Michael is an excellent trainer, with super instincts when working with the dogs. He really gets into their heads and accomplishes miracles quickly! He has been a huge help getting young puppies integrated into their new families, especially in placing puppies in homes where the owners needed a little help with integration of family members.... which ranged from human infants to donkeys! Some local friends had him help them with a rescue, and they raved about how quickly he solved the problem. Michael is really good at thinking outside the box. He is excellent at problem solving, and has a super natural ability with the dogs. Plus, he's very professional and prompt. We are really happy with the work he has done with our puppies; it has made transitioning into their new homes a breeze.
Sheree Moses, Kaleef German Shepherd Dogs
As a long time Great Dane breeder, I have worked with Michael Hill, both training and at conformation shows in many areas of the country for the past five years. I have witnessed and value his skillful and kind approach when training and showing dogs. He gets excellent results and the dogs like working with him. He has patience, integrity and professional conduct. I rate him A+.
Ray Cataldi, Rojon Great Danes
Round Lake, IL
In June, my husband and I got two 8-week old English bulldogs. We really needed some assistance in getting to know what was "normal" puppy behavior versus what we could work on from a training perspective. Michael put us at ease immediately during this stressful time. Each session included key takeaways, which were reinforced from session to session. We would highly recommend Michael for any dog training needs!
Stephanie and Chris Hunter
Falls Church, VA
My wife & I adopted a scraggly, sweet, high energy pup. She is the happiest, most destructible girl ever. She had a very hard time with "come". We were worried that if she couldn't get it she could get lost or hurt. We had 2 different dog trainers come help us, with no avail. Finally we found Michael! I can't even tell you how fast he helped all of us. I thinks we had 2 or 3 sessions. He gave us great tools to use to keep us relaxed & her interested & happy to come when called. It is such a game changer to not worry that we could loose her, or take her for a fun, relaxed walk. Michael really has a gift.
Beth Mennona and Mandy Randolph
Falls Church, VA
I cannot recommend Michael/District Canine highly enough. After adopting an adult Golden Retriever there were some behaviors that I needed help modifying. Michael helped me to feel confident as an owner but also provided me with helpful tips/tools when it comes to training as well as caring for dogs. In particular, he helped me with how to effectively get my dogs attention and how to give her commands properly. He also helped me train her to wait before coming in and out of doors, waiting before she eats when the food is placed in front of her, not to jump on people when she's excited, and is helping me teach her not to sneak food. In the future I look forward to work with him on getting my dog certified as a therapy dog.
Michael's wealth of knowledge both on the veterinary side and the behavioral side is invaluable. If you're looking for someone who is patient and supportive in teaching you how to train your dog look no further!
When we decided to adopt a dog, finding a rescue was important to us. By the time Robbie, a 1.5-year-old cocker spaniel, arrived in our home he had developed early onset of separation anxiety, which made it difficult for us to leave him home alone as he would howl and bark disturbing the neighbors in our apartment building and causing us considerable stress.
We reached out to Michael at District Canine and scheduled an initial consultation. From the moment we met Michael, we knew that his depth of knowledge and understanding of dog psychology could help prepare us to address Robbie’s behavioral problems. Throughout our consultation, Michael was knowledgeable, patient, and took the time to understand and articulate the changes we would implement to modify Robbie’s behavior.
Thanks to Michael and District Canine’s philosophy, we gained a deeper understanding of positive behavior modification models that helped us addressed Robbie’s issues. Three months on, Robbie is completely well adjusted and shows no signs of separation anxiety, making our lives together infinitely more enjoyable. We’ve referred District Canine to other dog owners and would gladly do so again.
Jonathan Steffert and Ryan Afghabozorg
Adams Morgan, Washington D.C
My family and I recently purchased a German Shephard puppy from a top German Shephard breeder/judge. Though I had a life time of experience with dogs and training them myself for various activities such as canine good citizen, obedience, agility, and confirmation, I found myself struggling with training a puppy while having two young children. I simply did not have the ability to manage the kids (1 year old and 3 year old) and the dog to ensure a consistently positive and controlled interaction in each situation. My breeder promised that she would always be there for support and guidance so I contacted her for advice, almost ready to give up on owning a dog until the children got older. My breeder referred me to Michael. She said she was amazed at how well and how fast dogs respond to him. I immediately called him and had him come out to our home. He worked with me to teach me some techniques for this breed and my specific issues. He worked wonderfully with my son to include him in the training and ensure that it was fun and understandable. After only one visit the dog and my son improved drastically. Michael was very accessible for additional questions and support without being pushy. I greatly enjoyed working with him and learning from him. It is without reservation that I recommend him to any family looking to address behavior issues with their dog.
