On this page you will find answers to frequently asked questions and helpful information for local dog owners in the Newtown Square, Main Line, & suburban Philadelphia areas.

Have more questions? I’ve got answers!

What are your qualifications for dog training and behavior consulting?

Dog training is an unregulated industry. There are no required minimum standards for education and experience in the dog training field. Sadly, anyone can call themselves a dog trainer. This does a terrible disservice to all of the dogs and owners in need of help. I felt an ethical responsibility to raise the bar and provide the high standard of care that dogs and their owners deserve. To that end, I have trained extensively and earned multiple certifications to ensure that I am providing the most up-to-date, evidence-based services to my clients. 

I am a licensed psychologist with 30+ years of experience in cognitive and behavioral treatments and applied behavior analysis. I am an honors graduate of Jean Donaldson’s world renowned Academy for Dog Trainers, where I earned my Certificate in Training and Counseling (CTC). I am a Certified Professional Dog Trainer – Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA), which is a national certification demonstrating that I have passed rigorous standards of science-based education in dog training. I studied with Malena DeMartini and graduated from her intensive training program to become a Certified Separation Anxiety Trainer (CSAT). I am a Pat Miller Certified Trainer (PMCT), and have attained a Certificate in Applied Animal Behavior (UW-AAB) from the University of Washington. As a Fear Free Certified Professional (FFCP), I am committed to preventing and alleviating fear, anxiety, and stress in dogs during veterinary visits.


Why should I hire you?

Not only am I a highly trained professional, I am committed to using training and behavior modification methods that are safe, humane, and effective. I will help you reach your goals with your dog without using force, pain, or fear. I will help you attain the results you are looking for: a nicely mannered best friend!

Click here to read more about Melanie Cerone and her dog training credentials.


What services do you offer?

I offer a full range of in-home dog training and behavior modification services. All services start with an initial consultation where I meet you and your dog, assess your dog’s behavior, and we decide on training goals. From there, I offer two paths for training – a Coaching Path where you learn to train your dog through weekly in-home sessions with me, and a Day Training Path where I train your dog for you three days per week and then transfer the new behaviors to you at the end of the week. Day training is a nice option for clients with very full plates because I do the heavy lifting and then transfer your dog’s newly learned skills to you.

I have a particular passion for working with fear and reactivity and aggression towards humans, including food aggression, aggression during body handling, and aggression towards strangers. Additionally, I have the specialized training and experience needed to help dogs overcome separation anxiety, a heartbreaking and debilitating disorder. 


My dog is aggressive on leash. Help!

The dog-dog aggression package is designed to help people better understand what’s happening for their dogs while on leash and to give your dog skills to feel more comfortable when he sees people, dogs or objects he finds uncomfortable.

Some dogs look aggressive on leash, but are actually frustrated by not being able to greet people or other dogs, so we’ll assess for that as well.


My dog is not comfortable walking in crowded locations. Do you recommend a place in the Newtown Square or Delaware County areas?

We are fortunate to have several lovely dog walking areas in our local community! The Okehocking Preserve in Willistown Township offers about seven miles of mown and natural surface trails. Additionally, there is a leash-free field located near the Delchester Road entrance to the park where dogs may enjoy off-leash frolicking their friends. Ridley Creek State Park in Edgmont, Middletown, and Upper Providence Townships offers 12 miles of hiking on four main trails through rolling woodlands, including one of the longest creekside walks in Delaware County. Rose Tree Park in Media offers rolling meadows, woodlands, and trails where you may walk your dogs.

Please abide by the leash laws when walking your dog in any of these parks to ensure that everyone enjoys a safe and positive experience! 


My dog HATES going to the vet. Is there any way you can help with this?

Absolutely!  Dogs need veterinary care their whole lives, and many dogs have issues with fear and aggression during veterinary visits. As a Fear Free Certified Professional armed with specific training plans from The Academy for Dog Trainers’ Husbandry Project, I’m uniquely qualified to help dogs who have had not-so-great experiences at the vet’s become happy, cooperative participants in their own veterinary care. 


Will you travel to my home to train my dog?

Yes! I come to your home for our sessions, though at times we may take field trips – whether for socialization, to the vet’s office for practice, or to work on leash skills outdoors.


I have a newly adopted dog and I’d really love to get him off on the right paw. What services would be best for this?

I recommend starting with an in-home consultation. At this consult, I’ll meet your dog, take a history, and listen to your concerns about your new dog. Then we’ll discuss your expectations, needs, and training goals. We’ll prioritize the behaviors you’d like to address – from basic manners to issues related to fear and aggression that may require more intensive intervention. We’ll work together to set specific goals and carve a personalized path to reaching them.


Do you offer services in Chester County?

I do! Currently, I offer services in the following areas:
Ardmore, Berwyn, Bryn Mawr, Exton, Chadds Ford, Devon, Garnet Valley, Glen Mills, Haverford, Kennett Square, King of Prussia, Malvern, Media, Newtown Square, Paoli, Phoenixville, Radnor, Rosemont, St. David’s, Strafford, Unionville, Villanova, Wallingford, Wayne, and West Chester.