Courtesy photo
Marcus Wright.

Courtesy photo Marcus Wright.

Federal Way man’s dog training business thrives during pandemic

What started as man’s best friend has turned into a thriving business opportunity for a Federal Way resident.

Marcus Wright, a 2005 Federal Way High School graduate, is the owner of The Northwest Dog Trainer, 22659 Pacific Highway South in Des Moines. He set a goal of improving people’s relationships with their pups through training.

“Seeing the transformation as dogs learn and progress improve people’s relationships and their household — that’s amazing,” Wright said.

The owner of six dogs himself (four American bullies, an 120-pound Italian Mastiff and a Jagdterrier), Wright has been a lifelong dog lover.

In high school, he often spent time between classes or after school at local dog parks. College brought him into a 10-year career of insurance and finance work, but Wright knew his calling was with canines.

He spent years learning the tricks of training through seminars and working with a mentor in Tacoma. Slowly, Wright built a network of local trainers and continued to learn about both the business and instruction.

He decided to build his own business as a dog trainer in October 2019, and it began to take off around spring 2020 — just as the pandemic struck.

“It was terrifying,” he said of starting a new business venture ahead of a worldwide pandemic. “At that time, I was still doing both [jobs], and dog training was supposed to be a hobby.”

Thanks to a swell of “pandemic puppies” and support from the community, Wright left the insurance business and became a full-time dog trainer in 2021. Despite 12-hour days training dogs, Wright said it rarely ever feels like work.

The Northwest Dog Trainer sees about 40 dogs per week and is centered on obedience training. Wright says they take any and all dogs, regardless of size, breed or behavioral issues.

From engagement and creating structural boundaries to focus and basic commands, Wright said proper training can improve the longevity of a household and their four-legged friend in reducing rehoming rates.

Clients often come from Federal Way, SeaTac, Des Moines and Burien, and it’s not uncommon for Wright to run into a former classmate or two.

In the future, Wright hopes he can also start a mentorship program to help kids and teens learn about the career.

“I would’ve taken to the industry a lot sooner,” he said, if he had had earlier opportunities. “I spent so much time with dogs, I just had no idea it would lead to this.”

For more information about The Northwest Dog Trainer and its services, visit

Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in Business

Snoqualmie Casino. Courtesy photo
Kirkland-based company sues to challenge ‘tribal gaming monopoly’ in Washington

Company called the state’s policy an “erroneous application of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.”

Robert Toomey, CFA/CFP, is Vice President of Research for S. R. Schill & Associates on Mercer Island.
The forces behind our current COVID-induced inflation | Guest column

Recent inflation numbers have been quite high and at levels not seen… Continue reading

Robert Toomey, CFA/CFP, is Vice President of Research for S. R. Schill & Associates on Mercer Island.
The ‘year end’ elements of financial planning | Guest column

With the end of the year fast approaching, we remind clients that… Continue reading

Robert Toomey, CFA/CFP, is Vice President of Research for S. R. Schill & Associates on Mercer Island.
How financial planners address plan uncertainty | Guest column

One of the key challenges we face as financial planners is dealing… Continue reading

Robert Toomey, CFA/CFP, is Vice President of Research for S. R. Schill & Associates on Mercer Island.
Is cryptocurrency really an investment? | Guest column

Undoubtedly you have heard about the new form of money known as… Continue reading

Stock photo
Grocery store workers have right to wear Black Lives Matter buttons

National Labor Relations Board ruling against ban by Kroger-owned QFC, Fred Meyer

Courtesy photo
The Cove Apartments to host open house Sept. 11

Attendees welcome to view the newly renovated apartment units.

Rice and noodle bowl with marinated chicken and tofu from the newest Sizzle & Crunch location at 31448 Pacific Highway S. in Federal Way. Olivia Sullivan/the Mirror
Sizzle & Crunch Vietnamese Grill opens new restaurant in Federal Way

Grand opening weekend to be celebrated Sept. 3-5.

Rudi Alcott has been named publisher of the Daily Herald in Everett. In Federal Way, city leaders awarded him a Key to the City in recognition of his civic service and as the Mirror’s longest-tenured publisher. File photo
Rudi Alcott named publisher of The Daily Herald in Everett

Federal Way Mirror’s longest-tenured publisher was awarded a Key to the City in recognition of his civic service.

Photo by Andy Hobbs/Federal Way Mirror
Federal Way Chamber CEO Becca Martin greets the audience before giving a “State of the Chamber” update during the membership luncheon Aug. 4 at the Performing Arts and Event Center.
Martin gives annual State of the FW Chamber address

The Greater Federal Way Chamber of Commerce celebrated a return to in-person… Continue reading

A Darigold dairy worker practices picketing as a strike is approved by the union. Photo courtesy of Julia Issa
Puget Sound Darigold workers on verge of strike amid contract negotiations

Workers cite lack of medical leave, outsourcing and bad-faith negotiations as reason for strike.

Courtesy photo
Curves reopens Federal Way gym at full capacity

The Federal Way all-women gym is located at 32020 1st Ave. S.