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The Best Dog Trainers in Frederick, MD of 2023

Merlin Noble photo

Merlin Noble

March 29, 2022

Dog Trainers

Welcome to the Frederick, MD Sniffspot top dog trainer list for 2023. This is a list of the top dog trainers in Frederick based on votes from the Sniffspot community and the general public. Over 55,000 votes were used in compiling this list. We have only included the top trainers with sufficient votes and the trainers are ordered in terms of the number of votes received. Trainers that tied are ranked in reverse alphabetical order based on first name. All dog trainers on this list are positive reinforcement only, as defined by no force, fear, intimidation, or aversive methods used. This list is a subset of the broader Top Trainers in Maryland list. To learn more about our dog trainer contest, feel free to view the dog trainer contest post.

Dog training is one of the most important activities someone can do with their dog. Many come to dog training through a specific issue they want addressed, anything from barking to separation anxiety. Some have adopted dogs from animal shelters with an abusive experience and some just have happy puppies looking for everyday life skills. Trainers can help with all kinds of specific skills and issues, from leash manners to territorial aggression to anxiety around skateboards to common puppy challenges. However, what many discover is that working with a trainer is actually a way for a pet owner to deepen their relationship with their dog. The enhanced communication skills that result can increase quality of life, be a rewarding experience, be a social experience and lead to more harmonious relationships. Knowing that one’s dog is having a happier life can dramatically improve peace of mind. As the saying goes: happy dog, happy life. And it extends further than just the dog, to the pet owners. Owner empowerment can actually improve the relationship between owners. And finding the right trainer can make all the difference in the experience.

This list is sponsored by Sniffspot, which is the largest network of private dog parks for rent in the world. Each of the thousands of Sniffspot dog parks are hosted by locals on private land with all private bookings to maximize safety for guests and their dogs. Sniffspot offers various types of dog parks, including fenced, water parks, indoor dog parks, dog beaches and more. Sniffspot has worked closely with dog trainers to create safe spaces for dogs and our top trainer lists are a natural extension of that relationship. You can browse Sniffspot's local dog parks here.

The Best Frederick, MD Dog Trainers in 2023

Kelly Citrin

Always passionate about animals, Kelly fell in love with her first pit bull in 2006. She began to volunteer at MCHS, and then MCASAC shelters, working with difficult to handle dogs, studying behavior - attending classes every Sunday - and training specific dogs to make them more adoptable. She also joined OPH rescue and was the lead for developing the rescue in Montgomery County, MD.

In 2008, she began to rescue and rehabilitate pit bulls and still does so today. Kelly began teaching obedience and agility at Zoom Room in 2012, and also became the 'Pit Bull Mentor' for students struggling with their (mostly rescued) pit bulls.

Brutus, her actively working certified therapy dog, passed his CGC and they joined NCTD in 2014, attaining additional READ Certification immediately. Together, Kelly and Brutus began working with middle school aged children with behavioral problems in alternative education schools/programs. Kelly was elected to the NCTD Board in 2016 as an officer and still serves as Secretary.

In 2021, Kelly assembled a team who shares her vision and philosophy in training and founded 4 On the Floor. Our mission is to help every dog achieve their fullest potential and live happy and healthy lives through natural and positive solutions. We use ONLY positive, force free, harm free training methods. Since our inception, we have built a wonderful community and have grown through word of mouth referrals! The highest compliment we can get is a referral and your trust in us to care for the next dog just as well as we did yours.

We hope you and your dog will join us to learn, play, and have some fun

Certifications: CPDT-KA

Services include:

  • Aggressive dog training
  • In home training
  • Deaf dog training
  • Reactive dog training
  • Off leash training
  • Puppy training
  • Agility training

More info about service provided:

We provide training and socialization across Montgomery county through both group classes and private sessions. We teach classes in Rockville, Bethesda and Potomac and hold private sessions across the county.

We provide basic & obedience training and behavior, modification, day training, all levels of puppies, leash reactivity, aggression, therapy dog, adolescence & adults, out and about, distractions, canine good citizen, and dog sports, including agility, rally, tricks, and scent work.

Behavioral issue focus: Leash reactivity, aggression, fear/anxiety & undersocialization, bite cases, separation distress/anxiety, transitioning OUT of shock & prong collars and other aversive devices

Training methods: 4 On the Floor is a positive and harm free based dog training company that cares deeply about each dog that comes through our programs. Our trainers are certified and insured. 4 On the Floor is founded by Kelly Citrin, an active therapy dog instructor with a working therapy dog, who serves as secretary on the board of National Capital Therapy Dogs. We have classes to meet the needs of any dog owner from puppy classes, to CGC, to agility, to those who are ready to begin their path of becoming a therapy dog. We would love to help you find the best solution for you and your dog!

