About Our Facility
Our 2,500 square foot training facility is located at 85-87 Pearl Street in downtown Burlington. There are several parking options within walking distance of our facility:
- Metered parking spaces are available on Pearl Street directly in front of our building. On-street spaces on Pearl Street and upper Pine Street are free after 6pm and on Sundays and holidays.
- The College/Lakeview public garages are located just one block south. The first two hours are free, as are Sundays and holidays. Entrances are on Cherry Street next to Hotel Vermont and on Battery Street next to the Hilton.
- The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception has hourly paid parking available in their lot when church is not in session. The entrance to their lot is behind our building on upper Pine Street.
Meet Our Trainers
Our Training Methods & Credentials
Megan and Maria are both honors graduates of the Academy for Dog Trainers and hold a Certificate in Training and Counseling (CTC). Known as “the Harvard of dog trainers”, the Academy is a rigorous program of study run by renowned trainer and behaviorist Jean Donaldson. We maintain professional-level membership in the Pet Professional Guild, an organization which represents pet industry professionals who are committed to results based, science based force-free training and pet care.
We train with positive, rewards-based methods to help dogs develop the skills they need using treats, toys, and praise. We never use painful collars or other outdated training devices or techniques. We continue to develop our knowledge of dog behavior, as well as staying current with the latest humane training and handling practices.
My love affair with dogs began in 2006, when I started working at the Animal Rescue League of Boston as an animal care and adoption counselor. I found deep fulfillment helping all of the homeless animals in our care find their forever homes, but ultimately it was the shelter dogs who stole my heart.
When I relocated to Burlington in 2009 I started walking dogs professionally, because I know that a dog who has his mental and physical exercise needs met is much more likely to be a happy, well-adjusted member of the family – a dog who is truly a joy to live with.
I earned my certification from the Academy for Dog Trainers in 2015. Since then I've been teaching group classes at the Humane Society of Chittenden County, as well as working privately with dogs and their humans on more specific behavioral issues. When I drove by the old Pearl Street Diner and noticed it was vacant, I knew immediately what Burlington needed: a downtown dog training facility! This space allows us to customize our classes and other service offerings to help Burlington's dogs be successful city companions.
When I’m not hanging out with my clients’ dogs I’m usually hanging out with – and training – my own. Atrus, my adopted pit bull mix, wiggled his way into my heart and onto my sofa after being rescued from the streets of Boston. He is my comic relief, my teacher, and my adventure buddy. Don’t worry though – dogs aren’t my entire life! I also enjoy spending time with (human) friends and family, sipping tea, playing board games, and baking vegan goodies.
A lifelong lover of animals, I grew up with a menagerie of dogs, cats, hamsters, and goldfish in downtown Atlanta and learned from a very early age what a delight it was to experience animals using their minds to get things that they wanted. I had no idea I was fated to become a dog trainer -- initially I dreamed of being a famous concert pianist! Through various twists and turns I discovered my true love in life: training dogs and their humans.
My experience includes working with a wide range of shelter animals at various shelters in Northern California since 2007 (the East Bay SPCA, Tony LaRussa’s Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF), and Berkeley Humane). From 2010-13 I also taught classes for puppy raisers of puppies in training to become assistance animals for Canine Companions for Independence. My specialties include helping adopted puppies and dogs transition well into their new homes; working with special challenges such as fear and aggression; and training dogs for alert, service and therapy work. I also have a Ph.D. in human education, and enjoy helping people and dogs meet each other’s expectations through training!
Currently I belong to three dogs: my hearing dog, Noodle, a scruffy little guy with a long tongue; a chow-chow/lab mix named Argie who is very shy and very sweet; and my retired hearing dog, Jared, a yellow lab with a heart of gold to match his fur. When I’m not working hard, I enjoy knitting, swimming, hiking and competing with Megan in board games!