"Mike is wonderful. My dog loves him and playing while learning at his house. He truly has a heart for dogs and has a way to get them to listen. He is so kind and does anything and everything to make sure both you and your dog are comfortable. I do not have enough good things to say about him!!"
- Kristin
"Michael is the most caring person. I couldn’t trust anyone more than I trust him with my dog. He goes above and beyond anyone else that you will find solely because he loves what he does. He always keeps me updated on my pups progress and send many pictures. He has a great backyard that all the pups can play together. I would recommend him to everyone and anyone!"
- Denise
"Mike is beyond amazing with our dog, there is no one I would trust more with Kingston whether it be daycare or walks to overnights when I am out of town. Mike helps tremendously with the small puppy troubles, actively trains Kingston and honestly just goes above and beyond. I wouldn't think to have anyone else in Charlotte watch and care for my puppy after being with Mike for almost a year!"
"Our two pups have been seeing Michael since they were brought home. One from a breeder and one from the animal shelter. He has helped us with crate training, potty training, feeding routines, socialization, walking, fetch and even catching frisbees. They truly love their time with him and all the pups. He has helped us through the first year with two young dogs tremendously. We cant thank him enough and recommend him to every dog family we know!"
-Laura & Caroline
"Mike is the best! He’s patient, extremely knowledgeable and a true dog lover! He’s worked with my Kali Girl on leash training, manners, confidence and socialization. He has made such a difference in her old reactive tendencies/insecurities and has taught me a lot along the way as well! I would recommend him to any and all dog owners for training, boarding and/or doggy day care. Kali has made so many new friends and I never have to worry about her when she’s with him!"
Kelsi Matriccino
"Michael and his team are AMAZING! They make it so easy with our FURR babies when we travel. I know that our pups are not only staying in a cage free environment they are being treated as if they are Mike (& soon to be wife's) personal dogs. Not to mention when I pick up my dogs I question where the dogs I dropped off went as they are so well behaved from Mike's personal training and time that he spends with our dogs! I LOVE all the instagram videos they post while our dogs are visiting Hakuna Matata, gives you your pup fix while out of town! Mike's training skills are super helpful and makes having a dog so much more enjoyable! We do things with our dogs now that we would have never done in the past. We cant thank the Hakuna Matata Fam any more for all the love & time they have invested in our 3 pups!"
Rachel Denton
"Can not say enough wonderful things about Hakuna and their wonderful team. True animal lovers they have treated my pup as family for the last 3+ years. Super flexible and responsive. Go above and beyond for my pup. So trustworthy and I feel at ease knowing my dog is well taken care of in their hands. I have even utilized one on one training with Michael and he is wonderful and using his tips my dog has become a better leash walker. John is always prompt for my dogs midday walks and Im kept informed with updates and pictures of my pup while I’m at work. Joselyn also is wonderful with her grooming services and My pup always looks awesome after his baths. Even when I’m on vacation I receive updates from their boarding him and treating him like one of their own! Absolutely recommend and would not go elsewhere!!"
Kathryn Rielly
"I took my puppy Pickles to Hakuna Matata dog training and was so so happy with the results! Pickles learned better behavioral skills and was a whole new dog coming home! I loved that pickles was staying in a cozy place and trained to sleep in his bed so no crating was needed. They truly love the animals they work with and they treat us like friends/family, I am so glad we chose them! We also only use them for dog watching now as Pickles and my other dog love it there! We feel so much better when we are away now knowing they are in good hands."
Sam Stelle and Jamie Tout
"Nothing but incredible things to say! My friend recommended me and I won’t let anyone else watch my fur baby since. They treat Rosie like she’s their own, and send pictures daily to keep me updated throughout her stay! Everyone who works there is so passionate, knowledgeable, and loving to all of the animals. I am thankful I have found them!"
Kylee Visser
"Hakuna Matada is by far the BEST training and day care in Charlotte. The love that they have for dogs is amazing. 1,000% recommended."
Will Tharp
"Michael is amazing with our dogs! We can actually walk them now instead of them walking us hahaha."
