Methuen Dog Training

Training Staff

Our training staff is very professional and well versed in dog training and behavior.  We are all clicker trainers and regularly attend seminars and workshops locally and across the country. 

Mary Ann Callahan, CPDT-KA, Director of Behavior and Training

Mary Ann has been clicker training since 1995 and as part of her early instruction had the benefit of training in an 8 month long 'experimental' class conducted by Karen Pryor. She has enjoyed continuing her training education through many classes, seminars and workshops as well as participation on various training lists. Among her favorite workshop experiences were the 'Chicken Clicker Camps' she participated in with Bob and Marian Bailey.

Mary Ann actively pursues her desire to provide a more enjoyable and efficient learning experience for both the animals and people she teaches and has received extensive coaching over the last four years while teaching Chris Nielsen's 'Manners' program now in place at the MSPCA. Her training and coaching skills have also been advanced through her interactions with "Three Left Feet", a canine freestyle drill and performance team which performs demonstrations for community service.

In addition to the dog training classes Mary Ann teaches at the MSPCA, she also supports the training goals of her private clients and their variety of dogs, horses, sheep, pigs and one very amorous (albeit confused) rooster.

She shares her home with Buckley (Bernese Mountain Dog), and Buckaroo (Maine-Coon mix cat).  She has participated and competes) in activities such as canine musical freestyle, animal assisted therapy, rally, carting, agility, obedience, herding, tracking, and water rescue. Mary Ann teaches Puppy Play n' Learn, Basic Manners, Manners & More!, Private Lessons and CGC Prep.

Calli Towne, Training Coordinator

Calli has worked for the MSPCA at Nevins Farm since 1998 when she was hired as an animal caregiver. Over the years, her jobs for the MSPCA at Nevins Farm have changed until she started the Dog Training program in 2004. The program has grown ever since and is now supporting the training needs of the community with classes every day of the week as well as weekends.

Calli began training with her MSPCA alumni dog, Watson in 1999 at Gemini Dog Training in Littleton after he began to show behavior issues at home. They soon found a love for agility and competed in USDAA and NADAC trials until a back injury ended his career. Calli completed both Dogs of Course Instructor Training Courses: Teaching & Training and Consulting & Problem Solving. She has gone on to train two other MSPCA alumni dogs, Dexter, CGC, AD and Ollie, CGC. She competed with Dexter (AKA Dexi's Midnight Runner) in USDAA and NADAC Agility trials and also did Canine Freestyle Drill work with him. Calli and Dex attended numerous continuing education seminars and workshops with some of the top trainers in the country including Kathy Sdao, Kay Laurence, Clicker Expo and Amy Herot and Jill-Marie O'Brien.

She shares her home with Dexter (Silky Terrier mix), Ollie (Tibetan Terrier mix) and Lebe (Scottish Fold cat) in addition to two son and a spouse. Calli does Private Lessons.


Carolyn Barney, KPA-CTP, CNWI, Senior Instructor and Behavior Consultant

Carolyn has been working in the dog training and behavior field for over 30 years. She is currently focusing on service dog training, dog behavior consulting, k9 Nose work and clicker training for dogs, horses, birds and other animals. In addition, Carolyn also offers learning opportunities for new and advanced trainers and teachers; via lectures, workshops and dog trainer courses such as ITC offered by Carolyn founded and managed, a full service dog training and daycare facility, for 16 years before selling the business in 2006. She has developed many programs for dog training including authoring a book: "Clicker Basics for Dogs and Puppies", and two DVD's of media lectures: "Scaredy Dogs" a program for fearful dogs and  ”Starting off Right Beginner Agility Classes", both from programs for educating dog trainers.  For more information:

Carolyn continues her ongoing education at every opportunity while training, competing and titling many of her own and client’s dogs. Her training and competing spans a wide array of events including tracking, conformation, obedience, agility, earth dog, nose work, herding and training dogs to be good canine citizens.  Her current competitive sport is K9 Nose Work a scent detection game for dogs.  Carolyn does behavior consultations on site and teaches our Ruff Diamonds classes as well as K9 Nose Work and other advanced classes.

Nini Bloch, Instructor

Nini’s interest in dog training blossomed when she got her first Australian Shepherd in 1991, tasted obedience competition, and soon found a passion for dog agility. She became a founding member of the ARFF agility club in 1993. She not only has instructed basic obedience and agility but also became fascinated in the mid-’90s by the power of clicker training.

