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Meet Kristyn and Sean Savage of Beyond the Dog

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kristyn Savage and Sean Savage.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Beyond the Dog was founded by Sean and myself nearly 15 years ago. Our first office was established in Kansas City. Individually, we had been training animals since we could walk and talk. For each of us, animals were our first love. Within 2 years of meeting, even before we were married, we started Beyond the Dog.

When we opened BtD, we knew a lot about animals and very little about business. What set us apart at the time was our knowledge base and, mostly, hard work. Very hard work. We were willing to do nearly anything that was required of us to have success as a service provider, dog trainer, and business. We went above and beyond to ensure the happiness of our clients. That’s a motto that is with us still today and is instilled in each of our trainers. Along the way, in Kansas City, we were mentored in a way by various individuals which helped us create our current business model.

After earning my doctoral degree and becoming a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist, in May of 2017, we made the leap to Houston in the hopes of expanding. We wanted to extend our services and impact the lives of more families in a different part of the country. Houston appeared to be a great market and we immediately fell in love with the city. As we’ve become more established in Houston it’s clear to us that this is the perfect place to begin expanding BtD. It’s our goal to eventually expand into neighboring cities including, but not limited to, San Antonio, Austin, and Dallas.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I’m typically an overly optimistic person and often overlook how difficult it may be to accomplish some of the goals we’ve created for BtD. We’ve made sacrifices along the way and again relied on good, old fashioned hard work to get the job done. Each expansion of our business has been harder than expected, but we’ve met those challenges head on. In a way, it’s good to have bumps in the road because it brings problems to the surface. With problems, come solutions. It also allows us to do what we really do best and stimulates us mentally. We’ve an ever evolving business across each level of operation.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Beyond the Dog story. Tell us more about the business.
On the surface we are a dog training company. I suppose you could say we have two main specialties. The first is to create well behaved puppies and dogs through our more intense training programs. Clients typically come to us feeling frustrated by their dog’s behavior. For those cases, it’s so fun to see the transformation in the dog’s behavior and happiness on the client’s face. The result is an improved relationship with the animal and an overall much happier home.

Our second specialty is in treating severe problem behavior. Clients come to us feeling desperate because their dog is behaving aggressively or is severely anxious. For many of these clients and animals, we are their last option. For those cases, it’s very rewarding to know that we’re influential in keeping the dog or others safe, in the home, and, in some cases, avoiding euthanasia.

Our level of professionalism, reliability, and overall results in training is what sets up apart. In addition, there isn’t another trainer in Houston with my credentials or a trainer that is being mentored by someone with my credentials. Again, it relates back to the quality of training we provide.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I’m not a big believer in luck per se. I suppose we’ve been “lucky” by being in the right place at the right time and really seizing the opportunity provided.

For example, I earned my Ph.D. from the University of Kansas–one of the top 5 universities in the country for Behavior Analysis–which “luckily” was only an hour away from my home base. I was extraordinarily lucky that I was accepted into a program of that quality so close to home. If the program wasn’t offered nearby I may not have earned the quality education that I did because we already had an existing business that required our attention. The education from that particular program and its faculty have greatly influenced our business.

Another example includes some of the mentoring we’ve received from former clients. They saw something in us and were kind enough to offer their advice and time to two inexperienced business owners. Again, we were lucky to have had those individuals in our life and are indebted to them for their kindness.

Pricing:

  • All-Inclusive Training (4 weeks of intensive in home training) $2960
  • Board and Train (3-4 weeks of intensive training in our home) $155/night
  • Executive Training (3 days per week of in home training) $390/week
  • Private In Home Lessons ($145/hr)

Contact Info:

Getting in touch: VoyageHouston is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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