Dog training business in Fife saying goodbye at end of month

It’s not always easy to say goodbye to a business, particularly when pets are involved.

Paws-Abilities, which started as a dog-training service in the Tukwila-Renton area in the 1980s and later opened at its current Fife location in 2011, is closing at the end of the October.

In an announcement on its website, owner Jennifer Babb wrote: “We have been given an opportunity to reassign our building lease and have decided to accept the offer, which will close this chapter of Paws-Abilities forever.”

The new business coming in at 7338 26th St. E. is a CBD extraction manufacturing business.

“In one respect, the closing ... will give my mom, Dana, the opportunity for a well-deserved retirement and a chance to concentrate on her health,” according to the announcement.


Jennifer Babb took over operations from her parents, Larry and Dana, after her father died in 2008.

The couple had a long history of dog training, going back to when they worked on a contract basis with the Ramstein and Vogelweh military recreation centers during Larry’s time in the Air Force.

At that time, they worked with dog owners to help train their pets so that they could accompany their owners in their travels in West Germany and other European countries, according to Dana Babb’s online biography.

The business moved to Fife, and Jennifer opened it with a new name: Paws-Abilities Total Dog Center, which also encompassed Dana’s service dog work. Dana has worked as lead instructor at the business.

According to its business’ profile online, “Larry had a dream of being able to help every family, rich or poor, have a well-trained dog. Dana had the special talent of teaching dogs to enable them to help mentally and physically disabled persons. Jennifer fulfilled her parents’ dreams and created a ‘Community Center’ for dogs and their families.”

Jennifer Babb told The News Tribune that she and her family have many clients who have trained with her family spanning multiple generations.

Now it’s coming to an end.

“I’m putting together my resume,” she said in a phone interview Friday. “We’re sending staff home once classes are done, and we’re now having an ongoing liquidation fire sale — all of it goes.”

She said the trainers work independent of the business and can do private lessons, so she’s able to give clients a referral list for future work.

What’s next for Jennifer?

“Well, after 10 years of this, I’d like something with a set schedule and vacation pay. That would be wonderful,” she said, chuckling. “I can do human resources, accounting; I’m a small business owner, so I’ve done everything.”

A community gathering for Dana and Jennifer is scheduled for 4 p.m. Oct. 24 at the Poodle Dog Restaurant, 1522 54th Ave E., Fife.