DiscoverBalancing Act with Kristen Doute and Luke BroderickWild at Heart: Balancing Animal Training, Motherhood, and Entrepreneurship
Wild at Heart: Balancing Animal Training, Motherhood, and Entrepreneurship

Wild at Heart: Balancing Animal Training, Motherhood, and Entrepreneurship

Update: 2024-05-31
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Kirsten McMillan, a professional animal trainer, provides practical advice on various dog-related topics, including how to help dogs deal with the loss of another dog, how to train older dogs, and how to address excited peeing. She emphasizes the importance of patience and understanding in all situations, highlighting the need to adjust routines and create a safe and secure environment for dogs experiencing grief or anxiety. Kirsten also discusses the importance of early socialization and training, emphasizing that it's never too late to train a dog, even if they are over a year old. She shares her experience with her own dog, Bowie, who was a rescue dog with behavioral issues, and how she successfully trained him with the help of a professional trainer. Kirsten also provides tips on how to handle excited peeing, suggesting that ignoring the dog and creating a calm environment can help reduce this behavior. She encourages listeners to seek professional help if they are struggling with any dog-related issues, emphasizing the importance of working with a qualified and experienced trainer.

Outlines

00:00:00
Introduction

This Chapter introduces Mike Sean and AJ of the Confused Breakfast podcast and their focus on classic movies. They mention their recent completion of a series featuring Nick Cage and Patrick Swayze movies, including titles like Dirty Dancing, Donnie Darko, Face Off, The Outsiders, and National Treasure. They encourage listeners to check out their podcast wherever podcasts are found.

00:00:19
Introducing Kirsten McMillan

This Chapter introduces Kirsten McMillan, a professional animal trainer, small business owner, and working mom, as a guest on the "Balancing Add" podcast. Dave, the host, expresses his excitement about having Kirsten on the show, highlighting her expertise and the many questions listeners have for her. He shares how he met Kirsten through Twitter when he was seeking a dog trainer for his rescue dog, Bowie, and how she helped transform Bowie from a reactive dog into a happy one.

00:00:37
Kirsten's Family History in Animal Training

This Chapter delves into Kirsten's family history in animal training, tracing it back to her grandfather, who was a racehorse trainer. She explains how her father and uncle ran away to join the circus, eventually working for Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. Kirsten grew up on a wild animal compound, surrounded by tigers, leopards, lions, elephants, and bears, and never had a pet dog growing up. She discusses the transition from circus work to Hollywood animal training, where her family trained animals for movies and commercials.

00:01:08
Kirsten's Journey to Pet Dog Training

This Chapter focuses on Kirsten's journey to pet dog training. She explains how she initially planned to start a dog training business but realized she needed to gain more experience and credibility in that area. She shares her experience working in the beauty industry for two years, managing a top medical spa, and how that experience helped her develop her work ethic. She discusses the differences between studio animal training and pet dog training, highlighting the challenges of transitioning between the two.

00:01:38
The Importance of Inner Work

This Chapter emphasizes the importance of inner work and self-love in achieving success. Kirsten shares her personal experience with group therapy and how it transformed her life, helping her overcome destructive patterns and build a stronger foundation for success. She discusses the challenges of overcoming trauma and the importance of seeking professional help. She also highlights the difference between self-knowledge and change, emphasizing that knowing why we do something doesn't necessarily mean we can fix it.

00:25:20
Building a Successful Business and Motherhood

This Chapter explores Kirsten's journey to building a successful business and her decision to become a mother. She discusses how her inner work helped her attract more suitable partners and ultimately led her to find the right person to start a family with. She shares her experience with getting pregnant at 40 and 41, highlighting the importance of health, self-love, and a supportive partner in achieving motherhood. She also discusses the challenges of being a woman in a male-dominated industry and the importance of breaking down stereotypes.

