Q&A with Heidi Braun, owner of Thank Dog NEO Boot Camp

I don’t know about you, but getting a dog definitely impacted my workout routine. Who wants to walk a dog a mile and then go for a run or the gym after a long day at work? Not me. If you read my last post, you know I’m a big fan of Thank Dog Boot Camp, a dog friendly workout option that started up last year. To give you a little more background on the boot camp and its owner, Heidi Braun, read on for my Q&A with her:

How did you get involved with Thank Dog Boot Camp?
Thank Dog Boot Camp was a franchise I decided to undertake six months after I adopted Maggie. Maggie was 9 months old, had WAY too much energy and she wasn’t sleeping at night. I work all day and taking her for an hour walk when I got home, and then heading to the gym myself was not working. I didn’t want to give up my work outs or Maggie, but something had to change. I read about Thank Dog Boot Camp in Health magazine, and when I looked into it I learned that there were no classes in Ohio. We had our 1 year anniversary May 5th and this program has been the solution that Maggie and I both needed.

Who should do this boot camp?
Thank Dog Boot Camp is great for several different types of people and dogs. It is great for dogs that did not succeed in a traditional obedience class because they were not able to focus. It is great for people that are at work all day and don’t want to sacrifice their work out to stay home with their dog. It is great for dogs with large amounts of energy. Thank Dog Boot Camp exercises dogs both mentally and physically. Dogs tire out twice as fast when they have to challenge their mind and body. Thank Dog Boot Camp is great for anyone that wants to spend time and bond with their dog.

Are there any dogs you wouldn’t accept?
There are cases where I have referred dogs and their owners to a different trainer. Dogs that are people aggressive I do not permit in class. Also dogs that are extremely dog aggressive and their owner is not able to control them. I want everyone to have fun and be safe in my classes.

Tell us a little a bit about how the boot camp is designed?
Thank Dog Boot Camp was founded by a set of twins in Burbank, California. The concept came about when one of the twins joined a traditional boot camp class and was losing weight, but her dog was not getting the exercise she needed. So the idea came about that if the dog can be incorporated into the workout no one is left behind. The classes are 1 hour and all incorporate cardio training, weight training, and obedience training.

Can you share any success stories from the boot camp – dog or human?
I have seen major improvement in many dogs and people that have joined Thank Dog Boot Camp. Everyone that takes my class consistently has gotten stronger, faster, and their dogs are better behaved and more obedient.

I have a few success stories but the one that comes to mind is about two sisters. Thank Dog Boot Camp was a kick start to a healthier life and a complete turnaround for their dogs. Combined they have lost over 80 lbs and their dogs have made major improvements. When they started the class they were not runners and their dogs would start barking and going crazy anytime another dog walked past us in the park. Their dogs are now focused on their owners and ignore the other dogs in class and those in the park. The sisters have completed several 5ks this summer. Everyone is happier and healthier!

What upcoming plans do you have for the boot camp?
I have recently added a class in Richfield to our schedule and in the spring I am hoping to start a class on the Westside. Also in the spring I am hoping to team up with one of the local shelters or rescue groups to help get some basic training to some of their adoptable dogs. In hopes that with a bit of training they will find forever homes.

Is Hunter the most energetic (ie craziest) dog you’ve had in this boot camp?
Hunter definitely has A LOT of energy and a great zest for life! I think he might be the winner for the fastest. Sprints with Hunter and trying to beat him is no joke.

Success! Hunter worn out after boot camp

P.S. Mention this blog for the “New Client Special” – an obedience consult and 3 boot camp classes for $40. Offer ends Oct 14th.

For more information on the bootcamp visit: www.thankdogneo.com. Classes are held at South Chagrin Reservation on Wednesdays and Thursdays and Beachwood City Park on Saturdays and Sundays. They also just started a Monday night class in Richfield.

ATTENTION WESTSIDERS — As much as I love South Chagrin Reservation, I want a westside location! If Heidi can get enough interest she will start one, please contact her if you are interested at neothankdog@gmail.com