How often have you pictured an exciting moment in your life and then it comes and is not at all how you expected?! Well, lucky for you, my guest today is here to help with one of those moments — introducing a dog to your baby! Dominika Knosalla is a dog trainer and founder of Dog Meets Baby. She joins me to talk about her path to starting this brand and how her life has taken a completely different path than she expected!
Dominika tells me how she had wanted to be a vet and met a dog trainer during her time and knew she found her calling. She left Poland to come to the states and really immersed herself in the industry; learning what she could from a range of experts in the space. When she found herself in San Francisco for a second time, she started working at a doggie day school that had lots of training request, then something surprising happened — she had her twins and her well behaved dog had a predatory response to them. She realized if this could happen to her — a certified dog trainer — then it probably happened to others. That is when she started Dog Meets Baby! She’s built an online presence through raw, honest tips and being open about her experience to help others going through the same thing. We finish with Dominika telling me about her clients, where they are in their lives and how they find her!
It was so great talking to Dominika, I have been wanting to have a dog trainer on for a while and she did not disappoint. Make sire to head to her site and follow her on Instagram to learn some awesome tips.
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Dana: Are you dying at the thought of missing a single one of your babies. First, we have no idea how you give up the security that you’re trying to find droppings. My name is Dana Graham, and I had no clue how to escape that vicious 40 Hour Workweek cycle either until I did, as the wife of a traveling husband and mom of two tiny humans made the terrifying and totally bizarre leap from health insurance broker to successful newborn and family photographer, all with the amazing craziness of a two year old and newborn in tow. But I’m not the only one. I’m so glad you’re joining me as I chat with other moms who took the leap into entrepreneurship and created the ultimate festival for life. Doing it all. Welcome back, everybody to another episode of amidst the chaos I am here with a different kind of guest today which is so exciting for me we have not had anyone in this field before. Dominique, thank you so much for joining me.
Dominika: Hi, thank you so much for having me.
Dana: So give everybody just a really quick overview of what you currently do and your business and then we’ll rewind all the way back to the sort of beginning of your story.
Dominika: I’m a certified dog trainer I trained dogs. And I also have a company called Dog meets baby. It’s mostly an online company for parents who are expecting a child or adopting a child and who have dogs or they have little children and dogs.
Dana: I love it and that’s how I found you not through the dog training as much but through the dog beats baby actually has a really awesome account on Instagram if you guys want to go look now there’s like literally so many amazing tips for just even just having a dog and having kids in general like not even about like that official first meet and greet for your dog and your baby which is there it is helpful but if you’re just a regular dog person that has kids, like there are some really, really helpful tips on there for sure. So how did you get into this field? I feel like you have everyone’s dream job like every dog lover, you have their dream job. So how did you get involved in dog training to begin with?
Dominika: I wanted to become a vet, a veterinarian, but at that time I live in Poland and it was pretty much only veterinarians have to go to like villages to help a cow with the you know, it was just like a very different reality back then it wasn’t really there were not that many small animal veterinarians and my mom mostly because we were very close and she kind of directed me or like pushed me in a different direction. But yeah, I was I always loved animals, and then one day on the way to physical therapy. So a dog trainer in the park, and it was literally Estiva lightning. And I decided that’s what I want to do which sounds crazy but I literally a few months later I signed up for mentorship like an internship whenever to have a trainer and I survive training outside in really cold weather. So like Poland, we’re gonna say Poland, right? Like it was a lot of snow. We’re outside every weekend, early morning, Saturday and Sunday. Yeah, my wife did and I feel like that so and then I just decided to to do it properly. So I decided I need education and that’s how I ended up in the States. There was a really good school here. It is online now but at that time it was in San Francisco, where I live now and yeah, I got in. That’s how it started.
Dana: So how did you even go about finding a school because one that’s real far from home? To like to find the specific one that was right for you in beautiful San Francisco like talk to me about how you even went about doing that research? Because I feel like that’s almost a pipe dream for some people, right? Like, again, you’re living the dream. So how did you What steps did you actually take to find the right place for you?
