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Dog Daycare: Beyond The Leash Seminar



News Release & Testimonials


News Release from Dog City



A 'Dog's Eye View' practiced at Dog City


A very busy dog daycare facility (averaging more than 50 dogs daily) with entry-level employees, Dog City Dog Day Care & Hotel wanted an efficient, effective way to train staff. And that training needed to go beyond, “Sit, Come, and Stay". It needed to go “beyond the leash.” Dog City required a training system that acknowledged the complexity of the dogs’ interactions, signals and relationships in large packs.


“Group dog behavior is a specialized field, since most trainers focus on the interaction between individual dogs and their human families,” said Dog City owner, Deborah Holvey.  “In interactive doggie daycare settings, however, the dogs' interactions, signals and relationships are much more complex because of the large groups and introduction of new dogs into the pack daily.” 

 With her unique expertise in “training the trainer” and working with dogs in a variety of settings, Nana Will was the perfect solution. She developed a custom-designed program to educate the Dog City staff. The dog daycare staff training program includes intensive classroom education and hands-on practice. Nana focused on how to manage large groups of dogs safely using the most effective dog-friendly techniques based on scientific principles and identifying the intricacies of the canine communication system, both for individual dogs and the pack as a whole. Educational materials were also developed and integrated into training for all Dog City employees. Dog City is the first dog daycare in the country to formalize the dog behavior profile process designed by  Nana.

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Kristin Plauche, DVM, owner of Lafayette Veterinary Care Center, Lafayette CA


"Very good info, user friendly. Relaxed and interactive. Learning how to change behaviors of dogs in a group setting was most beneficial. I found the videos examples of body postures, signs, etc., all very helpful. Most info could be used for boarders, grooming pets, as well as in the hospital exam room. Thanks for the great seminar! I recommend others attend this seminar."



Janet Horton, Pet Care Technician, Lafayette Veterinary Care Center, Lafayette CA

"What I liked about the seminar was going to the facility to see in person - with the knowledge of the videos first. I found the video shots being slowed down frame by frame to be very beneficial. The tail wagging video of Carver and Weiss was most helpful. Thank you for your time, dedication and enthusiasm. I recommend this seminar to others"



Kristin Elliot, assitant manger of Tails Up Pet Hotel & Daycare, Castle Rock CO

"The seminar was very informational. I enjoyed learning about paying attention to tails, ears, etc. Most beneficial were the videos and seeing the actual examples. I especially found the videos on time-outs, greeting behavior and play very helpful.  I enjoyed listening to someone with such passion for what they do. I recommend taking this seminar!"

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Martin Amaya, amigo de los perros and owner of Villa Mascotas, Xochitepec Morelos, Mexico

"I liked very much the structure that Nana followed with theory and practice at the daycare. The photos and videos were very illustrative. Everyone of the video clips were very helpful. I recommend to others to take this seminar."



Connie Apling, owner of K9 Playhouse, Waterloo IA

Phone:  319-296-2553


"I like everything about the seminar and I found the videos to be most beneficial especially the videos of daycares were most helpful. Yes - I recommend taking this seminar! Very informational - a must Do seminar. Thanks Nana!"



Jennifer M. Andrews, Lenox MA

"Liked everything about this seminar. It was money well spent. As I do my research before I open my dog daycare center - I couldn't ask for a better experience. I found the behavioral and time in daycare putting class time into real life most beneficial. Great collection of videos. Nana did a really great job. Her expertise is impeccable I learned so much! Thank you Nana! It was absolutely outstanding! Loved it! and recommend others to take this seminar."



Bill Pikula, Lenox MA

"The seminar was in depth. It really opened my eyes on how dogs act. The whole class was beneficial to me especially to see how to bring a new dog into a daycare. One of videos I found cool was where Nana brought the dog up in play, then brings them back down - control in a positive manner. Everyday and in everyway I am going to get better and better - I am a whole lot better than I used to be. This has been a great educational, fun experience. I recommend this seminar to others."



