Renée Erdman, Owner of Bravo Dog, implements fun and effective coaching techniques for dogs and humans to create a healthy and happy living environment for all. Whether you are in puppy-training mode or tackling deeper aggression-issues with your canine, Renée is your go-to-gal! Photo courtesy of Bravo Dog | Words by Anja Konjicanin
Bravo Dog keeps tails wagging, and people jumping (out of joy!)
After 15 years of meticulous and grueling graphic design work, Renée Erdman, Owner of Bravo Dog and Certified Behaviour Consultant and Trainer, woke up with a realization: I don’t HAVE to do this for the rest of my life.
“I have always wanted to have my own business. Something to create and to call my own. I grew very tired of working for other people to help them reach their goals,” said Erdman. ” I wanted to do something in my life that gives back and makes a difference, even if it’s a small one.”
Bravo Dog joined Homeroom’s growing bookkeeping client roster this summer, and we couldn’t be more ecstatic about this amazing super woman entrepreneur and her business. Instantly, we had a light bulb moment: we will revive our Client of the Month series, starting with Bravo Dog!
We caught up with the awesome dog trainer last week. She dished on everything, from how she maintains a healthy work/life balance to tips for new entrepreneurs.
There’s even a training tip buried somewhere in there……
When did you open your business?
Bravo Dog is now two years old!
What do you enjoy most about being a business owner?
I can control whether my business is successful or not, whether I take on certain projects and, most of all, being proud of what the work can achieve for dogs and their people.
What do you like about the dog training/ coaching industry?
I meet some of the most fantastic people on the planet. They want to help their dog and their family to ensure everyone is happy and healthy. They are open to changing what they were doing that wasn’t working and they make themselves vulnerable a lot of the time by confiding in me about what is going on in their lives that is possibly affecting their dogs’ behaviour.
What’s your #1 motivator?
To reach the dogs and the people out there that have used questionable training methods and done more harm than good, that come to me with no hope. When I can help them change behaviour using scientific, reinforcement-based protocols proven by years of research and their dogs are happier and THEY are happier. That drives me to do what I do.
What’s your vision for the business?
To continue to build strong relationships with my clients and those that work in pet-related businesses. I do a lot of volunteer work with Whistler Animals Galore (WAG) and the BC SPCA and I really enjoy coaching and working with volunteers and staff. I would like to do more work with veterinarians in the future.
What advice do you have for other people who would like to start their own business?
Even with all the preparation in the world and money you need to have passion and drive for what you do. My motivation for Bravo Dog has nothing to do with money. Although I have to make a living, it’s something I would do for free if I could. If you can say that about your vision for your business then I can’t see how you CAN’T be successful.
How do you achieve a work/ life balance?
Ha, ha! That’s my biggest challenge. My work bleeds into every aspect of my life, it’s wholistic. It can be emotionally draining at times and burnout in this field is high. I took a vacation this year so I am going to try and do that every year. I take one day off a week NO MATTER WHAT. That means no appointments, whether I use it to catch up on work-related things is up to me but just ensuring I don’t book clients is healthy for me.
FUN FACT: Bravo Dog is the first company in the Lower Mainland to officially offer Canine Concierge Wedding services. YES!!!
Who could benefit from your services?
If you are thinking about getting a dog or already have one and you’re facing some challenges, I can likely help you. A big portion of my work surrounds behaviour issues such as fear-aggression, but I also do a lot of work with puppies and the average dog that needs some help with manners.
TRAINING TIP: A new puppy can bring so much joy to a new family. But the start can sometimes be ruff. Here’s Dog Etiquette Made Easy.
Learn about Bravo Dog’s training programs, puppy kindergarten, or one-on-one private sessions online here, or visit the store at 1493 Crown Street, #2, North Vancouver, BC.