Homepage NH Dog Walking Club

Welcome to the NH Dog Walking Club

Our Mission is to bring dogs and their people together for exercise, education, and socialization in a positive, welcoming, and fun environment.

The NH Dog Walking Club, formerly known as It Takes a Village Dog Walking Club, offers dog owners several options and benefits with membership.

The Club is a closed membership that opens four times each year, for 10 days only, to welcome new members on March 20th, June 20th, September 20th and December 20th. To receive priority notification when the Club membership doors open, please complete our Contact Us form.

Dog owners receive many benefits with their membership, including the P.A.W.S. Trail (Positive, Active, Wagging, Safe) - dog training success path.

The P.A.W.S. Trail is a collaborative effort between the NH Dog Walking Club, several certified dog trainers, and other pet professionals located throughout NH. This interactive curriculum welcomes and introduces members to the Pack, and gives them access to education and resources that have been developed based on member feedback over the past several years. Monthly, members also have the opportunity to connect with other members, dog trainers, and pet professionals in our online Zoom Room for additional support and education.

Your membership leads you through our 5 stages of training success, including:

  1. Welcome to the Pack
  2. Pack Member
  3. Sport Dog
  4. Trick Dog
  5. Traveling with Dog

At each stage, you will receive the resources and education needed for you and your dog to learn valuable dog training skills. You then advance to the next stage and earn Club badges to mark your achievements.

History of the Dog Walking Club

The Club originally launched in December 2018 as a community outreach effort of It Takes a Village Pet Care located in Barrington, NH.

Over the years, the Club has welcomed over 1,300 members to its online Facebook community from NH, ME, MA, and CT, and brings dog lovers together for connection, education and exercise.

The Club offers Official Monthly Walks hosted by industry experts who speak on several topics. In addition, the we host Pop-Up Walks, live events, Club Pawtys, unique outings, holiday activities, dog training events, and more. Annually, the Club supports three NH pet industry nonprofits by raising awareness and funds for their organizations.

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Future of the Dog Walking Club

As we have pivoted and adapted to better serve the needs of our members, we have adopted a new mission, vision, and core beliefs and values statement.

Mission:
To bring dogs and their people together for exercise, education, and socialization in a positive, welcoming, and fun environment.

Our Vision:
To build a community of dog owners who are dedicated to the health and wellness of their pets using positive reinforcement techniques and sustainable pet care practices.

Core Beliefs & Values:

  1. We believe dogs are family.
  2. We believe that the human/dog bond is strengthened through quality time spent with a community of people who have similar interests and beliefs about pet care.
  3. We believe dogs learn best using positive, fun, and enriching training methods.
  4. We believe collaborations with pet professionals benefits our members by offering the best educational resources for learning and growing.
  5. We believe that time spent in the natural world reduces stress, increases happiness, and improves the health of dogs and their people.

What's Coming in 2021!

In 2021, the Club will continue to offer the same in-person and live events that are popular with members as well as offer additional events requested by members in our 2020 survey:

  • Additional walks in Rockingham and Strafford counties,
  • New and unique outings with dogs (corn maze, hike with lunch at a café, Earth Day clean up walk, geocaching, boat ride, etc.),
  • More group training events such as doggy socials, Parkour, dog sports introduction, agility, and obedience training,
  • Walking tours of nearby cities and dog-friendly businesses,
  • Additional training support for reactive dogs,
  • More off leash doggy socials/events,
  • Additional dog training resources online and in-person,
  • New and different hikes/walks throughout NH, southern ME and northern MA,
  • More weekend events, and
  • Weekday walks/events.

Testimonials

Connie R.
Barrington, NH
The members are warm, loving, and inviting.
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Jan N.
Strafford, NH
Though we have not participated due to scheduling conflicts - this has been on my radar every week. Everyone seems to have an awesome time learning and experiencing new things. Joining up with other folks for networking/exercise with their 4-legged bffs too!
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Janice R.
Barrington, NH
Just wanted to say thank you for arranging, recording, and posting today's presentation on Dog Walking Safety During Trapping Season. Bean is off leash a lot when we walk the trails by our house and I have always been concerned about this.
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Mary H.
Rochester, NH
I love that the people who run the Club are so calm and accepting of all dog temperaments.
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Cathy S.
Stratham, NH
The NH Dog Walking Club offers opportunities for my dog to interact with other dogs in a safe environment. It is a social outing for me and my dog! I love the monthly experts too.
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Beatrice B.
Chester, NH
Thank you very much for arranging interesting speakers, good hikes, and for fostering education and camaraderie among dog lovers of all ages and abilities.
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Erin Z.
New Hampshire
I wanted to thank you because many of the dog training tips and tricks were things I learned on the few walks we have been on with you (especially helpful was the walk with the folks from Red Pointy Dog). I felt comfortable with what to watch for, and I think he really picked up on cues from other dogs and knew when it was okay to greet and when he needed to stay away.
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Christine C.
Newmarket, NH
I just recently joined the Dog Walking Club and it has exceeded my expectations! I thought I was joining a club to help socialize my dog and meet a few new people but it has become much more. Traci and Ray are very welcoming and do a great job engaging all of the members through dog walking events, online events with animal experts, and fundraising events for many wonderful animal charity organizations! Guy🐶 and I couldn’t be happier!
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Hannah E.
Rochester, NH
Great opportunity to socialize my reactive dog in a constructive environment. Everyone is so respectful and fun to walk with. I have really enjoyed the live monthly training videos too. I am really looking forward to more outings with our dog Cody! Thank you for all you do!
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Jeff P.
Dover, NH
I love everything you guys are doing!
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Benefits of Membership

