We strive to develop training programs that improve the lives of dogs and their owners utilizing the latest research in behavioral science.
Discover How Beyond the Dog Came to Life
We started Beyond the Dog because we never dreamt of doing anything other than working with animals. In fact, we met because we both were training dolphins at the same facility. We both worked with exotic animals in the past, but we never felt the same connection that we felt with domestic animals-mainly dogs and cats.We both felt that working with them was a calling that we couldn’t ignore. After several years of experience and a big leap of faith, we moved to Kansas City to start our company in 2005.
We spent the first few years pouring our blood, sweat, and tears-literally-into making a name for Beyond the Dog. Just like so many business owners, we sacrificed so much and missed out on so many fun things that typical 20-year-olds get to experience.. Instead, when we first started, we lived in my sister’s unfinished basement. The options were limited – we needed somewhere both dog and budget friendly! . Our first home, actually our first two homes, were purchased largely because they could be outfitted for training dogs.. In those early days, we poured every single dollar earned back into the business, focusing on creating a home environment conducive for housing and training dogs!. In hindsight, the failed retaining wall and privacy fence installed during a December snowstorm are just two of the many obstacles we encountered along the way. We are thankful for the family that allowed us to show up for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and every holiday for the next several years with a CRV and a 2-seater car, both filled with dogs.
Those clients that came to us that first year, supported us in so many ways and many still do today. Their dogs became ours as we saw them grow from puppies, into adolescence, adulthood and finally crossing the rainbow bridge. Those early clients trusted us to care for and train their dogs, welcoming us into their homes and allowing us to work with their pets and families, often for a month at a time. We didn’t know it then but it was the start of something really incredible, and we are eternally grateful for their support
Fast forward 7 years through another move, a wedding, one small human (eventually followed by a second), and a doctoral degree. Although we were madly passionate about what we were doing, we knew something had to give. We loved the work and our clients so much but we couldn’t possibly keep up the pace. Although we were and are primarily animal people, we managed to pick up some knowledge of human behavior along the way which led us to the realization that the best way to grow would be to hire and train new trainers. Just like any new endeavor, it wasn’t perfectly smooth sailing, and there were A LOT of kinks to work out.. We were so fortunate to draw on the experience and wisdom of so many of those original clients, who happened to be business owners themselves. They provided us invaluable advice as we switched gears and buckled down and got to work growing from just us to a company with now over 25 employees!
Throughout the past few years, we have brought on some of the most valuable support staff that any business has seen. We also added trainers who are not only proving themselves to clients, but proving how incredibly valuable they are to our organization. They have developed, just as we did, into extraordinary trainers, mentors for other trainers, and business partners. With their support,we expanded to Houstonin 2017, Austin in 2020 and St. Louis in 2021! . We are proud of our growth in these 4 major markets and have plans for 3 more locations to open in the next year or so. What’s even more exciting than that expansion is the ability to offer someone just like Sean and I were nearly 20 years ago – someone who has dreamt about working with dogs since they could remember -the opportunity to fulfill their life’s professional dreams.
We feel so fortunate to have had Beyond the Dog develop into the organization that it is today. It’s been such a ride and really an incredible dream come true.
Kristyn Savage, PhD, CAAB, BCBA
Who We Are