Golden Dog Adventure Co. gives ‘reactive’ dogs a supportive community

DURHAM — At first, Julie Veal was nervous about bringing her 2-year-old husky mix named Ripley to the Golden Dog Adventure Co. training event at Wagon Hill Farm. But when she arrived as a newcomer with Ripley, that nervousness faded.

“I immediately felt at ease when I spoke with Traci. I felt a general acceptance and that I could relax,” Veal said. “I felt much more comfortable than I thought I would, being here with him.”

In 2018, Traci Bisson began a community outreach program called The NH Dog Walking Club, which was part of her company It Takes A Village Pet Care, which provided dog walking and pet sitting services. However, when the pandemic hit, Bisson wanted to take it a step further. She put the company aside to focus on expanding the dog walking club, which was later renamed Golden Dog Adventure Co. with the goal of bringing dogs and their people together for an extensive range of social and educational events.

Laura Gendron, left, founder of Miss Behavior, a dog training serivce, and Traci Bisson, founder of Golden Dog Adventure Co., stand with Bisson's dog Gilley at Wagon Hill Farm in Durham during a Golden Dog event held June 12, 2022.

“We’ve grown because we really see the need,” Bisson said. “There’s nothing else like what we’re doing out there. It’s either adventures in education for dogs, or it’s adventures in education for people, but nobody seems to be putting the two together.”

One of the group’s tenets is summed up in the acronym PAWS, which stands for “Positive. Active. Wagging. Safe.” It’s the overall mission of the club to promote positive reinforcement for both dogs and their people, according to Bisson.

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