Step into the dog world with us

Make your dream a reality

Whether you’ve long fantasized about working with dogs for a living or have more recently come to realization that this is what you’re meant to do, we can help you transition to your dream career with dogs.

Why consult with dogbiz

Choose the right dog career pathway

Dog training can take many forms, from manners and puppy classes to dog sports and behavior training services. Similarly, there is huge demand for dog care services, including dog walking, dog daycare and dog boarding options. We’ll help you find a path that fits your financial and career goals.

Get the best dog education

In an unregulated industry, not all education programs are created equal. We’ll help you choose the school or program that’s right for you, so you can be sure your education money and time are well spent.

Transition support

Not sure how to switch from your current job or career to start a new career working with dogs? Our consultants are highly experienced helping clients create and successfully execute financially safe transition plans into full-time dog pro.

Help dogs for a living

Few things are more edifying than a career that follows your passion. We want to see more dogs helped by passionate, well-educated, positive reinforcement dog pros. Which is why we want to help you do what you love for a living: helping dogs.

Save time & reduce stress

Career transitions are often fraught with stress, but yours doesn’t have to be. Let us save you time lost to common mistakes and reinventing wheels, and bolster your confidence by supporting you along a personalized pathway to your dream job with dogs.

Set up for success

If you’re thinking about owning your own dog business, we’ll use our wealth of experience helping dog business owners succeed to set you up for success.

Explore your career potential with friendly, personalized, 1-on-1 dog career coaching

One-on-one support

With a friendly, down-to-earth dogbiz consultant in your corner you’ve got a tireless support department determined to help you succeed.

Customized to you

We personalize our advice to your goals and experience to maximize your ability to enjoy a career working with dogs for a living.

R+ education only

We’re dedicated to the best treatment and care of dogs, so we recommend only positive reinforcement-based education for dog pros.

Highly experienced

We’ve been helping R+ dog pros succeed with their dog businesses since 2003—you benefit from that wealth of experience.

dogbiz Career Consulting features

Convenient Scheduling

With consultants throughout the U.S. and abroad we’re able to offer a wide range of days and times to accommodate across time zones and work around your current work schedule.

Move Forward at Your Speed

Looking to transition to your new dog career yesterday? Let’s put the pedal down and keep it there. Just starting some early research? Let’s take things one step at a time, on your schedule. We’ll work with you at whatever pace suits your goals and daily reality.

Get Help Just Where (and How) You Need It

Though our packages (below) describe various topics that might be covered, your needs will dictate your personalized agenda with your consultant. We’ll tackle just the areas you want help with, customizing the topics, speed, and level of detail and support to your goals, skill sets, and work style.

We’re Dog Pros Helping Dog Pros

Unlike most business consultancies, we’ve all worked in the industry doing what you hope to do. We’re all dog trainers, and many of us have also been dog walkers or pet sitters, or run dog daycares or boarding facilities. We understand how to be successful in our quirky industry.

Benefit From the dogbiz Think Tank

Though you’ll work and develop a relationship with a friendly, dedicated consultant, you’ll have the full force of dogbiz behind you. We take a unique team approach to our work, meeting regularly to discuss cases, share ideas, and brainstorm together, guided by dogbiz founders Veronica Boutelle and Gina Phairas, so you get the benefit of our full expertise.

How dogbiz Career Consulting works

You sign up.

Email or call us at 510.525.2547. You can choose a consulting package now or try a single hour first before you decide

You choose the best date and time for your first call.

We’ll send you a wide range of days and times to choose from. You tell us which is the best fit.

We match you with a consultant.

We’ll assign a consultant who matches your schedule and your consulting goals. Prefer to request a particular team member? Just let our office know.

You fill out our pre-consulting questionnaire.

We ask questions about your goals, questions, concerns, hopes, dreams, and plans to give your consultant a chance for some advance planning. Sending your form two days prior to your first call allows you and your consultant to hit the ground running, making the most of your first hour together.

You and your consultant meet by phone, Skype, or Zoom.

The process is highly personalized, but you can expect in your first hour to lay out goals for the process, pick the most pressing area of need, and get down to work. Your consultant will leave a few minutes at the end to recap, set next steps, and schedule your next appointment if you have a package or have decided to choose one. 

(We don’t teach hard sales techniques and we don’t use them ourselves, either, so you’ll never feel pressured. We’ll simply lay out the options and you choose what’s best for you—whether that’s one more hour, a package, or to take the ideas from your first hour and run with them on your own.)

Career Consulting details

Meet Our Team of Experts Waiting to Help You Pursue a Dog Career You’ll Love

Tia Guest


Tia has been a professional dog trainer and instructor for more than two decades with experience in virtually all facets of the dog services industry. Tia was the first and founding director of the Karen Pryor Academy for Animal Training & Behavior, assisting in the creation of its flagship Dog Trainer Professional course. She also played a central role in the creation of the Victoria Stilwell Academy curriculum. Tia is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer – Knowledge Assessed through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers, a Certified Animal Behavior Consultant with the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants, a Level 2 TAGteacher through TAGteach International, a Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner, and a Canine Good Citizen Evaluator for the American Kennel Club.

