First Responders turn Passion into Profits

Recon K9 is proud to announce our collaboration with The Dog Wizard, of Medina, OH which is one of the fastest growing balanced dog training franchises in the United States. The Dog Wizard, which was originally founded in Charlotte, NC almost 17 years ago has traditionally been focused throughout the Southeast, growing organically year over year. Founder Gretchen Hollifield only began franchising the highly successful system within the last seven years which has proven to be a very smart decision indeed. Today, The Dog Wizard announced they are going to be offering all First Responders 10% off the initial franchise fee for these heroes who want to launch their own franchise business. 

 In 2018 The Dog Wizard combined forces with The Upbeat K9 of Medina, OH to create a more all-encompassing program which included bringing on Grant Reeves, the CEO of Dock Dogs, and Jason Watson founder and CEO of Recon K9. Now The Dog Wizard is comprised of just under 50 franchised locations nationally and expanded into Canada in 2020. 

Dog Wizard Map

While the onset of COVID crippled many businesses over the past year and a half, The Dog Wizard saw a flurry of activity and growth throughout the organization. For some, losing their jobs due to cutbacks resulting from COVID based closures allowed them to recalibrate, or “Find Their Way” as we like to say at Recon. This encouraged them to focus on beginning a career where they were the boss, allowing them to intertwine entrepreneurship with their true passion which is being around and working with dogs. However, The Dog Wizard’s growth was not limited to the independent dog trainer, but it greatly impacted boarding and daycare operations that were getting decimated as more and more individuals no longer had a need for boarding services as workers began to office out of their homes and travel was replaced with Zoom meetings.  In fact, Pet Nation Lodge owners Brian and Mary Clegg are grateful for their January 2020 decision to add the Cincinnati Dog Wizard™ franchise to their portfolio of pet services – the pre-pandemic business decision that ultimately navigated them through the crisis. Their thriving business, which includes pet boarding, Dock Dog Diving, daycare and grooming in addition to the new training service, was immediately altered when pet boarding came to a halt as stay-at-home orders began and people grew leery of travel.

“The addition of The Dog Wizard is what got us through the COVID-19 pandemic as business owners, and we’re thankful we added it when we did,” said Cincinnati Dog Wizard Owner Mary Clegg. “We were experienced in canine behavior and familiar with another Dog Wizard location in Dayton and that owner’s success.  Since we believe in the methodology of the program, it seemed like a natural addition to our pet services. And with the help of The Dog Wizard corporate, it has been a phenomenal addition to our business.”

Pet Nation Lodge experienced an 80 percent revenue loss in pet boarding during the worst two months of the pandemic. The Dog Wizard training more than made up for the lost revenue, with that service alone generating nearly $1 million in income for the business in its first year. According to Clegg, Cincinnati Dog Wizard will likely surpass $1.3 million in year two – exceeding the total revenue Pet Nation Lodge has typically generated for all its services combined. The overwhelming success in Cincinnati is responsible for Clegg’s recent expansion into Sarasota, Fla., a region that lacked a franchise location for The Dog Wizard.

Freedom Dogs

In August of 2021, The Dog Wizard launched its state-of-the-art 30,000 sq/ft Dog Training Academy in Dayton, OH. Of note, the Company made its enrollment open to the public, accepting applicants from most anyone who has a desire to get certified by the leading dog training academy in the country, and educated in the most comprehensive dog training curriculum available.

The Dog Wizard training was previously offered exclusively to Dog Wizard franchise owners and their employees, but given the explosive growth in dog ownership and the resulting growth the company is experiencing, there is heightened demand for qualified dog trainers. This means that aspiring dog trainers now have a career path leading to immediate job opportunities upon graduation. More specifically, upon successful completion of The Dog Wizard Academy, there is a steady demand for certified dog trainers amongst the nearly 50 Dog Wizard franchise locations around the country.  


The Dog Wizard is now offering a 10% discount to ALL FIRST RESPONDERS who are interested in beginning their own career as a franchise owner. Interested parties do not need previous dog training/handling experience as The Dog Wizard includes an extensive 5-week training curriculum that is preceded by their online learning Academy. In addition to hands-on behavior modification training with the pets, The Dog Wizard also focuses on critical business skills around accounting, marketing, sales techniques and more to ensure their franchisees are just as balanced and well versed as the dogs they are successfully delivering back to their owners.

For Information on exploring your own franchise location email:

For Information on becoming a certified dog trainer through The Dog Wizard Academy email:

About The Dog Wizard
The Dog Wizard is a nationwide mobile dog training and facility-based franchise that offers an alternative to traditional obedience training. With nearly 50 territories already sold and growing quickly, The Dog Wizard focuses on the individual needs of both the dog and the dog owner, the company prides itself on an open-minded approach based on the unique learning style of each dog. Pet owners are immersed in the training experience in a “train the trainer” format, as a way to strengthen the bond with their dog for long-term success.