Marin SBDC

Hillary Hound House

Hillary’s Hound House provides a space where owners don’t have to feel alone in raising their puppy children!

All Client Stories

Hillary Hound’s House provides puppy training programs and ongoing support for welcoming a family’s newest member into their home.  They treat the puppies like children helping them learn to play, socialize, take naps and have manners and they assist the owners in being confident and effectively communicate with their puppies. They also specialize in training children to work with their new puppies and include all family members in the coaching and activities.


Hillary Alexander, the owner of the company has 35 years of experience working with animals and is an impressive dog whisperer. Every puppy she works with is treated as an extended family member as she provides such loving support to encourage the puppies in their development, honor their intuitive abilities. She is a licensed therapist and uses state-of-the-art, research-based, non-aversive training techniques that are combined with affection and gentle regard for each dog’s unique temperament and needs for exercise, interaction and mental stimulation.


In Hillary’s words, “It was a season of miracles that started this business and have made this dream a reality.” She started out as a dog walker and began training the dogs on her walks to help the owners communicate better with their pets. This is where the idea was born to start a puppy training center. Being a natural at dog training, Hillary didn’t realize how much benefit she was providing to her clients until a few of them invested in her business idea which allowed her to get her location and begin the build out, but she still lacked funds to complete the task. This is when she came to the SBDC.

Game Plan

Hillary first worked with SBDC Advisor Robert Toering in reviewing her business plan and numbers so that she could get a loan. The Marin SBDC helped get her connected to potential loan partners and bankers to help fund her project as well as help her spread the word online for a competition to get a 

Chase grant. After hard work on Hillary’s part, she was finally able to get loans from Chase Bank as well as Working Solutions. 

In addition to the funding support, Hillary worked with SBDC Advisor Ann Gusiff in helping her with a marketing plan and practical steps to bring clients in when she opened her doors. 

After having her doors open a couple years, Hillary came back to the SBDC where she worked with SBDC Advisor Laurie Zerga on creating new strategies to build her clients and promotional materials.  Hillary has developed new training programs, videos and classes and the Marin SBDC is helping her get publicized in the local paper – the Marin IJ. 


  • Got $100,000 in loans from Chase and Working Solutions and has paid it all back!
  • Received $170,000 in investment gifts
  • Hired 3 employees – 2 part time and 1 full time
  • Has built her business on word of mouth referrals with excellent reviews from clients
  • Created an internship program for youth under 15
  • She gets to do what she loves and make it her livelihood – a dream come true!

It’s amazing to have all these resources under one roof. I don’t know of any other place where you can get this full spectrum support to grow a business at no cost to you. All the SBDC Advisors were my cheerleaders. They were responsive, empathic, encouraging and very positive in helping me get my puppy training center opened. I was able to get my loans, create marketing plans and upgrade my online presence and now I am thriving! Thank you Marin SBDC for existing to grow our community through small business!

Hillary Alexander