They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but animal trainer Kim Yuskiewicz knows that’s not always true. She’s proven that by working with plenty of dogs that are well past their prime, including one of her own rescue dogs.
“I found him on the side of the road when he was about 7 years old and he’d be badly abused, so he had a lot of issues,” she recalls. But today, after some much needed training and socialization, he’s a walking, barking success story.
Yuskiewicz and her sister Lisa, who is also a longtime dog trainer, are ready to help some other Encinitas pet owners create their own success stories. This week the sibling duo is opening Zoom Room, a 5,000-square-foot facility that offers agility courses, a canine social club, and all sorts of dog training classes.
“Encinitas was our top pick,” Yuskiewicz says of the location, which is at the corner of El Camino Real and Encinitas Boulevard next to Sprouts grocery store. “There’s a healthy lifestyle in this community, and people enjoy being active with their dogs. It was a perfect fit for us."
There’s a grand opening celebration slated for Sept. 22 that will give locals a peek inside the new training center. That day from 4:30 to 7:30 there will be all sorts of freebies for pets and their people, including: caricature drawings by Joanne Stephens, dog agility classes, a ‘best trick’ contest with prizes, a ‘doggie disco’ party—plus you can enjoy free meal courtesy of Bull Taco while your pup indulges in some free lamb meatballs from Foxy Treat Organics.
The grand opening celebration will also benefit the Rancho Coastal Humane Society. Here’s how it works: RSVP for the event and your name will be added to a guest list. Once you show up, your name will be crossed off the list and Zoom Room will make a $10 donation to RCHS in your honor. You can RSVP to the party by clicking here.
“All you have to do is come to a party with your dog and enjoy free food. This is probably one of the easiest ways to make a donation for good,” Yuskiewicz joked, adding that she and her sister plan to continue working with local rescue groups regularly. “I’ve been committed to rescue work for many years, so this will definitely be a big part of our mission.”
In addition to several agility and obedience classes, Zoom Room offers several specialized classes, like scent recognition.
“If you mark with your cell phone with a certain smell, you can train your dog to find it for you,” Yuskiewicz offers. Or, there’s the urban herding class, which teaches dogs to herd using inflatable balls—and don’t assume only working dogs are made for that. “Actually, Boston Terriers have been some of the best herding dogs I’ve seen,” Yuskiewicz says.
There’s also a class for shy and timid dogs, which is open to foster dogs struggling to adjust—and a puppy preschool for new pet owners.
Zoom Room also features a lounge area with free coffee and WiFi if you'd like to sit and watch some of the classes. A portion of the facility is dedicated to retail space, and just about everything there is solution-oriented. For example, the store carries puzzles that are designed to keep dogs occupied while they’re alone so they don’t become destructive.
If you’d like to check out the new business, Zoom Room is located at 1331 Encinitas Blvd., next to Sprout’s grocery store. For more information, please visit zoomroomonline.com/Encinitas or check out Zoom Room's Facebook page.