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Changing the face of the K9 dog industry

By 21 April 2014 14

Hi, I’m left side pup.

I’ve been training and rehabilitating problem dogs, for over 15 years. I went overseas, the USA to be exact, because, compared to us I believe they are miles, decades ahead of us in their methods and empathy towards dog’s. Don’t get me wrong, there are some great people in this industry in Australia, that are in it for the right reasons. That reason is for the dog.

I’m looking for opinions, honest opinions (please excuse my spelling and grammar, not my strongest point, everything else is open for scrutiny) of an idea I have had for a while. I’ve owned run, operated and single handedly trained and rehabilitated many hundreds, maybe more out of control dogs. Successfully I might add. My last visit to Canberra, I fell in love with it again.

I want to open a puppy/doggy daycare centre, with a twist. Not only will it be a daycare centre, it’ll be a one stop dog shop. I’ll still do what I love and thats training and rehabilitating dogs, we’ll also have a boarding facility, a small retail centre that will only stock quality toys that will stimulate your dogs mind as well as having fun. We won’t stock toys that are either non stimulating or could be torn apart in a day. We’ll stock only the best food, to help maintain your dogs health and quality tools for the owner to help with the control of your dog. We’ll also have a grooming facility,with the best groomer I can find, Our staff will be helpful and know their job, They will be totally professional and be able to answer ant query you may have. I’ll make sure of that. I was also thinking of opening a cattery, securely separated, from the dogs, so if you go on holidays you’ll know your cat is being taken good care of, by cat lovers. We’ll open training classes that will run from anywhere to an hour or two, up to a weekend initially. The weekend course would be a good K9 citizen course where some of the course will be theory and mostly practical, where you take you dog to some of the busiest places in canberra and you’ll have full control of your dog in an intimidating scenario. owner confidence is one of our top three goals for you. Most importantly, when you pick up your dog, you’ll know he/she has had the day of a lifetime, we’ll treat your dog as if it’s our own.

You’ll notice that every time you bring them back they will get excited even before they arrive for a days play. We’ll place your dog with other dogs of similar personality so it’s an enjoyable experience for every dog. I’m a firm believer dogs are social animals so if your dog boards with us, we won’t charge you for letting your dog socialise with the other dogs during their stay. If your dog isn’t good with other dogs we’ll walk them, no charge, just a part of the service. Our loyalty will always be with your dog.

So the feedback I’m looking for is:

  • Do you think a facility of this type is needed in the ACT?
  • Where would be a good central place to open up? A friend mentioned opening near the airport, I’m not sure if that would be central enough?
  • How far would you travel to a quality, yet affordable daycare for your dog or pup?
  • Would a hands common sense approach to training courses interest you? where all dogs are welcome, whether its a pure breed or mixed breed, in my eyes if they’re important to you, they’re important to me.

It’s important to us that owners have easy access for pick up and drop off.

Would you use the facility I have described above?

If you have any input good, bad or indifferent, please feel free to comment.

If you’ve read this far. Thank you very much

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14 Responses to Changing the face of the K9 dog industry
#1
Dragonfly5:15 pm, 21 Apr 14

We drive to Luddenham if Sonza is booked out so we drive 45 min to 3 hours. We do this because our dog hates everyone….our fault? Yes, unfortunately. He barks at anything and everything. Sonza and the one at Luddenham love him and he loves it there. Still barks and growls but he is happy there.

#2
alythea9:45 pm, 21 Apr 14

Greetings to you Leftsidepup

I love the sound of your proposed business.

Yes, we have a few different variations of these around but a one stop venue would be most welcome.

Airport location is certainly pretty “central” but you might do better with real market research about where you customers live and/or work for the daycare aspect. For the boarding aspect, location is not quite so important.

Would travel about 20 to 30 minutes each way max.

• Would a hands on common sense approach to training courses interest you?
You betcha! And I reckon there are a fair few of us around; we and our dogs don’t quite fit into the other obedience/agility type clubs around but need help to develop and maintain happy healthy companions.

• Would you use the facility I have described above?
Indeed and if it delivers on your stated vision would spruik it far and wide.

Good luck!

#3
Madam Cholet8:39 am, 22 Apr 14

We have just been away for a week and left our dog with someone who we know would look after him well. He hates being away, but as long as he’s well cared for we are happy. He’s quite elderly (15), but still loves a walk and still jumps on the bed/chairs. He spends most of his day inside (as he has his own door) and loves his little life. Mostly we look for people to stay with him and whilst everyone loves him, it’s hard because people are not always available. Until he pops off we are his carers and will not wander far from him. He’s not a dogs dog. He likes his human companions and his own company really.

I detest it when people leave their dogs all but uncared for when they go on holiday. They may be fed and watered by a visitor once or twice a day, but dogs are companion animals and they crave company. It’s when they get lonely that they cause problems – like barking.

If your place was almost as comfortable as home – at the very least a heated place in winter with regular activity, the food he’s used to and lots of pats I think I would be happy.

Used to use Don’t Fret Pet for holiday care, but they charge huge amounts (nearly $50 a day when we last used them, plus an $80 admin fee), and most of it goes to them and not the contracted carer who does the hard yards with your dog. It would have to be cheaper than that. I’d drive to the other side of Canberra to have him looked after.

