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Maryland Dog Magazine

Good Dog in a Box - Sisters making a difference

May 19, 2017 09:57AM

Photo of the full subscription for the first month

Good Dog in a Box - Sisters making a difference

Sisters, Jenn Merritt and Kim Merritt-Butler had the idea to start Good Dog in a Box after seeing too many family dogs being surrendered to shelters because of “bad behavior.” These were good dogs being surrendered. They noticed that people didn’t have the resources they needed to help their dog be a good member of the family. The dogs had unfortunately never been trained.

Did you know, 96% of dogs abandoned at animals shelters never had any type of obedience training? When a dog is communicating with their family, and their family isn’t listening, bad things can happen. Kim and Jen are working to change that. The Good Dog in a Box can help to improve the relationship people and children have with their dogs. Owning a dog can and should be a beautiful experience. The answer is in education.

“When kids are raised to respect dogs and animals, they grow up to become more responsible owners,” said Kim and Jen.

Good Dog in a Box is a monthly subscription box that delivers family friendly, positive reinforcement dog training exercises, tools, dog safety and dog bite prevention to families with dogs and children. Every month a box is delivered via the US Postal Service that includes an activity guide with educational information and fun activities. In addition, families also receive in month 1, the Dog Smart Card Game, which teaches dog bite prevention through dog body language. Each subscription also comes with an online account and the Hydrant App that provides video training matching each month’s subject matter. The online account includes downloadable resources, games, and access to live webinars with a professional trainer.










Good Dog in a Box officially launched, November 10, 2016. The products are a little bit old school mail order, a little bit high-tech e-learning, along with fun and games. The sister’s mission is to help improve life WITH and FOR your dog. Happy families with happy dogs mean fewer dogs surrendered to animal shelters.

Kim and Jenn were born and raised in Cumberland, Maryland. They bring the perfect match for the business, Jenn’s background and experience in obedience and behavior training along with Kim’s entrepreneur drive, business, and marketing experience.  Jenn, CPDT-KA, BS and co-founder is the curriculum developer, writer, and a professional dog trainer. Jenn writes the curriculum for the program and card games. A dog lover since she was a little girl, after graduating from college with a degree in psychology she adopted a rescued Australian Shepherd named Elvis. That little blue dog led Jenn to discover science-based, positive reinforcement dog training. She started volunteering with dog training classes in 1998, acquired her CPDT-KA certification as a professional dog trainer through the Certification Council of Professional Dog Trainers in 2003, became a guild certified Tellington TTouch practitioner in 2006, and a Family Paws Parent Educator in 2015. Jenn now lives in Hamilton, Ontario, with her dogs Royal and Bernie and runs Blue Dog Creature Coaching. Along with the curriculum, Jenn creates all the dog training related content for the videos, activity guides, and Good Dog blog. She is also the featured trainer in the online training videos and in all the printed training material that comes with Good Dog subscriptions.

Kim is a co-founder in charge of product design, online marketing, website, partner, and retail program.  Kim’s entrepreneurship started with a childhood hobby of candy making that became a business when she handmade over 18,000 candy bars for her high school’s fundraising project!  Soon after she was discovered by Guy Kawasaki who invited her to make custom Kim’s Khocolate for Apple. Kim went on to do business with The Rolling Stones, AT&T, MCI, Becton Dickenson, and Range Rover.  Her second company sold brand name dinnerware and home decor items across North America. Kim has been “practicing” as The URL Dr. for the past eight years, working with small business clients in areas of online marketing, website design, and strategic growth. She is a foodie and loves to consume the fabulous concoctions that her family cooks up.

Kim developed the idea for Good Dog in a Box in Sept 2015. Her first job was convincing her sister, Jenn, that dog training in a box was a good idea. (That didn’t take long.) Kim has been responsible for the design elements including the products, branding, animation, and online imaging. She developed the e-learning system and produced and directed all the videos. She oversees the Partner Program and development of strategic partnerships.

All curriculum in every product is based on positive reinforcement training! Every product they have designed is based around the idea that it can positively impact the relationship a dog can have with their person or family. The curriculum focuses on three distinct areas, learning about your good dog, loving your good dog, and teaching your good dog. Each month different activities and training games are provided that educate and hone skills in these areas. “I CAN” statements empower children to become more responsible with the family dog and act in a kind and safe manner around all dogs. The curriculum promotes trust and participation with the whole family.

Also available is “The Calm Dog in a Box.” This is a good option if you have a stressed out and nervous dog. The Calm Dog in a Box is directed towards the dog owner, not children. Training curriculum is based on teaching calming techniques along with a Thundershirt, calming essential oils, and a four-month access to training material.

The Calm Dog in a Box.










Kim and Jennifer are currently working on additional curriculum and products. A webinar will be offered to coincide with dog bite prevention week in addition to new Good Dog in a Box dog bite prevention curriculum and a certification program. They are working on a certification and curriculum program for humane education. In the near future, there will also be a repackaging designed specifically for retailers and dog trainers.

The sister duo is clearly fulfilling their passion and the desire to educate, advocate and bring awareness to the importance of proper training. It’s all about keeping dogs and kids safe through education, awareness, and advocacy.

For additional information about Jenn and Kim and Good Dog in a Box visit

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