​Serving areas of CT and NY, including:

Northern Fairfield County
Northern Westchester County

Western New Haven County

Putnam and southern Dutchess Counties

Remote consultations available anywhere in the US

Dog training and behavior services available in the following towns:

Armonk, Bedford, Bedford Hills, Bethel, Brewster, Brookfield, Carmel, Chappaqua, Cross River, Danbury, Derby, Goldens Bridge, Katonah, Mahopac, Mt. Kisco, New Canaan, New Fairfield, New Milford, Newtown, North Salem, Norwalk, Oxford, Patterson, Pawling, Pound Ridge, Redding, Ridgefield, Sherman, South Salem, Southbury, Weston, White Plains, Wilton.

Please ask if your town isn't mentioned above -- you may be in my travel zone.

Virginia Dare of North Star Canines, 804.784.0120, in CT/NY

Email:  virginiadare2013@gmail.com

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  • Training & behavior troubleshooting

  • Pre-puppy counseling

  • Post-arrival puppy counseling

Remote Consultations

​​​​​Remote Consultations for training and behavior issues 

Social distancing doesn't mean you can't get the help you need in a safe, efficient, and economical manner.  I offer remote appointments using video conferencing (Zoom), or simply by phone.  There's a great deal of coaching I can provide remotely to address many different training and behavior issues. 

Common issues we can address remotely include house-soiling, destructiveness and other household mischief, excessive barking, overly exuberant greeting behavior, handling/grooming issues, food guarding, and so much more. 


Contact me to let me know your concerns, and I'll give you an honest assessment about whether a remote consult is the right choice.  If appropriate, we'll then schedule a convenient date and time to get started, and I'll share instructions for Zoom, if needed.  As with all my services, follow-up notes and email support are included. 

​​Pre-puppy counseling

There's much you can do to increase the likelihood of the success, health, and happiness of your new pup if you think carefully about your choice beforehand.  I know how hard this is!  We're all susceptible to falling in love with a certain type or look of a dog, and our heart insists on this even if our choice isn't ideal for our actual lifestyle.

I encourage folks in search of a new pup to seek advice before selecting their furry new family member, whether it's a purchase through a breeder, or an adoption through a rescue organization.

Here's how I can help:

  • Provide objective input about breed selection, and how a breed you select is likely to mesh in your home and life

  • Assist in finding a quality breeder -- much heartache can be avoided by investing time doing careful research

  • Give concrete tips for your home environment to help set up new pup for success and to minimize problems

  • Offer suggestions for toys, enrichment items, containment systems, and other equipment

  • Answer any other burning questions you have

​​Post-puppy counseling

Has your new furry friend already arrived?  Let's chat!  I offer timely advice to ensure your pup is set up for success, to minimize problems, and to give you peace of mind.  This is especially helpful when you need immediate help before your pup is ready to be enrolled in class. I can offer:

  • Tips for setting up your home with puppy safety and management in mind, allowing good habits to grow and preventing bad habits from developing

  • Suggestions for toys, enrichment items, containment systems, and other equipment

  • Coaching on those immediately pressing issues, like how to help pup adapt to time alone without anxiety, crate-training, house-training, how to address jumping, chewing, painful shark bites, etc.

  • Info about what proper socialization actually means, and how to implement it right away

  • Answers to other burning questions you have!

I'm often hired after problems are firmly in place, with frustrated pet owners at the end of their ropes.  Please remember that many problems can be avoided or minimized if addressed early in the pup's life.

Problems rarely resolve on their own and instead get worse with time and practice.  I often see these dogs when they reach adolescence or adulthood, displaying troublesome behaviors that have become entrenched habits, like:


  • Overly enthusiastic jumping-up behavior that's annoying and painful to people when dog reaches full size

  • Expensive levels of damage around the house and yard

  • Sled-dog level pulling on leash that makes walking the dog very difficult (and sometimes makes pet owners desperate enough to consider painful equipment like choke, prong, or shock collars to inhibit the behavior)

  • Fearfulness of strangers, other dogs, new locations, novel stimuli

  • Intolerance of necessary tasks, like bathing, grooming, nail trims, vet exams

  • And so much more...

"Virginia is a gift. I was losing hope with a new puppy who, after 2 weeks, would not settle in at night. I was desperate before our scheduled in-person appointment so Virginia kindly offered me a phone consult. Her wholehearted desire to help is so evident in her voice... patient and compassionate. Her skill and knowledge helped my new puppy sleep through the night right away without any distress... and our family as well. What a great service when you need help and can’t wait.  My sincere thanks!"

~ Debbie L., Ridgefield, CT

Remote consultations are $50/half-hour.  Truly, investing in some professional advice will save you money, frustration,

and heartache down the road. I'm just a phone call away, no matter where you live!

If the issues you describe are outside the realm of remote assistance, I will promptly advise you

to seek an in-person professional to help you locally.


Check out my blog for lots of helpful puppy info!