Bolton resident devotes her days to her dogs

BOLTON – Dogs are Cara Armor’s whole life and she loves it.

“I could talk all day about dogs,” she said. “I adore their sense of humor, all to please us, and their willingness to figure out how to win in life. They are loyal, they are loving and no matter how crappy your day was, they are always there to brighten it with their soulful eyes and devotion to your emotional wellbeing.

“I love how snuggly they are and trusting, yet still know who is a good person and who is not. I always let my dogs judge a character and they have yet to fail me,” she added.

Armor runs Active Paws Inc. with her husband, Gerard. It started as a dog walking and pet-sitting business 18 years ago, covering Waltham, Watertown and Belmont.

Cara and Gerard Armor with dogs Walter and Phoenix on the top of Mount Wachusett in 2019.

Living in Bolton off Route 117 with four dogs since 2013, they tried expanding locally, but realized most people here walk their own dogs, so “stuck with the population density of their old towns” and drive into metro Boston daily.

However, “when the pandemic began, people started working from home; the dog walking dropped dropped, but the training picked up,” Armor said.

She trains professionally locally, throughout Massachusetts, and virtually (and is one of the only certified trainers).

Armor prefers to call herself a “dog coach” than a trainer.

“I demonstrate with your dog how to get the behaviors you want. I use positive reinforcement training methods which are ethical and force-free. Before we really had an understanding of operant conditioning people would use coercion and compulsion to get dogs to do or not do things we wanted,” but tools like prong and electric collars try to correct a behavior after it happens.

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