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About

JW Dog Training & Behavior provides professional dog training and behavior support to the Northern Virginia area—primarily Arlington and Alexandria. 

We use positive reinforcement training and  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 routines and management to decrease undesirable behavior.

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Our coaching approach tailors 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 often work in conjunction with veterinary behaviorists to support dog owners through the behavior modification journey.

 

We aim to empower our clients to better understand their dogs’ behavior and communication, creating a more harmonious and fulfilling relationship. We also help guardians improve their training skills in order to more effectively work with their dogs—leading to better, longer lasting results.

Meet the team

Meet the Trainers

Juliana DeWillems

Juliana (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 Day DC, 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 has also provided 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

  • 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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Kat Heckert

Kat (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:

  • Professional Canine Behavior Consultant (Accredited)

  • Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner

  • Fear Free Certified Trainer

 

Areas of expertise: Fear, Anxiety, Reactivity, Aggression, Newly Adopted Dogs, Basic Manners, Dog Body Language, Enrichment

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

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Jen Shearer

Jen (she/her) was a devoted cat person until she rescued her first dog, Della Rae. The two quickly became inseparable, and as a first-time dog owner, Jen failed to recognize that Della’s reactivity, fear of novel experiences, and hypervigilance foretold a lengthy training journey ahead.

Together, they plunged into the confusing and unregulated dog training industry and experienced both highs and lows. Della stumped many trainers, yet undeterred, Jen discovered her calling in mastering advanced behavior concepts and supporting behaviorally complex dogs.

Jen specializes in delivering a smooth and enjoyable learning experience for stressed-out guardians of dogs with "big feelings." Committed to empowering pet parents and demystifying the dog training industry, Jen draws on over 15 years of experience teaching dance to students of all ages to foster a holistic approach to family training and growth. Jen also serves on the board of directors for Wag Workshops, a nonprofit offering low-cost dog training and educational services in Southern Maryland.

Qualifications:

  • Certified Professional Dog Trainer - Knowledge Assessed


Areas of Expertise: Reactivity, Fear, Anxiety, Dog to Dog Aggression, Newly Adopted Dogs, Basic Manners, Socialization, Enrichment

Services Offered: In-person training in Springfield, VA, Alexandria, VA, National Harbor, MD, & Clinton, MD, Virtual Training

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Kayleigh Sullivan

Kayleigh (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 graduated from the Karen Pryor Academy in 2022.

 

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:

  • Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner

  • Certified Professional Dog Trainer - Knowledge Assessed

 

Areas of Expertise: Reactivity, Fear, Anxiety, Aggression, Puppies, Family Dog Manners, Socialization, Husbandry Care, Dog-Cat Introductions, Newly Adopted Dog, Enrichment

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

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Yasmin Baylor

Yasmin (she/her) became interested in dog training and behavior when she adopted a behaviorally complex dog 8 years ago. Yasmin dove into the field of animal behavior first as a board member and training consultant for a local animal rescue and shelter, and then decided to become a professional dog trainer and fully pivot her career in 2020.

 

Years of experience have helped Yasmin to develop a style that is calm, confident, and patient. Teaching a family to better understand their dog, and watching as they build fulfilling relationships together is such a rewarding experience. Being part of that journey is the highlight of her career.

 

Yasmin’s home is full of joy and adventure, thanks to her bright young daughter Claire, her playful Stabyhoun Fenna, Pangea, her sweet senior cat, and Josh, her kind and supportive partner.

Qualifications:

  • Certified Separation Anxiety Trainer (CSAT)

  • Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner (KPA CTP)

  • Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA)


Areas of Expertise: Separation Anxiety, Fear, Anxiety, Reactivity, Aggression, Adolescent dogs, Puppies, Enrichment

Services Offered: Virtual training

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Suzanne H.

Suzanne (she/her) has been professionally training dogs since 2015. She volunteered with a local animal shelter for several years, training dogs through their behavior department, leading dog playgroups, and teaching dog training classes to other volunteers.  Previously, Suzanne ran a children’s tutoring program for two years. This helped hone her teaching skills and also recognize the importance of teaching learners using positive reinforcement-based methods.  She completed a formal apprenticeship at a DC-area dog training company and then began her career as a professional trainer. 

 

Suzanne believes training should be built on kindness and cooperation and that training should be fun for both dog and guardian. Suzanne shares her home with a delightful, hilarious, and energetic pit bull who makes sure Suzanne stays on her toes when it comes to training!

 

Qualifications

  • Certified Professional Dog Trainer - Knowledge Assessed 

  • Fear Free Certified Trainer

  • TAGTeach Level 1 Certified

 

Areas of Expertise: Reactivity, Puppies, Fearful Dogs, Newly Adopted Dogs, Basic Manners

Services Offered: Puppy coaching in Arlington, VA

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