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Dog Training Elite Awards 30 Territories in 2023, Plans to Double Down Next Year

With limited whitespace in the U.S., the premier obedience and specialized training franchise sets its sights on California and other open pockets next year.

By Morgan Wood1851 Franchise Contributor
SPONSOREDUpdated 7:07AM 12/12/23

After a year of incredible growth in 2022, Dog Training Elite, the specialized dog training franchise, continued to make strong progress throughout 2023, awarding 30 territories, welcoming seven new franchisees to the system, expanding with existing franchisees in Connecticut, the Carolinas and the midwest, breaking into the California market and even welcoming a new CEO, Betsy Feaster.

“This has been a very busy year for us. After growing rapidly in 2022, we wanted to turn inward and ensure we were still providing the franchisee support and brand experience that Dog Training Elite is known for,” said Feaster. “Our goal has always been to make communities better, and we have welcomed new members to the leadership team, adjusted strategy and begun developing even more franchisee resources that will ensure we aren’t dampening our local impact as we grow across the nation.”

Feaster, who was a franchisee with the brand and served on the board before stepping into the CEO role mid-2023, explained that the system has stepped into a new ramp-up period, working toward more expansion after retooling and verifying an elite support system and growth strategy.

One major change that Dog Training Elite has undertaken is an adjustment to its training methods. With decades of dog training experience backing the Dog Training Elite name, the brand has always leveraged proven training strategies to yield great results, but now, franchisees will have even more resources to reach out to and support dog owners in their communities.

More Tools and Strategies to Broaden Dog Training Elite’s Reach

Since its founding, Dog Training Elite has used scientifically proven training techniques to build skills in a dog while encouraging connection between dog and handler. For years, Dog Training Elite relied heavily on electronic collars, which do not shock the dog but provide a stimulus, providing the sensation of a gentle leash tug, in combination with positive reinforcement. 

However, electronic collars, or e-collars, as they are commonly known, have been subject to strong criticism as the name has been colloquialized and, to some, is defined as an adverse training tool, which Dog Training Elite does not support.

“As a franchise owner, I spend a lot of time educating folks on why the e-collar is not what people think it is, especially the kind that we use and the way we use them,” explained Feaster. “But, there are still areas that aren’t supportive of e-collar training or folks who are resistant to the e-collar, so we have developed a training program that familiarizes franchisees with a number of different tools, including clicker training, treat training and martingale collars.”

While Dog Training Elite’s training tactics will still leverage e-collar training, as the experts have proven that this tool provides the fastest, most consistent training results, franchisees will also be able to teach owners how to mark and reward behaviors with clicker training or encourage leash manners with the help of a martingale.

“About 75% of dogs can do really well with e-collar training, but there is about 25% that could do better with something else,” said Feaster. “We have always done more than just press a button on an e-collar — we understand dogs and customize training plans accordingly. Now, owners will have even more options and tools that they can use to customize their services, broadening their potential client pool.”

Internal Business Support Develops Franchise Owners Further

In addition to training resources that will allow franchisees to connect with a broader customer base in their locale, Dog Training Elite has built more scaffolding that will support owners in strategizing on the business side of things.

“So much of our business is technically based: Can you go out and train a dog to sit?” said Feaster. “But we’re still a business. We want our staff to be able to look at numbers and begin strategizing for ways they can help a particular franchisee succeed. We want our owners to have an elevator pitch and know how to handle objections during sales.”

Dog Training Elite is rolling out dozens of videos that will provide interactive training for local owners to level up their marketing strategy and community relations, leveraging tools like Tableau for clearer data analytics internally and preparing for its 2024 franchisee convention that will focus on business development strategies.

A Strong Foundation for Another Great Year

All of Dog Training Elite’s work this year has culminated to allow the franchise system to end the year on a high note, and Feaster says the team intends to carry this momentum into the new year. 

With a team of passionate dog lovers and trainers with boots on the ground, Dog Training Elite plans to award another 30 territories next year, specifically targeting growth in California, New York, Oregon and Boise, Idaho as it works to lay roots in every state, providing meaningful training support to dogs and families nationwide.

“There is still major room for growth, and we have the right team in place,” said Feaster. “There is so much love for this brand and our mission throughout the team, and we’re going to continue to hit it hard in 2024 in an effort to make communities better through well-behaved pets and well-trained service and therapy dogs.”

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