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Finding a Trainer

DC PAWS Rescue is committed to supporting adopters on their journey with their newly adopted dog or cat, and helping more pets stay in their forever homes. Minor behavior concerns are one of the most common reasons we see for dog and cat returns, and nuisance behaviors can escalate into larger behavior problems if professional training support is not accessed.

Punishment based training methods can also result in worsening of many problem behaviors, or creation of severe behavior concerns such as fear, anxiety, and aggression. This is why DC PAWS only partners with and promotes trainers committed to force-free training methods and continuing education in their understanding of animal behavior and how companion animals learn.

All trainers listed here have signed an agreement confirming they practice humane, force-free training methods and continued education and development, and that they do not use choke collars, pinch collars, shock collars, and other methods of physical punishment in their training practices. If at any time DC PAWS Rescue finds a trainer to be in violation of our rescue’s guiding principles and positions about humane training and behavior modification practices, their listing will be removed.

MARYLAND TRAINING PARTNERS

Next Best Pet
Prince George’s County, MD
www.nextbestpet.net

Training can and should be a positive experience that helps to build the relationship between person and animal. At Next Best Pet, we aim to help every client strengthen these relationships. We also firmly belief that positive techniques can be effective in both achieving training goals and alleviating problem behaviors. We have a particular interest in multi-pet households and cat behavior. We also offer a wide range of behavior support for clients in Prince George’s and Queen Anne’s counties in Maryland. We offer group training through the Animal Resource Foundation in Chester, MD.

Services offered: Behavior assessments, Cat behavior support, Dog behavior support, Family dog support (dogs and children), Group classes, Multi-pet household support, Private lessons, Shy and Fearful dogs

Pop Star Dogs
Frederick County, MD
www.popstardogs.com

Pop Star dogs offers a variety of private services including, in-home training, adoption counseling, preparing your dog for the new baby and helping your dog through the toddler years, board and train and boarding for dogs with special needs. We have a special love for rescues, pit bulls, those dogs with reactivity issues, low impulse control, and fearful dogs. Heather is a clicker trainer and has been certified through the Karen Pryor Academy.

Services offered: Dog behavior support, Family dog support (dogs and children), Private lessons, Reactive dog training/consultations, Shy and Fearful dogs, Adoption support

Unleashed Joy
Baltimore, Howard and Carroll Counties, MD
www.unleashedjoy.com

Unleashed Joy uses only positive dog training methods that are well-documented and proven to work more effectively and efficiently. Through the use of a combination of classical and operant conditioning, we help your dog learn desired behaviors by positively reinforcing them, and decrease undesired behaviors by eliminating reinforcement of them. We now also provide doggy day care services!

Services offered: Behavior assessments, Cat behavior support, Dog behavior support, Family dog support (dogs and children), Multi-pet household support, Private lessons, Puppy training/socialization, Reactive dog training/consultations, Shy and Fearful dogs

DC AREA TRAINING PARTNERS

Canine Train Tracks
Greater Metro DC Area
www.caninetraintracks.com

Laura Colleton of Canine Train Tracks is a certified trainer (CPDT-KA) with experience in providing individual training sessions for both obedience and behavior modification; co-teaching group classes (such as basic manners, bully-breed manners, and reactive dog class); and conducting behavior consultations. Along with her tracking dog, Leah, Laura also conducts lost pet tracking, following scents up to 5 weeks old. Laura offers dog-related services for humans, including presentations on dog safety and etiquette as well as lost-dog prevention and searches; and she conducts lost pet searches for lost pet parents who do not have time to run the search themselves. In the future, she plans to offer new services outdoors such as tracking class for beginners and a more advanced reactive dog class.

Services offered: Behavior assessments, Dog behavior support, Family dog support (dogs and children), Multi-pet household support, Private lessons, Puppy training/socialization, Reactive dog training/consultations, Separation Anxiety support, Shy and Fearful dogs, Lost Pet Tracking

Hedda Garland School of Dogs, LLC
Washington DC, Maryland (Montgomery County), Virginia (Alexandria, Arlington)
www.schoolofdogs.com

Hedda offers private sessions in your home with you and your dog, or day training with your dog, in your home. All training is force free, using positive reinforcement. Hedda’s original background is elementary school teaching, so she enjoys working with kids and families and dogs. Basic manners, or behavior modification, preparation for the arrival of a newborn or adopted child, puppy socialization and training are all part of what Hedda offers.

Services offered: Behavior assessments, Dog behavior support, Family dog support (dogs and children), Multi-pet household support, Private lessons, Puppy training/socialization, Reactive dog training/consultations, Separation Anxiety support, Shy and Fearful dogs, Preparation for baby’s arrival or adoption of child

VIRGINIA TRAINING PARTNERS

All About Dogs, LLC
Northern VA (including Prince William County)
www.allaboutdogsinc.com

Professional dog training and behavior consultations and modification for family pets. We only use force free methods. We offer group classes in Annandale, Springfield and Woodbridge and private lessons in all areas of Northern Virginia including Prince William County.

Services offered: Behavior assessments, Dog behavior support, Family dog support (dogs and children), Group classes, Multi-pet household support, Private lessons, Puppy training/socialization, Reactive dog training/consultations, Separation Anxiety support, Shy and Fearful dogs

Dog Tranquility, LLC
Most of Fairfax County, VA
www.DogTranquility.com

Services offered: Behavior assessments, Cat behavior support, Dog behavior support, Family dog support (dogs and children), Group classes, Multi-pet household support, Private lessons, Puppy training/socialization, Reactive dog training/consultations, Separation Anxiety support, Shy and Fearful dogs

Spring Training and Behavior Consulting
Northern VA
www.springtrainingandbehavior.com

Spring Training & Behavior Consulting is a veterinarian-recommended training organization serving dogs, cats, and their people in Northern Virginia. Often working in close collaboration with local veterinary behaviorists, we specialize in behavior issues, including aggression, reactivity, fears, and anxiety-related problems. We offer behavior consultations, private training, and day-training programs.

Services Offered: Behavior assessments, Cat behavior support, Dog behavior support, Family dog support (dogs and children), Multi-pet household support, Private lessons, Puppy training/socialization, Reactive dog training/consultations, Shy and Fearful dogs

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Although this list provides a reference point for trainers DC PAWS can confidently recommend, there are a number of other trainers who commit to force-free practices who may not be listed here. We encourage individuals in need of a trainer to refer to the Pet Professional Guild’s article, “Ten Questions to Ask Your Dog Training Professional – Before You Hire Them!” and the following search resources when seeking a professional trainer:

DC PAWS is happy to provide support and guidance through the training resources on our website, as well as resource referrals for adopters via email and regularly scheduled new adopter and topic workshops, open to the community at large. Your Dog’s Friend also offers a robust offering of regular free workshops in the Rockville, MD area.

If you are considering a trainer and would like our insights, or if you are experiencing behavior concerns with your adopted pet, please contact us at training@dcpawsrescue.org.