Seeking to strengthen the bond between you and your furry companion? Hutto’s Starmark Animal Behavior Center offers cutting-edge Canine Training and Behavior Solutions and luxurious boarding facilities to ensure pets’ well-being and happiness always comes first.

The 200-kennel boarding center redefines pet hospitality, featuring spacious climate-controlled indoor/outdoor runs, play yards, delectable treats, rejuvenating massages and an exclusive beach club activity area complete with a swimming pool, creating the perfect haven for four-legged friends.

"The activities are what truly set us apart. With ample outdoor and indoor space, we can take [pets] on refreshing nature walks, allowing them to explore the great outdoors,” said operations manager Jennifer Ellerthorpe. “Our play yards provide a wonderful opportunity for water play and interactive fun. Indoors, they can enjoy the excitement of the ball pit, especially during scorching days. And, of course, our swimming pool is always a massive hit."

Treating your pup like family

At the heart of Starmark Animal Behavior Center lies a deep commitment to customer service and canine well-being. When it comes to boarding, Starmark goes above and beyond to cater to the preferences of pet owners.

“We take pride in our regular weekly updates to the owners while their pets are in training, keeping them informed and engaged throughout their dog's training journey,” Ellerthorpe said. “Sharing photos is just one way we ensure our clients stay connected with their furry companions' progress.”

Here are more ways staff customize pet experiences:
  • Starmark Animal Behavior Center also accommodates clients' preferences when it comes to food.
  • Clients can bring their own food, and the staff is able to prepare meals according to specific instructions.
  • Alternatively, the facility offers food at no extra cost and is well-equipped to handle dogs with special dietary needs.
  • “We also understand the importance of medication administration, and our dedicated staff ensures that pets receive their required medications promptly and efficiently. Our kennel staff is actively pursuing Fear Free certification, which equips them with valuable knowledge and skills to create a stress-free environment for animals in their care,” Ellerthorpe said. “This additional education enables them to keep the pets calm, content, and at ease during their stay. To ensure the well-being of our guests, our kennel staff is also trained in canine first aid, allowing them to handle minor medical issues effectively and promptly.”
For the love of dogs

Ellerthorpe highlighted how the staff share a deep love for dogs, as many of them are dog owners. Recognizing the importance of providing a nurturing environment, they treat every dog in thier care as if they were their own.

“We go the extra mile by fulfilling expectations, offering requested services, ensuring the dogs smell fresh, providing nail trims and treating them like beloved family members,” Ellerthorpe said. ”Hearing clients' happy remarks, like how their dogs recognize our location and get excited to visit, fills us with joy and motivates us to continue delivering an outstanding experience.”

With a longstanding presence in the local community, Starmark Animal Behavior Center remains committed to delivering the same excellent customer service that keeps dogs and their owners coming back.

“Our biggest pride lies in treating our clients like family. We have numerous people who have been with us since we started back in 1997 and they continue to trust us with their new furry friends,” Ellerthorpe said. “The loyalty of our repeat clients means the world to us. It's a truly fulfilling and rewarding business to be a part of.”

Where passion meets education

The company also owns and operates Starmark Academy, where aspiring professional dog trainers can pursue their passion and receive top-notch education. The academy offers flexible class sessions lasting four-, eight-, and 12-weeks year-round, ensuring accessibility to all enthusiasts.

Starmark Academy takes pride in being the world's largest and most comprehensive training and behavior center, boasting a sprawling 100,000-square-foot facility situated on 360 acres.

The school’s comprehensive curriculum covers an array of subjects:
  • Basic and advanced obedience
  • Dog spots
  • Behavior modification
  • Kennel and breeding management
  • Personal protection
  • Police K9 training
  • Search and rescue
  • Retriever training
  • Assisted therapy
  • Explosive and narcotic detection
“Our trainers are graduates of our academy for Professional Dog Trainers, having completed an intensive 12-week program certified by the Texas Workforce Commission,” Ellerthorpe said. “During this vocational school training, they acquire expertise in the art and science of dog training. Armed with their certification, they join our training department, bringing with them extensive experience and knowledge in the field.”

To support students further, the academy also provides on-site housing, financial aid options, career counseling, and assistance with placements.

For additional information, interested individuals can visit

The above story was produced by Holly Galvan with Community Impact's Storytelling team with information solely provided by the local business as part of their "sponsored content" purchase through our advertising team. Our integrity promise to our readers is to clearly identify all CI Storytelling posts so they are separate from the content decided upon, researched and written by our journalism department.