Dominika: Well, it was 2008. And that actually plays a big role here and if you remember, it was like the financial, you know, the like many things are changing at that time. And I was looking in Germany because I couldn’t find anything in Poland. So I just started looking in Germany or England. Not so much us at that time. But the dollar was so weak ties are affordable for to go to school in the site. And I happen to have a really good friend here in who listened to Francisco. He doesn’t live here anymore, but he lived in San Francisco at that time and he just said you know that there is a school here and I kind of see them sometimes outside and with dogs. We both know how good this bowl was. And we’ll just come here stay with me and I’m sure I will do it. Well, why not? So I just applied but it wasn’t really I would lie. You know, if I did a lot of research and I actually knew how good the school was. I had no idea that there were two different philosophies, time. Two different philosophies how you train dogs. I had no clue. And it was just I actually had to quit my job. Before I knew I got in and I did it. I was just so convinced about doing it anyway. And yeah, it was it was it was pure luck. Just you know, like, my, my dream was to to visit San Francisco. So that was definitely like this. It just all aligned. Direction like, well, I have a friend who lives in San Francisco. He invited me I have a place to say that dollar is the week. It’s just very affordable to go there. And then there was this school that seems to be great. It’s so funny, like
Dana: I guarantee anybody that listens to this that’s from the States right now. It’s gonna be like, hold on, she went to San Francisco to save money like that is so not the case anymore. Like, you know, so not the case. Which you obviously know So, okay, so you decided to take a leap of faith some luck played into it, of course. Like finding what you wanted to do. So let’s fast forward so you get to the school. At this point. Do you know that there’s two different philosophies and was this the one you like better or was it not? How did that work?
Dominika: No, it was the one that I liked was okay, good. Yeah, no, no, it was the right one. And I well, I think I like speakers that we had we received a long list of books to read before. Yeah, that’s cool Academy for dog trainers. So before it is more in Florida, we had to read many like it was a long list of books that they were and my English was not as me it was good at that time, but I definitely didn’t know a lot of that phonology. So it was like a lot of reading with that dictionary. Yeah. A lot of it was it was actually not that easy. And yeah, it was it was really intense. I was just like studying like, pretty much every day up from 7am to like, 10pm Definitely the week and but I loved it. It was it was amazing. And I liked it so much that I decided to stay longer, which was originally not my plan. And then I went to a chicken camp where you’re trying to can so your timing becomes really good. Then I decided to do an internship that was part of the academy was like 600 hours but I think I think I probably I got hours. I was just so into it. Everything was just so fascinating. And I love the city. I really liked simple Cisco. I just had such an amazing time and I still do but it was different back then I was just like, amazing.
Dana: It’s the golden years right if like you know and you don’t realize like you know, it’s good but you don’t really realize how much freedom you have until you look back and you’re like, I could do like whatever I wanted. Like that’s awesome. Okay, so you said that wasn’t your plan originally. So what was your plan? Was it to come to San Francisco get the training like finish your course and then go back to Poland or like what was what was the goal at that? Point?
Dominika: Well, I mean, my goal was, yeah, the goal was to go back to Poland. I definitely I was definitely not planning on staying like for like 30 Forever, like right. So that was not my plan. I knew that I wanted to stay a little bit longer, but it was more about like, I’m going to travel in the States. You know, it was just like something that I wanted to do since it’s not that close, right like so I definitely was planning on staying a little bit longer, but it wasn’t really related to dog training.
Dana: Wow, that is amazing. So So you do all these different courses and you get through it. So then what happens to keep you around?
Dominika: It was a combination of things. One was my ex boyfriend, whom I led to believe he was actually yes, he was actually from New York. And yes, so I’ve decided to move to New York. It was well that decisions at that time were kind of it was I get that. Yeah, that’s just like whoa, yes, I met someone on the play. We just spent some amazing time I believe was just moved to New York. Why not? So I moved. I moved to New York, and I lived there for two and a half years and well the relationship ended but it was a really great. All right, I want to go to university or college or the Academy for now trainers. It really people support one another and it was really amazing because there was a wonderful trainer, Denise she was she was a graduate of the same academy and I started training with her and for her work for her company. But what was really amazing that she was the most amazing mentor you could ever ask for. The school was great. But the school combined with what Denise helped me was just mind blowing. It was just what I really needed. She really gave me the confidence to do it. And she gave me the tools. She taught me a lot. Yeah, it was I mean, I had a great time there and that’s where I felt that my dog as well Lola. Oh, that’s amazing. Okay. Oh, Paris in New York.
