Hi, I’m Jessica Cruz, resident animal lover, and advocate for the underdog. I’ve felt a love and passion for working with dogs ever since I got Bane, my pit bull.
When I was growing up, I lived next to a man who fostered dogs. While some of them were other breeds, most of them were pit bulls.
One day, I was playing outside, and a group of them approached me. While I was initially scared, I was immediately reassured when one of them licked me – and I’ve been head over heels for pit bulls ever since.
However, as I got older, I began to realize the stigma that’s often attached to this breed. I wanted to give them a voice so that people can understand them a bit better.
The more educated you are about a breed, the better you can interact with them and break down prejudices.
The more I interacted with pit bulls and dogs in general, the more passionate I felt about their welfare. I wanted to be able to change the lives of dogs who had a bad rap and give them a second chance at a good life.
While my passion for dog welfare began early, it was Bane who pushed me to become who I am today.
After a while, Bane started to develop behavioral issues himself, mainly because I had been too easy on him as a puppy.
If I had known what I know now back then, he would be a completely different dog. However, this doesn’t mean that it’s too late – and since I’ve started training him he’s made a vast improvement.
With his hard work and my dedication, we’ve been able to deal with these issues – and we still work on them every single day. When it comes to training your dog, it’s all about consistency.
How I got Started
My training with Bane is actually how I started working with Tony from Grumpy Puppy. Initially, I tried positive reinforcement training, but it didn’t seem to be working for him. While it did help with the obedience side of things, I knew we were missing something.
This led me to do more research and discover Grumpy Puppy in Orange County. Grumpy Puppy helped me learn so much more about behavioral modification and what happens when you combine it with positive reinforcement training.
Amazingly, this experience helped me better understand Banes behavior, which meant that I could improve myself as his trainer and discipline him where he needed it.
With all of this experience under my belt, I was able to move on from Tony and connect with Brandon, who worked under Tony and has been trained by him from the beginning.
When Tony decided to move up North in Shasta County and stay on board as CEO, Brandon took over the role of Head trainer at Grumpy Puppy. In addition, Brandon gets further training and learning at the dog psychology center owned by Cesar Millan.
Since connecting with Brandon, I have received over sixty hours of training underneath him. This has given me an extensive range of knowledge on how to properly train and discipline dogs, which goes hand in hand with my passion for sharing it with others.
In the beginning
Before all of my training with Tony and Brandon, I started small. I began my journey as a floor worker at Wags and Wiggles.
This meant that I worked at the daycare for dogs, and while it was only a part-time job of five to six-hour shifts, I learned so much over the year I spent there. In fact, my passion for dogs shone through so much that I was promoted to floor manager during this time.
When we experienced dogfights, I was able to keep calm, even when some of the bigger dogs fought. The only reason why I left my job as the floor manager at Wags and Wiggles is that I fell pregnant with my son, Matthias.
Since I quit Wags and Wiggles and recruited the help of Tony and Brandon, I have been able to raise Matthias around Bane without worrying about his behavior.
While he’s still quite a big dog and a little rough around the edges, at the end of the day he’s just a gentle giant who knows to be calm around my son.
Their relationship is living proof that with just a little bit of training and effort to understand your dog, you too can have a well-behaved dog who has learned how to love and trust you.
I’ve translated a lot of this knowledge into dog walking, too. Because I’ve been able to work with so many different breeds of dogs, I can now confidently step into dog walking and work on practically applying my theory every day.
While walking a dog may sound easy, it’s harder than you think. There are many people who have come to us complaining about a bad experience they had in the past with a dog walker who didn’t take good enough care of their pet, resulting in them getting away and even biting people.
When I am walking a dog, I make sure that all my attention is on the dog and what it’s doing.
Before I let anyone approach the dog that I’m walking, I make sure that they’re comfortable with the situation. I know how to keep calm and relaxed in unexpected situations, and as a result, I have managed to keep all the dogs I walk safe, calm and disciplined.
When I’m walking a dog, I make sure to take my dog walking kit with me. In it, I carry my pet corrector and an extra leash. The pet corrector is a spray that can deter other dogs or animals from approaching the dog, ensuring the safety of both.
At the end of the day, it’s better to be safe than sorry, which is why I always come prepared.
Thanks for taking the time to read. If you want to learn more about my services. You can check that out here.