Dog & Puppy Training Frederick, Urbana and Clarksburg, MD

I usually don’t talk much about selecting a breeder, because by the time someone comes to me, they already have a dog, they already love the dog, and they want to spend the time and money to improve its behavior.

But what most potential dog owners don’t know is that buying a dog is NOT like buying anything else online. It HAS to be a very hands-on, well-researched process because puppy mill agents have gotten incredibly skilled at marketing. They know people make buying decisions with their eyes and with their emotions, and that new dog owners don’t know how to fact-check their claims of health testing, good temperaments, socialization, etc.

If you’re shopping for a puppy on Lancaster Puppies, Puppies . com, Greenfield Puppies, Crockett Doodles, etc.–STOP! These are notorious online puppy mill brokers. Puppy stores like Just Puppies–NO. Buying a puppy from these sources supports puppy mills and irresponsible breeders. Good breeders put their heart and soul into each litter. They want to know their puppy buyers rather than using a middleman to sell the puppies for them.

Craigslist is not a good place to find a puppy either. If you can’t afford the $1000-3000 price tag of a purebred dog, adopt a dog from the shelter instead.

A badly bred dog could have a lower “ceiling” of what is possible than one bred for a specific purpose or to a specific standard. For example, I wouldn’t buy a plow horse and try to enter it in the Kentucky Derby, just as I wouldn’t use a nervous, reactive dog for a service dog. Just not a situation likely to be successful.

Now you never know…if you’ve ever read the book “Snowman: the Eighty-Dollar Champion”, that’s a wonderful story of a horse rescued from slaughter who became a famous showjumper. But stories like that are fascinating because they are so unlikely.

My own mistakes

To be honest, I made some mistakes myself when choosing a breeder so I don’t judge people for it.

With Calvin, I thought I was doing the right things—a breeder who health tests and I met both parents, who were well trained and friendly. Then eight months after we brought him home, Calvin’s hip started making an alarming clicking noise. We feared we might have to do juvenile hip dysplasia surgery. $500 later at the orthopedic specialist, it turned out nothing was physically wrong, and I had the vet check out his parents’ elbow and hip test results.

As it turns out, his parents were not breeding quality…the breeder DID health test, but the results of the test were nothing special. I didn’t know how to read the test results when I bought him as a puppy.

Knock on wood, Calvin has been pretty healthy since then, other than allergies (which is a genetic fault). I feel I lucked out with an amazing dog in spite of his genetics, not because of them.

So what should you look for in a breeder, and what are some red flags?

Good signs in a breeder

✅ Does health testing as recommended by the breed parent club (different breeds are prone to different genetic diseases). An Embark test is NOT sufficient. A breeder spends a lot of money on these tests and should be happy to provide you with the info.

How can you fact check the health claims? Go to Carfax for dogs. Yup, there’s a Carfax for dogs. It’s called the OFA, and you should double check that the breeder has done the tests they say they’ve done on the parents, and the scores are what they claim. A breeding dog with a CHIC designation is a GREAT sign. It means the dog has passed all of the relevant health tests for its breed.

✅ Does the breeder do some kind of competitive activity with their dogs and have the breeding dogs earned titles?

Yes, even if you only want a pet dog, it is a good idea to work with a breeder who competes in some kind of dog sport. Titles are third-party proof that a dog can do what the breeder says it can do, and good breeders are proud to show their dogs. Conformation titles show that a dog conforms to a breed standard and performance sports like obedience, protection, agility show the dog’s working ability.

For pet dogs, a Canine Good Citizen and trick titles on the parents would be good signs of trainability.

✅Breeder picks the dog for you—they have been raising the puppies since birth and know which personality would suit you

✅ Breeder maintains contact with owners to support them and find out if any issues arise that would impact their future breeding plans

✅Breeder will take puppy back if you decide it is not a good fit

✅ Breeder does some early training: desensitizing pups to new sounds, surfaces, places, people, crate training, loading a clicker, etc. Avidog and Puppy Culture are two reputable training programs many breeders use.

