About Us

About UsThe Dude Ranch Academy is part of the Dude Ranch Pet Resort.   We are located just outside of Richmond, Virginia at 11015 Dude Ranch Road, Glen Allen, VA  23059.  We're convenient to the Richmond International Airport (RIC) and about 3 hours from Dulles International Airport outside of Washington, DC.

Did you know that, statistically, trained dogs live longer than their untrained counterparts?!  In addition, did you know that having your dog trained will also reduce your blood pressure?!

A bit about our philosophy on training:

We believe that positive reinforcement based training is the most humane way to work with animals.  While based on positive reinforcement training, we work with a full complement of training methods, concentrating on the least aversive method that succeeds given the situation.  Positive reinforcement training is not about being permissive, nor about being a pushover for your dog.  Positive reinforcement training is about establishing a relationship with your dog based on trust.   Unlike aversive methods, positive reinforcement training is not about fear.  We seek to reinforce the dogs' desirable behaviors (with attention, treats, praise and play) and, inversely, challenge ourselves to not reinforce the dog's undesirable behavior.  While we prefer the use of a simple buckle collar, we recognize the need for slip collars, prong collars and similar specialized training aids in specific circumstances.   We do not, however, use, nor advocate the use of electronic collars nor any type of harsh corrections.

We are keen on professional certification and credentials.  After all, in the world of dogs, your pedigree is your ticket! 

By partnering with some of the most talented, qualified and experienced instructors and groups in Virginia, we have assembled an unmatched collection of courses.  All of the personnel at The Dude Ranch Pet Resort are actively involved in furthering their education in the pet care arena.  MSEd, CABC, CPDT, MS, CDT, PAB, PH, CGE,  ACT, CACT, CKO, CPCKO, as well as MACH are all samples of titles that our staff proudly hold and/or are pursuing.  We are active members in numerous certification and industry trade groups including APDT, IDGAA, IBPSA, PCSA, PCCCC, The DOG GURUS, PN, and TAGtrain.  Several of our staff and management serve on advisory boards to councils, training/certification advisory boards, and government as well, including the Invitation-Only-Advisory-Board (IOAB) of the American Pet Dog Training Association.  Our broad range of backgrounds ensures that you and your dog will have the greatest breadth of training possible; rather than the limited 'my way' program provided by single instructor organizations.

We also recognize that there are many many wonderful trainers around the world.  So we are constantly seeking new experts to bring to The Dude Ranch Academy to offer as speakers, and for seminars and hands-on training experiences.

Our goal is to be the premier venue for dog training and training-related events and activities here in the Mid Atlantic.  Check back often to see what we're offering!