There is no such thing as a bad dog, but there is such a thing as an untrained one. I’m not talking about a dog who sits on command or gives you his paw in exchange for a treat. I’m talking about the dog that nearly pulls your shoulder out of your socket while on a walk, the dog that jumps on everyone who comes through the door, the dog that terrorizes the family cat or partakes in other such antics. While many pet parents are quick to attribute this to normal doggy shenanigans, some behavior does require professional help. Dog trainers can help with pups of all ages with different types of issues. We've done our homework and have found some phenomenal dog trainers in NOVA along with some and additional resources to consider.
Often referred to as the “Mary Poppins of dog training”, Keri Putonen, is the founder and lead trainer at Unleashed Abilities and she’s great! The team offers everything from private dog training to puppy classes, e-collar training and much more. If you are a first time dog owner or an experienced pet parent with an energetic new puppy on your hands, Unleashed Abilities might be your best bet. Their unique dog coaching service provides customized at-home dog training as well as owner education- which is key!
Woofs! With a combined 130+ years of experience under their belt (or leash, if you will), Woofs! gets rave reviews! They are currently offering some pretty amazing virtual training classes, I especially love their Virtual Edition of Puppy Kindergarten for puppies that are 9 - 14 weeks old on the first day of class. Puppies need early training and socialization and this class can help with giving you the basics: house-training, crate training, socialization, chewing, etc. Plus class sizes are small, which means lots of personalization!
NOVA & D.C.
With over 130 locations nationwide, there is a reason Off Leash K9 Training is the fastest dog training company in the world. They service various locations in Northern Virginia and D.C.- offering multiple packages that enable pet parents to decide what best fits their lifestyle. Despite working mostly with household pets, they train pets to have the same level of obedience as most police/military and working dogs. They also guarantee a 100% obedient, off-leash, distraction-proof pup at the end of their program! How could you go wrong?
The pages of Zak George's book (Zak George's Dog Training Revolution) are packed with a fresh (and fun) take on dog training. I would expect nothing less from a charismatic YouTube star and Animal Planet personality! In addition to helping pet parents raise and care for their dogs, he offers some really insightful communicating and bonding tips that makes training easier and more rewarding for everyone.
An endless source of information, The Art of Raising a Puppy, can be helpful for navigating everything from making the decision to get a puppy through preparing your home to caring for your new friend. The authors talk about how to build a lasting and loving relationship with your pup drawing on their own experiences as long-time breeders of German Shepherds and dog trainers. One of my favorite things about this book are the black-and-white photographs that explain the stages of puppy development and how to communicate with your pup.
While Inside of a Dog is not a “formal” training book, it provides some interesting insight for dog parents (or dog lovers in general) who want to understand why their four legged friends do what they do. I found it fascinating! Alexandra Horowitz, a scientist, explains how dogs perceive their worlds and life in general from two feet off the ground. If you’ve ever wondered why the mailman must be barked at, what it’s like to hear the hum of a fluorescent light or how dogs smell sadness in humans- this book is for you! It’s a fantastic read and a great way to try to get inside your dog's head.
Your dog walker can also be a great resource for training tips, advice and additional helpful information. If you do have any questions, or want to book a service- contact us!
About the Author The daughter of an award-winning travel writer, Kimberly has followed in her mother’s footsteps and has had articles published in numerous publications. She got her first puppy from Santa Claus when she was four years old and has never known a life that didn’t include four-legged family members. An animal advocate, she has rescued pets, volunteered at shelters and has even been known to nurse an injured sparrow back to health. When she’s not busy running a successful pet care business and providing care to her four-legged customers, you can rest assured that she is pampering her 19-year-old kitty, Scout.