I’m Justine — a yoga–loving Brit, who lives just outside NYC with my 2 teen kids and 2 wonderful dogs: a sweet senior aussie-mix and a 12lb terror-mix (YES! You read that right!)
SO, HOW DID I GET HERE?
Before becoming a dog trainer, I had a pretty cool career as a TV producer/director for Nickelodeon, VH1, and MTV. But 18 years ago, as soon as I got my (long-awaited) first dog, I was bitten badly — by the dog–training bug! So, with dreams of starting a family and spending some quality time with dogs, (I obviously meant) babies, it was "goodbye" fancy–pants career — and hello grubby jeans and treat-filled pockets.
Four years later the kids came along — and shocker — that changed everything! It took all of a millisecond to figure out training dogs WITH KIDS in tow was NOTHING LIKE doing it kid-free. Having taught training classes for years at this point, it was clear that parents desperately needed a different kind of help that wasn't being offered ANYWHERE… so my biz partner and I started the Family Dog. The company quickly blossomed; from offering in-home training to later creating online programs for families worldwide, and now, teaching dog trainers to coach families in their own communities.
Right now, like most mums, I'm just trying to keep it all together!
You know, the usual stuff: raise polite–smart–thoughtful–kind–well–behaved–amazing children, kill it at work, run an immaculate household, and somehow still try to scrub up OK for date night!
My goal is to help families live happily and safely with their dogs — and have fun doing it.
Getting a dog is such an exciting adventure for a family — the training part should be fun for everyone — parents, kids, and the dog! The methods used in our programs are ALL 100% positive, fun, simple, and effective. Hey, if it's not fun — no one's going to do it!
To make a great family dog – you have to make your dog a real member of your family. It’s nothing to do with being a boss, it’s actually more like being an awesome parent. And since you're already killing it in that department — you're in great shape already! As a parent, you need to give your new dog patience, protection, and guidance on how to be successful in their life with you — which is exactly what you're doing right now with your kids 🙂
I'm a professional member of the APDT and CPDT–KA certified. But never satisfied and always striving to be better — I keep learning. Connected with the biggest players in the industry, I'm constantly educating myself to make our techniques better and your life easier.
I've been training dogs for over 17 years now. Since 2009 it's been "families only", laser–focusing on developing the most effective, efficient, and truly family-friendly training techniques.
In recent years, I've spoken at conferences in the US and UK, run workshops and webinars, coaching trainers worldwide on how to work specifically with families.
In 2015, The Family Dog also launched Stop The 77, an online dog safety campaign for families. Our mission is to educate parents and their kids everywhere on how to live safely and happily with the dogs they know and love AND lower the number of dog bites to children.