Matthew Shelton
"Michael provides excellent care for our dogs. He is so sweet and caring. Very knowledgeable as well and have learned so much from him. We are so fortunate to have Hakuna Matata for our pups to stay with. Thank you Michael."
Jeanne Andaas
"The best investment I’ve made. I highly recommend Michael and his team to anyone with animals period! The results we’ve seen are outstanding. Their techniques and methods are easy to understand and implement. I cannot give enough praise for their services. We are very thankful to have our dog shaped into a well mannered gentlemen thanks to Michael."
Emily Goss
"Absolutely amazing! Rescued my pit Gracie in 2014. They said she was about a year or two. Which now makes her about six years old. She was so skidish around people specially around men. We never took her anywhere because we were afraid she would be aggressive. Two weeks of training with Michael and follow up appointments. My sweet Gracie is now playing with other dogs and great with people. This has never happened before. We are beyond words and grateful for Michael and his crew. Rescued pups rescued ! Thanks to Hakuna Matata Dog Care & Training."
Michelle Hlavna
"Michael was the perfect answer for our 9 month Chesapeake Bay Retriever. In a week of training, he turned our wild child into a sweet mannered puppy. His gentle nature was just what we needed for our girl. We didn’t want harsh techniques or pinch collars. We still wanted her to retain her spunky personality. We are thrilled with the results and give the highest recommendation to anyone looking for training."
Lori Bagley
"Michael is amazing with my dogs. One of them is frightened of almost all men ... except for Michael. He is patient and kind -- they both just love him. He has spent a fair amount of time training them as well and all of it has been successful. Big Thumbs up and I highly recommend Hakuna Matata Dog Care!"
Melissa Welch
"We have a rescue dog that is very unsure of new people. Mike went above and beyond to take the time and earn Buddy’s trust and I never stress when he’s in Mike’s care. I highly recommend Hakuna Matata Dog Care and Training."
John Handline
"Mike (the owner) is amazing with dogs, I have personally seen great transformations with a few dogs he has trained/borded. Great especially with behavior training."
Gabriel Shuman
"Our pup has been going to Hakuna Matata for daycare, walks, and training for almost a year, and we have nothing but great things to say. We have seen a huge improvement in his behavior and obedience, and definitely owe that to Mike’s hard work and dedication! They go above and beyond with carpool pick ups/drop offs, birthday celebrations, and they really treat all the pups like their own. We’d highly recommend Hakuna Matata to anyone who wants to feel confident that their dog is getting the best care!"
Ben & Lisa Conley
"There aren't enough words for how grateful we are for Mike, Joselyn and their team. We met Mike at the beginning of his Hakuna Matata journey and have been a part of it ever since. We began with walks and boarding for our first pup, Olive, and they love her as if she is their own. Olive is obsessed with them and gets equally as excited to see them as she does us, which instills so much confidence when we have to leave her for a weekend. A couple years ago, adopted a second pup, Charlotte, who posed to be a bit more difficult than Olive. When she began to show signs of leash aggression, Mike immediately knew what to do and what tools we needed to stay consistent at home. Within a matter of only a few weeks, Charlotte was walking right next to us and passing by other dogs without hesitation. His patience and commitment to Charlotte truly has molded her into such a wonderful, sweet and obedient dog. Aside from their training and boarding, they show love to every dog the way they love their own. Every pup gets a birthday party and is taken to a pet bakery to choose their own treat. They truly go above and beyond when taking someone else's pets into their care, and we recommend them to everyone we know. We'll never use anyone else, and I'm so happy to have them as a part of our lives!"
Chris & Caitlyn Losch
"Michael truly is amazing at what he does and I think he may even be an animal whisper! He is the only person I trust to care for my sweet Bentley James. He has helped us with crate training, on and off leash walks, potty training and to stop that puppy biting he so loved to do. I honestly can’t say enough good things about him or Joselyn. We are so grateful for them!"
Becky & Ryan
"We had a 5 yo Bassett then rescued a 2 yo Bassett... that was almost 2 yrs ago and Mike has given us the knowledge and strength to have a wonderful family! We moved a year ago and we all know how pets react to change! He made it a smooth transition and when we need to have Dog Daycare (we call it DoggyDisney) there could not be a better 2nd home! His wife Joselyn is a great groomer and we appreciate getting them back home Spick and Span!!"
