"I love dogs, and people love their dogs."

Bark Busters

Initial Situation

Christine Oosdyke’s loves dogs. In 2016, Chris decided to pursue her passion for training dogs full time and purchased a Bark Busters franchise in the Grand Rapids, Michigan area.

How the SBDC Helped

Christine was connected with SBDC Consultant Marie Elliott. Marie was able to assist Christine in the process of purchasing a business. After the business was purchased, they began working on calculating financials, how to advertise, and more. 


Christine has been able to positively impact many families with the training of their dogs. She looks forward to helping more families in the future. 

Christine Oosdyke’s love of dogs started at a very young age. All of her life she had a dog by her side. As soon as Chris was old enough, she got a puppy and trained it on her own. Soon enough, she was testing her techniques out on friends’ dogs, achieving great results. It only makes sense that in 2016, Chris decided to pursue her passion for training dogs full time and purchased a Bark Busters franchise in the Grand Rapids, Michigan area.

Bark Busters is not Chris’s first time being an entrepreneur. She graduated from Michigan State University with a horticulture degree and purchased a flower shop in Greenville, Michigan. Years later, she knew she wanted to come home to Grand Rapids to be with family and work with dogs. After a Google search, she found a Bark Busters Grand Rapids franchise for sale and knew it was meant to be.

“It could not have been a more perfect situation. I did some research and then soon after went off the to the bank to get a loan. Everything fell right into place,” said Chris.

Chris was referred to the Michigan Small Business Development Center by Chemical Bank when she applied for a loan to purchase Bark Busters. She was connected with SBDC Consultant Marie Elliott. On her days off, Chris would drive over two hours to meet with Marie while preparing to purchase the business. Together, Chris and Marie have worked on all aspects of running a business. They calculated financial targets to meet, how to set up advertising, and figure out expenses. Chris and Marie looked at the industry, the value of the services provided, and how to leverage an established franchise.

“Marie Elliott is my superstar. We had a great connection from the start and now we are on a friendship level. She is amazing at what she does and truly has a gift for helping entrepreneurs succeed. I couldn't have done any of this without her,” commented Chris.

Chris appreciates the opportunity to help people understand dog communication. She has worked with some really difficult dogs over the years, and loves being able to create an amazing change both for the dog and its family. Typically the “wow” factor happens within the first ten minutes and people are overjoyed with the advances their dog has made. Chris believes that being an entrepreneur and dog trainer is the best career she has ever had.

“I love dogs, and people love their dogs. Everyone wants a well-behaved, well-mannered dog. I am thankful for the opportunity to help make a difference,” stated Chris.

In the future, Chris is looking forward to continuing making an impact on people's lives through dog training. As long as people have a dog, or two or three, there is always an opportunity to help.

“No matter how challenging the dog may seem, I work to find a way to connect with them. I am there to make both the family and the dog’s life easier. It is incredibly rewarding and fun. ”

To learn more about Bark Busters, visit www.barkbusters.com/dog-training-grand-rapids.