After almost five years of managing, operating, and upkeeping physical business locations… the time had come for a change of pace.
To recap, a little over a year ago I took a significant (and initially intimidating) step. After four years of training, boarding, daycare, and rescue rehab, in August 2016 I decided to let go of a lucrative part of the business, our Boarding and Structured Daycare Services and facility, so I could focus exclusively on training. (see January post, “New Location, New Focus and Direction”).
As I closed one door, others opened.
Over the course of a few months, the training business quickly took a life of its own, flourished, and my calendar filled with private lessons, group classes, and board-and-train pups – weeks in advance.
In parallel to working with my students, by April 2017 a new collaboration begun – with Elite K911 Dog Training & Behavior, one of the largest, most established training facilities in the Greater Cleveland Area. What started as a two-day internal workshop with their newest trainers, moved forward with regular on-site assistance and guidance through the more advanced stages of their Board and Train Program.
By July, as I committed more time to following through with my students on real-life training venues (in-home lessons, parks, pack walks), as well as continuing to work with and support other trainers, another business shift made sense, both intuitively and logistically. In order to follow through on this new path more efficiently, I decided to let go of my second training facility as well.
As I closed yet another door… others opened, again.
In the few months that followed, I was given the opportunity to travel, connect with other trainers, do competitive obedience demos, teach workshops, and on a personal note, found more time to work my own dogs.
In addition, shifting focus has also been incredibly beneficial to my dog sport journey. In the past year, I was able to get my three year old Belgian Malinois, Baby Azande, ready for his Mondioring 2. We competed at the National Championship (2nd Place!), qualified for the USA World Team, and were able to travel to France for training, followed by a decent showing at the Mondioring World Championship in Spain… Not to mention having the opportunity to connect with and learn from some of the best trainers, handlers, and decoys in the sport.
In these whirlwind, fast-paced changes and new developments, I have been fortunate to have the invaluable support of my family, friends, clients, and colleagues…
As I will continue to offer in-home, off-site lessons and support to current students, my schedule continues to be full, several weeks in advance. I may be able to take on new clients at any given moment, depending on urgency and time availability – with priority given to certain behavioral cases and dog sport interest. Nonetheless, if I am personally unable to help within a given time frame, I would be more than happy to recommend other local trainers whose expertise and techniques I highly trust.
Looking forward to continuing along my teaching path in slightly different venues than before, workshops and seminars, reaching a wider audience, and most of all helping others along their own training journey – as I also continue to learn more about different dog sports and improve my own skill as handler and competitor.
~ Roxana Vlasceanu, HDP K9 Owner and Head Trainer