To my beloved clients...After nearly 20 years in Fairfield County, my family and I are making a big move to Sarasota, FL to start a brand new chapter.  I want to thank each and every one of you that I've had the pleasure of working with over the years.  I am so lucky to have connected with such passionate dog folks, many of whom became dear friends in the process!  Once settled in FL, I hope to find a local shelter to start volunteering, and also get my private training business up and running!  Sarasota is a great dog town and I am super excited to jump in with both feet.  In the meantime, I invite you to stay connected to me with me via Instagram, where I'll be posting about this new adventure!! Wishing you all health and happiness! All my best - Mary-Jo


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Positive Dog Training

Creating harmonious relationships between dogs and
their owners for 25 years.

It's Simple...

I promise, it really is.

I'm going to take a wild guess and say you're tired of your dog's behaviors. You may have signed up for a group class, bought an online course or worked with a trainer before only to discover he/she went back to their old ways.  Don't feel bad, you're not alone!

Every year thousands of families struggle with their dog's behavior and spend millions of dollars trying to fix it. What if I told you all that stands in the way between you and a happy and well behaved pup is connection, small alterations and consistency?


Are you ready to have the dog with the best manners on the block?  My easy, common sense, training approach will get you there. Keep scrolling! 

About Me

My name is Mary-Jo Duffy and I've been helping build relationships between dogs and their owners for over 25 years.  As a mother of two young men, who were once toddlers, I understand the challenge of dogs and kids and have worked with many families to create consistency and balance within the home. My mission is clear... less dogs sent to shelters... MORE dogs staying happily in their homes.  

I am certified (CPDT-KA) through the Association of Professional Dog Trainers since 2003 and am absolutely passionate about the work that I do with people and their beloved canines. 


My first love, and where I began my career, is in the animal shelter world.  I have worked with hundreds of dogs in shelters not only to improve their quality of life while in the shelter system, but also to improve their chances of finding their forever home. 


My training is100% reward based (and also backed by science) and focuses on the relationship between you and your dog.  I like to consider myself your facilitator -- the person who provides you with the knowledge to communicate effectively with your dog, giving you the tools to have the best life with your best friend. 


Like anything in life, what you put in is what you will get out. Training is a lifelong prospect and I'm here for you every step of the way. Your dog wants to be the best he or she can be, let's help them achieve that together!



From general behavior to puppy selection, I've assisted hundreds of families!  

Hover over each below to learn more about the valuable services I offer.

Positive Method

What IS positive training?

In my work as a professional dog trainer I talk all the time about the concept of connection. I am constantly saying to my clients, “stay connected to your dog,” or ,“are you two connecting?”.  In my travels around the town I call home, or traveling recently to Los Angeles and Denver, I see so many people with dogs. There are dogs on airplanes, in the airport, in hotels, at the beach, at outdoor cafes, in strollers, in front carriers, in backpacks. People love their dogs the best way they know how, but do they have a connection with their dogs?  


The connection I am talking about is a deeper understanding of your canine pal. It is a true exchange of energy, respect and love. I like to say it is a perfectly choreographed dance.  However, in order to get to that dance, you first must know the steps.

So... what do the steps look like? Consistent praise and/or treats/toys for behaviors you like while ignoring or redirecting behaviors you don't (without punishment).  Every time your dog turns and comes to you it should be a party. This is how you build a solid recall- by reinforcing what you like.  But it is more than that.  Your dog needs to feels safe, loved, secure and confident enough to be themselves, do silly doggie things, BUT still know the rules and the boundaries. I help you recognize desirable behaviors and show you how to positively reinforce them in a way that your dog will understand. Press play on the video to see just what I mean!

Dog Training


Follow us on Instagram for behind the scenes of

Paws Up PDT + helpful information you can apply at home!


I love happy tails AND happy humans.  

Swipe through for some of my latest feedback below!

Summer, Leo + Whitby

"Mary-Jo Duffy is unique in that she is not only is skilled dog trainer but has a compassionate and realistic sensibility regarding dog families. I not only learned about good habits and training for my three very different pups but also learned so much about their individual traits and needs. People always comment on how beautifully my three dogs get along and I have never felt better about caring for them. I attribute all of this to Mary-Jo. I could not recommend her more highly."



Contact Me!

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Positive Dog Training

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Let's chat! (203) 984-5593