In the beginning… It’s funny. Before I was a dog trainer I didn’t know such a job existed. Except maybe the Dog Whisperer. And that was only on TV right? Then my best friend bought a dog training franchise. I thought he was nuts. Who in their right mind would pay to have their dog trained? I thought that everyone was like me. We all have dogs that think their name is “No” They jump on visitors and us. They bark at everything they see. We all wish our dogs would stop pulling on the leash. And how dare our puppies chew on our furniture. They should know better. Right? But who ever thought there are actual people who get paid to fix it? I thought how hard could it be? I’ll be one too. Little did I know the path I had chosen would lead me here.
So, you guessed it, I bought a franchise. 3 weeks of school and a couple of visits to the Humane Society and they sent me home with a really nice piece of paper that said I was a “Certified Dog Trainer”. Bring on the Dobermans. I’m ready. I quickly realized that it takes a tremendous amount of hard work to be a good dog trainer. Although a very good company, the system wasn’t for me, so I negotiated my way out of the franchise and started Sit Happens Jax Dog Training. The first thing I learned in my new profession was people with good dogs don’t usually call dog trainers. The second thing I learned was DOGS BITE!!! My very first possible client had a human aggressive dog. After the dog bit my hand and jumped on me they decided not to hire me. With the exception of the biting, this process repeated itself for several months.
Right about the moment I was ready to give up and go back to a normal job, I met an amazing woman involved with dog rescue. She asked me to help with one of her foster dogs. Looking back I realize i didn’t help as much as I wanted to but the dog was better. The clients were really happy too. My passion showed. It made me feel good about being a dog trainer. For the first time I was able to help another person find a way to paint a clearer picture of what they wanted from their dog. She eventually introduced me all over town. With those relationships my little business has gone on to train over 1500 dogs over 5 years. I have to remind myself constantly that every client that calls me really wants and needs help Talking to their dogs. I think I am one of the luckiest people around because I get to show them how.
When I started Sit Happens Jax, I didn’t know i would be a good dog trainer. I think God gives everyone different gifts. He gave me the greatest gift of all. He lets me “Talk Dog”. What I mean is, anyone can say they are a dog trainer. There are a select few who have what I call the gift. My life can be utter chaos but when I start working with a new dog a peace comes over me. That peace seems to calm the dogs. We aren’t teaching just obedience. We are teaching you to have an amazing life with your dogs. Through lots of practice I have learned to pass that on to many of the people that decide to let us into their lives. Is it always perfect? Of course not. We just try and make it the best it can be for each person we work with.
I don’t believe that everyone will hire us. Nor do I think everyone should. You want to feel like you have a person you can trust. That they have your dogs best interest at heart. You want to have someone that will push you just a little past your comfort zone. You want someone that wants this relationship with your dog to work as bad as you do.
I believe if you give us a chance we will give you those things and more. Let us show you how to get an amazing relationship with you dog or puppy. If you are in the Jacksonville, FL area, let us show you how to “Live Beyond The Leash”.