[Our aim is to record individuals and entrepreneurs in the Internet industry through TMTpost’s new column Photo Gallery: whether young ambitious entrepreneurs who have just found their place in the world of business, star investors who walk through different venues, programmers who spend hours of time writing codes in front of the computer screen, or Internet operators, geeks, even delivery guys…It is their collective efforts and devotion that constitute the Internet world we live in right now, so their moments are worth recording, and remembering. Photos don’t lie, but they don’ tell the whole truth; photos are free, but they are also full of traps. Therefore, only we present the images we see, and you are free to have your own understanding of these individuals.]
The number of Chinese who are willing to spend money on their pets is growing rapidly in recent years. Statistics suggest that the market value of the Chinese pet-raising market has already reached over 10 million RMB, and is expanding by 30% annually. In addition, 50% of pet-owners spend 101 to 500 RMB on their pets monthly, while 25% of them spend 501 to 1,000 RMB monthly, and around 16.4% of them spend over 1,000 RMB per month.
Many entrepreneurs see the huge potential of this market and have developed several related products. DogBus, once recommended by TMTpost on TrenderMakers Channel, is one of them.
“We started with making it easier for dogs to travel,” DogBus’s founder Mr. Wu Yahui said. To build an entire ecosystem around pet-raising, they have already released a series of services, including DogBus, DogTraining, DogSchool, etc. Mr. Wu, a former research journalist in CCTV, attempted to contribute a little bit to the Chinese pet-raising market with his insight and endeavor.
Well, let’s have a quick look at how amazing their services could be. I promise you would certainly get amazed.
On February 20th, 2016, a DogBus was picking up a user and his dog from Shuangjing, to a “pet paradise” around the north three ring of Beijing. At present, DogBus charges users with 3.8 RMB per kilometer (no basic fare, no time rate). Users could book a DogBus and estimate the fare by simply inputting the starting and drop-off point via DogBus’s WeChat Official Account.
Mr. Yuan Shiwei is a driver for DogBus. Like the other 17 drivers, he jointed DogBus with his own car, and complete on average 8 orders every day. “On most occasion, users book a DogBus to take their dogs to see a vet or to places such as pet paradise,” Mr. Yuan explained. Many users do have their own cars, but they still book a DogBus, since it’s more convenient and safer.
The above picture shows all the orders placed in the afternoon of February, 18th, 2016. At present, DogBus’s users could only enjoy such service in Beijing. People within the fourth ring have to place orders at least an hour ago, while users who live outside of the fourth ring have to place orders at least a day earlier. Since July, 2015, over 14,000 orders have been completed.
“We have already built a separate logistics system via DogBus service, and such service could pave the way for many more services,” Mr. Wu explained. His goal is to build a comprehensive platform of “both services and products” where pet owners can enjoy all kinds of services. “After launching DogBus service, We attracted over 20,000 users within less than three months. Since last October, we have launched a series of services, including DogTraining, DogExpress, DogSchool, etc. All these services are the preliminary products of us, and could be booked via our WeChat Official Account,” he added. A map of Beijing, divided into four major areas, was stuck to the wall of DogBus’s meeting room. “Quite soon, we will change it into a map of China, since we are planning to provide these services not only in Beijing, but also in all the other major cities across China,” he revealed.
Up till now, 10 dog trainers, veteran or green, have joined the DogTraining team. Mr. Wu and his colleagues set up a special training program for these dog trainers and compiled several textbooks and test papers. According to Mr. Wu, they can provide training courses and correct dogs’ bad behaviors such as random barking, eating, biting and peeing, etc. Since last October, they have already provide door-to-door DogTraining services for over 1,000 times.
On February 18th, 2016, Hai Zhe, a dog trainer, was correcting the bad behavior of a teddy dog. Mr. Hai, with 8-year experience in dog training, is a full-time dog trainer for the DogTraining team. The owner of these two dogs planned to bring them and immigrate, yet one of them began to bite strangers and bark randomly recently. So they turned to DogTraining for help in hopes of correcting the dog’s bad behavior in time.
