Focus On: All Dogs Can

WRITER | CANDIE CONAT
PHOTOS | ALL DOGS CAN

Bad Dog? No! Good Dog? Yes!

Darlene Collings, owner of All Dogs Can in Lapeer, believes that everyone should have the opportunity to train with their dog. From trick work and fancy dancing with your dog to agility training, body awareness, and “nose work,” All Dogs Can will help you out.

For years, Collings had been making a one-and-a-half-hour trip every week to do agility training and competitions with her Siberian husky, Maya. One day while making the drive, she noticed a huge empty building and thought, “Why isn’t there a facility in my area for agility training?” She knew that there were others making long drives to train, practice, and compete with their dogs and knew this big empty building would be just the place for a training facility closer to home.

So, in 2011, Collings opened the doors to All Dogs Can. Now, with six years under her belt and 14 trainers on staff, she has moved ADC to a brand new state-of-the-art facility. With over 20,000 square feet, her clients couldn’t be happier with the move. So happy, in fact, that all classes currently have long waiting lists.

Collings got into agility work with Maya when an obedience trainer asked if she would be interested in it. Collings had no clue what agility training was, but after their first class, both she and Maya were hooked. The duo spent several years competing around the country. Maya is retired now and enjoying the “good life” after handing the reins over to Cassanova, her border collie sibling.

If you are like me, you are wondering, “what is nose work?” Collings explained it this way. Nose work is training the dog to detect various smells while ignoring other smells. You might train the dog to find a specific kind of food based on smell. You start with one and work up to multiple smells; the dog must work through to find the specific smell you signaled for. Eventually, you take the dog out into a public space with hundreds of smells where they will detect only the one they have been directed to find. Amazing!

In 2017, All Dogs Can was selected from 6,000 businesses to be one of 12 to receive the Best Small Business Award from the Michigan Small Business Development Center. Collings could not be more proud. The facility is booked nearly every weekend all summer and into fall for groups holding agility trials, competitions, and shows that will bring in hundreds of dogs, their owners, and trainers. The public is welcome to attend the weekend competitions being held at All Dogs Can. I think I see a road trip in my near future! I would love to watch these expert trainers and their canine companions doing what they love together.

All Dogs Can 2232 North Lapeer Road, Lapeer MI 48446 / (810) 358-0508 l AllDogsCanLapeer.com