Why I became a dog trainer: Because I want to help humans understand their dogs, so that they may have the strongest, most trusting relationship possible to set them up for happy and healthy lives.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Puppy classes are always fun, but it is super rewarding to help leash reactive dogs evolve through our training process and learn to feel safer around other dogs

My #1 dog training tip: Quiet is so powerful. You will be amazed at what your dog offers you if you are quiet and you wait.

Service areas: Montgomery County, MD, including Rockville, Bethesda, Kensington, Wheaton, North Bethesda, Potomac, North Potomac, Gaithersburg, Silver Spring, Germantown, Burtonsville, Darnestown, Olney, Germantown. Also most of Anne Arundel County and NW Washington, DC


Pat Miller

Pat Miller, author of The Power of Positive Dog Training (2001), Positive Perspectives (2003), Positive Perspectives 2 (2008), Play With Your Dog (2008), Do Over Dogs (2010), How to Foster Dogs (2013) and Beware of the Dog (2016) has been training dogs for more than 30 years. She has trained a variety of breeds and mixed breeds (her own dogs) including Rough Collies, a Bloodhound, Australian Kelpies, Bull Terrier, Irish Setter, St. Bernard, Scottish Terrier, Cardigan Welsh Corgi, Australian Shepherd, Pomeranians, and a Springer Spaniel, and competed successfully with many of them in the obedience and Rally rings. She also trained her first Australian Kelpie to herd sheep and ducks (or more correctly, Keli taught Pat to herd). Keli was Miller’s Canine Field Agent, riding with her on patrol during the years she was an Animal Services/Humane Officer in California.

Miller worked for 20 years at the Marin Humane Society in Novato, California, during which time she collaborated with Trish King to create the country's first 'Color Coding' system for shelter dogs and volunteers. This system was successful in reducing behavior problems in shelter dogs (with a corresponding reduction in euthanasia) by identifying difficult-to-handle dogs and matching them with more experienced and capable volunteer handlers.

Miller was a humane officer/animal control officer and testified successfully in numerous animal cruelty and abuse cases. She also played a major role in the development and implementation of Marin County and State of California Dangerous Dog laws.

Miller moved to California's Central Coast in 1996 after completing her BS degree in Business Administration with honors in the major. There she launched Peaceable Paws, LLC in Monterey/Santa Cruz, and introduced the Color-Coding system at the Santa Cruz SPCA while serving on the Board of that organization. She joined the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT) in 1996, was elected to the APDT Board and is past President of that organization. She is also a member of the Pet Professional Guild.

In the fall of 2001, Miller and her 14-year-old Terrier mix, Josie, were one of the first 23 dog/owner teams in the world to earn a title in the then-newest canine sport, at the first sanctioned Rally Trials ever held, during the APDT annual conference in Ellenville, New York. Miller was one of the first 136 trainers to be awarded the title of Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA) that fall, through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT), and has also received her CBCC-KA (Certified Behavior Consultant) through CCPDT, and served on that Board as well.

In the fall of 1999, Miller and her husband, Paul, relocated Peaceable Paws, LLC to Chattanooga, Tennessee. Where she helped create FOCAS - Friends of Chattanooga Animal Services - a non-profit organization whose mission is to support the work of the Chattanooga Animal Services Division. Also in Chattanooga, she opened the Peaceable Paws Intern Academy, which draws trainers from around the world. In cooperation with several other training professionals, she helped create TAPPT, the Tennessee Association of Positive Pet Trainers and MAAPPPT - the Mid-Atlantic Association of Positive Professional Pet Trainers. Miller also holds an Associate Degree in Administration of Justice, is a freelance writer and regular contributor to and Training Editor of The Whole Dog Journal. Her first book, 'The Power of Positive Dog Training' was published in August of 2001 by Howell Publishing and has been on's best-selling dog training book list since January of 2002. Her most recent book, 'Beware of the Dog (2016)' is a highly acclaimed work on canine aggression. In March of 2015 she was named by Dog Fancy Magazine as one of '45 People Who Have Changed the Dog World' and in October of 2018 received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association of Professional Dog Trainers.

Miller and her husband moved to Fairplay, Maryland in the Spring of 2004 where they live on an 80-acre farm with their three dogs, four cats, three horses and a pot-bellied pig. Pat and Paul operate their Peaceable Paws dog-friendly training center and Peaceable Pastures horse boarding facility there. Pat offers group dog training classes, private behavior consults, training camps, seminars and workshops worldwide, expert witness services for animal-related legal cases, and is Director of the Peaceable Paws Trainer Academies and Training Programs.

