Helping dog pros succeed since 2003

Our mission

It’s simple: Our goal is to help more dogs live happy lives by helping R+ dog pros learn how to run thriving, ethical businesses. If we can keep you in business, you can keep helping dogs. Simple as that.

The dogbiz story

In 2000 Veronica Boutelle and Gina Phairas, our eventual founders, were working as Director of Behavior & Training and Academy Instructor, respectively, for the San Francisco SPCA. Jean Donaldson’s esteemed Academy for Dog Trainers was part of the department at that time, and Veronica and Gina were early graduates of the program as well.

Over the next three years Veronica and Gina watched as four classes of talented dog trainers graduated each year, only to fail. Many found themselves taking part-time jobs to make ends meet. Others headed grudgingly back to previous careers they’d been glad to leave behind.

These were great dog trainers who’d been well prepared to make a difference in dogs’ lives. The problem? They didn’t know how to run their businesses. Growing increasingly worried about keeping good R+ trainers in the game, Veronica and Gina began hatching a plan.

In 2003 dogbiz (originally called The Dog Training Education Center, or dogTEC for short) opened in the California Bay Area. Since then we’ve grown steadily to serve fellow dog pros throughout the U.S. and internationally, dedicating ourselves to developing innovative products, services, and educational resources to increase the business IQ and success of R+ dog professionals around the world.


dogbiz philosophy in a nutshell

A team approach

When you work with a dogbiz consultant you benefit from the collective wisdom of the entire consulting team. Same when you take a Biz U or DWA course. Our consultants, dogbiz U faculty, and Dog Walking Academy instructors continually share ideas and best practices to give you the best possible experience and support.

Real people

We consultants, faculty, and instructors value our credentials, experience, knowledge, and skills. But we know a human connection is just as important. You’ll find us to be real, down-to-earth people who love making a living helping others make a living doing what they love. (We dare you to say that five times fast…)

Dog pros helping dog pros

Our clients and students work hard to pursue a career with dogs; the person teaching or supporting you has to understand what this means. We are all accomplished R+ dog trainers with experience on the front lines of the dog industry, including as walkers and sitters and running daycare and boarding facilities.

Celebrating diversity

We serve and support all R+ or force-free trainers—trainers of all races, colors, national origins, sex, gender identities, sexual orientations, and abilities. In short, if you’re 100% committed to force-free training, we’re 100% committed to you.

Living vicariously

We actively celebrate our clients’ and students’ successes. We live vicariously through each business up and down, each triumph and set back. It thrills us to see students and clients in an “ah-hah” moment. We share in missed sleep when there’s a problem to solve. And we live for news of a successful price increase, new website launch, or first client. 

Practicing what we preach

We teach only ethical approaches to business success that are good for dog pros, dog lovers, and—most importantly—dogs. Then we strive to follow the advice we give our clients, students, readers, and followers. “Do as I say, not as I do” seemed sketchy when we were kids; it’s definitely not a good philosophy for business advice.