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Dog Trainers Near You


How to Choose a Dog Trainer in Richmond, VA

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Training is key to creating a safe, loving environment for your canine companion. Dogs are great learners and always eager to please their owners. With the right techniques, a little patience, and consistency from the whole family, Fido can learn just about anything.

Besides teaching your dog respectful behaviors (like no excessive barking and no begging from the table), training keeps your dog:

  • Safe
    If your dog knows to come on command, or “stay” in place, both of you will be safer when outdoors. Untrained dogs may dart off into the road, or become distracted by their surroundings and get lost.
  • Smart

    Consistent instruction is mentally stimulating and improves your dog’s cognitive health. Learning also prevents boredom and the destructive habits that result from it.

  • Happy

    Dogs thrive on positive, loving relationships with their human family members. A dog that doesn’t know proper behavior is unlikely to have a positive relationship with the people around him. By teaching your dog what behaviors are acceptable, you establish a comfortable and loving environment.

Dog Training Elite is proud to have the highest rated professional dog trainers near you in Richmond.

Effective training is key to a positive dog-owner relationship. Learning how to communicate with your canine companion is difficult without assistance, however. If you’ve been struggling with your dog’s behavior, it may be time to find a professional dog trainer near you.


For full package details (with disclaimers) please reference our pricing page.


Silver

$1,149

  • In-Home Training SessionsOne-on-one & personalized 3 Sessions
  • Group Park Training Sessions 8 Sessions
  • Come
  • Loose Leash Walking
  • Sit(next to you & off leash at a distance)
  • Off(furniture when desired)
  • Quiet(stop excessive barking & whining)
  • Place(go to bed)

Gold

$1,749

  • In-Home Training SessionsOne-on-one & personalized 6 Sessions
  • Group Park Training Sessions 26 Sessions
  • Come
  • Loose Leash Walking
  • Sit(next to you & off leash at a distance)
  • Off(furniture when desired)
  • Quiet(stop excessive barking & whining)
  • Place(go to bed)
  • Heel(walk with you, no more pulling)
  • Down(lay next to you & off leash at a distance)
  • Load Up (go into kennel, car, or dog house)
  • Calm Anxiety & Build Confidence
  • Housebreaking / Potty Training
  • Manners, Safety & Boundaries
  • STOP Jumping on People
  • STOP Biting & Nipping
  • STOP Bolting Through Doors, Running Away & Chasing Animals
  • STOP Begging & Stealing Food
  • STOP Chewing & Digging

Platinum

$2,399

Platinum offers advanced obedience/behavioral modification with a goal of off-leash control. Includes additional training options and offers more one-on-one and group sessions than Gold.

  • In-Home Training SessionsOne-on-one & personalized 9 Sessions
  • Group Park Training Sessions 52 Sessions
  • Come
  • Loose Leash Walking
  • Sit(next to you & off leash at a distance)
  • Off(furniture when desired)
  • Quiet(stop excessive barking & whining)
  • Place(go to bed)
  • Heel(walk with you, no more pulling)
  • Down(lay next to you & off leash at a distance)
  • Load Up (go into kennel, car, or dog house)
  • Calm Anxiety & Build Confidence
  • Housebreaking / Potty Training
  • Manners, Safety & Boundaries
  • STOP Jumping on People
  • STOP Biting & Nipping
  • STOP Bolting Through Doors, Running Away & Chasing Animals
  • STOP Begging & Stealing Food
  • STOP Chewing & Digging
  • *STOP Aggression(dog & human)
  • *Stay With You on a Job, Hike, or Bike Ride
  • *Therapy Dog Training
  • *Emotional Support Dog Training(ESA)
  • *Other Custom Command Approved by Trainer
Best In-Home Dog Trainers Near Me in Richmond
Highest Rated Dog Obedience Trainers Near You in Richmond
Top Dog Trainers Near Me in Richmond
In-Home Dog Trainers Near You in Richmond

Finding Professionals In An Unregulated Industry


There is no regulating body or licensing process for professional dog trainers. Anyone can advertise themselves as a trainer, whether they have the necessary skills and knowledge or not.