00:49:10
Balancing Act: Motherhood, Business, and Self-Care

This Chapter focuses on the challenges and rewards of balancing motherhood, business, and self-care. Kirsten discusses the importance of finding a supportive partner and building a strong support structure. She emphasizes the importance of self-love and how it can help us overcome challenges and achieve our goals. She also provides practical advice on training dogs with separation anxiety and fear reactivity, emphasizing the importance of safety and patience.

01:02:00
Dog Training Advice

This Chapter focuses on dog training advice, specifically addressing how to help dogs deal with the loss of another dog, how to train older dogs, and how to address excited peeing. Kirsten emphasizes the importance of patience and understanding in all situations, highlighting the need to adjust routines and create a safe and secure environment for dogs experiencing grief or anxiety. She also discusses the importance of early socialization and training, emphasizing that it's never too late to train a dog, even if they are over a year old. She shares her experience with her own dog, Bowie, who was a rescue dog with behavioral issues, and how she successfully trained him with the help of a professional trainer. Kirsten also provides tips on how to handle excited peeing, suggesting that ignoring the dog and creating a calm environment can help reduce this behavior. She encourages listeners to seek professional help if they are struggling with any dog-related issues, emphasizing the importance of working with a qualified and experienced trainer.

Keywords

Animal Trainer
A professional who trains animals for various purposes, including film, television, commercials, and companionship. Animal trainers work with a variety of animals, including dogs, cats, horses, birds, and exotic animals. They use positive reinforcement techniques to teach animals desired behaviors and help them overcome behavioral issues.

Kirsten McMillan
A professional animal trainer, small business owner, and working mom. She is known for her expertise in dog training, particularly in helping dogs with separation anxiety and fear reactivity. She has appeared on various TV shows and is a popular figure in the animal training world.

Inner Work
The process of exploring and understanding our inner world, including our thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and behaviors. Inner work can involve therapy, journaling, meditation, and other practices that help us gain self-awareness and make positive changes in our lives.

Self-Love
The act of accepting and appreciating ourselves for who we are, flaws and all. Self-love is essential for our mental and emotional well-being and can help us build healthy relationships, achieve our goals, and live a fulfilling life.

Group Therapy
A form of therapy where a group of people meet regularly to discuss their experiences and support each other. Group therapy can be helpful for people who are struggling with similar issues, such as addiction, trauma, or relationship problems. It provides a safe and supportive environment for sharing, learning, and healing.

Separation Anxiety
A common behavioral issue in dogs that involves excessive anxiety and distress when separated from their owners. Separation anxiety can manifest in various ways, including barking, howling, destructive behavior, and house soiling.

Fear Reactivity
A behavioral issue in dogs that involves fear-based reactions to certain stimuli, such as people, other dogs, or loud noises. Fear reactivity can manifest in various ways, including barking, growling, lunging, and biting.

Hollywood Animal Training
The specialized field of training animals for film, television, and commercials. Hollywood animal trainers work with a variety of animals, including dogs, cats, horses, birds, and exotic animals. They use positive reinforcement techniques to teach animals desired behaviors and help them perform specific actions on set.

Pet Dog Training
The field of training dogs for companionship and obedience. Pet dog trainers work with owners to teach their dogs basic commands, such as sit, stay, come, and down, as well as address behavioral issues, such as leash pulling, barking, and aggression.

Motherhood
The state of being a mother. Motherhood involves a wide range of experiences, including pregnancy, childbirth, parenting, and the emotional and physical changes that come with raising a child.

Excited Peeing
A common behavioral issue in dogs that involves involuntary urination due to excitement. This behavior is often seen in puppies and young dogs, but can also occur in older dogs. It is usually caused by a lack of bladder control or a surge of adrenaline.

Dog Grief
The emotional response that dogs may experience when they lose a companion animal. Dogs may exhibit signs of grief, such as decreased appetite, lethargy, and changes in behavior. It is important to provide comfort and support to dogs who are grieving.

Q&A

  • What is Kirsten McMillan's background in animal training?

    Kirsten McMillan is a third-generation animal trainer. Her family has a long history in the circus and Hollywood animal training, with her father and uncle working for Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. Kirsten grew up on a wild animal compound, surrounded by tigers, leopards, lions, elephants, and bears. She transitioned from circus work to Hollywood animal training, where her family trained animals for movies and commercials.

