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Mother Daughter Team Splits Dog Business Into Two Sister Companies
Photo: Sarah Young

Being able to perform and succeed in behavioral training with canines takes a lot of knowledge, time, and patience. It takes a special person to be a successful dog trainer. Candiss DelCastillo is that kind of person. In fact, she’s known to her clients as a “dog whisperer.” That’s why she’s chosen to split from her original business and focus on her strengths as a trainer.

Candiss formed Walk & Wags Pet Service LLC with her daughter Michelle back in 2007. At that time it was a combination pet-sitting, dog walking, and dog training business. To both women’s surprise it took off quickly, so much so that they decided to create a series of instructional television programs for a cable access channel a few years ago.

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The goal of the show was to get their information out to numerous people at once instead of sharing it during one-on-one sessions or group classes with clients. Candiss mainly focuses on training pets with behavioral issues like separation anxiety, excessive barking, fearfulness, jumping up, car chasing, aggression towards other dogs or humans, hyperactivity, urinating in the house, and many more common canine behavior problems.

She is certified in behavioral training and tries to catch unwanted behaviors in the beginning, but she also works with dogs that have been misbehaving for years. As both businesses began to grow, the mother-daughter team thought about splitting the two businesses apart in order for each entrepreneur to focus on their strengths and grow the businesses individually.

Mother Daughter Team Splits Dog Business Into Two Sister Companies
Photo: Sarah Young

The business ventures officially became two separate entities on January 1st of this year, complete with rebranding. Candiss owns Behavioral HELP for Dogs and Michelle owns Walk & Wags. Michelle says her pet-sitting and dog-walking business is already growing, and she’s added a midday “potty break” service to her offerings as well.

RELATED: How to Start a Pet Business with Dogs

She says that anyone can hire the kid down the street to care for their dog, but her service is different. It’s personal. She makes connections with the families and the dogs. Her clients trust her with their pet’s safety and well-being, and they trust her to enter their homes. She says her clients become family and that connection is valued by both parties.

Both women are members of the International Association of Canine Professionals. They are hoping to continue expanding their businesses, and Michelle is planning to hire a few employees to serve a larger area in the near future. She currently only serves clients in Hastings and Prescott, Minnesota.