Amanda Wickman, Development Specialist & Canine Behavior Consultant

Amanda, Dogs At PlayWith DAP since 2009

Hi, I’m Amanda…but it’s ok if you know me better as JavaDog and Symbiosis’ human! We moved to Wilmington in 2008 from Wisconsin in pursuit of warmer weather. I love working here because I can use my degree in Zoology/Ethology from University of Wisconsin-Madison in a practical way: watching your dogs at play! I’ve been studying animals and their behavior informally my whole life, and professionally since college. As a Badger I had the opportunity to work with Cotton-top Tamarins, Rhesus Monkeys and Pygmy Marmosets, and even spent a summer analyzing killer whales in the Puget Sound!

After working with exotic animals, I found my way back to dogs (turns out the whale population in Wisconsin is quite small). I volunteered and apprenticed as a trainer with Teachers Pet Training Academy and during and after college. Before I even had a dog to call my own, I became a Certified Pet Dog Trainer, a Certified Evaluator for Canine Good Citizen as well as a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers. My passion for behaviorism led me to work specifically with dogs and their humans to solve problem behaviors. Finally, in 2006, I rescued my main man Symbiosis, a border collie/husky mix who lives up to his name every day. In early 2009 I went to Target to get a roll of tape …and came home with a baby JavaDog (oops). Java is named after my favorite local coffee shop and can always be found lounging in the DAP lobby, jonesing for a belly rub. I am also the proudest forever mom to Afu: a pearl-donning diva, Mariah-Carey-as-a-dog, Dunkin-Donut-eating, snoring, huge little spoon of a mastiff who spent her whole 9.5 years of life with me. We said goodbye to Fu Bear in September of 2018 and miss her giant delicate self every single day.

When I’m not playing “B-A-L-L” or here at DAP, I love CrossFit, hiking in Carolina Beach State Park, running slowly in long races, and scanning for dolphins while sitting on the beach. If we haven’t met, please introduce yourself…I want to thank you for trusting DAP with your dogs!