M.J.’s Pet Training Academy Expands with Second Location


Melissa (M.J.) Viera with her dog, Yuri.

M.J.’s Pet Training Academy, which provides positive pet training and grooming for customers throughout the Southcoast region of Massachusetts, today announced the opening of its second location.

Owner/founder Melissa (M.J.) Viera confirmed today that the business has opened a location at 452 Durfee Street, Fall River, in a building located immediately behind the Faxon Animal Shelter. The new 1000 square foot location will offer grooming services and in the near future will introduce training classes as well.

The Fall River location opens four years after Viera launched her business. Her first location is at 132 South Main Street, Acushnet. M.J.’s offers fun and active dog training classes; educational workshops; and grooming with a positive approach.

Grooming services include ear cleaning, teeth brushing, nail treatments, brushovers, and cutting hair. M.J.’s serves all breeds of dogs, including (but not limited to) Shitzus, Yorkshire Terriers, Pit Bulls, German Shepherds, Labradors, and more. Customers seeking grooming services, as well as training, run the gamut in age, from young couples who are “dog parents” to retired dog owners and everyone in between.

Part of the M.J.’s training program is adhering to the belief that “every pet needs a job.” Their experienced team provides training on obedience, relaxation, pet manners, tricks, obstacles and more. Pets who have come through the M.J.’s training can learn to retrieve items around the house, turning the lights on and off, sniffing for items or people, and even being a good listener while children practice reading out loud.

“Giving your pet a job will help prevent and eliminate behavior problems, while improving the relationship you have with your pet,” says Viera.

She added, “Our grooming and our training stresses the positive, for our four-legged friends, as well as their human owners. We provide a fun, stress-free atmosphere.”

The business is four years old, but Melissa Viera has been training dogs much longer than that. The Fairhaven, MA resident and native of Acushnet credits her childhood dog, Riley, an English Cocker Spaniel with inspiring her to go into the work she would eventually choose. She studied Small Animal Science at Bristol Agricultural in Dighton, where she earned the “Honorable Animal Science Award.” While still in high school, she sought out and attended seminars on dog training. One of her first jobs was as a Dog Show Handler Assistant. She traveled to shows in Springfield and Falmouth, MA; New Hampshire and throughout New England, while still a high school student. She came from a family that showed a strong interest in animals as vocations. Her mother, Cheryl, is a dog trainer, and her brother is a horse dentist.

She is a Certified Trainer, with a diploma in Dog Obedience Training Instruction and is a Mentor for Animal Behavior College.

She is additionally a Certified Trick Dog Instructor, and has delighted visitors with the level of skills that dogs can attain, including retrieving the mail, skateboarding, and dropping basketballs into hoops.

What she stresses repeatedly is the positive nature of their work. “This sets us apart,” she says. “We love animals, and it shows.”

Her company has six employees, and she anticipates adding additional team members for the new Fall River location.

“We’ve had such a positive reception in the opening days here in Fall River,” she said, adding, “We hope to build the same strong following in Fall River that we have in Acushnet. Over the past few years, there has been an increased demand for pet grooming and training, and this looks like a great location for the establishment of our second location. It’s an important step for us, but we’re not done yet!” One of her goals is to expand the practice into apartment complexes where M.J.’s can provide grooming services for residents.

Viera is a sought-after thought leader in the world of dog grooming and training, and has authored a number of articles for magazines catering to the pet industry.

An open house/ribbon-cutting for the Fall River location is planned for later this year.

About M.J.’s Pet Training Academy

Since 2013, M.J.’s Pet Training Academy has provided superior pet training, grooming and enrichment services for the Southcoast pet, and family members. M.J.’s offers a positive approach to the care animals, and provides individual or group training sessions as requested. A full range of grooming services is available at both locations. M.J.’s operates locations at 132 South Main Street, Acushnet, MA and 452 Durfee Street, Fall River. For complete information about services, please visit http://mjspettrainingacademy.com. For additional information, or a tour of the facilities, please contact Melissa Viera at 855-465-8872.

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