The road ahead…

I recently sold the dog training company I founded in May of 1998.

That’s My Dog, Inc was a great run for nearly 24 years. Now, there is a new owner, with new visions for the future. I’m happy to see my baby in good hands and thrilled with the transition. Since the announcement of the sale, many people have reached out to either congratulate me on my retirement or ask what’s up next?

Because I believe that for every person that asks a question, there are usually others wondering the same thing, I decided to share a few words here on my blog.

First of all, I don’t consider myself as retiring, I’m transitioning. I’m no longer the “buck stops here” person at the top of a company. Instead, I am gaining flexibility by living a “less is more” concept. I can put more attention toward priority projects rather than trying to juggle them against the backdrop of owning a very busy training company with multiple employees.

Most of the projects are still in the dog training arena so I won’t be sitting by the pool sipping umbrella drinks…at least not for a while yet. 😉

Here is the short list of what I’m planning for 2022: 

  • More writing

Watch this space for musings on dogs. I intend to travel down memory lane with stories of dogs and people that helped shape what I believed in the past, what I believe now, and where to expand my knowledge as I move forward. I’ll also share easy tips for pet owners to implement. Plus, I plan to pose questions, hypothetical and at times, perhaps controversial. I’ve got a lot to say and it may not all be easy to hear…but then again, I may be off base in my opinions. My hope is that colleagues from around the globe will chime in for thoughtful discussion so that many will weigh in on what is best for dogs and the relationship we share with them. 

  • More travel

I’ve traveled and taught a lot of workshops over the years but rarely stayed on location long enough to enjoy the scenery. This year I’ll be moving about the country meeting with other professional trainers. Many for consulting purposes, helping expand their knowledge of business and remote collar training. Some just to hang out,  have fun and enjoy our dogs together. Pet owners interested in booking private lessons can keep up with the travel itinerary and reach out if they want to connect while I’m in the area. 

  • More time with my own dogs

Professional trainers often fit the narrative of “the cobblers children have no shoes.” Yes, we usually have decently behaved dogs, but we often don’t get to enjoy them nearly as much as we’d like. Or we may not be achieving the goals we’ve set for ourselves. Too often the demands of helping everyone else with their dogs leaves us exhausted at the end of the day. The tagline for That’s My Dog! has always been “Super Training for Everyday Adventures”…I plan to start living that a bit more!

  • More awareness of responsible dog ownership

I started a non-profit in 2020 but it got sidelined due to the pandemic. There were too many time constraints that came from worrying about keeping my primary business afloat at that time. This year, I’ll devote more effort to Aware Pet Owner to spread the message about responsible dog ownership. 

Donations are always welcome. (and fully tax deductible!)

There are a lot of “mores” planned for the year ahead. I want to chat about my Puppy Preschool so new puppy owners can get started off on the right paw, and re-share free dog training advice articles written to help pet owners live more successfully with their dogs. Plus, I’ll definitely be plugging this ultimate e-collar training dvd that follows three shelter dogs from early collar conditioning to enjoying off leash freedom in a few weeks time. It is one of my proudest works to date.

I have plans for adding new stuff this year…we’ll see how far I get, but that’s the current overview for now. It is all about helping others become their dog’s hero.

I look forward to seeing many of you as I make my way on this new journey. 

Happy New Year!

Robin Macfarlane

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