Certifications: Certified Behavior Consultant, Canine (CBCC-KA) and Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA)

Services include:

  • Deaf dog training
  • Reactive dog training
  • Off leash training
  • Puppy training

More info about service provided: We offer small group classes as well as private training and behavior counselling. Our private behavior modification services incunlde but are not limited to aggression, anxiety, arousal, reactivity, fear-based behaviors, and more. We also offer 1- and 2-day workshops at our 80-acre Fairplay campus, and 6-day academies for trainers and would-be trainers.

Behavioral issue focus: We work with all behaviors - fear, aggression, anxiety, arousal, reactivity and more. All force-free, of course.

Training methods: All force-free - I was one of the early leaders in the force-free training world. We use treats and clickers or verbal markers to communicate with the dog that her behavior has just earned a treat. Behaviors that are reinforced are likely to be repeated. Our behavior work is also all force free - we use operant and classical conditinoing to change behavior and give the dog a new association with the things that are upsetting or arousing to her. Training plans are individualized to each client.

Why I became a dog trainer: I have worked with animals all my life. After 20 years at the Marin Humane Society I decided it was time to have an impact on animal lives from a new direction. When my wonderful dog Bonnie hid under our deck rather than train with me, I realized I needed to reconsider my training methods. At that time (late 1990's) I was using what I now call "old-fashioned" coercive methods. It was how everyone trained in those days. I learned about positive reinforcement-based training, became a "cross-over trainer" and never looked back. I then made it my mission to share this then-new, humane and effective approach to dog training with the rest of the world to help improve the quality of life for our canine companions.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Seeing the relief on human faces when I tell them they don't have to hurt their dogs anymore.

My #1 dog training tip: You are your dog's advocate and guardian. Don't EVER let anyone do anything to her that feels wrong to you, or that you know will hurt her.

Service areas: All of the Mid-Atlantic Region - andwe are based in Washington County, MD. Students travel to us from long distances - trainers come to our academies from around the world.


Liz Catalano

Liz has extensive experience teaching and developing specialty classes, including dog-to dog aggression classes and has created varied classroom curriculum to train dogs to all levels of performance. In addition to training dogs and their people, Liz has also mentored and provided instruction to trainers on learning theory, ethology, instruction skills, classroom management, and dog handling as part of a nationally recognized accreditation program.

Dedicated to continuing education, Liz routinely attends seminars, intensive study programs and operant conditioning workshops to enhance her knowledge and increase her skill. She has been mentored by the internationally known trainer Bob Bailey and was privileged and honored to have co-taught two seminars with him in 2017: Effective Coaching for People and Dogs, and Training Dogs and People Efficiently.

Liz is a regular contributing writer to Maryland Dog Magazine. She has also been published in APDT's Chronicle of the Dog, a peer-review journal on the special considerations in training a deaf dog,'Pet Parent' Magazine, and appeared on NJ's local Channel 12's 'Pet Stop'. Liz was a featured speaker at the 2011 Hunter College Psychology Symposium and at the 2012 International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants Educational Conference.

Liz's own dogs are trained as a classroom demonstration dogs, are Certified Therapy Dogs, have earned titles in agility and obedience, Nosework and have even 'played' with sheepherding. Her dogs have appeared in books, calendars, commercials, fundraising campaigns and nationally-released training videos. When not training dogs, Liz works on her book and is an amateur artist and photographer. She has enjoyed the company of multiple canine companions for many years and currently shares her life with her husband and their three deaf Australian Shepherds.

Liz is a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT), The International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC), The Animal Behavior Society (ABS) and an AKC Evaluator. Liz holds a Master's Degree in Environmental Management and a Graduate Certificate in The Advanced Psychology of Animal Behavior and Conservation from CUNY's Hunter College.

Certifications: CPDT, CDBC, CTDI

Services include:

  • Aggressive dog training
  • In home training
  • Deaf dog training
  • Reactive dog training
  • Off leash training
  • Puppy training

More info about service provided: Liz teaches all levels of pet training classes from puppy kindergarten to advanced off-leash. She also teaches classes for reactive dogs, along with tricks and Rally. She offers behavior consultations for problems behaviors and works with Veterinarians and Veterinary Behaviorists. She owns The Coventry School, Howard County's premier dog training facility, which offers training, day camp, grooming, and boarding.

Behavioral issue focus: Liz specializes in behavior modification for anxiety, compulsive behaviors, fear and aggression.

Training methods: Using positive reinforcement methods, Liz develops training plans in conjunction with behavior consultations.

Why I became a dog trainer: Training dogs is my passion.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Watching dogs understand what I am asking them to do.

My #1 dog training tip: Don't talk so much!