Patricia & Dave Christopherson
"Mike & Joselyn are the best ever. My dog always comes home happy, tired & well behaved. These two love dogs so much and care for my baby as if he is their own. I highly recommend these amazing people for you dogs needs!!!!!!!!!"
Kaitlin Eibeler
"Mike is awesome! we have two dogs, a chihuahua mix and a Goldendoodle both males, before mike we almost had to keep them completely separate, and now they are best buds Mike helped us with crate training, socializing with other dogs, feeding routine and walks; walks are now enjoyable with no pulling. Mike has been great throughout the process of not only daily updates but also any questions and concerns we had. Cooper and Harrison love going over to mikes for daycare or overnight boarding."
Andy & Diana
"Michael and Joselyn are amazing. Michael is the Caesar Millan of our area. It’s a great feeling being able to leave my dog when I am out of town and I know that he will be well taken care of. And my dog loves going to doggy day care. He comes back so happy. Michael has help me trained 2 dogs ( one rescue, one from a breeder), both very different situations. And the experience with both have been amazing. I would not trust my dog with anyone else. Joselyn does an amazing job grooming my little guy. I love that I can send him to daycare and he can get groomed while he is there. We love Hakuna Matata."
Jessica Ramos
"Mike and Jos are by far the Best and Always will be in my Book! Apollo has found a second home and second dog life with all his Pup and Doggo friends. I couldn’t say enough to express how Thankful and Grateful I am for them and Apollo couldn’t be Happier when he’s over at H.M. Daycare. Never do I have to worry while I’m away on business trips and when I get him back he’s exhausted and ready for Naps, Love and Hugs. I’d recommend Hakuna Matata Daycare to Anyone!"
Alex Dortchy
"Signing my dog up for Hakuna Matata’s puppy training school was the best decision I made for my pup. I was amazed to see the progress my puppy made in just two weeks! Ziggy came home fully leash trained, and now we can enjoy afternoon walks together! He absolutely loves Mike and every person and dog at Hakuna Matata Dog Care & Training. Especially since they threw him a birthday party at daycare!! I highly recommend training your pup here. I promise they’ll thank you for it!"
Catie McAllister
"I literally think Michael is the dog whisperer. He has made such a difference with our dog Rocco’. He has taught us about body language, proper leash handling and how dogs react to leashes differently. Rocco’s behavior has changed dramatically in many ways. Especially with other dogs. We loved Michael and Joselyn so much that we take him there weekly for day camp now. We’re grateful for their laid back style, knowledge and care for our pup."
Jessica Ludwig
"We have been calling on Michael, Jocelyn, and their team for about two years now. Michael has been great with my dog, and I honestly wouldn’t call anyone else to come over and give her the best walk that she deserves. He offers advice and tips for better walks, and correcting behaviors. He also offers to go on walks with him for hands on tips. My dog loves Michael so much, when he’s coming over, I tell her who is on the way and she gets so excited! He’s always so happy to see her, and sends me pictures and videos of their walks together. I trust these folks to take care of my pup when I’m at work or away. They are so kind, and helpful. I know that anyone who calls these folks will have the same experience, as it is obvious they are passionate about dogs. Thank you Hakuna Matata!!!!"
Tuesday Welch
"Mike is awesome! I did the puppy training course and it was the best decision I made! My puppy Ollie learned so much. I love that he now has a place he feels comfortable for boarding and daycare, as well. Ollie loves Mike!"
Amanda Aneralla
"I cannot say enough fabulous things about Mike and Joselyn! They love my fur baby like their own and he comes home happy, tired, and so well-behaved. I love that they keep him in their home, while socializing him with other pups and maintaining his routine. Our 8-month old, 110 pound boy can be a handful at times, but they make it look easy and always provide support, tips, and opportunities for training "tune-ups." Thank you Hakuna Matata for taking such good care of Tyson!"
Amy Glosson
"Mike and Joselyn are wonderful people and amazing dog trainers! We have had a great experience with our Boxer being trained by both of them. They are very knowledgeable, caring and professional with our puppy and her training. I would highly recommend them!"
