Rotherham-based dog training business Invictus Squad has further expanded with the launch of a unique park providing dogs with a safe and secure place to exercise and socialise thanks to a £500 funding boost from UK Steel Enterprise (UKSE).

Opened in September 2018 and based in Swinton, the business specialises in supporting owners to train their pets with a range of disciplines including behaviour, returning when called, and calm interaction with other animals.

Building on its success to date, Invictus Squad has now diversified with the launch of Rotherham’s first secure dog park where canine lovers can get together for play dates, host puppy parties, or simply let their pets off their leads without worrying about where they will go.

The £500 funding boost from UKSE – an organisation tasked with supporting growing businesses in communities affected by changes in the steel industry – was used to purchase the fencing for the park, as well as marketing literature to help promote the services on offer.

Founder Fiona Shaw, who is qualified in Canine first aid care, and who has experience of Showing her own two Cane Corso dogs abroad in Luxembourg, said she decided to build the dog park to fill a gap in the market.

She said: “When I launched Invictus Squad to train dogs in September last year it became apparent that many of my clients were desperate to have a safe and secure space to take their dogs for a whole variety of reasons.

“Some of the dogs I work with have elderly owners who are fearful that if their pet ran off or were approached by another dog in an aggressive manner, they wouldn’t be able to manage.

“Others were in the early stages of disciplining their pet and needed somewhere to practice exercises such as recall which means you are confident that the dog will return when it is called.

“It’s all well and good attending a couple of dog training sessions a week, but if you have no where to go and practice it’s unlikely to work as quickly, or efficiently. Now they have a safe space to let their dogs off their leads.

“Anyone who likes to pamper their pets can also take advantage of our puppy party offering, and owners looking to get to know other animal lovers can attend our regular social events.”

As well as the secure park area, which is situated on the 10 acre land surrounding Fiona’s home, she has also started to host a series of social events for dogs to help bring owners together, as well as puppy parties.

She has plans to recruit additional staff over the coming months to help manage bookings and maintain the site.

Matt Stewart from UK Steel Enterprise said: “Fiona has identified a real gap in the market for a Puppy Park that provides people with a safe and secure space to bring their dogs together to socialise, and to carry out training.

“The unique concept has already proved popular with her existing client base and we are confident that others will be keen to make use of the facility as word of its opening spreads.

“We wish her every success for the future as she continues to grow her business and her team.”

To mark the launch of the Invictus Squad Dog Park any customers who quote ‘InvictusSquad’ when booking can buy one play session and get a second free.