Topeka, Kan. – Dogs may be man’s best friend, but that doesn’t mean they’re born ready to listen. When it comes to training man’s best friend, it seems like your best bet in Northeast Kansas isn’t a man at all.
Kelli Bausch is a CPDT-KA (Certified Professional Dog Trainer – Knowledge Assessed) and the owner of Camo Cross Dog Training. She’s a third-generation dog trainer, with her mother and grandmother having laid the groundwork for her profession.
“I got a ‘real job’ in outside sales,” Bausch said. “Pretty soon, I was taking my dog with me everywhere in the car. So I decided, ‘Y’know, that really is my passion.’”
Camo Cross Dog Training is the first Kansas Department of Commerce Minority/Woman-owned Business Spotlight. The company offers private lessons in addition to group training sessions and is flexible enough to manage any schedule.
Classes cover a wide range of needs, including basic puppy obedience training, manners classes for older dogs, and even preparatory classes for dog shows. According to Bausch, dog training shouldn’t just be a last resort for ill-behaved dogs.
“No matter how much you enjoy your dog now, you would enjoy it even more if you spent some time with it doing something meaningful,” Bausch said. “And it’s so much fun for the dogs. They have so much fun doing it.”
As both a business-owner and a female, Bausch has encountered the occasional challenge. In many instances, for example, Bausch says that gender played a part in the way many first impressions played out with interested strangers.
“When I first started my business, I had my business name on the side of my vehicle,” Bausch said. “Anytime I went somewhere with my husband, people would approach him about it in the parking lot instead of me. It was interesting that people assumed he was the one who owned the business.”
However, if being a woman has made running her business difficult, Bausch certainly doesn’t show it. Her classes run like well-oiled machines, with heavy emphasis on precision, perfection, and results. Surprisingly, the strict training regimen is also, apparently, extremely fun for the dogs and their owners.
“I got a puppy and started out at another place, but they only offered a puppy class,” said Laura McGowan, a longtime student of Bausch and Camo Cross. “Then I found out about Kelli, and I’ve been acquiring more dogs and coming back ever since. It’s just such a positive, enriching environment.”
Camo Cross is a growing company with a bright future, and the teaching tactics on display there are modern and impressive. Although they exclusively train dogs, Bausch made it clear that there is no animosity toward alternative pets.
“We love cats here,” Bausch said. “I’ve certainly had less luck training cats, though, for sure.”
For more information on Camo Cross Dog Training, you can visit their website or call (785) 408 – 6127.
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