Nick Reyes has seen it all, sometimes too much to handle, when it comes to training dogs.
He rehabilitated dogs that were forced to fight, dogs that were neglected and starved and sometimes just the recently adopted puppies.
Reyes, a dog behaviorist, launched Happy Hounds University in June after training dogs in New York for eight years. The business, he said, has grown quickly enough that he will open a facility in Boalsburg early next year.
“It really hasn’t hit me yet, because it’s all happening so soon,” Reyes said. “It picked up really quickly, which I didn’t expect it, but that’s a really good thing. It was always the plan to have a facility for training, a day care and boarding. We want to have a facility that will have everything you need.”
Reyes expects most of the dogs he will work with will already have homes, a sheer contrast to what used to do.
“I did animal cruelty investigations through the Broome County Humane Society,” he said. “I assisted and took them from people who neglected or abused animals and brought them to the shelter and hoped for adoption. I got into training, because some of them really needed it if they were ever going to get a home.”
It’s all about training the people, too.
The condition of some dogs was overwhelming.
“It was awful, the worst thing you can see, but you knew they needed your help,” Reyes said. “There were dogs shot, dogs that had hips broken because an owner beat them, some were skeletons, some were made fighting dogs. That wears on you after a while.”
Reyes moved to the Centre Region after his brother, who works in the area, showed him around. He feels a dog day care will be the facility’s primary business when it opens.
The location was once the facility for John P. Jones Canine Training.
“The start there is definitely the dog day care in a safe and friendly environment ran by certified dog trainers, so the dogs are going to be in a good place,” he said. “The training classes and boarding will follow.”
Small dogs and big dogs, he said, will be separated.
The location at 197 Lenape Lane was once the facility for John P. Jones Canine Training.
He said training will include programming for puppies, behavior, agility and rehabilitation.
“It’s all about training the people, too,” Reyes said. “I’m training people to handle dogs, understand what they want, why they’re acting aggressive and what they can do.”
About five people will work with Reyes.