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Name: Tracy Eckert (Pawsitive Pet Training)

Posted By Bill DeYoung

With Tracy Eckert's Pawsitive Pet Training, you won't hear about choke chains, pinch collars, shock/vibration collars or any other punitive devices used to "teach" dogs. "All training is done with your dog’s best interest at heart," she writes on her website. "We love animals and develop a great relationship with them."

Years in Tampa Bay


Hustle (job)

Animal Behaviorist

What do you do?  

I train mostly canines. I am one of the few who will/can address aggression. I do basic obedience, all forms of behavior modification, service & and therapy dog training as well.

Why do you do it?

It combines several areas of interest for me. I have a BAE (Bachelor of Education) and a MA in Marriage Family Therapy and the Arts Therapies. I use both of these degrees when training, as both are needed working with and understand the dog, but also to assist the humans in better understanding and connecting with the dog too.

What was your Catalyst? (How did you get started?)

I have always had a natural connection with animals but knew I didn’t want to be a veterinarian. I had never thought of dog training until I ran into another who does it. When this person found out that I trained my cat to use the toilet without any knowledge or training, she hired and began teaching me. It was a great opportunity that helped me be in my element.

What’s a common misconception or unknown aspect of what you do?

Most people believe that the pet is the problem. In actuality, it is usually the humans that have caused the unacceptable behavior. As well, some people misunderstand and believe their pet is happy and well-adjusted because they don’t have problematic behaviors. In actuality, some dogs are depressed or anxious and need the owner to be a leader for them. As well, many people believe the way dogs were trained 20 years ago is still effective. Nowadays trainers are using positive based techniques and refuse to use old techniques that tend to cause severe emotional trauma.

What’s the most challenging part of your Hustle?

The biggest challenge is helping people understand the value in all forms of training. Many try to save a buck and go with the cheapest trainer they can find. Many of those come back to me as they realize you get what you pay for. Your life with a pet can last up to 20 years, so it is worth the cost to be able to live harmoniously together.

What’s the most valuable piece of business advice/insight that’s helped you?

For me, the most valuable way to be in business is with honesty and integrity. I am straightforward with clients, while maintaining integrity. I have had to have some serious conversations about how they interact/treat their animal while breaking through old thoughts and beliefs about it. I believe this is what also keeps the integrity of my business. People know that I’m not just there to make money. I truly care about the animals, and the humans, and will not risk my ethics to make a buck.

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