Tara's School for Dogs

Humans and Dogs in Partnership. Let us show you how!

Lessons Weekdays Starting at 7:00 AM in the Park

Puppy and Adult Obedience, Manners & Problem Solving

Discounted Rates Support Our Pet Owner Community

Out-Door, In-Home or Remote Zoom Lessons (Combo Allowed & Encouraged)


Lesson Offerings

  • Puppy Obedience, Manners

  • Effective Puppy Socialization​ Alternatives

  • Welcome Home Puppy Set-Up

  • Adult Dog Obedience and Manners

  • Transition Help for Rescue Dogs

  • Adult Dogs and Puppies Problem Solving 

Private lessons customized to your individual training needs

Schedule at your convenience Weekdays and Weekends

Locations: Outdoors Park, In-Home, Remote Zoom 


Serving Manhattan Upper West Side, Upper East Side & Midtown

Combo Location Lessons are Encouraged. Ask us why! 

Social Distancing Guidelines Strictly Followed.

Humans must wear a mask for the duration of the lesson.

Please view this site from a desktop computer to see all the information on the site.

Coronavirus Precautions 


Social distancing practices

Masks must be warn

Various Locations Available 

Remote Live Zoom Classes Available

E-mail using the contact page for scheduling and answers to your questions. 


By Request Max 3 Participants

Outdoors Only


Mary Paranicas, CCDT

Founder & Owner

Positive Reinforcement  is the most effective and bond building training method available. When using positive reinforcement to train your dog the behaviors you want are rewarded and behaviors you don't want are ignored.

Mary is a professional dog trainer with certification from CATCH Canine Trainers Academy (CCDT). She is a member of The Association of Professional Dog Trainers and certified in pet first aid by the American Red Cross. Mary avidly pursues continuing education by attending conferences and staying current on dog training literature. She has also volunteered at a number of local dog rescue organizations and been a therapy team with her dog, Tara at New York Therapy Animals.


You’ll find that Mary is committed to positive reinforcement dog training and providing the most effective training methods to meet her clients’ dog training needs. She will help you build a lifetime bond with your dog through informative and fun classes. Teaching children, ages 7 to 12, is a specialty class Mary offers as an after school activity. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself and your dog laughing and smiling in class as you learn together!


Retiring from a professional ballet career and after a 25 year career as a clinical research specialist at Weill Cornell Medical College, Mary has become a professional dog trainer. She brings with her a sophisticated understanding of scientific principles and a true love of of people and dogs. She is life-long resident of Manhattan and lives with her human and animal family that includes a Sphynx cat, a Chinese Crested dog and a 14-year-old turtle.


Tara's School for Dogs is named after Mary's Chinese Crested named Tara. She's an expert on dogs!



Class Type

One on One Class


This class will be customized to your specific training needs in a way that best fits the way you and your dog learn. There is no better way to start life with a new puppy than with the guidance of a professional trainer that can help you grow that puppy into the best dog possible. If you have a senior or disabled dog, training can be tailored to their needs. Let me show you how to teach an old dog new tricks!


Join us for Puppy Level 1, Puppy Level 2 or Individualized Adult Classes.

American Kennel Club  Certificates are now offered for Puppies and Dogs. 

AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy, Canine Good Citizen (CGC) and Advance AKC Urban CGC 

Click here to learn more

Location! Location! Location!

Locations have become all important during the pandemic and it's easy to understand why. We are offering lessons either In-Home, Out-Doors or Remote on  Zoom. Each location offers it's unique benefits in terms of the environment it affords your dog and you. When you purchase a package of classes you may use a different location for classes. We will discuss and decide which is best for you and your dog or puppy. Regardless of location humans must wear a mask and maintain a distance of 6 feet. Of course no masks on Zoom where we can all see each other's smiling faces! Remember at Tara's School for Dogs having fun and enjoying the human animal bond is required!

At Tara's School for Dogs we take the utmost precautions for the prevention of Covid-19.

Group Class
Only by Request Limited 3 Participants

During the pandemic we are doing group lessons when a group of 2 or 3 people ask for a lesson together. This is what we are offering during the pandemic in an effort to curb the spread of Covid-19. Our Group lessons offer individualized attention and the benefit of watching others as they learn. This is very helpful in learning how to do the training exercises and avoiding common mistakes.

Socialization is an important for all dog, especially puppies. Group classes are a great way for puppies to socialize however, during the pandemic it's important to remember it's only one way and there are many others. We go over this extensively with all our puppy owners.

Group Family class will offer the opportunity to work as a team in training your dog. Not only will you  enhance the human - animal bond between your family and your dog, it will give you a happier, well behaved dog that you can do more with. All household members impact the dogs behavior, make that a positive experience by training the family dog as a team. Please note that currently group classes are only offered outdoors or on Zoom.

After School Class
Suspended Until Further Notice

Open to grade school children 7 years and older. This program takes place in your home, with your child and  the family dog (child caregiver must be at home). It's fun and educational. Children will learn about the science behind positive reinforcement dog training. Children will have an opportunity to practice both as a student themselves and as a teacher for the dog. Training classes help build confidence and leadership skills in children. 

Click for more  

Running Dog


Private Classes are tailored to the individual needs of students, both canine and human! At the first class we'll set up a plan with goals for both you and your dog. 

Group Classes only by special request for up to 3 participants. All group lessons are outdoors.

Basic Cues
and Manners

Teaching your dog basic cues keeps them safe and makes them a joy to be around. Basic cues include behaviors such as sit, down, come, stay, leave it, recall, etc.

Dogs 6 months and older are invited to take this class. 