Denise K. Moberg, assistant manager of Happy Tails Dog Ranch, Berthoud CO

Phone:  970-532-4040 


"This seminar taught me a lot of things I can use at work and when I am working with my own dogs. I found learning about postures the most beneficial and I found the video clips with examples related to daycares with large play spaces very helpful. I recommend taking this seminar."

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Will G. and Brenda K. Miller, owners of Playful Pooch Dog Daycare & Boarding, Denver CO

Phone:  720-941-7529  /  303-434-0081  


"Most beneficial were the video clips in both real time and slow motion that provided the subtleties of dog behaviors not always really seen. The clips replayed in slow motion helped me see subtle changes in behavior that I would have otherwise missed. It explained a lot of what I had seen in my business over the last 2 plus years when observing dogs but did not know how to interpret it. Nana's knowledge, dedication and love for what she does was quite evident and re-affirmed why I chose a career devoted to taking care of our four-legged friends. While we are different as a species, we are not so different in our wants and needs. I most definitely recommend this seminars to others."

"Loved the videos showing body language - so subtle but important. Great ideas about training in daycare. This is a great workshop to learn about co-mingling dogs, their body language and how you can have an impact on the socialization of dogs and address anxiety and fear in new dogs. I recommend this seminar to others. We want Nana to do a 4-hour seminar for Colorado Association of Dog Daycares."



Cindy Trombley, owner of Adirondack Canine Club & Spa, Lake George NY

"I liked that the seminar had so many still shots and action shots to view the interaction of the dogs. The information was great. I really took a lot away from all the videos but definitely found the warning signs most helpful. I am so pleased with the seminar. I came away with so many useful tools and just wanted to keep learning. I am starting up a business and look forward to using everything I learned. I have a great network to work with thanks to the seminar. Thank you Nana! It was everything and then some that I expected. You far exceeded my expectations. I would most definitely recommend this seminar to others."



Sharon Wirant, Associate Certified Applied Behaviorist, Certified Pet Dog Trainer, Chief Operating Officer,

Monadnock Humane Society - Boarding & Daycare, Swanzey NH

Phone: 603-352-9011 ext 115

Email: sharon@humanecommunity.org


"I liked that the seminar focus was on behavior, which is vital in running a daycare. I found the behavior video clips and visiting the daycare center most beneficial. All videos were exceptional and helpful. Once can never watch and learn from too many videos. Lots of information. Yes - I recommend this seminar to others - the behavior component was exceptional and clearly a passion for Nana. Behavior is also the most important component in running a daycare."



Deena Moody, Tacoma WA

"I liked learning to recognize when the play was escalating to a point where it should be interrupted. Also, enjoyed trips to Dog City and meeting Nana and the class! It was most beneficial to watch the dogs in action after a morning of learning what we are watching and also the time outs! The videos with the dogs about to engage in play vs. those potentially fighting were very good. I absolutely recommend this seminar to others! Once my daycare gets rolling I will send the staff for sure. Thank you Nana, I am so glad I came."


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Andi Krapu, owner of Vermillion Kennels, Lakeville MN


"Great presentation, very organized. Nana = great passion - education - fun. Great use of videos and slides. Seminar could last 3 days - couldn't get enough -  I recommend attending this seminar.

I was an in-house dog sitter for four years and we got so many clients we decided to build a state of the art dog boarding facility. We have been opened for two years. Although our boarding facility is a big success, our clients were asking for doggie daycare. I know there are kennels/daycare facilities out there that have doggie daycare with no education. Education is key when running a doggie daycare and learning about dog behavior. I came away from Nana's seminar with a whole new understanding of how much it takes to truly understand what dogs are saying to each other and to us. I traveled from Minnesota to Boulder for this seminar. There were hundreds of slide presentations/videos, in-depth study book with time to answer your questions in between.

I feel confident when clients ask about our doggie daycare because I have the training and education that most facilities don't. Let's face it, when it comes to running a business we need every advantage we can to be that much ahead of the competition. Four paws up for this seminar it is a must if you want to stand out and be noticed in your area."