P.A.W.S. Trail

With the help of our 5-stage, dog training success path, you and your dog will receive the resources and education needed to learn valuable dog training skills. You advance through each stage and earn Club badges to mark your achievements.

Walks/Hikes

Attend as many Official Club Walks and Pop-Up Walks at no additional charge with your membership. Walks and hikes currently take place in southern NH (Concord to the seacoast), and will be expanding to all of NH in a phased plan from now through the end of 2022.

Online Events

Access to online events with pet professionals and our club Pawtys where we talk with our experts, charitable partners, and give away prizes is included at no additional charge with your membership.

Educational Resources

Access to educational and instructional videos and materials in our Library on several topics is available with your membership. Our resources help guide you down the P.A.W.S. Trail setting you and your dog up for success.

Discounted Special Events

Members will receive a discount off of our unique outings for dogs and their people. Examples include, corn maze adventure, geocaching, kayaking, paddle boarding, brewery tour, doggy social with a trainer, Parkour, agility course, and much more!

Facebook Community

Our Facebook community has 1.3K engaged and passionate dog lovers who share ideas and resources for helping your dog live its best life. Connect with others in our group for answers to questions about your dog's health, training, personality, body language, socialization, exercise, age, and so much more!

Doggy Socials

Social, off-leash events for your dog in a private space monthly. This is a great opportunity for your dog to play off-leash with other dogs in a controlled and monitored environment. During these events, you will learn about your dog's body language, place in the pack, socialization skills, and more.

Community Connection

Get exercise and meet new friends through our outings. Connect with our community of dog lovers who are dedicated to the health and wellness of their pets using positive reinforcement techniques and sustainable pet care practices.

About Us

Traci Bisson

Founder

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As a child, Traci spent most of her time outside. From morning until night, she would play in the woods with friends, build forts, look for animals, and enjoy getting dirty. As a student, she studied Wildlife Management at the University of NH, earning her bachelor of science degree. She worked at the UNH research facility studying deer, turkey, wolves and other animals. In addition, she worked at several veterinary clinics assisting with surgeries and the care of cats and dogs with whom she became very attached. Her passion for the outdoors and animals continued as an adult. She worked for the NH Audubon helping with education outreach, then went on to become a Master Gardener volunteer and NH Coverts Cooperator through UNH Cooperative Extension. In 2016, she earned her design certificate in permaculture and then went on to study social permaculture, eventually teaching an online course for UNH on the subject. That same year, Traci founded It Takes a Village Pet Care located in Barrington, NH. A professional pet sitting and dog walking company with a focus on sustainability. She founded the Dog Walking Club in 2018. In 2020, Traci was named a Northeast Credit Union (NECU) Planet Protector, along with two other women, for her contributions to sustainability. Throughout her adult life, Traci has continued to enrich her understanding and knowledge of the outdoors participating in many courses, including Becoming an Outdoors Woman with NH and ME Fish & Game, wilderness first aid, EMT training, pet first aid/CPR, Staying Found offered by the local AMC club and the Massabesic Audubon Center, Backcountry Navigation/Map & Compass course through the AMC club, and more.

Ray Bisson

Hiking Guide

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Ray, a land surveyor, and the owner of Stonewall Surveying in Barrington, NH, is the other half of the dynamic duo. He has attended all walks/hikes with Traci since the Club was established. His strong love of the outdoors and interest in history are some of the reasons Ray became a land surveyor. He also enjoys camping, biking, skiing and boating with his family, and is an avid photographer.

