This week I spoke to The Beagle Lady Kellie Wynn who resigned from her policing job last year to take up full time dog training.
Now she’s specialising in training just Beagles and changing attitudes around the breed that some have labeled ‘stubborn’ and ‘untrainable’.
You can listen to this as a podcast on the player link below or read as a blog:
Kellie, from Stevenage, Herts, got her first Beagle in 2017 after begging her ‘cat person’ husband for a dog. After suffering from cumulative PTSD due to her job in the police force Kellie looked into dogs for PTSD and wanted to bring one home to help her.
She said: “I was trying to get better as I have a 10 year old daughter and husband – I looked into dogs for helping with mental health and I could see the benefit straight away.
“Not too long after my husband found Daisy who was being rehomed through a friend on Facebook and we brought her home.”
Kellie hadn’t researched much into Beagles prior to bringing Daisy home and that’s when the fun started.
She soon realised that Daisy needed a lot of training and started to experience some of the problems that Beagle owners complain about and why her previous pet parents wanted to rehome her.
She said: “Her behaviour was awful and that was why she was being rehomed – she was destructive, hyper, terrible on and off lead.
“I found out that she’d eaten her way through the previous owners sofa! At that point I couldn’t find a dog trainer who would take me seriously as they are labeled as stubborn, selfish and untrainable.
“I wasn’t prepared to accept that because I had this beautiful loving Beagle I desperately wanted to help.”
That’s when Kellie turned to the internet and started using YouTube to help her train Daisy. This would influence Kellie in an incredible way, as fast forward two years she’s now using YouTube herself to train Beagle owners and their pets all over the world.
In six months Daisy’s behaviour had changed – she stopped destroying things and her hyperactivity had decreased.
This change in behaviour inspired Kellie to want to help other pet owners – working part time alongside her police job and then last year resigning to become a full time Beagle trainer.
She said: “I believe that every breed needs its own specific dog trainer. People don’t realise how much work Beagle’s take – they were bred to be hunters and leaders, to scent and catch prey so if you don’t fulfil that need they become destructive and anxious.
“You have to be strong with them as they have strong characters. I hope that my influence can help stop so many Beagles being rehomed – they are the most rehomed dog in their adolescence.”
Daisy now even helps Kellie to train other problematic Beagles, she said: “Daisy has a remarkable sense of empathy and can read body language so she will see the dog and if she goes straight up to it we know its fear based.
“If she’s wary then I am too. She helps me teach other dogs recall which is fantastic.”
Her niche in training just Beagles didn’t come without its backlash at first with some family members not being fully supportive.
Kellie explained: “When I decided that I just wanted to train Beagles I knew it was the right thing for me, I knew Beagle’s inside out and I was completely confident in training them thanks to my own experience and multiple training courses and seminars.
“But when I first started some people were worried that I was turning down work and making things hard for myself.
“However now they can see why, my dad is now my biggest fan – he didn’t see it working but now he does and he loves seeing everyone interacting with the page on Facebook!”
Kellie shared with me her advice for niching your pet business, number one being to throw yourself out there.
She said: “Just get yourself out there, social media is key. Make sure you’re posting every day. Join breed specific groups and just be present, comment and be helpful.
“Be confident – I was fully confident and still am in what I’m doing. People will come to you if you know your stuff so pitch yourself as an expert.”
Now two years into dog training and Kellie has specialised in Beagle’s alone, making a living off doing what she loves.
She’s been recognised in America, Canada and Morocco for her training as it’s accessible to all thanks to using videos and video calls to interact with those who are over two hours journey from her.
Kellie hopes to continue to help Beagle owners across the globe and also add to her own Beagle family by adopting more.
She added: “One of the things that I’ve learnt is that we all learn differently – some want to read, watch or listen so i’m trying to cater for everyone. I’m launching a podcast soon and my e book is coming out over the next few months. I want to help everyone!
“I’m going to be taking part in Beagle meet ups and running workshops too. I would advise anyone thinking of niching to go for it.”
You can find out about Kellie on the following channels: