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  • Writer's pictureHeather Brendle

We All Start Somewhere.

Updated: Nov 30, 2022

I remember when I first started catching the training bug. It was 2003, I had a puppy that was out of control, a new breed to me, and I was in big trouble. This was well before facebook and instagram, so where oh where did one look for advice? I took to the internet and landed on a FORUM! Do any of you remember forums??? I have to tell you, landing on a particular rottweiler forum changed my life. It introduced me to a group of people that were across the United States and the globe. It introduced me to different ideas and training. It introduced me to the world of ethical breeders (so much more on that later) and it connected me with some people that would become lifelong friends. Most of the people were so giving of their experience, time, and knowledge that I believe it also helped shape me into the knowledge oversharer that I am today.

Link was a difficult puppy, adolescent, and adult dog to own. He was strong and willful and reactive. His genetics were not in his favor, but I had no idea about any of that stuff back then. When he was about 5 months old, I watched in horror as he catapulted across our living room, racing from couch to end table to couch and around again. I looked at my now husband and said, "If we make it through this dog, we will be together forever!" I was only kind of kidding. I felt lost, exhausted and overwhelmed.

When I look back at those early months in 2003, it gives me a real understanding of puppy owners who feel overwhelmed. I also wonder what it would have been like owning him with all of the tools I have now. I remind myself that we only know what we know. Some of the training advice and tips I offer today, were not even understood or discovered back in 2003. The training culture has evolved and revolutionized several times over for both me, and the industry, since then. Now, I look at raising a puppy with excitement, hope, and promise. I have a plan and resources ready to deploy from the day they arrive home.

When I meet a new client, I remember that we all start somewhere. I started as a 20-something woman who just wanted her first dog, as an adult. I have evolved into a completely different owner, trainer, and person. Remembering that we all have different knowledge, goals, and aspirations as dog owners, allows me to communicate more effectively with clients and their puppies. So be kind to yourself as you start your journey with your new puppy or dog and remember, we all start somewhere!

male rottweiler in grass standing in front of a wood fence
My first rottweiler, Link, in 2004.

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