Sarah Clair, Bark Busters, Kelowna

Sarah Clair

Dog training is Sarah Clair’s passion, so what started as a hobby for her has now turned into an incredible business. Sarah is the owner of Bark Busters in Kelowna, which aims to solve severe behavioral issues for dogs such as aggression, separation anxiety and fear issues among others.

Founded in 1989 in Australia, the Bark Busters franchise came to USA, Canada, Japan, Israel, Taiwan, France and Belgium in the early 2000’s. Bark Busters technique is called Motivational Communication Training which allows trainers to communicate with a dog in a language that the dog understands and provides trust-worthy leadership. This technique uses praise as the primary motivator and can get results within 3 hours. Bark Busters mission is to save as many dogs as possible from being surrendered to shelters or euthanized due to behavioral problems.

Q. What services has Women’s Enterprise Centre provided you and how have these services helped you?
A. Women’s Enterprise Centre has been a major part of my business growth. My advisor was incredible in helping me make sure I had all documents in order and that I understood the process. Along with providing the loan to purchase this franchise, Women’s Enterprise Centre was a crucial part of my success due to their compassion and interest in my venture.

Q. What inspired you to take the leap and start your own business?
A. I have always had a passion for animals. After raising my very first dog who had a lot of fear issues I was drawn to training that provides a strong bond and sense of leadership. I want to share my enthusiasm with other dog lovers and strengthen their relationships with their dogs.

Q. What’s the biggest lesson you learned when starting your business?
A. Never underestimate yourself! You are always more capable than you could ever imagine. I have learned so much about myself in the process of building my business.

Q. What are your goals for the business?
A. I want to limit the number of dogs that are surrendered each year due to bad behavior. So, I want to provide dog owners with the tools to be confident in their abilities to handle their dog and make their dogs a proper functioning part of society.

Q. What is your greatest strength as an entrepreneur?
A. My passion and dedication! Once I put my mind to something, I give everything to it. I have great organizational skills which is key to operating a business successfully. I have strong people skills and a passion for working with animals.

Q. What personal lessons have you learned as an entrepreneur?
A. It is important to have a great support system. Late nights are not uncommon for a business owner and success will be elusive without a support system. I have also learned not to lose sight of my business vision and end goal and keep a positive and confident outlook.