About Dr. Caryn

About Caryn Self-Sullivan, PhD

Dr. Caryn is an Animal Behaviorist and Dog Trainer, who works with dogs and their people. She specializes in training and behavior modification for family dogs, companion dogs, therapy dogs, and service dogs from puppy-hood to old age.

Call (540) 287-8207 for immediate help!

Got a new puppy? Need obedience and good manners training? Want a therapy or service dog? Just want to stop your dog from pulling on leash and jumping on people? Dealing with fear, anxiety, and/or aggression? Dr. Caryn specializes in all of the above!

Dr. Caryn will train your dog, teach you how to train better, and most importantly…how to have fun doing it!

My Service Area: I provide personalized, private training in your home, office, and public settings in Fredericksburg, Colonial Beach, Lake of the Woods, Lake Anna, Montross, plus rural Stafford, Spotsylvania, Caroline, King George, and Westmoreland Counties. Extended service is available in Orange, Culpeper, Fauquier, Prince William, Lancaster, and Essex Counties.

My Clients: Dr. Caryn works with pet owners and fosters, families, shelter staff and volunteers, veterinarians and staff, groomers, and other trainers—anyone who needs or wants to train obedience, good manners, advanced skills, or correct and modify behavior, and have fun doing it!

My Training Philosophy: My training philosophy is based in the science of how animals learn with a dedication to positive reinforcement methods. We pledge to teach and train using the force-free principles and techniques taught at the Karen Pryor Academy and endorsed by the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior, the Association of Professional Dog Trainers, the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers, the Pet Professional Guild, Family Paws Parent Education, and Operation Socialization.

Meet my mentors and learn more by watching my Training Philosophy Playlist.

My Credentials

A native of Fredericksburg, Virginia, Caryn has over 30 years of teaching and training experience. She founded Ask Dr. Caryn About Animal Behavior and Training in 2010. She has the highest training credentials, including a Ph.D. in animal behavior from Texas A&M University. Caryn is a Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner (KPA CTP), a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CCPDT), an Operation Socialization Certified Puppy Trainer (OSCT), an AKC Canine Good Citizen Trainer & Evaluator (AKC CGC), a licensed presenter for Doggone Safe Bite Prevention Program & Family Paws Parent Educational Programs, and a Certified Animal Behavior Consultant (IAABC). She is also a professional member of the Pet Professional Guild (PPG), the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT), and the American Veterinary Society for Animal Behavior (AVSAB).

Despite her credentials, Dr. Caryn attends hundreds of hours of continuing education each year, striving to find better methods for helping dogs and their people.

Since 2010, she has help over 1,000 dogs and their people improve their canine-human bond through goal setting, training, and behavior modification using force-free, aversive-free methods (see References & Reviews).