We adopted a second dog who is younger and much more energetic than our current dog (also an adopted shelter dog) and really needed help with trying to train and control the new dog. Michael was patient and very knowledgeable and we saw results immediately. He spent the time to get to know us and the dogs so that he could create a plan that we could work on and build upon. And, most importantly, he explained in detail what and why we needed to do something in order to get the results we wanted. We highly recommend him!!!
Paul Yandura and Donald Hitchcock
Michael Hill is a great dog trainer who is well-versed in addressing all sorts of dog behavioral problems! My 100+ lb. puppy is crazy about him! He has successfully pulled her out of the puppy "stranger danger" phase, and she finished her AKC Championship. He is now teaching her to be a Canine Good Citizen which is not exactly in her DNA!
Stephanie Gallups, Harley D Great Danes
Falls Church, VA
Since December, I have been using Michael's services for training my Afghan Hound puppy, now 1 year old this past August. Michael is prompt, courteous, and consistent with his ways in training. He makes it a point that the owner must do exactly the same when he is not around. We have been training two times per week until recently and the difference is night and day. I am so glad to have met Michael.
Georgetown, Washington DC
We were introduced to Michael through a friend who had greatly benefitted from Michael’s training- she had nothing but amazing things to say about Michael, and neither do we. My husband and I got our first puppy (8 weeks new!) and after two days of complete chaos, we needed help!
As first time dog owners, we had a lot of questions - and, frankly, a lot of anxiety about just how hard it was to raise a puppy. Everything changed once we met Michael. His expertise, his calm, always-positive attitude, and his one-on-one training sessions were exactly what we needed. Once we got past the basics, we encountered issues with her walking, chewing baseboards, and biting. Our French Bulldog is quite stubborn, but Michael helped us find techniques that she responded to. Within days of using his methods, our problems were solved.
We highly recommend Michael - he is knowledgeable, professional, easily accessible and very responsive. He has helped us have a more meaningful relationship with our dog and for that we are forever grateful.
Sima and Alvaro Bedoya
Capitol Hill, Washington DC
Working with Michael was a dream. He is a great trainer, not just for dogs, but for first-time dog owners. As a brand new "dog parent", I was very unsure how to navigate training with my rescued pup. From body posture to my tone of voice, Michael's tips and tricks gave me the confidence and tools to work with Pippa on a variety of things. After just a few weeks, she stopped pulling on her leash, listened when I called and didn't jump up on other people. Having him come into our home and help with training was wonderful!
Susan Billings and Nick Zachar
Shaw, Washington DC
Michael genuinely took the time to understand our dog, Scotch, as well as our needs, and was involved and so helpful throughout the process. He is very knowledgeable about the psychology of dogs and we learned so much from him! He immediately recognized what motivates our dog and since then our little anxious fella has improved! We absolutely recommend Michael/District Canine!
Michelle and Kevin Clark
Falls Church, VA
Bambi has come so far! She’s hardly recognizable from when we initially met! She loves meeting new people, she’s always excited to get pets from strangers. She is no longer in a crate, she free roams during the day (she mostly stays on the bed sleeping all day). When it comes to leash reactivity she has her moments still, but maybe another year and that won’t be a thing. We take her to restaurants, kayaking, and other activities that used to be way too stressful for her. She really has come so far with all your tips and help. Can’t thank you enough!
Shawna & Brian
In 2017 I adopted a 2-year-old dog from a rescue organization. I have had dogs all my life,
but I had always gotten them as puppies. I knew a rescue would have a whole set of issues
from a background I knew nothing about, but I assumed I would be up to dealing with whatever
he brought with him. I soon discovered that I didn't know what I didn't know, and I was ill-equipped
to deal with a dog who had issues of fear, anxiety and distrust. Love was not going to conquer all!
Enter Michael Hill. He came highly recommended by my vet , who had referred previous patients to
Michael as well. His background in in human psychology serves him well in his work with dogs, and I
was really impressed by his understanding of the canine mind and behavior. I find it uncanny at times.
Of course a large part of dog training is the education of the human and again, Michael's psychology background serves him well. His training method is slow and patient, instilling confidence in both dog and owner.
There are many good dog trainers out there who teach basic commands and manners, but excellent behaviorists are much rarer.
On a recent visit here, members of my family commented that "This isn't even the same dog!' He is loving, trusting, relaxed and a snuggler now. I believe if you are in need of a Dog Whisperer, Michael Hill is the call you want to make. I would recommend him to anyone, for any dog, at any time.
Michael knows dogs and the latest training techniques.He is patient and kind and comes to your home so you’re working in your own environment.We would also take my large German Shepherd to the canal and other places I would be going regularly so he could help me with situations as they arose.I recommended him to my friend who also has a GSD and she loved him too!!!
