Northern VA and MD

Our Northern Virginia and Maryland branch serves Washington DC, Alexandria, Manassas, Leesburg, Woodbridge, Fredricksburg, Frederick MD, Baltimore and all surrounding areas.

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Melanie Friedman,KPA-CTP, CPDT-KA

Melanie Friedman was inspired to become a professional dog trainer by her Australian Cattle Dog, Boomer.  When Melanie adopted Boomer, he was fearful, aggressive and reactive, but she was determined to help him without using painful prong or shock collars. Unable to find a qualified positive reinforcement trainer in her area, she studied reward-based training and trained Boomer herself. Excited by the results, Melanie made it her life’s mission to help other dogs be happier using practical, effective and ethical training methods.

Melanie was so impressed with Boomer’s new behavior, that she entered him into Agility, Rally-O, Nosework, Flyball and Lure Coursing. Boomer earned his Canine Good Citizen (CGC) and then became a therapy dog. When Melanie’s mother became terminally ill, Boomer went to each visit to help comfort her mom.  Fascinated by the medical improvement her mom made on each Boomer visit, Melanie also saw the need for service dogs that were trained with positive methods.

Melanie temporarily left West Virginia for Alabama to work with the Veterans Administration where she trained and paired dogs for veterans with PTSD. 

While in Alabama, Melanie also has the privilege to train the first courthouse dog in Alabama.  Gabe's job in the Calhoun County courthouse is one of the most important...providing emotional support to help people if they become upset or nervous, particularly with children. Also, in Alabama, Melanie worked with Auburn University on a contract with Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to train dogs to have an MRI while fully awake to study how their brains process odorant information. 

Melanie attends multiple seminars and conferences every year to keep current with the newest in dog training and behavior science.Melanie is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer through the CCPDT, a graduate of the Karen Pryor Academy Dog Trainer Program, an AKC CGC Evaluator  and a Certified Trick Dog Instructor and Stunt Judge with Do More with Your Dog.  She is also working towards Level 1 TAGTeach and studying for Certified Behavior Consultation through CCPDT.


Melanie lives in Harpers Ferry, WV with her husband and 5 dogs.  She enjoys painting, photography, reading, hiking and yoga.