Our pets are family. They get treated like our sons and daughters – we feed and bathe them, take care of their medical bills, lavish them with love and spend tons of time with them. Heck, some of us even clothe them!
And just like our kids, we want them to live healthy, happy lifestyles. When all of the above things are missing, problems and conflicts arise. Without exercise, they gain weight and health issues develop. Without mental exercise they can be aggressive and angry. Without instruction and nurturing they don’t develop manners and social skills.
Fortunately for our pets, there is a place that they can get exercise, develop social skills, remove anxiety, aggressiveness, and nervousness, and just be happy little campers.
That place is MJ’s Pet Training Academy – a fun, family environment that is a home away from home for our furry friends, owned and run (she does the grooming too!) by Acushnet native, Melissa Viera. Keep in mind, that Pet Training doesn’t necessarily mean that you are preparing your dog for competition – though if you want to, Melissa is more than qualified – you can simply want to provide fun opportunities for enriching and exercising your pets.
More importantly, MJ’s is a place where you can strengthen the human-animal bond with Rex, Fido, or Shadow. It’s a facility that hosts a number of accredited, effective programs that will positively impact your pet’s health and well-being – both physical and mental.
Melissa’s inspiration for MJ’s Pet Academy is rooted in a deep passion and love for all animals since she was a child. For as long as she can remember, she has been surrounded by animals – dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, and everything else in between. She can’t recall a time she didn’t have a bunch of pets, or performing in dog shows, competitive obedience training or grooming.
When it was time for high school, attending an agricultural high school where she studied small animal science seemed a natural, obvious step. Still hungry for more, she continued to work with mentors outside of her high school education. After graduation, Melissa went on to earn her Degree in Dog Obedience Training and Instruction, and became a Certified Trick Dog Instructor.
What separates her from many other facilities is her positive-based methods – marker words, clickers, sounds, and gestures. These have proven time and again to be incredibly potent ways to for dogs to learn real life skills like leash walking, coming when called, manners and so on. By reinforcing positive traits, the dogs abandon the aforementioned social and behavioral aberrations like nervousness, re-activity, shyness and excitability. Aberrations that can lead to problems with humans and other pets – aggressive posturing and even attacks.
Of course, new puppy owners can take a pro-active stance and enroll their dogs in training before any of these negative traits develop.
Melissa has a variety of services and programs – all of which can be customized to meet your individual pet’s needs. She has a staff of experts whose dedication and passion equal her own: scent work instructor and trainer Barbara Paczosa, and official photographer providing pet portraits during select appointments and classes Beth J. Cormier.
The popular group instruction classes are available for basic skills and activities as well as developing social skills through fun games, activities, and challenges, including skate boarding, basketball, painting, scent work, and canine freestyle. There is private instruction for addressing common behavioral concerns like leash pulling, jumping on people, nervousness, and so on.
To compliment these classes, MJ’s also offers a day-time enrichment and training program where your dog will stay with one of the professional trainers all day.
At the end of the day, when you pick up your dog you will receive a progress report to see what gains have been made. Further complimenting the group & private classes and the day-time program, there are a variety of workshops and events are held throughout the year. Finally, she offers a course in scentwork which would be of obvious value for anyone who enjoys hunting.
Regardless of age or handicap, Melissa has likely experience working with a dog similar to yours. If you have a very old dog, one with a persistent injury or handicap, is blind or deaf, it is nothing Melissa hasn’t already seen and worked with. Same goes for dogs with “backgrounds” – dogs with aggression issues or taken from homes where dogs have been utilized for fighting.
Melissa’s life is consumed by this passion of hers. When she is not at MJ’s Pet Training Academy, she is writing about it on her blog, or various publications. She is perpetually contributing to the industry through education, and getting information out there about positive training.
She will even be participating in this year’s 27th Annual Home Show featuring a seminar called “Dogs With Manners.” If you attend the Home Show, be sure to stop in and see what Melissa does!
And if Fido needs a haircut and wash, MJ’s has a full grooming salon on site, which includes a basic bath, Paw Pad treatment, hand stripping, sugar scrub and even specialty scissoring. Her positive method applies to the grooming as well – for those dogs that get nervous or anxious once they hear the buzzing. You can watch a “before and after” video of Wally and Gidgette here.
Melissa has her eye on the future and has big things planned for MJ’s and the industry. She is looking to introduce new classes, workshops and events, continue promoting the positive training method throughout the industry through articles, online videos and even online courses. She recently started writing her first book which looks at training from a new perspective, sharing her discoveries, experience and effective methods.
MJ’s Pet Training Academy is dedicated to helping dogs, and helping dogs and owners connect. The experience is always transformative and beneficial to all. It is so rewarding that Melissa feels it is she that is grateful and provided with an opportunity to work with the dogs. Seeing the improvements in a dog’s personality and look on the faces of their owners is one she looks forward to. She is so eager to meet a new dog and owner that she offers FREE consultations to best determine your goals and needs and provide customized solutions. Spend a few moments at MJ’s and you will see how inspired and knowledgeable Melissa is. Something that is backed up by her impeccable review on Facebook which is a perfect 5 stars out of 5 stars and the testimonials.
MJ’s Pet Academy is located behind Kam’s Cuisine off of South Main Street. There is plenty of parking in the parking lot. Head there and see the magic!
MJ’s Pet Training Academy
132 S Main St Suite C6
Phone: (774) 992-6929