Dana: That is awesome. So okay, so at this point you are in New York, the boyfriend’s gone. At this point. You got the dog you’re doing the mentorship working for her? Where did it go from here? Like did you know you wanted to start your own kind of company in your own brand or did you like enjoy working for somebody else? Because to be honest, like there are benefits to just being a trainer for somebody else right and not having to worry about the business end and that sort of thing. So where was your mindset and how did you move forward from there?
Dominika: Oh, absolutely. Yes, it’s working for someone else is easier. Anyway. It was really the the summers in New York City were not my favorite. Ah travel traveled with those temperature and the rats everywhere. I just felt it I was ready to move somewhere else and the next logical step was going back to California. I was I was still not ready at the time to move back to Europe. But I wanted to stay a little bit longer. And I knew how bright life could be for adults in in San Francisco. So I decided I had connections there friends, people that I went to school with. So back to San Francisco. It was right before summer.
Dana: Yes, you’re like I gotta get out of here. This is the time to do it. We are avoiding summer at all cost.
Dominika: Yeah, that’s that’s exactly what I did during the summer in New York City or at all costs.
Dana: Okay, so you go back to San Francisco and they are what did you decide to do? Do you stand to open your own shop like what what happened at that point for you career wise?
Dominika: I was working for myself. So it’s I had my own client but I also was doing contract work for a place called as a puppy prep. It’s still day school. And yeah, it’s a really great place for dogs but it’s not just it’s mostly for younger dogs. You know, puppies, older puppies. Like younger dogs, but it’s it’s a very known place in San Francisco that has an amazing reputation, because it’s so good and it’s they definitely have always many requests for training. So that was a constant flow of clients who needed help.
Dana: That’s great. I feel like it takes a lot of the like guesswork out of okay, how are we going to get clients like how are we going to you know, how we’re going to keep this business afloat and how we’re going to keep going. So with the contract, work through that company, and then the things you had on the side, like it was that kind of your end goal, like what was your plan at this point? Were you just going to keep going like this or did you have kind of a goal of when you wanted to go back to Europe, like what were you thinking, like in terms of next steps at that? Or were you thinking of next steps?
Dominika: I was just in going live I don’t know if I had a specific plan now. That I know that you asked this question. No, if I had a I had a plan. I wasn’t quite ready to go back back down. I definitely wanted to stay longer and in San Francisco, and it was I just because when I left San Francisco I wasn’t really working as a trainer. Yes, I went to school and I was doing all the age right but I I never really worked as a trainer. I started working as a trainer and really build confidence there in New York City. So when I moved back, I was just starting at some point a few months later I met my boyfriend now husband, so that kind of that’s why I stayed longer. Right and it started to shape
Dana: Okay, cool. Okay, so you find your boyfriend then husband now. So at this point, what are you thinking like in terms Okay, so you’ve met this guy, and you’re with him? How did you see the rest of your career kind of panning out? Did you love what you were doing? Or did you have any inkling that you would, you know, start a whole nother brand eventually, like did you have any idea that dog meats maybe would come into play at all at this point?
Dominika: Absolutely. Not. I have no idea that was coming. That I would create a company that helps parents who have dogs and kids. Over the years there were definitely like, you know, trainers as trainers, we can’t specialize in everything. Right? And they’re like like, initially you. You do everything you take all the cases. Yeah. And I was very I’m always I thought I have always loved what I do. I think one thing that has never changed is how much I really enjoy what I do. And I think working with clients in in particulars of working with dogs and people is really what energizes me I? I really love it. And but over the years, there were definitely things where I had this comfort where I was able to start saying no to clients, right, I was able to be more picky. There were certain things that I just really enjoy doing. And then there were certain behaviors that I was outsourcing because I didn’t enjoy them as much or I just decided to specialize more in certain types of training. One thing that I did was and it started in New York is I started doing scent detection. So that’s, that’s a dog sport and I became certified in it. So as an instructor, and I also started competing, and that that became a big part of my life because I was competing with my dog in competitions all over the US. So we were driving and flying to various competitions and camps. So that was a big part of my life where I was spending all the holidays, training my dog or competing.
Dana: Wow, that is awesome. And so did getting into that, did that help you kind of narrow down your niche like once you realize, okay, like, this is what I like to do. Does that have anything to do with the kind of dog training that you really wanted to specialize in at the time, like, were you kind of merging those two things a little bit?
