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Michiana Business: Co-Workers Open Dog Training Elite Franchise That Serves Michiana

Rich Naponelli and Diana Hyepock were attracted to the dog training franchise's focused on training service and therapy dogs and giving back to the community.

Rich Naponelli and Diana Hyepock, two co-workers from Michiana, Indiana, have teamed up to venture into the dog training industry with a Dog Training Elite franchise. 

“Dog Training Elite was head and shoulders above the others and aligned with our values and the way we think it is best to train our dogs,” Naponelli told Michiana Business. “While we do a lot of exceptional general obedience training, Dog Training Elite also has a focus on training service and therapy dogs and giving back to the community, which aligns with the way [Diana] and I wanted to run our dog training business.”

Prior to this, Naponelli had experience running a pet sitting and dog walking franchise, where Hyepock, who had worked in various pet-related roles, including 12 years owning a mobile pet grooming business, was one of his first employees. Hyepock also recently trained a puppy to be her daughter’s service dog, prompting her to get certified in service and therapy dog training at the Animal Behavior Institute

Their business, which does not have a physical location, operates across various regions including South Bend, Elkhart, Kalamazoo, Chesterton and Valparaiso, and even extends to Chicago. Since opening last year, their focus has been on exceptional general obedience training along with specialized training for service and therapy dogs. 

“There was a high demand for dog training that the current trainers in Michiana couldn’t fill, so to satisfy this demand, we thought it would be great to launch a Dog Training Elite in our own backyards,” Naponelli said.

The Dog Training Elite network currently operates 243 locations with more planned. As Dog Training Elite works to award 30 territories in 2024, targeting key markets in California, New York, Oregon and Idaho, it offers a compelling investment opportunity for franchisees like  Naponelli and Hyepock looking to join a standout system.

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