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NXTPass Biz Profile: Atta Pup!

NXTPass Biz Profile: Atta Pup!

Atta Pup! Dog and Puppy Training

Laura Nalven, owner, is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA) and Pat Miller Certified Trainer (PMCT).

What was it about Hagerstown that interested you as a location to open a new business?

My husband and I live in Hagerstown, so it was a natural decision to open my business here as well. Atta Pup! is committed to educating Hagerstown’s dog owners about creating happy, well-behaved canine family members and citizens. I very much wanted to contribute to a vibrant downtown community and help make Hagerstown a dog-friendly place. 

What assistance did you receive from the City of Hagerstown to start your business in Mulberry Lofts? 

I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to take advantage of several of the City’s incentive program for downtown businesses. The Hagerstown Revolving Loan Fund, Partners in Economic Progress Program, Sprout Grant, and grand opening ceremony support all helped me open and expand my business. I’m extremely grateful for the assistance they’ve provided me and other small business owners, and I’m proud to be a part of the effort to grow and revitalize our community. 

What initial marketing steps did you take to get your name out there?

The programs offered by the city made it possible to expand my business to include group classes and events when I opened the training center at 22 North Mulberry Street in May 2015. What’s NXT was the first place I called to advertise the grand opening because I know it shares my vision of a vibrant and successful downtown community and I admire the work What’s NXT does. Atta Pup! has also partnered with the Hagerstown Parks and Recreation Department for several events, workshops, and the Fit Fido class. Good old-fashioned, face-to-face networking is still integral to meeting people and making connections, but I think many people recognize me as “the lady who walks Nina downtown.”

Have you found local residents receptive to your product?

Many people are still surprised to learn that there’s a dog training center just blocks from downtown— it sounds too convenient to be true! We’ve had monthly group classes running since the training center opened, and our monthly Canine Game Nights (benefitting local 501(c)3 rescue, For Otis’ Sake) bring in even more people who might not sign up for a 6-week course but still want to have fun with their dogs. We’ve expanded our classes to include an intermediate-level course and 3-week “mini-courses” during November and December to help you and your dog prepare for holiday season craziness. 

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