Jessica & Adam Augenstein
"Mike and Joselyn are so great with our strong-willed dog. He has improved so much since we started working with them, and he always loves going to daycare before coming home wiped out."
Eric O’Connell
"We first reached out to Hakuna Matata because we had a new rescue puppy who needed help with socialization. Our sweet dog has come so far with interacting with other dogs and people. Being able to have our dog trained, groomed, and even boarded at the same place has been so helpful. It is obvious that the staff love dogs and are able to work with dogs/families to develop a personalized training plan based on each individual dog’s behaviors and personality. Thanks!!"
Meredith Pochick
"Jocelyn and Michael are wonderful trainers who love dogs and love their jobs — more importantly, they are just good people. Our dog loves spending a day or stretch of days at Hakuna Matata. They send us pics and videos of our dog playing and learning, and she comes home happily exhausted (and clean if we pay just a bit more for a bath). It’s hard to think that there’s anywhere in Charlotte where you can get more for your money with dog training/boarding than Hakuna Matata."
Keith P.
Honestly 5 stars isn’t enough!! Hakuna Matata Dog Care & Training is the perfect place for my pup. Not only have Michael & Joselyn done a wonderful job training Ziggy, but they also provide boarding, daycare, and even grooming! They literally do it all. It’s perfect for a working dog parent like me! "Michael & Joselyn have created a safe and loving environment for Ziggy and I wouldn’t trust him with anyone else! He is always SO EXCITED to go to daycare and see his friends. They have become his second home and I believe it’s because they treat each dog like one of their own. Thank you Hakuna Matata! We appreciate all that you do for us!"
Catie M.
"Mike and Joselyn are the absolute best. Our dog absolutely loves going and playing all day, always coming home happy and wiped out. Just scroll through the pictures to see the happiest looking dogs you'll ever see."
Isabelle & Brandon W.
"We were referred here by a friend and so glad we were. Our Copper girl loves it here and we were so nervous boarding her for the first time, but she was already used to the environment and she loves Mike, Joselyn, and their team. She always comes home nice and tired and better behaved."
Nikki Terry
"I have used hakuna matata ever since I rescued my dog. She was a young puppy and was WILD. They worked with me and got her into puppy school training right away for a great affordable price. They tailor the training to each individual dog. Mine specifically was bad at being in a crate and he practically fixed it OVERNIGHT! All of the employees are friendly and professional. I’ve never had an issue getting my dog in for walks and daycare. They do it all! They do grooming, nail trimming, daily walks, bathing, training, boarding, and more. They even have helped me in an emergency when I needed last minute care for my dog without hesitation. I recommend them to absolutely everyone. There are about 10 of my coworkers that also use this service and every one of us love them and have had only amazing experiences. They always send photos and updates when your pet is in their care which I love! My father had an extremely defensive territorial dog who had never met other people or animals due to covid. He took her in and after just a short two week training program she is now outside playing with other dogs and able to be introduced to new people. They may not be miracle workers, but they’re darn close! They will give you all the tools and fundamentals you need to succeed and they will always have your back!"
Michael Porson
"2021 Update: still 5 stars (though they deserve more than that!). We were out of town for 5 nights and left Buddy in their care. We are pretty high maintenance with our dog and they went out of their way to be accommodating and gave Buddy a much needed refresher on his training. They sent daily videos and photos and he came back happy and recharged! Mike, Joselyn and their team are top-notch professionals."
John & Chris
"We just picked our pup, Bali, up from Mike’s Hakuna Matata 2 week puppy board and train. I am astonished at how far she’s come in such a short period of time. Mike is professional, knowledgeable, passionate and incredibly good at his job. He read Bali like a book within a couple of hours and focused on calming her down and reigning in her sassy side. She used to drag me down the street, sit down strike, jump and bite at the leash, etc. and now I can loose leash walk her around the neighborhood with no problems. I would 1000% recommend to anyone considering their training services. True miracle workers!!!"
