Guest Blog Post by Suzanne Parker, owner of McMinnville Dog Trainer
My name is Suzanne Parker, and I am the face behind the name McMinnville Dog Trainer. I am a local Dog Trainer in this amazing community, and I could not be happier to help you and your dog or puppy with any of your training needs. I began my business in 2020 during the Pandemic when I started to see the shift in our world. We were working at home, we were stuck at home, and a good majority of people decided that it was an excellent time to adopt, rescue or buy a puppy. Why not? We are able to be with them, train them, play with them, exercise them and snuggle with them. Oh but wait! My kids are home too with online school all day, I have Zoom meetings, and my puppy is chewing on the cords of my computer while I am trying to keep a straight face. Or they are in a kennel barking their heads off while you are trying to make sales calls. The reality sank in with many people that they were overwhelmed and needed some help with their Covid Pups. I saw this need, and decided to offer outdoor, socially distanced obedience classes for people to come and learn how to train their puppies and dogs. I have over 24 years of working with Dogs and their Owners, but before the Pandemic I had been trying my hand at a different career. I had a small promotional marketing company in McMinnville, and as much as I tried it just was not in my heart. I missed working with dogs. When the Pandemic hit, I knew what my calling would be, and I took the leap of faith. I will never regret that leap and will be thankful for this decision. My personal mantra is one that I say daily when I awake: “I love what I do, and I do what I love”.
As young as 5 years of age I remember telling everyone in my family that “when I grow up I am going to be a Veterinarian”. I was confident and sure as the days were long that someday I would have a farm full of animals, a house full of pets, and I would be the best Veterinarian around. Well…..50 years later I am not a Veterinarian, but I get to help dogs and their people every day in the most soul fulfilling (for me) kind of way! I always had an affinity for pets, always wanting my own, but my Mom was “allergic” and so we could never have a dog or a cat. This made me want one all the more and I would purposely seek out any Pets that crossed my path. As soon I was on my own and able I began my search for a dog. I wanted a Golden Retriever or a Labrador Retriever, something sweet, energetic and fun. What I chose, or I should say she chose me was a 6 month old Rottweiler named Sierra. I hired a very well known animal behaviorist to train Sierra and I for 6 weeks in a one on one setting. I was committed to being the best and most responsible dog owner possible. I also was very aware of the breed and strength of those jaws, and she had already given me a good run for my money in the 4 weeks that I had her. The Behaviorist began to train us. My sessions were supposed to be an hour long, but on most days he would stay for 2 to 3 hours training me, not her. He pushed me to learn and read and filled my head with answers to the many questions I had for him. He said he saw a gift in me, saw an intuitive connection and understanding with dogs he didn’t run across very often. The 6 weeks turned into an internship and after a year I was ready to move onto the next level of my Dog training. In 1996 I started a business training dogs to run off leash, and recall to a whistle. I ran an average of 8 miles a day with 10 to 12 of the same dogs on a private piece of property that was mostly trails. It was called Tails on Trails. I had 22 years of success and grew Tails on Trails to support my son and I and my 3 dogs. In 2015 I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and my Dr. gave me the strong advice to change my career and my life, and learn to take it easy on my body. In 2018 I sold my business to my employees and moved to McMinnville to try and heed my Dr.’s advice………but the soul wants what the soul wants! I am happy with my decision that I made, and I am finding balance with offering dog training and not pushing my body as I did with running dogs.
The services that I offer are Private One-on-One appointments offering Behavior modification. My strengths are in socialization training, helping leash reactive dogs, and Everything Puppy! I also offer Obedience Classes, Clinics, Workshops, Day Training and Board and Training.