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Finding the Best Dog Trainer for Your Dog in Metro D.C.

If you're a pet parent living in the D.C. metropolitan area and thinking about hiring a trainer to help your furry companion learn the ropes of doghood, here are some reasons why even basic dog training can be such a tremendous help beneficial to your fur baby.

For those new to dog training and wondering what all your pup may be capable of, we've got the breakdown on the different types of training available, too, so you can figure out which skillset would be most appropriate to learn and utilize based on your dog's breed. Read on to learn more and find your canine pal's best dog trainer in Metro D.C.!

Why Does Your Dog Need Training?

A responsible part of being a pet parent is training your beloved companion, regardless of whether your fur baby is a puppy or a full-grown adult.

Training serves as a source of mental stimulation to deter your dog from engaging in mischievous or destructive behavior due to boredom and is also essential for your furry pal's safety. Communicating with your dog, even with just the basic commands, allows you to prevent them from rushing into a dangerous scenario (like bolting out the front door when you live close to the street!).

The more training your dog receives, the more they learn to focus on you instead of getting distracted by something that might easily lure them into trouble—they'll know to first look to you for approval before acting. This is a great skill for them to learn, especially if you're a pet parent who wants to take your pup out in public. You never know what you'll be running into while out and about. Hence, your dog must learn to check your body language and verbal commands before panicking or showing aggression in a new situation.

Training your dog strengthens your bond with your best bud from a more social standpoint. They will learn to overcome nervous behaviors because they feel confident that you'll be there to provide direction and stability in all situations. For pet parents of rescued pups or dogs who have had some pretty rough past experiences, this ability to form a close bond and be a loving leader for these canines is one of the best possible things you can offer them.

What Types of Dog Training Are Available?

Some pet parents may only be interested in introductory training for their companions. Still, those who share their lives with highly intelligent and active breeds may desire to find the appropriate training regimen to keep their dogs stimulated and happy and put those sharp minds to good use.

For those unsure of what types of training are available, here are the main options you have to choose from:

  • Obedience Training: This is the most basic type of training. Every pup and adult dog should at least be familiar with the basics to ensure their pet parent can keep them safe while building a solid bond with them as they learn to communicate. Not only are the safety implications of obedience training a huge plus, but your furry pal will also be thrilled about the training process, often involving delicious treats as they learn!

  • Behavioral Training: This type of training is ideal for dogs struggling with undesirable behavior and needing some redirection. Behavioral training is best for canines who may have received no prior training and need to unlearn certain behaviors and those who struggle with behavioral issues like biting or barking. It is even used to help provide better instruction for dogs who may not have the appropriate leash and walking skills.

  • Agility Training: Nearly everyone has seen the obstacle courses dogs are trained to run through with exceptional speed and skill. Although perfection isn't a requirement (unless you're adamant about training your pup to become an award-winning show dog or entering trials), agility training is a great way to get some exercise. It also provides some intense mental stimulation for dogs whose breed demands that they stay busy and have some "job." If you have one of these intelligent, highly energetic pups, you know how rowdy they can get when their mental and physical stimulation needs aren't adequately met. By engaging in agility training, you can put your companion through the wringer, allow them to have an absolute blast while learning to balance their focus and their body to tackle each obstacle and teach them some neat tricks and skills along the way.

  • Protection Training: Protection training is often quite breed-specific, as certain dogs have the proper physical stature and mindset to be trained for protection purposes. If you're a pet parent of a large and intimidating breed, protection training may be the perfect fit for honing your dog's protective nature and imposing size into a loving but very effective security measure.

There are other types of training available as well. Still, these are often reserved for certain professions (i.e., police or hunting dogs) or canines planning to become therapy or service dogs.

5 Top Dog Trainers in Metro D.C.

Now that you have a better idea of what training might be best suited for your pup, here are some of our favorite trainers that we recommend in the D.C. Metro area.

Located on Capitol Hill, Well Done Charlie provides dog training services remotely or in the comfort of your home. From standard puppy training to assisting older dogs with behavioral concerns or even simple obedience training, Toni Clarke offers humane and practical training for dogs of all ages and backgrounds. Specializing in canines who suffer from separation anxiety and associated aggression, Toni is incredibly skilled at helping these dogs learn to cope with the changes in their environment that may be causing them some difficulties.

If you’re looking for a trainer with a lot of experience and a wide range of services, you can visit the Well Done Charlie website to schedule a consultation or email Toni herself with any questions.

Located on Wisconsin Avenue NW, Dog Trained provides dog training services both in person and virtually. With 9 in-person and 6 virtual courses offered, Dog Trained is sure to have something that fits your needs. With over 20 years of experience with dogs of all ages and backgrounds, their training philosophy is grounded in positive reinforcement, play, and solid dog psychology. They were voted a Washingtonian 2022 Top Pet Care Provider.

If you’re looking for a trainer with a lot of experience and a wide range of services, you can visit the Dog Trained website to schedule a consultation or email the owner, Gwen, with any questions.

Dog Latin Dog Training was also voted a Washingtonian 2022 Top Pet Care Provider. They offer virtual, in-person, and SAT (sidewalk activity training) sessions one-on-one with dogs based in the Washington, DC area. In addition, they have limited-attendance Puppy Prep classes; for adolescent and adult dogs, there are lessons for focus, leash shills, and impulse control.

If you’re looking for an experienced team of dog trainers with a lot of experience, you can visit the Dog Latin Dog training website to schedule a consultation by emailing them via their contact form.

JW Dog Training offers virtual lessons as well as in-person training in Northern Virginia and NW DC for new puppy support and dogs working on basic manners and leash walking. If you’re looking for more advanced support with dogs that are coping with reactivity, fear, anxiety, and aggression, they also offer private behavior modification training in Arlington, Alexandria, and NW DC.

This team of professional, expert dog trainers is ready to help you! If you’re interested in scheduling training for you and your pup, send them an email or use the contact form on their website.

With locations in Fairfax and Richmond, VA, ABC Wellness Center is a team of veterinary behaviorists that offers phone consultations, rescue assessments, classes and workshops, and acupuncture for dogs.

The doctors at ABC Wellness Center can be reached Monday-Saturday from 8am to 5pm at 888-438-0788, ext 1 or via email at

Phone consultations require no paperwork or obligations to invest further; rather, you will receive 30 minutes to talk about anything you want to with a behavior professional.


If your pup or full-grown canine companion needs some help in the behavioral department, we hope some of the great options for trainers listed above prove to be a great benefit to you. If your lovely pet ever needs a home check or a good walk while you're away, don't forget to contact us here at Wanderpups to ease your mind when your schedule may not always allow you to be home.

We love dogs, but we provide services for cat parents, too! If having someone pop in to care for your best buddy while you're away sounds like something that would be a blast for your pup and a stress reliever for you, feel free to contact us for more information.


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