Dominika: Oh, but yes, but I was still working with dogs who have aggression issues only. And I was still working with puppies. So it wasn’t that I that that scent detection was the only thing that I was doing. I was still doing the general obedience. That definitely became a big part of my life. And I started offering classes. So group classes and I was working with private clients. And that was just send detection. Training. I was so cool.
Dana: I think it’s it’s incredible. Like, you know, you we talk about the whole point of this podcast is to find really creative businesses and like really awesome ideas of like, what could you do that you could work for yourself? That’s something you enjoy doing and something you can kind of build your own schedule, at least to a certain extent. And this is like one of those things like again, you have the dream job for so many people like you really do and I have always known obviously this is a career path right but I had no idea like the certain topics that you have to go through and you’re certain specialties that you could each have like it’s a whole world within dog training that I feel like so many people probably don’t know about not that I’m normal that I don’t know, but I feel like it’s going to be a commonality that some people wouldn’t even know this was an option out there. And it’s so cool that you have all this insight and have figured out what really worked for you. So how did you get to the point where you were like, Okay, I feel good about saying no to because this isn’t the right fit, like what gave you the confidence to know that okay, I want clients that are XYZ as opposed to ABC.
Dominika: I never had a website until I started doing meats baby because I never want it was all referrals and I was at a port, no website and constant referrals where I just had to. It was just that many that I had to refer people out so at this point if it to me it just like I had website briefly and that was even worse because then I started getting more to refer out those basically, why am I even doing this? So I just, I just shut it down. It’s just the amount of work here. I also work in you know, I became better at what I do, but I also live in a place where it’s normal that someone who gets a puppy, they sign up at all for Facebook or daycare or training classes or work with a private client. It’s very common here that when you have an issue of your dog, you reach out to your dog trainer like everybody has you know you have your aesthetician you have your dog trainer. That’s pretty much the norm right like you you like it’s not it’s not that question. Should I get one it’s like the question like who’s your dog trainer?
Dana: Right, right. Who can I get? Yeah, that’s and that’s awesome. That’s a great place to be in obviously for your business. So how did you go from doing this? Obviously you’re at this point fully booked like full time you know, working like crazy. How did you go from just being a dog trainer that knows what she wants to do two founding documents baby like give me that kind of bridge from one life to the next
Dominika: basically my kid that was really it was it was a few things. One was that I had my kids it was five years ago. And my dog who’s a yellow lab or a typical yellow lab had a scary predatory reaction to my kids, which is not something that I expected. It’s something that I wasn’t prepared for. It’s not something I know a lot about. Predatory behaviors and dogs. I never imagined that this is something that would happen to me. And that was very eye opening. And I knew what to do because of the trainer. It was so very traumatizing. And then my dog and my newly mobile kids. Again I have a very I have a very well socialized dog very well trained like rabbits oh it and then she is not really enjoying this phase and I can see how stressed she is and to many people they would not have noticed that but as a trainer obviously I knew and that was real. I started asking myself those questions like if my dog is like that. What about other people’s dogs who I know I don’t work with dogs. I know how many people reach out to me when dog has a problem with their dog has a problem. So I know all the problems and and then I started having more clients who were either expecting adopting or who had little children so I just could see what the issues were and and everybody was pretty much struggling with the same thing. It was a pure coincidence that I ran into this coach. I’m not going to go into details but it was definitely meant to be and she happened Sasha Sterling she happens to work with women who want who have online business and she just gave me this vision of what I could do with my ideas when I was not thinking about it. And then I started working with her. The pandemic happened. I was suddenly home with my kids and I don’t I’m not really I’m not really a stay at home mom material. I love my kids but I do love my work. Yeah, and I I just knew that I need to do something but this time I was still doing some trainings online some sessions online, but it was way less It was huge change suddenly, and I just needed structure. So we agreed with my husband that in the morning, he’s going to be worth the kids and then I will be with them and then I will have two hours from 12 to two and then I will be with them and then he will take over in the evenings. So we just had we figured out a schedule. And that gave me a structure to work on Delphi failed. I found a social media manager and APR nine which was actually pretty like a month after shutdown not even me Yeah, I started don’t need to be on the Instagram
Dana: So first off I do want a backup give me an obviously people can go and check this out on your Instagram and find out all the things but give me like one thing that really made you realize oh no my job is not loving having this because your baby didn’t come home mobile like you didn’t adopt you. So this is a newborn baby that wasn’t moving like what was one thing that kind of made you realize like, this is not the safest situation.
