Tag Archives: northern virginia

Certified Service Dog Trainers in Northern Virginia

Service dogs are an invaluable asset to many people. They provide support in many different ways for people living with disabilities. They can provide help with daily tasks such as picking up objects, assisting with crossing the street, or providing emotional support. Service dogs help with a variety of things, and with a variety of health conditions. There are many services that a service dog can provide to individuals. There are some great service dog training centers in Northern Virginia that may help you in your search for a service dog.

Service dogs are specially trained to help people with disabilities, whether physical or intellectual. These dogs live with the person so that they may be more independent. They begin their training when they are around  12 to 18 months old. They are raised and train in a person’s home that are referred to as “puppy raisers”. They teach the puppies everything they will need to know to help a person with any type of disability.

When the puppies are about 18 months old, the Northern Virginia service dog trainers use an approach to training that allows the dogs to think about what they are learning. They also enjoy their work more as a result. When they have completed their training, we spend hours with the owner and we have them do everything numerous times with their dog. This ensures that the new owner is completely confident in how to handle the dog and what to expect. This also allows the potential owner to ask any questions he or she may have regarding life with a service dog.

Service dogs usually fall into three different categories, based on the types of needs they were trained to assist with. There are physical assistance dogs, Autism service dogs, and Diabetic alert dogs.

Physical assistance dogs are used with people who use a wheelchair either on a part time or full time basis because of balance issues or coordination.

Autism service dogs are matched with a child between the ages of two and ten. Their main job is to improve a child’s safety. Parents and the child’s teachers are included in the training and details of the dog so that the dog can be a part of their education plan.

Diabetic alert dogs are very helpful in that they are trained to detect when a person’s blood sugar is out of balance. They can alert their owner so that he or she can take necessary steps to get their blood sugar back to normal.

Service dogs are so beneficial to many people. They make their lives safer, easier, and more manageable. They give people freedom they may not have without the help of the dog. Northern Virginia service dog trainers are happy to train these dogs. They know that by training them to help others, they are making a difference in so many people’s lives.


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-Nick White
Off Leash K9 Training

How do you go about training a German Shepherd in Northern Virginia?


If you live in Northern Virginia, own a German Shepherd and would like to get it trained, there are various competent options available to you in the State. 

Training Issues

The common issues faced by German Shepherd owners are jumping, pulling on the leash, hyper-activity and mouthing, there is a possibility of private classes in dog training in Northern Virginia. Our private classes are useful as they teach the dog on how to behave when there are distractions. The owners are given full support and guidance from our skilled staff at our Northern Virginia dog training facility. They will look after various issues that involve mouthing, nipping or housebreaking.

The centers for German Shepherd training in Northern Virginia will teach your dog important words such as ‘Sit Down’, ‘Come’, ‘Place’ and ‘Heel’. This gives a solid foundation to the training base and it motivates socialization during the playtime of your German Shepherd dog. During the course of basic obedience while training, they will show the dog appropriate behaviour that is required for it to become a member of your family that can also be well-mannered. It will be shown how not to pull on the leash. It will also be taught the basics of how to be polite when instructed to `meet and greet’.

Care during Training

German Shepherds will generally take to growing up as guard dogs in a natural way. It is critical that they should be taught how to be obedient to their masters. They are natural watch dogs and their bark is enough to caution you. The type of bark will also alert you whether it is something standard or unusual. Training a German Shepherd is a matter of high concern and enough care should be taken to check that there are no misguided attempts to make the dog more aggressive. This can happen through abuse or lack of soclialization and it may backfire as the dog is not likely to be kind to the person who is treating him or her roughly. If training is not given properly, the dogs may become fearful and go out of control. They will also not respond correctly in situations that are actually non-threatening.

It is, therefore, important, for the German Shepherd dog in Northern Virginia to get trained in a friendly environment and learn to be well-socialized, clear-headed, and obedient!