Heidi Kropela, dog trainer with A Wagging Success, Littleton CO


"I enjoyed and learned from every bit of this seminar! I found the videos and stills of dog body parts most beneficial. I LOVED learning to 'read' the dogs and have already been out observing. I TRULY learned a great deal.  I absolutely recommend this seminar!"



Karen Sanford, Clearwater FL

"I liked learning the signals to look for in dog communication, most beneficial were the practices for building a successful daycare environment, demonstrations and videos.  I recommend this seminar."



Kristen Smith, Divine Canine Daycare, Louisville CO


"Nana Will's seminar was fun learning and a relaxed open honest environment. It reaffirmed my passion for dog language and group play. I feel more confident in group play as well as training staff. She truly shows you the 'dog's eye view'! I recommend taking this seminar. "



Laurie Volks, Lucky Dog Resort & Training, Colorado Springs CO

"I liked the videos of dog language and what to look for. I found the event marker for communication and how to help my staff most beneficial. I highly recommend this seminar to others - wish it was a prerequisite before working with dogs"

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Tammy Mason, owner of Tuckered Out Dog Daycare, Rock Hill SC


I am very excited to have the opportunity to take this class when opening a new dog daycare business. The lessons learned will be extremely beneficial to having less stressful dogs and staff. Being the first dog daycare to open in our city, this class will be a key component of our business program being the benchmark others will have to model against.

Thank you Nana! for helping Tuckered Out Dog Daycare to be the premier facility in our area.



Corey Fellezs, Ohana Doggie Day Care, Honolulu HI


It was fluid and information packed. The information was presented in a way that I can go back and teach others. The experiences that Nana has and has shared with us is so valuable to the success of our company.



Bernadette Pflug, CPDT, owner of Unleashed Dog Training, Superior CO

Phone:  720-261-1542


Very informative: lots of great info. Even as a CPDT I still learned lots. Thank you Nana. I would most definitely recommend this seminar to others.



Marcia Gatti, owner of Hassayampa Canine Resort & Spa, Prescott AZ


As a boarding kennel / daycare owner, I had the opportunity to attend Nana Will’s Dog Daycare: Beyond the Leash Seminar in Boulder, Colorado this fall. The class consisted of 11 other dog daycare owners and their staff. The seminar, Dog Daycare: Beyond the Leash, provided in-depth information about canine communication and behavior, group dynamics and play and how dogs learn. In addition, we were provided the nuts and bolts of working with dogs in a daycare setting with an emphasis on practical application. To enhance the presentation, Nana Will provided several valuable opportunities to observe dogs in a day care setting. The field experience was critical in helping to apply the information learned in the seminar. 

While the seminar is non-stop, Nana’s relaxed and humorous approach made the class incredibly enjoyable and rewarding.  I highly recommend that owners/operators of dog daycare facilities and their staffs attend this enlightening seminar.  Bravo, Nana!

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Alicia Kahler, owner of Sycamore Lane Kennels & Farm, Lodi CA


I am a Certified Kennel Operator and have worked with dogs for over 30 years. I believed I had a relatively good understanding of dog behavior and communication. Nana proved that I still had room to grow. Nana's seminar was informative, engaging and insightful. Her personal video and photographs of specific dog behaviors were not only supportive of her teachings but proved to be extremely critical to understanding group behavior. She has a no-nonsense approach that welcomes questions and challenges with an eager ear.

Nana is a person who emulates what she is teaching. If everyone could be as calm, we would be better apt at dealing with challenges in dog behavior settings. I would recommend to anyone in an existing day care program or anyone starting a new day care program to take Nana's seminar.



Kay Moody, owner of Dogtopia of Temecula, Murrieta CA

Phone:  951-506-1200


"Nana’s class was very enlightening.  The photos and slow motion videos made a big difference in the ability to see the calming signals, along with Nana’s great interpretation of what we were seeing.  Watching Nana’s own calm demeanor in the playroom, made the doggie daycare visit a relaxed and clam place to be.  There were also some great techniques Nana provided in which to run a more smooth, less stressful facility." 


