As of January 1, 2012 President and Founder of It’s A Dog’s World K-9 Academy, Inc. (IADW) Liz Reyes resigned and sold the business to Karen Widaman. Liz Reyes opened IADW in June 2000 after working as a professional dog trainer for eleven years. In 2000, she decided it was time to not only train dogs the way that she envisioned, but also to work with the dog’s owners in a professional manner with care and consideration. Up until that point, Liz had seen too much of the industry fail in regards to professional standards in conducting business. It was common to hear customers say that while training with “such and such” dog trainer, they were berated and belittled, often times in front of entire group of people. In the dog training industry, dogs were mostly treated well, yet the owners of the dogs were treated…well like “dogs”. Before starting her own dog training business, she had spent six years working for a very large dog training facility and basically learned “what not to do” in running a business. She set out to make a difference in the standards of how dog owners were taught to handle their dogs, to create a positive and rewarding work environment for those that worked for her, and most importantly to make a difference in the lives of dogs.
It has now been twenty-three years for Liz in the dog training industry. She has seen the industry grow and change remarkably during this time. She has directly affected that change by not only training thousands of dogs and their guardians, but also by training hundreds of the people that now call themselves professional dog trainers.
She successfully started a pet obedience school, created an amazing partnership with Vinjon’s Kennels and mentored and taught hundreds of up and coming Dog Trainers through her Academy for Dog Trainers and Animal Behavior College.
It was a very difficult decision for Liz and her husband to make when it came to selling the business. Her business was her “first child”. As many of you are aware, Liz and her husband Tony did go on to have four children. This of course started to take more and more of Liz’s time away from the business with most of the year of 2011 spent raising the twin girls that Tony and Liz had at the end of 2010. Fortunately, Liz had promoted Karen Widaman to Manager in 2009 after having worked for IADW for two years. Karen successfully managed IADW for three years, and in the process learned everything there was to know about the business. The qualities that stood out to Liz about Karen was her amazing care and concern over each and every dog and her attention to detail where it concerned the dog’s guardians. Liz decided Karen was the absolute best person to take over IADW, not only because she successfully ran the business for 3 years, but also because she is an extremely caring, professional and qualified dog trainer. In addition, it has been Karen’s dream to own and operate her own dog training facility. Ever since leaving the corporate world, her dream has been coming to fruition.