Navigating through this unregulated industry can be tricky. As a dog owner, you want a qualified trainer that will:


  • Respect you, your dog, and your family.
  • Stick to your schedule.
  • Use positive training methods.
  • Never harm your dog.
  • Address your dog's unique needs and behaviors.
  • Teach you how to better communicate with your dog.
  • Provide ongoing support and check-in after training sessions.
  • Train in various settings, environments and stages.
  • Empower you to build a healthy, loving bond with your dog.

It takes years of experience and education for trainers to be able to offer all of the above. So how do you find a professional that fits your and your dog’s needs?

Pricing Free Demo

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"Pawsitive" Indicators of a Good Dog Trainer


Some things to look for when searching for a Richmond dog trainer include:

Training Technique

There are various training methods out there, but the most effective is positive reinforcement. According to the American Kennel Service, positive reinforcement techniques “are based on the science of animal learning and have the bonus of strengthening the dog-owner bond.”

    Stay Away From:
  • “Alpha Dog” or dominance-based training techniques. Dominance theory is based on incorrect assumptions of dog and wolf behavior. Dog behaviorists have proven that positive techniques are the only healthy way to communicate with dogs. Dominant, punishment-based training causes anxiety, fear and aggression.
  • Trainers that use choke-chains, shock collars, sprays, and other punishment tactics.
Personality

You want to enjoy the time spent with your trainer, so find someone with a happy, exciting personality. You’re looking for a professional, of course, but we are all dog lovers here, so light-hearted attitudes are important. Your dog must connect well with a trainer for efficient learning, so pay attention to how your dog reacts to your chosen trainer.

    Stay Away From:
  • Trainers that make you feel bad about your relationship with your dog or your dog’s behavior.
  • Rude, dismissive attitudes, and trainers that are too uptight.
  • Trainers that use harsh words and aggressive tactics.
Empowerment

A dog trainer is truly a teacher at heart, and their goal is to teach you how to better communicate with your dog. You need a coach who helps you connect better with your pet, empowering you to build a strong bond. When the trainer is gone, you’ll be the one giving the commands, so make sure you find someone that is understanding, patient, and committed.

    Stay Away From:
  • A trainer that does not want to involve you and your family members in the process.
  • Programs that only offer board and train -- effective training involves various settings, including classes and inside the home.
  • Trainers that cannot explain how dogs learn and cannot teach you how to communicate with your dog.
Credentials

Dog trainers do not need a license, but there are various education programs available. Look for a trainer that can prove their credentials with experience, education, and certifications. If you have a specific need, such as personal protection or service training, be sure to find a trainer that is experienced in that area.

At Dog Training Elite, our dog trainers are educated and experienced with training dogs of all breeds, sizes and ages. All locations are registered with the Professional Retriever Trainers Association, the International Association of Canine Professionals, and the American Kennel Club.

    Stay Away From:
  • Trainers that cannot prove their education, experience, or background.

Customization

All dogs have unique personalities and life experiences that shape their behaviors. A well-qualified trainer offers customizable programs tailored to the unique needs of each client and dog. In-home training approaches are preferred, so the trainer can observe your dog in his home environment (where he feels most comfortable acting naughty!).

You should also look for a trainer that covers both basic obedience and advanced programs.

    Stay Away From:
  • Trainers that can’t teach more than basic obedience commands.
  • A trainer that diagnoses medical issues as reasoning for problem behaviors. Trainers are not licensed veterinarians and should never diagnose a dog. If a medical issue is suspected, a qualified trainer will recommend you speak to a vet.
Good References

References and consumer reviews are key to finding a reliable trainer. Ask around at the dog park for good references, and research each trainer or company. Read through customer reviews and take a look at how professional their website appears.

    Stay Away From:
  • Trainers that have no website or online references, or trainers that have poor reviews.
  • Trainers with reviews that mention aggressive tactics, fear-based techniques, and punishment-based theory.