“Quite often, the problem lies in the dog owners, not dogs. So a large part of the dog training course has to do with changing the mindset of dog owners. If dog owners change, their dogs will also change accordingly,” Mr. Hai explained, “Dogs always live for the moment: they eat, mate, run and occupy new lands every day. As long as they can do these four things well every day, they will be a great pet to be with. In case of any bad behavior, dog owners have to face to the problem and solve it in time,” he explained, “Many dogs get into misbehaviors because they owners treat them as equals. Dogs prefer to be ordered, not to be treated equally. If a dog owner fail to act as a leader before his dog, then the dog won’t listen to his orders. Dogs love orders, principles and disciplines, so it’s necessary to be a strict leader before one’s dogs.”
Mr. Hai was bitten by the teddy dog when he was busy answering its owner’s questions. As an 8-year dog trainer, he was bitten by dogs for several times. The teddy dog’s owner kept apologizing after Mr. Hai was bitten. For Mr. Hai, dogs bite people not because there’s something wrong with the dog, but rather something wrong with their owners. “This teddy dog got pretty nervous and frustrated in the training, so it’s natural it would bite people to release pressure. Coincidentally, I was busy talking to its owner, so the teddy dog seized the opportunity and bit me,” explained he.
After Mr. Hai was bitten by the teddy dog, he and his colleagues soon laid the teddy dog down to “punish” it. “The teddy dog bites me because it wants to challenge my leadership, so I have to lay it down to prove that I am the leader,” Mr. Hai explained, “Dogs evolved from wolves, so they share some same habits with wolves. If the leading wolf is challenged in a crowd of wolves, the leading wolf has to lay the challenger down so that is can’t move any more. Only then can the leading wolf prove that it is the real leader, and no other wolves dare to challenge it any more.”
Besides DogTraining, they have also launched the DogSchool service, another important product of DogBus’s team. The first DogSchool, covering 3.56 acres, was located in Tongzhou District, outside of the sixth ring of Beijing. The DogSchool opened a week before the Spring Festival, and first launched the boarding school service.
There are altogether 122 dorms in this DogSchool, and 90 of them are booked shortly after they launched the service. “We didn’t accept any more bookings since the room is quite limited,” Mr. Wu explained, “we plan to build four DogSchools in total across Beijing, and Tongzhou is just a beginning.”
In DogSchool, a special record was kept for every dog sent here very carefully. “No yelling, beating and torturing on whatever occasions. Those who conducted any of the above behaviors will be fired immediately,” a piece of the School Principle read. “Although our model is perfect, it has to be improved oftentimes when put into practice, since there are always things we didn’t expect before,” Mr. Wu explained. For him, the hardest part of his job is to improve management, cope with all kinds of details and improve the user experience. “It takes huge effort to take good care of a dog,” said he.
Dogs kept at the DogSchool will also be sent outside of their cage for a while every day. As a matter of fact, a special cage where dogs can do some exercise and meet each other beside their own “dormitories”.
On February 19th, 2016, a user fetched his German Shepherd dog kept in the DogSchool during the Spring Festival. At present, the school charges users with 60 to 100 RMB based on the size of the dog. In addition, the DogSchool also provides DogBus service and offers special discount.
Special training equipment has already been set up in the DogSchool. “Our products cater to all kinds of real-life scenarios, and we can train all kinds of dogs, such as companion dogs, pressure-relieving dogs, guarding dogs, etc.,” Mr. Wu revealed, “For example, we can train a dog so that it can run together with its owner at night. We not only give traditional training courses for dogs, such as sit, lie, stand, crawl, Frisbee, etc., but also all kinds of practical skills in real-life scenarios. I believe that’s what differentiates us from many other dog training schools.”
They kept a huge space on the back of DogSchool and planned to build a dog paradise out there. “We’ve already cooperated with over 200 pet stores and pet hospitals in Beijing, among whom 50 have already joined our DogBus program,” Mr. Wu and his team is working closely together to develop products of the next generation, such as specialized dog food, DogHotel, DogTrade, DogFuneral, HostFamilyDog, etc. “This is only a start. Our final goal is to provide service across China,” he revealed.
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[The article is published and edited with authorization from the author @fliesslaughterhouse, please note source and hyperlink when reproduce.]
Translated by Levin Feng (Senior Translator at PAGE TO PAGE), working for TMTpost.