Moses Njathi grew up around dogs and always had a special place in his heart for them. He would soon start earning a living from man’s best friend, canines. The PassionBiz Academy student always loved dogs but never thought about training them for a living. Growing up in Muongoiya, Kiambu County, the idea to start a dog training business came to him through his sister. “We had gone to a relative’s place for the first time and they had many dogs. Once we got there, the dogs all came around me,”recalls Moses. His sister noticed how good he was around dogs and suggested that he should start working with them.
Long before this realization, Moses had aspired to become a doctor. Moses interned for a few months at a cardiologist’s clinic after high school. He enjoyed the experience and felt like pursuing medicine was his calling. However, his International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) A –Level results in maths cut short his chances of studying medicine.
He opted to study Biomedical Science in Makerere University, Uganda. After graduation in 2008, he returned home hoping to get a job. After completing his degree and returning to Kenya, the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentist Board (KMPDB) was not registering medical students who had studied in Uganda. He was required to sit for some additional local exams to get a license that would allow him to be hired locally. He struggled to get a job and decided to put his destiny in his own hands and follow his love for dogs.
“I had a desire for freedom. I went to a dog master at Bob Morgan (BM) Security and told him I loved dogs and wanted to be trained,” said Moses. He did a course under them for two months. It covered kennel management and dog training. He stayed there for over a year and this exposed him to handling different dog breeds. He took the initiative to read books written by other dog trainers and watched dog training videos as well. He then felt prepared to start his own business, K9 Training.
K9 Dog Training provides house training, obedience training protection training and behaviour modification of dogs. They also sell dogs and dog accessories. In house training, they advise & support the client on living with a dog. This is especially important if the client does not have a large compound where he/she lives. The dog will be trained to live in such an environment. They help dog owners establish principles to guide them.
Moses uses treats to train dogs. He rewards good behavior with treats and withholds them in the case of bad dog behavior. Constant repetition conditions the dog.
Moses experienced various challenges when starting his business. Kenyans’ negative attitude towards dog training was one of them. Expatriates form most of Moses’ client base. He has also handled difficult clients. “Sometimes people expect magic,’ said Moses. Clients at times refused to pay for services provided after the dog did not change as they expected in a certain time. “I overcome this by educating the client and telling them what I will do and what they should expect,” Moses explains. He now bills clients after every training session to avoid this problem.
Moses has also encountered difficult dogs. He was once bitten by a dog he had been called to assess because he was holding a leash. “It turns out that the dog had a hip problem and had a lot of painful trips to the vet for physiotherapy. The vet always had a leash and this brought bad memories to the dog'” said Moses. Moses now ensures that he knows a dog’s history before handling it.
Experience at PassionBiz Academy
Moses did the Harness Your Brilliance (HYB) course at PassionBiz Academy. It is facilitated by the academy’s founder, James Karundu. “When I started business I did not have information. When I met James I had actually given up on dog training,” recalls Moses. Moses said that this course enabled him to learn who he is, who to sell to, how to package himself and made his business pick up well. “I wish I had met PassionBiz academy 5 years ago,” he adds. Moses is currently doing the Clients and Cash Flow Mastery course. “I am enjoying it because I think it is important to stay linked with your business coach. By staying accountable, I do more,” he said
Moses’ piece of advice to aspiring entrepreneurs is to get a business coach. “A coach will guide you so that you do not waste a lot of time,” said Moses. He insisted that anybody who wants to start dog training should get somebody willing to share information about the topic. “Learn as much as you can about dogs. Go to dog shows, attend seminars on dogs and training sessions. They really make a difference.”
Moses aims to provide consultancy services in future and sell more dogs in the East African region.
You can check K9 Training’s Facebook page by clicking here