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The Best Dog Trainers in Virginia of 2023

Merlin Noble photo

Merlin Noble

August 08, 2023

Dog Trainers

Welcome to the Virginia Sniffspot top dog trainer list for 2023. This is a list of the top dog trainers in Virginia based on votes from the Sniffspot community and the general public. Over 55,000 votes were used in compiling this list. We have only included the top trainers with sufficient votes and the trainers are ordered in terms of the number of votes received. Trainers that tied are ranked in reverse alphabetical order based on first name. All dog trainers on this list are positive reinforcement only, as defined by no force, fear, intimidation, or aversive methods used. To learn more about our dog trainer contest, feel free to view the dog trainer contest post.

Dog training is one of the most important activities someone can do with their dog. Many come to dog training through a specific issue they want addressed, anything from barking to separation anxiety. Some have adopted dogs from animal shelters with an abusive experience and some just have happy puppies looking for everyday life skills. Trainers can help with all kinds of specific skills and issues, from leash manners to territorial aggression to anxiety around skateboards to common puppy challenges. However, what many discover is that working with a trainer is actually a way for a pet owner to deepen their relationship with their dog. The enhanced communication skills that result can increase quality of life, be a rewarding experience, be a social experience and lead to more harmonious relationships. Knowing that one’s dog is having a happier life can dramatically improve peace of mind. As the saying goes: happy dog, happy life. And it extends further than just the dog, to the pet owners. Owner empowerment can actually improve the relationship between owners. And finding the right trainer can make all the difference in the experience.

This list is compiled by Sniffspot, which is the largest network of private dog parks for rent in the world. Each of the thousands of Sniffspot dog parks are hosted by locals on private land with 100% private bookings to maximize safety for guests and their dogs. Sniffspot offers various types of dog parks, including fenced, water parks, indoor dog parks, dog beaches and more. Sniffspot has worked closely with dog trainers to create safe spaces for dogs and our top trainer lists are a natural extension of that relationship. You can browse Sniffspot's local dog parks here.

The Best Virginia Dog Trainers in 2023

Erika Proctor

Green Dogs Unleashed is a special needs animal rescue and therapy dog program. A non profit organization Founded in 2012, Erika Proctor has been the director and animal behavior specialist focusing on therapy work, basic through advanced classes, tricks, fitness and sport work, rescuing dogs on our community, and helping Pet parents build a bond with their furry friends ensuring happy well adjusted animals, who successfully stay in their adopted homes forever.

Certifications: GDU TDT -AKC CGC and Trick dog Evaluator

Services include:

  • Aggressive dog training
  • Deaf dog training
  • Reactive dog training
  • Service dog training
  • Puppy training

More info about service provided: Green Dogs Unleashed is a special needs animal rescue and therapy dog program. A non profit organization Founded in 2012, Erika Proctor has been the director and animal behavior specialist focusing on therapy work, basic through advanced classes, tricks, fitness and sport work, rescuing dogs on our community, and helping Pet parents build a bond with their furry friends ensuring happy well adjusted animals, who successfully stay in their adopted homes forever.

Behavioral issue focus: As a Behavior Specialist I work with all concerns from basic training needs to OCD and Anxiety, as well as reactivity and aggression evaluations and mitigation

Training methods: As a student of science I subscribe to methods that are based in kindness, mutual respect and build relationships between owner and pet.

Why I became a dog trainer: To help pets with their people problems

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Helping families stay together and work towards reasonable goals

My #1 dog training tip: Every dog is an individual and family makeup is different. It is important we respect that individuality and work towards realistic expectations that work for all involved

Service areas: Charlottesville and Central Virginia

Website: https://www.greendogsunleashed.org


Thomi Gill

Hi! I'm Thomi

I can help with many common issues such as but not limited to:

Fear, Anxiety, Stress, Destruction, Chewing, Digging, Scratching, House Soiling, Reactivity, Jumping, Barking, Over-excitement, Rough Play, Nipping, and more!

Pet training isn't just about your pet. In fact, the most integral part of the training process is you. That's why we work together to make sure your training plan fits your lifestyle and is tailored to what you need

All pets have their own unique traits and mannerisms, and therefore require their own unique and specialized training. That's where I come in!

Whether it's for basic manners or more complex behavioral issues, I am focused on not only training your pet, but teaching you how to effectively communicate with them. This method of training is full of fun techniques that will give you and your pet a happier life together.

I am the only Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner in Hampton Roads! I am committed to ongoing education to stay up to date with the most recent knowledge to help you reach your goals!

Certifications: KPA-CTP

Services include:

  • Aggressive dog training
  • In home training
  • Deaf dog training
  • Reactive dog training
  • Service dog training
  • Off leash training
  • Puppy training

More info about service provided: I provide private training in home and on site for reactivity, fear, anxiety aggression, and obedience.

Behavioral issue focus: I work with all behavioral issues.

Training methods: I am a rewards based trainer specializing in clicker/marker training.

Why I became a dog trainer: To help form a bridge between companion animals and their families.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Seeing relationships change when families learn more about dog communication.

My #1 dog training tip: Your dog is learning every time you interact. Knowing how to shape behavior in those interactions is more valuable than dedicated sessions.

Service areas: Serving Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, and Norfolk

Website: https://therefinedwolf.com


Elizabeth Staley

Elizabeth has loved dogs her whole life. She grew up with a few mixed breeds but was given a Pomeranian in elementary school. A lack of knowledge lead to that dog being hit by a car when he slipped out of his harness. In Junior high a second Pomeranian joined the family and lived as a beloved pet until he was 15 years old.

Once Elizabeth moved out and was on her own she rescued a beagle mix named Bandit. Bandit LOVED people and kids and he became a therapy dog. That was Elizabeth's first 'real' experience with dog training. She then found the yin to her yang in a little Boston Terrier puppy named Rio. Rio introduced her to conformation and would become her Novice A (first) agility dog as well as her partner in therapy work and many other sports.

Rio also introduced her to many people, and Elizabeth fell in love with a Bernese Mountain Dog named Angel. Angel was Elizabeth's first obedience title holder and together they achieved multiple titles. Angel was NOTHING like Rio. Rio was always excited to work if work was 'fun'. Angel was a worrier. Training these two dogs taught Elizabeth so much in motivation and patience - it also introduced her to training methods that challenged her.

Elizabeth has trained and worked with many dogs and various breeds. She has taught group classes since 2010 and private lessons since 2014. She has been an AKC CGC/Trick dog evaluator since 2012, a Barn Hunt Association Judge since 2017 and an AKC Farm Dog Judge since 2018.

Eliazbeth's formal education is a BS in Exercise Physiology and a MS in Nutrition. She holds many certifications in those fields so in 2017 she decided that she should also hold a certification in her new career field. She sat for and passed the CPDT-KA test for dog trainers. Elizabeth has also attended multiple training camps and seminars to continue her education and remain current on training methods and behavior research.

Above all Elizabeth advocates for the dogs. She truly loves dogs and wants to see them in forever homes and thriving. She enjoys helping families and pets live their best lives together.

Certifications: CPDT-KA

Services include:

  • Board and train
  • In home training
  • Reactive dog training
  • Puppy training
  • Agility training

More info about service provided: I provide services for young and adult dogs. We focus on a better relationship between handler and dog through training. Group classes are available in obedience, agility, scent work and fitness. Private lessons are available for manners, obedience, reactivity, agility, barn hunt, scent work, tricks and conditioning. Board and Training for young dogs and sports available on a limited basis.

Behavioral issue focus: I work with reactive (not aggressive dogs) as well as sport dogs that may have issues with controlling their excitement or stress in various situations. I also work with dogs who need a training/job outlet for their energy.

Training methods: In home and private clients begin with a consult or sport intro session and are then given individual plans for private instruction (weekly, bi weekly, etc). Group classes are 4-6 weeks once a week.

Why I became a dog trainer: 2010

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: I love seeing the relationship between dog and handler grow and to see the pride both dog and handler experience when they are successful at a new or previously challenging behavior.

My #1 dog training tip: Be patient.

Service areas: Hampton, Smithfield, Newport News, Chesapeake, Zuni, Windsor, Norfolk

Website: https://4thedogstraining.com/


Cat Clark

Sharing your home with an animal can be one of the most rewarding things in life. Making sure your animal is well trained will give both of you more time to enjoy each other’s company, and less stress for your dog and your family. Modern, science based force-free training is full of fun techniques that will give you and your pet a happier life together through better communication.

Cat Clark is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer-Knowledge Assessed through CCPDT and the Victoria Stilwell Academy for Dog Training and Behavior, where she graduate with Distinction, as well as a Level 2 Graduate of Peaceable Paws Academy. She is a member of the Pet Professional Guild, The Association of Professional Dog Trainers, and the Hampton Roads Force Free Network.

Cat not only understands dogs, she understands people and the need to work as a team to meet shared goals. Cat is a 27 year veteran of the US Air Force and earned Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership.

At Bravo Zulu Dog Training, we believe in the use of force-free, positive reinforcement training. We do not use any tools such as choke collars, prong collars or e-collars. Dogs, and many other animals, are social beings who enjoy love, affection and family life. Let's work together to give ourselves and our dogs the best life possible.

Certifications: CPDT-KA, VSA-CDT

Services include:

  • Aggressive dog training
  • Board and train
  • In home training
  • Reactive dog training
  • Puppy training

More info about service provided: I provide basic manners training, day training, board, and train, and behavior modification.

Behavioral issue focus: I work with leash reactivity, aggression, dog/dog aggression, new dog introductions, and cat/dog introductions.