Dominika: Well I have twins, so.
Dominika: yeah, I mean the initial reaction to that initial reaction Yeah. Oh, you know, she, she was hunting that was she acted as if she saw a prey. I was like, you know, she was hunting she was ready to she lunch at the crib. She was ready to attack. That was that was like no mistake, which is the question I just want you like my, like, whoever listens to the podcast, just this this rare?
Dana: That was gonna be my next question. Like, what are the like top you know, you talked about meeting the you know, Coach that you talked about how it was like, divine intervention basically, like, how crazy is it that if it’s that rare that your dog is the one who’s well like you said well trained well socialized like that has some serious like fate coming into play here that that is what happened and you know, it means you guys like, this is the thing that people need to know about and to hear about. So. Okay, so the pandemic hits and you’re like, oh, I need to fill this time. This is the perfect way to do it. We can make this happen. It’s going to help so many people. So you find your social media manager, but how like, what was your plan for getting this information out there? Like what made you know that this was going to be a thing because honestly, we’re not that far away. Like we’re only what a almost not even a year and a half and yeah, like blown up?
Dominika: Well, as with everything I really, I trust my intuition. So when my decisions are based, I know it sounds well. I do many, many decisions. Definitely. That I make are based on my intuitions. Not out not all, and it was literally it was actually not what my business coach recommended. She was she had a different idea, but I just trusted myself. So my I liked Instagram. I like Instagram I always wanted to have I had a vision of the account that I wanted to have. So it wasn’t that I this was a sudden idea but and I found this social media manager right away. She was taking new clients. We started working together and I just started doing it. It wasn’t initially it wasn’t even when I was doing the first q&a. I was asking my my friends to send me questions. Totally. It was my account was very, very small at first and it wasn’t I was just enjoying it. I was doing many projects. With project with my kids and that’s what I was posting and it was mostly my clients like clients who knew me person and my friends and my family watching it. Yeah, and and at some point it just someone big account recommended my account and that’s when it just took off. So it is like hard work.
Dana: But it’s hard work like you were you you knew what you wanted to say like you had a vision and like you knew that this is what you wanted to share and what needed to get out there into the world and it is truly so helpful and you’re so good on there about sharing practical tips and making it something that people can really digest, right. It’s like little tidbits of information that it’s like that is a tangible tip. I have such a hard time with anybody online where you go and you’re you know, you’re learning about their company and you’re following them and there aren’t any bits of information that you can really grab on to and digest and apply. But I think your account is so good. You’re so good about doing that where people can really learn something just from I mean, I remember when I first found you like I like scroll through all your highlights. I’ll have to learn all the things and all the things we have. We have like a seven and a half pound dog who just gets tormented by my kids. And I like looking back I’m like, yeah, she she hated her life for sure. Now I know, you know, it’s been so helpful. So what are some pointers that you would give for somebody who’s trying to grow an account that they have a skill that they think somebody you should know about and that they think would be helpful for other people to learn? What would you tell them to do or not to do? Because there’s a lot of things that can make things work and some of its luck, but a lot of it is hard work. So what would you recommend?
Dominika: I think that Instagram has changed a lot since I think it’s a little bit harder. They’re actually right now for new accounts. It’s not that it’s just like saturated. It’s the algorithm that drives everyone. It’s just worse in my experience than ever and but if I had to recommend it, definitely helped that I knew exactly what I wanted to share. And I guess I you know, my content has been evolving, because I got to know the followers better. I know what they need, but I also talk I’m not pretending like I talk about my real life experiences. I share things like my dog killed my parents had this summer and I share this. And you know, like I talked about this so I use like I’m one of those moms who also struggle with dog her and it drives me nuts. And this is my live I really cannot stand the pair and and I talk about it. So a lot of those situations and I’m also this mom who like knows that she shouldn’t be making those columns but she’s too tired. So I try to really like I you know, it helps me a lot. I this is my life. Not all of it, of course but I have a lot of personal experience. I bring new dogs to my house also just so we have an experience with a different dog so I test a lot of things. So I can I can really I really understand what people feel and thing and what they struggle with and and then I share it. So just be yourself and have a vision for your account. Be social, social media after all. So I’m for me, I think the main thing was that because of the pandemic I just couldn’t pick up the phone call collaborations that I’m it’s something that I do in my real life. And I just started doing it online so it wasn’t really something that I was pretending to do. Having a help it definitely like I don’t I know that I’m not a graphic designer I just found every entrepreneurial recommend across the board because trying to fake through things that are just not your forte is going to make you end up with way lesser quality product and the quality service that you’re offering if you just are focusing on something that isn’t in your wheelhouse,
Dana: but I love I love that you’re talking about being so authentic with your account because that’s what people care about. Like they care you know I have guests come on in they’re like I’m I’m a Rambler like I’m gonna I’m gonna talk a lot on I’m gonna keep going I’m like the people like that people want to know about your personal life. They want to know how your personal experiences have shaped your business and how it’s made, you know, things that you do within your business different than it would have if you haven’t had those experiences and they they want to know the inside scoop, right they love to see all those behind the scenes things and I love that you’re you’re sharing all the real stuff and it’s it’s nothing fake because that just doesn’t work. People can see through it so quickly.
