Anne Bullinger of I Speak Dog Training
I’m Anne Bullinger, founder and owner of I Speak Dog. I founded the company on the basis of this commitment: We provide you with the information and tools you need to make life with your dog easier and more rewarding. It really is that straightforward. Life with your dog can change dramatically when you have the correct tools. Dogs communicate with us constantly, but their language is often non-verbal and very subtle, so it can be challenging for us to understand what they are saying. One day a few years ago I was helping a friend understand her dog’s changed behavior and she said, “You understand her. You speak dog.” That day I realized I do speak dog and nothing will make me happier than teaching you to speak dog also.
My story, and what my family would call my “obsession” with dogs, began in my childhood in Ohio. Dogs were always a part of our family and I was the kid who played outside with them no matter what the weather. To this day I can name every dog in our neighborhood but I’d struggle to produce their owners’ names!
Fast forward to years after college living in Boston as I walked to work, I found myself mesmerized by the dog walkers and their furry charges. Though I was happy and successful in my financial services career, working with dogs was a calling and I felt it every time I walked by one of these walkers holding a bunch of leashes – living MY dream! I knew it was time to take the leap and be with my own pack! It took encouragement from family and friends, who knew this was where I belonged, to get up the courage to take the plunge, but I did it and I have never looked back. I Speak Dog was starting to take shape.
So I left the bustling world of Boston finance and became a professional dog walker! Certainly, I had no delusions of grandeur around believing it was going to be glamorous and there were some raining, sleeting days I had a twinge of longing for a warm office but as I started really focusing on and learning dog behavior – who walked in the front of the pack, who always held their tail high, and most importantly, why dogs did these things — I was HOOKED! There was a natural communication and trust between the dogs and me and it became instinctual for me not just to walk them but to lead them. This natural, intuitive method of leadership, combined with my additional education in training, has become the basis for I Speak Dog and my own dog training system.
That was the beginning of this journey and it has been wildly fulfilling and rewarding to learn from some of the best people in the industry! I committed myself to learning from the experts who shared not just my passion for helping dogs but my manner and system of dog training. I worked in a large dog daycare and training facility, which gave me the opportunity to work with talented trainers, dozens of dogs and wonderful clients all who had very different needs and breeds.
But still, I wanted more! I repeatedly witnessed my interactions with a dog shift his behavior. I knew that I had these valuable “tricks” that could, quite literally, change peoples’ lives and I desperately wanted to share them with as many dog owners as possible! So the dream expanded and I put it all together by obtaining additional training through an incredible “Train the Trainers” program taught by two of the country’s top dog trainers. Working with Jeff Gellman of “Solid K9 Training” in Providence, RI and Sean O’Shea of “The Good Dog” in Los Angeles, CA and creating an amazing support network of trainers was the last piece of the puzzle I needed. It made me realize it was time to launch- I SPEAK DOG! I will continue to forward my education and interaction with other dog trainers but truly my biggest source of ongoing education is what I learn from the dogs I work with daily! The mission of I Speak Dog is to create balanced, well-behaved dogs and happy, extraordinarily satisfied owners.
So if you are ready, so am I, let’s go!
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by Anne Bullinger