Fearless Pet Interview



"We should communicate with dogs in a way they understand. That way they are truly learning and thriving."


Fearless Pet
"Changing the way people walk their dogs."



Is there a story behind the name, “Fearless Pet,”?
Yes! We chose the word Fearless because we want people and pets to be empowered. Our customers are empowered because they have the tools and information to best communicate and understand their pets and the pets have no fear because their people are predictable and thoughtful of their needs. Our products are designed from the pet’s point of view but we use great care to consider the human’s needs as well.

The initial “FearLess” spark began when I was a full-time dog walker, many years ago. In the beginning, I was walking dogs using all kinds of products: Choke chains, prong collars, flat collars and harnesses. I felt bad putting the metal collars on dogs AND noticed that they weren’t working... the dogs were just pulling into them which made me feel even worse. I also noticed that some harnesses seemed to actually encourage pulling (back clip) and some of the front clip ones seemed to affect the dog’s gait – they weren’t walking normally.  Lastly, I had several dogs end up with abrasions under their armpits from pulling on harnesses. I’m not speaking of all harnesses, I am just remembering the problems that I experienced with some. The bottom line: I did not find one product that really seemed to solve the problem of leash pulling so I set out to help with that.

I wanted to learn everything I could about dogs, how they learn and how they think so I decided to study and become a dog trainer. I had loads of dogs to test and learn from because I was still walking many of them every day.  I started to develop the DualMax collar - a collar that SUPPORTS the dog’s neck and includes training so you can teach your dog to stop pulling, rather than relying on a device. I also found that using a hands-free set up was really amazing while walking and training dogs so I also created the FearLess Training System. I wanted to provide easy, effective dog training and make dog walking fun and enjoyable for anyone. It was also very important to me that it be affordable so that anyone that wants to train their dog can. I spent an entire summer filming videos on dog training including basic manners (sit, stay, down, come & leave it) and leash training. Then I added all the tips I could think of so that people can experience success.

Next, I partnered with a good friend and fellow dog walker to really get the business going. Her name is Katrina Goldberg and we have since developed the Safe Cinch collar because we also found that dog’s can slip out of their flat (basic) collars and we don’t ever want that to happen. We are on a mission to help people understand their dogs and we are working very hard to do so!

And when was this business created/started?
The business was started about 4 years ago. It’s been quite a journey. Starting a business takes way more time than you would imagine. We went from making one collar in a few sizes (and one color choice) to two collars, matching leashes plus dog training packages and videos – all offered in a multitude of sizes, colors and prints. Today we design our own prints and that is really fun.

  
What’s your goal with Fearless Pet as a company?
We hope to continue to grow enough to be able to open a large facility in the US that supports the community while offering safe and comfortable pet products worldwide. We want to continue to develop awesome pet products and continue to create fun and cute prints of our own. We want people to know that when they buy our products, they are thoughtfully designed, tested and guaranteed to be safe and comfortable. We aren’t just a place that sells products to make money. We truly love animals and want what’s best for them and we hope people can understand that. We also plan to continue to give back – the more the merrier!

My Mama and I reviewed a cinch collar for you recently, and it has Hank the Sloth on it! Can you tell my readers the story behind Hank?
Oh Hank! My oldest daughter was moving to Hong Kong and could only pack 2 suitcases. I wanted to make her something special but it had to be compact. She LOVES sloths so I went off to the craft store and bought supplies to make her a stuffed sloth. Mind you, I’ve never made a stuffed animal before but I have to say he turned out pretty cute all things considered. She named him Hank. We decided to make our first, custom print out of Hank and my daughter designed it.


I saw that the FP logo is modeled after your own pup, what’s his name, and how did he have an influence on the company?
Rex is my best pal. He is an incredibly sensitive, smart dog. He influenced our company because he would get nervous on walks (lunging at joggers and barking at other dogs) and he wasn’t very friendly to new visitors in our home. While I was studying to get certificated as a dog trainer, I was able to work directly with him on much of my homework. He has come SO FAR!  

With Rex, I learned that you can teach a dog anything and you certainly don’t have to do it by instilling fear. I taught him to stop pulling on the leash, stop lunging at bikes and joggers and to actually be happy and excited when people come over. I never used a “correction” to do this. He also does some pretty cool tricks now – he can roll out a yoga mat and do a real “downward dog”. This is what FearLess is all about. Neither the dog nor the trainer have fear because they know what to expect and how to do it. If you ever feel badly or question how someone tells you to train your dog, it’s important to listen to your gut. You can really do some spiritual damage to a dog by using force. They will suppress their feelings to please you but they aren’t being themselves and they aren’t learning. They are guessing, hoping to get it right to avoid punishment. We should communicate with dogs in a way they understand. That way they are truly learning and thriving.
   
I’m assuming products are tested on him. Does he have a favorite?
Rex has been my tester for every product - I could tell many funny stories! He used to wear the DualMax when he pulled on his leash, I felt good about protecting his neck and he did very well with it. I would say that is his all-time favorite product but right now he’s wearing a new Safe Cinch collar that says “I am Loved” all around it in little bones. He was my inspiration for that design so of course he has to wear it.

Tell us a little about him: (Age, personality, how he came to be a part of your family?) Rex is 14 now, he is a true introvert which means he needs extra time to warm up, doesn’t like busy, loud places and prefers his own space. If he could read on the couch all day I think that’s what he would do. He likes to be near me whenever possible, loves the sunshine and sniffing around. The older he gets, the longer he sniffs. He is a quiet, gentle soul. I rescued him from a friend that was fostering for a local rescue organization in my hometown.  He climbed into my lap and it was over.