✅ A website that looks like it’s from 1995. This one is just a personal quirk but I actually trust a breeder more if their website is bad. That means they probably spend more time on caring for and exhibiting their dogs than they do on marketing. Of course a good website is nice, and there are some tech-savvy breeders, but the quality of the website has NO correlation to the quality of the breeder.

Red flags in a breeder

🚩Breeder always has puppies available. This is a sign they get dogs from puppy mills or backyard breeders and act as a broker.

🚩 Doodle breeder. Yes, sorry to burst the bubble–but doodles do NOT have “hybrid vigor” . They are just as likely to inherit the health issues of 2 breeds rather than only inheriting the good traits…that’s just how genetics works). Sometimes you get the calmness of a Golden Retriever with the coat of a poodle, and sometimes you get the hyper-drive of a poodle and the increased risk of cancer of a Golden.

Doodle coats mat easily, are expensive to maintain, and are NOT hypoallergenic! (They may be less allergenic–but fur is still shedding.).

If you still really want a doodle–look into Australian Labradoodles. This is a type of doodle with breeders who are trying to breed to an objective standard.

🚩Many different breeds available. I wouldn’t totally discount a breeder that specialized in two breeds…but it gets increasingly difficult to have an in-depth knowledge, and compete the more dogs and more breeds there are.

🚩Different prices for different colors. Color is the least important quality in a dog, and breeders who prioritize breeding for color are typically sacrificing some other quality in order to do that…like good health and good temperament.

🚩Purposefully breeds against the standard—for example Merle French bulldogs, white Dobermans, silver labs.

🚩Neither parent of the pups is on site (at least the mother should be there)

🚩Delivers the dog to you, or meets you at a location convenient to you. This is a really easy way for a puppy mill breeder to avoid showing you the condition of their kennel and their dogs.

🚩Won’t let you meet puppies (after 6 weeks it is safe!)

🚩Unclean environment. I‘ve had multiple owners say they felt like they were “rescuing” their dog from the breeder because the pup was sick and infested with ticks or fleas. It is sad but you should NOT give your money to people who would mistreat a dog like this.

🚩Says their breed is healthy and doesn’t need health testing. This makes no sense, because how would you know that without health testing?

🚩Makes their health guarantee dependent on feeding a particular food that they earn a commission on

🚩Requires pediatric spay or neuter (under 1 year). The current research supports waiting to spay or neuter your dog until physical maturity, especially for large breeds. They need their hormones to support bone and joint development.

🚩has puppies of multiple ages, with older pups costing more… It is not uncommon for puppy brokers to sell a puppy, the owner returns it, and then the broker turns around and sells older puppies for more money.

I don’t usually bring up these things if it’s not relevant to the training (for example, with genetically nervous or aggressive dogs, or “dirty dogs” that are difficult to housetrain because they were kept in unsanitary conditions as puppies) but I figured I would write it all down for future reference!

The dog wouldn’t “out” and now her owner can play tug with him and has good control of him. She lives in an apt so the controlled play and obedience helps to keep him fulfilled and happy.

My 2024 middle aged lady flex is winning against my 80lb Presa Canario/Pit Bill at Tug of War. He is upset & tired. It’s all because of the best trainer Carla at Fluent Dog Training. Early training and consistency is key.  The sweet face of defeat. He loves me and He is stronger than I. Carla taught us well.

The dog’s name is Atlas and we’ve been working together since he was a little puppy. I also trained this dog’s older sister from another litter and that’s how Atlas’ owner found me and knew I could teach her how to control a powerful dog.

Frederick Maryland Dog Training
Frederick Maryland Dog Training

Frederick, Urbana, and Clarksburg, Maryland, are all located in the heart of Maryland’s beautiful Frederick County. The area is known for its rolling hills, farmland, and historic charm.

Frederick is the county seat and the largest city in the area. It has a vibrant downtown with a mix of historic buildings and new shops and restaurants. There are also a number of parks and green spaces, including Baker Park, which is home to the Carroll Creek Linear Park, a popular spot for walking, biking, and kayaking.

