A new in-home service is being offered to local dog owners who are looking for an alternative to day care centers.

Ahwatukee Foothills resident Stefanie Strackbein feels that these centers can be stressful for some dogs. She is now offering a new in-home service, What Dogs Want, to give people another option.

"I recently thought about the fact that a lot of dogs don't really like day care," she said. "It's too much chaos. A lot of them prefer to do activities with the people working there and not the other dogs."

Strackbein has spent more than three years developing enrichment programs for boarding and day care facilities, and she has also worked in dog shelters for more than 15 years. She said the goal of her new service is to provide quality, in-home care for dog owners while exercising the dog mentally and physically with a variety of activities.

"I have things that provide enrichment on several different levels, and I could visit the same home for two months and never repeat an activity," she said. "One of the goals is to help dogs who have behavioral problems that aren't good candidates for day care. But they still stand to benefit from doing new and exciting activities."

Strackbein brings with her obstacles to work on agility and memory games to exercise the dog mentally. She has all of her own equipment to be set up in the home or outside.

"It's really beneficial just to play with the dog for an hour or so," she said. "It builds the human-canine connection. And the other benefit is that when you're done, the dog is pooped."

Strackbein offers half-hour "potty break" sessions for $15. Her hourly rate is $25, and she charges $40 for a 90-minute session. To find out more, email her at stefanie@azcanineconnection.com.

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