“We’re going to take over Colorado!” said Adria Ballard, left, with her parents Bert and Sarah Ballard, franchisees for Dog Training Elite.
How do I train a dog to be your ring bearer? “We need to recreate these distractions,” said Kelley Rosequist, CEO of Dog Training Elite. “Getting the dog to do it in a living room is one thing.”
That’s why the trainers at the year-old franchise run “really fun group classes” in local parks where they invite other customers to bring their pets and have a mock wedding. It costs a total of $ 1,800. “So far we haven’t had a wedding drink. I’m sure it’s only a matter of time, ”said Rosequist. “We tell people that dogs will be dogs. You can only control so much. “
The company has been operating outside of Utah for 40 years and began franchising in 2020. Her father, John Mestas, started it as Arrow Kennels and originally focused on training hunting dogs at a high level. “He coached people through these competitions and competed himself. He would lead hunting expeditions and take people with him on goose hunts. It was very specialized, ”she said.
Mestas noticed a niche in the market for daily obedience training. Rosequist is now leveraging her background in social work to develop new training modules for Dog Training Elite: including service dog training for PTSD, psychiatric support, mobility support, and support for diabetes and autism.
“Especially the autism support program that was my baby that I grew and that I can use a lot of my clinical knowledge,” she said. The training for service work lasts six months to two years. personal protection the same. These packages range from $ 3,000 to $ 7,000.
“We worked very, very hard to make sure it was always affordable. On average, service dogs cost $ 40,000 to $ 60,000. We want to make sure they are available to everyone, ”she said.
Standard obedience packages last two to four months and cost between $ 600 and $ 2,000. As Dog Training Elite, now with 11 franchisees spanning 34 territories, expands into new markets, it will quickly spin to meet new demand, such as for Austin, Texas weddings.
Kelley Rosequist, CEO of Dog Training Elite, uses her social work background to create training modules.
Bert and Sarah Ballard are former California communications professors who now run a Dog Training Elite franchise in Denver. “We were looking for a way to become self-employed,” said Sarah Ballard.
Her daughter Adria, 19 years old, is the trainer. She manages all trainers and keeps track of social media and inventory.
“About three years ago my health deteriorated. I was in a dark place, ”Adria said and began researching service dogs. “I found a dog from a private party and when that dog was in my arms I knew I wouldn’t go without her. It’s called Snickerdoodle. She really saved my life. “
The upfront cost of a Dog Training Elite franchise is between $ 120,000 and $ 150,000. “You gave us a lot because we invested in so many areas,” said Bert Ballard. They bought five areas of refusal for the entire Front Range in Colorado. “We are in the third year of our five-year plan and we are nine months this year and this is during COVID.”
Adria enthusiastically explains her goal: “We will take over Colorado!”
Rosequist said she looks forward to making dog training accessible in the US, “and most importantly, seeing people across the country have access to the service dogs they badly need to make the world a better place for dogs and.” to make their people. “
She has a quick answer to this question: is it more about training the dog or the human? “Absolutely train people.”