About Us

Dedicated since 1999 to helping you become a highly skilled, professional canine massage provider.

Our Canine Massage School:

The Lang Institute for Canine Massage is a Colorado state-approved training program that has provided top-notch instruction since 1999.

We offer a comprehensive 688-hour program for canine massage, designed to provide you with a solid foundation for starting your new career as a highly skilled canine massage provider.

Grounded in the techniques of the Lang System, our program teaches through a combination of home study course work and a four-day hands-on practicum in which students practice specific massage techniques.

The Lang Institute for Canine Massage is approved and regulated by the Colorado Department of Higher Education, Private Occupational School Board.

The Lang Institute for Canine Massage is also approved by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB) as a Continuing Education Approved Provider.

The Lang Institute for Canine Massage is also accredited by by the United States Association of Dog Trainers (USADT).


Our Faculty:


Joanne Lang, founder of the Lang Insitute for Canine Massage schoolExecutive Director – Joanne Lang, MCMT

A Master Certified Massage Therapist, Joanne Lang has over thirty years of experience in massaging humans, dogs, horses, and even an elephant! Her deep love of animals led her to create the Lang System, a series of massage techniques specific to dog anatomy and physiology. In 1999, she founded the Lang Institute for Canine Massage to teach others how to use these techniques. Today, the Lang System is used throughout the world by her highly skilled graduates.

Joanne and her work have been featured on the Horse Network, the Outdoor Life Network, and the Discovery Channel. Lauded by her students for her teaching abilities, and dedicated to improving the well-being of animals, she has a passion to share her expertise and a commitment to ensuring high standards in canine massage. Among her own clientele, Joanne counts championship show dogs, handicapped and elderly dogs, sports dogs, and family pets.

veterinarian and faculty memberContributing Faculty – Joni L. Freshman, DVM, MS, DACVIM

Dr. Joni L. Freshmen, Board Certified in Veterinary Internal Medicine, serves as the Lang Institute’s expert on canine anatomy, physiology, pathology, and nutrition.  A primary contributor to our course materials, she is a specialist in clinical internal medicine, with an expertise in canine reproduction neonatology.  Joni has worked at the Denver Zoo, Auburn University, and Colorado State University. Through her AcuPets Mobile Veterinary Acupuncture service, she provides acupuncture, spinal adjustment, and cold laser therapy. When not consulting in her areas of expertise, she serves as an American Kennel Club conformation judge. Joni and her Belgian Tervuren participate in Therapy Dog International and compete in professional dog shows.

Veterinarian and canine massage school facultyContributing Faculty – David S. Miller, DVM, PhD, DACZM

Dr. David S. Miller is a 1992 graduate of the University of Wisconsin, School of Veterinary Medicine, with private practice experience in exotic, small, and large animals. Trained in canine chiropractic, he is a primary contributor to the Lang Institute’s course materials in the areas of anatomy, pathology, disease, and hygiene and is a lecturer in our online videos.  Dave is Board Certified in Zoological Medicine and has worked for several zoos. Experienced in emergency veterinary medicine, he currently works on wildlife disease issues.

paleopathologist and osteologistContributing Faculty – Dr. Sue Ware, PhD, MA, MA

Dr. Sue Ware, PhD, is a Research Associate in the departments of Earth Science and Zoology at the George C. Page Museum of La Brea Discoveries and the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.  She is an expert in canine skeletal anatomy and a contributor to the Lang Institute’s home study course manual and online videos.  Sue holds a PhD in Interdisciplinary Studies with an emphasis in paleopathology and comparative osteology from the Union Institute and University.  CEO of Flatline Consulting & Research, she has over thirty years of teaching experience in subjects such as osteology, paleopathology, animal behavior, and Egyptology.

physical therapist and Lang Institute for Canine Massage graduateContributing Faculty – Laurie Cramer, PT, BA, BS

Laurie Cramer, the owner of Gone To The Dogs LLC, has over fourteen years experience in canine rehabilitation. A graduate of the Lang Institute, she serves as our expert in using the Lang System to enhance canine physical therapy.  Laurie also works with humans. As a practicing, licensed Physical Therapist in the state of Alaska, she specializes in pediatric physical therapy. Laurie enjoys dogsledding and has handled dogs for mushers such as Lance Mackey on the Yukon Quest International Dog Race.

teacher and canine massage school education specialistContributing Faculty – Nita Bitner, BA

A native of Hawaii, Nita Bitner is the Lang Institute’s go-to person when developing home study and teaching materials. An education specialist with over two decades experience as a secondary school teacher in Colorado, she ensures our curriculum is thorough and easy to use.  As former president of Sherlock Hounds Detection Canines LLC, Nita selected and trained narcotics detection dogs. Currently active on the dog show circuit, she breeds and trains championship beagles, terriers, and Pembroke Welsh corgis, and teaches conformation classes.

education consultantContributing Faculty – Beth Kelly, BA

With a BA degree in Art and Education, Beth Kelly ensures our course materials support beginners and students who are new to dogs. Using her twenty-one years of teaching experience, she designs effective tests for each of our modules to assess student comprehension.  Beth has received the Outstanding Service Recognition award for the Thompson Education Association in Colorado, where she developed school district standards and curriculum.  An avid animal enthusiast, she has worked with nationally known dog expert Mackey Kelly.  Through her company Sherlock Hounds Detection Canines LLC, she trains terriers and Labrador retrievers as narcotics detection dogs and therapy dogs.