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The Great Franchisees: Chuck and Cat Klingsick, Dog Training Elite, Kansas City

The father-daughter duo are turning their love for animals into a family business with the fast-growing dog-training franchise.

By Amy Tatnall1851 Franchise Contributor
Updated 2:14PM 01/19/22

Chuck Klingsick and his daughter Cat have always bonded over their love for dogs. Now, the two are turning that passion into a business together as two of the newest franchise owners with Dog Training Elite*, the 34-unit specialty dog-training franchise. 

We spoke to the Klingsicks to learn more about their path to franchising and their experience with Dog Training Elite.

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

Chuck Klingsick: Before getting involved with Dog Training Elite, I worked in IT for 30 years and as an IT project manager for 24 years. 

Cat Klingsick: I have been working at the local vet in the boarding department. Since opening Dog Training Elite, I still work there but have reduced my time to only the weekends. 

1851: How did you initially find out about franchising? 

Chuck: I had previously put some thought into franchising and had decided to make strides in the direction of owning my own business, so I met with a franchise coach. She presented me with six different franchise options that I took the time to research and learn more about so that in the end I was confident that I was making the right decision, whatever it was that I decided to pursue.  

1851: Why did you pick franchising over starting your own business?

Chuck: As a former project manager, I enjoy working with a process that already exists and has proven successful, so I was looking for something that had an existing business model. Why reinvent the wheel when there is already a system in place that is working well? I was looking for a business that I could jump right in and grow with, and Dog Training Elite had that. 

1851: What types of brands did you look at?

Chuck: I spent some time looking at a few other training brands similar to Dog Training Elite. I also looked into some landscaping franchises and even a couple of construction options, but Dog Training Elite really caught my attention more than any other franchise. Plus, as a longtime animal lover, the dog connection was a huge draw. 

1851: Why did you pick Dog Training Elite? What excited you most about the potential?

Chuck: I ended up choosing Dog Training Elite because the company is extremely detailed. When we began the ownership process, the corporate team was incredibly responsive, which I appreciated. I also spoke with some other franchisees within the system, and I could tell that everyone feels supported by the corporate team and that means a lot. Owning a business is a huge risk and being able to make this decision with the backing of an experienced team, and the support that they provide has lifted a weight off my conscience. This is also a really fun new thing to be involved in, that is different from other dog training options out there, which is exciting.  Besides, I get to work with my daughter.

Cat: I really like being able to see first-hand the transformation in the dogs that happens when they receive the best training possible. Watching the bond between the owner and dog grow stronger as they work together and learn to better understand each other is really exciting. It shows that our training methods really work and that people can have huge improvements with consistent time and effort. 

1851: What trends are you seeing in your local community?

Chuck: There definitely is a large market for dog training services in Kansas City. Kansas City has a high percentage of pet ownership in the area, which means there is a lot of opportunity for growth in the business, especially after COVID. There is competition out there too, but that is a good thing and a way to learn more about the industry. 

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

Chuck: My dreams are to grow the business significantly in the coming years and eventually cover all of Kansas City. I hope to create something that is around for the next 30 or more years and make a real impact on this community. 

Cat: I would love to see our business grow and watch more people gain a closer relationship with their little fur babies as they work through our training programs. 

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

Chuck: Do your homework upfront. Make sure that you understand the rules and details around building a business — once you start, you really need to know what you are doing. Any business is a risk as much as it’s a great opportunity, so it’s important to know exactly what you are taking on in terms of time and financial responsibility and be willing to put in the work to make it succeed.  

1851: What do you do in your personal time?

Chuck:  I love to fish, spend time outdoors, play sports and of course, we both love spending time with our dogs. I have been a big dog lover my whole life, and so has Cat, so we love being able to spend time together, with our pets, and really do something that we enjoy. 


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.