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How It All Began...

Turning a bland concrete warehouse into a flourishing doggy day care wasn’t going to be easy but Urban Dogs owners', Leanne Coste and Corey Martin, had their hearts set on providing a quality doggy day care where doggy parents could feel confident leaving their dogs.Leanne's passion for dogs started from an early age, where Leanne had to prove she was ready for a dog to her own mum.

“From a young age, I’ve always loved dogs. Owning my own dog was something that was really important to me. For years I begged my mum who didn’t like dogs for my own dog and finally she gave in. My first dog Sasha was a cocker spaniel and she was the beginning of a passion for dogs that only grew stronger as I got older and eventually landed me where I am now, owning my own doggy day care.”

Leanne was born and raised in Auckland, after an extended O.E in London she returned to New Zealand to be with her family and friends. Her experience overseas and in the New Zealand market was immensely helpful when Leanne decided that she wanted to open a business doing something she was really passionate about. Leanne loved the idea of taking her dogs to work with her every day so owning a doggy day care was very appealing. Being the ambitious and hard-working woman that Leanne is, she decided to start a doggy day care herself. It wasn’t an easy task but Leanne and Corey were up for the challenge.

To ensure success, Leanne completed three years of research prior to opening. “I don’t do things quickly; I do things thoroughly.” To become successful Corey and Leanne knew that it wouldn’t happen overnight and they were prepared to work hard.

During the three years of research, Leanne looked into traditional boarding kennels in NZ, checked out over 30 doggy day care centres in Australia (including working in one of them), and worked at the Animal Welfare Centre in Waitakere along with Corey to help them gain more knowledge of working with animals. This was all part of a mountain of research conducted by the couple, including studying the thoughts of those most essential to their business – dog owners. Finding out the needs and wants of dog owners was the basis of their planning, as well as what was going to be best for the dogs. The expertise of a team of advisers were engaged before opening including a vet and dog behaviourist.

Once they felt prepared, Leanne and Corey began the search for a location for Urban Dogs. It was a whole year before they found a place that was “just right”. A place that would not only become Leanne and Corey’s dream come true but would also fulfill the dreams of many dog owners who wanted a high standard doggy day care they could trust. So in 2012 it was official, Urban Dogs opened its doors on the 20th August 2012.

As any new business demands Leanne and Corey worked long days and long nights to keep the standards of Urban Dogs high. After 18 months of opening and in response to client feedback, Urban Dogs introduced field trips and a swimming club to the list of services provided by Urban Dogs.

As time went on, Leanne saw not only her business grow, but her team too. The Urban Dogs team now includes a qualified dog behaviourist, a dog trainer, a vet nurse, as well as other well-qualified animal professionals and of course all the team are dog lovers. Leanne knows that her team is at the heart of her business and hires only the best.

All of the hard work that Leanne and her team members were putting into Urban Dogs was paying off, as word was spreading about the wonderful doggy day care called Urban Dogs, in the heart of Rosedale. This success of Urban Dogs was recognised externally as the day care won two awards. Leanne is proud that she has not only provided a quality day care facility for dogs, but a community of like-minded, dog-loving people.

Leanne is always looking at ways to improve Urban Dogs, which has included renovating one of the play areas to become New Zealand’s first doggy cinema. Among other additions is also a pick up and drop off service where the specially designed Urban Dogs’ Doggy School Bus takes the dogs to and from day care or swimming lessons and field trips.

As a part of their work, Urban Dogs makes sure to give back to the community by supporting dog charities and educating the public on dog safety. As well as having a doggy donation box in their reception, every year Urban Dogs runs a Christmas Dog Food Drive and collect around 200kg of food to help feed the welfare dogs at Christmas.Urban Dogs is something Leanne and her team have put their heart and soul into from day one and will continue to do so as time goes on. “We appreciate all the support we have received over the years from family, friends, staff and clients. We will continue to do our best to provide a quality service for the fur babies in our care and hopefully make life that little bit easier for their parents.”

By Brooke Hattie - Marketing Assistant


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