Tia understands what it is to start and run a dog business, having opened a daycare, training, and boarding facility back in 1999 when dog daycare was practically unheard of. Sold in 2004, that business continues to thrive. Today, Tia revels in helping fellow dog professionals do the same through her work as a dogbiz business consultant.

Fun Fact: Amidst all the work she’s done for our industry, Tia somewhere along the line learned to fly a plane.

Picture of DWA Instructor and Consultant, Alexis Davison

Alexis Davison


Alexis is committed to the education and support of fellow dog professionals: She is a Karen Pryor Academy faculty member, charged with teaching the KPA Dog Trainer Professional Program in Australia. She serves as the dogbiz Dog Walking Academy instructor for all of Australia, occasionally offering the program to dog walkers in England and New Zealand as well. She speaks regularly at conferences. And she provides one-on-one support as a dogbiz business consultant.

Alexis is a nationally accredited Dog Behavioral Trainer with a Certificate IV in Dog Behavioral Training in Australia, a Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner (KPA CTP), and an internationally Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA) through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers. Named 2014 Dog Trainer of the Year by the Association of Pet Dog Trainers Australia, Alexis’ professional memberships also include the American Association of Professional Dog Trainers and the Pet Professional Guild Australia.

Fun Fact: Alexis gets around: 12 months in India, the Himalayas for 2, overland from Delhi to London, Moscow when tanks rolled through the Kremlin, and the Aurora Borealis at the North Pole (barefoot!).

Sarah Hoth


Sarah brings together dual backgrounds in both training and business to guide dogbiz clients to meet their business and career goals. On the training side, Sarah is a Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner and Dog Walking Academy graduate and the owner of The Persuaded Pooch in St. Louis, MO. On the business side, Sarah sports a master’s degree in business along with bachelor’s degrees in communications and the social sciences, as well as 15 years of experience in sales and marketing. Sarah is an AKC Good Citizen and S.T.A.R. Puppy evaluator. She has also trained both service and therapy dogs, including time served as Development Director for a local service dog training organization.

Fun Fact: Sarah sings in the African-American chorus with the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra.

What dogbiz clients say

“The education, training, and business coaching we received through dogbiz has been invaluable and instrumental in the building of our dog business. The dogbiz team gave us the tools and support we needed to take the leap of faith into this amazing doggie world.”

–Michelle Sanchez and Cynthia Evans, The Art of Dog, San Francisco, CA



for a single one-hour consult

Best for clear-cut technical questions like which school to attend, or to give the career consulting process a try. (If you then choose a package, we’ll pro-rate your first hour into your package.)


for a 3-hour Career Exploration package

Great for clients just wanting to get a feel for the possibilities in the industry, or for those who know what they want to do but need a better sense of what it would take to get there.


for a 5-hour Career Switch package

We’ll lay out a clear pathway for your dog career switch, including education or continuing education options and your career transition plan outline, to get you from where you are now to where you’re looking to be.


for a 10-hour Career Switch package

The 10 hour plan provides additional time for your consultant to help you plan your new dog business, including overseeing your logo and website design process, defining your services, setting rates and policies, and creating your marketing plan. Also benefit from ongoing structure and support to keep you motivated, organized, and moving ahead as you start your career to working with dogs.

Add a Paperwork Support package for


As part of your consulting package, if needed, we’ll help you determine the legal paperwork required for your business and show you how to access and file it. But if you’d prefer a little extra help, we can do your filing for you. Includes your business license, fictitious business name, and any additional paperwork necessary, such as Limited Liability Company articles of organization, state service mark, and EIN or Tax ID #.

Please note: This service available only to clients purchasing a multiple hour consulting package.

Ready for some friendly help from the dogbiz experts?

Sign up for consulting

You don’t have to make your career change by yourself. Switching careers requires the spending of money, time, and effort—protect those investments by working with a consultant who will help you spend them wisely, make sure you get the most from them, and steer you away from common, costly mistakes that slow your progress.

Want to save money combining dogbiz products and consulting?

Check out our discounted Business Success Packages.

Consulting Policies & FAQ

What is your refund and cancellation policy?

Consulting time is non-refundable. That said, consulting time you purchase will not expire and you may use it over any length of time you choose.

Because we want to see you moving forward toward your goals, and because we keep our schedules limited in order to provide individualized support for each client, we require 7 days’ notice for consult cancellations. Appointments cancelled with less than 7 days’ notice will be counted against your package, so please plan carefully to prioritize your success.

Can I choose which consultant I want to work with?

Absolutely. Just let Deborsha know who you’d like to work with when you sign up.

How long do I have to use my consulting hours?

There’s no time limit—use your hours at the speed that works best for you. Need to take a break? No worries—your unused hours will be there when you’re ready to get back to work.

Do you guarantee results?

We endeavor to provide the best possible advice, customized to your situation and goals, but we cannot control the economy and other factors which influence business success, so we cannot guarantee business results. What we can guarantee is that we’re invested in your success and will work our tails off to help you achieve it.