Who We Are

Meghan has been training dogs and other animals for as long as she can remember. In fact, she remembers training her childhood cat to “sit”, “beg”, and “fetch”! She has always been intrigued by human and animal behavior, leading her to pursue a degree in Psychology with a focus in Learning Theory. Owner & Head Trainer Meghan Burton has been training professionally for 10 years. In college, she participated in multiple semesters of independent research in her school’s pigeon lab studying behavior. After graduating, she took a job at a national pet store chain as a dog trainer, and found her calling. After interning with and assisting Laurie Luck of Smart Dog University she has since gone out on her own to form Canine Lifestyle Academy. She attends multiple seminars and conferences every year to keep current with the newest in dog training and behavior science. Meghan is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer – Knowledge Assessed and a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers.

Meghan’s biggest passions are:

  • Puppy socialization and training – so many behavior problems could be prevented by early intervention. If all puppies attended an off-leash puppy class, and had a trainer do an in-home consult to help with normal puppy issues, much fewer puppies would grow up to be adolescent shelter dogs.
  • Bully breed training and management – any dog with short fur, a large head, and a muscular body will face prejudice and discrimination, along with their owners. Training these dogs to be good citizens makes them ambassadors for their breed(s), and helps to sway public perception from negative to positive.
  • Rescue and adoption support – behavior problems are the number one reason dogs are surrendered to shelters and rescues. Making sure that foster dogs are provided with basic training, and adopting families are provided with support and information keeps dogs from being rehomed yet again – or worse, euthanized. Meghan provides behavior support to numerous rescues in Maryland.

Meghan is supported by her husband, Paul, their 3 year old daughter Kailyn, and their three dogs: German Shepherds Marcus and Kyra, and pit bull Grant.


Training Bethany with Max & Junoand administrative assistant Bethany Poese joined CLA in the spring of 2016, after taking her dog-reactive pit bull, Juno, through CLA’s Terrible Teens class with Meghan the previous year. Having conned her parents in to getting her two kittens as a reward for being potty trained as a toddler, she learned early that positive reinforcement was an effective way to influence behavior! She went on to take her first basic obedience class at 13 with her family’s sweet but stupid English Springer Spaniel, Carson, and the rest was history. Maxwell, a wild 10 month old rescue cockapoo with separation anxiety, and 3 cats (Lily, Pasha, and Mama) round out Bethany’s current crew of misfits.

While reactivity and anxiety in dogs is a topic near and dear to her heart, she also enjoys trick training, NoseWork – and soon, she hopes, agility with Max! She is currently in the process of logging the 300 hours necessary to take the CPDT-KA exam, and going to seminars and workshops taught by experienced trainers and behaviorists whenever she’s able.

Bethany runs our Train-ercise program, and helps with group classes and administration (and prefers email to phone calls, please!).