Every dog and owner has their own unique relationship, complete with unique concerns and goals. I pride myself on providing practical and effective science-based solutions to help you and your dog live together more happily.
There is no one size fits all training here! After listening to your needs (and wants) I develop a customized training plan to help you achieve your goals while coaching you in how to communicate with your dog in your own home, where your dog learns best.
I specialize in helping you reach your training goals – from puppy manners and rescue dogs to correcting problem behaviors that damage the bond you and your dog share such as anxiety, fear and aggression.
There is nothing more satisfying than seeing a fearful dog become the confident dog he deserves to be or helping a dog (and their owner) realize their full potential in having a long-lasting, happy and healthy relationship.
Customized, in-home training services are available in and around Mebane, Durham, Chapel Hill, Cary, Holly Springs and surrounding areas (a fee may apply to areas outside of our standard range) to teach you to communicate effectively with your dog and address behavior concerns where they occur with the help of our certified behavior consultant and trainer. I also offer virtual consulting so you can get the help you need regardless of your location!
Tired of your dog not listening? Recently bring home a new puppy or adopted dog? Need help potty training? Help them put their best paw forward with basic training.
Experiencing reactivity, separation anxiety or aggression issues? Our certified behavior consultant has extensive experience solving behavior problems and specializes in fearful and rescue dogs. Behavior consulting is available in person and virtually.
Calle is a very shy and timid rescue dog, approximately two years old when we adopted her one year ago. We enlisted the help of Melissa based on reviews we read online. That was the BEST decision we made for Calle AND for us! Melissa took time on the first visit to get to know Calle and customize the training, taking into consideration Calle’s fears and timid personality. Melissa did not try to fit us into five basic step training but formulated a plan based on what she observed and what we wanted to accomplish. Melissa’s knowledge of training was soon realized when we saw almost immediate progress. We worked through issues of socialization, house training, walking on a leash in a park. We never could have made such progress without the help of Melissa. Melissa was very reliable (always on time and good follow-up), professional, kind, and had such a gentle, loving manner with Calle AND with us – we received some much-needed training as well!
We have a 12-month old Labrador puppy who does NOT have the typical Lab’s eagerness to please. He developed two very nasty habits of play biting/nipping (hard!) and biting and tugging at the leash. We did not want to use punishment, aversion training or pinch collars, but we were at the point of considering them. Then in only two hour-long training sessions Melissa turned the whole situation completely around. She patiently trained us to use two easy, kind, effective techniques and since her first visit all of the problems are gone! We love walking our dog and being around him now. Other trainers I consulted (who charge WAY more) estimated it would take 6-8 90 minute private sessions–well over $1800. Melissa’s techniques were so successful after the first visit, we just had her come for a second visit to train some fun tricks. She is very professional, punctual and extremely reasonably priced. If you have a dog with problem behaviors, a group class isn’t customized enough to help. Melissa writes out her plan for you to train your individual dog, and IT WORKS!!!! My only regret is that she is so good at her job we only got to see her twice!
My experience with Melissa as a trainer for my newly adopted pound puppy was a wonderful one. Melissa’s greatest strength is her patience and true love for dogs. My dog, Butters, is very stubborn and has some fears (ceiling fans!) and Melissa was so kind and did not hurry him but worked with him until progress was made. She is also very good with dog owners who usually need more training then the dogs. She really works with you until you know how to get your dog to respond and become a great, well behaved citizen. I can’t wait to enroll Butters in more training with Melissa.
Wow Melissa saved our rescue. Affenpincher, which is quite a lot to handle and told he was 1 or 2 when in fact 4 with some real issues problems. Aggressive behavior and apparently allowed to do whatever he wanted.
Had 6 sessions with Melissa and each visit she gave us “Homework”. All of which turned out to be very valuable.
Today instead of turning him back into the shelter he is becoming a valuable member of our family.
You do need to do the homework to get the results so do not fool your self there is no magic but great instruction and we did the homework, Oliver went from being a returned with probably no hope of again being adopted due to behavior problems to a loved animal.
Very professional, well run business. Melissa did a great job of interpreting the needs of my dog. She provided specific ideas and problem solving unique to my situation. She promptly returned calls and was there when I needed her to be.
We love Melissa from Bark to Basics! After losing his sister, my pup started getting major anxiety. After starting medication our vet recommended getting some training to help deal with the anxiety. Melissa has been a life saver! We are only 5 months into the training and my dog has already had his medication cut in half, his anxiety is way down and he will finally relax in his crate while we are away. Melissa has helped me understand my pup which helps me help him. I would highly recommend her and Bark to Basics to anyone.