Training methods: I offer consultation to assess the issues and then develop a training plan with the family. I only use force-free non-aversive methods and the family is fully involved in all decisions about how to proceed with training. The training plan is tailored to the family's lifestyle and availability to train.

Why I became a dog trainer: I became a dog trainer because I love dogs and working with people. My goal is to help my clients build the best relationship possible with their canine companions.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: I love watching the relationship develop between a dog and its human companion. I absolutely love it when I see the light bulb go on over a dog's head because they finally understand what their human wants them to do.

My #1 dog training tip: Treats are not bribery! We need to pay our dogs for the work they put in to learn new things. The more a behavior is reinforced, the more it will be repeated.

Service areas: Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Yorktown, Williamsburg

Website:  https://www.bzdogtraining.com


Ashley Mosca

I started at Pender Pet Retreat in 2017 and my interest in dog behavior has only grown since then. I specialize in puppy training and basic obedience work. My training beliefs center around a strong relationship between the dog and human through proper communication.

I received my CPDT-KA in 2021 and have enjoyed working with all different kinds of dogs and owners. I also love my own Shepherd mix, Winnie, who comes to work with me daily and helps my puppy clients come out of their shells!

Certifications: CPDT-KA

Services include:

  • Board and train
  • Reactive dog training
  • Puppy training

More info about service provided: I offer different obedience options at Pender Pet Retreat in Chantilly, VA. Day School is an option where pups get dropped off, worked with throughout the day, and get homework at pickup. The Board and Train program is where we work on basic obedience or specific behavioral issues, like building confidence or working around distractions. The Puppy Program is great to help socialize young puppies to new environments, sounds, smells, people, and dogs. They get a chance to play with appropriate dogs and receive training throughout the day. I work closely with the daycare program at Pender Pet Retreat and I'm able to help with confidence building, socialization, and the temperament tests.

Behavioral issue focus: Confidence building, reactivity, anxiety

Training methods: Before training everyone gets a free consultation where we discuss their dog's behavior and their training goals. I then recommend the program I believe to be the best fit for those goals and then we schedule training! During training we focus and reinforce the basics, meeting their mental and physical needs, while also targeting any problem behaviors. I will give printed homework and also meet with clients to work through lessons and any confusion.

Why I became a dog trainer: I originally started working as a client service representative, but was amazed watching the in house trainer at the time work with the dogs. I loved watching them learn and grow. I asked to shadow him to learn more. Eventually, I worked my way into becoming the Daycare Manager where I learned SO much about dog behavior through seminars, lessons, and just hands on experience. I then had the pleasure of going to Boise, Idaho for a Shadow Program at Valor K9 and it was an incredible experience. When I came back I dove right in to my own training program here at Pender Pet Retreat. I've found a love for building confidence in shy dogs and watching them open up and become less anxious.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Building a relationship with each new dog I work with and figuring out what makes them tick. Seeing their confidence build and that switch just "click" after learning something new.

My #1 dog training tip: Clear communication! It's important for your dog to know what you're asking for before you ask it.

Service areas: Chantilly, Ashburn, South Riding, Centreville

Website: https://penderpetretreat.com


Michael Peer

Former Police K9 Officer turned Dog Trainer & Behaviorist, Michael Peer had found his "calling" when he created dOgbedience (short for Dog Obedience) in 2011. A year and half prior, he had rescued a 4 month old Rottweiler (Rogue) who was battling Addison's Disease; Rogue became his inspiration in helping other dogs and their families. In no time, he became Michael's dog training assistant and brought Rogue to client's homes with dog behavioral issues. Rogue spoke the language of dogs and interpreted their cues for Michael. Sadly, he passed away from Addison's disease at age only age 7. Despite Rogue's illness, he powered through in helping Michael thrive in training dogs.

Ofc Michael Peer (Ret.), is a graduate of Police K-9 Dog Training School and was Certified for Narcotics Detection-by the USPCA in 1999. He and his K-9 Police partner, Lazer, received recognition and citations for their outstanding police work. Michael left the K9 Unit when his K9 partner retired but continued to work as a Patrol Officer until his retirement after 31 years. He graduated from Michigan State University with a B.A. Degree from the School of Social Work. Helping people and dogs are his passion in life. He is a member of APDT (Association of Professional Dog Trainers).

Certifications: Graduate of Police K-9 Dog Training School and was Certified for Narcotics Detection-by the USPCA in 1999

Services include:

  • Aggressive dog training
  • In home training
  • Reactive dog training
  • Off leash training
  • Puppy training
  • Agility training

More info about service provided:

We can help you train your dog using Positive Reinforcement Methods. We train dogs without using harsh tools---NO E-COLLAR, NO SHOCK COLLAR, NO PRONG COLLAR & NO CHOKE COLLAR.

99% SUCCESS RATE--
We have a 99% Success Rate in improving/modifying unwanted behavior using Positive Dog Training Methods.

IN-HOME TRAINING
My In-Home Training includes loose leash walking where I will take you and your dog around your neighborhood and address your dog's leash pulling, grabbing of the leash and jumping on other people. We'll also go through various training exercises in your home focusing on your dog's specific behavior and obedience concerns; such as, mouthing, jumping, barking, potty issues, crate training and more!

TRAINING PACKAGES
Each training package has a different focus but all includes a combination of obedience training, behavior modification, socialization, and off leash training.
All sessions are held outdoors around Reston, lasting 50 minutes and are held weekly.

SPECIALIZING IN REACTIVITY
We specialize at improving and countering dog reactivity towards other dogs, people, and things. Everyday we work with dogs who suffer from the same discomfort. Their fears make walks difficult for the both of you and it's not as uncommon as you think. We've worked with hundreds of dog families just like yours to make dog walks more manageable and fun. Don't give up! There is work to be done! Let dOgBEDIENCE personally coach you along the way.

Behavioral issue focus: Improving reactivity is our specialty! Our method offers a positive approach to a negative situation; makes sense right? You'll learn how to set your dog up for success with safe handling techniques, proper positioning, timing, and threshold management. In doing so, you'll create opportunities to counter your dog's negative response and begin to replace it with a positive one. Through repetition--we'll begin to address underlying symptoms that traditional dog training (shock, prong, or chain collars) cannot address; and by the way, we do not use these aversive collars. We strive to serve you and your dog's reactivity conundrum with whatever unique support and information you require.

Training methods: Training your dog starts at your home and this is why I'd recommend for you to try my 1.50 Hr In-Home Training where I come to your home and work with everyone in your family including children (if any). You'll learn how to positively reinforce behaviors you want your dog to perform. Rewards include verbal/physical praise, play, toys and treats. We'll teach you how to properly use hand signals and simple luring techniques to motivate your pup in understanding behavior you want to capture or create. You'll learn the importance of meeting your dog's needs each and every day to achieve a lasting, loving relationship.

Why I became a dog trainer: To live my passion for helping people and dogs to create a forever bond of mutual trust.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Problem solving

My #1 dog training tip: Owners need to be more proactive and less reactive. Focus on showing your pup what it is you want her/him to do, rather than what it is you'd like them to stop.

Service areas: Reston, VA, Fairfax and Loudoun Counties

Website: https://www.dogbedience.com


Tara Moriarty

I've been training professionally for 5 years

Services include:

  • Aggressive dog training
  • In home training
  • Reactive dog training
  • Service dog training
  • Off leash training
  • Puppy training

More info about service provided: Day training, private lessons, group online/remote training, private online/remote training

Behavioral issue focus: Puppies, psychiatric service dogs, intra-household aggression, fearful dogs, fear aggression, and over the top hyper dogs

Training methods: Kind and effective training that focuses on welfare and quality of life for both the dogs and the humans. My methods follow the LIMA (Least Intrusive Minimally Aversive) guidelines

Why I became a dog trainer: One of my dogs needed alot of training help and I fell in love with training! I want to help others live with their dogs in a way that they both love

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Helping people and dogs live their best lives

My #1 dog training tip: Throw food at your problems!

Service areas: Albemarle and Greene county

Website: https://www.therapeuticcanine.com


Andrea Marx

I started Freak on a Leash in 2015 because I am passionate about positive reinforcement training and teaching people the kindest ways of interacting with their dogs. I am a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant with the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC) and the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT).

I am also a Certified Professional Dog Trainer, Family Dog Mediator (https://www.familydogmediation.com/), and Fear Free Certified Professional. My specialty is treating challenging behaviors like aggression, anxiety, and fear and I am thoroughly educated in treating problem behaviors safely and kindly. One of my highest priorities is ongoing education. I stay current on the latest science-based methods of training, allowing me to help you get the best results in the shortest amount of time.

Lasting behavior change takes patience and teamwork. Dogs are motivated by many things and we can find reinforcement that works; sometimes we just have to get creative! If crocodiles, dolphins, and wolves can be trained with rewards, why use painful devices on your best friend? I want you and your dog to live happily together, and I am confident I can help you reach your training goals!

Certifications: CPDT-KA, CBCC-KA, CDBC, FFCP, FDM

Services include:

  • Aggressive dog training
  • Board and train
  • In home training
  • Deaf dog training
  • Reactive dog training
  • Puppy training

More info about service provided: Group classes from puppy to Advanced obedience, Behavior modification and Manners In home training, Day training and some Board and train

Behavioral issue focus: aggression cases, reactivity, ocd, fear and anxiety

Training methods: reward based methods for behavior modification programs, manner programs

Why I became a dog trainer: Training dogs was fun for me right away, but once my own dogs started having behavior concerns like reactivity and aggression I really started to dig deep into behavior change.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Showing people how amazing their dogs can be. Making people happy with quick progress when they had no hope for their dog to get better.

