I first got interested in dog training when I adopted Spartacus, a 5 pound Chihuahua/Italian Greyhound mix. He came to me with a large bundle of problems and I was unprepared to handle them all. He was 4 years old, completely untrained, and entirely neurotic. He had little to no potty training, did not know any commands, howled when left alone, was nervous around strangers and it took two people to hold him down (all 5 pounds of him) just to trim his nails. Oh, and he sometimes bit!
I read everything I could about dog training, not realizing how much contradictory (and often terrible) advice there was to find on the subject. I tried a wide range of techniques and finally discovered the ones that worked best for me and my dog.
With a lot of patience and practice, Spartacus now knows a wide range of commands, including sit, down, come, stay, go to bed, "shhhhhh," yoga (downward dog pose, naturally), go away, and spin. He rings a bell when he needs to potty, he greets strangers politely, and sits patiently in my lap while I trim his nails by myself, with no restraints. And no more biting!
Inspired by my progress with Spartacus, I wanted to see if I could turn dog training into a career. I started a dog walking business and got plenty of experience getting to know dogs of all sorts, and I started volunteering for a local dog training company. I worked with other wonderful trainers for two years there before branching out and taking on my own clients.
9 years after my dog walking business began, I am now operating a full time puppy only daycare and training facility out of my home in the Southpark neighborhood in South Seattle. We have a freestanding garage that has been converted into a puppy play and training center! I also provide in-home dog training sessions to dogs and puppies of all ages.