Service areas: Howard, Baltimore, Anne Arundel, Frederick


Bethany Poese

Hello! I'm Bethany (she/her). I have been training professionally for 7 years, and started my own training business in 2022. I share my life with a nearly 12 year old pit bull, named Juno, who is responsible for introducing me to the world of R+ training for reactivity, and a 7 year old cocker spaniel mix, Maxwell, who has given me more empathy for those living with 'difficult' dog than I really wanted to have!

A proud crazy cat lady, I also have 3 cats, and shhh - I'd sooner go without dogs than cats. (Gasp!) I am an avid and obsessive reader, and an absolute sucker for medical/crime dramas on TV.

Certifications: KPA-CTP, CPDT-KA

Services include:

  • Aggressive dog training
  • In home training
  • Reactive dog training
  • Puppy training

More info about service provided: Puppy, Adolescent Manners, and Reactive Dog group classes, as well as private training for everything from new puppies to intra-household aggression. Day Training is available for puppies, basic manners, and reactivity.

Behavioral issue focus: I love working with reactive (barky/lungey) dogs and their families, but also work with intra-household issues, resource guarding, overarousal related behaviors, fear, and general anxiety.

Training methods: I follow a LIMA (least intrusive, minimally aversive) framework for my training, and really focus on doing my best to set the human half of the equation up for success as much as possible. All of my private clients start with an initial consultation - generally held via Zoom - so we can get down to the nitty-gritty of the trouble they're having. After a consult, clients receive a written report going over plans for management, exercise, enrichment, and a basic overview of our training goals. After each lesson, clients receive an email with instructions for the week! And yes - I encourage folks to email and text with questions, videos, brags, concerns, cute pictures, whatever. I'm always happy to hear from you!

Why I became a dog trainer: Juno, my 12 y/o pit bull, was a leash reactive adolescent - and her rescue recommended I work with a force based trainer. When her reactivity didn't improve, and more harsh corrections were 'required', I started looking elsewhere.

Helping people, and helping animals, has always been my calling - childhood career goals included sea lion trainer, animal assisted therapist, art therapist, & equine assisted therapist - so settling in to dog training was a natural progression.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Seeing that lightbulb moment - for both dogs and humans! It's an addicting feeling! I also love the look of relief on an owner's face when I tell them they can comfort their dogs when they are scared, that we can be kind and still train effectively.

My #1 dog training tip: When in doubt, throw some cookies at it.

Service areas: Frederick & Carroll counties, as well as parts of Montgomery and Howard!


Lela Schreiber

I have been a Dog Trainer for 11 years in the Frederick MD area. I live and train with 4 dogs and participate in a variety of sports including FastCAT, Lure Coursing, Conformation, Rally, Agility, and Nosework. I particularly enjoy geeking out over Nosework and Canine Fitness.

Certifications: CPDT-KA CPCFT

Services include:

  • Puppy training
  • Agility training

More info about service provided: Offer group classes and private lessons at my location covering a variety of topics including manners, puppy socialization, Nosework, Canine Fitness, and Agility.

Behavioral issue focus: I focus on making sports and fitness training accessible for the average pet parent. I cover basic manners needed for sports and life in the big world.

Training methods: I use reinforcement based methods to build a fun relationship between humans and their dogs. I think all dogs can have fun working and playing with their humans!

Why I became a dog trainer: Obviously I love dogs, but I found I also enjoyed spreading this knowledge and solving problems for other families. I get to give into my love for learning and help others in the process.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: I love when I get to find something that dog and human team really loves to do. I get to see them bond and watch how amazing their dog is.

My #1 dog training tip: find what your dog loves and feel that joy.

Service areas: Located in Knoxville MD close to Frederick MD, Harpers Ferry WV, Lovettsville Va and surrounding areas.


Alyse Mineroff

I am a reward-based trainer and founder of Hungry Dog Training, LLC in Maryland. I am multi-certified (KPA CTP and CPDT-KA) and share my life with my husband and 3 dogs - 2 German Shepherds and a Samoyed. I enjoy participating in a variety of dog sports with each of them.

Certifications: KPA CTP, CPDT-KA

Services include:

  • Aggressive dog training
  • In home training
  • Reactive dog training
  • Puppy training

More info about service provided: I offer a variety of in-home training services such as private coaching, day training sessions, and virtual coaching and online programs. These can cover anything from puppy manners training, adult dog basic training, reactive dog training, aggression, resource guarding, cooperative care, and more.

Behavioral issue focus: Fear, reactivity, anxiety, and aggression; fear at the vet; issues with handling; resource guarding

Training methods: We start with addressing the dog's basic needs and ensuring they're healthy and fulfilled - both physically and mentally. Then, I'll introduce management strategies to prevent problem behaviors from being rehearsed. Finally, we jump into training and behavior modification to replace the unwanted behaviors with better ones!