Dakota

Hiking Guide

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Traci and Ray were rescued by Dakota in 2009 when she was adopted from a high-kill puppy shelter in the south. She is a reactive dog who has learned new socialization and pack skills by participating in many walks with the Dog Walking Club. Dakota still has a difficult time greeting unfamiliar dogs, but enjoys walking with them and sharing all the good smells.

Ms. Gilly

Hiking Guide

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Gilly rescued Traci, Ray and Dakota in 2016 when she came up from the Jackson Humane Society on a long haul transport. She was a ball of energy and gave Dakota a friend to romp and play with. She is a social butterfly and enjoys meeting new dogs on the trail. She walks very well with the pack and will "moderate" interactions between other dogs if they are not getting along.

Frequently Asked Questions

If I am not a Club member, can I still participate in events?

Absolutely! You do not need to be a paying member of the Club to attend our walks/hikes, online and other special events. Instead, you can pick and choose the events you want to attend and pay the event fee.

We offer a punch card that can be purchased ahead of time. The cost is $40 for 10 walks and is good for Pack Adventures, Official Club Outings, and Pop Up Walks. Otherwise, you can pay at the time of the event. Fees range from $5-$10+/event, but is subject to change at anytime.

Can I join the Club at anytime?

No, the Club opens for new members four times per year - March 20 (spring), June 20 (summer), September 20 (fall), and December 20 (winter). The doors for membership stay open for 10 days and then close again until the next season.

Why can't I join the Club whenever I want?

We offer membership to the NH Dog Walking Club four times each year - spring, summer, fall, and winter. We then close the membership in between seasons in order to help members with their dog training needs by setting them up for success with our P.A.W.S. Trail method.

What types of experts do you work with?

We collaborate with certified dog trainers and other pet professionals who demonstrate a commitment to our Core Beliefs. Most experts we work with are located in NH, ME, or MA, but we occasionally bring in national experts who offer topics of interest to members.

What is your Charitable Partner Program?

Annually, our members choose three NH-based, pet charities to support. The Club raises funds for these nonprofits throughout the year, creates awareness of their cause, and features them in promotional materials.

What is sustainable pet care?

Sustainable pet care is the BALANCE between the NEEDS of our pets and the needs of the environment. Helping your pet live its best life saves you money and time, and has a direct and POSITIVE IMPACT on the planet. We interweave these messages into everything we do and teach through the NH Dog Walking Club.

Why do I have to pay to walk my dog with the Club?

Walking with the Club is about connection, education, and exercise. A lot of research and preplanning goes into making sure our participants have an enjoyable and safe walk.

This includes:

  • Visiting trails ahead of scheduling a walk to look at conditions, trail signage, and overall condition.
  • Confirming event locations can accommodate our parking needs.
  • Checking for safety guidelines during hunting season, covid restrictions, and leash laws.
  • Planning fun and unique activities for dogs and their people.

The fees we charge for walks and events also cover our insurance costs.

What is your Featured Expert Program?

Annually, we offer pet professionals a unique marketing opportunity that allows them to connect with our community. The focus of the program is educational vs. sales based through in-person events, live interviews, behind the scenes tours, and collaborations with our charitable partners. If you are a pet pro interested in learning more about our 2021 program, submit a request for more info through our CONTACT US form.

What is the P.A.W.S. Trail?

The P.A.W.S. Trail is a collaborative effort between the NH Dog Walking Club, several certified dog trainers, and other pet professionals located throughout NH. This interactive curriculum welcomes and introduces members to the Pack, and gives them access to education and resources that have been developed based on member feedback over the past several years. Monthly, members also have the opportunity to connect with other members, dog trainers, and pet professionals in our online Zoom Room for additional support and education.

Your membership leads you through our 5 stages of training success, including:

  1. Welcome to the Pack
  2. Pack Member
  3. Sport Dog
  4. Trick Dog
  5. Traveling with Dog

At each stage, you will receive the resources and education needed for you and your dog to learn valuable dog training skills. You then advance to the next stage and earn Club badges to mark your achievements.

Do your dog training partners practice positive reinforcement?

Yes! If a dog trainer does not adhere to our Core Beliefs & Values, we will not work with them or allow them to connect with our members.

How do I earn a Club t-shirt?

After attending 6 Official Club Walks, you will earn a Club t-shirt. This opportunity is available each year since our t-shirt designs change. Members and non-members can earn the Club t-shirt.

What types of advertising opportunities do you offer?

In early 2021, we will be rolling our our Featured Expert Program as well as advertising and other sponsorship opportunities available through our website, newsletter, events, and more.

If you are interested in learning about how to reach our members in a positive and educational way, submit a request for more info through our CONTACT US form.

Membership is now open until April 23rd

The Club is currently open and accepting new members between now and April 23rd. When doors close, they will not reopen until June 20th. 

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