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Monday, July 6, 2020

Reopening information

Welcome to everyone who has been inquiring about starting classes at WonderDogs and to all our current students whose patience and understanding has been phenomenal these past few months. 

We will be reopening on Monday, July 6th.  For the first week, hours will be somewhat different than usual:  Monday 10-6, Tuesday 10-9, Wednesday 10-6, Thursday 10-9, Friday 10-6, Saturday 9-4 and Sunday 11-5.  These hours will likely revert to our regular schedule the following week.

We will be calling and/or emailing all students whose sessions were interrupted to confirm their attendance as we resume their classes. We will not be giving refunds for any sessions that had to be postponed but we will issue credit for any unused classes for anyone who chooses not to resume class when it restarts.

Because we need to finish up all those interrupted classes, we will be posting tentative start dates for new sessions on Sunday or Monday.  Please remember that these may change as circumstances indicate.  You may sign up on line, by phone or by mailing a check.  If you are a new student, please fill out the enrollment form on line to help facilitate your registration.  All students, current and future, are required to agree to the following guidelines:

Here are the best practices we will be undertaking and asking for your compliance.

In general

Everyone must wear a mask when in the building.  No exceptions.

Please register online or by phone whenever possible to minimize traffic in the office.

We are asking that you not enter the building until a staff member indicates you may do so.  The class that may be taking place before yours must be allowed to exit safely before the next class enters.

Seating in the entry area will be placed a minimum of 6’ apart.  Please do not move the chairs.

Please bring water for your own dog if you choose to.  No individual waterers or communal water bowls will be available.

You may bring your own seating if you prefer. 

There will be no shared crates.  If you need or prefer to crate your dog, feel free to bring a crate with you or crate in your car.

We will have hands free soap dispensers and hand sanitizers in both rest rooms, the office and at the front door.

Entry area

A hand sanitizing station will be available.  We recommend you utilize it as necessary as you arrive and leave.

Chairs arms will be sanitized after each class.

Please respect the required 6’ distance between students at all times.


Only 1 person may be in the store at any given time.  Paper bags instead of plastic will be provided for purchases. You will be asked to tell us your credit card information rather than handing you card to a staff member to swipe it.


Unless absolutely necessary, only 1 person/dog will be allowed in class.  One additional family member over 18 years of age may sit in the entry area during class.  Using Zoom or other virtual methods of sharing your lessons with other family members will be allowed and encouraged since we recognize that training your dog is a family affair.

Instructors will not be demonstrating exercises with students’ dogs in pet dog classes as we did in the past.  We will not be offering our supply of treats, toys and equipment to share with students.  Please make sure you bring everything you need each week.

Some classes may be held outdoors if and when appropriate.

Most handouts will be given at one time at the beginning of your session instead of doled out weekly as previously done. 

Any exercises considered impossible to execute under the current restrictions will be modified to make them safe and practical.

Please allow your dog to relieve itself before class to minimize unnecessary movement and distractions.

For members and graduating students, we will soon have an online way to take advantage of any discount to which you may be entitled.

We are doing everything we can to keep our pets, customers and employees safe and to keep our operations running at normal levels. In light of COVID-19, we’re increasing the frequency and extent of daily cleanings and taking extra operational steps to ensure that you & your pet can continue to enjoy the benefits of your time at WonderDogs.

The facility will be open on Monday, July 6 but please check the web site for information on new start dates.

We are committed to doing what is right for our employees, guests & clients during this challenging time.


Normal, healthy dogs need a substantial amount of exercise to stay mentally and physically fit. Dogs that have had sufficient daily exercise are easier to manage, are generally less destructive and develop fewer bad habits. Our premise has always been that tired dogs are well behaved and thereby produce happy owners.

Before you begin any new exercise program, please make sure your dog has had a recent physical checkup and that the dog is in good health and physically sound. If there are any medical issues, exercise should be adapted to safely meet the dog’s needs.

A brisk walk on leash may be great exercise for a miniature Dachshund but be totally inadequate for a young German Shepherd Dog. Typically, owners get tired after a one mile walk but the dog just considers it a warm up. Increasing your speed, walking up hills and increasing distance may improve the quality of exercise your dog is getting if walking on leash is its primary form of physical activity.

By using a long line (30-50’) that the dog can trail in a safe area like a field or playground allows the dog to romp and run but enables the owner to stop the dog from running off simply by stepping on the line. This can really improve the quality of the exercise the dog is getting. Obviously, if you are elderly, disabled or your dog outweighs you, this may not be the best technique for you to use.

Gradually increasing your dog’s stamina by slowly increasing the speed and distance he or she is walking can then give you the option of running with the dog. Running is great aerobic exercise for both of you

Occasionally it seems challenging to know what the adequate amount of exercise is for any individual dog. This is best determined by trial and error. The “right” amount is what gets the dog to settle afterwards and does not get him revved up and out of control. Sometimes it’s even more challenging to provide it. Here are some ideas for physical and mental exercise for your pet. Some suggestions require that you participate as well. Others are suitable for owners who have exercise restrictions or for any owner contending with bad weather or when time doesn’t allow for more aerobic activity. Even if you cannot run, bike or swim with your pet, you can exercise your dog sufficiently. And remember, tired dogs are much better behaved! That’s a huge plus, especially when dealing with a high energy puppy or adolescent dog.

    Here Are Some Fun Ways To Excercise Your Dog:
  • Walking briskly and for substantial distances several times daily.
  • Running for short distances gradually building up to longer ones.
  • Swimming or even endlesslychasing waves back into the ocean.
  • Biking using a safe device like the Springer™
  • Playing with other dogs that have similar play styles (read our dog park article) good & bad effects
  • Using a long line in various locations to let your dog run “freely” but safely Indoor/outdoor
  • Letting your dog chase a laser light
  • Using a Chase ‘n’ Pull toy (also sometimes called a flirt pole)
  • Playing “find it” by hiding goodies all around the house and directing the dog to locate them.
  • Filling a Buster Cube™ to feed the dog instead of putting food in a bowl
  • Sprinkling dry food around your yard and letting the dog hunt for its meal
  • Playing the food toss game: toss a treat/say “get it” – call the dog back and toss the treat in the opposite direction (use your call word only if the dog is approaching)
  • Playing fetch
  • Playing Frisbee™
  • Engaging in dog sports like agility, flyball, rally obedience, K9 Nosework©, tracking, etc.

Remember that as the owner, you should be in charge of starting and ending any games that require your participation. Always stop before the dog decides to quit. You can always play again at a later time. And, above all, remember to have fun! After all, isn’t that why you got a dog in the first place?