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Must Love Dogs

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Photography by Paul Versluis

Originally published in Johnson County Lifestyle

Must Love Dogs, a dog-training service founded by Corey Engmann, focuses on family involvement and a personalized approach to add fun and enjoyment to the process. 

As a former D1 collegiate basketball player and 10-year veterinary consultant, Corey Engmann blended her experience as the mother of three kids into her new business venture: Must Love Dogs Dog Training. Launched in January 2019, she intends to bring a softer, more loving approach to training through family-focused, personalized in-home sessions.

"One of the most common issues I hear is a client telling me that her husband wants to get rid of the dog," she says. "When the dog misbehaves, the parents get frustrated and then inadvertently snap at the kids, and then everyone is annoyed. I like to come in and make all of that disappear by training the dog to listen."

An animal biology major at Creighton University, Engmann then spent a decade in veterinary sales for an animal biological testing laboratory. That is where Engmann truly fell in love with how animals work, both physically and emotionally. She started her dog training career contracting with KC Elite Dog Training, another top training company in Kansas City. 

“I still love working with them, and I really enjoy having my own company. Must Love Dogs is geared toward my own personal experiences as a busy mom. With three kids and two dogs, I understand that life gets crazy and sometimes our dogs' behavior can make it worse,” she says. “I can train the rough and tough dog if I have to, but since I was a stay-at-home mom for eight years, I am who my clients are. So when I go over to someone's home and the mom is exhausted, the kids are running around, and the dog is going crazy, I think, ‘Oh my gosh, I was right there. I get it. Let me help you with your dogs!’”

The first step is a free consultation in the potential client’s home. Here, she has an opportunity to see how the dog really behaves and will assess the family’s needs. Only then can she understand their boundaries. For example, the dog may be allowed upstairs but not on the couches or maybe the owners don't want the dogs by the swing set or in the garden. It's all about boundaries.

“I could just interview the client on the phone, but the client might forget certain behaviors in conversation. The client conveys that they are only concerned about the dog barking incessantly, assuring me that the dog doesn't jump on guests," she explains. "Yet when I go to their house, the dog jumps like crazy. I need to see the dog at its worst on the first visit and then I can customize that package for that family.”

“Whether my clients are older, younger, newlyweds, have a couple of kids, new to owning a pet... I like to make the training fun! I want to get everyone in the home involved because that's real life. It's all about teamwork," she says. “We’re going to go outside of the house, to Home Depot and Scheels and the dog parks, and we’re going to cover all aspects of the dog’s personality.”

At the core of her business is an enthusiastic (you guessed it) love for dogs. 

“I see people that go to work every day, and when they get home they are irritated and exhausted,” Engmann says. “I come home, and I’m tired but I’m happy because I love what I do.”

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