Dominika: Yeah, I don’t share much about my private life wreck my children so I know this I know probably people would fall I would have more followers or different kinds of followers on there will be a different sort of phone. But that’s my choice. So I write but like but having dogs come into your house like that like to know your purpose. Yeah, that’s what I mean. And that’s awesome. Like, my kids, everything that is dog related. I’m comfortable sharing this with my kids and dogs. I just don’t share where I shall or what I don’t.
Dana: Right. Right and and when you’re at the level that you’re at like that, it’s it’s a very wise decision because it is like crazy, crazy land of social media for sure. But it is so awesome that it’s not just stuff that you’re just not creating random content, right? You’re taking stuff experiences from your clients that are things that have actually happened with jobs and with their children and telling people about it because honestly like until you experience something like that you don’t even some people don’t even know that that’s an option. Like I before I started following you I didn’t even realize that it could be a thing like to have tiger dog feel aggression towards your newborn baby and kit. So talk to me about the main type of person that follows you on social media. Are they expecting moms are they moms with new babies that realize this is an issue like where do they tend to find you in the in their season of motherhood?
Dominika: I think a lot of times it’s when they announced on Instagram or on social media that they weren’t expecting or adopting and I think a lot of times and I see it it’s not that I think people recommend oh you should pull it up make baby oh, I followed up it’s maybe like she she’s right or they’re bred and and that’s how it happens. A lot of people know that they have a dog and a lot of times that picture is the dog announcing I’m going to be a big brother. I’m going to be a big sister. So it kind of naturally like people recommend the accounts so many, many followers are followers who don’t have kids yet but their parents to be there is a group of dog parents who don’t have children and they will have children in the future or maybe not, but they just find it valuable. And then I have parents who already had their children, small children and then there is definitely a certain group of people who find me after something happens. I see. So you’re looking for information and someone would come into my account.
Dana: And I see. So when we’re talking about a dog’s actual behavior, where do you see the most the hardest point for the dog of carrying a baby or a child into is it when the newborn first comes home? Or is it when they become mobile? Or is it when they can run and chase like where is the most common trouble spot for a dog?
Dominika: There are two there two. The first one is that when the baby comes home and that a lot of times it is the baby but more so it’s the change. It’s everything suddenly changes the parents don’t have as much time as we both know for the dog and the routine changes and there is this little creature that cries and many dogs that are just not doing not well of course obviously they’re not used to it. And they struggle with lack of attention and all that changes. And sometimes it was the baby but more so with the change, like huge change their life used to be and that can cause many behavioral issues and then of course it affects the parents are stressed the doctors stress one thing then the other time is when the baby comes immobile so typically like if people reach out to me for private sessions my my whole point is dog means baby was to you can avoid a lot of this. There are situations you cannot avoid. Absolutely. But you can avoid a lot of this if you know what to do if you know how to prepare your dog. If like like you have a plan for the introduction, if you get this baby and teach your dog to be comfortable being separated. There are many things that you can do there is no actually not that complicated. It may seem a little bit overwhelming at first, but most dogs already have some skills. It’s not that you’re going to start from the very beginning right. Many people take classes. Most of them know how to set the you already have some big and some are crate trade. Right? We can use that right? So there are many things that you can already build on. So that was my goal that really helped people understand that you can prepare and the best time is to do with before you have your baby because it’s so much harder once you have the baby also because your priorities change a lot of times and you just have less time and even if you have the best intentions you just may be too tired to train your dog.
