“My dog’s behavior is really becoming a problem.”


Point A

  • Growling, barking, snapping at family members
  • Growling, barking, snapping at guests
  • Growling, barking, snapping at strangers
  • Biting any of the above

Point B

Enjoy peace in your household, entertaining company without fear, and taking your dog out into the world without incident.

Let me help you connect the dots between Point A & Point B so you can enjoy your dog’s companionship without fear and stress.

Choose Your Personalized Behavior Change 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

Why is this happening? Can it be stopped? Am I going to have to give my dog up?

Few things in pet ownership are more challenging and stressful than living with an aggressive dog. For many, it can be a truly tragic experience. We fall in love with our dogs warts and all, after all. The good news is that in most cases, aggressive behavior can be changed or successfully managed.

Causes of aggression

People often assume their dog must have had a traumatic experience. Perhaps your dog doesn’t like men, or children. It could be that your dog had a bad experience with a previous male owner or was harassed by the children in his previous home.

But much more often the root cause of aggression is either under-socialization, poor breeding, or a combination of both. If your dog didn’t have a chance to meet lots of men or children when she was a puppy, that lack of early experience could be the root cause of her aggression now. And if she was born of a sire or dam who were fearful of or aggressive toward people, her behavior could be an expression of those genes.

Fear vs. aggression

You’ll notice I mentioned fear in that last sentence. Though we commonly talk about behaviors like barking, lunging, growling, and snapping at people as aggressive, the reality is that most dogs behaving this way do so out of fear. True aggression is actually quite rare. Many dogs simply learn that the best way to get the things they’re afraid of (strangers, a particular family member, children, etc.) to go away is to bark and lunge at them. It’s an understandable strategy, though not an acceptable one when living in human society.

How I work with aggressive behavior

My approach to addressing aggressive behavior is 3-fold. We’ll tackle your dog’s underlying fear while also teaching her to respond differently when she encounters something (or someone) she’s usually afraid of. If she’s no longer afraid of people wearing large hats or backpacks, it will be easier for her to look at you instead of lunging at them. We’ll also put strong management strategies in place to keep everyone safe while your dog works on changing her emotional and behavioral responses.

Difficult choices

Occasionally these situations turn tragic. Some dogs are unable to change deep-running fears, just as some humans find it challenging to do so. Sometimes we can’t make the needed changes fast enough for your family’s immediate safety or the safety of others. Sometimes the challenge may feel too large to fit into your current life demands. While my ultimate goal is to keep your dog in your home, if you find yourself facing these questions now or at any point during the training process, I will be there to help you understand your choices and support you in your decision making.

Though we commonly talk about behaviors like barking, lunging, growling, and snapping at people as aggressive, the reality is that most dogs behaving this way do so out of 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.