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Private In-Home or Outdoors Lessons
Puppy Foundations I
Puppy Foundations II

Adult Dog Programs
Behavior Modification 
More Information

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Certified Professional Dog Trainer
Positive Reinforcement Dog Training
Local Dog Trainer in Manhattan
Rates That Support Our Pet-Owning Community
Start Training with Us Next Week 
Mary Founder of Tara's School for Dogs and Tara
CPDT-KA Professional Dog Trainer Certificate
CCDT Dog Trainer Certification CATCH Canine Dog Trainers Academy Certification
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Supporting Member of IAABC
Certificate of Completion Master Couse in Dog Aggression

Mary Paranicas BA, CCDT, CPDT-KA
Founder & Owner

Mary is a professional dog trainer with certification from CATCH Canine Trainers Academy (CCDT) and from Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CPDT-KA). She is a member of The Association of Professional Dog Trainers, certified in pet first aid by the American Red Cross, an American Kennel Club (AKC) Evaluator and a supporting member of IAABC. Mary avidly pursues continuing education by attending conferences and staying current on dog training literature. She has also volunteered at a number of 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. 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 Mary attended Fordham University graduating from their Pre-Med program with a BA,  and dual major in Natural Sciences and Psychology. 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 for people and dogs. She is a lifelong resident of Manhattan and lives with her human and animal family which includes Tara, a Chinese Crested dog, and Ruby, a Maltipoo, and Blue Jack Stone, a 21-year-old turtle.


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

Professional Dog Training at Tara of Tara's School for Dogs

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

Tara's School for Dogs


Private Lessons

Private Lessons

Customized Training

Lessons 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 raise your 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!


Puppy Foundations 1, Puppy Foundations 2, 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 

Our private 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, but it will also give you a happier, well-behaved dog that you can do more with. All household members impact the dog's behavior, making that a positive experience by training the family dog as a team.​

Behavior Modification

Behavior modification techniques can help change unwanted behaviors in your dog. Behaviors such as jumping, barking, resource guarding and separation anxiety can be treated by use of behavior modification techniques. This approach to changing unwanted behaviors uses management, desensitization and counter-conditioning techniques.

Private Lesson Locations

We offer private lessons, in-Home, out-doors or remote over Zoom. Each location offers its 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. For indoor locations, we are requesting that humans wear a mask and maintain a distance. Remember at Tara's School for Dogs having fun and loving the human-animal bond is required!

AKC  American Kennel Club Logo
Puppy Training at Tara's School for Dogs

Private Packages Are Individualized

Puppy Foundations 1
Six One-Hour Lessons
  • AKC STAR Puppy

  • Socialization

  • Handling & Manners

  • House Training

  • Sit, Down, Stand

  • Targeting

  • And more​

Just like a human infant your puppy's brain and body are in an accelerated period of growth during this early stage of their life. Training at this time will set them up to be amazing adult dogs. At about 8 to 18 weeks of age, puppies are primed for bonding to animals and individuals, for learning that objects, people, and environments are safe, and for learning what the body cues and signals of others mean. Besides socialization, at this age, your puppy is mature enough to begin basic training. This not only teaches them basic obedience and manners but also how to learn. Introducing Positive Reinforcement Methods to your puppy will help them experience learning in this paradigm as second nature, which will serve them well throughout their lifetime. 

Video Puppy Foundations I

Puppy Foundations 2
Six One-Hour Lessons
  • AKC Canine Good Citizen

  • Loose Leash Walking

  • Stay Advanced

  • Advanced Manners

  • Leave It & Release 

  • Tricks​

  • And more

This important second level of your puppy's training includes continued improvements on all the Level 1 behaviors. Let's face it, your puppy is still young and goofy. It's important to continue working on the Level 1 behaviors by proofing them so your dog can do them in various environments, not just at home. Your puppy will learn to keep their focus on the person walking them when on leash, so they do not pull and look for things to eat on the ground. Your puppy will also learn some fun and silly tricks. At Tara's School for Dogs tricks are an important part of training because the dog gets lots of treats and smiles!

Adult Dogs
Pack or Single Lessons
  • AKC Canine Good Citizen

  • Adult Rescue Dog

  • Transition to New Home

  • Sit, Down, Come, Stay

  • Leash Walking​

  • Behavior Problems

  • And more


If you adopted an adult dog or just want to train your adult dog you have come to the right place. At Tara's School for Dogs we are firm believers in old dogs learning new tricks! Your dog can learn obedience and manners or address problem behaviors. Often times rescue dogs have a bit of trouble adjusting to their new home. We can help with that and be there to support you through the initial transition period. If you have just moved to the city or have a change in your living situation such as moving to a new place we can help with that as well. If you have a senior dog and they develop health-related issues, such as blindness we can help with management and other techniques.

It's important that socialization occurs during this critical period of development that starts at 8 weeks and ends between 13 to 16 weeks of age. There is no substitution for intensive and ongoing socialization for your puppy during this critical period of development. Puppy socialization is fun and easy when we guide you through various activities to ensure you and your puppy get it right. It's not just about meeting other dogs and people, puppy playdates, or group classes. Think about puppy socialization not only in terms of interactions with other puppies or people but, as experiencing new things, learning about the outside environment, and enjoying enrichment activities. As a pet parent, you'll only get one chance to get this right as it's occurring only during this phase of puppy development. The weeks of the critical puppy socialization period will fly by more quickly than you can imagine. So make the most of it by training as soon as your new puppy arrives.

At Tara's School for dogs we help make puppy socialization easy, fun, and effective. 
Puppy Stages of Development on AKC website


Puppy Socialization

Puppy & Adult
Problem Solving and Behavior Modification

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.

Common problems include: Barking, Separation Anxiety, Chewing, Leash Pulling, Nipping, Resource Guarding, Jumping, House Accidents,etc. First we'll determine the underlying causes of your puppy or dog's issues and then decide on the best management and training methods to address them.


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.

Class Pup1 Pup 2 Adult
Puppy Foundation & Adult Detail

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
Links to more Resources

What animals are thinking and feeling, and why it should matter | Carl Safina | TEDxMidAtlantic

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.

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. 

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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.

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Relaxed Pandemic Rules
Please if you have been exposed to someone with Covid or are not feeling well reschedule your lesson. We offer an easy cancelation policy because things happen.

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