Dana: Yeah, absolutely. I think that that’s a really you know, you don’t it’s almost that you don’t even realize that you’re spending less time you don’t in there. It’s so overwhelming to have a new baby and to bring a new child into your home but you’re in like you said your priorities change but you don’t do it on purpose. Like it’s not only you’re intentionally doing and I feel like you have to make the time to be able to go back and and deal with that. But if you could, you’re right if you could catch it ahead of time. I feel like that would make your life so so much easier. And I do want to ask too. So in your situation like you had no clue that there would be any aggression towards your babies at all. So how did you deal with that aspect mentally going from like okay, you you know about dogs, you know about aggression and dogs like you are you’re well trained and you knew exactly how to handle the situation but how did you deal with that emotionally right because it’s like your first baby and your new babies like this is that is that is so hard. So what would you recommend? Like if someone is going through a hard time with bringing home their baby and having their dog have a hard time with it? How do you recommend they get through that emotionally for themselves?
Dominika: I don’t think I realize I bought I realized in the moment when it happened. I was crying and telling my husband we have to adopt her out because it really seemed super scary. But at the same time like my heart broke because my she’s my first baby right? So like, it was just oh, it was just so hard in the moment but I don’t think I really had time to process it. Because my life was so busy with the kids. And it wasn’t something that I kind of pushed it aside. And then I start sharing this story and every time I was just sobbing, and I couldn’t say it and that’s when I realized wow, I really have an issue like almost like PTSD when it comes to like like right now I can tell this story if I think about it, I feel it. I was there crying but for the most part, I can talk about it right in that case two years ago. Wow. It was it really wasn’t it was just like I didn’t realize how how hard it was on me. So I don’t know if I like I just I think for me it was the time that I was able to decide and like that some therapy that was not really related to this, but I think somehow it helped me when people reach out to me and it does happen though when they when they reach out to me and the dog has either a predatory reaction or is aggressive towards the baby. I know how they feel. And I think for them knowing that I know exactly what they go through. It is already helpful because it’s it’s it’s not the way it was supposed to be. Right? It’s just this this you know a lot of times we end up because no in that situation. My recommendation is to work with a trainer. This is not something that you should try to fix. Because it’s just too serious. Like it’s just it’s not something that I can like I don’t give advice online on that. To me this is just not safe. And I don’t think that will be professional at all. I want people to be aware of this, but I cannot really tell them exactly what to do. Also because every race friend, and many of you will end up they reach out to their trainer and they have a trainer or they start working with me. And then I can see as we talk and I get them tangible things that they can do we have a plan. I can see how they can start like they can brief how many times they send me an email right after the session. So thank you for for, you know for for this because now we don’t feel as scared. We we are hopeful we we we thought we would need to rehome our adult which is that’s very frequent. Like that’s what I felt like you really feel like wow, that’s it like I have to get rid of my dog and it’s not what do you want? Yeah, just I tried to give them hope.
Dana: I love that. I love that and I love like I love that. You have that personal connection and you can empathize with them truly empathize with them and what they’re going through. And I feel like in a sort of space business, which is obviously what you have, like that is so valuable. It’s just incredibly valuable to be able to have that perspective and that mindset and I think it’s so great that you talk about it with them and you tell them like you understand how they’re feeling and again, you talk about all this on your Instagram as well. So I highly recommend going and checking that out. But Dominique, thank you so much for telling me your whole story. This has been so exciting. And I know that there’s so many people out there who you know, I’ve actually had people reach out to me and ask if I was gonna have a dog trainer. On the podcast so I’m so excited. Yes, I’ve had two people ask me that specifically without me even like bringing it up at all. So I love that love that you came on and I’m so excited to share your story because I feel like there’s gonna be a mom out there that this is a this is something that they could they could get into and kind of pass and entrepreneurship. So thank you so much for joining me.
Dominika: Thank you so much for having me. It’s been my pleasure. Great. Okay,
Dana: well, we will talk to you soon.
Dominika: Thank you bye
Dana: If you love what you’ve heard and need more snippets of knowledge about this mob boss life, head over to our website at amidstthechaospodcast.com for show notes and links to anything mentioned in today’s episode. If you’re really feeling inspired, it will mean the world to me and my family if you take the time to rate and review. Thanks for joining me amidst the chaos.
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