A strong foundation of hard work, the passion to make a difference and a solid foundation in basic business principles seem to be the prerequisites for any business to not only survive the formative years but to ultimately succeed. Elk Grove business owners, Matthew and Arlette Woods, seem to have all those bases covered. As owners of Camp Bow Wow in both Elk Grove and Livermore, California, the Woods constantly strive to provide dog owners with the absolute best experience when it comes to finding a kennel for their dogs to stay.

(Photo Courtesy of Matthew and Arlette Woods)

(Photo Courtesy of Matthew and Arlette Woods)

What does your job entail?

“We provide a safe, clean and fun environment where a dog can be a dog. We consider ourselves a premier doggy daycare and overnight boarding facility that is an alternative to the conventional kenneling. We interact with our furry and human clients as well as our staff.”

What parts of your job do you enjoy?

“Seeing the dogs pulling their owners into Camp ready to play, you can see the smiles on their faces! Watching dogs come in that may have socialization issues and seeing them grow into confident dogs is also great. We feel really rewarded when we hear from our clients how clean and orderly the Camp seems and how happy and tired their dogs are at the end of each day.”

What was your education history?

“[We are both] college graduates and [have] a lot of hands on training. Both of us have worked since we were 15 years old and have held a variety of positions during the years. Before opening the Camps, Matthew was a maintenance production supervisor for the American Airlines fleet at San Francisco International Airport, and Arlette was a fraud investigator for a major national bank.”

Do you think your education has prepared you for your current position?

“Although our education did not prepare us specifically for becoming multi business owners, it was useful for learning the core fundamentals one would need to run a business. Time management, meeting of deadlines and holding yourself accountable to your instructor’s expectations were all skills obtained during the time spent in college.”

Do you have any advice for someone seeking a similar career?

“If you haven’t done so already, enroll in a basic business and finance course at your local junior college. Have a basic understanding of how supply and demand works and how it affects the small business. In my case (Matthew), I knew very little about dogs and dog behavior when I began this journey. Immerse yourself in the canine culture. Try and learn as much as you can about reading dog body language, familiarize yourself with all the different breeds of dogs and what their different health needs are. I’m not suggesting to just watch episodes of the Dog Whisperer, I’m actually suggesting a proactive approach. Speak to dog trainers, go to dog parks and speak to veterinarians. Learn as much as you can and become comfortable being around large numbers of dogs.”

Paulo Acoba is a California native raised in the Bay Area and living in the Central Valley. He enjoys distance running, cycling and grassroots motorsports. He holds a degree in management from the University of California Merced. Paulo has been writing for Examiner.com since 2012 and covering the Fresno area.