Cape Canine Academy: Cape Cod’s Trusted Dog Trainer

Hi there! I’m MJ, owner of Cape Canine Academy, your local Cape Cod dog trainer. I know first-hand what it’s like to struggle with your dog’s behavior, so I’ve dedicated myself to helping you navigate those same challenges. Whether you’ve just brought home a new puppy, want your dog to master their manners, or you’re  dealing with more severe behaviors like dog reactivity and resource guarding, I’ve got your back! Stick around, because I want to tell you all about how I’m changing the dog training scene here on the Cape.

Dog Giving A Woman His Paw | Cape Canine Academy | Cape Cod, MA

Get To Know Your Trainer

As fortunate as I was to grow up on Cape Cod, it took some life experience to become the dog trainer I am today. I don’t have one of those “I knew what I wanted to be my whole life” stories, in fact, if you had asked me as a kid what I would be when I grew up - I never would have guessed that I’d own a dog training business. Shortly after graduation I moved down to coastal Georgia for a while, and it was there that I stumbled upon this absolutely adorable (yet extremely dirty) rescue dog named Max. Despite having quite an array of tricks up his sleeve, he had been returned to the shelter by three different families. With zero planning - I brought him home. It took about a day to realize that he was SUPER dog reactive, peed in the house, barked all day, and pulled like a sled-dog. But, I loved him… and I was broke and couldn’t afford a trainer, so I was determined to figure it out myself. 

Max and I navigated the basics of dog training on our own, and I was hooked. I loved everything about training him, but the pride of being able to walk him on a loose leash and being able to take him downtown… Well, I wanted everyone to be able to have that. 

Fast forward a year, and I brought home a second impulsive last-minute decision from that same shelter, Gunner. Gunner had a whole different level of behavior issues, and spent months in the shelter due to his fear and anxiety. Being in a better financial spot then I was the first time around, I enrolled myself in Animal Behavior College so that I could better learn how to help him overcome his challenges and become a well-mannered house companion that could relax and enjoy some freedom. 

After becoming an Animal Behavior College certified trainer, I volunteered with a few animal shelters, and worked under a few mentor trainers before getting hired (officially) by dog training facilities to work as a trainer. Being able to help other people live a more peaceful and happier life with their dog (and actually getting paid to do it) made me consider myself incredibly lucky. 

Several years (and dozens of seminars and courses later), I decided that it was time to go out on my own. We lived in Denver, CO at the time and Instinctual Canine, my first solo dog training business, was born. For the last three years I lived my dream in the mile high city helping hundreds of dog owners just like you achieve all their dog training goals. But, no matter how beautiful Colorado was, it wasn’t home - so after years of adventures that helped us grow, my husband and I packed up our own dogs and moved back to the Cape. 

Now, being able to return to the beaches that raised me as a business owner with more experience and knowledge, I’m so excited to be able to bring new services to our local dog owners.

What Kind Of Dog Training Services Do I Offer?

Dog training is not a one-size-fits-all, so here at Cape Canine Academy I’ve made sure to have options for everyone

Private Lessons: In-home lessons allow you and your dog to learn together. These are perfect for families who want to be involved in their dog’s learning. And, since these are always started at home, your dog will get to learn faster and where they’re the most comfortable. 

Homeschool Program: If you’ve ever found yourself meaning to get around to training your dog, but never have the time, then this program is for you! This is the perfect hybrid between a board and train and private lessons. Three times a week I’ll stop by to train your dog, taking the bulk of the work off of your plate and giving your dog a mid-day activity to look forward to. Then, at the end of the week, we do a private lesson with you to teach you what your dog has learned and how to maintain it. Unlike a board and train that can be expensive and requires your dog to stay somewhere unfamiliar, your dog gets to stay home but still gets the hands on personalized attention from a trainer that allows them to make progress much quicker. 

