Matt with world famous canine legend RIN TIN TIN XII in the JSD booth at the 2012 H.H. Backer trade show in Atlantic City, NJ.
Matt started his dog training business after realizing many dog trainers fail to relate to the dog owner. He founded Jersey Shore Dogs on the belief that dog training should be offered from the owner’s perspective – empathizing with the owner AND dog (not just the dog). Approaching his training methods from this standpoint, Matt ensures owners feel comfortable and confident during training sessions, and that both owner and dog have a positive, fulfilling experience.
Matt’s education includes a B.S. in Business Administration from Villanova University. He received his CTC (Certificate in Training and Counseling) certification from The Academy for Dog Trainers, mentoring under world-renowned dog trainer Jean Donaldson, author of The Culture Clash. He’s also earned CPDT-KA (Certified Professional Dog Trainer-Knowledge Assessed) and ABCDT (ABC Certified Dog Trainer) designations, is a previous member of the Pet Professional Guild (the association for force free pet professionals), and listed on Truly Dog-Friendly.
Matt’s ongoing success in solving behavior problems, in dogs of all ages, has led to him being published in a variety of dog related publications. Additionally, he attends yearly educational workshops and seminars, while staying up-to-date with the most accurate research findings on animal behavior. Matt worked as a volunteer dog trainer at Woodbridge Animal Shelter in Woodbridge, NJ, and is a recommended dog trainer at Husky House Rescue in Matawan, NJ, and the Monmouth County SPCA in Eatontown, NJ.
Matt is the proud owner of three border collies – Motley, Dazzle, and Chase. Read about the border collie crew here.
- CPDT-KA (Certified Professional Dog Trainer-Knowledge Assessed) #1133175
- CTC (Certificate in Training and Counseling)
- ABCDT (ABC Certified Dog Trainer) #ABC25858
- Member, Pet Professional Guild #7033842
- Member, Truly Dog Friendly
- Published expert source for a variety of pet dog related articles (including Dog Fancy, Keep the Tail Wagging, NJ 101.5 FM radio, the Jersey Dog blog on NorthJersey.com, Care.com, Tails Magazine, CityDog Magazine, FIDOFriendly, and Dogtipper.com).
- Head dog trainer for Husky House Rescue (Matawan, NJ)
- Extensive animal shelter/rescue experience
- Graduate of Jean Donaldson’s Academy for Dog Trainers
- Graduate of Animal Behavior College
- B.S. in business administration from Villanova University
- “Best Dog Training” – Monmouth Health & Life 2021 Best of Monmouth Readers’ Choice Awards
- “One of the Best” Pet Services – Asbury Park Press 2019 Readers’ Choice Awards
- “Best Dog Training” – Monmouth Health & Life 2019 Best of Monmouth Readers’ Choice Awards
- “Best Dog Training” – Monmouth Health & Life 2018 Best of Monmouth Readers’ Choice Awards
- “One of the Best” Pet Services – Asbury Park Press 2017 Readers’ Choice Awards
- “Best of the Best” Pet Services – Asbury Park Press 2016 Readers’ Choice Awards
- “Best Dog Training” – Monmouth Health & Life 2016 Best of Monmouth Readers’ Choice Awards
- “One of the Best” Pet Services – Home News Tribune 2014 Readers’ Choice Awards
- “Best of the Best” Pet Services – Home News Tribune 2012 Readers’ Choice Awards
Melissa from Jersey Shore Dogs was exactly what we were looking for when seeking help to train our 6-month-old Australian Shepherd. We wanted a trainer that would come to our home and educate us, the owners, on the best way to train Brody. Melissa was always timely and very friendly with both my husband and I and our pup, Brody! We learned so many great training methods and Brody has been so responsive! It takes patience and practice, but I am very happy with what Melissa taught us and Brody has been learning and becoming such a well-trained puppy!
We were brand new pup owners (never had a dog before), and we researched trainers locally and Matt Tuzzo and Jersey Shore Dogs came highly referred. Matt returned my call promptly and was flexible to set up our first meeting and training. And he is always a text away even after our training was completed (and still 3 months later), for any question or input as we continue to evolve with our pup. Matt made our pup extremely comfortable and at ease, and after our first two hours my wife and I felt we had a great deal of useful information that helped us to be better owners/parents and to take some of the early frustrations out of dog ownership. Matt returned a few weeks later and we worked on other training and even the basics of good leash walking. Today at 6 1/2 months, our pup is potty trained, responds to multiple commands, enjoys her walks (as do I when at first they were very frustrating), and she is at ease with strangers and new dogs. The latter is due to Matt’s recommendation to send her to puppy kindergarten, in theory to a competitor, but Matt knew the play time with multiple pups under a controlled environment with a specialist in puppy kindergarten was the best for our pup. That says a lot to me about Matt and his interest of your pup or dog first.
When I realized I wanted some outside help with training my puppy, reaching out to Matt was the best decision I could have made. Even after just that initial phone conversation, I felt so much more at ease and I could not wait for our appointment. I already started to see a positive change in Rex’s behavior while Matt was still at my house, and he even stayed past our scheduled time to show me additional ways to train and work with my dog. The homework he gave us was straightforward and easy to follow. Matt made it clear that I could e-mail him at any time with questions or if I needed clarification on something, and he meant it. I must’ve e-mailed him 10 times in the first two weeks after our session and he was always very prompt in answering. He is eager to help and offer insight in any way he can. To say Rex loved working with him would be a huge understatement!
We can’t thank Matt enough for the work he has done over the past year and a half with our rescue dog Indy. We adopted him at five months old realizing quickly that he suffered from severe separation anxiety. Matt helped us develop (and continuously tweak) a plan that helped our sweet boy manage and cope with what was previously nearly impossible. Later, we had Matt back to work on fear of strangers, with almost immediate progress post visit. Matt’s knowledge, approach, and sensitivity are second to none.
Boogie did OUTSTANDING work today and I wanted to share her tremendous progress…We went to check out a park in Spring Lake, which turned out to be “swarming” with people and dogs (relative to what we’re used to). I almost D-I-E-D when a woman, who was walking her dog across the street, kept staring at us while I was working Boogie, getting her attention to focus on me. I thought she was staring like, “Uh oh, pit bull”, but then she said, “Wow, great job!” – I was giddy after that! I feel so much more confident with her and in my ability to deal with situations. Recently, we passed a house with a dog on the porch, but I didn’t see the dog before he started barking. I immediately got Boogie’s attention and we crossed the street…but immediately saw a cat (which Boogie wanted to chase), so again we crossed the street…zig zagging. I kept praising and treating the entire time and she responded so well! Other than the obvious importance of this training, I know when people see a pittie with a handler who seems to know what she’s doing (thanks to you!), and is prepared, constantly monitoring, working and is focused, it HAS to make a difference in their opinion of these dogs. Thank you for helping me achieve one of my major goals, being a good breed ambassador. Boogie is a super star!
Matt – the training tools and time you devoted to us made for an exceptional transition of Wilson into our household. Bringing a new puppy into a household with Benny, a very spoiled 7-year-old, weighed heavy on us, but we have achieved a nice balance and they have become friends. Your training tips and the time we spent following your directions and protocols, along with the investment of time at puppy kindergarten, has brought us to a good place. Thank you, we are very grateful!