We have also used Bark Busters – to help settle our four legged friend when our son came along. He was a work in progress but it did help us to understand and manage him better. Anything like that is welcome. Bark Busters charge over $400 for a visit, but it does last the lifetime of the dog, as long as you are practicing what they preach. There was no follow-up on their part so I am sure that you could do better there.

In my experience it is as much about educating owners as it is working with the dogs. There are many dog and cat owners in Canberra who could do with it!

Good luck. Sounds like a good idea.

#4
Roundhead8910:36 am, 22 Apr 14

Please don’t use the term K9 to describe civilian dogs. K9 is police jargon and an official abbreviation to describe the Dog Squad and should not be used in any other context.

#5
MrBigEars10:58 am, 22 Apr 14

I wish I had the balls to do something like this. I’d be interested, either as a customer or casual staff.

#6
Felix the Cat2:08 pm, 22 Apr 14

Roundhead89 said :

Please don’t use the term K9 to describe civilian dogs. K9 is police jargon and an official abbreviation to describe the Dog Squad and should not be used in any other context.

K9 is just slang/abbreviation for canine and has been used to refer to dogs in general, including but not exclusively police dogs, for donkey’s years.

#7
davo1014:38 pm, 22 Apr 14

Roundhead89 said :

Please don’t use the term K9 to describe civilian dogs. K9 is police jargon and an official abbreviation to describe the Dog Squad and should not be used in any other context.

K9 is Marvin the Martian’s pet dog.

#8
patrick_keogh6:07 pm, 22 Apr 14

Roundhead89 said :

Please don’t use the term K9 to describe civilian dogs. K9 is police jargon and an official abbreviation to describe the Dog Squad and should not be used in any other context.

K9 was the name of the robotic dog in Doctor Who from the late ’70s onwards. By the way, all dogs are “civilians”. Dogs do not have the linguistic capacity to understand a commitment to civil service and in fact were given no choice about the work that they were asked to do. All dogs, whether they are rounding up sheep, sitting in a lap or sniffing drugs are just dogs. A dog that dies in military conflict or by falling under the wheels of the tractor has just given their life to their master/owner with no greater or more noble intent.

#9
justin heywood9:04 pm, 22 Apr 14

G’day leftside. Having been the owner of a problem dog, I think your business idea sounds great. Canberrans certainly love their dogs – provide a good service and they are happy to spend the money.

I think the airport location has a few things going for it.
- probably less trouble to set up out there (noise issues etc)
- airport is reasonably central – and at least there you’ll avoid being seen as being either ‘north’ or ‘southside’
- everyone knows how to get to the airport – if you’re ‘near the airport’ then everyone knows roughly where you are, most of us pass by there fairly often and it’s on the main route out of Canberra by plane or car
- but; would low flying aircraft spook some dogs?

It takes some cojones to set up a new business. Good on you and best of luck.

#10
Deborah1:09 am, 23 Apr 14

I’d definitely use a service like yours! I currently pay $40/night for a carer to look after my 40kg of trouble. Expensive but worth it to know my pooch is safe and loving his holiday as much as I am. I’d pay double if you could stop him doing his FU poos on my door step which started when we got a cat recently.

#11
pockets1:22 pm, 23 Apr 14

I would defiantly use your service. We do try and holiday with the pooch but sometimes we just aren’t able to, and I do worry if we have a friend dog sit as we have just linked the (6ft) fence jumping/climbing to being afraid of thunder (any advice :D ). We have used a couple of dog kennels, one was more than once as it is close to home (Bungendore) and she really didn’t want to go in…

I would also be interested in toys that she wont just chew up but will keep her occupied as well. Please keep us posted on your adventure :)

#12
Coco_Black9:05 pm, 23 Apr 14

I love the idea of your business. You might like to check out the website for Margaret River Pet Retreat. I haven’t been there, but my sister has checked it out. Each dog has a private room with a verandah and webcam so that the owner can see how their dog is going whist on their holiday. I may not use your service as I take my dog with me whoever I go. If she can’t go, then I don’t either. But I would definitely recommend such a service. I would hope that you would take in greyhounds as well, as more and more people are adopting these gorgeous dogs who are so misunderstood.

#13
friskyfilly9:40 am, 11 May 14

I’m a dog groomer in Canberra and I’ve wanted to do something similar to what you describe for quite a while, so best of luck. Maybe include rehab classes for owners as we’ll. Teach them how to make their dogs feel safe and understand their psychology. So many bring their dogs in clutching them for dear life saying my dog is so scared or he doesn’t get on with other dogs or should I stay because he can be aggressive etc etc. the second they walk out the door it’s a different, better dog. Happens every day. As Caesar says, keep calm and assertive.

#14
Hosinator10:54 pm, 11 May 14

Contact ACTPLA with regards to where kennels can be located. You’ll find that they are quite restricted due to the noise they generate from a lot of dogs barking.

A friend of ours has recently been through a similar experience and found that there is a limit on the location of kennels, such that she purchased land just across the border in NSW.

With regards to the rest, the boarding sounds great. Would love to have some additional training for our dog, however with two small people at home demanding lots of attention, it’s difficult to get out for a few hours.

Good luck!

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