My #1 dog training tip: Reinforce more than you think you should

Service areas: Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Moyock, Newport News, Yorktown, Hampton, Suffolk

Website: https://freakonaleashdogtraining.com/


Carla Blackmon

Carla has an extensive background in animal behavior, training and animal care. She is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer - Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA) through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT).

Carla has over 25 years of various animal related experience and education that she uses to formulate a customized training plan for your family and pets. Her background includes experience working for a variety of local and national veterinarians as a veterinary assistant/technician, a federal canine handler, a master's student apprentice dog guide instructor, and currently head trainer and the owner of FurEver Family, LLC. She utilizes all of her skills to provide a pet friendly, holistic training plan incorporating health, environment, personality, and family needs. Carla will create a training plan that is fun and easy for all who are involved. Carla is also a Be a Tree Presenter & Bite Prevention Educator through Doggone Safe.

Education:
B.S. Pre-Veterinary Medicine - Ferrum College
Graduate of USDA National Detector Dog Training Center
Graduate studies in M.A. of Special Education, Guide Dog Mobility - San Francisco State University/ Guide Dogs for the Blind
Karen Pryor Academy Dog Trainer Professional course
Continuing education by attending seminars provided by PPG, APDT, Mid-Atlantic Behavior Conference, Ken Ramirez and more

Associations and Memberships:
Pet Professional Guild (PPG), Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT), Doggone Safe, Dog Biz Thrive

Certifications: CPDT-KA

Services include:

  • Aggressive dog training
  • In home training
  • Reactive dog training

More info about service provided: Offering personal, private, one-on-one training sessions that help build confidence, diminish destructive behaviors, teaches appropriate behaviors for releasing excess energy and encouraging calming techniques.

Behavioral issue focus: May of my clients have separation anxiety, fear based aggression, overstimulation, under-stimulation, destructive behaviors, excessive barking, leash reactivity, and general reactivity to other dogs and people.

Training methods: My training focuses on pet friendly, family friendly exercises that help your pet and your family live more comfortably together. I work on improving families one pet at a time. Prior to all training I start with a behavior consultation to get a clear picture of what your goals are for your family and your pet. We discuss what you want your dog to do and how we can go about helping that happen. We discuss health, environment, family dynamics, schedules and likes and dislikes of your pet. Then, we create an individual plan for your family. I have found that when we focus on the things we would like our pets to do quite a few of the nuisance behaviors diminish. Training should be fun for all involved and easy to implement into daily life. I can show you how.

Why I became a dog trainer: Early on I was working as Veterinary Assistant and was in charge of the regular boarders. There were two that stood out to me for different reasons. One was a Chesapeake Bay Retriever. He was in our clinic often for eating things he wasn't supposed to. One day he decided to help clean up the backyard. So, he ate a bunch of sticks and leaves. He came to us and proceeded to share his bounty with us by regurgitation. Because of this behavior, he boarded with us often. He was with us for and extended stay. He had his own bowls and food. He refused food from his bowl and wouldn't touch his water. We tried all the tricks of the trade to get him to eat. He'd take treats but not eat his food. One afternoon, I took out his food and water and swapped them. I put the food in the bowl the water was in and the water in the bowl the food was in and put them in his run. He was ecstatic! Apparently, we just had the food and water in the wrong bowl. It made me laugh but also think, hmmm. What else are we missing that they are trying to tell us? The second dog was a small Shih Tzu. He had earned the reputation as being a very unfriendly boarder. I sat next to his kennel and would wait until he gradually approached me and wouldn't attack my legs or try to bite. After about a week or so, he would come sit in my lap and hang out before heading into his kennel after walks. I was the only one who could get him out of is kennel for walks and to go home. He showed me he was scared but with patience and understanding, we can get along. This started my deep dive into behavior and how we treat our pets. I wanted to learn to communicate better so our pets can live better in our world.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: I love watching dogs think.

My #1 dog training tip: One or two cues are all you need to have fun and be successful with your dog. It should be fun for all.

Service areas: Prince William County (Occoquan, Woodbridge, Lake Ridge, Dale City, Dumfries, parts of Manassas), Fairfax County (Lorton, Burke, Springfield, parts of Fairfax), North Stafford

Website: https://www.improvingpets.com/


Sarah Connor

I am a 26-year old Accredited Dog Trainer with a passion for helping dogs and their humans live their best lives together.

In September of 2018, I founded a dog walking and pet-sitting business that I dubbed "Barks and Rec." I had begun attending CATCH Canine Trainer's Academy the month before in pursuit of a dog training certification. For several months, I attended both a local university (for film & theatre) and CATCH as a full-time student for both schools. In January 2019, after feeling dissatisfied with how dogs were being handled at the establishment I worked at, I decided to hit "pause" on my university education and dedicate all of my focus to completing my program with CATCH.

In August 2019, I took a leap and quit my part-time job to pursue running Barks and Rec full-time. I graduated from CATCH Canine Trainer's Academy in March 2020, with a Certificate in Dog Training and Behavior.

I very quickly fell in love with dog training, but soon realized that my education did not equip her to work with more severe behavioral issues. With a strong desire to help the dogs that seemed "hopeless," I set out looking for another avenue of education to give myself the tools I needed to address more complex behavior cases.

In July 2020, I joined the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants, and dove headfirst into the wealth of material that was provided to supporting members. Still, I wanted to learn more. I wanted to test my skills and further my knowledge in the field. So I decided to get accredited. After paying a fee and spending a grueling 60 days working on the extensive test, I passed with a score of 98 out of 100. I received my Accredited Dog Trainer (ADT) standing through the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC) on January 21, 2021.

I am continuing to further my education and knowledge in the field every day through seminars, conferences, reading the most up-to-date, science-backed materials, and more. Dog training is my passion, and I owe all of it to my boy, Duke.

Certifications: IAABC Accredited Dog Trainer; Graduate of CATCH Canine Trainer's Academy; Pet First Aid Certified

Services include:

  • Aggressive dog training
  • In home training
  • Reactive dog training
  • Puppy training

More info about service provided: Basic Obedience; Behavior Modification; Puppy Training

Behavioral issue focus: Fear-Based Aggression; Reactivity; Generalized Anxiety; Separation-Related Behaviors; Noise Phobias/Sound Sensitivities; Situational Phobias; Resource Guarding

Training methods: I utilize a Force-Free, Positive Reinforcement training approach. My methodology is based off of up-to-date scientific research and the belief that all individuals (human or dog) have a right to learn in an intimidation-free setting.

Why I became a dog trainer:

Duke is the reason I decided to pursue dog training as a career. Duke was six months old when my family adopted him on December 31, 2014. Duke was terrified of everything, and despite his emaciated frame, he was so shut down that he didn't even want the hot dogs that were offered to him during the shelter visit. I promised Duke that I would do whatever it took to help him learn to love life again. This spurred my journey into studying canine psychology and behavior, and unknown to myself at the time, opened the door to a whole new career. It is because of Duke that I am where I am today.

On December 16, 2020, Duke crossed the Rainbow Bridge. He began having complications with his prostate in October, and despite all the effort to save him, his health continued to decline. He's missed more than words can possibly express, but his legacy will live on forever. Because of Duke, I have dedicated my life to helping dogs just like him.

Service areas: Chesapeake, Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Portsmouth, North Suffolk

Website: www.barksandrecva.com


Desiree Lomer-Clarke

I am a former lawyer turned trainer after dealing with a reactive dog of my own. I have been training since November of 2008 in Arlington, Virginia and I have the best clients.

Certifications: CPDT-KA

Services include:

  • Board and train
  • In home training
  • Protection/guard dog training
  • Reactive dog training
  • Puppy training

More info about service provided: At Arlington Dog Nanny I provide force-free training that will be fun for both guardians and dogs, helping to strengthen their bond while working toward our goals. I offer small classes, puppy training, board and train, day school, cooperative dog walking intensives, and more.

Behavioral issue focus: I work with dog-dog reactivity, hyperarousal, as well as anxious and fearful dogs (not fear aggressive).

Training methods: I use force-free positive reinforcement methods to train. My preference is always to coach the guardian who teaches the dog. For behavioral issues we will have a behavior consultation, form a training plan and work through it together.

Why I became a dog trainer: Because I had a dog-reactive dog who required so much care and training. The more time I spent training him the more I fell in love the science of training.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Getting to see how happy the guardians are when the changes and the learning starts to happen, tied with playing with dogs.

My #1 dog training tip: You only need to train for 3-5 minutes, five days a week. Don't think you have to commit so much time.

Service areas: Northern Virginia, DC, Maryland within the beltway

Website: https://www.arlingtondognanny.com


Victoria T

Dog trainer and boarder

Services include:

  • Board and train
  • In home training
  • Service dog training
  • Puppy training
  • Agility training

More info about service provided: Potty training


Matt Revell

Having grown up with several large breeds in the house since a young age, he has developed a strong relationship caring for larger dogs. He has spent several years in the dog care industry. Working in daycare, boarding, and even running a foster program with a local beagle rescue. He has most recently settled on training and his passion for dogs has only grown since then.

Certifications:

Services include:

  • Board and train
  • In home training
  • Deaf dog training
  • Reactive dog training
  • Off leash training
  • Puppy training
  • Agility training

More info about service provided: I mainly handle Puppy and Adult basic obedience but am also experienced with reactivity training.

Behavioral issue focus: I handle of behavioral issues including potty training, jumping, barking at people/noises, and leash reactivity.

Training methods: I am a positive reinforcement trainer which means I don't use physical corrections that cause discomfort to the animal.

Why I became a dog trainer: Training gives you a way to strengthen and improve your relationship with your pet in a way not many other things can.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Getting to see the joy and excitement of owners when they learn a new trick or overcome a problem that had been causing them concern.

