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Testimonials

Katrina and Peggy

Applewoods is a fantastic place for me and my dog.

We started in the Puppy Class, with activities to start my puppy on the track to being a well mannered dog, which included some basic recall work and other simple tasks for a puppy. She also got a chance to socialize with other pups. The instructor was always eager to discuss any concerns or difficulties I was having and wanted to make sure we were informed about all the stages of puppy development and health. It was informative and a good introduction to obedience for our pup.

We continued with private lessons once my dog was old enough. I have a crazy schedule and the staff was very flexible about helping me get all my classes in. I appreciated how up-beat and positive the instructor was, especially when we would hit difficult patches. As we progressed I could tell my dog was very proud of herself. He encouraged me to integrate our lessons into every day life, not just practice sessions. We passed the Canine Good Citizen tests with no problem, and whenever people would meet my dog they were impressed with her good manners.

We’re currently working on getting an AKC CD Title in obedience and did a great job at our first show, where my dog got the highest score in her division. Concurrently we are enrolled in the Retrieve Class (training for Open). It’s one of the few group classes I’ve been able to make, and I enjoy seeing the instructors work with lots of different kinds of dogs and adapt the training to suit the needs of the dog they are working with. My dog is a natural retriever anyway, but I’ve seen non-retrieving breeds do the work with great enthusiasm in this class! They all have so much fun with this next level of training.

Aside from the classes at Applewoods, they foster a great dog training community with extra group classes where dogs from all skill levels participate. It’s a great opportunity to see what sort of things you and your dog may be working towards in the future, and to get feedback from lots of different instructors on the work you are currently doing with your dog.

My dog also attends day care there two days a week, and I prefer it above other day care options I’ve tried. It’s a smaller group of dogs and they get to be outside with lots of space to play, shady trees for napping under, and even kiddie pools to splash in on hot days! After other day care places, I felt my dog was always a little strung out and stressed, but after a day at Applewoods she is happy and tired.

This is a great place with smart, supportive instructors who are always looking out for the well-being of your dog.

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Becky and Abby
Abby and I came to Applewoods in the Spring of 2012 when she started to show signs of aggression. Abby, a then 2 year old lab, knew some basic commands and had passed an obedience class at a pet store, but was inconsistent at best.

At Applewoods, she has learned emotional self control and I have learned how to clearly and consistently communicate with her so that she can be successful. Abby has taken the elementary through high school classes and is now learning a formal retrieve. In addition to the classes, Abby is learning manners from the pack at Applewoods daycare/boarding. The Continuing Education Class at Fidos for Freedom has also helped Abby and I to refine skills and practice with a whole host of distractions.

The changes she has made in less than a year are extremely obvious, even to our friends and neighbors. She consistently comes when called and heels when walking with me whether on or off leash. Training at Applewoods requires a fair amount of time and practice, but the result is that we now have a dog that is attentive, well behaved and a much more pleasant part of the family.

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I wholeheartedly recommend Applewoods to anyone who would like to learn or refine their dog’s skills. You will be amazed at the result!

Becky and Abby


Stephanie and Diego
The Applewoods Obedience Training Benefits Agility Training
In late January 2012, Diego and I started our journey on the agility course. He began learning the core obstacles in a small, indoor beginners class in Ellicott City. Just a few short months later, Diego had already progressed to a professional agility group in Hunt Valley, Maryland and was running full courses. Our first major competition was in September 2011. By November and with only four agility trials under our belt, Diego has already earned four titles with the United States Dog Agility Association (USDAA). So far, his ratio of qualifying scores in each trial is a very impressive 50-70%. He has earned his Performance Starters Agility Dog title, again, in just four trials. He has even progressed to the Performance Masters or “P3” Jumpers course in this short time.

In January 2013 we will not only continue our journey with USDAA, but begin with AKC competitions as well. His first trial will be in the Regular Novice A group with Standard, Jumpers with Weaves (JWW), FAST and Time 2 Beat (T2B). I fully expect that Diego will shine at this venue like he has with USDAA.

I believe the reason Diego has learned his job so fast is due to his obedience training with Applewoods. He went through the basic course in 2007. Then in December 2011 with Roxanne Lee, he earned his AKC Obedience CD title. Not only is Diego a pleasure to have around the house, but he understands that he has a job to do and wants to do it well. About 99.9% of the mistakes that are made on the course are my fault as a handler, because he reads my body language and does what I ask of him. He has learned all obstacles at an incredible rate and has fast become a confident dog in competition. Thank you Applewoods!