Why I became a dog trainer: I became a dog trainer because I saw how prevalent harmful, dominance-based techniques were. I was a volunteer puppy raiser for a service dog organization that used these methods, and felt uncomfortable utilizing them. I wanted to offer people a kinder alternative to avoid experiencing what I did!

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: My favorite part of being a dog trainer is watching my human clients experience things with their dogs that they couldn't before. Whether that's a calm walk in the neighborhood, or sitting at a patio enjoying a beer, I feel every one of my clients' wins.

My #1 dog training tip: My #1 dog training tip is to find more things to reinforce! So often, we wait for the unwanted behavior to happen before stepping in. In reality, rewarding all of the good choices your dog makes is the way to get more of those!

Service areas: Montgomery County


Emily Anderson

Animals have always been a huge part of my life. I grew up in a house with an assortment of critters; I have cared for not just dogs and cats, but everything from gerbils, to birds, to reptiles. When a relative or neighbor needed someone to pet sit for them, I was always the first to eagerly volunteer. I was a year old when I got my first dog, a Border Collie named Cody.

As my family tells it, when I met Cody, there was an instant bond. So strong, in fact, that I began to bark and howl like I was trying to communicate with him and the other dogs in our neighborhood. I like to think that this was the first indication that dog training was what I was made for!

While working on my Bachelor's Degree in Psychology, I got a job in a pet store and became interested in positive reinforcement dog training. I pursued the position and worked as a trainer while I completed my degree. It was then I realized how similar the field of psychology and dog training were, and discovered my true passion in working with dogs.

Over my career, I have worked as a dog walker, volunteered as a training coordinator for a rescue, and managed a training facility. After seven years in the industry, I received my CPDT-KA (Certified Professional Dog Trainer - Knowledge Assessed) through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers. I am also a supporting member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants. I have completed Michael Shikashio's Aggression in Dogs Master Course, which provides over 23 hours of education on a variety of topics, including resource guarding, multi-dog household issues, and how to safely break up a dog fight. Continuing education is extremely important to me to ensure I am able to provide my clients with a variety of techniques and up-to-date methods.

With Mischief and Manners, I hope to help dog owners learn to love the quirky, mischievous, and unique personalities of their dogs. Rather than fixating on 'bad' behaviors, I strive to help my clients understand why their dogs act a certain way - whether it's the ankle nipping of a Border Collie or the squeals of excitement when your Terrier sees a squirrel.

Through positive reinforcement training, we can learn to effectively communicate with our canine companions without the use of force, harsh corrections, or physical punishment. Your pup can learn the necessary manners to thrive in our Human World, while embracing the traits that make them who they are!

Certifications: CPDT-KA, Fear Free

Services include:

  • Aggressive dog training
  • In home training
  • Deaf dog training
  • Reactive dog training
  • Off leash training
  • Puppy training

More info about service provided: In home private training, walk & train services, obedience training, reactivity training

Behavioral issue focus: leash reactivity, inter-household aggression, mild separation anxiety, cooperative care/handling, resource guarding

Training methods: initial consultation with client to develop training plan and evaluate dog, training is based in positive reinforcement and force/fear free methods

Why I became a dog trainer: Have always enjoyed working with animals since I was young, including training with my dad and our family Border Collie. Began working in the pet industry during college and quickly became fascinated by the dog training field, as I was a psychology major and I enjoyed the crossover between what I was learning and applying that to dogs

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: Through the years as a trainer, I have always enjoyed helping strength the bond between humans and their canine companions. As I developed my passion for working with reactive dogs, and adopted a reactive dog of my own, I really enjoy helping owners feel more confident and relaxed with their dog and opening up new possibilities for dogs who are reactive and may struggle in the world.

My #1 dog training tip: Never take yourself or your dog too seriously

Service areas: Frederick, Walkersville, Mount Airy, Middletown


Jackie Moyano

Jackie Moyano transitioned careers from a respiratory therapist to dog training. In addition to caring for patients, she also taught both patients and respiratory therapy students. Jackie's medical teaching experience lends itself well to teaching people how to train their dogs. Pssst! Dog training is really people training!

Jackie's dog training expertise and education comes from completing 3 of Pat Miller's training academies, attending Ken Ramirez' Animal Training Seminar at SHEDD Aquarium, attending Sue Sternberg's Eden Internship working with Alaskan husky sled dogs, plus completing all 5 of the Bailey-Farhoody chicken workshops where Jackie learned animal training science and practiced training skills with chickens.

Jackie actively pursues continuing education and has added a separation anxiety credential, SAPro to her name. Jackie's training partners are her Siamese cat and her Dachshund Terrier mix. Jackie enjoys commuting much more in her electric car. Jackie's dog enjoys riding in the electric car to wooded trails for hiking - a favorite pastime.

