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The Great Franchisee: Yuni Alvarez, Dog Training Elite, Dallas

The former health club manager is fulfilling her dream of working with animals full-time as one of the mobile dog training franchise’s newest owners.

By David StatmanContributor
Updated 10:10AM 12/03/21

Yuni Alvarez spent a decade working in the health and fitness industry as a health club manager, but she says her personal passion has always been for dogs. Now, Alvarez is turning that passion into a new career as one of the newest franchisees with Dog Training Elite*, the 63-plus-unit mobile dog training franchise that is rapidly becoming one of the country’s leading obedience and specialized training brands.

We spoke to Alvarez to learn about her path to franchising and her experience with Dog Training Elite.

1851 Franchise: Tell us your story – what did you do before franchising?

Yuni Alvarez: I worked in the health and fitness industry for 10 years managing and operating big health clubs for a brand called Fitness Connection. I did everything from sales to operations for the district of Dallas, Fort Worth and Austin. I managed up to 15 locations at one time. 

1851: How did you initially find out about franchising and what was your perception of franchising before becoming a franchise owner?

Alvarez: I fell out of love with my career and what I was doing. Here at Dog Training Elite, we’re a family-owned business; it’s my husband, his dad, aunt and cousin, a long-time family friend and myself. We wanted to have a business together as a family, and we wanted to find a franchise that would impact the community and make a real difference in people’s lives. That’s what we were looking for out of the business we were going to partner with.

1851: How did you perform your research? Why did you pick Dog Training Elite?

Alvarez: We were looking for franchise opportunities that were looking to expand in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. We went through different business ideas that would give us the opportunity to impact people’s lives. So we were going through businesses that were looking to expand their territories, and we came across Dog Training Elite and a couple of other franchises. We had a couple of conference calls with a few businesses, and Dog Training Elite immediately won us over with their customer-forward business model and how they’re helping the people and helping the dogs. We all love dogs, and it was the perfect formula. We have 10 dogs in our family, so it was meant to be. We just love dogs, and we felt like we just had to do this.

1851: What’s the transition been like getting into the dog training business?

Alvarez: It’s been the smoothest, most complete training I’ve had in my lifetime. It was a very in-depth, informative training in Utah with our founders and our owners. We flew out there with our personal dogs so that we could practice all of the stages of purchasing a package, training the dog and having patience. In total, we were in Utah for about a month. The corporate team wants to give owners the confidence not just to train a dog, but how to problem-solve and work with the dogs safely because it can get sticky if you’re not reading the dog correctly. The dog training has been phenomenal.  

1851: What are your dreams with the business? What does the future look like?

Alvarez: We want to help more clients repair their relationship with their dogs and have a more cohesive lifestyle. Along with that, we want to save dogs from going to the shelter or from being put down because of a lack of training that can be perceived as aggression. Instead, we work with owners to train them in addition to the dogs, teaching them patience and how to properly understand and interact with their dogs. We also do extensive work with shelters and adoption centers in our area. In the future, we want to continue our charity training work so that we can help more dogs become “adoptable,” and impact as many people and dogs’ lives as possible. We just want to help people and show that there is a light on the other end of the tunnel, and we can work with your dog.

1851: What advice would you have for others looking at buying a franchise?

Alvarez: Be really selective, and make sure the company you’re going to do business with has the same moral compass and values you do. Whatever that means to you. For me, those values were finding a franchise that is family-driven, with high integrity and is very organized. When you’re picking that business, make sure they fit within your standards of what good business looks like and what success means to you. Success means different things to different people. It has to match the same vision.

1851: What do you do in your personal time?

Alvarez: I love to go to the lake and do water activities, but I really just love to do anything outdoors. Whether it’s a hike, a pool, a barbecue. Being outside together with my family is the best way to spend quality time together.

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, personal protection 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 Dog Training Elite, visit

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