Photo by Paul Neevel

Training Spot

“I began as a volunteer at an animal shelter in San Diego,” Jen Biglan says. “I got hired as volunteer coordinator, but I wanted to do more.” She read books, went to conferences, became certified as a dog trainer by the Karen Pryor Academy and was hired by the San Diego Humane Society. “I trained dogs and some goats,” she says. “I worked with the public, taught them to train dogs.” In 2005, she and her husband returned to Eugene, their hometown, and she started Dog and Cat, a home-based pet training business. One of her customers was Tera James. “I had a puppy who was reactive and aggressive, but she was great with the family,” says James. “Other trainers advised that I euthanize her. Then someone suggested Jen, who said, ‘Sure, we can do that,’ and we did!” Inspired by the experience, James quit her job in the mortgage business, went to school, got certified and in 2014 partnered with Biglan to start Training Spot, a training facility for dogs and their owners. Soon they were so busy that they needed a storefront location. “We wanted to help more people and to have a comprehensive puppy program,” Biglan says, “training dogs when they’re really young, before they develop behavior problems.” Classes range from puppy-level up to therapy-dog training, and private lessons are available. Located at 90 Lawrence Street, Training Spot now employs three additional full-time certified trainers, who began as volunteers, plus a receptionist and an operations manager. Pictured left-to-right in the photo are trainers Tera James, Jen Biglan, Carmaleta Aufderheide and Katie Holland, operations manager Padma Connolly, and receptionist Melissa Patricelli. Representing guys in the otherwise all-woman enterprise are Boma and Commander.