Posted on Aug 9th 2021
Who better to teach your dogs than a former school teacher and principal? Dog Training Elite's newest Franchise Owner, Mary Stallmann, is here to school your best friend in the Milwaukee area!
After 30 years in the schooling industry - first as a middle school science teacher and then 20 years as a school principal, Mary left teaching children behind and now focuses on training dogs.
Her husband Dirk, her most vocal supporter, met Dog Training Elite CEO Kelley Rosequist at a franchise convention. He knew that Mary would be perfect for filling the role as a Dog Training Elite Franchise Owner.
Like many DTE Franchise Owners, Mary had no prior experience in franchise ownership nor in a dog training business. Still, her history as a teacher and principal gives her a unique skill set when engaging with dogs and their owners.
Dirk's experiences as the president of a franchise company helped Mary understand the business model of Dog Training Elite. Additionally, after a 20-year career as a school principal, Mary was no stranger to running a business.
Joining the Dog Training Elite Pack
Once Dirk had planted the seed, Mary contacted Kelley, looking into becoming a Dog Training Elite Franchise Owner. Unfortunately, shortly afterwards, the Covid-19 pandemic turned the world upside down. Mary remained in contact with Kelley, waiting for DTE to expand their franchise into the Milwaukee area. A year later, Mary secured a loan and launched her second career as a DTE Franchise Owner.
After attending a Dog Training Elite convention in April, Mary says she was so excited to be a part of the DTE team! She says:
"When I went to the DTE Convention, I just absolutely loved the camaraderie and support from the other owners and from Corporate. I wanted to be a part of that! And finally, seeing dogs in action for therapy and protection (although I am not planning to offer that service yet) made me excited to be able to do that. I still talk to people about the speaker, KC Owens, and her diabetic trained dog and everything she talked about."
A teacher at heart, Mary's new dog training business with Dog Training Elite ensures that she can work with families. It is important to teach them how to get the most out of their dog's training.
"As a former teacher and administrator, I love the teaching aspect of DTE. Not just the training of the dog but also the educating of the family."
Dog Training Elite: A Walk in the (Dog) Park
Dog Training Elite, backed by Founder John Mestas' 40 years of experience, offers a wealth of support and knowledge to its Franchise Owners. This gave Mary all the confidence that this would be the career change that she needed.
"They are super friendly, and you really understand that they have your best interest at heart. They want you to succeed, and they will do everything in their power to help you succeed and grow your business."
Franchise Owners are invited to a Dog Training Elite Approval Day. This entails them shadowing an established Franchise Owner. This gives them a taste of what their new Franchise will be providing for future clients. Mary joined Aiden Rosequist, Franchise Owner in Utah on her DTE Approval Day.
"One [call] was for a dog that had done obedience training, but she was looking at therapy training next, and the other was an initial call to a prospective client. The next activity I loved doing was the group class, and I was able to participate in it with [another] trainer's dog, so I experienced it from that [point of view] too."
Our Dog Training Elite business model provides resources and training. This is so new Franchise Owners, even those with no prior franchising experience, can find their feet quickly. We provide 100 hours of training, both in the classroom and on-the-job training.
We also provide ongoing support to our Franchise Owners, as well as field support. Field support includes 7 days of Grand Opening assistance and in-person territory visits within your first 6 months of operation. Franchise Owners never have to feel like they have to take this journey alone!
The support provided has helped Mary start her Franchise. She says:
"The corporate office is very invested in making sure each [Franchise Owner] is successful. They are always available to help out, to run ideas off of, to even come out and view your business in person. I love feeling like a team player in the franchise! Also, the other [Franchise Owners] make you feel welcome and a part of the team. They help you with any questions you may have"
Mary's advice for new or prospective Franchise Owners is to reach out to CEO Kelley Rosequist.
"I did not come from a franchise environment, so for me, everything was a new experience. Approval Days were super cool and important for me to understand the system and the team."
Looking to the Future
Mary has always had pets in her life – dogs, cats, and even a pet duck.
She and Dirk and their three children, Ava, Graham, and Miles, have two dogs of their own - Sasha and puppy Hank.
She recognizes the vital role that dogs play in our daily lives. During the Covid-19 pandemic, pets have provided their owners with comfort and companionship. The pandemic has inspired many pet owners to have a more active role in their pets' lives.
As an avid outdoor enthusiast, Mary cannot wait to train her puppy Hank to join her on outdoor adventures. She cannot wait to teach other dog owners how to train their dogs to be well-behaved while engaging in outdoor activities.
What does Mary most look forward to in her future with Dog Training Elite?
"I can't wait to travel to houses and parks and to be involved in community activities. And even the simpler pleasures such as going out for a cup of coffee with my dog and talking to people are going to be a lot of fun."
If you are interested in becoming a Dog Training Elite Franchise Owner, like Mary, please visit our franchise website for more information.