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Our Balanced Theory

We base our training around the "Classical Conditioning" model (a.k.a. "Pavlovian" or "respondent conditioning"). This includes developing conditioned or automatic reflexes to commands. In its simplest form (after proper conditioning), when the owner says "sit," the dog automatically sits without thinking about it. Our unique techniques ensure our program is a success no matter what behavior we encounter.


  • Empowering Owners
    We empower Owners to train so their dog knows who to obey at all times.
  • Personalized
    We deal with problem behaviors on a personal basis.
  • Environment Specific
    We train wherever issues tend to arise (i.e. jogging, park, home).
  • Supportive
    We support Owners in the off-hours (when training is "not in session").
  • Involved
    We work with all members of the household.
  • Simplified & Customized
    We plan training around the owner's schedule and require only 20 min/day follow-up practice.
  • Continued Training
    Additional programs / group sessions offered after in-home training.
  • Lifetime Investment
    We follow up & are invested in the owner's success long-term.
  • Satisfaction Ratings
    Our high client satisfaction rating sets us apart from competitors.

We help your dog become a valued companion and beloved member of the family. Read what our customers have to say and then give us a call!

We are so happy with this group! They were very professional and tailored their training to our dog's personality and needs. Our dog has learned so much and most importantly, how to relax! She is a happier dog because of it. Thank you.
— Mareena Clotfelter
Posted December 6th 2022
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Fantastic program! Very systematic, sensible and clear. My dog and I found it easy to commit to the 15-20 minutes of practice a day and the results are life changing! THANKS Paul!
— Carol Straus
Posted November 29th 2022
google
Paul is absolutely wonderful! Empowering me as the owner to be an important part of the process. My family and I are very happy with the results! Thank you Paul And DTE!
— joesph williams
Posted November 17th 2022
google
I'm so grateful for Paul and DTE. The progress my dog has done in these last couple of months has been amazing. I'm looking forward to my dog's service dog training after completing her obedience training. She's been great to me so far and has helped me through tough times, but I know Paul with DTE can make sure she's doing the best she can and help me better than she is now.
— Natalia Segarra
Posted November 9th 2022
google
I definitely recommend Dog Training Elite! Paul is very friendly, patient and informative. He sets you and your pup up for success with hands-on instruction as well as giving you a better understanding of how dogs think. I'm looking forward to seeing my pup's progress continue!
— Christina Marie
Posted October 25th 2022
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Paul has been great with my German Shepherd! He doesn't pull on a leash and is well behaved in public.
— Becky Carmean
Posted October 6th 2022
google
Paul with DTE was absolutely wonderful to work with! We all feel lucky to have found him and incredibly pleased with our investment in our fur babies. You most certainly CAN teach an old dog new tricks! Patience and consistency are virtues you will need through this endeavor, but the satisfaction and pride you'll feel both for your own perseverance, as well as your pups, is so worth all of the time and hard work!! We're looking forward to group sessions and are excited to see what new adventures we'll enjoy as a family. Buster, Mae, and Goose fell "in love" and "in line" when Paul entered our home and we'll be forever grateful for his knowledge and expertise. Many people are quick to judge when discussing e-collars but we truly feel that if they took the time to go through even one training session with Paul, their perception WILL be shifted, especially after witnessing the power of redirection and repetition first hand. Dogs love structure and they love pleasing their humans, so if you're in need of some excellent training with the option to gain a lifetime friend, give Paul with DTE a call! ~M&M
— Megan O'Leary
Posted July 9th 2022
google
We were at the end of our rope with our dog and were extremely frustrated with his misbehavior. Dog Training Elite changed our life and our relationship with our dog. Thank you for helping us save our dog!!!
— Christie Pitsinger
Posted June 24th 2022
google
I highly recommend Dog Training Elite! From their training methods to the care and respect they show towards the dogs and owners, you can’t go wrong!
— Cassie Frank
Posted June 16th 2022
google
I had just about lost hope for my overly excited but super loving pup. We had tried other training methods to no avail, but meeting Paul Hearn was a game changer! In just six weeks she went from excessive barking, bolting out doors, jumping, etc to super chill and well behaved. We appreciate you so much, Paul!
— Jen Ferguson
Posted June 13th 2022
google
We got Paul to help us with our two year old lab so she would come and stay when we needed. He helped teach her a new command every visit so she could understand and we could understand what to do so she would be better behaved.
— Jon Dossie
Posted June 12th 2022
google
Paul will undoubtedly take amazing care of your dog. Don’t hesitate to call him if you are in need. He’s a great guy and a great trainer!
— Nadia Summo
Posted June 3rd 2022
google
I 100% recommend Dog training elite Richmond Paul has done wonders with my once rowdy German shepherd tremendous results in just a little bit of time! I really look forward to continue to use them for dog training! If you are looking for a dog trainer look no further!💗
— Shelby Taylor
Posted May 25th 2022
google
Paul is a great guy! He is professional, punctual and committed to delivering results. Paul is very family forward with excellent customer service skills. He is passionate about giving back to the community and driving quality results. Highly recommend if you are looking to improve your relationship with your furry friend!
— Kyle Christie
Posted May 12th 2022
google
Paul and Elite training has been a great help with my two year old westie. Being able to work in my own home on a one to one basis is a real plus. His explanations are easily understood by the dog and owner!
— Robert Fischer
Posted May 10th 2022
google
Good training starts with understanding how dogs think and how to integrate their needs into a schedule. Consistency is key. We appreciated having help in our own home to make sure we got off on the right foot with our puppy. Service was professional and friendly!
— Fronkie L'Heureux
Posted May 9th 2022
google
I’ve known Paul for 15+ years and know him to be an outstanding and honest person. I’m so happy for his new career. He’ll be great!
— Jacquelyn Canaday
Posted April 5th 2022
google
Paul is absolutely amazing. Very professional, answered our questions, reasonably priced. Highly recommend.
— Kathleen Dooley-Wolfe
Posted March 31st 2022
google