Certifications: CPDT-KA, PMCT, SAPro

Services include:

  • Aggressive dog training
  • In home training
  • Deaf dog training
  • Reactive dog training
  • Puppy training

More info about service provided: Behavior United, LLC has ten years of experience training dogs of all ages from puppies and adolescents to adult through senior dogs. Behavior United, LLC offers dog training for basic manners and advanced training around distractions. Behavior United LLC, also offers behavior modification for dogs experiencing reactivity, aggression, fear, and separation anxiety.

Behavioral issue focus: Jackie Moyano at Behavior United, LLC has been doing behavior modification with her own dog and clients' dogs for ten years. She really enjoys helping dogs living with reactivity, aggression, fear, and separation anxiety plus the people who love them.

Training methods: Life is challenging enough, training your companion animal doesn't have to be. Behavior United, LLC provides proven, aversive-free, efficient, reward-based solutions with all of our clients, human and animal alike. Whether it's basic canine obedience training or more serious dog behavior issues, we apply the science of behavior and a team approach to help you meet your goals. Training time should be rewarding for both people and their pets. Training/behavior consultations in-person and live online, we offer curated training/behavior modification packages and single sessions to balance your busy life with your quality pet time. All private training/behavior consultation sessions include a training plan summary with the skills introduced and tailored to your dog's needs, your lifestyle, and your goals. Between sessions, we're available for support via email, text, or phone calls as you and your dog progress.

Why I became a dog trainer:

I am a dog trainer because of my cat and my mom. In 2007 my mom passed away from breast cancer. Suddenly, life was so finite. Why am I wasting time in a career I no longer enjoy? What do I enjoy? I didn’t know what my next step was, but I knew I didn’t want to be a respiratory therapist for the rest of my life. Time to make another dream come true, because who knows how much time any of us has left.

I slogged through the grief abyss, experiencing milestones like marriage and buying our first home without my mom. She loved my husband and would have loved the condominium, except for the original 1980s kitchen. After surviving a challenging 3-month kitchen remodel during snowmageddon 2010, I wanted to reward myself with a companion animal. Because our condo was on the 8th floor, we decided to adopt a cat instead of a dog. We named our 1-year-old gray Siamese cat Slinky.

One night after we had gone to sleep we heard a crash. We jumped out of bed and immediately realized our kitchen design flaw. Open shelves above the countertop instead of cabinets. Slinky knocked a stemless wine glass off of the shelf. Not a great financial loss, the glass cost about $3. The financial and wellbeing impact was watching Slinky try to eat the glass! “WHY!?” we shrieked. We were able to intervene in time and no Slinkys were harmed.

Glass eating had to be prevented. I did what anyone with animal problems does, I asked Google. I spent hours researching cat behavior articles and books. I finally ordered a book called “Think Like A Cat” by Pamela Johnson Bennett. With a few changes in my behavior, I was able to change Slinky’s behavior. That was incredibly reinforcing for me.

Helping Slinky change his behavior reminded me of my childhood dream. I wanted to work with animals! I cold-called trainers asking if I could apprentice with them. One woman turned me down because I had a cat instead of a dog. I described the training and behavior modification I had done with Slinky, but that did not matter to her. That 'no' was the best thing that happened to my training career. Because of that 'no', I apprenticed with another trainer, Sandy Modell of Wholistic Hound Academy in Alexandria, VA. Sandy told me about Pat Miller's academies at Peaceable Paws. I completed all three of Pat Miller's academies making me a Pat Miller Certified Trainer. At Pat Miller's 1st academy, another trainer told me about Bob Bailey, ScD. I worked for and completed all 5 Bailey-Farhoody Operant Conditioning Workshops where, after scientific lectures, training principles were practiced by training leghorn chickens.

In addition to numerous hours of animal training education, I passed the Certified Professional Dog Trainer exam. Between 2013 and March 2018 I volunteered at an animal shelter, I got my first paid part-time dog training job, quit my job as a respiratory therapist, transitioned to a full time dog trainer, adopted my own dog, became an entrepreneur and launched Behavior United LLC with my former business partner. Had you told me at the launch of Behavior United, LLC in 2018 that I would have to navigate a government shutdown, business partner moving away, and a pandemic, I wouldn't have believed you. But, we're still here, helping dogs and their people live their best lives!

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: My favorite part of being a dog trainer is helping people communicate and improve their relationship with their dogs.

My #1 dog training tip: My number one dog training tip is to ask yourself, "What do I want my dog to do?" Next, realize that your dog can't change his/her behavior until you change your behavior.

Service areas: Montgomery County, MD (Frederick MD was the closest city on the list, but it's not a place I service.)