Here is what Diego has accomplished as a direct result from his initial obedience training at Applewoods.

Jess-El Timari Black Tango aka “Diego”
American Kennel Club – Obedience
CD – Fall 2011
United States Dog Agility Assoc. (USDAA)
Starters Performance Jumpers – Fall 2012
Starters Performance Standard – 2012
Starters Performance Dog – Fall 2012
Advanced Performance Jumpers – Fall 2012
Advanced Performance Standard – 1st Leg – 2012

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– Stephanie Fleming & Diego


Megan, Dave, and Obi
My fiance Meghan and I are have been extremely pleased with the services Applewoods provides. The Elementary and Middle School Classes have set the foundation for a lifetime of learning for our Siberian Husky puppy, Obi Wan.

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Dave proposing to Megan!

– Megan and Dave


Eric and Murphy
When we first got our dog we attempted to train him using books and popular training methods involving the use of treats. Using these methods, we successfully trained him to sit. Thinking that we had a good start, we tried to teach him to lie down and to heel and do other things. In the process, he couldn’t tell what we wanted and in his frustration he learned to do all of these things in as rapid a succession as possible in order to earn the treat. I couldn’t figure out how to communicate exactly what we wanted him to do, and he was just as annoyed trying to figure it out. Taking him for a walk was an exercise more for the arms and shoulders than the legs. He pulled and darted so much at every single distraction so much so that nobody wanted to take him for a walk. He was so shy that he ran from strangers and cowered in fear. It was no fun taking him anywhere or having guests over.

We did research and found a different approach at ADT. We found ways to show him to understand what we wanted before requiring him to do it in distracted situations. He earned his Canine Good Citizen certificate by passing the AKC CGC test in July 2012, only a few months after we started training at Applewoods. It is now fun to take him anywhere, and, because of all the work we have done with retrieving, his self confidence is much improved and he has many friends, both human and canine, at ADT.

Eric and Murphy
– Eric and Murphy


BJ and Travis & Kris and Sam
After rescuing two Jack Russells, we quickly discovered they both had issues being obedient and sometimes aggressive. After seeking the help of a “trainer” that was associated with the rescue and not seeing the results we wanted, we did a search for a reputable training program in the area that lead us to Applewoods.

After our initial consultation with Margot, Roxanne, and Mike, we decided to take one of our dogs through Margot’s one-on-one Boot Camp (now called 10 week Novice Course) and the other through Group classes. Applewoods’ program is not your typical pet store training class. They have high expectations for both the owner and dogs, so you must fully commit to putting in the required hours needed to complete the training. If you are dedicated to the program, you will be rewarded with a loyal and well-behaved companion.

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We highly recommend Margot and the Applewoods’ staff for all your dog training needs. From basic obedience training to solving aggressive and other unwanted behaviors, they do it all!
-BJ and Kris


Annette Murray and Coco
Coco picked me from the Animal Welfare Society of Howard County where I have volunteered. I did not know I needed her but boy she has enriched my life immensely. I am a former ‘large dog only’ pet owner and she had issues. I did wonder what I had gotten myself into….but after a bonding period, I knew I needed to take her for obedience training cuz she was not going to be ‘the boss of me’.

A friend recommended Applewoods Dog Training to me and I signed up for the Elementary School Class. After a rough start, lots of ‘homework’ and the ‘test’ I saw a transformation in my dog I did not think was possible. It also gave us a different bonding experience. I then took the Middle School Class, had lots more homework and did not think we would pass that test, but to my amazement Coco had me fooled. I intend to go forward with a retrieve class that has many side benefits for a high maintenance ‘crusty’ dog like Coco.

I highly recommend Applewoods for training you and your dog because as an owner we need the training just as much! They offer all levels and types of training and will even train your dog for you but you would miss the extra bonding in my opinion. Applewoods also has doggie daycare where dogs learn step by step how to socialize with other dogs/people while getting excellent care.

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– Annette Murray and Coco


Ziva and Nava
This past Wednesday, December 5, Nava had her initial therapy dog testing at “Fidos for Freedom.” She was evaluated for temperament and “Meet & Greet” (interaction with other dogs). She “aced” both of these tests!

I know that she would never have been able to interact so well with the 19 other dogs who came up to “greet” her if she hadn’t had the wonderful experience at Applewoods. Now she moves on to her basic Fidos obedience training. She is already way ahead of her class because of her Applewoods sessions.

