Welcome to Wagnificent! I’m Alyssa Berkovitz, leader of the pack and proud mom to a 2y/o Great Dane service dog / therapy dog / certified Canine Good Citizen, Kernel. I started Wagnificent in December of 2017, after several fun years of on-leash dogwalking. Many dogs I walked had good recall skills and were eager for more exercise, including Kernel. This inspired me to start a physically and mentally stimulating program for dogs, where they are rewarded in numerous ways for exhibiting good behavior. Hiking off-leash with the pack gives each dog a sense of confidence, friendship and EXHAUSTION! I build trusting relationships with every pack member by routinely practicing basic commands and using positive reinforcement, including but not limited to cheese.
IG | kernelthegreatdane (he's famous!)
IG | alyssabphotography
FB | kernel the great dane
2019 SERVICES & RATES
1 hour off-leash hike | $32 one dog | $50 two dogs
pickup & drop-off included (add $6 for dogs off route)
in severe weather, safety permitting, the pack stays close for a 1 hour on-leash, neighborhood walk
15-20 minute visit | $20 one dog | $30 two dogs
includes a walk, feeding, etc. (add $2 for dogs off route)
full day care | $55 weekdays | $65 holidays
1 hour off-leash play
9-11a pickup | 4-6p drop-off
boarding | $65 nights & weekends | $80 holidays
1 hour of daily off-leash play
9-11a pickup & drop-off
50% deposit due upon confirmation
training | $80
1 hour to observe, discuss challenges and teach you/your dog respect training skills using positive reinforcement
learn how to communicate more effectively and strengthen the bond with your dog
pet photography | $450
shot by alyssa b. photography (that's me!) at your favorite local spot
35-40+ edited, full res photos
online album to share with family & friends
custom designed, professional quality framing and albums
portfolio at alyssabphoto.com
Where do you take the dogs?
We hike all around the town of Weston, which has over 100 miles of trails! I have a license to hike with 5 dogs (plus my service dog) off-leash at a time.
What areas do you service?
I'm based in Brighton, Oak Square, and service parts of Brookline, Brighton, Newton, Watertown, Waltham, and Weston.
What is your hiking availability?
Mon - Fri pickup time:
Pack 1 | 9a–11a
Pack 2 | 11a–1:00p
Sat-Sun pickup time (availability pending):
Pack 1 | 9a–11a
What if you're unavailable?
If I’m unavailable for hikes, you will receive as much advanced notice as possible.
My dog is not ready to be off-leash. Can he/she still enroll at Wagnificent?
As long as your dog walks well on-leash, he/she is welcome to join for a walk. If he/she is not fully trusted off-leash, it is required that he/she wear a GPS collar. I recommend all dogs wear a GPS collar to be safe, no matter how good their recall is!
My dog is usually friendly, but has had some fights in the past. Do you think he'll do ok?
While it may sound intimidating, I encourage the use of basket muzzles on dogs who have acted aggressive in the past (i.e frequently fighting, biting hard enough to break skin, acting unpredictable, etc). This responsible and humane decision will ensure that everyone stays safe and in good standing at Wagnificent. It also helps desensitize the muzzled dog to situations that trigger him/her. Weston dogwalker's are required to report bites to Animal Control, so it's better to stay safe than sorry!
How long are the dogs out for?
The dogs are out for a maximum of 2.5 hours. We hike for one hour, weather permitting, and pickup/drop-off dogs along our route from Brookline to Weston.
How do you keep track of all the dogs?
We consistently practice positive reinforcement to ensure good recall and overall behavior, and the dogs are given exciting rewards like cheese or rotisserie chicken. Dogs who will not come for a tasty treat must walk on-leash. For safety purposes and peace of mind, I use GPS collars on newer dogs in the pack, and I require certain dogs in the pack to supply/wear their own.
What if the weather is bad?
In inclement weather, the pack sticks together for a one hour on-leash group walk around the neighborhoods. If it's unsafe to be outside, the pack will walk for up to 30 minutes, weather permitting, for $20. If you already paid, the remaining balance is rolled over to cover your next service.
Do you board dogs?
Yes, Wagnificent has a small team of experienced, insured local boarders! We offer in-home boarding to 1-2 dogs at time, including an hour+ of daily off-leash play.
Do you have insurance?
Yes, Wagnificent and all its staff members are fully insured.
How do you accept payment?
Cash, check, or Venmo
I sought out Alyssa’s help with training when I noticed my dog, Addie, was becoming more reactive on leash. I wanted to stop those behaviors before anything bad happened! Alyssa has done an amazing job working with Addie and has taught me many strategies to use when Addie gets nervous on walks. I love that she still encourages socialization with other dogs and uses attention training to ensure that Addie is desensitized to anxiety inducing situations. Since I have started training with Alyssa, my bond with my dog has only become stronger!
After two major surgeries, six months of bedrest, and some lax training, our one year old hound mix puppy was a “drunkwalking loose cannon,” and we needed training just as much as he did! Alyssa was really helpful in getting us all on the same page, to get Mookie where he needs to be with walking and general manners. She addressed everything that we’ve either let slide or didn’t know how to address, and I can’t wait to see how he does from here!! Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Wagnificent offers the perfect service for my active 2 year old Australian Shepherd. Off-leash hiking at beautiful Cat Rock Park! It's a dog's life for sure. She comes home happily exhausted. Alyssa is lovely to work with-responsive, attentive, courteous, and reliable. She takes extra care to ensure that her "packs" are comprised of dogs with the right temperament to make the experience social and safe. I've also used Alyssa for some full-day care when I've needed to go out of town and for boarding on several occasions. It's really worked out very well. I love seeing the posts and videos on insta so I get to join in the fun vicariously!
My energetic Golden Retriever has loved off-leashing hiking with Alyssa and the Wagnificent pack! He’s a very social dog, so it’s been great for him to get some time with other dogs, especially out in the woods. He comes home happy and tired—and even on the wettest days, toweled off! Alyssa is communicative, helpful, responsible, flexible and dedicated to making sure the dogs stay safe and have a good time. If a problem of any kind comes up (my dog went through a stick-eating phase, for instance), she figures out a creative solution. She’s also a lovely person and often sends short videos, so I can see how much the dogs are enjoying themselves. I highly recommend Wagnificent!
Our Golden Doodle, Henry, has been a part of Alyssa’s pack for about 2 months now and we could not be more satisfied and grateful for her services. We are avid hikers, but also work full-time, so knowing that Henry gets outdoor, off-leash exercise and much-needed doggy socialization during weekdays makes us (and him!) happy. He comes back one tired pup! Alyssa is professional, friendly, flexible and, trustworthy. We love Wagnificent!
I was referred to Alyssa by my daughter’s friend. My 13 1/2 yr old dachshund has never been to a kennel when we travel, Alyssa took him on a one night trial to see if he got along with her great dane, Kernel. Apparently, despite the size differential - which is substantial, they hit it off, and he was able to stay there for a few days in early July. Alyssa has been most accommodating of my elderly dog, who is no longer able to take long hikes with the other dogs. She administers his medications, makes sure he is fed, taken out, comfortable and most importantly loved. She is highly reliable. She also does pick ups and drop offs, which is hugely convenient. I can highly recommend her and Kernel - a Wagnificent team!
Thank you so much for introducing Kenya to pack walks. She has become more confident and engaged when with other dogs, and she has learned to trust another person enough to take treats. She comes home so tired and it makes her well behaved for my older parents. Additionally you have come to the rescue when I’ve had heath problems and couldn’t exercise her. I’ll always text you if I’m in town to get Kenya out with the pack! Thank you so much!