Dog & Puppy Training Frederick, Urbana and Clarksburg, MD

Golden Retriever have Resource Guarding
Golden Retriever have Resource Guarding

Golden retrievers, known for their friendly and easy-going personality, can still exhibit resource guarding behavior. This means they might become possessive of objects or things they consider valuable, like food, toys, treats, or even a favorite spot on the couch.

Here’s a breakdown of resource guarding in Golden Retrievers:

Signs of Resource Guarding:

Causes of Resource Guarding:

Addressing Resource Guarding:

Professional Help:

For severe cases of resource guarding, consulting a certified professional dog trainer is recommended. They can create a personalized training plan to address your dog’s specific needs and ensure safety throughout the process.

Remember: Patience and positive reinforcement are key to addressing resource guarding in Golden Retrievers. With consistent training, you can help your furry friend feel more secure and overcome possessiveness.

There are quite a few recognized Shepherd dog breeds, each with their own unique traits! Here’s a breakdown of some popular Shepherd breeds:

1. Belgian Shepherd (4 Varieties):

Originating from Belgium, these incredibly intelligent and hardworking dogs come in four distinct coat types:

If you are looking for Training for your Shepherd in the Frederick, Urbana and Clarksburg, MD area, contact us now!

2. German Shepherd:

One of the most recognizable Shepherds, German Shepherds are renowned for their intelligence, loyalty, and protective instincts. Originally bred for herding sheep, they’re now widely used as police dogs, guide dogs, and in search and rescue. Their double coat comes in black and tan, black and cream, or solid black.

3. Australian Shepherd:

These medium-sized, energetic dogs are known for their intelligence, eagerness to please, and distinctive markings. Originally bred for herding livestock in Australia, they excel in agility competitions, obedience training, and as devoted family companions. Their coat can be black, red merle, or blue merle, often with white markings and various eye colors.

4. English Shepherd:

A lesser-known breed, English Shepherds are agile and athletic dogs initially bred for herding sheep. Now valued for their trainability and adaptability, they make great ranch dogs, therapy dogs, and devoted companions. Their coat can be black and white, black and tan, or merle.

5. Shetland Sheepdog (Sheltie):

These small and friendly herders are known for their thick double coat, which comes in various shades of black, white, tan, and merle. Originally bred for herding sheep in the Shetland Islands, Shelties are intelligent, playful, and excel in agility and obedience training. They make wonderful family companions for active households.

6. Icelandic Sheepdog:

A Spitz-type Shepherd, the Icelandic Sheepdog is a medium-sized, double-coated breed known for its fluffy tail and friendly personality. Bred for herding and guarding sheep in Iceland, these energetic and playful dogs are becoming increasingly popular family companions. Their coat comes in various shades of white, black, tan, and gray.

This is just a sampling of the many Shepherd dog breeds! Each has its own unique temperament, energy level, and coat type. If you’re interested in a Shepherd dog, researching the specific breed to see if it aligns with your lifestyle is essential.

Let’s dive into the delightful world of Labrador Retrievers, comparing the charming Yellow Lab with the sleek Black Lab. At Fluent Dog Training in Urbana, Maryland, we’re not just about training dogs; we’re about celebrating their unique personalities and traits. Here’s a captivating glimpse into the differences between Yellow and Black Labs:

1. The Coat Color Palette:

2. Physical Distinctions:

3. Personality Traits:

4. Training Triumphs:

Whether you’re drawn to the sunny disposition of a Yellow Lab or the timeless elegance of a Black Lab, Fluent Dog Training in Urbana, Maryland, is your trusted partner in transforming these lovable companions into well-trained and polished dogs. Contact us today to embark on a training journey that celebrates the unique qualities of your Labrador Retriever and enhances the bond between you and your beloved pet.

Carla has the knowledge, resources, value, and flexibility of some of the larger dog-training institutions, while still maintaining the more personal touch of a small business.

We adopted a 3-4 year old Shepherd mix from Frederick County Animal Control and at first he was very frightened by everything, it took him a few weeks just to bark for the first time! As he slowly gained a little confidence he started becoming very reactive to any people or dogs we would run into while walking him in the neighborhood. He would bark and lunge at anyone as soon as he saw them, even breaking off of a leash one time. It got so bad that we were scared to walk him any place that he might see something and get spooked.

After a particularly bad experience walking him (and being left unsatisfied with our first trainer) I called around and got phone consultations from just about every local dog trainer I could find. After talking to Carla and seeing what she has to offer she was the clear choice. She lives and breaths dogs and has a deep understanding of what makes them tick. Not to mention, for the same average price of JUST private training with other trainers, you get private training, group training, and all training equipment included with Carla! The value she provides simply blows everyone else out of the water. I at first thought the group lessons would be something extra that was just kind of tacked on, but they have proved invaluable for helping my reactive dog practice being calm around triggers in a safe and controlled environment.

A month ago when I called Carla I never would have believed that my dog would be as well behaved as he is now (of course, your timeline may vary, every dog is different). Carla is great at figuring out ways to incorporate training into your dogs daily routine so that it doesn’t end up taking a bunch of extra time on your end to get results. She equipped me with the knowledge and tools I needed to have the confidence to walk my dog through my busy neighborhood with no fear for his safety or my own. As you can imagine with a trainer as good as Carla and the value that she offers, spots are limited! So if you are having any issues with your dog, don’t wait. Give her a call today!

Kent Berry

Carla is fantastic – technically a dog trainer, but she also trained me (human)!

My dog had a habit of running away at the first chance of an open door, little to no recall, and “counter surfing.”

After board and train with FluentDog, I can confidently go off-leash with my dog on my property and there hasn’t been any counter surfing. We picked him up from boarding around Thanksgiving 2022, and the training effects still hold true as of March 2024. Now I know how to communicate expectations and set him up for more success. 🙂

We understand each other better and so our home life is amazing. Thanks Carla!!

Kelsey Johnson

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!

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