See over 50+ German Shepherds we have trained at our facility in Northern Virginia:

www.offleashk9training.com or www.facebook.com/offleashk9

Northern Virginia Based Dog Trainer Sets Second World Record


Northern Virginia Dog World Record Holder

Celebrity dog trainer in Northern Virginia, Nicholas White, who is the owner of globally recognized dog training business, Off Leash K9 Training, set his second world record for the most off leash commands performed in just 5 days of training; during his private 5-day training program in Baton Rouge, LA with Belgian Malinois Molly and her owner Paul Burns, White spent over 40 hours working with Molly and Burns – setting a new world record for 14 commands outside and off leash in just 5 days, 
according to the World Record Academy. During his private 5-day training program in Baton Rouge, LA with Belgian Malinois Molly and her owner Paul Burns, Celebrity dog trainer Nicholas White White spent over 40 hours working with Molly and Burns - setting a new world record for 14 commands outside and off leash in just 5 days.

  Photo: During his private 5-day training program in Baton Rouge, LA with Belgian Malinois Molly and her owner Paul Burns, Celebrity dog trainer Nicholas White White spent over 40 hours working with Molly and Burns – setting a new world record for 14 commands outside and off leash in just 5 days. (enlarge photo)

Celebrity dog trainer, Nicholas White, who is the owner of globally recognized dog training business, Off Leash K9 Training, set his second world record for the most off leash commands performed in just 5 days of training.

During his private training in Baton Rouge, LA with Belgian Malinois Molly and her owner Paul Burns; during White’s 5-day training program, White spent over 40 hours working with Molly and Burns – setting a new world record for 14 commands outside and off leash in just 5 days.

All commands listed below:
1. Come
2. Sit
3. Down
4. Focused Heeling
5. Place
6. Send Away
7.Down From A Distance
8. Watch
9. Stand
10. Heel Command (going to left leg on command)     11.Through Command (going between legs)
12. Touch
13. Sit In Motion
14. Down In Motion

With Molly being a high drive and high energy Malinois, White said that teaching her the “watch” command was the most difficult command to teach her. “Watch” requires a lot of attention and focus from a dog, which is more difficult for high energy dogs.

“Molly was afraid of loud noises, so we spent a lot of time working with her to get her over her fear of fireworks and loud noises.”

On the Net: 
Off-Leash K9 Training’s website

Off-Leash K9 Training’s Facebook page

“The average dog would take weeks or more to be able to master 14 commands outside, off leash, with distractions. An amazing training system; combined with consistency, time, reinforcement, and a highly intelligent dog, Molly was able to master these in only 5 days.

Molly’s owner, Paul Burns, said, “I truly cannot believe everything Molly has mastered in such a short amount of time.”

Therapy Dog Training and Certification in Northern Virginia

We work with therapy dogs at our facility in Northern Virginia on a daily basis. Certain dogs have nice characteristics and certain behaviors that creates the perfect well-balanced friendly dog for individuals. In fact, because of this specific disposition, trainers can easily measure or choose the most appropriate coaching system/method. We can decide which profession the dog would be best suited for, such as medical care dogs, search and rescue (SAR) dogs, detection dogs, or therapy dogs.

Just like with people, there is almost a certification procedure for every profession.

How to Certify a Therapy Dog.

There are many different organizations across the country that do testing, however they remarkably have the similar common practice procedures including:

1. Before anyone will register the pet into a therapy dog program, the primary factor to try and do is to get the registration paperwork which is generally found on the specific organization’s web site. Some of the most well known organizations are: Angel on a Leash, Pet Partners, American Kennel Club (AKC), Delta Society, and Therapy Dog International.

2. If the dog meets the prerequisites, the organization can put the pet in special training or coaching programs; some organizations even provide on-line coaching for this. Alternative certification organizations don’t provide therapy dog training in the least, however they’re going to take your dog to the AKC Canine Good Citizen level, which is the first step to becoming a Therapy Dog in Northern Virginia.

3. The dog owner should take the dog for his/her normal medical examination. The dog should be fully healthy to continue the certification procedure. In most cases, these major corporations force the dog to show regular proof of DHLPP, rabies, and bortatella vaccinations.

