better pets, better parents
We help pets and people enjoy life together by reducing stress, increasing communication and modifying behavior through education and quality advice.
Clever Critters trainers can address behavior problems and provide personalized training in the following areas.
Reduce stress for pet and people alike
Improve communication between you and your pet
Strengthen the human-animal bond
Train YOU to train your pet!
Teach you skills in observing animal behavior, behavior modification, and training that you can use for the rest of your life!
Puppy & Kitten Socialization
Puppy & Kitten Manners
Low Stress at the Vet & Groomer
New Pet Introduction
Baby Preparation & Introduction
Fear, Anxiety, Stress (FAS)
Destruction: Chewing, Digging, Scratching, and more
House Soiling, Litterbox Aversion
Reactivity: Jumping, Barking, and more
Over-excitement, Rough Play, Nipping
Toward Other Animals
*For cases involving human-directed aggression, a virtual or phone consultation may be required for safety measures prior to the first in-home visit.
NON-COMPETITIVE CANINE SPORTS
Services are provided in your home or on-site. We assess and treat unwanted behavior where it is happening. Examples of on-site work include working with you and your pet while on a walk, at a park or at the veterinarian's office.
We can also provide virtual consultations for any behavior concerns.
Clever Critters serves the Hampton Roads area of Virginia including Yorktown, Newport News, Poquoson, Seaford, Hampton, Portsmouth, Norfolk, Chesapeake, and Virginia Beach. We serve some areas of Williamsburg, Gloucester, Isle of Wight, Suffolk, Smithfield, , and Carrollton.
Some areas may require mileage fees. Clever Critters, LLC charges $0.55 per mile rounded up after 35 miles.
We now offer Zoom virtual consults! If you are outside of our normal service area and are interested in a consultation, please inquire with us!
Dogs and cats of all ages, breeds, and temperaments. Other species of pets on a case by case basis.
Sydney Warner is a Certified Dog Trainer and holds a diploma in Canine Behavior Science and Technology. She trained for two years under Clever Critters' founder and Associate Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist, Ellen Mahurin.
In Spring of 2020, Shana Ness joined the Clever Critters Crew as a Certified Dog Trainer!
Before seeking help for a behavior concern from a trainer or behavior consultant, your pet should be up-to-date on veterinary care and have a recent and thorough checkup to rule out pain and other medical factors.
It is important for your veterinarian to identify possible medical causes for behavior concerns - contact a Clever Critters trainer for more information and veterinary referral form if needed.
Have a Question? Here’s an Answer
WHAT ARE YOUR CONSULTANTS' QUALIFICATIONS?
Sydney Warner has certifications in dog training and canine behavior science. She is always pursuing continuous education. Additionally, she has trained under an Associate Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist in canine and feline behavior, and modern training methods.
Shana Ness is certified in dog training and also pursuing continuous education.
You can read more about our consultants' qualifications on the About page.
WHERE DO YOU OFFER SERVICES?
Clever Critters does not currently have a facility. We offer all of our services in your home, on-site, or virtually. Examples of on-site work include working with you and your pet while on a walk, at the park, or at the veterinarian's office. Our service area ranges across the Hampton Roads area of Virginia and some surrounding areas. Now with virtual consults we can provide consults almost anywhere! Contact us for more information, providing a zip code.
WHAT TYPES OF BEHAVIOR PROBLEMS CAN
CLEVER CRITTERS TRAINERS TREAT?
Clever Critters trainers believe in problem-prevention before problem-solving. We can help you teach puppies and kittens these preventative skills immediately, however, we also know there are many pet parents needing help with problem-solving of behavior concerns in adolescent, adult, and even senior pets. We treat a variety of behavior concerns for dogs, cats and even other pets including aggression, fearfulness, anxiety, inappropriate elimination, hyperactivity and so much more. In addition, we can help you with basic to advanced manners and skills training, and help you and your pet engage in for fun activities such as agility and noseworks. You can read more on the Services page.
WHAT TRAINING METHODS DO YOU USE?
Clever Critters trainers use up to date, science-backed, and humane methods. Whether you call it positive reinforcement, force-free, fear free, or choice-based training, we focus on teaching with communication, cooperation, and care for the whole animal - physically and emotionally. Learn more on Our Training Position.
HOW DO I CHOOSE A QUALITY TRAINER FOR MY PET?
There is currently a lag between many trainers’ marketing language and actual practices. If a trainer advertises that he uses “positive” methods, it might be true or it might be false advertising.
Ask: What exactly will happen to my dog when she gets it right? What exactly will happen to her when she gets it wrong? Are there any less invasive alternatives to what you propose?
If you don’t get clear, concrete answers or you are at all uncomfortable, keep shopping. - Jean Donaldson
"Dogs do speak, but only to those who know how to listen."
Passionate. Patient. Personable. Pet-lover. These are just a few of the characteristics that describe me. I know each animal is different, and I’ll work with you and yours to give you both the specific guidance needed. Whether you’re thinking about getting a pet, recently acquired a new pet, or already own a pet with or without behavioral concerns, I am here to help.