About

JW Dog Training & Behavior provides professional, expert dog training and behavior support to the DMV area -- primarily Arlington and Alexandria, Virginia, as well as NW DC. 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 successful.

 

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.

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Meet the Trainers

Juliana DeWillems

Juliana DeWillems (she/her) is the Owner and Head Trainer at JW Dog Training. She has been training dogs since 2014 after she graduated with distinction from the Karen Pryor Academy.

Juliana enjoys applying her knowledge of canine behavior and the science of learning when working closely with pet parents to improve their dog's behavior. Watching the training plan strengthen the bond between owner and dog -- whether it's a puppy, adolescent, or adult dog-- is her favorite part of the job.

You can regularly catch Juliana on TV, radio, and online programs. She has shared her dog training expertise on WTOP and Good Morning Washington, and she was a regular guest on The Pet Show with Dr. Katy for many years.  Juliana currently co-hosts the Live from The Ranch online broadcast with Ken Ramirez. She also provides quarterly free seminars and webinars for dog owners through the non-profit Your Dog's Friend.

Qualifications:

  • Certified Dog Behavior Consultant

  • Certified Behavior Consultant Canine

  • Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner

  • Certified Professional Dog Trainer - Knowledge Assessed

  • TAGTeach Level 1 Certified

  • Faculty Member, Karen Pryor Academy

Areas of Expertise: Fear, Reactivity, Aggression, Anxiety, Puppies, Basic Manners, Adolescents, Dog-Cat Introductions, Dog-Dog Aggression, Virtual Training

Services Offered: Speaking Engagements, Media Inquiries

Not currently taking on new training clients

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Kayleigh Sullivan

Kayleigh Sullivan (she/her) has been training animals for over 10 years. For eight of those years Kayleigh has been training elephants using positive reinforcement-based training. Kayleigh graduated with a BA in Animal Sciences with a focus on Animal Behavior. She has experience working at veterinary clinics, volunteering at animal shelters in behavior departments, and many years working with exotic animals in sanctuary and zoo/aquarium settings.

 

Kayleigh believes that training is incredibly important to the welfare of any animal under human care no matter the species. Kayleigh enjoys teaching people how to efficiently communicate with their dog. She believes in having a clear level of communication in both directions to set you and your pup up for success.

Qualifications:

  • Certified Professional Dog Trainer - Knowledge Assessed

 

Areas of Expertise: Puppies, Family Dog Manners, Socialization, Husbandry Care, Dog-Cat Introductions, Newly Adopted Dog, Enrichment, Virtual Training

Services Offered: Virtual Training, Limited in-person training in NW DC

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Cynthia Robertson

Cynthia Robertson (she/her) graduated with distinction from the Karen Pryor Academy in 2017.  Having grown up and lived with several dogs with behavioral issues, including fear and aggression, Cynthia learned first-hand what a difference training methods can have in making – or breaking – your relationship with your dog. Cynthia is passionate about teaching people how to deepen their connection and communication with their pet and improving both the owner and pet’s quality of life in doing so. She loves watching clients faces light up as they hit success points and learn how fun training can be.

Cynthia currently resides in Great Falls, VA, where she lives with her 1-year-old Goldendoodle, Knox. She hopes to become a Certified Behavior Consultant Canine (CBCC-KA) in the near future.

Qualifications:

  • Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner

  • Certified Professional Dog Trainer – Knowledge Assessed

  • TAGTeach Level 1 Certified

  • Cat and Dog First Aid & CPR Certified (American Red Cross)

Areas of Expertise: Puppies, Socialization, Adolescents, Basic Manners, Newly Adopted Dogs, Enrichment, Reactivity

Services Offered: Virtual training, In-person training in Great Falls, McLean, Reston, Vienna, and Arlington

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Kat Heckert

Kat Heckert (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 owners 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 owners to set everyone up for success.

Qualifications:

  • Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner

  • Certified Professional Dog Trainer – Knowledge Assessed

  • Fear Free Certified Trainer

 

Areas of expertise: Fear, anxiety, reactivity, newly adopted dogs, puppies, basic manners, dog body language, enrichment

Services Offered: In-person training in Arlington, VA, Virtual Training

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Teresa Villatoro

Teresa Villatoro (she/her) been training animals for over ten years. She got her start in the animal shelter world, and most recently managed a Behavior and Training Department at a D.C. area shelter.

After spending the past decade in animal welfare helping homeless pets, Teresa is excited to help owners form better relationships and deeper bonds with their dogs. She feels that setting both owner and dog for success and providing a space that is non-judgmental and supportive are key in helping address behavior problems.

Teresa loves animal behavior, and her background with both dogs and cats in the shelter, and adopted animals settling into their new homes has given her knowledge, experience, and a chance to use creative problem solving when helping people with their dogs and cats.

 

Teresa también es bilingüe y habla español. Si usted requiere una entrenadora que hable español ella está bien orgullosa en poder ayudar la comunidad Latina.
 

Qualifications:

  • Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner

  • Certified Professional Dog Trainer – Knowledge Assessed


Areas of Expertise: Newly Adopted Dogs, Reactivity, Fear, Enrichment, Adolescents, Dog-Cat Introductions, Cat Behavior

Services Offered: In-person training in Arlington, VA, Virtual Training

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Samantha Wolfman

Sam (she/her) immersed herself into the world of animal behavior after realizing the dog she adopted was reactive. Sam stepped into a career in animal welfare and sheltering in 2019 to help animals find their forever homes, and ended up joining the behavior team at a local DC-area shelter.

 

After working with a variety of dogs with a wide range of behavior issues (reactivity, defensive aggression, fear, anxiety, etc.), Sam received her CPDT-KA in 2021. She is constantly looking to expand her knowledge, while supporting and enriching the human-animal relationship. She believes that every team deserves time, patience, and understanding while embarking on their training journey.

 

Qualifications

  • Certified Professional Dog Trainer - Knowledge Assessed 

 

Areas of Expertise: Reactivity, Adolescent Dogs, Enrichment, Newly Adopted Dogs

Services Offered: In-person training in Alexandria, VA, Virtual Training

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