I founded High Drive Pups, LLC (HDP K9) in 2012, and until 2016 it operated primarily as a training and boarding facility.  I ran a structured daycare focused on training and appropriate dog interactions/socialization, did board and train programs, provided boarding for training clients, and did one-on-one lessons and group classes.

In addition to running the business, I also did extensive rescue rehabilitation.  I implemented training and behavior modification protocols to help shelter dogs transition into a home environment, and improve their chances of being successfully adopted.

Since many of the dogs that came to us needed help with specific behavioral issues, part of my job had been to coach/train my assistants in how to handle and manage challenging dogs — whether they were afraid of people, had extreme crate anxiety, difficulty potty training, engaged in compulsive and destructive behaviors, displayed dog reactivity, inappropriate prey drive, etc., or even human aggression.

The work was not easy, but it was rewarding.  Oftentimes, it’s the difficult dogs that teach us the most.

For several years I also lived on site.  I initially loved the setup because it made it easier to run the facility, but also made it impossible to have a healthy work-life balance.  As the business welcomed more clients and thrived, I found myself being constantly plugged in and reaching a burnout phase.

I decided to switch gears and focus primarily on classes and lessons, so I opened a second, training-only facility where I only offered limited boarding services.

Closing the daycare and boarding facility was not an easy choice.  It had been “home” for a while, brought revenue, and I had grown fond of my clients and their dogs.  (Many of them had become close friends, and years later we still stay in touch.)

In retrospect, however, it had been the right choice for me, as the move allowed me to grow in a different direction, more aligned with my passion for teaching and training.

As I transitioned to the new facility, I also begun to foster new professional connections and developments.

2017 was a busy year!  I begun working with Elite K-911 Dog Training and Behavior, where I trained several of the trainers and coached/advised their board and train program for ten months.  I traveled to France and Spain with my competition dog, Azande, for the Mondioring World Championship.  And I begun teaching classes and workshops at Elite.  As I often seemed to be on the road, I eventually decided to close my second training facility as well, to minimize overhead costs.

Again, not an easy choice because I had put a lot into it and grown accustomed to having my own place, but I am grateful I let it go.  Prior to that I had gone for almost five years with no vacation and barely any breaks.  I needed to decompress and rebalance my life.

From 2018 to 2020, I focused on private in-home lessons with my clients, board and train programs out of my home, and begun collaborating with Affinity Canine on specific behavioral cases.  I also did training demos with Azande for local events, and started writing a book — about our relationship with our dogs.

During the first half of 2021 I took a hiatus from training due to health reasons, but as my health improved, I started training again.  Reconnected with my local clients, introduced remote/virtual lessons and coaching sessions in my services as well, and continued to write on the book.  By 2022 I also resumed teaching classes and workshops, this time at Rogers K-9 Services.

And that is where I currently am, professionally — teaching my clients and their dogs, continuing to coach other trainers, working with my own dogs… and as time allows I am still working on the book.  Excited to see what the future will hold!

While I am currently taking a break from offering board and train services, writing this page and putting together the collages, seeing the familiar faces of some of the dogs I worked with since opening my first training facility… definitely took me down memory lane.

I am beyond grateful for the trust and support my clients and colleagues have shown me throughout the years.  I would not be where I am today, in a position to do something I love and that feels very aligned with my soul, had it not been for them.

– Roxana Vlasceanu



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