Hello and welcome to the Pandemic Puppy podcast, brought to you by Journey Dog Training and the Pandemic Puppy Raising Facebook Group! I’m your host Kayla Fratt, and I’m so excited to be here with you. We are going to cover puppy raising right from the start on this podcast. And although I’m a professional dog trainer, this is actually going to by my first time raising a puppy, too! So I’m right in the trenches with you on the good, the bad, the cute, and the stinky.
Make sure you subscribe to the Pandemic Puppy Podcast wherever you’re listening so you can hear episodes on topics like nipping, socialization, crate and alone time training, littermate syndrome, preparing your puppy for outdoor adventures, developmental stages, breed tendencies, and SO much more.
For just $3 per month at patreon.com/pandemicpuppy, you’ll be able to ask questions about YOUR puppy that we’ll tackle each episode. This small fee helps us offset the costs of audio editing, website hosting, and more.
Now let’s get to know each other! My name is Kayla Fratt. I’m a professional dog trainer based in Missoula, Montana. I’m a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant, meaning I really specialize in dogs with “issues.” That said, recently I’ve dived headfirst into working with working dogs – specifically conservation detection dogs. I grew up on a farm in rural northern Wisconsin and actually studied ecology at colorado college – focusing on learning to identify birds, study migration patterns, and learn all about the natural world. Basically, I wanted to be Jane Goodall. I sort of fell into dog training accidentally when I lost my work-study and I needed a job. I started walking dogs and working on basic manners, and before I knew it I was taking courses on cognition and volunteering at a rescue.
I still didn’t think I wanted to be a professional trainer at the time, though. I wanted to study bird cognition, actually! But long story short, after graduation I ended up working at one of the largest animal shelters in the country a “behavior tech.” This was an amazing education, and I spent my days training dogs and cats who were given up for problematic behaviors. I then worked to match them in their homes and provide behavioral support to the community. And that’s where I met Barley, who’s my seven year old border collie. He’s fluffy, black and white, and the smartest, craziest, best dog ever.
I loved working at the shelter, but I left in 2018 to pursue a lifelong dream of driving the pan-american highway. I loaded up Barley and all my stuff, and headed out for an 18 month road trip to 9 countries. Amazing stuff! I doubled down on my freelance work as a writer, specializing in writing about dog training and behavior. I also really grew my business, Journey Dog Training, at this time. I still blog and offer courses at JourneyDogTraining.com.
At the time, I was planning on going back to graduate school to study conservation detection dogs. I ended up landing a job offer instead of a graduate fellowship, so I cut the road trip short to move to Missoula Montana. I then spent about a year and a half training and fielding conservation detection dogs before losing my job in November 2020. So I’m back to running Journey Dog Training, preparing for grad school, and because I’m crazy, getting a puppy!
If all goes well, I’m bringing home a second border collie puppy in December 2020. This little puppy will be my FIRST puppy and I’ve gotta tell you, I’m super nervous and excited. I JUST found out which puppy is coming home with me, and I couldn’t be more excited!
Given my recent unemployment it seemed like the perfect time to help first-time puppy buyers like myself do everything we can to raise our pandemic puppies as well as we can!
I’m so excited to be on this journey with you. Make sure you join the Pandemic Puppy Raising Support group on facebook and subscribe to this podcast, consider supporting us at patreon.com/pandemicpuppy, and we’ll talk again soon.
Kayla is from Ashland, Wisconsin but lives in Missoula Montana. She holds a degree in biology from Colorado College and has spent years working in zoos, animal shelters, as a private dog trainer, and with working detection K9s. She is a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant. She shares her life with her border collie Barley.