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Hidden Gems: Meet Carrie Weber of Good Dog Training

Today we’d like to introduce you to Carrie Weber.

Hi Carrie, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.
I learned how to train dogs professionally about seven years ago; I worked as a trainer for a dog training/boarding/daycare facility for four years, working with pet dogs on basic obedience skills, as well as working with dogs with behavioral issues including anxiety, reactivity, aggression, etc. This was a great experience as I learned so much working there, but there came a point where I wanted to be able to work more on my own terms and to have more control over my hours and income.

A close friend of mine suggested that I start my own business, which was honestly not an option I’d ever considered, but the more I thought about it and talked about it with friends and family, it began to sound not only appealing but doable. I mentioned this to my aunt and uncle, whose bullmastiff I had just recently trained, and they offered to invest to help me with some of the start-up costs, which allowed me to quit my job at the facility and devote my time to building my business. Most of my clients in my first year were referred by word of mouth, from people I know sharing my information with people they knew until I had a pretty solid reputation. My sister came up with the name Good Dog Training, my girlfriend at the time designed my logo, and my best friend helped me design my website. It was truly an effort of love, and I wouldn’t be where I am today without the loving support of my friends and family.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
In terms of starting a business with no business background- just a deep love of dogs and of sharing my knowledge about them with people who want to learn- I think it has been as smooth as I ever could’ve asked for. My biggest challenges have been learning more about the business end of things- financial bookkeeping, primarily- but with the help of the people around me, I’ve learned a lot and feel much more savvy than I did when I started.

There have also of course, been challenging dogs, but those experiences have only served to make me work harder and become a better trainer; I don’t believe we ever stop learning from the dogs we train. Three years in, I find that my biggest struggle is keeping up with my workload; I’ve been extremely fortunate in the past year because so many people got a dog during the pandemic and the demand for dog training has only increased. That said, staying busy because lots of people want my help doing the thing that I love is the best kind of problem to have, and I’m unbelievably grateful to my clients for trusting me with their pups.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I provide personalized, at-home dog training services to dog owners in the St. Louis area. I offer two programs which can be mixed and matched or customized to suit my clients’ needs. In Private Lessons, I work with clients and their dogs at their home for a one-hour session, once a week at most, in which I teach them how to train and communicate with their dogs more effectively. I teach by demonstrating and explaining what I’m doing and how the training works, then having my clients work with their dogs while coaching them and giving them pointers and feedback so that they feel confident working with their dogs on their own. The goal is to help my clients become competent dog trainers because they are their dogs’ trainer for life. People do as many or as few of these sessions as they feel they need to feel confident without my help.

My other program, Home School, involves more one-on-one time with me and my clients’ dogs. I come to my Home School clients’ homes for an hour a day, several days a week for several weeks, and work with their dog one-on-one in short sessions throughout that hour. My clients get a daily report card detailing what we practiced and how their dog did, along with a homework assignment for clients to practice with their dogs on their own. Home School also includes two catch-up sessions in which I work with my client and their dog so that they learn how to maintain and reinforce the training I’ve done, because the dynamic between the client and the dog is still the most important, so I have to make sure my Home School clients know how to get the same results that I did. Home School is a slightly more intensive, condensed training format.

I have lots of experience working with the issues most pet dog owners are looking to address: jumping up on people/counters/furniture, coming when called, walking on a loose leash, settling down from excitement, etc. I work with lots of dogs who are reactive on-leash to other dogs, meaning they may or may not actually be dog-aggressive, but on leash, they lunge, growl, bark, or otherwise react intensely to dogs they see. This is a much more common behavior than a lot of my clients realize, and it can be very difficult to address if you don’t know what you’re doing. People who want to be able to take their dogs off-leash in open spaces, people with dogs who become possessive over food or toys, people whose dogs are fearful of people or have separation anxiety- I specialize in all these areas and have lots of experience working with these types of behaviors. My ultimate goal is to help people and dogs enjoy their lives with one another to the fullest extent possible.

I pride myself in my ability to explain dog training and dog behavior to people in a way that they’ll understand. Since I learned to train dogs on the job, my knowledge is based in experience, as well as being taught by the trainers I used to work under, so even if you’ve never had a dog or don’t know anything about them, I can teach you in a way that will make sense. I prioritize owner proficiency so that their dogs don’t only behave when I’m around or in controlled environments. My goal is to make training accessible, understandable, and practical to day-to-day life.

If we knew you growing up, how would we have described you?
I was a pretty happy and imaginative kid. I loved to play pretend and was often in a made-up world in my head, and I loved cracking jokes and making people laugh. I always adored our dogs, and one of my favorite stories of myself was when I tried to teach our Golden Retriever, Travis, how to read by writing out the alphabet for him on a big piece of paper and going through each letter with him while he lay patiently on our hallway floor. I guess teaching dogs has always been an interest of mine!

Pricing:

  • Private Lessons: $75/hour
  • Home School: $700/eleven days (9 days one on one with me, 2 catch up sessions with the client)
  • Free virtual consultations

Contact Info:

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