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Doggone brilliance: alum-owned dog daycare

Taylor Warren at her business, Ace It Canine Academy, spending time with dogs attending dog daycare.
Taylor Warren takes pride in offering small and personal daycare for dogs at her business, Ace It Canine Academy.

Dogs are known as humankind’s best friend, and the idea of working with these furry friends would be a dream come true for many dog lovers. It was a life-long dream of Taylor Warren (Business Administration '19) that she made a reality after graduating from NSCC.

“From the time I got my first dog at the age of 6, I knew I wanted to have dogs in my world forever,” says Taylor, owner of Ace It Canine Academy.

“I always wanted to have a dog related business. In high school, I thought about a couple other things but ultimately always went back to dogs.”

Entrepreneur education

Set on becoming a business owner, Taylor enrolled in the Business Administration program at NSCC to pursue her entrepreneurial aspiration.

“I knew I wanted to take a program that would help me start and then grow a business. At the time, Ace It was not even a thought,” Taylor explains.

“I was able to make a business plan in the program for exactly what I wanted to do.”

Taylor found NSCC to be a very encouraging environment with faculty that supported her goals. She credits the College for setting her up to successfully manage a business.

“With a staff of now 10 employees, I find myself using techniques that I learned in the management courses. I use a lot of the skills I learned in the accounting courses as I do all my own accounting/bookkeeping,” says Taylor.

“The marketing course was also very helpful! Especially when I was first advertising Ace It.”

Taylor standing with her dogs in front a greenery wall pop-up with balloons during Ace It's second anniversary celebration.
Taylor with her dogs at Ace It's second anniversary celebration in May 2023

Ace It Canine Academy

In 2021 Taylor officially launched Ace It Canine Academy, offering dog daycare, training from basic behaviour to agility, hiking, boarding, and rental space.

“We have other trainers here that rent our space to teach as well,” says Taylor. “Our store front has products from eight local dog businesses.”

Located in Harrietsfield, NS, the indoor and outdoor facility provides a home away from home for people’s beloved dogs with a dedicated team to take care of them.

“We pride ourselves on having a small and personal daycare! We take about 35 dogs a day. The bigger daycares in the city take upwards of 100,” explains Taylor.

“I love knowing all the dogs that attend here and their owners personally. The ‘Ace It Family’ as we call it.”

As a dog mom herself of four dogs and a foster pup, Taylor understands how much dogs mean to their owners.

Experienced dog handler

Taylor had over a decade of experience working with dogs before opening her dog daycare, including intricate training.

“I started volunteering in a dog daycare at nine years old. I was very lucky that I found this opportunity so young. I also worked at two dog daycares before opening my own,” says Taylor.

In 2011, she started agility classes which is a dog sport where you direct your dog through a course of obstacles. Enjoying working with her dogs to teach them new skills, she went to compete regionally and nationally in various dog sports.

“My dogs and I participate in agility, dock diving, disc, conformation dog shows, rally & competitive obedience,” Taylor adds.

Stepping up for the canine community

On top of regularly supporting local dog businesses and trainers at Ace It, Taylor also hosted the 2023 Agility Regionals for the agility community.

During our province’s wildfires in spring 2023, Taylor was quick in wanting to help and offered free dog boarding to those impacted.

“Our first thought was, what if this was us and we needed help? It was hard, I’ll be honest, bringing in a number of dogs that didn’t know us or our group of dogs wasn’t easy,” says Taylor. They took in 10 dogs during that time, despite not normally boarding that time of year.

“Many businesses reached out wanting to help supply food and anything we needed, including Ren’s Pets and Pet Valu, the South Shore Kennel Club, along with a lot of individuals.”

Taylor hopes to continue supporting the local canine community through her business by adding grooming and a second location.

“I always said if you do what you love, you won’t work a day in your life,” says Taylor. “Of course, some days are tough but at the end of the day I am surrounded by the best staff, the best clients and the best dogs.”