  
Is FP strictly internet based, or is there a storefront (if so where are you located?)
FearLess Pet is based online but we do some local shows and are in some smaller stores as of now. We plan to expand to other shops in Northern California this year. We will probably not have a store front BUT would love to have a working facility/shipping center someday so we can keep our products Made in the USA!

How long has FP been on Instagram, and how has the journey been so far? We’ve been on Instagram for a couple of years, even before we had products to sell. The journey has been wonderful. We really love connecting with people and their animals and we’ve made so many amazing friends.

Can you tell us a little about the women behind Fearless Pet? What unique qualities/knowledge do they bring to the company? How did they become part of FP?
There are three of us and we all have rescued male dogs (by coincidence).

I am the original founder, just a crazy dog lover with a passion to do what’s right for them. I want to make everything better for them and I want to teach people how easy it is to communicate with them.  My business partner, Katrina, came into Fearless about two years ago (but we were dog walkers together for years before that.) She has the patience of a Saint and is also incredibly passionate about animals. She really understands them (especially sensitive ones) and is 100% committed to our mission. She is a magnet for lost and injured animals and spends a great deal of her personal time helping them! Amanda is our print designer. She helps to put our crazy ideas into beautiful creations. She has given us invaluable tips and design advice. She is also a dog lover and world traveler.

The best part is that we all get along really well! We are open, kind and honest to each other and it really works.

Right now, you sell: collars and leashes, any plans for other merchandise? We do! We have a really great harness coming out soon along with some pet safety products for car rides. We are really working hard to be sure it’s perfect. We also have a line of cat collars/harnesses and toys in the works and ultimately want to do a line of dog toys and clothing.

Your IG bio says you work with organizations that save lives. Can you tell us about a few of them?

It’s really important to us to help and support the people that directly rescue animals. It’s demanding work, both physically and mentally. They are devoting their lives to save animals that have been discarded by others and that is so honorable. We have some local favorites but we also know there are many that we don’t even know about yet. We prefer to support the smaller ones as they have the most limited resources but they are all heros and deserve whatever help we can give them. Presently, we donate collars and leashes to organizations in bulk (when we change style, sizing, etc.) and training packages and products for fundraisers, auctions, etc. to help them raise funds. For direct financial contributions - there is a shelter not too far from us that still houses dogs outdoors. They have no choice but it makes us so sad. Luckily, we are in Northern California so there is no snow but it can get very cold and very hot here. They need funding and we really hope to be able to build an enclosed shelter for them someday! Can you imagine? That’s our dream for the larger picture but for now, we do what we can to help on a smaller scale.

If you could make one suggestion to a person looking to donate to an organization, what would you tell them?
Be sure to research and get to know them. There are many, many wonderful organizations but it’s important to be sure the donations go directly to support the animals. Volunteer and you will really get to know them! And of course, adopt. That’s the reverse of donating but very important.

What’s an important lesson you’ve learned on the journey of owning your own business? I’d say it’s to FOCUS. That was a big challenge at first because we get excited and want to create something new every day. We are focusing on the two collars and the training system for now and it’s going well. We have to be patient for the new things 😊

Tell us: What’s your favorite story involving a fur baby you’ve worked with?
I know exactly which story. One day I met a dog named Orion. He was living in a shelter/rescue. He was there for at least 6 months, I believe, and had come from another shelter as a puppy. He had lived most of his life in this environment. When I met him, something moved me deeply and I knew I had to help him. I started picking him up 1-2 times a week at the shelter and working with him. He wasn’t used to the world at all. The first time I had him out, he was sniffing a bush and a big truck drove by and startled him. Then he was afraid of the bush! (That’s how dogs are, they associate what’s happening in the moment). So, we started our training there…right at that bush and we worked on that street, sniffing cars, bushes, trash cans and trailers. We worked on simply walking on sidewalks and getting used to the normal things in life. As he got more confident I took him to pet stores, hardware stores and even Starbucks for a Puppicino. We explored parks, ducks, water, etc. I asked everyone I could to say hello to him. All of the things we take for granted were brand new and scary to him. It all needed to be explored, on his terms, in his time. I was patient and kind to him and he thrived. One of my friends was afraid of Pitbulls and she started coming with me to pick him up and work with him. She got to know and love him and her opinion quickly changed. He changed us with his love. Then I made a video about him, posted it on Facebook and HE GOT ADOPTED BY THE BEST PEOPLE EVER!!! He has a best friend, a loving family and a huge yard. He gets to go to the river to run and swim often. I still get updates from them and he just had his two year birthday and his one year adoption anniversary. He is so happy. It still chokes me up.

At the Shelter…..


 

                 
           
             Gaining confidence…..                                          Getting treats at UPS!                                    



 Training at Home Depot



And lastly, is there anything that wasn’t covered that you’d like my readers to know? Yes, please know that dogs need patience and proper communication. If you are frustrated or angry, walk away. Dogs don’t do things to “make us mad”, it’s not personal. They are just being dogs and they adore us. They don’t want us to be mad and they don’t really understand it when we are. Try not to bring your stressful day home to them, they are just happy to see you.




Bodie: I can proudly say that I own a Safe Cinch collar, and I love it. Hank the sloth is one of my favorite stories to tell when people notice it. All companies should put as much love and compassion into their products, because it really shows. I'm so happy to know that there are hoomans out there working hard every day for us four-leggers (or three, or two). We haven't all had an easy life, and some of us take a little longer to trust again, but that doesn't mean we should be given up on. Orion is a perfect example of that! And look at where he is now! Safe, happy and loved in his fur-ever home!

I know all my friends are going to want to check Fearless Pet out, so I'm linking all their social media below! Give them a follow!

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