Karen Kreig

I haven't always been a dog trainer. My journey to this work started with a deeply loved and very difficult dog, then LOTS of my tears, mountains of frustration and guilt, and finally hopelessness. And then I met an amazing dog trainer who helped me understand how to understand my dog's needs so we could form a real relations that was based on both of our needs and not just on my assumtions about what owning a dog was supposed to be.

I've been where you are now. I deeply understand that feeling of, 'It's a dog - I should know how to do this. This was supposed to be fun'

I'm Karen Krieg and promise I can help you with your dog.

Meeting that trainer years ago shifted my ability to truly LOVE having dogs in my life and that's become a personal mission for me.

There is nothing better in the world to me than watching a truly heart-centered relationship form between dog and owner.

Is your dog?

Or any other behavior that drives you crazy?
I've got you.

We have everything we need to re-train and build trust between yourself and your dog.

We can stop these reactions and fears.

Together, we identify your unique learning style and the best ways to connect you and your family with your dog so you can have the relationship you’ve always hoped for.

Our philosophy is that each situation and relationship is different and acknowledging that FIRST is where the most powerful and impactful strategies begin.

Many trainers have a system they try to place on every person and their dog, but we know from experience that no one system is going to work for everyone. This is why so many people come to me after working with others.

My approach is to evaluate and observe both you and your dog first. While sometimes issues relate to a dog's history (with a rescue, for example), but that doesn't mean that the best way forward is up to training just the dog. I work with both of you. Because both of you have to work to meet each other in the middle. After all, your dog is trying to navigate your world just as much as you're trying to understand theirs.

So when you work with me, expect it to be a team effort. We (you, me, and your dog) all have to build trust to find the best steps to move forward safely and happily.

Certifications: Canine Trade Group, Certified Dog Trainer
Syn Alia Training Systems, Certified Conditioned Relaxation Trainer
International Association of Canine Professionals (IACP), Professional Member
Studies with some of the most excellent Dog trainers all over the world; I am a perpetual student of the most effective systems and trainings.
Training Between the Ears (TBTE) Trainer

Services include:

  • Board and Train
  • In home training

Service areas: DC, Arlington, Montgomery, Fairfax, Howard, Frederick, and Prince George's Counties


Clare Owings

With over 20 years experience breeding, competing and training dogs. I have competed in obedience, rally, scent work, barn hunt, and tracking. My love for learning more about the K9 and what makes them tick has taken me from coast to coast to across the pond.Continuing education in reactivity, shaping, separation anxiety, tricks and games based training. I enjoy helping pet parents bring the brilliance out in their dogs for years to come.

Services include:

  • Board and train
  • In home training
  • Reactive dog training
  • Service dog training
  • Off leash training
  • Puppy training

More info about service provided: Obedience, Rally, Scent Work Training, Puppy Training, Adolescent Dog Training, Work with Rescue Dogs, Training Classes and Private In-Home Lessons

Behavioral issue focus: Behavioral issues include - Resource Guarding, Anxiety, Separation Anxiety, Reactivity

Training methods: Reinforcement based trainer, behavioral consultations, training plans for competition, adolescent, puppy and rescue dogs.

Why I became a dog trainer: To help others bring see the true potential in their dogs.

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: The success stories that I hear from my students and learning new things in the K9 arena.

My #1 dog training tip: Short, fun training sessions that keep your dog wanting more.

Service areas: Harford, Cecil, Howard and Baltimore Counties


Becky Causey

32 years training experience, competition obedience titles, professional service dog trainer

Services include:

  • Board and train
  • In home training
  • Deaf dog training
  • Service dog training
  • Off leash training
  • Puppy training

More info about service provided: pain free, force free, positive trainer for private in home obedience, AKC evaluator, service dog training, board and train

Behavioral issue focus: puppy training, basic and advanced obedience, leash manners, AKC CGC

Training methods: evaluations of behavior and environment and positive reinforcement training to resolve behaviors with comprehensive approach

Why I became a dog trainer: To help families and their dogs to live happily together

My favorite part of being a dog trainer: I love helping people understand their dogs' behavior and how to help achieve the training to create the family pet they want

My #1 dog training tip: Pay attention and reward good choices!

Service areas: Jefferson and Berkeley Co WV, Frederick, Washington and Montogomery CO MD, Winchester and Loudoun CO VA


Sniffspot Frederick Top Trainer Frequently Asked Questions

How are Frederick dog trainers selected for this list?

These are the top dog trainers in Frederick as selected by broad voting from the Sniffspot community and the general public. These trainers are expert dog trainers, who received votes from their delighted customers, due to their excellent dedication to customer service, excellent results and general care they exhibit for their clients. Many have worked with thousands of dogs and are highly experienced trainers.

How can I get in touch with dog trainers?

Each of the trainer profiles contains a link to their website. You can click through to their website where you can find more contact information.

