The Royvon Story


The Royvon Story

It’s not uncommon for sons to follow in their father’s footsteps. Here’s the story of a family who has established a great reputation as experts in the dog training and boarding world!

From 1954 Will John taught his son Roy all there was to know about German Shepherds. In the early days, it was a hobby, but after Roy met his wife-to-be Yvonne, they decided to turn their hobby into a business. In 1959 Royvon was born! They both shared the love and admiration of the German Shepherd breed, judging all over the world. Together they developed the facility in the South Wales valleys that was Royvon’s founding location.

The Royvon Story Tragedy

The Royvon story isn’t all joy and triumph, as in 1981 there was a tragic car accident where Yvonne and son Darren were seriously injured and Roy lost his life at just 43 years of age. The years that followed were understandably extremely hard for the family and the Royvon business suffered as a result. The extent nearly led to bankruptcy but the family’s love of passion for each other and their dogs was the saviour and Royvon was to triumph once again.

Darren was only 9 when the accident happened. However, his father instilled the passion for the business in him. As a result, Roy’s legacy lived on through Darren, Yvonne, and many associates that held Roy in such high regard. Darren often talks about the support he received from ‘dog people’ who constantly told him stories about how respected his father was and how great a ‘dog man’ he was.

Meet Merry

A child being responsible for a German Shepherd is a big deal but Darren’s mum was sure that Darren was responsible enough to get his very own at 10 years old! On 25th December 1982, a puppy who’s name turned out to be ‘Merry’ (Merry Christmas) ran through the Royvon house straight to Darren and from that day onwards they were best friends.

Merry wasn’t a regular German Shepherd puppy she had the best German lines as Roy & Yvonne importing the best Germany had to offer and went to win top honours in both the show ring and obedience competitions.  The two were inseparable, only by school – but all other times were playing together and learning in preparation for the weekend’s competitions. Who was to know that these events were the basis for Darren’s lifetime successful career in dog training?


Developing the Royvon Story

The entrepreneur in Roy was embedded in his son Darren. Every aspect of Royvon life excited him, and he had the drive to push the business to become as successful as possible. In this case, success means helping as many dog owners as possible to resolve the challenges they face with their dogs behaviours! Darren made a conscious effort in his 20s to develop the business and employ trainers at his level so that more people can learn of the knowledge that had been gained from his father and his father before him.

Darren started off by practicing his dog training skills as a teenage boy on dogs staying at Royvon’s boarding kennels. It turned out that owners were literally ‘over the moon’  about what a young lad could do to turn their dog into a fully trained pooch while they were away on holiday!

It was soon established by Darren that it was owner training that was really needed for well-trained dogs, so that’s where his efforts were diverted so that the programme could be as helpful as possible to Royvon’s customers. Darren’s drive was even more fueled by large numbers of dog owners travelling the length and breadth of the country so that their dogs could go through the Royvon programme. 

Royvon Today

Nowadays, Royvon has expanded from the first location in Merthyr Tydfil, to include sites in Surrey. And now, technology allows owners to have a totally transparent experience. All the work we do with our guests is online and available for owners to see their dog’s progress. Online training is also available for owners to learn virtually while our expert trainers work with their dogs, opening our method up to even more people.

Although tragedy had such an impact in the Royvon story, the story is a happy one with much love and passion to the life that we have been given. Dogs make many families happy and the Royvon family is one that will always be indebted to the love that has been received by our dogs over the years.


The Royvon Story: Three Locations

Want to know more about Royvon and the services we offer our amazing clients? We have expanded from our beginnings in Wales and initial Merthyr Tydfil site, to encompassing three locations around the UK. On top of Merthyr, we also have a site in Esher, Surrey. Here’s a bit more about all three of them:

Merthyr Tydfil

Our original site and where the whole Royvon story began. From our humble beginnings as a kennel specialising in German Shepherds, over the last 60 years the facilities at Royvon Merthyr have been continually updated to exceed modern standards. We now cater for all breeds and needs, from outgoing to anxious pups. Nowadays, Royvon Merthyr remains a firm favourite! We aim to provide a home away from home for your dogs and a solution to all of your boarding and training worries.


At Royvon Esher, we have the rare advantage of having the best of both worlds when it comes to location! Being located just outside of London means we have amazing transport links alongside a bustling town centre. However, we are also surrounded by natural beauty. The surrounding woodland enables lots of off-site activities for our guests to have fun and experience new things! Our Esher facility is bustling and has a big team, to make sure every individual need of our guests is catered for. Plus, security is of the utmost importance. We have many added systems, such as CCTV and ANPR access, to give you added peace of mind. We are extremely proud of our dog boarding and training facilities in Esher. They include 2 large, secure play paddocks, hotel-style accommodation for all sizes and breeds, and a luxury dog spa with grooming and wellbeing services.


Our Services

At Royvon, we offer a variety of training and boarding services across our three locations, to suit all needs and budgets. Here, you can find out a bit more about each one:


We offer a variety of residential and daytime training options, for everyone from new puppies to those who are anxious and nervous and need behaviour rehabilitation. 

Everything from bespoke 1-2-1 training to puppy party classes are available. We work with each dog and family on a case-by-case basis, to discuss which training option will be right for you, and get the best results! At Royvon, our mission is to show dog owners that training doesn’t have to be difficult or complicated. Surprisingly small changes can lead to surprisingly big results, allowing your dog to thrive, so the whole family can enjoy them to their full potential!

We offer the full range of training services at all of our locations. Please get in touch with your nearest location to discuss how we can help your dog thrive today!


We pride ourselves on offering tailored boarding options for each pup that comes into our care! We offer standard boarding, which comes with comfortable rooms and plenty of love and attention! We also offer our Concierge Dog Boarding option for those who like a few more luxuries, such as a bespoke pet taxi to drive your dog door-to-door from your home to ours at the start and end of their stay. 

Also, we offer dog boarding with training, so you can come home from holiday to a more well-behaved pup! We can help with all issues you may be experiencing, we truly have seen it all! Finally, we offer emergency dog boarding and care for those times when you need it most, and pet and house sitting if you’d rather your pup didn’t leave home.

Please contact your preferred location to discuss which services they can provide. 


Royvon Training Programmes

Find out more about our residential & non residential programmes and learn how we can help you make the most of your relationship with your dog.