My #1 dog training tip: Life is messy and there is no perfect pet owner. Focus on your pup and their progress and don't worry about anyone else's path to success.

Service areas: Northern Virginia and D.C.

Website: https://districtdogtraining.com/


Charlene Henderson

I am Charlene and I own Pawsitive Reflection Dog Training! I’ve been training dogs for about 6 years. While stationed in Okinawa, Japan I was the only Positive Reinforcement Trainer! I am currently continuing my education through the Victoria Stilwell Academy and am excited to serve the Fredericksburg, Va and surrounding areas!

Certifications: CGC Evaluator

Services include:

  • In home training
  • Reactive dog training
  • Service dog training
  • Puppy training

More info about service provided: I work with dogs in their guardian’s homes, out in public and wherever a person may want to bring their dog! I typically offer packages in 4, 5, 6 & 8 week increments with a focus on enrichment, house manners and cues such as leave it, focus, place, implied sit/down/stay and loose leash walking. I also offer STAR Puppy Classes 3 times a year

Behavioral issue focus: Dog on dog reaction, pulling on the leash, jumping up, counter surfing, dog and child reactivity, frustrated greeters

Training methods: I am strictly force free in my methods. We start off with an evaluation where we figure out where the 'problem' behaviors are stemming from. Then we create a management plan to help curb the undesired behavior while we create a training plan that trains a new desired behavior!

Why I became a dog trainer: I became a dog trainer, because I wanted to teach people how to lovingly and intentionally relate to their furry family members. I wanted to make sure that families are equipped with the proper tools needed in order to have a great life with their dogs!

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: My favorite part is when I'm teaching a cue and the first moment a dog understands it, the guardian's face just lights up! They're amazed at what their dog just did!

My #1 dog training tip: If you haven't trained it, don't expect it!

Service areas:

Fredericksburg, Virginia
Stafford, Virginia
Spotsylvania, Virginia

Website: https://www.pawsitivereflection.com


Crystal Partain

With almost 2 decades of hands on experience in veterinary hospitals, local shelters and rescues, Crystal has been working with pets and their people to improve their lives together in many different settings. She received a dual bachelors degrees in biology and psychology, from Old Dominion University in 2009. Clients will often joke that she is their dogs therapist during their sessions together.

In 2012, she passed the Certification for Professional Dog Trainers exam and began to train professionally shortly after. She is a perpetual student and always improving training skills with her own dogs, taking classes or attending seminars that allow her to help your dogs with the most effective and current methods!

Crystal currently has 5 dogs, who are all continuously teaching her to be a better advocate for the dogs she works with. Opal, a rescued Boxer mix, is the namesake for The Freckled Paw. She has taught Crystal the most about living with challenging dogs, while working through her separation anxiety, stranger danger, and dog selective behaviors. We lost Opal in June of 2019, and will forever be The Freckled Paw.

Certifications: CPDT-KA

Services include:

  • Aggressive dog training
  • In home training
  • Reactive dog training
  • Puppy training

More info about service provided: Giving a Proven Path to a better life with your dog

Behavioral issue focus: Reactivity and Aggression

Training methods: Offering Kind and Pragmatic training for the pet parents

Why I became a dog trainer: To help pet parents have an easier life with their dogs

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Watching the dogs "get it"

My #1 dog training tip: Feed your dog

Service areas: Hampton Roads Virginia and Northeast North Carolina

Website: https://www.thefreckledpaw.com


Lisa Marino

I have always loved the companionship of animals, from dogs, to cats, to bunnies, parakeets and gerbils; and have had one or more at any given time since childhood. Pets can teach us so much about helping others, seeing humor in situations, and teach responsibility and compassion. Even though I have always had a menagerie of some sort, and loved my pets, I had never planned to be a dog trainer. What I did know, however, from a very young age, was that I would be a teacher.

From playing school to teaching middle school Spanish and English for 20+ years, my mission has always been to help others learn. When I first started teaching middle school Spanish at age 21, my principal said to me, 'A great teacher can teach anything', and while at the moment I was dubious, (particularly in the area of Math.) it turns out he was quite accurate. My calling is to teach, as every hobby I ever had resulted in my teaching the topic to share that knowledge with others. I have gone from teaching foreign language and English to kids and teens, to teaching aerobics, martial arts, yoga, and other fitness classes to teens and adults, and now to teaching dogs; and more specifically to teaching PEOPLE to teach their dogs.

One thing I have found through teaching all of these diverse areas is that it isn’t about the books, or the exercises, or even the dogs. It IS about empowering the PERSON, (YOU) to love and appreciate and understand the books, the exercise, and the dogs. After all, when I am not there, will the student still want to read the book, or do the exercise? Will you understand how to train your dog in a way that fits your family? I make it my goal to make my classes entertaining and engaging, so you can learn in a comfortable relaxed atmosphere. As a middle school teacher working with a wide variety of abilities, I have learned to successfully adapt to the style of the learner, and explain things so it is easy to understand and implement. This carries over to all my classes in all areas. As a teacher, I value education very highly and strive to bring you, my learners, the most up to date information and skills in an original and innovative way to help achieve your goals with your dog.

In my spare time, I stay connected with the schools even though I am not teaching officially. My four therapy dogs and I make several visits every week to schools, assisted living facilities, kids' camps, or wherever we are needed. I enjoy reading suspense novels when I am not reading training books, going to more training workshops and continuing to let my own dogs try out lots of new things, such as sheep herding, scootering, tricks, and agility, and inventing new classes for fun!

Of course, I am always looking to expand my knowledge base in new areas, like feline behavior as well as continue taking workshops and trainings with the best minds in the field of dog training, so I can share that with you.

Certifications: PMCT-2, KPA-CTP, CPDT-KA, CTDI, CCFT, CSAT, SDC

Services include:

  • Puppy training

More info about service provided: Puppy and adult dog good manners, CGC related classes, Tricks and enrichment, Canine fitness and conditioning classes

Behavioral issue focus: General manners and enrichment

Training methods: Positive reinforcement and motivation

Why I became a dog trainer: I make it my goal to make my classes entertaining and engaging, so you can learn in a comfortable relaxed atmosphere and have a better relationship with your dog.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Seeing the owners and dogs connecting and "getting" each other.

My #1 dog training tip: Slow DOWN, and enjoy the process.

Service areas: Winchester, VA

Website: https://headoftheclassdogtrainingllc.com/


Juliana DeWillems

JW Dog Training & Behavior provides professional, expert dog training and behavior support to the DMV area -- primarily Arlington, NW DC, and parts of lower Montgomery County. We specialize in one-on-one lessons with clients, working virtually and in the client's home to thoroughly address behavior issues and build skills.

Training sessions are fun and low stress for both the dog and human. Using the science of learning, with an emphasis on positive reinforcement, we create effective, easy-to-follow training plans that are designed to make dogs and their owners succes

We use positive, science-based methods when working to change behavior, including clicker training, play, real life rewards, management, and more. We focus on building and reinforcing desirable behavior, while also implementing structure and management to decrease undesirable behavior. We tailor our training plans to the individual client's needs, whether it is basic manners or a more complex behavior issue such as fear, anxiety, leash-reactivity, or aggression.

We teach human clients how to better understand their dogs' behavior and communication, and help them improve their training skills to more effectively work with their dogs and see better results.

Certifications:

Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner (KPA CTP)
Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (CDBC)
Certified Behavior Consultant Canine (CBCC-KA)

Services include:

  • Aggressive dog training
  • In home training
  • Reactive dog training
  • Off leash training
  • Puppy training

More info about service provided: Private 1-on-1 training: in -person and virtually

Behavioral issue focus: Reactivity

Training methods: Force free, positive reinforcement based

Service areas: Arlington, VA
Northwest, Washington, DC

Website: https://www.jwdogtraining.com


Gabrielle Johnson

I support families whose dogs experience anxiety or display aggressive behaviors.

Certifications: Certified Dog Behavior Consultant, Certified Pet Dog Trainer-Knowledge Assessed

Services include:

  • Aggressive dog training
  • Deaf dog training
  • Reactive dog training

Service areas: Richmond, Chesterfield

Website: https://bestlifedogservices.com


Karen Adams

After spending 30 years as a biology professor and training dogs all my life, I began teaching professionally. My experience with dogs ranges from owning a sled dog kennel in Michigan, training for the show, obedience, and Rally rings, and teaching classes for local obedience clubs.

I specialize in changing mouthy, rambunctious puppies and out-of-control adolescent dogs into calm and well-mannered pups. I love teaching loose leash walking since it is an area where many dog owners struggle. I am available for private in-home training and also teach Canine Good Citizen and Basic Manners classes. Holding small group classes in outdoor public spaces gives dogs lots of practice in responding well around real world distractions, a highly practical life skill.

I live in Chesapeake with my two Irish Wolfhounds, Echo and Siren, and two retired greyhounds from the track. Spending time training with positive reinforcement methods builds a very strong bond between you and your dog, which makes for happy people and happy dogs!

Services include:

  • In home training
  • Puppy training

More info about service provided: Basic Manners, Puppy training and Canine Good Citizen

Behavioral issue focus: house training, mouthing, jumping

Training methods: positive reinforcement training

Why I became a dog trainer: Started teaching obedience classes at a local obedience training club and was asked to help take private clients by the founder of Freak On A Leash dog training Andrea Marx and I haven't looked back since. Teaching dogs and their people makes me happy.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Building relationships of trust between dogs and their people.

My #1 dog training tip: Find the right reinforcer for every dog.