4. Subsequent vital step in virtually any therapy dog registration procedure is dog analysis. The dog’s behaviors are evaluated by a representative of the organization. The analysis is fairly straightforward, the dog should have the basic manners, for examples sit, come, stay, down, and so on. A therapy dog should stay calm among strangers and alternative dogs; any indication of aggression isn’t allowed.

5. Fill out the registration paperwork; before submitting it to the organization, enclose the health and analysis certifications. It’s vital to incorporate an image of the dog for identification purpose. Please keep in mind that certification for Therapy dogs is not free; the owner should pay the registration fee once submitting the work (generally around $45.00/year).

6. Finally, you just have to wait for approval; once the certificate is issued, the pet is formally a therapy dog. An authorized therapy dog is a well-trained animal which will offer comfort to aged people, kids with learning disabilities, hospitalized individuals, and more. The animal are allowed to go to varied public facilities like libraries, hospitals, nursing homes, schools, and essentially each establishment wherever the help from a therapy dog is wanted.

If you are wanting a dog to do therapy work, I would recommend our Therapy Dog Development Course which gives you and your dog all of the tools and skills needed to pass the TDI Certification!

Additionally, I would highly recommend reading my blog on “Picking the Perfect Dog” to ensure you get the “right” type of dog for this work.


Why The “Stay” Command is Completely Unnecessary: Northern Virginia Dog Trainers

dog training in northern virginia

Everyday at our dog training facility in Northern Virginia, I find myself saying, “Stay is an amateur dog training command.”

As you can see in our 400+ videos on our YouTube Channel, we never use the “stay” command; however, the dogs do not budge despite us running around them, cars driving around them, dogs walking around them, etc.   This is because we train the dogs “properly;” meaning, when we train our dogs, we teach them that when they are given a command, they do not move until they are released from that command (we use the word “break”).

When people are using the stay command, I often times see/hear them essentially giving 20+ commands in order to achieve an extended sit or down.  An average scenario is, the owner (or trainer) tells the dog to “sit,” as they walk away, you hear them saying, “stay..stay….stay…stay….stay..”  So, essentially, you just gave your dog 7 commands in order to get them to sit and not move until being released.

So, if you tell your dog to sit, just walk away, if they get up, put them back in the sit.  As soon as they wait for a few seconds, say “break” and then play with them.  As they get the concept better, leave them there long, get further away, etc.

Essentially the dog learns, “If I get up before I hear the word break, you just put me right back into the same command.”  So, by doing this, they teach themselves to “stay there” until they hear the word “break.”


How To Stop My Dog From Chewing Things: Dog Training Northern Virginia

Dog chewing northern virginia

A common question we get at our dog training facility in Northern Virginia is, “How Can I Stop My Dog From Chewing Everything?”

The first thing I have to get you to realize is that your puppy is not doing this out of malice intent.  I hear all of the time, “I cannot believe he chewed through the cord of my flat screen TV.”  Keep in mind, your dog does not know that it’s a 65″ flat screen TV cord that he chewed through, he thought, “Here is a rope to chew on…”  So, for your sanity and your puppy’s well-being, keep that simple fact in mind. 🙂

The good news is, there are a lot of things you can do to mitigate this behavior:

1. “Puppy Proof” your house! It’s always funny to me that when people have a baby, they go through all of these lengths in order to baby-proof the house.  This is done so the baby doesn’t hurt himself or get into something they shouldn’t.  However, nobody does this for their new puppies!  So, “puppy proof” your house!  If your pup is in a room, put up all the shoes, cords, etc.

2.  In my book, “Raising the Perfect Dog: Secrets of Law Enforcement K9 Trainers,” I recommend that the average dog should be in the crate when not directly being supervised until about 1.5 years old.  It drives me crazy when I hear (weekly), “When I got home, my dog had destroyed my couch!”  I always say, “How old is your dog?”  They usually respond with something like, “6-months old…”  What do you expect?!  Would you leave your 2-year old home alone and expect them not to get into anything? No.  I say “average” dog because some dogs can be faster than this, and some slower (just like kids).

