Your Dog’s Friend helps keep dogs from being turned in to shelters by educating and supporting their humans. Through our operations, we provide:
- Behavior and training advice
- Free seminars by local trainers and other dog-related professionals
- The Shelter & Rescue Dog Book
- Educational workshops targeting adopters
- Referrals to positive trainers, pet walkers, and vacation care
- Positive dog training classes, including ongoing puppy classes and a reactive dog class
Donations allow us to continue to provide these services, helping people understand what their dogs need and how their dogs learn, to ensure that fewer dogs are given up to shelters. This #GivingTuesday (December 1, 2015) help us give them a chance at the life that they deserve!
We Need Your Support
Please consider a tax-deductible donation today to help the dogs live happier and healthier lives. You can choose to make a one-time donation or monthly recurring donation to our general fund.
Your Donation is DOUBLED on 12/1!
A huge THANK YOU to Fitzgerald Auto Mall for their generous offer to match Giving Tuesday donations up to a total of $5000!
How amazing would it be if we reached our $5000 goal and had TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS to help dogs and the people who love them?
Donate today to take advantage of the matching gift… and…
Enter for a Chance to Win a Free Class
On December 1st, anyone committing to a 1-year monthly recurring donation of $20 or more or a one-time donation of $240 or more will be entered into a raffle for a free class*.
* If you win the free class, you will be first in line for a spot in the class of your choice when it is next offered.
Who Has YDF Helped?
Benny’s Story, submitted by Katy H.
“We were new to dog ownership and didn’t know what to expect. For any parent of a young puppy, it’s a daunting process to raise a baby animal but YDF will show you how possible and rewarding it is! After three classes, we have a calm, happy, and confident one year old dog we can communicate with. Benny has much greater impulse control, walks better on a leash, and probably loves treats even more because he knows he’s earning them! It’s so much fun to be able to communicate with him and to see how much he loves to learn.”
Sally’s Story, submitted by Linda D.
“Working with a rescue, I fostered a 6 – 7 year old Lab – a stray found wandering in the country,not spayed, heartworm positive, overweight and with ears that were terribly infected. When Sally came to us, she was extremely anxious. She panted constantly and was startled by the slightest movement. She could not settle down inside, and on walks, she would bark and lunge at other dogs.
I started taking Sally to the Foster Dog Alliance, staffed by trainers who teach at Your Dog’s Friend. It was about an hour’s drive from my home, sometimes in terrible traffic, but so very worth it. The instructors were highly qualified, patient and understanding about my dog’s issues. Their advice was practical and always positive.
I started paying attention to other services Your Dog’s Friend offers. I have learned so much from their free workshops, their newsletters, even their website. I looked up issues I was having on their website and found guidance and support. When I had a problem or needed a referral, I contacted them.
And Sally? We decided that we could deal with her issues better than anyone. She deserved a permanent home. She is still a work in progress, but she has come so far. Her house manners are impeccable, she is smart, lovable and funny. She is still reactive on leash when she sees other dogs, but I know how to handle it now.
For me, Your Dog’s Friend has been invaluable. For Sally, it was a lifesaver. Without the help and support of Your Dog’s Friend, I might have failed her.”
Sparky’s Story, submitted by Kathy H.
“He was born on the Fourth of July, so of course he’s a bit of a firecracker! That wasn’t apparent at first, though. Knowing that schnauzers can be loud, I asked for the quietest puppy of the litter. Sparky sat silently in the loving arms of his human grandfather, a nationally respected breeder with decades of experience. His doggy relatives barked and bounced around the room like popcorn in the pan, checking us out curiously. I felt so lucky to have the calm one.
Within a few days, however, Sparky found his voice and let us know that virtually everything was a potential threat: the neighbors! a bird! a bumblebee! Sparky’s frequent agitation was difficult to manage, so we enrolled in a puppy class at a nearby business. Their methods made him much worse. Two months of “training” left us in dire straits; our dog now consistently snapped at strangers, lunged at other dogs, and remained on high alert at all times.
The vet referred us to a private trainer with a master’s degree in animal behavior. She worked patiently at counter-conditioning Sparky and training his humans, and gently let us know that this would be a long (perhaps lifelong) journey. She also told us about Your Dog’s Friend (YDF), a nearby nonprofit that offered both training and education to dog owners. I immediately began going to the free monthly lectures. Sparky’s first class at YDF was “Introduction to Nosework.”
Halleluiah, we had found a place where Sparky could thrive and grow! All seven dogs in that first class were reactive, fearful, or both. It didn’t matter. The classes were always set up in a way to keep dogs calm and separated. The instructors were highly skilled, kind, and focused.
We persevered. Since then, Sparky has completed many classes and workshops at YDF including K-9 Nosework, Reactive Dog, Manners 1 & 2, T-Touch, Agility Games, and Agility classes. Each time, the instructors have been just as dedicated and my fellow students just as kind and helpful as at that first class.
I sometimes joke that they let us in just so everyone else will feel comforted that they don’t have the worst dog in the class, but the truth is that no matter how crazy you think your animal is, the folks at Your Dog’s Friend will be able to roll with it and help you both learn.
By the time Sparky was five months old, I was ready to send him back to his breeder. I’m glad we took him to Your Dog’s Friend instead. Let’s help keep this wonderful resource available in our community for other pets and their families.”
Sheba’s Story, submitted by Adiva S.
“She was facing a death sentence in the rural West Virginia coal-mining area kill shelter. Severely underweight and blind in one eye from apparent physical abuse, a rescue group brought her to the Maryland area. This nameless, jet-black dog was frozen in a state of constant fear. Having previous contact with Your Dog’s Friend, I knew that I would have the positive guidance I needed to bring out this dog’s potential. I named her Sheba for the Ethiopian queen .
Getting Sheba in the car, let alone out of the house, was more than a challenge. It took three technicians to put her on the scale at the veterinarian’s office. Any loud noise (including a training clicker) put her in a state of panic. Similarly, anyone carrying a stick or object in their hand produced terror, and she would either attempt to bolt or stay stuck in one spot quivering in fear.
Gratefully, Your Dog’s Friend’s trainers, classes and workshops provided helpful guidance and positive experiences for us. I know how to manage her anxiety, build her confidence and provide her with mental stimulation. After Basic Manners, Confidence Building and Nose Work, Sheba earned the Canine Good Citizen certificate.
Sheba is now a confident dog who enjoys life because of the help we continue to receive from Your Dog’s Friend. She carries herself with royal elegance, befitting her name. She is giving back to the community as a therapy dog.
Without the assistance of Your Dog’s Friend, she would have languished as a fearful dog huddling in a corner.”
Help us help more dogs!
Your Dog’s Friend helps thousands of dog families every year through our classes, free workshops, curated lists of positive trainers & other professionals, free newsletter, and website.
Can you help us reach even more dogs in 2016?
Every dollar donated on 12/1 (#GivingTuesday) will be matched thanks to Fitzgerald Auto Malls. If you’re in the market for a new or used car, please visit them at FitzMall.com and say THANK YOU for their support of Your Dog’s Friend and other animal welfare nonprofits in our area.