I am so excited to share with you another amazing Boston Business Woman in the dog industry for the “That’s So Fetch” Series! Elaine Stern is the founder, CEO, brains, and boss lady trainer at The Grateful Dog! I found Elaine on Instagram a few weeks ago and although Instagram can sometimes be my arch nemesis, there have been so many times where it has connected me with amazing clients and vendors in the Boston area! This is one of those times. Elaine is a rockstar at what she does! I only spent one afternoon with her, but could tell instantly how wonderful she is with dogs. She has such a calm, comforting presence and so much patience! Seeing her in action with Nash, our model for the afternoon, was amazing. I could instantly see how passionate she is about her job by the way she interacted with Nash and the two other pups we were working with that day! If you just got a puppy, rescued a dog, or have been meaning to teach your dog how to sit/stay/shake/rollover/army crawl, then definitely read the interview below and see if Elaine would be a good fit for you! I know that as soon as I get a dog (someday soon!!), I will be hiring her! Without further adieu, meet Elaine from The Grateful Dog!
How did you come up with the name The Grateful Dog?
I was driving one afternoon, racking my brain, when Grateful Dead’s, “Friend Of The Devil” came on.. A huge favorite, and VIOLA!!
How far do you travel for training sessions? How long is an average training session with a pup?
My clients are mostly in the Boston, Metro West area, but I travel beyond from time to time. My initial evaluation/training session runs 2 hours. Future sessions run 1.5 hours. I offer a 2-hour session as well.
Can clients customize their training sessions to focus on specific areas of their pup’s behavior?
The initial evaluation/training session allows an opportunity for my client to give me a “wish list”.
Do you ever train more than one dog at once?
Yes, I love combining dogs who are at the same level and or compliment each other.
How did you get into training dogs?
In my late 20’s, I would describe myself as a “struggling artist”. I just bought my first home and a puppy soon followed. I became obsessed with training at a competitive level. We went from Puppy Kindergarten through to competition training. I also found pet training incredibly interesting and did a long apprenticeship with an established trainer, Trite, but I knew I had found a true my calling for dog training.
How many people work for you?
I do have a partner who helps me with transporting and in-home care for board train puppies.
Do you train dogs that aren’t puppies? How do you feel about the saying “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks?”
Of course. I train dogs of all ages and levels. Families adopt older dogs and we get right to work. Dogs are always learning. Dogs figure out their environment and how to get their needs met. Our job is to help them learn to cooperate or work with us, in order to get their needs met.
How many years have you been in business?
The Grateful Dog was established in 1992.
Do you have a favorite breed of dogs to train?
Do you have any dogs of your own?
We have two Labradors, a Gordon Setter and a Chihuahua.
What do you love most about running your own business?
The freedom to create a brand that I believe in. Knowing that with hard and dedicated work, I’m able to offer a service that I am proud of.
Thank you so much for sharing more about your business Elaine! If you want to learn even more about Grateful Dog and her services, go check out her website here! Also be sure to like her on Facebook and follow her on Instagram! Elaine is a wonderful trainer and I would recommend her to anyone looking for training services in a heartbeat! Below are some more of my favorite images from our photoshoot! If you’re interested in being featured in the “That’s So Fetch!” Series, feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org! I’m always looking for new dog vendors in Boston to collaborate with! It’s so much fun being a part of this community and I love finding new opportunities to collaborate with people who are passionate about their business! Looking forward to hearing from you!