For 25 years, Ferraro has been turning K-9’s into ‘A’ students

Dogs just seem to want to follow former Revere resident Joe Ferraro, and he leads them to good behavior.

Ferraro has owned Joe’s K-9 Academy for some 25 years, and despite the down economy, is having one of the best business runs that he’s seen.

“The animal business is not just good, it’s spectacular,” he said. “Business is good even in this economy. People are taking care of their animals. If it keeps up the way it is, I might have to hire more trainers.”

Ferraro started his business on North Shore Road many years ago, and lived on Geneva Street with his wife, Linda, for two decades before moving to Lynnfield last year.

Right now, he can be contacted at or he can be contacted through the Pet Supplies Plus Store in Wellington Circle, where he gives classes every Tuesday night.

In addition to behavioral and obedience classes for pets, he also trains search and rescue dogs for law enforcement. Recently, he gave a demonstration at the Revere Housing Authority’s Doggie Parade.

He said he has always been good with animals, something that began when he was a kid and got a German Shepherd.

“I’m not and never was a big sports fan, but I was always good with animals,” he said.

Professionally, Ferraro worked for the state Department of Environmental Management, coordinating the K-9 Unit for 20 years. He retired from that job six years ago, but during his stint there he went to schools for dog training, which sent his business to new levels.

“It’s come a long way since I began,” he said. “I would take dogs with behavioral issues and I did a lot of training. I had a knack for it. Then I went to school and all the pieces fell together.”

Ferraro has to know the tendencies and particulars of numerous breeds of dogs, and said that he knows everything about at least 80 breeds. Of those, he said that the dogs that give the most trouble to him are Rottweilers.

“I think the most stubborn and unpredictable dog I’ve found in my career is a Rottweiler,” he said. “You have to train them when they’re young and many people don’t.”

As for the best dogs, he loves East German Shepherds.

“They’ve been bred as universal dogs – for war and for seeing-eye-dogs,” he said. “It’s been around forever and they don’t over breed the generations. I personally like East German shepherds. The European lines are the best.”

However, Ferraro said that any dog can be trained, and if anyone is having trouble with a dog, he might be able to correct the problems.

“Basically, I will figure out why your dog is aggressive or having socialization problems,” he said.

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