Owner & Head Trainer
While living in downtown Dallas, founder Art Ortiz was fired from his job and going through a difficult time that broke him down emotionally and mentally. While dealing with this, his dog- Emma, Hiro and Frankie- kept him moving forward. “They created the balance that I needed at that time. Every day, they’d wake me up to walk them, and they forced me out of bed. They demanded more from me to keep walking them. They showed me how to have balance and harmony,” Art says.
DogFit Dallas was born! While still looking for employment and coming up empty handed, Art was asked by a stranger if he was a dog walker. Art was offended: In his mind, he was better than that. Why would this person assume that just because Art was walking his dogs? Little did he know, that stranger planted a seed, which later became DogFit Dallas in February 2012.
DogFit Dallas started with a little pack of three and a few friends’ dogs. But the pack grew from three, to five to 10 dogs! All dogs walking harmoniously in the streets of downtown Dallas. This was the start of the Balance and Harmony Movement.
In 2014, Art was selected as one of D Magazine’s Dallas 40; how Dallas came to its most exciting point in its history. 40 stories over 40 years.
While he was walking dogs in downtown on a daily basis, he was already training the dogs without calling it training. He worked on leash skills and socializing the dogs. This turned into the opportunity of starting dog training full time.
Besides helping his clients in Dallas, he also assists Cesar Millan, The Dog Whisperer, as a Trainer for Training Cesar’s Way Fundamentals of Dog Behavior I & II. He travels to California and Florida several times a year to work with students from all over the world who want to learn about Cesar’s training philosophy.
He is a professional member of the International Association of Canine Professionals (IACP, professional member number: 5621) and the Official Dog Training Partner of Klyde Warren Park.
Anne is the German transplant of the DogFit pack. Growing up with family dogs, she would spend most of her weekends as a kid on the training grounds of their local obedience school where her mom taught obedience and agility classes.
Anne first came to Dallas in 2011 to spend a semester abroad as part of her studies program for Multilingual Communication and soon fell in love with the city and the people here. Two years later, she permanently moved to the Big D and it was in 2014 when her journey into the dog training world began. She adopted her dog Luna from Operation Kindness in Carrollton and discovered that she needed some guidance for Luna and herself which is where Art came in. Art worked with both Luna and Anne for a couple of days, and their last task was to spend some time on a patio with Luna being well-behaved and Anne being the pack leader. Things worked out well, actually so well that this last meeting turned into a date for Art and Anne and many more dates after that.
The rest is history. 🙂
Anne now assists Art in training sessions and also trains her own clients. She handles pack walks whenever the other walkers need a helping hand and works on the business development of DogFit Dallas.
Anne is an associate member of the International Association of Canine Professionals (IACP, member number: 7458).
Head Walker/Assistant Trainer
Michele has been with DogFit since 2014. She is our head dog walker in downtown and is loved by all of our clients – two and four-legged. Having worked at a day care facility for several years, Michele brings in a lot of experience working with dogs.
You may have seen her walking in downtown walking 14 dogs at once. Michele will also assist Art in training situations where an extra set of experienced hands are needed.
Michele is also a great dancer! On the weekends you can catch her at different venues dancing hip-hip and burlesque in Dallas and around the U.S.
She is the proud owner of Coco Monkey, a Schnauzer.
Ashley is the newest member of the DogFit family, and she is also the first person you talk to when you contact us. She takes care of all the incoming emails and phone calls, schedules walks, training and boarding, and keeps everyone else on track.
We are so happy to have Ashley on board as she makes everyone’s lives so much easier.
With a Bachelor in Communications from University of North Texas and a minor in Political Science, Ashley will also be in charge of a lot of social media postings, blog articles and newsletters.