Service areas: Chesapeake, VA

Website: https://freakonaleashdogtraining.com/


Barbara Currier

Barbara Currier (she/her) got involved with agility shortly after adopting her Chihuahua in 1997. In 2004, Barbara and her husband Michael were relocated to VA and shortly after she started teaching agility at All Dog Adventures (fka All Dog Playskool) in Richmond, VA. It was there that Barbara was introduced to Susan Garrett and her foundation-based training that is centered around impulse control and relationship building with your dog. She continues to train with some of the best handlers in the world including Tracy Sklenar, Kayl McCann, Jaakko Suoknuuti, Janita Leinonen, Loretta Mohler, Mary Ellen Barry and Jen Pinder and has implemented what she has learned from them into her training program.

Before relocating to GA, while living in VA, Barbara also started her own in-home training and behavioral rehabilitation business. She was the trainer for Richmond Boxer Rescue and also assisted Southeastern Virginia Golden Retriever Rescue in assessing some of their dogs. Barbara has worked extensively with many rescue organizations including Chihuahua and Rottweiler rescue while living in NH.

Barbara was one of the head dog trainers for the F.I.D.O. Program run at Georgia Tech, which creates wearable computing for military, SAR and service dogs.

Barbara has also worked as an animal wrangler for Marvel’s Ant-Man, 90 Minutes in Heaven, the TV series Satisfaction and various commercials and print ads.

She has been teaching since 2004 and became heavily involved in the OneMind Dogs handling method in 2014. She has successfully competed over 20 different breeds of dogs since she started competing in agility. She is a multpile National finalist and former world team member. Barbara continues to teach all over the country.

In 2022, Barbara became a certified performance coach with Mental Managment Systems in Flower Mound, TX. This system was created by former gold and silver medal Olympian, Lanny Bassham.

Barbara resides in GA and shares her home with her very supportive husband, Mike, Piper (Parson Russell Terrier), Miso (Miniature Poodle), Eggo (Wocker), Fish (French Spaniel) and bearded dragon Saphira.

Website: https://www.fenzidogsportsacademy.com/


Cheryl Shomo

I am a Certified Professional Dog Trainer through CCPDT and Fear Free Certified. I've loved animals from as early as I can remember and have a long background in various dog sports. In 2009 I was exposed to the field of applied behavior analysis - opening my eyes to the science of learning and gaining a deeper understanding of positive reinforcement training.

I enjoy helping people and their dogs through the process of training and socialization, changing maladaptive behaviors, and helping dogs of all ages learn the skills they need to live a full life. I also enjoy volunteering my time with service dogs in training and shelter animals. I regularly continue my education in all things behavior modification!

Certifications: CPDT-KA

Services include:

  • Aggressive dog training
  • Board and train
  • In home training
  • Reactive dog training
  • Puppy training

More info about service provided: Offering a variety of group classes as well as private in-home training and day training, covering everything from basic manners and obedience training for puppies and adults to behavior modification for issues such as fear and anxiety, reactivity, and aggression. Training programs are tailored to your individual dog and unique family dynamics.

Behavioral issue focus: Basic manners training, fear/anxiety/phobias, reactivity, resource guarding, aggression

Training methods: Positive reinforcement and fear free training methods

Why I became a dog trainer: I enjoy helping people and their dogs through the process of training and socialization, changing maladaptive behaviors, and helping dogs of all ages learn the skills they need to live a full life!

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: I enjoy helping people and their dogs through the process of training and socialization, changing maladaptive behaviors, and helping dogs of all ages learn the skills they need to live a full life!

Service areas: Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Norfolk and surrounding Hampton Roads

Website: https://freakonaleashdogtraining.com


Stephanie Bass

I am a Pat Miller Certified trainer and have worked with dogs in a shelter setting as well as in homes.

Certifications: PMCT2

Services include:

  • Aggressive dog training
  • In home training
  • Reactive dog training
  • Puppy training

More info about service provided: I do basic good manners training as well as behavior modification.

Behavioral issue focus: Reactivity, general household manners.

Training methods: I am a science based force free trainer. I work with each dog as an individual and find what works best for them, while making sure they are safe, happy, and healthy throughout the process. Training should be fun for all parties involved and as stress free as possible.

Why I became a dog trainer: I had dogs of my own with behavioral concerns and needed a deeper understanding of how learning works and how to best help them. Turns out, I loved it and wanted to spread that knowledge.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Watching dogs learn.

My #1 dog training tip: Dogs do more of what works and less of what doesn't.

Service areas: Surry County


Mary Crawford

Mary started working with dogs professionally in 2006 as a dog daycare attendant, and started her dog training career in 2008 when she decided to apprentice under a highly experienced certified trainer. She became fascinated by canine behavior and modern training methods and decided to dedicate her professional career to learning all about dog training, social behavior, and behavior modification.
Mary also spent several years in the shelter world, working as an Animal Control Officer for the Washington Humane Society (now Humane Rescue Alliance) in Washington, DC.

In addition to overseeing the day to day operations of Wholistic Hound Academy, she manages 9 experienced trainers, 11 apprentices, leads their Apprentice Program, and offers private lessons to clients. She specializes in canine body language, canine social behavior, and aggressive behavior modification.

Mary is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer - Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA) from the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT). She is currently working towards an Associate Certified Canine Behavior Consultant accreditation from the IAABC and Certified Behavior Consultant Canine -Knowledge Assessed accreditation from CCPDT.

When she is not training dogs, Mary enjoys collecting houseplants, camping, flying small aircraft with her husband, and exploring dog sports with her two dogs. Mary is owned by Mayday, a chaotic border collie, Memphis, a sensitive aussie/rottie mix, and Pree, a dramatic grey tabby.

Certifications: CPDT-KA

Services include:

  • Aggressive dog training
  • In home training
  • Reactive dog training
  • Off leash training
  • Puppy training

More info about service provided: Group classes, day training, private lessons, behavior modification, aggression, puppy socialization, social behavior modification

Behavioral issue focus: Aggression towards dogs and humans, bite cases up to level 4

Training methods: Initial consultation to discuss client and dog background, history, medical influences, and draft a behavior modification plan. I use a combination of CC/DS, ABA, and R+ relationship-building exercises to address behavior issues.

Why I became a dog trainer: To provide the public with effective, humane training methods, modern behavior education, and to prevent dogs from ending up in shelters.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Watching dogs progress from fearful or aggressive to happy and well adjusted, with owners who support and advocate for their dog's needs

My #1 dog training tip: Don't forget to pause and look back at how far you've come.

Website: https://www.wholistichound.com/


Deven Gaston

Deven Gaston Has worked as a professional trainer and instructor in corporate and university environments for over ten years. Her love of teaching people combined with her love of working with her own dogs led her to co-found Canine Campus in 2002. In February of 2003 Deven completed an internship with renowned trainer Pat Miller.

In June of 2003, Deven completed the Principles & Techniques of Behavior Modification at Purdue University's School of Veterinary Medicine. These two programs were just the beginning of the educational adventures she would embark upon to stay current on scientific developments and our understanding of the domestic dog.Known for her lighthearted teaching style, she helps owners realize their goals of well-mannered family dogs in a relaxed and supportive environment, thus enhancing the human-dog bond.

Deven's commitment to evangelizing positive reinforcement as a viable communication strategy sent her to prison in June 2003! For three years, as the lead trainer for the Pen Pals prison dog program at the Fluvanna Correctional Center for Women and one year at Buckingham Correctional center, Deven screened shelter dogs and placed them with carefully selected inmates who worked with her to teach the dogs to be polite family members during an ten-week training period. In the Spring of 2006 Deven debuted the Canine Campus pod cast, available on Itunes, where she addressed common behavior challenges and listeners questions.

Deven believes her love of problem solving (a carry-over from Logic 101, she fears) is the foundation for her interest in behavior modification. She works with local vets who have diagnosed behavior problems in dogs to design and implement behavior modification techniques to manage and improve the situation. Her Puppy Socialization class is designed specifically to prevent the need for behavior modification later in a dog's life.

Deven is a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT), successfully completed the certification requirements of the Certified Pet Dog Trainer program (CPDT-KA) and Certified Behavior Consultant Canine program (CBCC-KA) one of only 161 trainers to do so, and holds a Masters Degree in Philosophy.

Certifications: Member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT), successfully completed the certification requirements of the Certified Pet Dog Trainer program (CPDT-KA) and Certified Behavior Consultant Canine program (CBCC-KA)

Services include:

  • In home training

Website: https://caninecampus.wpengine.com/


Erica Pytlovany

Erica has more than a decade of professional experience helping dogs and their human families with everything from house training and basic manners to reactivity, aggression, separation anxiety, and other challenging behaviors. She also teaches basic through advanced obedience skills including Tricks and performance obedience like Rally, Fenzi TEAM titles and ring obedience.

Erica enjoys working with non-dog species as well, and has trained parrots, horses, cats, and other animals. She was a volunteer Keeper Aide for three years at the Smithsonian National Zoo, caring for Giant Pandas, Sloth Bears, Asian Small Clawed Otters and other residents of the Asia Trail. She is a volunteer with Simple Changes Therapeutic Riding Center, and in 2020, completed the requirements for Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor (CTRI) through PATH International. She continually studies new ways to train people, too.

The principles of learning are the same whether you're a person, a dog, a horse or a fish. I love how lessons I learn with one species can make me more flexible and creative with the next species, humans included.