Kate Hastings
"Mike & Joselyn are awesome! They treat your pup as part of their pack. They also take the time to teach humans how to communicate with their pups. Remi attends daycare and on occasion gets boarded for extended stays. They’re awesome! Would recommend 10/10, I always get a happy tired pup coming home. Anddd they host birthday pawties."
Nina Sanchez
"Mike & Joselyn are Amazing!!!! My rescue pup Gracie was not at all able to be around other dogs. Just a few days of Mikes training and he had her playing with his pups and other dogs too. I call him the dog whisperer!!! My other pup Daisy is a senior dog and Mike And Joselyn are so caring and compassionate to her. They truly are loving & professional trainers. Highly recommend them! I would give them 10 🌟‘s if I could!! ❌🐶"
Michelle H.
"When my wife and I moved to Charlotte 4+ years ago, we left our friends and family behind, which also meant we had to find someone to watch our pup, Cisco, when we both had to be out of town. Thankfully we found Mike and Joselyn! They have been nothing but fantastic with Cisco, and have helped us immensely with her continuous training. Every time we pick her up, she’s exhausted for days, so we know she has a great time there! I wouldn’t trust anyone else in Charlotte with our dog Cisco."
RJ Bogardus
"We LOVE Mike and Joselyn! Both of our dogs have been with them for a few months and the results we see already are monumental. Can’t thank them enough for the love and care they give to our pups every time."
Nicole Wagaman
"I have used Hakuna Matata for over 3 years now. They offer a variety of services to suit your needs and the needs of your dogs. Everything from training, to daycare, to boarding and beyond! I always recommend Michael and Jos to anyone who will listen because I don’t trust just anyone to care for my “children.” I always know my girls will be safe and loved on while I’m away when Hakuna Matata is in charge."
Jenni L.
"Mike and Joselyn are the absolute best! We are so thankful for the love and care they give to both of our dogs. We did the full 2 week training for our new puppy and 7 year old dog and we are so happy with the results. Can’t thank you enough."
Andrew Weber
"Mike and the Hakuna Matata team are great in getting to know your pup and treating them well and teaching them and having them interact with others. I took my dog there as a young pup and he has learned some life lessons that have really improved his behavior."
Mitch Rockett
"I can’t say enough good things about Hakuna Matata! I adopted Rudy almost a year ago and he had a questionable past that resulted in some behavioral issues. I set up a free Meet n Greet and Mike spent a considerable amount of time teaching me about Rudy’s behavior, leash techniques, body language, etc. Since then, Mike and his wife Joselyn have been Rudy’s go-to place for daycare and boarding (which has also included training). Rudy’s behavior has improved significantly and I feel like I have been given the tools/knowledge to keep him on track! I can’t recommend them enough."
Katie Pinney
"About four years ago, Nala and I left Richmond to start a new adventure in Charlotte. I worked long hours and couldn’t make it home during the day like I used to, so I knew I needed help. I looked into doggie daycares and walking services, but it was hard finding someone I could trust. Nala is just as sweet as they come, but living alone made her very protective and if I’m being honest, she’s never been great with other dogs. One day, I was chatting with the office manager at my apartment complex and she recommended getting in touch with Michael. I did a quick Google search and as fate would have it, his business was called “Hakuna Matata.” Upon our first meeting, I knew how passionate Michael was about dogs and the work he was doing with them. He took the time to learn as much as he could about Nala’s behavior and customized a training plan for her. He was patient and knew exactly what to do to gain her trust. When Michael started taking Nala on “pack walks,” I couldn’t believe my eyes. She never enjoyed going to the dog park or being around other dogs, but her attitude completely changed — she was a happy pup. Fast forward to today and I’m still a loyal client. Hakuna Matata provides the worry-free care that every dog owner wants and needs. Nala loves Michael and Joselyn, and not to speak for them, but I think they love her too. I can’t imagine them not being a part of her journey. She’s shown an incredible amount of progress over the last four years and she’s doing things I never thought I’d see her do — she walks, trains, plays, and sleeps with the other pups. She loves spending her days with all of her friends at daycare and I’m happy to say she’s officially a member of the pack. It’s truly a relief knowing she has a happy, safe place to interact positively with other dogs. I can’t thank Michael and Joselyn enough for making that happen!"
Jenna Hart

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