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Your Dog's Friend

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal Protection & Welfare, Animals

Mission: The goal of your dogs friend, inc. Is to help keep dogs out of shelters by educating and supporting dog owners. We offer behavior and training advice; sponsor free workshops; run positive dog training classes; wrote and gave to adopters: "the shelter and rescue dog book;" refer dog owners to positive trainers, walkers and vacation care; send an e-newsletter; and maintain a website with announcements and information educating dog owners and professionals.

Target demographics: Our goal is to help keep dogs out of shelters by educating and supporting their humans. Please read "About Us" at http://yourdogsfriend.org/about-us/.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 745 workshop participants, 1700 students

Geographic areas served: Our free workshops are mostly in Bethesda, MD and our positive classes in Rockville, MD. We have people attending both from throughout the DC metroplitan area.

Programs: Dog training classes and seminars

Community Stories

103 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

My husband, my rescued 3 month old Lab, and I took a puppy kindergarten class with Your Dog's Friend. It was such a great experience with for all three of us. We were all engaged in the class and were given a great start on how to have a happy, well-behaved, member of our family. Their class gave us lots of guidance regarding the importance of the need for daily reinforcement of the training. They were careful to make sure the puppies were kept separated from one another while the training was taking place and still give a safe environment at the end of classes for supervised play time. The entire experience was very positive and I have recommended them to many others. As a bonus, their newsletters offer valuable information and guides for raising compatible canine companions.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter and I attend the basic class for our rescued puppy of 7 months. It help us to manage her behavior and to know what to do in unexpected situation. It also open our mind how our Sushi is eager to learn and to please us. Now my daughter and Sushi are enrolling the agility class in summer.
Thank you so much for your kindness and involvement.
We are very confident to have a strong and fun relationship for a life dog!

E F.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I chose Your Dog's Friend because 1) it is less than 2 miles from my house and 2) it was recommended by a dog rescue organization.

I have attended the free Learning About Your New Dog workshop (with Jeni) and a free workshop with a guest lecturer about reading dog body language to prevent bites (my dog is fearful, which might lead to bites if she got pushed too far). My dog (a 5-year old Cocker Spaniel) has completed Basic Manners 1, Basic Manners 2, and Agility Games, and we're now in her 3rd round of Agility.

WE LOVE THIS PLACE.

The staff have all been wonderful and helpful, even when I had to send emails between classes to ask a question. They clearly know their stuff about positive training. I thought I could learn a lot for free on YouTube (and you can) but nothing beats having live humans helping you interact with your dog in class.

The facilities are very clean (which is amazing considering how many dogs and people are using it!).

Training supplies are available for purchase, but Basic Manners students got a free binder and clicker and nobody has ever pushed us to buy any other products. (If you do, it's cash/check only, no cards.) They were also able to fit my dog for a harness that has greatly improved our walks.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Your Dogs Friend provides an invaluable service to rescue dogs and their owners. I am a dog trainer and adoption coordinator for a local humane society. Your Dogs Friend provides workshops, seminars, and training classes designed to make the dog adoption process a success. We've used their services many times. Margie Dowsett

1 Carrie35

Client Served

Rating: 5

I cannot say enough good things about Your Dog's Friend. I became a puppy owner for the first time in my adult life about 2 months ago, and I was completely clueless about how to train her and communicate with her. She seemed like a chewing, jumping, pooping and peeing machine. I am literally amazed at how much she and I have learned over the last 6 weeks. Sarah and her assistants are fabulous teachers. They are patient, kind, and supportive. We are just finishing Puppy Kindergarten and starting in Puppy First Grade. The training is all positive, so my dog LOVES going to the classes. She is becoming a well trained and happy dog. If you have a new dog, this is most definitely the place to go!

Client Served

Rating: 5

I had a retired friend who was recently gifted 2 young puppies -- something she was completely unprepared and ill-suited to care for. After several weeks of potty accidents, destructive chewing behavior, etc., I convinced my friend to enroll the puppies in puppy kindergarten, and we selected Your Dogs Friend based upon another friend's recommendation. What a WONDERFUL experience!! I attended all the classes as the handler for the second puppy, and couldn't have been more pleased with all the assistance and support we were provided! Since then, I've attended many of YDF's free.workshops and seminars, and have found them to be incredibly helpful. I've learned SO much through this organization -- I HIGHLY recommend them for any of your dog-training needs!

Lori43

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I adopted a cocker spaniel and needed some assistance with the dog we had getting along with the new dog. I attended a workshop the Your Dogs Friend had and it was absolutely wonderful, I learned so much about how dogs communicate. I would highly recommend any of their workshop, they are well done and they take time to answer all questions. They are wonderful.