3.  You have to teach your pup what is his and what isn’t his.  This is done be exchanging/redirecting.  Anytime your dog has something that he shouldn’t (shoe, cord, sock, etc), tell them “No” and remove it and then exchange it with something that they CAN have.  This is how the dogs learn what is theirs and what is not.  Often times, owners say, “NO” and just remove the object and that’s it.  So, the dog never really learns what they CAN play with.

4.  Obedience Training: This is probably one of the most important and effective things you can do in order to get your dog on the right path.  As I say, “I have never seen a with zero obedience training that was an angel in the house.”  This gives them confidence, correction, discipline, structure, and pack leadership.

5.  Mental and Physical Stimulation: Remember, “A bored dog is a destructive dog.”  If you do not give your dog a job to do, they will become self-employed.  A self-employed dog will always cost you money.”  Work with your dog on obedience, detection, protection, exercise them, etc.  All of these things will greatly reduce your dog getting into trouble around the house.

If you follow these easy principles and steps, you should notice a great reduction in your dog’s chewing/destroying behavior.


Therapy Dog Training in Northern Virginia: Northern Virginia Therapy Dog Training

Northern Virginia Therapy Dog

We can give your dog the tools to pass therapy dog testing at our facility in Northern Virginia. On a monthly basis, our trained dogs pass their therapy dog testing with ease.

If you look at our YouTube Channel, you will see all of our trained actually “exceed” the standards laid out for therapy dogs.

If your dog completes our Therapy Dog Development Course, they will have all of the tools needed to become a certified therapy dog. Upon completing our course, we can test you for your AKC Canine Good Citizen, once your dog receives this, he can take his Therapy Dog Certification Test, which we can arrange. If you look at the link above, you will see all parts of the test listed.

As you will see, not only does our training program meet these testing standards, but they greatly exceed them, as well.

The test ranges from obedience, confidence, and noise desensitization.

At Off Leash K9 Training, LLC we have many of our graduates leave our training program, and successfully pass all therapy dog testing immediately after completing our course.

If you are looking at having your dog become a therapy dog in the Northern Virginia area, contact us and we can help you and your dog achieve all of your training goals (and beyond).


In Home Dog Training in Northern Virginia : Dog Training At My House

At our dog training facility in Northern Virginia, I am a huge advocate AGAINST doing in-home dog training. As I say on a daily basis, “I have never seen a dog that has impressed me in obedience, that did it through in-home training.”

I have said this phrase for years, and despite us training 7 days per week, 65 dogs per week, I STILL find it to be true. Unfortunately, thousands of people (and their dogs) every year find this out the hard way.

The problem with in-home training is that you are training your dog in “their” environment! Meaning, it’s the same smells, same sights, same distractions, same territory, etc. As many dog owners find, it’s pretty easy to get your dog to listen IN their house; however, as soon as you take them outside and off leash, they take off running. Why? Because it’s a new environment for them to explore, sniff, and new things for them to see.

If you have a trainer show up at your house every week for 8 weeks (or more) and conduct the training at your residence, I can guarantee you, as soon as you take your dog to a “realistic”(new places, distractions, etc) environment, they will not listen.

We literally see this on a daily basis for dogs that are brought to us to “actually” get trained. We train your dog IN a new environment: new smells, new sights, new distractions, etc. So, when you get your dog used to listening in a new/realistic environment, it’s very simple for them to listen in their own environment. However, if you get your dog used to listening in his/her environment, as soon as you take them to a realistic environment, you are essentially starting from scratch!

Think about this for a moment, ALL OF THE TIME, you hear people say, “My dog listens okay in the house, but as soon as he’s outside and distracted, he doesn’t listen at all!”

However, you have NEVER heard someone say, “My dog listens flawlessly outside, off leash, with distractions, but he doesn’t listen inside the house.”

So, that is the single most important reason that we are against doing in-home training with your dog.


Service Dog Training in Northern Virginia: Therapy Dog Training Northern Virginia


At our dog training facility in Northern Virginia, we have it all when it comes to basic and advanced training for your dog. Whether you’re looking for some basic obedience courses, or you want military grade training, you can schedule just about any training package you’d like.

We also offer you and your dog the opportunity to give back to our country and our community.

