Our Story

In 2005, It's a Dog's Life NY was founded by Pet Expert and Certified Dog Trainer Elena Gretch. Elena frequently appears on TV and in the news with topics ranging from animal care and dog training to pet lifestyle, and entrepreneurship. Elena's expertise has been featured in the national and international press, including the Wall Street Journal, NY Times, CNN and the London Telegraph.


Elena is certified by the Certification Counsel of Professional Dog Trainers, an international testing and certification program for professional dog trainers. The CCPDT's certification program is based on the most current knowledge related to the animal behavioral sciences and was created by the founding members of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers. Elena uses positive reinforcement, science-based methods with an emphasis on operant conditioning in her training. Her Urban Dog Development™ philosophy is a natural extension of these methods. As a lifetime New Yorker, Elena understands that city life can impose unique constraints and demands on our pets. Her philosophy responds to the challenges and creates viable solutions for long term results. Her methods have a proven success rate in even the most difficult of cases.


Elena is a Professional Member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers, a certified AKC Canine Good Citizen (CGC) Evaluator, and a graduate of New York University’s Stern School of Business. She is a proponent of animal rescue, working directly with charities such as the ASPCA and NYC’s Mayor’s Alliance to educate pet owners about animal behavior and training. Elena is inspired by all the animals in her life, including her two Portuguese Water Dogs, Splash and Diver.