As a writer and editor, she started focusing on dog training and behavior and has edited such award-winning books as Control Unleashed, Shaping Success, and The Agility Advantage. That work has steeped her in clicker philosophy and sharpened her clicker skills. Nini feels fortunate to have arrived on the dog-training scene during a revolution in dog training methods and a vast increase in the popularity of dog sports. She is invested in helping owners succeed and strengthen their bonds with their dogs while having fun along the way. 

Nini has competed in agility with four Aussies and designed and directed many of ARFF’s weekly practices She instructs Basic Manners, Agility, Control Unleashed and Wag It Games classes.


Sue Goley,  Instructor

A graduate of Animal Behavior College, Sue has been teaching classes through the MSPCA dog training program since 2008. She describes her work as extremely fun and rewarding, helping people learn how to effectively communicate with their dogs using positive reinforcement. She attended Karen Pryor's Clicker Training Expos in 2006 and 2010 and has taken several clicker training workshops to further her education. She attended Pia Silvani's Professional Teacher Training program in 2010.  Sue has grown up around dogs all her life and owns a Labrador retriever named River. Sue teaches Basic Manners and Better Manners classes.

Marion Long, KPT-CTP, Instructor

Marion Long has been assisting Ruff Diamonds and Puppy Play & Learn classes since 2012 She is a graduate of Karen Pryor Academy and is a Certified Training Partner (KPA-CTP). Marion has done extensive training with the MSPCA shelter dogs as part of a specially trained group of volunteers called the Behavior Mod Squad. She also fosters shelter dogs and puppies in her home. Marion shares her home with two MSPCA alumni dogs, Heidi, a Beagle/Shepherd mix and Milo, a Chihuahua/Terrier mix. Marion teaches Puppy Play & Learn, Basic Manners and Social Dog classes.

Emma Parsons, KPT-CTP, CDBC, Senior Instructor

Emma Parsons is currently the Canine Behavior Training Consultant for the VCA Rotherwood Animal Hospital in Newton, MA. She specializes in managing and rehabilitating the reactive and aggressive dog. Emma is a faculty member of Karen Pryor Academy for Animal Training & Behavior as well as of the Karen Pryor ClickerExpo conferences. She is the author of the books: "Click to Calm:Healing The Aggressive Dog" and "Teaching The Reactive Dog Class: Leading The Journey from Reactivity to Reliability." She gives "Click to Calm" seminars around the world, teaching others how to manage and rehabilitate reactive and aggressive dogs. She is a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT) and a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (CDBC) of the Canine International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC). Emma holds a BA degree from the University of Massachusetts Lowell, and shares her life with her husband, Greg, and their four clicker-trained competition dogs—three Goldens, Lizzie-Taylor, Kayden-Blue, Austyn-Roque, and a Papillon, Wylie-Rae. Emma is teaching "Control Unleashed Advanced" classes and doing Behavior Consults.

Melissa Zilembo, CPDT-KA, Senior Instructor 

Melissa joined the MSPCA dog training program in 2004, after completing the Animal Behavior College program. In 2007 she completed both Dogs of Course Instructor Training Courses: Teaching & Training and Consulting & Problem Solving. She has assisted and trained under some of the top Clicker Trainers in the industry and credits these experiences with improving her training and coaching skills, as well as her ability to plan, coordinate and manage group classes. Melissa is a Certified Pet Dog Trainer, a certification which requires her to continue her education by attending seminars and workshops regularly. Melissa is currently a Mentor Trainer for Catch Canine Trainers Academy. Her other experience includes: working as Head Trainer at a local dog daycare, coordinating dog playgroups, dog grooming and owning/operating her own pet sitting business. Melissa has been a certified American Kennel Club Canine Good Citizen Evaluator since 2006. In 2012, she became an American Federation of Aviculture Certified Avicuturalist, and is a coordinator for SOAR Birds, an organization which supports and assists adopters of shelter and rescue birds.

Melissa is also a Senior Exotic Bird Advocate and Bird Task force member at the MSPCA at Nevins Farm and has also been involved in the shelter's foster program. She currently owns three dogs, two Parakeets, two Quaker Parrots, a Moluccan Cockatoo and three cockatiels. She and her Australian Shepherds have participated in agility, conformation, rally obedience, canine musical freestyle, drill team, nose work and obedience. Her current focus is on clicker training for dogs and birds, and in her spare time, she practices Usui Reiki for animals of all kinds. Melissa teaches Basic Manners, Beyond Manners, Canine Good Citizen Prep, Control Unleashed and Puppy Play n' Learn classes.