New dog club allows dogs to learn social skills

Maria Ochs, works with dogs at the Bahati & Freys Place located at 1825 Webster Street, Suite B. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF

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Maria Ochs, works with dogs at the Bahati & Freys Place located at 1825 Webster Street, Suite B. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF

Maria Ochs’ love of dogs has lead her to a new business venture as she recently opened a club where dogs, and their families, can visit for enrichment-focused and confidence-building interaction.

The dog training facility, called Bahati and Frey’s Place in honor of two dogs near to Ochs’ heart, is located at 1825 Webster St. in a 8,800-square-foot former-warehouse facility.

Ochs said her goal was to create a space where dogs and their owners can bond while receiving expert behavioral training. A unique aspect of the facility is that it caters to entire families.

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“It’s something new ... there’s usually no where to go to train your dog that is more kid-friendly, so I wanted to alleviate that and offer a place that has that capacity so families can bring their children to train their dogs and the kids can play,” Ochs said.

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Maria Ochs, left, and Michael Fischer, works with dogs at the Bahati & Freys Place located at 1825 Webster Street, Suite B. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF

Maria Ochs, left, and Michael Fischer, works with dogs at the Bahati & Freys Place located at 1825 Webster Street, Suite B. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF

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Maria Ochs, left, and Michael Fischer, works with dogs at the Bahati & Freys Place located at 1825 Webster Street, Suite B. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF

As a former manager of animal care and behavioral departments at two different shelters and after years of rescuing and fostering dogs, Ochs is well-versed in dog behavior and training, including with cases involving previously abused animals.

“(Bahati and Frey’s will) offer various things that are above the norm to educate people on what their dogs are capable of because a lot of people don’t see that side of them, and then that boosts the confidence level of the animal,” she said.

Molly O’Neil of Dayton sought Ochs’ help when she was fostering a severely abused and “shut down” dog that was “resource guarding” food, toys, the couch, and her bed. O’Neil said Ochs conducted a home visit and within two hours, she saw remarkable improvement in both the dog and herself as the dog’s caretaker.

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“Maria can read a dog like no other trainer I’ve experienced,” O’Neil said. “She doesn’t come from a ‘we are pack animals’ mindset, but from a technique which involves our dogs working from our leadership and in turn respecting their owner.”

O’Neil said she is a “big fan” of Ochs’ and believes Dayton area dog owners will greatly benefit from her new business, noting that she’s seen extremely severe cases “do a 360″ while in Ochs’ care.

“We are lucky to have her and this facility will show that,” O’Neil said.

Bahati and Frey’s Place offers “Yappy Hours,” which involve nosework, tunnels, swimming, digging, and other activities to boost confidence levels, along with dog seminars for socializing shy dogs, and multiple training classes.

Ochs said a big part of why she opened the business is to encourage dog owners to build stronger relationships with their pets and to overcome behavioral challenges that may seem overwhelming.

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Michael Fischer, left and Maria Ochs, works with dogs at the Bahati & Freys Place located at 1825 Webster Street, Suite B. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF

Michael Fischer, left and Maria Ochs, works with dogs at the Bahati & Freys Place located at 1825 Webster Street, Suite B. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF

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Michael Fischer, left and Maria Ochs, works with dogs at the Bahati & Freys Place located at 1825 Webster Street, Suite B. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF

“My goal is to be affordable and to offer a place for people to start over again with their dogs,” Ohs said.

The club also offers a kennel-free dog daycare service that includes enrichment activities like swimming, casual agility exercises, and even art projects, aiming to provide a stress-free shelter environment.

Renee Grant, a former coworker of Ochs’, echoed the sentiment that Ochs’ expertise is unmatched.

“Maria has a depth of knowledge that is not easy to find in shelters,” Grant said. “What’s even more amazing is that she’s very eager to share that knowledge while working alongside someone.”

Grant said Bahati and Frey’s Place is not only a place for dogs who need training, but for those that can benefit from socialization, which is a need that has grown due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Many people have adopted puppies while home during this pandemic, but it has created a problem for some dogs in the form of separation anxiety when pet parents go back to work,” she said. “This club will benefit those who are looking for a daycare setting for their dogs full-time to those just looking for some socialization in a safe environment.”

To learn more, visit www.bahatiandfreys.com.

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