Group Classes: Okay, this is where I’ll really get to stand out. See, I taught group classes under other trainers for years and noticed a trend. Group classes tend to be a very difficult environment to learn and be successful in if your dog struggles to focus or doesn’t already know their obedience… and, let’s be honest, that’s why most of us hire a trainer in the first place. So, I’ve created a group class specifically for dogs just like this - who may not be a good fit for traditional obedience classes. My group classes are kept small enough that you still get personalized attention but get to work on your dog’s focus and manners around other dogs and people. Oh, and we actually play games and do fun stuff in class, too. 

Customized Training Programs: While I do have some pre designed programs that fit the bill for what most people are looking for, everyone has different goals, lifestyles, and budgets. So, if one of the predesigned training programs isn’t a good fit for you, no biggie. We’ll talk in detail to create a program specifically for you. And, even if you sign up for a pre-designed program, each lesson will still be tailored to your lifestyle, goals, and your dog’s learning style. 

Two Black Labs Sitting By A River | Cape Canine Academy | Cape Cod, MA

What Can I Help With?

  • Reactivity: Reactive dogs are my bread and butter. Reactivity is what I specialize in, as I’ve committed my training career to helping dogs and their owners overcome their fears or challenges and master being able to enjoy all the best walking spots together. There’s nothing better to me than seeing the pride on someone’s face as their dog learns how to ignore other dogs or people on walks. 

While training reactive dogs is what I live for, I take pride in being well-rounded and can also help you tackle: 

  • Puppy Training
  • Anxiety & Fearfulness 
  • Barking 
  • Leash Manners
  • Potty Training 
  • Basic & Advanced Obdience 
  • Off-Leash Reliability 
  • Chasing the cats (or other animals)
  • Crate Training
  • Jumping
  • Resource Guarding 
  • Counter Surfing 
  • Polite Greetings

Qualifications and Experience

This may be the boring part of the blog post, as most people don’t know (nor care) what to look for in a trainer. All most people care about is, can I help? Yes, I can… but I also prioritize continued education and making sure I can help you and your dog to the best of my ability, so here’s a rundown of some of the ways I make sure I’m up-to-snuff on modern dog training. 

I’m an Animal Behavior College Certified Dog Trainer, and a Professional member of the International Association of Canine Professionals. For years I was an AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator and a therapy dog instructor through k9 Caring Angels. I’ve attended (and will continue to) seminars on dog training and behavior by incredible dog trainers such as Joel Silverman, Larry Krohn and Jay Jack. And, at any given time, I’m usually taking some sort of online course when I’m not reading a dog behavior book….. I’m not kidding when I say I live and breathe dogs.

Cape Cod Service Area

Cape Canine Academy offers in-home dog training on Cape Cod in the following towns: 

  • Sandwich, Ma
  • Mashpee, MA
  • Falmouth, MA
  • Pocasset, MA
  • Bourne, MA
  • Buzzards Bay, MA
  • Centerville, MA
  • Osterville, MA
  • Cotuit, MA
  • Barnstable, MA 
  • Yarmouth, MA
  • Dennis, MA
  • Harwich, MA
  • Brewster, MA
  • Chatham, MA
  • Orleans, MA

Cape Cod Beach | Cape Canine Academy | Cape Cod, MA

Booking and Contact

Getting started with Cape Canine Academy is easy, here’s what the process will look like. 

  1. Reach out to me! Tell me all about your dog by filling out the contact form below.
  2. We’ll schedule a consultation so that we can come up with your ideal training plan. 
  3. After deciding on a program, I’ll send a service agreement and invoice straight to your email - super easy! 
  4. We’ll schedule your training during our consultation to get you started right away! 

Let's Get Started!

If you’ve been thinking about getting training for your dog, what are you waiting for? Let’s get you started today! Whether it’s a quick question or booking a consultation, I can’t wait to help. Give me a call, shoot me a text, or fill out my contact form - whichever way works best for you. Can’t wait to hear all about your dog!