When we assess how a business creates impact we look at six key areas:
- How remarkable is it?
- What is its greater purpose?
- What value does it bring to its’ customers?
- Are people truly attached to the brand?
- Is there an emotional quality to the brand?
- Has the brand immersed itself into its clients lives?
dogma Education and Behaviour Centres scores amazingly well in each of these areas.
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dogma is the brainchild of Megan Stanley, who started the business because she adopted a dog who seemed great at the rescue centre, but showed a lot of behavioural issues when he came home. Guinniss, a big black dog, was quite terrified of the world. His reactions to it scared other people, other dogs, and even Megan at times. She struggled to find a facility and trainers who could help her train and socialize him and slowly build his confidence. But there just wasn’t anywhere she could go.
“Guinniss became my beacon and inspiration,” says Stanley. “At dogma, we are about helping dogs be successful in our busy and chaotic world.”
She knew first hand that it wasn’t easy for the owners, or the dogs, when the dogs were reactive. But she knew in her heart that great training would make all the difference in the world for these kinds of dogs.
It was Guinniss that inspired Megan to get her training certificates, but it was her own drive that pushed her to achieve the highest level of accreditation possible, which is one of dogma’s areas of remarkability. Megan is elite in her training status. In fact, she was one of the first four Certified Behaviour Consultant Canine-Knowledge Assessed (CBCC-KA) in Canada. Now there are only 161 other people worldwide who have this high training status. It’s this unparalleled training that inspires the curriculum in dogma’s training centres and at their day school. Whether it’s for the training, or the daycare, at dogma there is a very strict ratio of dogs to staff members and trainers. Stanley feels this is the only way you can get a well behaved dog that still has his or her free spirit.
“It was important to me to set a standard for dog care and training, because there are no regulations or standards out there, and I think it’s important that someone gives canines a voice.”
This is truly dogma’s greater purpose for the business. The whole idea is to educate people about dogs, so they can have a better relationship with them, and to make sure the need of the dogs are met on all levels.
“Our urbanK9 program is all about creating the best family dog we can. We focus on the integration into the human world, and we teach humans how to better read their dogs, so they can head off potentially serious situations. The dogs and the people become a lot more confident after that.”
That statement is backed consistently by their clients. The training gets completely immersed into their everyday lives, and they do feel more confident and comfortable with their canines at home or out in the real world. It becomes part of their regular routines from daily play and walks, to off leash parks and interacting with others when they take their dogs out into the city of Calgary. The consistent message their clients give is that training with dogma leads them to a new, and better, way of life with their beloved pets.
Of course, it wasn’t an entirely smooth path getting to the successful place where dogma is today. “Finding the right people was a challenge. I hired the ones that believed in my mission, for the most part, it worked out really well. I have people that have been with me from almost the beginning.”
It’s that team that really drives the business for her. Their clients love and value how well trained the staff members are, and how much they truly love the dogs in their care.
“When we opened the second location, that’s when I realized how important training is. I couldn’t be there all the time, and I thought the procedures I had in my head weren’t as clear for everyone as they were for me.”
That’s when she developed a training program that gave new staff members more upfront training, before they started. Stanley also invests highly into her team with training in programs for personal development, as well as team building, fun events, and lots of check-ins to make sure everyone is doing okay.
“I want to make sure everyone is working well, because what’s really is going to keep moving us forward is everyone believing in what we’re doing.” The big plan is to expand dogma outside of just the Calgary market. “We want to make sure that dog training is easy to access and it’s affordable for everyone.”
They go above and beyond for their clients, offering regular report cards for everyone in their kinder pups program, every dog in the day school/daycare program gets hands on training, they send pictures and updates during the day for the dogs in the day school, they even celebrate birthdays, training milestones, and more. It’s these types of surprises that engage the emotional quality of the brand for their clients.
All of the little extras they do also develops attachment to the brand. Attachment is based on the same psychological factors that attaches one human to another, only the factors are instead applied from a human to a brand. This attachment is based on the feelings of affection, connection and passion the person develops for the brand.
The education and understanding dogma has for both the dogs, and their owners, goes a long way to making a client feel completely understood and welcome in this new environment. The little unexpected surprises they give to their clients are things that go above and beyond in the client’s eyes, and something they wouldn’t get if they went elsewhere. Both of these factors combined builds affection for the company and a real connection to the brand. The remarkable results the clients get after working with dogma ignites their passion so much, they actually refer other dog owners, that they don’t even know, to the business, while they are out in off leash parks or on walks. That shows real attachment to the brand.
Naturally this is all backed up on the testimonials they display on their site. The clients love the value the company brings with their unrivaled education, devotion, and care. Megan’s dream is to continue expanding this already rapidly growing business, and it seems like that is exactly what humans and their canines need.