You can get your dog trained as a therapy dog, and visit nursing homes and assisted living facilities. It’s a proven fact that having a companion animal around helps to improve the lives of the elderly, as well as, those with special needs. Dogs are also welcome in a variety of rehabilitation centers, and special needs schools.

And when it comes to basic through advanced obedience training there is absolutely no better place to have your dog trained than at offleashk9training. Our  trainers have an admittedly biased passion for helping every day people learn how to become both master and companion to their four legged friends, as well as, teaching those canines how to follow simple commands for behavior modification. Their training becomes second nature to them, and eventually without even realizing that it happened, they will obey your commands without fail.

You can also have your dog, usually it’s best to start them as a puppy, trained as a seeing-eye dog or some other specialty, like search and rescue. For us at offleashk9training, some who have served our country in the Armed Forces,  it’s more than just a job, it’s a passion and love for both the canines and the techniques they use to train them. We want your dog to be as successful as you do, and we put everything they have into making sure that happens.

And if you’ve ever visited a rehab center, wounded warriors, or nursing home in Northern Virginia, you’ll know just how therapeutic it is when gentle, well trained animals, make the elderly, and those who are working to recover their independence, a part of their families. Dog training can be so much more than just obedience and behavior modification. You can use this opportunity to literally change peoples lives for the better, and that is a reward that will pay dividends for the rest of your life.

So whether you’ve been thinking about training your dog for a while, or it just occurred to you that it might be a good idea, you can call the specialists at offleashk9training and talk to one of our trainers.  We’ll be able to help you with scheduling classes, and choosing courses that are best for your specific dog. Also, if you’re considering specialized training for courses other than obedience, you can ask about the specifics of those courses as well.

We can provide you and your dog all of the tools and training necessary in order for you and your dog to become a successful service dog team! We have aided many dogs and their handlers in passing the therapy dog certification.


How Dog Training Helps Everyone! Dog Trainers in Northern Virginia

If you’ve ever walked down the street and passed someone who’s walking their dog on a leash, you know that apprehension that can be felt by strangers when an unknown dog is nearby. You’re not sure whether “spot” is a friendly, or if he wants to take your leg off. At offleashk9training, we know exactly how you feel. That’s why we specialize in training dogs from all walks of life, how to be the best behaved dog on the block.  You will see on our YouTube Channel, we have everything from 6lb Chihuahuas to 160lb Great Danes.

In Northern Virginia, as in other parts of the country, winter moves on into spring, and as the weather warms up more and more people start walking outdoors or enjoying the park with their four legged friends. Usually it’s not a problem, unless someone has a not-so-well behaved dog that isn’t on a leash. That is what’s so nice about our dog obedience training programs at our facility in Northern Virginia. We will train your dog for everything from basic obedience, all the way through advanced obedience training. You’ll literally have the best trained, and most well behaved dog on your street with a set of our obedience classes.

Not to mention that the behaviors your dog learns work just as well when he’s off a leash, as  they do when he’s on. So how does all of this translate into a better community? At offleashk9training our techniques are so affective you’ll be able to walk around comfortably and confidently, knowing that your dog will obey your commands time and time again. And whether you take him to the park, the beach, or a backyard barbecue; you can rest assured that his training will always be superb.

Now imagine if everyone took their dog for training at offleashk9training. No leashes, no fuss, just well behaved, polite, friendly, four legged canines who follow their handler’s commands without fail, every time. No worrying about your children running around the neighborhood. And in Northern Virginia the neighborhoods can be big, with lots of dogs and puppies.  There is no worry of them jumping up on strangers, chasing animals, or going after other dogs.

No matter where you live, whether you’re in an urban sprawl in New York, of a suburb in Northern Virginia, or the most rural parts of Florida, your dog needs the training that we at offleashk9training can provide. If only to save yourself the headache of someone saying they got bit by your dog, or scratch or barked at, etc.  I recently illustrated this in my post on “Don’t Make Training A Last Resort.

Don’t you want the control that great obedience training instills in each canine? The authority to command your dog to “come” and “sit” when and where you tell him to? Give the trainers at offleashk9training a call and get started today!