My name is Erika Hall and I am the owner of Strutt Your Mutt. I was born and raised in Oregon where I graduated from the University of Oregon with a BS in Sociology and Political Science. My passion for dog training started when my dog Penny started getting into fights with certain dogs in addition to having extreme car anxiety. I desperately wanted to help her get over her behaviors, so I started studying dog psychology. I chose to focus my studies on figures like Cesar Millan and The Monks of New Skeet. As my knowledge grew and Penny's behaviors improved, I decided I was going to rescue another dog about a year later. That's when I adopted Teak from Roice Hurst Humane Society. She struggled with many fears and anxieties that stemmed from a lack of socialization and exercise. Surprised by how quickly I turned Teak's behaviors around, I started to get a burning desire to help as many dogs as possible. At that point, I was positive I was born to work with dogs, so I opened Strutt Your Mutt in 2012. Over the next four years of business, I had to work overtime to get my name out into the public and build my skills as a reputable dog trainer. With no formal training and only the information I taught myself, I had to rely strictly on experience and practice to build my skills and talents. Penny and Teak stood by my side every step of the way helping me to rehabilitate dog after dog. It wasn't until 2016 that I hit a road block. I felt there wasn't much more that I could teach myself as a dog trainer so I sought out professional guidance to further my knowledge. With much enthusiasm, I enrolled in the Lucas Agnew training workshop in California. Cheri Lucas and Brian Agnew, who ran the workshop, gave me a whole new perspective on dog training. The workshops not only expanded my knowledge of how to create a closer bond and a stronger foundation with any type of dog, it also taught me more effective training strategies to help my client's build a healthy relationship with their own dogs. I continue to attend Lucas Agnew workshops as often as possible and plan on shadowing under Cheri Lucas and Brian Agnew indefinitely. Now, with seven official years of business under my belt, my passion to share my knowledge, skills, and expertise with all types of dogs and dog owners is stronger than ever. My personal goal is to keep an open mind in the world of dog training. Each individual dog has its own personality, environmental circumstances, and behavioral issues which ultimately means each individual is its own puzzle to be solved. I believe if I keep an open mind, I will more clearly see the spirit of each individual dog, and I will be more receptive to the knowledge and lessons the dogs are here to teach me. In the end, an open mind will only make me a better, more well-rounded leader for all dogs and dog owners.
My name is Leah Gordon and I have been working for Strutt Your Mutt since June of 2017. I earned an associates degree in Biology at Colorado Mesa University in July of 2018. It was then I realized how lucky I was to have graduated from college and already obtained the job of my dreams. My true passion has always revolved around animals. My parents have a video of me at four years old in which they asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” My reply, “A pet person”. Even to this day, I naturally spend most of my time caring for animals instead of going out with friends. When I was just about to graduate from high school, I bought my first puppy. With all the love in the world, I was determined to train my puppy to be the best dog he could be. Turns out there was much more to raising a puppy than just sit, down, stay. I had a problem dog and I needed help. That’s when I met my boss, Erika, and she helped me realize I needed to be the leader my dog needs. I had to change my behaviors for my own dog’s well-being. Being the dog lover that I am, I jumped in head first and started changing my perception. As a result, practicing leadership daily has made me more confident with people and I have three amazingly well-balanced dogs. In my quest to become a more well-rounded person and dog trainer, I have also studied under Brian Agnew and Cheri Lucas. They, along with Erika Hall, have taught me how to cultivate a balanced relationship with dogs. I now feel confident in my abilities to guide most any dog to become the best version of itself. In addition to training, I am so passionate about nutrition and holistic medicine that I spend hours upon hours of my free time researching and studying any health-related topics I can get my hands on. I have seen first-hand how a dog’s health plays a role in their behaviors and overall well-being. I will continue to explore, study, and expand my knowledge base so I can one day provide nutritional advice to those clients who are ready to create the best possible life for their dog. I feel so grateful for the lessons I have learned and the knowledge I have gained in the dog world. Dogs have taught me to be a more instinctual, confident person. They have taught me to live in the moment. And as a result, dogs are always motivating me to become a better, more balanced person so I can be the leader they need me to be. My goal is to take that knowledge and share it with as many people who are open and willing to learn. I want to be a trainer who changes the lives of people and their dogs the same way dogs have changed my life.
My name is Hilary Briggs and I was raised in the Grand Valley. I graduated with a Bachelors in Biology from Colorado State University. I wasn't quite sure what I wanted to do once I graduated so I stuck with the communications job I already had while I was attending CSU. I spent a total of three years immersed in a job that wasn't fulfilling me. I knew I had more to offer to both myself and this world. I had always had a passion for dogs and thought I would look into pursuing a career working with animals. In the fall of 2017, I decided to start shadowing different trainers around the Grand Valley. When I first started shadowing under my boss Erika, I immediately fell in love with Strutt Your Mutt's style of training as well as having a career in dogs training. I spent four months shadowing under Erika when she asked me if I wanted to work for her. I jumped at the opportunity and have been working for Strutt Your Mutt since March of 2018. In my short time working under Erika, I have learned more than I ever could have imagined. In addition to being a dog trainer, I have been a Barre instructor at ROKbarre in downtown Grand Junction for two years. Barre focuses on your mind body connection and it has helped me find center and balance in my own mind and body. I believe Barre has helped me transition into working with dogs. Each day at work offers a new dog and a new lesson that requires me to focus on both my mind and body. With Erika as my mentor, I am not only working on my skills as a dog trainer but growing as a person. I have attended the Lucas Agnew Workshop and learned under Cheri Lucas and Brian Agnew. I hope to always be growing as a dog handler and learning from each dog I work with. When working with clients, I will always be an advocate for the dog and hope to bring balance to both people and their dogs.