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Proud Sponsor of The Malinois Foundation

At Dog Training Elite Richmond, we believe that Service Dogs save lives. It is our mission to make these life-saving companions available to our Veterans, First Responders, Women Survivors, and Children with Medical Needs. Whether it be for PTSD, Mobility Support, or Special Needs, Dog Training Elite Richmond work's with the Malinois Foundation to heal and empower these individuals with a specialized service animal, a partner in life, and a new best friend.

Learn More

Proud local partner with Chesterfield Gives Back Charity

Chesterfield Gives Back was established to provide a means for our community to give thanks to those who serve us, our First Responders. Dog Training Elite Richmond partners with Chesterfield Gives Back to accomplished this by taking charitable donations and funding events, such as the First Responder Appreciation Day, that are free to First Responders and their families. In addition, we facilitate many other means of recognition and thanks for those who serve our community and those in need."

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Dog Training Elite Richmond - AKC STar Puppy Instructor
Dog Training Elite Richmond - Canine Good Citizen Evaluator
Dog Training Elite Richmond - AKC Community Canine
Dog Training Elite Richmond - PRTA Pro
Dog Training Elite Richmond - IACP Member
Dog Training Elite Richmond - AKC Member

Dog Training Elite is the top dog training company with the best dog trainers near you in Richmond.

Trust Your Gut


Choosing a trainer is an important part of being a dog owner, and in the end, you want to choose the professional you feel comfortable with. This is someone that you’ll be inviting into your home and spending plenty of time with! A dog trainer with credentials, experience, and a friendly personality that makes your dog’s tail wag is most likely a great choice.

You also want to make sure you get your money’s worth, so choose a trainer that is invested in you and your dog. At Dog Training Elite, we follow up with our clients even after training sessions have ended. Our goal is to help clients build strong relationships with their pets, and that takes consistent effort. Our professional dog trainers are some of the best in the Richmond area. We cover training programs such as obedience, personal protection, anxiety, aggression, and service dog.

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