Urbana is a newer community located just outside of Frederick. It is home to the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), and has a more suburban feel than Frederick. There are a number of shopping centers and restaurants in Urbana, as well as parks and green spaces, including the Urbana District Park, which has a dog park.

Clarksburg is a small town located about 10 miles north of Frederick. It has a historic downtown with a number of antique shops and restaurants. There are also a number of parks and green spaces in Clarksburg, including the Monocacy National Battlefield, which is a popular spot for hiking and biking.

Overall, Frederick, Urbana, and Clarksburg are all great places to live, especially if you have a dog. The area is safe, friendly, and has plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy. There are also a number of dog-friendly parks and restaurants in the area.

Here are some specific things to consider if you are thinking about moving to Frederick, Urbana, or Clarksburg with a dog:

I hope this information helps you decide if Frederick, Urbana, or Clarksburg is the right place for you and your dog.

Are you considering adding a new furry friend to your family, and looking for a trainer? Good for you! Being PROACTIVE rather than reacting to problems as they arise will set up you and your puppy for a wonderful long term relationship.

At FluentDog Training, we offer comprehensive support even before you bring your new companion home. Just get in touch via Calendly to get started!

How We Can Help You Before You Get Your Puppy

1. Researching the Right Breed or Rescue Dog

Choosing the right breed or rescue dog is the first step in ensuring a match for your family’s lifestyle. Trainer Carla LaFleur can guide you through the process, considering factors such as temperament, activity level, grooming needs, and compatibility with your living situation. We have been there, seen that with dozens of dog breeds and mixes, and can help you learn what to expect.

2. Finding an Ethical Breeder or Rescue Organization

Finding a reputable breeder or ethical rescue organization is crucial to find the right match for your family, but it can be difficult to see the red flags when you’re wearing rose colored glasses! Do not be pressured by sales tactics and emotional appeals (whether from a rescue or a breeder). You are committing to this animal for the next 10-15 years. Spend the time up front researching the right fit, and you’ll spend less time and money training later on trying to make a round peg fit in a square hole.

FluentDog Training can provide guidance and resources to help you identify responsible breeders or trustworthy rescue groups committed to the welfare of animals.

3. Preparing for a Successful Homecoming

Once you’ve decided on your new addition, preparation is key. We can even give you a pre-puppy lesson like we did for our friend Becca, owner of What’s Pups!, a dog bandana company based in Maryland.

We provide valuable insights and tips on puppy-proofing your home, essential supplies you’ll need, creating a comfortable space, and establishing a routine to help your puppy settle in smoothly.

Conclusion

At FluentDog Training, our dedication to your journey with your dog begins before you even bring them home. We’re here to assist you every step of the way, from choosing the right dog for your family to preparing your home and lifestyle for your new furry friend.

By availing yourself of our pre-puppy support, you’re not just getting a dog trainer; you’re gaining a partner invested in your happiness and your new companion’s well-being.

Make informed decisions and set yourself up for a lifetime of joy with your furry friend. Contact FluentDog Training today to start your journey toward a successful, happy life with your future furry family member.

Attention Urbana, Maryland dog aficionados! Wondering about the subtle nuances between a Red Golden Retriever and a Yellow Golden Retriever?

At Fluent Dog Training, not only do we excel in transforming your pup into a well-mannered wonder, but we’re also here to shed light on the distinctive traits of these lovable canines. Brace yourself for a delightful journey into the world of Golden Retrievers:

  1. The Hue of Happiness:

Red Golden Retrievers: Picture a warm, amber glow reminiscent of a sunset’s embrace. Red Goldens boast a beautiful reddish-gold coat that sets them apart. This distinctive hue adds an extra layer of charm to their already captivating presence.

Yellow Golden Retrievers: While often referred to as “yellow,” these Goldens typically sport a luscious, golden-hued coat. The shade can range from a pale cream to a rich, deep gold, radiating a sunny and friendly disposition.