Client Served

Rating: 5

We adopted our second-ever dog in May 2012 and were looking for help with specific issues as well as enrolling her in a Basic Manners class. We found both through Your Dog's Friend. They are dedicated to helping pet owners stay with their dogs, and help you through problems and questions. The classes are conveniently located, fun, and full of practical advice. The instructor Michelle Mange is excellent and very practical with her info, and the assistants are knowledgeable as well. Michelle clearly has years of experience in dog training and knows dog psychology. I also like that Your Dog's Friend is only into positive training, no choke collars etc. In addition, Debra Ekman the Director of this organization really helped me when our prior dog passed away suddenly this yr as well. She referred me to the Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement for free internet counseling and support which was invaluable.Your Dogs Friend also hold free seminars on a variety of topics throughout the year.

Kristy3

Client Served

Rating: 5

Your Dogs Friend provides the most wonderful and enlightening workshops. I have been attending them since I found out about them a few years back and haven't stopped learning! It's a fantastic organization that I would and do highly recommend to others. Kristy

Pam_25

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Your Dog's Friend provides excellent free educational seminars as well as positive training classes.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I recently adopted a dog, and I am so happy to have YDF in the area! I took him to Basic Manners, had a wonderful experience, and got to see my dog blossom through positive training. He is my first dog, so I'm especially grateful that everyone has been so willing to answer my questions. The website resources and workshops are terrific, too, and steered me toward oodles of detailed information that was gentle and effective for my dog.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I recently adopted a 7 year old lab mix and enrolled her in Basic I at YDF. We had a wonderful experience. The trainers are top notch and there was always someone nearby to answer a question or give a tip. We learned so much and their training techniques were wonderful. Our dog had a great time and learned everything so quickly. I love that this is a positive training environment. To all those dog owners that think they need choke chains, prong collars and punishment give positive training a try, you will be amazed at the results and you and your dog will be much happier. I refer everyone I know!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

YDF has been unbelievably helpful in providing seminars for both professionals in the dog rescue field as well as dog owners in general. Their training approach is gentle with positive reinforcement methods emphasised. We have learned an incredible amount about how dogs think from their speakers and classes. And they provide a free seminar series as well to help reach the largest number of people possible and help change the perception and treatment of our canine companions in society.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Where do I start. I had adopted by proxy a puppy mill dog. What does that mean? That is a dog that is used for breeding purposes to sell their puppies online or in pet stores. This dog had never been handled by humans before or if he was it was rough handling. He was scared of anyone and everyone. I tried different classes and they just seemed to make it worse. I started my own support group. I would have trainers come and talk with us or talk with us on the phone. One of the trainers is one that has her own classes at Your Dogs Friend. It was because of her that there is now a fearful dog class-which is exactly what these dogs need. Your Dogs Friend is the place you can go to when you are at your wits end and don't know where to go-like our family with our dog.

Micha M.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I love this place. I refer adopters here and also benefit from their expertise for my own dogs and fosters and other dogs I work with. My favorite would be the seminars but the classes are top notch too from what i hear from anyone who's ever taken one there. I plan to take some soon with my own dogs to further their education. Debra and the other trainers are patient, kind and polite. That can often be a rarity where non-profits are concerned. This is the best place for dogs from a dog and human standpoint.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I love Your Dog's Friend. I first got to know them when I took their reactive dog class and it made my life with my dog so much better. Since then we've taken several classes and both of my dogs attend classes there and get great benefit from their expertise. They've made me a better dog owner!! Love them and highly recommend them. I volunteer with a rescue group as well and never hesitate to recommend their training classes to adopters.

Kristin L.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Your Dogs' Friend is a wonderful non-profit organization that focuses on helping dog owners get the training and information they need to be better dog owners, particularly of rescued dogs. Their training location is convenient to Rockville and their director is always willing to answer questions and help out with advice.

Megan T.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I attended Puppy Kindergarten here. The trainers section off the room to make sure that all sizes, personalities, and play styles are accommodated. They answer your questions about puppy play styles, and step in when things start getting a little too exciting. Four weeks later, my puppy now knows sit, stay, leave it, down, and touch. And there are still two weeks to go! The trainers are available with any questions you have outside of class by phone and e-mail. They stay late to work with you on specific questions. They encourage positive training and give you a free clicker with the start of any Puppy/Basic Manners class. Really I just can't say enough about them. When my puppy started to develop handling problems, the trainers there were a source of advice, understanding, and a wealth of knowledge.

mslankford

Client Served

Rating: 5

A friend recommended Your Dogs Friend for training on my reactive German Shepherd (adopted at 3 years old) and the training, information and support provided was wonderful and enlightening. They're my go-to place for information and seminars on dog behaviors and issues. Wonderful group of people (workers, volunteers and presenters) - made living with my dog so much easier.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Your Dog's Friend is a unique resource for dog owners. The organization offers extremely practical workshops that address issues that often cause dogs to be surrendered by owners who are at their wit's end. As a volunteer and client of this organization, I am touched by the genuine concern for both people and animals that everyone shares. The organization has brought together some of the best dog trainers in the area that realize that working together to educate pet owners not only benefits their clients but also their businesses. And making sure that a dog is not taken to a shelter because of a problem that can be solved with some expert advice and commitment not only makes people and dogs happier, but it also helps reduce the drain on shelter budgets and staff. The workshop and classes offered help give people better canine companions and a community resource for advice and support.