Allison Stoffel, Copper Ridge Dog Training

IB’s Professional of the Week is the premier way to meet Dane County’s professionals. This week features Allison Stoffel, owner, Copper Ridge Dog Training.
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What are the most challenging and rewarding aspects of your job and why?

The most challenging — and fun — part of our business is painting a picture for our clients of what life with their dog could look like after training. When you live with a difficult dog or experience poor behaviors every day, it’s easy to feel stuck and trapped within the walls you’ve created. We really work to show people that not only can your dog change, but they can actually thrive. That also means that the owners have to change their beliefs and expectations, and change doesn’t always come easy. When we help them truly visualize that lifestyle though, it becomes a much easier and truly fun process for everyone!

I absolutely love getting to work with such a wide variety of dog owners in our community. We get to connect both personally and professionally, and I love getting to turn around and support them and their businesses in return.

Who do you look up to or admire in business and why?

There are so many small business owners who I watch and learn from, but one that stands out repeatedly is the team at ActionCOACH. I worked with them a few years ago with another company, and recently hired them as our business coach because they are always inspiring me to grow, change, connect, and develop my business into something remarkable. They are compassionate and giving, but are also incredibly successful when it comes to creating a successful business. I learn from them constantly.

What has been the high point of your career so far?

I made the leap into dog training several years ago after deciding to leave my office job, and it was the best decision I have ever made for myself and my family. But the true high point for me came in March 2020 when I decided to open my own dog training business. I had been working on it in the background for several years before I finally stepped out on my own. I knew that I needed to turn my passion into a business that could help dog owners thrive with their dogs, and I have truly enjoyed the process of learning how to develop our business into something truly impactful for our community.

Thinking back on your career, what advice would you give your 21-year-old self?

At 21, I was quiet, lacked confidence, and was afraid to speak up for myself. I would tell her to find that inner strength and step out of her comfort zone. Read lots of books, ask lots of questions, and try new things, even if you think you might fail. True growth comes when you’re a little nervous but you choose to take a chance anyway.

What would you say are the best things about living and working in Dane County?

I have lived in Madison since I was little, excluding a short stint in San Diego post-college. I love the community here, which is why I found my way back here. There is a life and a joy in this community that extends across the board; people rally together in moments of trial, and they celebrate each other’s wins. There is an entrepreneurial heart in this city that encourages growth and creativity, and I love calling this city my home.

Do you have any secret talents or abilities that people would be surprised to discover?

I love to play the piano but don’t often share that talent because I feel like I am constantly learning. But playing it soothes me and gives me energy, especially when I pull out the classical tunes. I am also very competitive when it comes to ping pong, and would love to get a table for the garage.

What are your guilty pleasures?

I have secretly been a fan of The Bachelor for many years now. My roommates would watch it religiously after college, so I joined in as a way to get to know them. It became something that we looked forward to each week — we’d make dinner, enjoy a glass of wine, and giggle the night away. I still watch it when I have time because it brings back those fun memories and is a fun way to stay connected with them.

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