access to all courses, tricks, and games.

Is Zig Zag puppy app free? ›

Download for free and start your puppy training today! We're the only app dedicated to puppyhood. Reality can hit new owners pretty quickly when raising a puppy turns out differently than expected. With Zigzag, you'll explore the wonderful journey of puppy training through building a strong bond together.

What is the best age to train a dog? ›

The ideal time to begin training is around 7 to 8 weeks for most puppies, and the most effective training involves positive reinforcement and gentle commands. This is also the age to begin socializing your puppy to new people and new species, allowing them to explore and have new experiences.

Is it ever too late to start training a dog? ›

It's never too late to train a dog. Whether you are bringing home an older dog from a shelter (or rescue), or you'd like to work with your own older dog, there's no reason to delay doing some training with an older dog.

How do you stop a dog from peeing and pooping in the house? ›

If the dog begins to poop/pee inside:
  1. Immediately interrupt him by clapping and saying “Ah ah!” Get the dog outside as soon as possible (carry him whenever possible and put the leash on the dog as you head to the door). ...
  2. Once you are outside, take the dog right to the area where you want him to “go.”
8 Jul 2022

How long after drinking does a dog need to pee? ›

Puppies are also most likely to use the bathroom within fifteen minutes of eating or drinking. If you've fed your puppy recently or observed it getting a drink of water, try to take it out within ten minutes and walk until it relieves itself.

How do I teach my dog to fetch YouTube? ›

The FASTEST and EASIEST way to teach a PUPPY FETCH - YouTube


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