Certifications:

Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner (KPA CTP)
Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA), 2008-2014
TAGteach Level 2 Certification
Certified Trick Dog Instructor (CDTI) - Gold Level
AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator
Stunt Dog Judge
Titles and acheivements in Rally Obedience, Tricks, agility, obedience, and sheep herding

Services include:

  • Aggressive dog training
  • Reactive dog training

Website: https://woofsdogtraining.com/


Andrea Lengi

I have been training dogs in various sports for over 25 years, and teaching classes and private lessons for over 24 years. I am a CPDT-KA, certified by the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers. Before moving to Blacksburg, I worked as the Dog Training Program Manager for the APS of Orange County in North Carolina. When we moved to Blacksburg in 2001, I found that there just wasn't the same opportunity to play dog sports in this area.

So, I decided to go about creating more opportunities myself!CPDT LogoI have put obedience titles, nosework titles, Trick Dog Championships, and over 45 agility championship titles on multiple dogs, all rescue dogs of various breed mixes. By working with rescue dogs with differing backgrounds and different types of baggage, I have learned how to overcome many bumps in the training road, and at every step of the way, how to train the dog I have rather than the dog I think I should have.

ChampsMy dogs have competed successfully at the highest levels of agility. I have been a finalist at the NADAC Agility Championships with three different dogs. In 2009, my dog Lucas and I finished in 3rd place in the 20 inch height class. Lucas also won trophies for the overall Highest Scoring Mixed Breed Dog, and the overall Highest Scoring Rescue Dog, and the Highest Scoring Proficient Mixed Breed Dog in Jumpers.

In 2015, my dog Pye and I finished in 4th place in the very competitive 16-20 inch height class. Pye also won awards for the High Scoring All-American Rescue Dog, High Scoring Cattle Dog or Cattle Dog mix, and the High Scoring Dog from Virginia. Also in 2015, my dog Brie finished in 2nd place in the 12 inch height class. Three of my dogs, Lucas, Brie, and Pye, have earned places in the NADAC Agility Hall of Fame.

Certifications: CPDT-KA, certified by the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers

Services include:

  • Aggressive dog training

Website: https://allamericandogsports.com/


Laurie C. Williams

Trainer and behavior consultant of 35 years

Certifications: CCUI CDTI

Services include:

  • Reactive dog training
  • Off leash training
  • Puppy training
  • Agility training

More info about service provided: All breeds, all ages basic through competition level.

Behavioral issue focus: Reactive behavior, resource guarding. Separation anxiety

Training methods: Positive reinforcement

Why I became a dog trainer: Love teaching people how to communicate with their dogs

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Seeing dogs and their guardians form lifelong bonds

My #1 dog training tip: Train the dog in front of you

Service areas: Stafford County

Website: https://www.pupniro.com


Kat Heckert

Kat (she/her) became interested in behavior and training when she entered the animal shelter world. Kat has worked in the behavior department of two animal shelters and has provided training services to shelter volunteers, fosters, and adopters. In 2020, she decided to take the leap from animal sheltering to private training and discovered how rewarding it is to work so closely with dog guardians and their dogs.

Kat is passionate about helping people connect with their dogs using positive reinforcement and force-free training methods. She loves to incorporate enrichment activities into her training plans and thinking of creative ways to approach challenging behaviors. She believes in creating a compassionate and supportive environment for dogs and their guardians to set everyone up for success.

Certifications:

Professional Canine Behavior Consultant (PCBC-A)
KPA-CTP
Fear Free Certified

Services include:

  • Aggressive dog training
  • In home training
  • Reactive dog training
  • Puppy training

More info about service provided: Fear, Anxiety, Reactivity, Aggression, Newly Adopted Dogs, Puppies, Basic Manners

Behavioral issue focus: Leash reactivity, fearful behaviors, stranger reactivity, human-directed aggression, resource guarding.

Training methods: I work with clients on a mix of management, enrichment, behavior games, and teaching alternative behaviors. My main goal is that both my client and their dog find the training plan enjoyable, accessible, and that it fits with what they both need. My methods are force free and I never use coercion, intimidation, or discomfort in training plans.

Why I became a dog trainer: To improve the relationship between dogs and their guardians.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Watching people and their dogs connect and work as a team.

My #1 dog training tip: Enrichment is the foundation of any good behavior plan.

Service areas: In-Person in Arlington and Falls Church VA, Remote

Website: https://www.jwdogtraining.com/


Elizabeth Bain

As an Intuitive Guide, Elizabeth works with humans individually as well as in concert with their companion animals to find heart-centered perspectives, deepen connections, and to bridge the species gap to find the balance that allows everyone to thrive.

As a KPA-CTP (Karen Pryor Academy-Certified Training Partner), Elizabeth's goal is to help dogs (and cats, too) and humans learn to communicate via clicker training so that the whole family fits together comfortably.

Elizabeth can help whether it's working
to create loose leash walking
to build confidence in a fearful or shy dog
to create manners for in house or on the town
to start a dog and human on the path to sports together

I walk the earth. Walking is a key piece of who I am and I don’t just stick to the physical walking; as an energy worker, I walk the realms. I walk people to their heart centers and help them to explore aspects of self and life from this different perspective, to discover the deeper connections available from the heart space. I walk souls to the journey beyond the physical. I walk by your side as an Intuitive Guide. How did I get here?

I have been learning all my life: how we are part of the whole, how we relate to the whole, how to shift perspectives, and how to walk the realms.

I have had (and continue to have) great teachers: from the cats and dogs of my childhood to current day, to my special allies the birds, from all the fauna and flora of this world, to my more formal studies of the subtle energies.

I have studied Integral Yoga, Reiki, animal communication with Anastacia Gourley, and completed the Apprenticeship Program with Cyndi Dale in 2011. I continue to hone my skills as I have over the 17 years since I started doing energy work with humans and companion animals.

In my spare time, you can find me with Lilly, my border collie pal, walking and birding in the mountains of central Virginia, or slightly farther afield at a nose work, dock-diving or rally obedience trial.

Certifications: KPA-CTP (Karen Pryor Academy-Certified Training Partner)

Services include:

  • Off leash training

Website: https://www.elizabethbain.net/


Woof Houze Canine Coaching & Wellness

Woof Houze Canine Coaching & Wellness is a place like no other. We are a one stop shop for canine wellness. Our facilities houses private and group training, fear free grooming, canine retail shop, Hooman Classes such as CPCR training (CPR for pets), and more.

Our goal is to help you to be your best with understanding your pup through canine behavior and body language learning, We strive to give you the tools to have a successful relationship as dog and owner. Our team has over 40 years of training experience combined. We all have multiple canines and are very aware of what it takes to be there for the life of the dog. We strive to keep training fun, positive and rewarding for the entire family.

Our Mission is Educating You to Embrace their Nature. Meaning harmony on both sides of the leash. That includes evaluating your pets health plan from nutrition, to wellness aids such as joint and skin issues with our all natural supplements.

Behavior Issues...let us be your Safe Haven for understanding how to combat what people label a bad dog. We accept all breeds and aggression or bite history. Best of all we are 100% Positive Reinforcement Only. NO E-COLLARS! We strive to serve our canine companions with respect & gentle communication. Let Woof Houze be a part of your pups growth, training begins at 8 weeks.

Services include:

  • Board and train

Service areas: Fredericksburg, VA

Website: https://www.woofhouze.com/


Susan Aceti

For 15 years, I shared my life with Molly, a black lab mix. She was my first dog and I adopted her at six months from a local animal shelter. I knew her history - that she had been locked in a basement for the first six months of her life, but I didn't know how much it would affect her.

I didn't know that she would react to any new dog or person with a scary display of hostility. You can see more of Molly's story here. I learned how to work with her to develop a calm response to the things that scared her and she lived a wonderful life with a few human and dog friends. Molly died in 2017 and I still miss her. But I decided to put off getting another dog and started a dog boarding business in 2018. Not having a dog of my own, I figured I could provide a place for owners whose challenging dogs couldn't be around other dogs.

Soon I found myself constantly turning down requests for bookings because the nature of challenging dogs inherently limited what I could do. Usually, I could only take one dog at a time (unless they already lived in the same household). Out of this came the idea for Challenging Dogs Boarding and Daycare - to increase my capacity by contracting with a small pool of other sitters who would follow the same stringent guidelines I do: carefully helping fearful dogs in a positive, safe way and ensuring a comfortable safe space for them.

Services include:

  • Board and train

Website: https://challengingdogs.com/


Sydnor Taylor

Certifications: CPDT-KA

Services include:

  • In home training

Website: https://caninecampus.wpengine.com/


Suzanne Heenan

Suzanne (she/her) has been professionally training dogs since 2015. She volunteered with a local animal shelter for several years, training dogs through their behavior department, leading dog playgroups, and teaching dog training classes to other volunteers.

Previously, Suzanne ran a children's tutoring program for two years. This helped hone her teaching skills and also recognize the importance of teaching learners using positive reinforcement-based methods. She completed a formal apprenticeship at a DC-area dog training company and then began her career as a professional trainer.

Suzanne believes training should be built on kindness and cooperation and that training should be fun for both dog and guardian. Suzanne shares her home with a delightful, hilarious, and energetic pit bull who makes sure Suzanne stays on her toes when it comes to training!

Certifications:

Certified Professional Dog Trainer - Knowledge Assessed
Fear Free Certified Trainer
TAGTeach Level 1 Certified

Services include:

  • In home training
  • Reactive dog training
  • Puppy training

More info about service provided: Reactivity, Puppies, Fearful Dogs, Newly Adopted Dogs, Basic Manners

Service areas: Arlington & NW DC

Website: https://www.jwdogtraining.com/


Anne Davis

Anne has always enjoyed dogs and says she feels very fortunate to be in the 'positive' dog training profession. Anne has worked with dogs for the past 20 plus years along with careers in teaching and in the corporate environment. She is now pursuing her true love full time training dogs and coaching their owners.