Carol Bergquist, owner of Peticular Care Co., Fort Collins C


"Thanks so much for the seminar and all the incredible information you presented to us. We worked on some of it on Monday with a few dogs and it was good to see how quickly they picked up on what we were doing. We both were amazed. It was a lot of information and you presented it in such a logical way that we are sure we can put it to use. I appreciate all that you taught us."



Jonna Galioto, Peticular Care Co., Fort Collins CO

"Liked the videos  :  )  the way it was interactive and going to the actual daycare to see it. Most beneficial - the videos. I thought the seminar was great and I am glad to say I have already seen great results from implementing some of your strategies at our daycare."


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Dakota Wilhelm, Arvada CO

"Like everything! Loved the signals and going to the day camp, loved the assessment part. Most beneficial was going through how dogs communicate, signals and how to control barking in day care."



Aaron Babich, owner of BARK! Doggie Daycare + Hotel + Spa, Denver CO

Phone:  303-892-5556


"It was straight forward and very educational while still keeping my interest. The videos and hands-on was perfect!  Yes, Yes, Yes!! - I would recommend attending this seminar"



Matt Johnson, Bed-n-Biscuits, Wheat Ridge CO


"I would recommend this seminar to others. I expanded my repertoire of body language and physical attributes associated with behavior."



Deborah Flick, Boulder CO

"Most beneficial - Videos -  I liked the slow motion and stills of specific behaviors to look for, the time at Dog City and Nana's sweet pups. I recommend taking Dog Day Care: Beyond The Leash seminar."



Jennifer Phillips, The Dog Club of Fort Collins, Fort Collins CO


"Everything was presented well - I liked the sequence of information. Videos are priceless! I absolutely recommend this seminar!"



Sylvia Bambra, Sacramento CA

"It was all great! Great information, very dedicated to helping clients and dogs. Most beneficial - subtleties of dog's body language."

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Ellie Storch, owner of Both Ends of the Leash, Longmont CO

Phone:  720.938.7224


“Before Nana came to train the staff at Dog City, we all considered ourselves quite knowledgeable in terms of dogs, dog behavior, and how to operate a dog daycare. When Nana presented her ‘Beyond the Leash’ series of lectures to the staff, we quickly learned that you can never know everything, and there is always room for growth and education. Nana left us with a great deal of priceless information that we needed to implement into our daily routines. As General Manager, that was my job. Implementing new procedures can be challenging, especially when the current staff is used to doing things a certain way. I will admit, some changes were easier than others, but after a few months we were already adjusted.

What I found most valuable was that we now had a defined way to train our new staff. Our procedures on crucial things, such as introducing a new dog to the pack and how to deal with all types of behavior (good or bad), were very clear and concise. We were able to train new staff so that everything made sense to them, and they didn’t have to rely on their own instinct to deal with any given situation. The structure and organization of the daycare had changed for the better. The staff became better leaders, and the dogs became more relaxed because they were given an understanding of their role in the daycare. They learned that they could have a great time, while maintaining good behavior - and all of this was taught in a positive way.

Whether you are thinking about opening a dog daycare or you have been in the industry for years, you need this seminar. You will walk away with the tools to make your daycare the best in its area. If you have any questions about the seminar, please don’t hesitate to contact me.”



Deb Holvey, founder of Dog City Dog Day Care & Hotel, Boulder CO

"Dog City needed an effective and efficient ways to train new (and ever changing) dog care staff. This seminar gave us the tools to teach new staff what to look and listen for and how to manage the dogs safely. The dogs bark less and have less stress. The staff know what to do and why which makes them more confident in their dog skills and impresses the customers. I recommend this seminar to anyone who takes care of a group of dogs, in a daycare, rescue, boarding, home or dog walking situation." 



Sarah Fricke, Canine Campus

"Our employees love feeling empowered, and the dogs are behaving better already!"



Christina Smart, Club K-9 Doggy Daycare

"It was really nice to get some advice from a trainer who understands what day care is all about."



Katie Gersbach

"I am... blown away.  All the pieces that I had picked up over the years or learned before fell into place with new skills and tools. What used to seem like chaos with the dogs now seems like a system that you can watch and attend to."   



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