Thank you all of Nava’s Applewoods buddies! As for homework: she now goes smoothly into her “down.” We are working on recall and increasing time with standing and sitting “stay.” She still finds squirrels and falling leaves an irresistible distraction.

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– Ziva and Nava


Holly and Sideon
I came to Applewoods without knowing a thing about dog training. I had previously only used treats to train my small dog and was certain that this would not work for the large breed puppy I was purchasing. All I wanted was to learn how to manage this dog when it reached its full size.

What the dog and I learned went well beyond what my hopes were and I am very happy with the training. I won’t have to “manage” him when he is full grown; he will manage himself and I have Applewoods to thank for that!

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– Holly and Sideon


Anita and Bella
When I decided I needed help to train my dog because of aggression issues, I turned to my veterinarian for a recommendation. He referred me to Applewood’s Dog Training in Laurel, MD. My dog, Bella, was confused about who the alpha was in our home and quite frankly, so was I. She was also aggressive towards visitors and I had a toddler in my home. I knew this was unacceptable behavior but I didn’t know how to react or discipline Bella when this happened.

So, I called Applewood’s. As I discussed my dilemma with the staff, they recommended Bella and I take a 10 week private lesson and the fee for the private lesson would be $600! WOW….that sure seemed like a lot of money, but I took a leap of faith and enrolled in the class to begin our new journey.

And, oh boy was it a journey. I thought they were going to train Bella; oh no, that wasn’t the case. It didn’t take long for me to realize that they were training me! Every week I was taught new exercises to teach Bella. With each exercise/lesson progress was made and I could see myself and Bella morphing into lifelong friends and faithful companions. Our relationship changed tremendously and I could see her confidence building, and mine, each week. She held her head up higher, she sat differently, and when she looked up at me, it seemed as though she was waiting for the next command; thriving to please me.

It was a long 10 weeks and a lot of hard work for both of us. But I’m on the other side now, and I am very pleased with the progress we’ve both made. I’m a better person and she’s a better dog. Not only that, we both made new friends! So, now we’ve moved onto the group lessons and we’re having a blast.

In hindsight, it was worth every penny I spent on private lessons! Invest in your relationship with your dog! You won’t regret it

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Anita Stevens
Proud Dog Owner


April and Dancer
I am so happy to be back training at Applewoods. I greatly respect and appreciate Margot Wood’s many years of dog training experience and thorough, in-depth knowledge of dog behavior. Margot, and the staff at Applewoods, have amazing observation skills that are spot-on, and they provide excellent assessments for improvement. They have helped me train my dog to listen, to think, to understand, and to (usually) do the right thing. We are very excited to continue our training at Applewoods.

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– April and Dancer


Sharon and Ranger
Ranger, my Golden Retriever, was about 7-months old when I finally discovered Applewoods. Ranger was a very wild and unruly young dog, and pretty much uncontrollable – totally unlike either of the Goldens that had previously been part of my family. I simply could not control him. I had already been through two separate trainers, but neither one were able to help be with serious issues such biting the leash and pulling on it, grabbing and tearing my clothing, being totally unresponsive to any type of correction to unacceptable behavior.

One trainer told me to carry a bag of empty aluminum cans and rattle them when Ranger misbehaved! On several occasions, when Ranger would not stop biting the leash and biting and ripping at my coat sleeves, etc., I actually resorted to bodily picking him up in my arms and carrying him home. I knew that was not a solution, but could not control him in any other way. I also knew that as he grew I had to find an acceptable solution, or he could actually become dangerous.

I was so thankful when I met Roxanne one day while we were both walking our dogs, and she gave me Applewoods card and phone number. I called and set up training. Ranger has made great strides at Applewoods. He completed all the Obedience Training, and is working on Retrieve classes now.

Ranger is now 14-months old, and quite a different dog. He still has his moments, but he is wonderful companion dog, and a pleasure to be around. Our daily walks are fun rewarding, not a constant battle. Applewoods has taught me and Ranger how to be a team, I will be forever grateful.

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Here is Ranger and a friend racing about, off-leash, and yet I can confidently call him back to me at any time.

– Sharon and Ranger


Julie, Mike, and Stella
As first-time parents, we decided to start our adventures with Stella in July of 2012 and had no idea what to expect. Applewoods helped us and our new puppy immensely with obedience, general puppy care/questions and daycare. Stella turned into a well-mannered pooch in no time. Our intent was to have her become a therapy dog and with the help of the Team Applewoods, Stella passed all of her requirements by the time she was 7 months old! We are excited to move forward with more classes in 2013!

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– Julie and Mike

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