  1. Temperament Tango:

Red Golden Retrievers: Known for their sweet and gentle nature, Red Goldens are often described as affectionate and eager to please. They embody the classic Golden temperament—friendly, sociable, and ready to wag their tails in the face of any adventure.

Yellow Golden Retrievers: Equally endearing, Yellow Goldens share the same friendly demeanor. They are known for their intelligence and trainability, making them a fantastic choice for families, therapy work, or any role where their loving nature shines.

  1. Energy Levels:

Red Golden Retrievers: While each dog is an individual, Red Goldens are often noted for having a slightly calmer disposition compared to their Yellow counterparts. They still possess the signature Golden enthusiasm but may exhibit a touch more laid-back charm.

Yellow Golden Retrievers: Recognized for their boundless energy and enthusiasm for play, Yellow Goldens are the quintessential fun-loving companions. They thrive on physical activity and are excellent partners for those who love outdoor adventures.

  1. Training Triumphs:

Red Golden Retrievers: Their eagerness to please and cooperative nature make Red Goldens a joy to train. They respond well to positive reinforcement and are often quick learners, making them ideal candidates for obedience training.

Yellow Golden Retrievers: Intelligent and adaptable, Yellow Goldens excel in training scenarios. Their enthusiasm for learning, coupled with a strong desire to please, makes them a delightful canvas for Fluent Dog Training sessions.

Whichever Golden Retriever hue captures your heart, rest assured that Fluent Dog Training in Urbana, Maryland, is your go-to destination for transforming these lovable canines into polished and well-behaved companions. Contact us today and embark on a training journey that will leave tails wagging and hearts smiling!

Dog That Doesn't Pull on the Leash

Attention, Frederick, Maryland dog enthusiasts! Tired of feeling like you’re being towed down the street every time you take your dog for a walk? It’s time to regain control and enjoy peaceful strolls with Fluent Dog Training—the key to transforming your walks into a delightful experience for both you and your furry companion. Say farewell to the tug-of-war and embrace the freedom of a well-behaved walking partner. Here’s why training your dog not to pull with Fluent Dog Training is a game-changer:

Stress-Free Walks:

No more arm-wrenching walks! Fluent Dog Training specializes in teaching your dog leash manners, ensuring that your walks are a breeze rather than a battle. Experience the joy of a leisurely stroll with your well-behaved canine companion by your side.

Enhanced Safety:

A pulling dog is not only frustrating but can also pose safety risks. Fluent Dog Training prioritizes safety by instilling proper leash etiquette, preventing your dog from darting into traffic or other hazardous situations. Enjoy peace of mind knowing that your walks are secure and stress-free.

Social Harmony:

Is your dog overly eager to approach every passerby? Our training programs include socialization skills, teaching your dog appropriate behavior around other people and pets. Create positive interactions during walks, making outings a pleasure for both your dog and those you encounter.

Builds a Stronger Bond:

Walking together should be a bonding experience, not a power struggle. Fluent Dog Training focuses on building a strong bond between you and your dog. As you work together towards the common goal of enjoyable walks, you’ll deepen your connection and understanding.

Enjoy Any Environment:

From busy city streets to serene parks, Fluent Dog Training equips your dog with the skills to handle any environment gracefully. No need to dread outings or limit your adventures—walk confidently knowing that your dog will navigate various settings with ease.

Curbs Destructive Behaviors:

A well-behaved dog on walks is often a well-behaved dog at home. Fluent Dog Training addresses the root of the pulling behavior, curbing other destructive habits and promoting a well-rounded, disciplined pet.

Don’t let the frustration of constant pulling ruin your walks. Act now and experience the transformative benefits of training your dog not to pull with Fluent Dog Training in Frederick, Maryland. Our team of dedicated professionals is committed to providing you with the tools to enjoy harmonious walks and build a lasting bond with your four-legged friend. Invest in your dog’s future today—contact Fluent Dog Training and embark on a journey towards stress-free, enjoyable walks!

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