1. Tell us about yourself/ your business.
My name is Tasha and I am a super proud Cape Bretoner! When I was in University, I knew I wanted to stay here and contribute to the Island in some way. I love reading, learning, spending time with family and friends, and of course spending lots of time with my boyfriend, our three dogs and cat.
Our business is something that we truly love! It has become a part of my identity and brings me so much happiness. Tasha’s Dog Training & More serves a wide variety of dogs. We work with any breed, any size, any age and any training issue. We have a focus on dog behavior and obedience.
We offer multiple groups, private training, board and train, virtual training and information sessions for businesses. Our group training is done in a group setting and allows people to work with multiple distractions. Private training is done one on one and is focused on the particular issues the owner wants to work on. Virtual training is our online format and we meet with clients from the comfort of their own home. Board and Train is when a dog stays with us for a period of time and we work with them to overcome any training or behavioural issues.
Our info sessions for business have been mainly focused around safety, dog behaviour, dog body language and preventing bites. We have done this for dog daycares and other companies where people go into people’s yards or homes.
2. What was your path to your current position/ business?
I went to CBU for an Art degree with a major in Political Science. I chuckle at that now because it has nothing to do with my businesses. However, that time at CBU was so important in helping to develop and create who I am.
When I left CBU I was hired at a doctor’s office and eventually moved on from there to work for Canada Revenue Agency.
My boyfriend and I got our first dog together 9.5 years ago. Long before we brought Chloe into our lives, we began researching dog training and how we wanted our dog to behave.
I am obsessed with learning!
This turned into me taking my first certification in dog training. Being someone who likes to learn, that rolled into additional courses, certifications and travelling to meet and learn from other trainers. Even to this day I belong to several networks with a wide variety of trainers, I continue to take courses and with technology it allows me to connect with some amazing trainers and engage in great one on one discussions.
You learn something new from every dog that you interact with. This is why it is important to not get complacent in this industry and always be open to more information.
3. How long has your business been operating in CB?
We officially launched our business 6 years ago. Prior to that we were offering training, but it was primarily by word of mouth. I really should have launched it earlier, but it was an intimidating thing to put yourself out there like that.
I knew that I had the knowledge and the skill to share with people, but it is scary to do it and be unsure if anyone would be interested. However, it clearly worked out and now we are so busy with private, group, board and train, virtual training and even information sessions we offer to other businesses.
4. What inspired you to operate a business in Cape Breton/ Unama’ki?
I love this Island! I really mean that and I know that this place is amazing and has so much to offer to people. I really wanted to stay here and offer something to the community.
5. What was your “ah-ha” moment when you knew you had the right idea?
When our facebook page went live it was definitely an ah-ha moment. One of my friends had organized a little launch party for me and we counted down, I opened the page to the public and they all shared it. We received so many messages that our first group filled instantly. It really blew me away and I remember being so shocked by it all.
6. What did you study in school? How has it helped you in your journey?
I attended CBU for a Bachelor of Arts with a Major in Political Science. My minor is in business and I believe that helped, me on my journey. I definitely have the type of mind that is more drawn to arts courses, but those business courses were very interesting and I carried that knowledge with me.
Then I suppose my next schooling was when I started with trainer certifications. Speaking with other trainers really allowed me to learn from so many experienced and knowledgeable people. That has been so valuable in helping me to develop my business.
7. If there was one thing you could have done differently early in your career, what would it be?
I would have launched my business sooner. I had the knowledge and the skill, but I was hesitant to do it.
8. What is your advice to a ‘shiny new’ business owner or entrepreneur?
Put yourself out there!
Everyone has something they can offer or teach someone else. There are people who will want what you have to offer.
9. What advice would you offer aspiring business owners or entrepreneurs who want to stay on the Island?
I say do it! This Island is filled with talent and you are exactly what this island needs.
I would suggest getting out there and talking to other business owners and engaging with different people.
My biggest mentor was my godfather Dannie Hanson and he didn’t know anything about dog training. He did know about Cape Breton and about business. Find those people that you can engage with and who will offer you support. Even reach out to someone you admire and ask them if they would mentor you.
10. Where do you see the future of your business headed?
I have so many ideas for my business. We have grown so much and are doing so many things that I feel blessed for the growth we have had.
I think the pet industry is definitely one that still has so much potential growth. I would like to explore more opportunities with our board and train and virtual training. We have reached a place with our board and train that we are more comfortable expanding this and increasing the number of clients we take in. With virtual training I really like that we can connect with people from anywhere in the world.
Visit Tasha's Dog Training
We do much of our training outdoors and in real life situations.
Many of our sessions happen in front of the municipal building on the Esplanade in Sydney.
Our board and train takes place in our home.
Connect on Social
YouTube: Tasha's Dog Training & More_