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Meet Aubrey McElhiney of Sit Pretty Dog Training in Jamaica Plain

Today we’d like to introduce you to Aubrey McElhiney.

Aubrey, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I have always loved animals, more specifically dogs since I was young. I was convinced that I could teach my dog to read when I was younger. I’ve given up on that dream, but I really love to help people teach their dogs.

In college, I got a job at the Los Angeles Zoo educating people about the animals in the collection as well as ecology and animals in general. I really enjoy spending time with people and teaching them about what I have such a huge passion for. After working at the zoo, I worked as a small animal veterinary technician, zookeeper, and as an aquatic animal veterinary technician. I have had such luck with the wide variety of animals I have gotten the opportunity to work with, but above all, I am a dog person.

It might just be that my whole life is my own two personal dogs. They compete in a variety of dog sports throughout the year and I am really committed to their training. Most of my clients aren’t aspiring to do any intense sports with their dogs, but I really want to help dogs and people lead their best lives together. I started the business this year, and I’m adding services like group training and seminars in addition to private training. Right now I’m mostly just maintaining relationships with my clients and really getting to work one on one with families and their pets.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I would say I have gotten lucky a lot of the time, but I’ve also worked to get to where I am. In the animal care industry jobs are difficult to come by, so I have put in a lot of volunteer time to get the experience and jobs that I have been fortunate enough to have gotten. The animal community is smaller than it sometimes seems, and making friends across the board has also helped me a lot.

I wouldn’t necessarily call any training challenge a struggle – I love nothing more than a difficult issue to try to think through. I think the challenge in creating and maintaining a business is finding time for everything I need to do.

Please tell us about Sit Pretty Dog Training.
Sit Pretty Dog Training is a dog training business – I help people learn about how to motivate their dogs and how to make all their communications more clear. My goal is to provide private and group lessons for basic obedience and beyond, really to help provide a history of good behavior to build upon throughout a dog’s life. I am a huge supporter of keeping dogs active even in the city, we are so lucky to have access to beautiful green spaces so this really is a wonderful city for dogs.

But I want people to feel comfortable bringing their dogs out to public spaces and knowledgeable about how to communicate and reward appropriate behavior in their dogs. I love to work with newly adopted dogs that may not be comfortable in city life situations yet, but I also enjoy working with active dogs that may seem hyper or too active for the normal dog owner. That energy can be channeled so beautifully into activities that are appropriate for city living, it just has to be communicated appropriately to the dog. I also really enjoy working with fearful and reactive dogs and watching them build confidence while training.

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
I would have started sooner. I have been passionate about training for such a long time and I love working one on one with people. If I had known that I would enjoy it so much I could have pursued this earlier.

Also, if I could start over I would get a better printer. Just saying, it’s important.

Pricing:

  • 10% off private services for newly rescued/adopted dogs (within 6 months of adoption)
  • $150-$190 for group classes at various locations

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Samantha Brown

Getting in touch: BostonVoyager is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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