Ryan Troester, co-founder of Total Dog Destin LLC considers himself a dog trainer first and entrepreneur second.
“We’re military K9 trainers with a combined 30 years of experience training dogs and the people that own them,” he said. “We believe in one-on-one, specialized training that is mobile to the owner and focuses exclusively on their individual needs. Through empowering the pet parent with our techniques and knowledge, we give them the ability to better their relationship with their dog, living harmoniously together rather than seeing the dog as a hindrance. If we can train a handler to search for explosives in a deployed location, then we can train a pet owner to be confident with their dog anywhere life takes them, guaranteed.”
Troester was initially resistant to the idea of starting his own business, but a mentor encouraged him to take the leap.
“We began to see how much freedom we had to shape our own program and time,” Troester explained. “Unlike the military where your schedule is regimented, we make our own schedule which now appeals to us. As entrepreneurs we’re still young but keen to learn as much as we can and are aggressive in doing so. The military really helped us to that end. We began to do this during our off time and it started to grow quickly. Now we have employees and are transitioning out of the military.”
Troester’s advice for aspiring entrepreneurs is that, more than anything, it takes the proper mindset.
“Believe in yourself and never forget your ‘Why,’” he said. “Do not let perceived setbacks or failures impede you whatsoever. Use them as learning experiences to get even better.”
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