Rudy, an English Lab, was adopted in 2000 shortly after starting Anne's professional dog training career. After successfully working with this very difficult pup it was decided that he had earned the top spot in the company so in 2005 we incorporated and became Rudy's Friends Dog Training, Inc. In 2003 Cooper, lab/bloodhound, joined the family and then Missie, a black German Shepherd, became part of the group in 2007. In 2015 Missie is an only child for the first time. She misses her brothers but enjoys having all of our attention.

Services include:

  • In home training

Service areas: Northern VA

Website: https://rudysfriendsdogtraining.com/


Hannah Fuqua

Hi I'm Hannah! I'm the Head Trainer at Canine Adventure. I graduated from Auburn University with a degree in Zooology. When I moved to Richmond I began working at the Richmond SPCA training the shelter dogs. This along with my own dogs and fosters as well as my time walking dogs has been instrumental in educating me on dogs of all personalities, breeds, and behaviors. I love every single one of them and can't wait to help you with yours!

Certifications: CPDT-KA

Services include:

  • Aggressive dog training
  • In home training
  • Deaf dog training
  • Reactive dog training
  • Off leash training
  • Puppy training

More info about service provided: Myself and my team at Canine Adventure provide workshops, group hikes, in-home training, and day training

Behavioral issue focus: I have lots of of experience with fearful, reactive, and aggressive dogs. I enjoy helping dogs getting along with each other too!

Training methods: We first have an intake call to discuss needs and start management. Then we have a 2 hour in home session. After this client's can start Trainer support Visit where a team member trains solo with your dog and send a detailed report and/or continue with 1 hour private lessons.

Why I became a dog trainer: I have always been obsessed with animals, dogs particularly. I believe they are the best thing about human existence. Every dog deserves a safe, fun, and loving home and everyone human deserves an enjoyable companion. I am so thankful for the knowledge and experience I have accumulated over the years to help accomplish this.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Helping people discover the amazing qualities their dog has! As well as bringing simplicity, safety, and, playfulness to human lives.

My #1 dog training tip: Get curious! About what your dog needs, what you need, and how you can accomplish both while having some fun!

Service areas: Richmond City, Lakeside, Church Hill, Short Pump, Forest Hill, Midlothian

Website: https://canineadventure.net


Kim Keleher

I'm from Alexandria, Va although I've also lived in Philadelphia and New York City. My partner Tom and I have a young Cavalier King Charles Spaniel named Spencer. Tom is a retired builder and a busy grandfather.

Certifications: CPDT-KA, PMCT Level 2, Fear Free

Services include:

  • In home training
  • Reactive dog training
  • Puppy training

More info about service provided: I offer day training for small breed puppies and dogs that will top out at about 25 pounds. I train the dog for my clients.

Behavioral issue focus: I love to work with puppies to help prevent behavioral challenges from developing. I also work with leash reactivity in adult dogs.

Training methods: I am a certified professional trainer. I use positive reinforcement training. After an initial consultation I develop training plans to address the client's goals.

Why I became a dog trainer: I became interested in training when I was introduced to positive reinforcement training as a volunteer at the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria. I'd grown up with the old fashioned training method and was so happy to learn there was a nicer and more effective way of working with all animals. We had a young Doberman at the time who was not well socialized before we got him. He was a very good teacher.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: I don't know if I like helping the people or the dogs more. It's so rewarding to make living with a dog easier for her people. When they understand each other better, life is better for the dogs too.

My #1 dog training tip: Learn canine body language. As Pat Miller says, "your dog is always talking to you. You have to learn to listen." That quote is from memory. It may not be precise but the sentiment is accurate.

Service areas: City of Alexandria

Website: https://WWW.CanineConnectionVA.com


April Chillari

My name is April and I am the owner and operator of Core Canine. I obtained my dog training certification through Animal Behavior College. My love of dogs brought me to volunteer with rescues and shelters. I realized, through these volunteer efforts, that behavior is the #1 reason owners surrender their dogs. I decided the best way to prevent dogs from being surrendered was to become a trainer myself.

I work with dogs of all ages on fundamental obedience and behavior issues, helping them to be better members of their families. I've worked with dogs from shelters and rescues and with purebred dogs from breeders. I am passionate about dog training and believe that every dog deserves to reach their full potential.

I believe that owning a dog is an amazing and rewarding experience, but also a responsibility, not a luxury. Training your dog properly will lead you to a greater understanding of the animal, and I firmly believe in the owner-pet relationship being one of mutual understanding and respect. I immerse you fully in the training process, and with this approach, I find that owners end up learning as much, if not more, than their pets. My goal is to work with you and your dog, every step of the way, to find the best possible solutions in creating a solid relationship between you and your furry best friend.

Certifications: ABCDT

Services include:

  • In home training
  • Reactive dog training
  • Puppy training

More info about service provided: We provide private in-home training and group classes at our facility. We work with all dogs on basic obedience and problem behaviors.

Behavioral issue focus: Leash aggression, resource guarding, nipping, jumping, loose leash walking

Training methods: We are positive reinforcement trainers and offer pay-as-you-go sessions

Why I became a dog trainer: To help keep dogs in their homes and to build better relationships between people and their dogs.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: When people see how much better their dogs are doing using the training techniques they learned with us.

My #1 dog training tip: Be consistent!!

Service areas: Alexandria, Arlington, Annandale, Springfield, Falls Church

Website: https://www.corecanine.com


Stephanie O'Connell Wilcke

BarksBurg Dogs is a dog training business that is owned and operated by Stephanie O'Connell Wilcke, CPDT-KA. She provides group obedience classes, private training sessions and behavior modification assistance. She has been working in the dog training industry since 2011 and has been a professional dog trainer in the area since 2014. Stephanie began her career with a two year apprenticeship program in Arlington, VA that taught the latest techniques in positive reinforcement training, including clicker training and TAGTeach.

After 3 years of learning and practice, Stephanie became a certified professional dog trainer through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers. She teaches group classes at Flying Fur! and offers private in-home training in the Blacksburg, Christiansburg, and New River Valley area.

Certifications: CPDT-KA

Services include:

  • In home training
  • Reactive dog training
  • Puppy training

More info about service provided: Group Classes, Private Training, Behavior Modification

Training methods: Positive Reinforcement with clicker training

Service areas: New River Valley, VA (Blacksburg, Christiansburg, Radford)

Website: https://barksburgdogs.com


Amy Pike

Dr. Pike has been caring for patients for well over 20 years. After graduating from Colorado State University in 2003, she was commissioned as a Captain in the US Army. There, she was the head veterinarian for her base's small veterinary clinic, caring for 200 Customs and Border Protection horses, and 15 Military Working dogs. It was Dr. Pike's experiences with Military Working Dogs that originally piqued her interest veterinary behavior. After leaving active duty, Dr. Pike was able to further her love for behavior. As a civilian, she continued her work with some of these dogs at Joint Base Andrews near Washington, D.C.

As her love for behavior blossomed, she began her residency program. Under the mentorship of Dr. Debra Horwitz, Dr. Pike spent 3 years seeing behavior cases, taking additional college courses in psychology and advanced animal sciences, completing her research on thunderstorm phobias and studying for the grueling two day board examination. In October 2015, she became one of fewer than 70 Boarded Veterinary Behaviorists in all of North America.

As a Veterinary Behaviorist, she has dedicated much of her time to improving education in the field. She has written various articles for professional veterinary journals such as Clinician's Brief, Pet Quarterly, and The Team. She has been interviewed for other articles in both periodical magazines, online forums and newspapers. She is Fear Free Certified and serves as a member of the Fear Free Advisory Committee.

Dr. Pike also serves on the Board of Directors of The Animal Welfare League of Arlington (Virginia), and the American College of Veterinary Behavior's Board of Regents, where she is Head of the Specialty Training Committee. Dr. Pike acts as an instructor for E-Training for Dogs, an online education program, is mentor to her own residents, (Robyn Hayes, DVM, and Esther Eng, DVM), was an editorial advisory member for the American Veterinarian publication, and continues to present at National Veterinary Conferences around the world multiple times per year.

Since moving to Northern Virginia in the summer of 2016, she has dedicated her work toward building a network of behavior resources. She is currently the co-owner of the two ABWC locations (with Dr. Learn). Here in Fairfax, she sees pets with behavior disorders that range from mild fears to extreme aggression, compulsive disorders and panic disorders. With her extensive knowledge, caring nature, and masterful management abilities, she has gathered a team of behavior professionals that are able to tackle any behavior problem. As her influence in the region grows, she is working to expand prevention services with her support staff by providing socialization classes and patient handling workshops for other veterinary professionals.

Certifications: DVM, DACVB, IAABC-CDBC

Services include:

  • Aggressive dog training
  • Reactive dog training
  • Puppy training

More info about service provided: Behavior Modification for serious behavioral issues

Behavioral issue focus: Anxiety, Aggression, Phobias, Compulsive disorders

Training methods: Behavior consultations, training plans, positive reinforcement training and psychotropic medication if applicable

Why I became a dog trainer: My love for veterinary medicine combined with psychology

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: The relationships with the humans

My #1 dog training tip: Have fun- if you aren't enjoying it, and your pet isnt either, rethink the plan!

Service areas: Baltimore, Washington DC, Fairfax, Arlington, Alexandria

Website: https://abwellnesscenter.com


Vivian Leven

Certified Behavior Consultant Canine – Knowledge Assessed (CBCC-KA) through the Certification Council of Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT)

Certified Professional Dog Trainer-Knowledge & Skills Assessed (CPDT-KSA) through the Certification of Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT)

Fear Free Certified Professional through Fear Free Pets

Certified Family Paws Parent Educator through Family Paws

Holds the status of TAGteach Primary through TAGteach International

Professional member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT)

Professional Member of the Pet Professional Guild (PPG).

