About Me – Albuquerque Dog Trainer
I am Steffi Trott, the dog trainer at SpiritDog Training (and hopeless dog enthusiast!). I am an energizer bunny who loves everything related to animals, the outdoors and – of course – training.
I did not actually plan on becoming a dog trainer for most of my life. Unlike many dog trainers, I never thought “I will become a dog trainer one day.” It happened slowly with the help of my amazing companions, the Border Collies Fusion and Kix.
Here is the story of how I became a full-time dog trainer, even though the cards were not stacked in that favor originally!
I grew up in Germany, where living in an apartment made the dream of owning a dog just that – a sweet, but unachievable, dream. I always loved animals and participated in competitive horse riding, as well as trying to push my mom to allow me more and more small pets. They ranged from gold fish over hamsters to guinea pigs, but dogs were definitely not going to happen.
Most of my classmates and friends also were not allowed to have any cats or dogs, but something in the back of my mind kept wishing for a dog. Curiously, as I never actually experienced owning and caring for one, I was still obsessed with the thought of owning a dog one day.
In 2005, when I was 16 years old, I participated in an exchange student program and spent a year in Tasmania, a small island south of the mainland of Australia. My family there had all the pets I ever wished for. We owned chickens, a cat and a dog!
The dog, “Hugger”, soon became my close friend and I loved to take him on long walks along the river in the morning. I wished I knew how to train him, but I had no idea how. In my mind I envisioned myself spending hours and hours on the lush meadows next to the water teaching him every dog trick out there.
But – I did not know how!
This was before the age of the internet and any access to dog training information whatsoever. After the year I left Hugger with his family, and not a single trick learned.
I returned to Germany in 2006 and finished high school two years later. It was time to decide on a job or career then. I chose to study physics, less out of actual interest than because it seemed like a smart thing to do – good job security, many different industries to pick from. If I had known back then that becoming a dog trainer was an actual career option, I would have picked it in a heartbeat! But this was not even “on my radar” back then.
Finally, Dogs 🙂
Life brought me to Albuquerque, NM, in 2012. For the first time in my life (other than the year in Australia) I lived in a spacious house with a yard. Time to (finally) get a dog!
I went to the shelter and wanted to adopt a Border Collie. The breed seemed to