“My dog acts like Cujo when he sees another dog. It’s embarrassing.”


Point A

  • Lunging, barking, growling at other dogs
  • Neighbors and passersby staring
  • Other dog owners not impressed
  • Taking walks just isn’t fun

Point B

Enjoy a dog who turns to look back at you when he sees another dog, then walks right on by without all the commotion, stress, and embarrassment.

Let me help you connect the dots between Point A & Point B so you can enjoy walking your dog.

Choose Your Personalized Behavior Modification Path

Coaching Path—You learn to train your dog

We’ll meet once each week in your home. I’ll show you how to work with your dog and set you up with the week’s training homework.

Day Training Path—I train your dog for you

We’ll still meet once each week in your home. But in between I’ll train your dog for you, getting her ready to show off and transfer her new behaviors to you at the end of each week. Recommended for busy dog owners looking for the fastest relief.

How I Work

All dog training begins with a 90-minute Initial Consult, which is $225.

At this consult, we’ll work together to set goals and carve a personalized path to reaching them, building around your household and lifestyle and your dog’s learning needs.

If you choose to pursue training, personalized sessions will be billed at the rate of $125/one-hour session. Discounts are available for packages of four (4) or more sessions.

All training will be a positive experience for dog and human alike, based on sound scientific principles. Learn more about my approach to training.

Ready to connect the dots to Point B?

Call or email me to set up your Initial Consult today.

Phone: 484.800.1233
Email: melanie@melanieceronephd.com

What is leash reactivity? And why is my nice dog acting like that??

If you’re reading this page, you’re probably pretty familiar with leash reactivity: The lunging, snapping, growling, snarling, barking frenzy an otherwise perfectly lovely leashed dog launches into at the site of another dog. In many cases, dogs with leash reactivity are perfectly reasonable toward other dogs so long as they themselves are off leash.

Puppyhood foundations

What causes it? There are a few contributing factors, and your dog may have experienced one or a mixture. For many dogs, the underlying cause is under-socialization. Simply put, if your dog didn’t have a chance to meet lots of dogs while on leash as a puppy, that lack of early experience could be the root cause of her none-too-polite leash behavior toward other dogs.

A bad experience

For some dogs, leash reactivity is born of a particularly bad experience with another dog while on leash. If your dog was attacked by another dog while walking on leash, for example, that could have triggered her discomfort.

Punishment & leash reactivity

Whether caused by under-socialization or a traumatic experience, in most cases the experience of walking on leash itself contributes to the issue over time. It feels logical to punish such ugly leash behavior, but in truth doing so actually makes the condition worse. This idea seems terribly counter-intuitive until you understand that all that nasty behavior is usually an expression of fear.

Fear, not aggression

That’s right. All the snarling and growling sure looks like aggression. But really it’s defense. Many dogs learn that barking and lunging at scary things makes them move away. It’s a pretty effective strategy, really—though not a particularly acceptable one in polite society.

Undoing leash reactivity

Understanding that reactivity is at its roots an expression of fear allows us to change the behavior by tackling that underlying fear. My training program takes two simultaneous routes: To teach your dog to enjoy seeing other dogs while she’s on leash, and to teach her a new way to respond when a dog comes into view. You and your dog both win with this training: She feels relaxed and you get to enjoy a relaxed walk without all the wild hubbub.

Understanding that reactivity is at its roots an expression of fear allows us to change the behavior by tackling that underlying fear.

Your Trainer and Behavior Counselor

Melanie Cerone, Ph.D.

Specializing in aggression issues was always a perfect fit for Melanie, matching her interest in cognition and the brain with her desire to make clients’ and dogs’ lives better together.

Learn more about Melanie.