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Black Dog

The stage to strengthen

the human-canine relationship


While a senior in high school, I made my Broadway debut in Phantom of the Opera. I could not believe my good fortune when I received my first paycheck for doing something I loved! Very soon after, I got my first dog, an English Cocker Spaniel. While performing, I volunteered for Angels on a Leash, with the Behavior Department at the ASPCA, and with the Lafayette Animal Hospital, learning as much as I could about dog behavior and training. I also received my BA in Psychology through SUNY. 

When the Covid pandemic shut down our entire theatrical industry, I resolved to more professionally dedicate myself to my second great love, dog training. I enrolled in the Catch Master Trainer certification, joined the APDT, took my CCPDT test and became an ITA Evaluator. This led to an offer from my wonderful mentor and friend, Nancy George Michalson, to become New York Therapy Animals' Therapy Dog Trainer. I am honored to play a small role in setting the stage for the beautiful human-canine bond that we see daily in Pet Therapy. 

Thanks for visiting!

Polly Baird, CPDT-KA

Group Classes

Group Classes

As the Therapy Dog Trainer for New York Therapy Animals, I teach a Practical Application Advanced Class for all prospective Therapy Dog teams (dogs must be older than 17 months). Classes run for a total of seven weeks in New York City. For more information, please email

I also teach a four week Pre-Therapy Dog course called Good Manners (for all dogs less than 17 months old) in New York City. For more information, please email  

Private Sessions

Private Sessions 

Welcoming a new puppy into your home? Have questions about finding the right breed of dog or dog matchmaking? Want to learn more about what it takes to be a therapy dog team? Need help with dog training goals? I offer both in person and zoom sessions for dog training, focusing on both ends of the leash. 

For pricing, please email. 

New York City locations only for in person sessions. Zoom from anywhere!

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