We used District Canine when our golden retriever puppy was about 8 months old. Michael Hill was terrific - he understands and appreciates dogs and dog-owners . . . no judgments or criticisms or dogmatic attitudes like you see with some dog people - Michael just calmly showed us in a very few minutes what to do with our puppy, and how to do it - and it worked! He clearly gets the canine brain and definitely enjoys working with dog owners to help them get the most out of the dog-people bond! And Michael made it fun. We will definitely use him again.
Falls Church, VA
Michael did a wonderful job training our rescue dog, Jewel. His guidance was key to improving her walks, as he helped train her to be more comfortable when encountering other dogs and more relaxed on the leash. He also helped us make her feel more comfortable in the crate. Jewel loved him, and we enjoyed working with him too. You can find no better dog trainer in the DC area than Michael. Highly recommend!
We adopted a beautiful two-year old rescue pup, who quickly became the most difficult dog we had ever had. She was highly reactive to other dogs, bicycles, baby strollers, and large vehicles. When people came to the door, she would jump to get in their faces and nip at them. We had tried a trainer who advocated prong and e-collars, but it didn't feel right for us. We were overwhelmed. Then we found Michael. Michael's personal energy was a game changer for all of us. He approaches the dog-human relationship with kindness, patience, and understanding for all involved parties. It was not just about the dog. It was about us, too. Michael taught us how to be the leaders with our dog. With Michael, it was about building a relationship with our dog, which impacts everything we do together. It was not a straight trajectory, and Michael taught us that that is ok. Our dog is not a show dog, but we are all much more confident together. We know how to face down those bicycles and baby strollers without freaking out.
Falls Church, VA
We had a fantastic experience with District Canine. Our Great Dane was a bit of a problem child. Lots of fear agression towards dogs and people alike, he'd react poorly to anyone coming to our front door and it was almost impossible to leave him alone as he would punish us by tearing apart whatever he could get to. District Canine was able to break it down into easy steps and drills to follow to help turn our Great Dane into a more confident well behaved pup. We now have no issues on our walks, he gets to say hi to many people and children in the neighborhood and he's now comfortable being left home alone. We were a lost cause before we found District Canine and now have the tools necessary to keep our pup, happy and confident. Thanks District Canine!
Michael’s approach to training is individualized and structured for each and every pup he works with. He takes time to understand the dog he’s working with in order to make sure the training approach fits the needs of his client while also helping his clients create realistic and achievable goals and expectations. In just two sessions Michael helped me understand how to help my newly rescued good boy start to overcome his severe separation anxiety. His number 1 priority is the dogs he works with, and it shows through his work!
Having struggled with training my rescue pup for 3+ years, Michael’s tools were the first that WORKED! Within weeks of first working with Michael, I feel more confident in training and have started to see behavioral changes in my dog. I am so grateful for Michael’s assistance and support, and highly recommend his company!!
Michael is amazing! He found his calling and has mastered it. His strategies and methods of training using positive reenforcement are effective. He has been able to essentially “train” us, so that we are better able to control our two unruly Yorkies. He’s made several home visits and was always punctual, professional and friendly. He is also very patient and we instantly felt comfortable with him. We HIGHLY recommend Michael!
Matilda & Olivia’s parents
Not all training is the same. I have always taken my puppies and dogs to puppy training, obedience and conformation training classes. These are great things to do with your dog, but can also be missed opportunities. Michael came to work with Harley as a young Great Dane puppy. Michael’s evaluation lead to specific training exercises with me, Michael exclusively and Michael and myself as a team. Harley gained skills at a young age from this multiple approach that have served her well. Thanks to Michael’s training, I can hand Harley off to any handler at AKC shows, known and unknown, and Harley responds to each handler like a professional. Harley’s ability to not stress and perform under pressure is a great skill to have learned. Our training sessions also socialized Harley so she is confident and polite when meeting new people (especially children) and other dogs. If you want ordinary training to extraordinary, you will enjoy working with Michael.
Marilynn Livingston and Harley, KALLY Danes
Michael is great! When we first adopted our dog about a year and a half ago she dealt with a lot of anxiety. She still occasionally does, but she is getting better everyday because of Michael’s helpful tips and tricks. He introduced us to the gentle leader and showed us how to use it. Walking our dog is now a breeze and makes me excited to take her out of the house. Thank you so much for all of your help!
Great Falls, VA
We have a rescue German Shepherd with anxiety issues who was extremely stubborn. He would get crazy whenever we came across another dog, squirrels, or even birds while attempting to go on walks. He’s rather large for his breed and very strong.
I’ve had several German Shepherd dogs throughout my life but this boy was a handful.
District Canine was extremely helpful in breaking the madness.
He’s much more calm than before on our walks and he loves being a footrest for me while relaxing in the evening.
I highly recommend District Canine to assist with training your pup.
Falls Church, VA
Michael was a great help in training our Golden Retriever puppy. His focus on socialization and positive reinforcement techniques were right on target. Thanks Michael!
Jim and Debby