fbpx

About: Us

The People Behind the Biz

Founders & dogbiz U Faculty​

dogbiz owner Veronica Boutelle

Veronica Boutelle
MA Ed., CTC

Founder, Consultant Lead,
DWA Director

Veronica is the former Director of Behavior & Training for the San Francisco SPCA. She has been helping dog professionals create their dream businesses through dogbiz since 2003.

Veronica is the author of How to Run a Dog Business and The Business of Dog Walking, the co-author of Minding Your Dog Business, and writes for multiple industry journals, including regular business columns in PPG’s Barks from the Guild and APDT’s Chronicle of the Dog. She is a sought-after speaker at conferences and dog training schools across the country and internationally, teaching R+ dog pros how to help more dogs in countries ranging from North America to South America, Europe to Down Under.

Veronica has made good use of her previous career as a classroom teacher, teacher educator, and curriculum developer to bring more effective curriculum and instructional strategies to group dog training classes.

Fun Fact: Veronica grows much of her own food and is rarely seen at home without dirt under her fingernails.

Gina Phairas

Gina Phairas
BSc Comms, CTC

Founder, Consultant Lead,
dogbiz U Director

Gina is a former San Francisco SPCA Academy for Dog Trainers instructor, teaching fellow trainers alongside Jean Donaldson and Janis Bradley. Gina brings extensive experience in the dog industry to her work, including serving as Behavior Rehabilitation Coordinator at the SF/SPCA, co-founding a consulting non-profit for shelters and rescues, consulting for and managing one of the first dog daycares in the CA Bay Area, and running her own successful dog training business. 

These days Gina uses her experience and advertising background to support dog professionals by leading our talented consulting team and running dogbiz University, her brain child for providing effective, easy-access business support to R+ dog professionals. She also regularly shares dog business wisdom at dog training conferences and seminars, including those held by PPG, APDT, and as Clicker Expo faculty.

Fun Fact: In her first career Gina worked on television commercials and news programs. She’s also hosted a music video show.

Support

Deborsha Lashway

Deborsha Lashway

Client Support & Operations
Manager, Organizational Goddess, Glue

Deborsha, our Client Support & Operations Manager, is Awesomeness Incarnate and the glue that keeps dogbiz together and allows us all to do what we do. She’s the first point of contact for new clients and students and has a raving fan club among them. (Clients often tell us they wish they could find their own Deborsha, but we guard her like a hungry dog with a pig’s ear.)

Deborsha wears multiple hats within the company, running everything from customer support to billing and accounts to order fulfillment to overseeing the daily operations of the Dog Walking Academy and Newsletter Service programs. She is, in other words, indispensable (and thus our understandable resource guarding behavior).

Before joining dogbiz, Deborsha held administration management positions in the health-care industry.

Fun Fact: Deborsha somehow fits in time for multiple hobbies, including gardening, tending her chickens, and playing board games. Oh, and she’s a blue belt in Tai Kwon Do, too.

Business Consultants

dogbiz DWA Instructor & Consultant Tia Guest

Tia Guest

CPDT-KA, ACABC, KPA CTP

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, an Associate 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.

dogbiz DWA Instructor

Alexis Davison

CPDT-KA, KPA CTP

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!).

dogbiz Consultant Sarah Hoth

Sarah Hoth

MBA, BA, BS, KPA-CTP

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.

Dog Walking Academy Instructors

dogbiz DWA Instructor Josh Boutelle

Josh Boutelle

CPDT-KA
Oakland, CA

Josh has an extensive career in training and walking dogs and enjoys helping dogs and their people live happier lives, as well as contributing to the professional development of fellow dog professionals. He is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer, a Certified Separation Anxiety Trainer, and a graduate of the Dog Training Internship Academy, a rigorous 6-month program focusing on canine behavior, behavior modification, and an evidence-based approach to dog training. Josh owns City Pups SF, a successful dog walking and training company in San Francisco.

Fun Fact: Josh started his dog career early, spending summer vacations as a kid volunteering at the San Francisco SPCA, where he was more or less adopted by the Behavior & Training department.

dogbiz owner Veronica Boutelle

Veronica Boutelle

MA Ed., CTC
San Francisco and Oakland, CA

Veronica is the former Director of Behavior & Training for the San Francisco SPCA. She has been helping dog professionals create their dream businesses through dogbiz since 2003.

Veronica is the author of How to Run a Dog Business and The Business of Dog Walking, the co-author of Minding Your Dog Business, and writes for multiple industry journals, including regular business columns in PPG’s Barks from the Guild and APDT’s Chronicle of the Dog. She is a sought-after speaker at conferences and dog training schools across the country and internationally, teaching R+ dog pros how to help more dogs in countries ranging from North America to South America, Europe to Down Under.

Veronica has made good use of her previous career as a classroom teacher, teacher educator, and curriculum developer to bring more effective curriculum and instructional strategies to group dog training classes.

Fun Fact: Veronica grows much of her own food and is rarely seen at home without dirt under her fingernails.

dogbiz DWA Instructor June Kim

June Kim

PgDip, CBCC, CPDT
Seoul, South Korea

June was the first trainer in Korea to attain her certification through the Certification Council of Professional Dog Trainers. She has gone on to become a published author and lecturer in the field. Her books include Are You Communicating With Your Dog? Dog Body Language and Communication and My Grey Babies: Senior Dogs Traveled in Europe, Life & Death. June’s life work is to shift the paradigm of awareness about animals by educating people to sympathize with their animals’ feelings and needs. June holds a degree in Animal Behavior & Welfare, and her passion for bringing science-based humane training practices to Korea have led her to found PolangPolang LLC, and to bring the Dog Walking Academy to her native city of Seoul. 
 
Fun Fact: June wrote the first book on force-free training in the Korean language.
" icon

What dog pros say about the people behind dogbiz