Serving the Centreville, Chantilly, South Riding, Fairfax, Manassas  &  Surrounding Areas of Northern Virginia

A Better Companion Dog Training

Same dog, only better!

Want to give me a great testimonial?

I really love before and after videos or a short story about how your life was with your dog before and what's changed after training.

A Better Companion Dog Training Client Testimonials

"A Better Companion Dog Training" is  the perfect description of what Sarah's skills accomplish.  I didn't give the name much thought when I called her to help us correct our shepherd/lab/unknown mix's territory and guarding problems.  But now that we better understand the problem and have the ability to correct it, we are all living together much more peacefully.

After our evaluation session, I was surprised and pleased at the number of questions Sarah asked about both my dogs.  It was apparent she had a wide-range of knowledge and her approach was to give us problem-specific strategies and a solid foundation for life-long obedience.  While the list of what I appreciate about our training experience is long, these things stand out most in my mind:

  • Sarah genuinely cares about her canine and human clients
  • Dogs do not automatically know how you expect them to behave; the thing I remind myself most is that you cannot get mad at you dog, if you haven't first taught them what you expect
  • Practical obedience exercises, that can even be fun, and can be squeezed into the busiest of days
  • Praise, praise, praise

My lesson in "praising" emphasizes Sarah's diversity in training approaches.  She first takes the time to understand your dog's personality, then develops training strategies.  My lab is very food motivated and a basic dog treat is a fantastic reward in her eyes.  My mix is not so easily impressed.  Despite his big, brash territorial problems, I was surprised at how well he responded to praise and back scratches.  After a happy "good boy!" and a scratch or two, you can literally see his pleasure in doing the right thing.  I am still amazed by it.

not only are Sabre and Astro better companions; they too are enjoying a much higher quality of life.  Because their obedience is greatly improved, they now get to go off-leash hiking, play in the park with dog friends and swim at the lake...definitely a dog's life.  Thank you Sarah!

~Sue Shunta, Astro and Sabre

We adopted Quimby from a shelter - our first dog!  After we got her home, aside from not really knowing how to care for a dog, we had another problem - she wasn't the sedate dog we saw at the shelter!  Although we were happy to find her more energetic, we didn't like the barking and growling.  What seemed to set her off most was MEN and we had 5 in our household!  We did not know what to do.  How could we possibly keep her?  We mentioned our new pet and our concerns to some friends who told us about their dog and all the problems they'd experienced.  They advised us to call and get Sarah's help.  I put in a call for help - a plea actually - and thankfully, she responded.  Sarah suggested a few things to help us until she could visit and evaluate the situation.  When she arrived at out house, she worked with and watched Quimby, concluding that she was not a mean dog, just a frightened dog.  Sarah's knowledge and understanding of dogs and new dog owners impressed the whole family.  She showed great patience in our subsequent training session and we liked her methods and her manner.  Yes, we paid for her services, but she was completely worth it.  I am not exaggerating to say that Sarah saved Quimby from going back to the shelter.  She trained us as much (or more) than the dog.  Besides working on "heel", "sit", "down", "stay", and "come", she also taught us how to play with Quimby, brush her teeth, bather her, and about dog food and the dog park.  Quimby continues the adjustment to her new home.  She still has her quirks (don't we all?) but has learned to trust us more and we have learned how to help Quimby understand and learn our expectations.  Thank you Sara for teaching all of us!  And Quimby would thank you too, I believe.  We think she's happy in her new home where she gets a lot of love and attention.

~the Davidsons 

When I adopted my puppy from the shelter, she was a fun dog with such a great temperament, but she was definitely in need of training and obedience.  I took Scout to A Better Companion Dog Training and was amazed with the results.  Sarah understood my dog's personality and customized training to suit myself and my dog.  Having had dogs trained at other obedience schools in the past, I can say that Sarah's techniques and one-on-one sessions worked faster and better than any other method I have used.  Scout's progress was fast, and Sarha's expertise overcame all difficulties in Scout's training that came up.  Sarah not only trained Scout, but worked with me to give me the skills to work with Scout on my own.  Because of that, I will be able to continue working with Scout and any dogs I might get in the future.  I am thoroughly pleased with my experience at A Better Companiond Dog Training and would recommend Sarah to anyone, no matter their dog's age, temperament, or past training experience.

~Heather J.

We have a Weimaraner dog named Yukon.  He is a high spirited dog and was very difficult to control.  He is not mean, but very active and strong.  We looked in the yellow pages and got a dog trainer to come to our house to help us.  For a couple of sessions, and actually 4 or 5 weeks of group training, we tried to teach Yukon to do the basic commands.  For some reason, we were not having great success.  I decided to try another dog trainer.  Sarah's ad in the yellow pages caught my eye and I had her come to our home.  We were immediately impressed.  Firstly, she was interested in Yukon's personality and disposition, and also in our philosophy and objectives.  Within one training session, we could see a big difference in our dog's behavior.  We had Sarah come to our home for private lessons for a few more weeks.  Yukon was happy to see her each time she came, as Sarah became a friend to our family.  We greatly appreciate her advice and interest in our dog.  Yukon is doing well.  We are enjoying our pet as he approaches his first birthday on April 30th.  We owe Sarah a great thanks!

~S. Weierman

Thank you for all you taught Utah and me this fall.  It's amazing what I'm finding I digested during that time period.  From time to time I still hear your voice in my head reminding me of something - scary isn't it?  The advice and training tips you gave have been so helpful to me on a daily basis; they have become second nature.  Your knowledge and teaching of animal behavior was such a help to my understanding of the training process.  I also enjoyed the bonus to our training time, which was getting to know you.  I miss our visits!  Utah is such a bright and good boy.  Our time spent with you has helped fine-tune him for his eventual job of therapy dog.  Thank you, again, Sarah.  I am grateful for your guidance.


Thank you for ALL you've done for us.  I'm so glad I kept Bingo!  What's next...good citizen?  Agility? Flyball? (someday...)  Anyway, thanks again... I appreciate it!

~M Sciurba

We want to thank you for all the time & expertise you have shared with us.  We have all benefitted from your patient, clear & helpful advice.  We are a much happier & more confident dog family, and look forward to continued practicing and learning.  Thanks again. ~D with Cassie