Doggy pre-school for 4-legged princes and princessesby Elisabetta Pina - 2017.01.10
Bau Club, the first pre-school for dogs has opened its doors in Milan. Here, dogs of every breed can have fun, take lessons, eat and nap, all in the company of special canine instructors. And, that’s not all. Reservations can be made for shiatsu massages and acupuncture. And for the dog owners who can’t find the time to take their dogs to “school”, there’s Gabriele, the Taxi Boy, who can accompany these “four-legged princes and prinesses” for 16 euro and up, depending on the size of the client and the distance. «The idea came to me when I got my own Dachsund, Frida » explains Francesca Genta, the founder of Bau Club, «and when I had to leave her alone often, I asked advice from a dog trainer, Raffaella Gallo. She is the one with whom I planned the opening of a dog pre-school. And that’s how, in February 2014 I quit my job and became a full-time entrepreneur, at the age of 39».
What kinds of services are the people who bring their dogs to you looking for?
«Some are full-time workers and want to leave their dog in a safe place. Others decide to bring their dogs only for a few hours a week so that they can take behavior lessons. Many puppies who come from dog pounds or from the street might have been treated badly. For this reason, they need to learn how to trust other dogs and humans».
What type of “students” or “guests” do you have?
«We have a little bit of everything. There are dogs who arrived as soon as we opened our doors. For example, a Labrador who came as a pup and has grown with us. She plays with all the other dogs and when a fight breaks out, she is the one who calms them all down. Currently we have 20 different breeds, from Chihuahuas al Saint Bernards. We meet the dogs and then decide, according to their disposition, regardless of breed, to put them in groups according to the various activities».
How much does your service cost?
«€40 per day with a booklet of 5 – 10 daily passes. And less if paid on a monthly basis ».
Is there also a health Spa?
«We have a special grooming service: a traditional bath, but with ozone hydromassage, with masks for the skin. Believe it or not, there is a female English bulldog that falls asleep while taking her bath».
What other types of treaments?
«After a thorough visit, our Veterinarian, Luca Vigo, determines whether there is a need for a shiatsu or acupuncture treatment. Natural medicine is also a great alternative to pharmacological cures for dogs too».
What are your plans for the future?
«Someday, I hope to offer the same service for cats and then, a “doggy hotel” where dogs can stay in their hotel room for 24/7, instead of being locked up in a cage ».