My name is Tyler Brown but, for about 10 years I’ve been going by ‘Ty’.
Because ‘Ty’ rhymes with ‘guy’ and makes it easy to remember my business name! Don’t judge me too harshly, I do a lot of dumb things like that.
When I was growing up I was an animal nerd.
My earliest memories are of me following around cats in the neighborhood, playing with dogs, obsessing over rabbits, and trying to get my hands on any animal I possibly could.
But, I had a problem…
My parents were not, and still are not, much for pets.
I REALLY wanted a dog and my parents REALLY did not want us to have a dog.
We lived in San Jose, California, a big city and they didn’t feel we had space for a dog.
So they tried to ply me with pet cats and rabbits and fish.
And I loved them all.
But none of them were a dog.
So I tried other ways to get around dogs.
I read EVERY book about dogs, dog training, dog care, dog behavior, dog health that I could find in the library. Twice. And then a third time./li>
At about the age of 12 I started walking into pet stores, veterinarian offices, and dog shelters asking for a job. None of them would hire me. Jerks.
I’d play with any dog I could find.
Alas, none of it worked.
I still had quite a desperate desire for my own dog.
And then my parents dropped a bomb on us kids (I’ve got four brothers and one sister).
We were moving!
I may have been the only 13 year old kid in the country who was excited to leave his home, friends, and school. Most 13 year old kids who move get pretty ticked at their parents.
But I was excited because we were moving to a small town (at the time) called Tracy, California. And we were moving to a house on an acre. And I was promised that, now that we were going to have land, I was finally going to get a dog!!!
At 14 we moved and it was not long after that I was back to begging.
We found a dog in the classifieds named Heidi and we went and got her.
I was in love. I spent all day training her, walking her, and caring for her.
Only, new problem…
It STILL wasn’t enough.
I loved working with her so much that I wanted to work with more and more dogs.
Shelters wouldn’t let me volunteer. Veterinarian offices didn’t want a 14 year old kid around. What to do?
Well, I opened up the Yellow Pages (those were a thing back then) and started cold calling dog trainers.
One of them answered. His name was Jack and I told him how I wanted to work for him.
Wouldn’t you know it, that’s exactly how HE had started training dogs. As a 16 year old kid he went and begged another dog trainer for a job.
So he took pity on this animal nerd and let me apprentice for him during my high school years.
That’s my story, folks.
From there I was able to get a job in my early 20s working for a protection dog company in Boston. After doing that for a couple years, in my mid-20s, we (my wife and I) moved here to Utah and started our company.
For over a decade we’ve been training dogs and growing our business. We’ve got four beautiful daughters and every day is different. Here are a few things that have happened in my career:
Have had clients bring me to work with them in their homes in six foreign countries across the world (Costa Rica, Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Spain, and Oman) and over two dozen states.
I’ve been featured on ABC, NBC, CBS, Spike TV, several radio stations around the country, several newspapers around the country, and Entrepreneur Magazine.
I once got locked in a parking garage in Los Angeles while working with a client and nearly missed my plane home.
We’ve won the Best of State Award for best dog trainer in Utah eight times as of writing this.
I once trained a dog for the most famous basketball player in the world and caught him peeing in the bushes of his home in Florida. (He didn’t seem to care that I caught him doing that)
I once found myself in a client’s home where the owner was a famous mafia member from another country. I was informed by the estate security to not look at him in the eye and to leave the room if he ever saw me.
I once took my dogs on a road trip from Utah to Costa Rica. My Rottweiler nearly saved my life and definitely saved my vehicle several times.
I once trained a dog for a very famous politician and actor who lived on a lake. He loaned me his swimsuit so that I could go kayaking on the lake. My nethers and his nethers have been covered by the same piece of clothing.
I’ve failed clients. Made a handful of clients pretty mad. Made thousands of others incredibly happy. I’ve laughed with clients, gone out to the movies with them, shared meals in their homes. I’ve put my foot in my mouth countless times. I’ve cried with clients over dogs who have passed, hugged them when they’re down, and thought that my job is perhaps more therapist than dog trainer. I’ve fallen in my skill set and in my business over and over and keep trying to get up.
Every time I see someone begging on the street I always give them something because I realize that for the bulk of my life I’ve been able to take care of my family through dogs as someone who barely graduated high school. And that still seems crazy to me and it compels me to give a few bucks because I feel so lucky.