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Ask An Entrepreneur – Susanne Shaw

This month we ask an entrepreneur, Susanne Shaw, about her business K9 Etiquette. Find out what piece of tech she can't live without and her tips for women.

Ask An Entrepreneur - Susanne Shaw - Lioness MagazineAnswers By: Susanne Shaw, owner and trainer at K9 Etiquette

Location: South Hadley, Massachusetts


Facebook: CanineEtiquette


1) How long have you been in business?

Nine years.

2) Why have you chosen to dedicate yourself to this particular business/industry?

I believe that animals are members of the family. As a result they need high quality care, which includes not only all natural food and mental stimulation but appropriate positive reinforcement training. We use positive training methods to train your dog to become the family friend you’ve always desired. We will help you understand your dog’s mind and actions resulting in [fewer] frustrations for both you and your dog.

3) What makes business/product unique?

Our business is unique in many different ways. We offer only high quality all natural food and treats. We offer toys that provide mental stimulation and encourage problem-solving skills. We offer dog daycare to keep your dog well socialized and to help provide them appropriate play with other dogs. Finally, we offer positive reinforcement training sessions either as private lessons or in small group classes of only four dogs at a time. This allows us the opportunity to customize the training so it is individualized to the owner, as well as allow dogs who would struggle in a larger class size the opportunity to learn in a group setting. Our thought process behind our training techniques is to teach your dog how to be well behaved and focused on their own without constantly needing to be told what to do by their owner. Of course we cover obedience commands too for those situations where your dog’s problem solving skills are not where they need to be.

4) You could have worked for anyone and would have been successful, why become an entrepreneur?

I love educating and being a leader; I also really wanted to do small group classes, which is uncommon in this area, so working for myself made the most sense.

5) What was your last, “why did I go into business for myself” moment?

About three years ago. Of course we all have those moments as business owners of fear of taking on too much and a potentially unreliable pay check. But in the end I’m doing what I love and it was worth a few years of stress getting business up to where it needed to be.

6) Every female professional should have ___________.

Confidence in themselves … you should do as much personal development as needed to get yourself comfortable explaining to others why you rock what you do!

7) If you could steal some business mojo from another mogul, who would it be and why? 

I have several people I look up to as mentors. My top three are Ian Dunbar, Tony Horton, and Chalene Johnson. Ian Dunbar is an amazing behaviorist, who also believes in raising amazing family pets. He has an incredible company that changes and saves many dogs’ lives. He also is always looking to step outside his comfort zone and try new things. Tony Horton is an amazing inspiration of someone who pushed through [his] fears and put [himself] out there in order to change not only his life but others. [He] fully encourages finding a purpose in life and developing a plan to get there all while having balance in life, which is something lots of entrepreneurs forget about. Finally, Chalene Johnson is incredible with social media marketing. If you want to learn how to expand your business through social media she is someone you need to check out!

8) What is your business motto?

Consistency is key!

9) If you could give other entrepreneurs three tips, what would they be?

  • Be consistent even when you don’t want to be.
  • It will be challenging at times but if it doesn’t challenge you it doesn’t change you so push through your fears and reach your goals.
  • Do your best and forget the rest! No one is perfect so don’t feel you need to be either.

10) Has there been a piece of technology or software that has been a lifesaver to you? 


11) What is your goal for the next year?

Save enough to build our own building instead of renting.

12) When someone is telling their friend about your business, what do you hope they say?

That we are understanding and caring and will do our best to make sure you are fully educated to make a decision on what is best for your situation and needs.

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