Starting Trots Dogs wasn't always Joanna Stanford's plan. “I didn't even really plan to be a dog walker,” she says. “It just all kind of happened.“
After leaving her previous job, Joanna was looking for a new direction. While she considered what to do next, she stumbled on a new interest: the psychology behind dog training.
“I ended up watching a lot of TV, and saw ‘The Dog Whisperer’ for the first time and got a little obsessed,” she says. “My neighbor got a dog, and my girlfriend at the time told her, ‘you should have Joanna walk him, because she is really obsessed with this show.’ And it just kind of happened.”
From there, Joanna focused on learning as much as she could about dog training and the industry. She took classes on dog psychology from teachers who had trained with Caesar Milan, aka “The Dog Whisperer,” and networked with other dog walkers and trainers. Slowly, she started building her company, though at first it was “just enough to pay the bills.”
Joanna's goal became teaching people to “speak dog,” in order to develop an understanding of their pets' behavior. “It's not the typical kind of dog training—sit, down, come, heel, you know, just teaching them a bunch of commands and obedience—but teaching people to have better relationships with their dogs,” she explains.