Tricks can be taught once you and your dog learn the basic. This is lots of fun for both you and your dog! An old dog can learn new tricks, that's for sure!

The classes are private and will be tailored to your and the dogs individual needs. 

Puppy Socialization
And Puppy Cues
  • Socialization

  • Handling

  • Sit, Down, Come

  • Loose Leash Walking

  • ​House Training

At around 1 to 3 months of age, puppies are primed for bonding to other animals and individuals, for learning that objects, people, and environments are safe, and for learning what the body cues and signals of others mean. It is a critical and  sensitive period for socialization. It is the most important socialization period in a dog’s life. Puppies who do not get adequate socialization during this period tend to be fearful of unfamiliar people, or dogs, or sounds, objects & environments.

Problem Solving
Puppy & Adult

Causes of common problems will determine the best method(s) to address them. Some  problems can be addressed with training and others are best addressed by behavior modification.​ Both of these methods use positive reinforcement and of the desired behaviors.


Problems in puppies and adults can come up in response to changes in the environment, daily routines or physical illness. It may be important to first rule out any underlying medical issues with a visit to the veterinarian.


Private Classes

In - Home or Training Facility

Cancellations 3 hours in advance free

Absent without cancellation forfeit lesson

Group Classes (6 Week Series) 

Indoors Suspended

Location 84th and York Avenue

Lessons run 60 minutes

Class #2 Humans Only

One Makeup per series

Expires 2 weeks after graduation

Dogs must be vaccinated according to their age and have documentation from a veterinarian. Titers are acceptable proof of immunity, rabies as per New York State Law.  Please see resources and Protect the Pets for more information about vaccines and immunity.


Click on a dog below to see our Google Reviews


These position statements were developed through the cooperation of the members of the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior (AVSAB) and reflect the opinion of this association on a variety of topics related to the field of animal behavior. At Tara's School for Dogs we adhere to these postions.

The Primary and most important time for puppy socialization is the first three months of life.1, 2 During this time puppies should be exposed to as many new people, animals, stimuli and environments as can be achieved safely and without causing over-stimulation manifested as excessive fear, withdrawal or avoidance behavior. For this reason, the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior believes that it should be the standard of care for puppies to receive such socialization before they are fully vaccinated
Choosing a dog trainer can be one of the most important decisions that you make in your dog’s life. The techniques that a trainer uses can strongly affect how you interact with your dog for years to come. Therefore, it is very important to choose your trainer wisely. Look for these characteristics among others:
  • Reward-based training
  • Good teacher
  • Continual education
  • Respectful

To Spay or to Neuter, That is the Question

Dr. Becker: The Truth About Spaying and Neutering

Dr. Karen Becker, a proactive and integrative veterinarian,

discusses neutering or spaying pets. To watch Dr. Becker's

discussion click the dog!

Peeping Dog
Click on TEDEd to watch a video

Dogs see with their noses!


You may have heard the expression that dogs ‘see with their noses.’ But these creature’s amazing nasal architecture actually reveals a whole world beyond what we can see. Alexandra Horowitz illustrates how the dog’s nose can smell the past, the future and even things that can’t be seen at all. 

Links to more Resources

The American Kennel Club (AKC) is a registry of purebred dog pedigrees in the United States. In addition to maintaining its pedigree registry there's loads of helpful information for pet owners of any dog, mixed breed or purebreed. Click AKC Logo for more.

Protect the Pets Logo.jpg

Vaccines are necessary to protect your pet against deadly diseases. Please click the logo to learn more about Titer Testing. It's a test which can determine if your dog still has immunity from a past vaccine before giving a booster. Click for the scientific literature.  

When vaccines are needed consider a dose based on the weight of the pet.

Click here for more information about correct dosing. 

Titers are very affordable. Click here to learn more about labs and costs.

Kids and Dogs

Whole Dog Journal 2019

These days, it seems that every time someone posts a picture on social media of a child with a dog it is immediately followed by a spate of posts expressing horror at the anticipated savage attack likely to follow. Click for more 



After School Program

RULES 4 After School Program

  • All lessons take place at the dog and child's home

  • There must be a supervising adult at home

  • The adult at home may only watch the lesson

  • The lesson is for the child and the dog

  • Child must be between 7 and 14 years old

  • Everyone must be ready to learn, smile & have fun

  • Parents must be ready to watch a dog show graduation


Top 10 Tricks Kids Can Teach Dogs

Name, sit, stay and give me your paw are only a few of the tricks your child can learn to teach the family dog. Here's a few tips on how it's done. 

Click for more

7 Good Reasons Why You Should Get a Dog for Your Kids

Dogs are affectionate animals that have a positive impact on children. A dog is a compassionate friend, an entertainer, a protector and a teacher. Every kid dreams of having a dog as a pet.


However, many of us think of them as smelly, hair-shedding creatures that poop everywhere and bring dirt inside the house. Some people also perceive them as a menace and a source of various diseases and allergies—which is why some parents avoid having a dog at home.

Here are seven doggone good reasons to buy or adopt a dog for your kids:

Working Mother click for more

Your Children Should Help Train the Dog

Kids are great natural trainers, and tend to have more time than the adults do to spend with the dog. Also, when they learn positive training techniques, kids learn how to interact with and influence the behavior of other sentient beings without using force, fear, pain, or intimidation. These are skills that may serve them well in their interactions with their friends, classmates, and perhaps even their siblings! Click for more 

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Use the form below with questions or to sign up for training. Let us know what kind of dog you have and what training services you are interested in. We'll get back to you quickly.

© 2020 Tara's School for Dogs

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