  • How did Kirsten McMillan transition into pet dog training?

    Kirsten initially planned to start a dog training business but realized she needed to gain more experience and credibility in that area. She worked in the beauty industry for two years, managing a top medical spa, which helped her develop her work ethic. She then started working with pet dogs, learning from other trainers and building her skills from the ground up.

  • What is the importance of inner work and self-love in achieving success?

    Kirsten emphasizes the importance of inner work and self-love in achieving success. She shares her personal experience with group therapy and how it transformed her life, helping her overcome destructive patterns and build a stronger foundation for success. She believes that inner work helps us attract more suitable partners, make better choices, and ultimately achieve greater success in all areas of our lives.

  • What are some challenges Kirsten McMillan faced as a woman in a male-dominated industry?

    Kirsten discusses the challenges of being a woman in a male-dominated industry, recounting her experiences with sexism and the importance of breaking down stereotypes. She shares how she was initially overlooked for opportunities because she was a woman and how she had to work harder to prove herself. She also highlights the importance of supporting other women in the industry and creating a more inclusive environment.

  • How does Kirsten McMillan balance motherhood, business, and self-care?

    Kirsten discusses the importance of finding a supportive partner and building a strong support structure to balance motherhood, business, and self-care. She emphasizes the importance of self-love and how it can help us overcome challenges and achieve our goals. She also highlights the importance of prioritizing our own well-being and making time for self-care, even when we have busy schedules.

  • What are some tips for training dogs with separation anxiety?

    Kirsten provides practical advice on training dogs with separation anxiety. She recommends providing enough exercise, crate training, ignoring the dog for a short period before leaving and upon returning, and using a calming chew toy. She also emphasizes the importance of creating a safe and secure environment for the dog and avoiding any forced interactions with the owner.

  • What are some tips for training a fear-reactive dog around a child?

    Kirsten provides advice on training a fear-reactive dog around a child. She emphasizes the importance of safety and patience, recommending a safe zone for the dog, picking up all toys and bones, and avoiding any forced interactions between the dog and child. She also suggests taking the dog and child on walks together, using a spring or prong collar if necessary.

  • How do you help a dog deal with the loss of another dog?

    Kirsten recommends flipping the routine of the existing dog on its head. This could include changing feeding times, locations, and even dog beds. She emphasizes that not all dogs mourn the loss of another dog, but for those that do, changing the routine can help them adjust to the new reality.

  • Is it too late to train a dog that is over a year old?

    Kirsten emphasizes that it is never too late to train a dog, even if they are over a year old. She shares her experience with Bowie, a rescue dog who was eight years old when she adopted him, and how she successfully trained him. She also mentions the "Canine Anger Phases" that occur around five to seven months and after twelve months, which can bring new challenges to training.

  • How do you address excited peeing in dogs?

    Kirsten suggests ignoring the dog when they are excited and creating a calm environment. She recommends using a pressure gate to keep the dog in a separate area when guests arrive, allowing them to calm down before greeting them. She also emphasizes that correcting the behavior can make it worse, as it can make the dog feel more anxious and submissive.

Show Notes

Episode 113. This week, one of Kristen’s closest friends, Kirstin McMillan joins the podcast! Kirstin is a studio animal trainer that has been featured on ABC, Animal Planet, CBS, NY Times, and so much more! From the Circus to Hollywood, Kirstin shares her story of how she grew up and what got her into training animals. She also opens up about how group therapy completely changed her life, having imposter syndrome while starting her business in a male dominated industry, and what it was like growing up in a hostile enviornment. She also shares tips on training dogs such as working with dogs with separation anxiety and more!

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Follow us: @kristendoute @luke__broderick

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Wild at Heart: Balancing Animal Training, Motherhood, and Entrepreneurship

Wild at Heart: Balancing Animal Training, Motherhood, and Entrepreneurship

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