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Florida Nurses Bring Dog Training Elite Franchise to Kissimmee and Lakeland After COVID Career Shift

Since opening their first location in 2021, Chelsea and Cheyenne Emery have been using their dog obedience and training service to ’make people and dogs happy at the same time.’ Now the couple is expanding their Orlando business to cover more of Central Florida.

By Chris IrbyCopy Editor
8:08AM 05/15/24

After working as nurses during the COVID-19 pandemic, Chelsea and Cheyenne Emery decided they wanted to pivot into a career that would let them “help the community in a different way.” Driven by Cheyenne’s entrepreneurial spirit and a mutual love of dogs, the recently married couple were drawn to Dog Training Elite’s supportive business model and welcoming, family environment. They ended up purchasing three territories in Orlando and opened the first Dog Training Elite location in Florida in November 2021.

Fast-forward two years and the Emerys are delighted, not just with the financial success of their Dog Training Elite business, but with the opportunities it has provided for them to give back to the Orlando community. So naturally, when given a chance to expand their franchise territory to cover more of Central Florida, they seized the moment and said yes. They will now be providing their dog obedience and training services to folks in Kissimmee and Lakeland through their existing location in Ocoee.

“We just want to be able to give to our community in so many different ways: obedience training, service therapy training — bringing those dogs into the hospital now with COVID happening — being able to bring a little joy back into people’s lives and things like that,” Chelsea said. “Our goal in life is to be able to make people and dogs happy at the same time.”

1851 Franchise spoke with Chelsea to discuss her journey into franchising with Cheyenne, the couple’s passion for serving their community and their plans for the future.

1851 Franchise: Frame your personal story for us. What did you do before franchising, and how did you decide franchising made sense for you?

Emery: We were both nurses prior to jumping into Dog Training Elite, and that was our career goal. We were both looking into being nurse practitioners, which Cheyenne has actually done. But she always wanted to be an entrepreneur, so we were looking into different ideas for franchising or even having our own business — and we came across Dog Training Elite. We were both born and raised around dogs, so we felt like it was something that was very fitting for the both of us.

As nurses, we were both people of service before Dog Training Elite. We wanted to do something where we’d still be helping people, so we felt like owning a franchise with Dog Training Elite was the way to go.

1851: What was your perception of franchising prior to becoming a franchisee, and what do you want people to know about franchising now that you are in it?

Emery: Honestly, I didn’t really even understand franchising; I knew there were franchises all over the place, but I never really showed an interest in it because my thought was to be a nurse for my entire life. That’s what I’ve always wanted to do. But Cheyenne was the go-getter. She was the one that wanted to do more of an entrepreneur/own-your-own-business thing, so she mentioned some different ideas and I was like, “Let’s try this one.”

Looking back, we wanted freedom of our scheduling and we wanted to help our community in a different way. It’s been nothing but rewarding, so I would recommend Dog Training Elite to anyone. It’s a great franchise. It’s definitely family-oriented; we call all of us “a pack.” It’s a very rewarding franchise to be a part of.

1851: What made you pick this brand? What excites you most about this company?

Emery: We always go back to the day that we went out to Utah for [Dog Training Elite’s] Approval Day. We met the CEO at the time, and we met some other franchise owners — they’d actually started their business when Dog Training Elite first opened — and we were so welcomed. It just felt like a very loving family environment, which is something that me and Cheyenne always strive for. So when we went out there, we were sold after the first day. It just seemed like it was something that was calling us.

I never really knew in depth about dog training. I trained my dog but didn’t really understand the extent of what the benefits could be of training a dog and making them obedient, or even going into the service and therapy aspects of training and how much of a difference we could make in someone’s life. So, I think just being able to help the community in that way. We just felt like it was our calling, and we knew, after day one of being in Utah, that this was the brand that we wanted to follow. We had looked into other dog training companies, but none of them really seemed to strike our interest. Dog Training Elite just completely exceeded our expectations.

1851: What do you hope to achieve with your business? What are your plans for growth? 

Emery: We just grew into the Kissimmee-Lakeland area. Our goal from day one was to always expand to give more quality training over the Central Florida area to people who are looking for it. Like I said, I didn’t really understand the value of having a well-trained dog until we went through Dog Training Elite’s training program and applied it to our own dogs. I was amazed at how much trust and freedom I could give my dog and how much I could rely on her to behave out in public. So that’s why we want to expand; we want to be able to take Dog Training Elite all over Central Florida and be able to give that quality training to people that need and want it the most.

1851: What is the one thing about your story you want us to know?

Emery: Cheyenne and I started out as nurses because we wanted to help people and make them feel better and serve them in a way that they needed, when they needed it the most. Now we’re translating that into the dog community and a lot of what we focus on is service dog training, which is becoming more and more popular in psychiatric service, like veterans with PTSD.

I just want to make sure  people understand that we’re in it for the right reasons; we just want to be able to give to our community in so many different ways: obedience training, service therapy training — bringing those dogs into the hospital now with COVID happening — being able to bring a little bit of joy back into people’s lives and things like that. Our goal in life is to be able to make people and dogs happy at the same time so they’re able to enjoy their dogs and not feel like they’re on a cliff ready to jump off because their dog is destroying their house.

In our hearts, we are completely committed to this business and we just want to give back to our community in any way, shape or form.

1851: What advice do you have for other people thinking about becoming a franchise owner?

Emery: I had no idea what owning a franchise would be like, but now that we’re about three years into owning our own franchise here in Central Florida, it’s super cool to be able to have the freedom to make your own schedule or to build on the foundation of what Dog Training Elite is supposed to be. We’re what we want our brand to be, across the board, but at the same time — and that’s what we loved about Dog Training Elite franchising — they allow us to be ourselves and do things differently across franchises while keeping the same foundation. So I think it’s really cool to be able to own your own franchise and be able to customize it to help people specific to your area.

For more information on franchising with Dog Training Elite, please visit: https://1851franchise.com/dogtrainingelite/

ABOUT DOG TRAINING ELITE

With more than four decades of experience in dog training, Dog Training Elite is one of the country’s leading obedience and specialized training franchises. Offering a comprehensive suite of customizable training programs, Dog Training Elite works with dogs and owners to meet any and all training needs, including therapy dog training and advanced service dog training for PTSD support, psychiatric support, mobility support, autism support, diabetic alert training and an array of other services. In addition to the wide breadth of services offered, Dog Training Elite differentiates itself from competitors through a uniquely human-focused approach to dog training, which focuses on helping owners and their families learn to effectively and consistently support their dog’s training needs. To learn more about franchising with the Franchise 500 Dog Training Elite, visit https://dogtrainingelite.com/franchise.

*This brand is a paid partner of 1851 Franchise. For more information on paid partnerships please click here.

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