Associate Member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC)

Currently serves on the Certification Council of Professional Dog Trainers Examination Committee as subcommittee member for the KSA exam.

Certifications: CBCC, CPDT, IAABC Associate, Family Paws, Fear Free

Services include:

  • Aggressive dog training
  • In home training
  • Deaf dog training
  • Reactive dog training

More info about service provided: Behavior consulting business, all private sessions

Behavioral issue focus: Reactivity, separation anxiety, resource guarding, impulse control, anxiety

Training methods: Modern dog training (all positive) anchored in animal behavior science and learning theory.

Why I became a dog trainer: I adopted a rescue dog with behavior challenges and it was very difficult to find qualified help. It became the launching pad for me to learn as much as I could about behavior and help other people and their dogs.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: As a dog behavior consultant I like the creative aspect of coming up with approaches and solutions that work for that person and dog. Also to see the outcome of good results, grateful clients and happier dogs staying in their homes.

My #1 dog training tip: Build on reinforcing your dog to do what you want and less energy focusing on what you don't want

Service areas: Metro DC area (Nova, MD)

Website: https://www.positivedogsolutions.com


Matt Henry

After adopting a very challenging dog several years ago, I have become a forever student to animal behavior.
There is nothing more satisfying than helping others that are where I once was.

Services include:

  • Aggressive dog training
  • Board and train
  • In home training
  • Reactive dog training
  • Puppy training

More info about service provided: Private in-home consultations for behavior modification

Behavioral issue focus: Resource guarding, leash reactivity, dog - dog & dog - human aggression

Training methods: We start by establishing a communication system and teaching how to fulfill the individual learners needs, then formulate a realistic training program that the learners guardian will be able to maintain throughout the process.

Why I became a dog trainer: To help others in need.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: The look in a dog's eyes when the gears start spinning inside its head

My #1 dog training tip: Go outside with your dog.

Service areas: Fairfax Va and surrounding areas

Website: https://www.dogsinpublic.com


Sniffspot Virginia Top Trainer Frequently Asked Questions

How are Virginia dog trainers selected for this list?

These are the top dog trainers in Virginia as selected by broad voting from the Sniffspot community and the general public. These trainers are expert dog trainers, who received votes from their delighted customers, due to their excellent dedication to customer service, excellent results and general care they exhibit for their clients. Many have worked with thousands of dogs and are highly experienced trainers.

How can I get in touch with dog trainers?

Each of the trainer profiles contains a link to their website. You can click through to their website where you can find more contact information.

Are these Virginia dog trainers certified professionals?

Dog training is not regulated at the federal or state level, so there is no standard dog training certification and professional trainers are not required to be certified. However, certifications are important to show that a professional dog trainer has a standard of expertise to help train your dog. Each trainer’s certifications are listed on their profile.

What are the top certifications for Dog Trainers in Virginia?

Some of the top certifications in the dog training industry are CPDT- KA, IAABC, Karen Pryor Academy - KPA certification, Jean Donaldson's Academy - CTC certification and Fear Free Certification. You can review the dog trainer certifications for each specific dog trainer on their profile on this page.

What methods are used in the dog training sessions?

There are many methods for teaching dogs and a lot of disagreement about the correct training approach. All of the Virginia trainers included on this list use positive reinforcement training only, as defined by no force, fear, intimidation, or aversive methods used. This includes not using any specifically aversive approach to training or training aid, such as a prong or electronic dog training collar (also called remote dog training collar or shock collars). As for specific training programs and specialties, such as day training / doggie daycare or obedience training, you can see more information in each trainer’s profile.

Are dog training lessons in a training facility or are virtual options available?

Some dog trainers operate exclusively from a training facility, some do house calls and some offer video calls or other virtual options. There are pros and cons to each option and the most efficient behavioral training option depends on specific circumstances, for instance, what hours work best for you. A training center or training ranch can be a good option if your training plan requires facilities, training equipment or dedicated space. We recommend reaching out to the specific trainer you are interested in or browsing their website for more information.

Are dog training lessons private or in a group setting?

Every different circumstance of dog and owners may require a different setting, whether it’s housebreaking issues, anxiety issues, lack of proper socialization, food aggression or just bad habits. Each trainer has different offerings as far as whether they can offer clients a private training session or a group class. Trainers provide information about their private class and group class offerings in their profiles and you can browse their website for more information as well. It may make sense for your specific circumstance to reach out to the trainer to ask if they recommend group or private dog training classes. Some trainers also have a team of specialists that can provide even higher levels of service, or provide specialized sessions, such as pack walks.

How much does dog training in Virginia cost?

Virginia dog trainers have a wide range of costs for different services and phases of training. For instance behavioral modification that involves boarding is often more expensive than day training, and private lessons are generally more expensive than group lessons. Prices can also vary depending on specific behavioral issues. Lastly, some trainers have more overhead than others, We recommend first picking a trainer that provides the services that you are looking for, then reaching out to them to get up to date pricing.

Is training a dog good for the dog?

Yes! Training has many benefits for dogs. Whether with basic training skills or complex training techniques, going through behavior training with your dog can improve the bond that you share with them. Also, training can do a lot to improve the level of confidence enabling of a dog (and it can also help with building customer confidence!). Rather than being about exerting maximum control over them, it gives them more certainty that they understand how the world around them works. For instance, crate training can help a dog feel safe and at home in a crate vs fearful and uncertain. Dog training can teach important skills, such as leash control, potty training or a general level of obedience skills. And lastly, it’s just fun for the dog to learn life skills and for their family. Training can be very stimulating and enriching for a dog and serve them throughout their entire healthy life!

Can an aggressive dog be trained?

Yes! Any dog behavior can be worked on through training and coaching. Aggression in dogs is a serious issue, but it is also a term that is used very broadly. Many dogs that are thought to be aggressive are actually reactive, which is a different behavior altogether. A trainer can help you interpret signs of aggression, such as excessive barking, fear aggression and leash aggression, and type of aggression. If you believe you have a dog with aggressive behaviors, we recommend reaching out to one of your local top trainers to get their diagnosis and advice.

I am a Virginia dog trainer. How can I get listed here?

As long as you have a training facility or do in person training in Virginia you can be considered for this list. We update this list once per year, normally starting in January. Make sure to keep an eye on our social media and sign up for email updates with Sniffspot in order to be in the loop on the next round of nominations.

How much do dog trainers make in Virginia?

Dog trainer earnings vary widely depending on many factors, such as whether a dog trainer is an employee or owns their own full-service professional dog training business. According to ZipRecruiter, the average dog trainer salary in Virginia was $35,742 per year and $17.18 per hour. It is impossible to say how much a dog trainer can earn with a full-service professional dog training company, because the size and profitability of companies can vary widely.


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Merlin Noble

August 08, 2023

Dog Trainers

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The Best Dog Trainers in Washington of 2023 thumbnail

The Best Dog Trainers in Washington of 2023

Welcome to the Washington Sniffspot top dog trainer list for 2023. This is a list of the top dog trainers in Washington based on votes from the Sniffspot community and the general public. Over 55,000 votes were used in compiling this list. We have only included the top trainers with sufficient votes and the trainers are ordered in terms of the number of votes received. Trainers that tied are ranked in reverse alphabetical order based on first name. All dog trainers on this list are positive reinforcement only, as defined by no force, fear, intimidation, or aversive methods used. To learn more about our dog trainer contest, feel free to view the dog trainer contest post.

The Best Dog Trainers in Florida of 2023 thumbnail

The Best Dog Trainers in Florida of 2023

Welcome to the Florida Sniffspot top dog trainer list for 2023. This is a list of the top dog trainers in Florida based on votes from the Sniffspot community and the general public. Over 55,000 votes were used in compiling this list. We have only included the top trainers with sufficient votes and the trainers are ordered in terms of the number of votes received. Trainers that tied are ranked in reverse alphabetical order based on first name. All dog trainers on this list are positive reinforcement only, as defined by no force, fear, intimidation, or aversive methods used. To learn more about our dog trainer contest, feel free to view the dog trainer contest post.

City dog parks guides

The Best Indoor Dog Parks in the United States thumbnail

The Best Indoor Dog Parks in the United States

Looking for a space to play with your dog no matter what the weather’s like outside? Look no further than our list of the best indoor dog parks in the United States! These climate-controlled spaces are growing in popularity as pet ownership increases throughout the country. As a bonus, many of them also offer dog training, boarding, grooming, or daycare services on the premises.

The Best Off-Leash Dog Parks in the United States thumbnail

The Best Off-Leash Dog Parks in the United States

Looking for the perfect place to play with your dog? We’ve got you covered! It’s hard to narrow down, but we’ve put together some of the best off-leash dog parks throughout the country so you can plan your next adventure — along with a checklist of what to bring, what to know beforehand, and some frequently asked questions.

The Best Las Vegas, Nevada Dog Parks thumbnail

The Best Las Vegas, Nevada Dog Parks

Looking for the perfect place to play with your dog in Las Vegas? We’ve got you covered! Take a look at the best local dog parks to plan for your next adventure in Sin City.

The Best United States Dog Parks thumbnail

The Best United States Dog Parks

Looking for the perfect place to play with your dog? We’ve got you covered!

The Best Portland, Oregon Dog Parks thumbnail

The Best Portland, Oregon Dog Parks

Looking for the perfect place to play with your dog in Portland? We’ve got you covered! Take a look at the best local dog parks and plan for your next adventure in the City of Roses.