Tracey McLennan is a dog trainer specialising in working with dogs with high prey drive.
After studying for a degree and a Masters, decided she wanted to have her work feature in a journal.
It was a challenging process with her surveying over 2,000 dog owners and studying over 90 videos of dogs.
And earlier this year, Tracey had her findings published in the Journal of Applied Animal Behaviour Science.
In this podcast episode, we chat about her journey from working in IT to following her dream and becoming a full-time dog trainer.
Tracey talks about how she’s built a successful online business and thriving membership and how she takes her long-form content and turns it into engaging material for her community.
We cover how her own experiences with her own dogs Ren, Cuillin and Calgacus have changed her life and shaped her work.
Plus managing the algorithms on social media so what you see has a positive impact on your mental health, and why it’s ok to step away from what everyone else is doing and have courage in your own convictions.
Tracey is such a brilliant, hard-working, caring pet professional with so much valuable advice to share to inspire you to follow your passions.
You can listen to our conversation on the player link below.
These are the key topics covered along with timings:
Introduction to Tracey and her background. (02:00)
Why Tracey decided to focus on working around the topic of prey drive, studying at Bishop Burton College. (03:05)
Volunteering for charities and working with dogs in Paws for Progress, a scheme working with dogs and people in prison. (04:49)
Returning to Bishop Burton to do a Masters following being made redundant and making the decision to switch from reactivity to prey drive for her dissertation. (05:30)
Discovering the need for research into prey drive and gaining inspiration from the struggles she’d had with her own dogs Cuillin and Calgacus. (06:35)
How Tracey found that the information she was reading around prey drive didn’t match up with her experience with her own dogs and why this inspired her to carry out her study into the topic. (10:15)
Tracey’s experience of carrying out her own research. (11:24)
The determination it took to complete the research and pursue having her work published in an academic journal. (17:15)
The benefits of having her work published on Tracey both as a pet professional and a business owner. (20:22)
How having her Cocker Spaniel puppy Ren (Now aged three) benefited Tracey during her studies as a living breathing case study. (23:51)
The research process and how Tracey used this to grow her audience and her authority, and inspired a useful download that has helped to build trust with pet owners. (26:54)
What it feels like to have your work published in a journal and the impact on Tracey’s self-belief and confidence. (31:51)
How Tracey’s research has changed attitudes to managing and working with prey drive in dogs. (35:45)
Tracey’s thoughts on prey drive and why it’s not about finding a solution, stopping or fixing it, but finding a happy solution which is fulfilling the need that prey drive is and having their attention on you as a pet owner or guardian. (37:32)
How Tracey’s research and published work have fuelled her business and helped her thrive. (40:00)
Her first experience of selling online courses and why she made the decision to move to a membership model. (40:47)
Tracey’s 5 Day High Prey Drive Challenge and her year-long membership and how she supports her community. (42:01)
Taking her passion from helping people in IT in her former career and using this in her new business. (46:10)
Using the material she’s created on social media and how Tracey manages her social media. (52:49)
Tracey’s advice as a former IT professional on managing the algorithms to see content you want rather than what triggers you. (55:27)
Tracey’s belief that we need to be kinder to ourselves and give ourselves time to learn new things. (58:19)
Tracey’s biggest lesson since starting her business – to do things in a way that feels right, suits you and is designed to work for you. (61:01)
Where to find out more about Tracey and her work. (63:12)
Learn more and connect with Tracey:
Visit her website: https://bestdoglearningandstuff.co.uk/
Join her Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/highpreydrivedogs
Follow her on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@trainhighpreydrivedogs
Read her published work: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0168159123001168
Read Tracey’s book on Canine Aggression: Rehabilitating an Aggressive Dog with Kindness and Compassion: https://amzn.eu/d/2wz34LZ
Sign up for her newsletter: https://bestdoglearningandstuff.co.uk/joinin/
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Keep in touch:
Find me in my Facebook group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/publicitytipsforpetbusinesses
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On LinkedIn here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rachelspenceruk/