Are these Frederick dog trainers certified professionals?

Dog training is not regulated at the federal or state level, so there is no standard dog training certification and professional trainers are not required to be certified. However, certifications are important to show that a professional dog trainer has a standard of expertise to help train your dog. Each trainer’s certifications are listed on their profile.

What are the top certifications for Dog Trainers in Frederick?

Some of the top certifications in the dog training industry are CPDT- KA, IAABC, Karen Pryor Academy - KPA certification, Jean Donaldson's Academy - CTC certification and Fear Free Certification. You can review the dog trainer certifications for each specific dog trainer on their profile on this page.

What methods are used in the dog training sessions?

There are many methods for teaching dogs and a lot of disagreement about the correct training approach. All of the Frederick trainers included on this list use positive reinforcement training only, as defined by no force, fear, intimidation, or aversive methods used. This includes not using any specifically aversive approach to training or training aid, such as a prong or electronic dog training collar (also called remote dog training collar or shock collars). As for specific training programs and specialties, such as day training / doggie daycare or obedience training, you can see more information in each trainer’s profile.

Are dog training lessons in a training facility or are virtual options available?

Some dog trainers operate exclusively from a training facility, some do house calls and some offer video calls or other virtual options. There are pros and cons to each option and the most efficient behavioral training option depends on specific circumstances, for instance, what hours work best for you. A training center or training ranch can be a good option if your training plan requires facilities, training equipment or dedicated space. We recommend reaching out to the specific trainer you are interested in or browsing their website for more information.

Are dog training lessons private or in a group setting?

Every different circumstance of dog and owners may require a different setting, whether it’s housebreaking issues, anxiety issues, lack of proper socialization, food aggression or just bad habits. Each trainer has different offerings as far as whether they can offer clients a private training session or a group class. Trainers provide information about their private class and group class offerings in their profiles and you can browse their website for more information as well. It may make sense for your specific circumstance to reach out to the trainer to ask if they recommend group or private dog training classes. Some trainers also have a team of specialists that can provide even higher levels of service, or provide specialized sessions, such as pack walks.

How much does dog training in Frederick cost?

Frederick dog trainers have a wide range of costs for different services and phases of training. For instance behavioral modification that involves boarding is often more expensive than day training, and private lessons are generally more expensive than group lessons. Prices can also vary depending on specific behavioral issues. Lastly, some trainers have more overhead than others, We recommend first picking a trainer that provides the services that you are looking for, then reaching out to them to get up to date pricing.

Is training a dog good for the dog?

Yes! Training has many benefits for dogs. Whether with basic training skills or complex training techniques, going through behavior training with your dog can improve the bond that you share with them. Also, training can do a lot to improve the level of confidence enabling of a dog (and it can also help with building customer confidence!). Rather than being about exerting maximum control over them, it gives them more certainty that they understand how the world around them works. For instance, crate training can help a dog feel safe and at home in a crate vs fearful and uncertain. Dog training can teach important skills, such as leash control, potty training or a general level of obedience skills. And lastly, it’s just fun for the dog to learn life skills and for their family. Training can be very stimulating and enriching for a dog and serve them throughout their entire healthy life!

Can an aggressive dog be trained?

Yes! Any dog behavior can be worked on through training and coaching. Aggression in dogs is a serious issue, but it is also a term that is used very broadly. Many dogs that are thought to be aggressive are actually reactive, which is a different behavior altogether. A trainer can help you interpret signs of aggression, such as excessive barking, fear aggression and leash aggression, and type of aggression. If you believe you have a dog with aggressive behaviors, we recommend reaching out to one of your local top trainers to get their diagnosis and advice.

I am a Frederick dog trainer. How can I get listed here?

As long as you have a training facility or do in person training in Frederick you can be considered for this list. We update this list once per year, normally starting in January. Make sure to keep an eye on our social media and sign up for email updates with Sniffspot in order to be in the loop on the next round of nominations.

How much do dog trainers make in Frederick?

Dog trainer earnings vary widely depending on many factors, such as whether a dog trainer is an employee or owns their own full-service professional dog training business. According to ZipRecruiter, the average dog trainer salary in Maryland was $36,973 per year and $17.78 per hour. It is impossible to say how much a dog trainer can earn with a full-service professional dog training company, because the size and profitability of companies can vary widely.

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See The Best Dog Trainers In Other Maryland Cities

Ordered alphabetically, only included cities where there is enough data to compile a list

Baltimore, MD
Frederick, MD
Salisbury, MD

See The Best Dog Trainers In Other States Near Maryland

Ordered alphabetically, only included cities where there is enough data to compile a list


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Merlin Noble photo

Merlin Noble

March 29, 2022

Dog Trainers

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