Now that canine companions are permitted on the boardwalk, it is a great opportunity to take a very brisk autumn stroll to Yappy Hour – outdoor happy hour for dogs and the people that love them – at the WonderBar.


After hearing from tons of dog owners and dog lovers that Yappy Hour was a great way to spend a few hours with neighbors and their pets, I went last Thursday.

The dog-lover’s spirit and camaraderie greet you at the front gate, along with a handful of energetically wagging tails.  It’s a hoot to see dogs of all shapes, sizes and pedigrees running around carefree.

“The fun part for me is watching the little dogs playfully chase the big dogs,” said Jim, as we both watched a brown andyappy5 black Chihuahua running behind a black and white dog I would swear was a pony he was so big.

Many companion canine owners told me that they were fearful of having their “kids” around the other thirty to forty dogs who attend the Thursday and Saturday evening events.  After meeting Jim, however, they knew that their most pressing concern would be their beer getting warm or the ice watering down their margarita too much.

“Jim is fierce,” said Amy Quinn.  “I have seen him transform dogs into great Yappy Hour guests.  I know many dog owners who are thankful for his expertise.”

Jim – who told me he has trained hundreds of dogs through the past 14 years and also serves as a K9 scent detection trainer and patrol trainer – knows dog psychology like Carson Cressley knows fashion.  He has worked miracles with puppies and older dogs and swears you can teach an old dog new tricks.

yappy10“The biggest mistake owners make is that they treat there dogs like they are human,” said Jim, who has helped train some of the members of the Asbury Park Canine Unit. “Owners think dogs understand things like a person would.  Most habits of the dog can be changed – it’s the owner that’s hard to change but we can do it.”

Jim has a rare commanding and caring energy that makes every man, woman and dog want to sit, stay and roll over.  He is Asbury Park’s own no-nonsense version of the Dog Whisperer – recently accomplishing what others said was an impossible task.

“I began working with a dog that was aggressive with everyone – even its owner,” said Jim, who offers private training classes.  “I had to teach the owner how to be a dog handler.  Once the owner was not in fear of his dog the rest became easy.  No dog is untrainable.”

Debbie DeLisa, manager of WonderBar, and creator of the Yappy Hour concept, which hosts approximately 125 dogs jimThursdays during the summer, told me “Jim is the most important part of the evening.”

If everyone in the world could get along the way the dogs – all sizes, pedigrees, personalities – at Yappy Hour do, every issue would be history.

Yappy Hour will “continue until it gets too cold,” said Debbie.  Call for more information.

The facts about the new “dogs on the boardwalk” ordinance – click here.