We had the good fortune of connecting with Joanna Stanford and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Joanna, can you talk to us a bit about the social impact of your business?
My business helps the community in a fundamental way. I teach people how to fulfill the needs of their dogs to create happy relationships. Through this knowledge, they become calmer and empowered. I like to think that we could use more calm yet empowered, mindful pack leaders out there in the community.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I started Trots Dogs in 2009 and specialized in high energy dogs. I roller skated with them all over town and I became known as a dog skater here in Long Beach. It set me apart from other dog walkers and I liked that but my revenue was limited because I could only skate so many dogs a day. Once I started learning from Cesar Millan, I began walking packs of dogs together. It’s great physical and mental exercise for the dogs, walking and socializing, and the revenue was better for business. So, then I became known for walking packs of dogs all calm and behind me. There were days I had 18 or so at a time. All behind me on loose leashes happily following along. Today, I have employees who walk packs of dogs. We limit to 8 dogs at a time and Trots had grown to, what we consider to be, the best darn dog business in town. We’ve expanded to more services with training and sitting, classes and boot camp. It was a hard road to get here, but we love what we do, so a little hard work was welcome because we know the end results are happy people and happy dogs. Our understanding of dog psychology and practicing leadership enables us to harness our inner calmness and empowerment to conquer so many of life’s obstacles. Finding your calm, confident energy doesn’t just help you to lead your dog, but helps you navigate other relationships in your life. It makes you more mindful and aware of the present moment. And when you’re present and calm, you can think clearly and react less on emotion and more on instinct. So when we have challenges with a dog or in the business, we take a deep breathe, keep our ultimate goal in mind and calmly act with intention. What I want people to know about our business is that we are a community of dog lovers informed by dog psychology practicing a language that dogs know as well as every being on the planet, energy. Energy and body language is the center of what we teach dog owners. Leadership is what we teach to empower them to have dogs that follow them with trust, respect and love. We are a growing community and welcome anyone who wants to learn.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
As someone who has been walking dogs through the diverse neighborhoods of Long Beach for the last ten years, I’ve got a few favorite places to go. So, if a friend was coming for a visit, I would definitely take them for a bike tour of the Pow Wow Long Beach murals that are painted all over town. Some amazing artists have really shown us some love and made the city more beautiful. Then I’d take them to yoga on the bluff for a stretch, to Rainbow Lagoon for a peddle boat ride in a giant swan boat or visit the Aquarium of the Pacific. I’d take them to eat at Under The Sun, Salud, Wide Eyes Open Palms and Berlin Bistro because you can’t have enough good food. Shopping on 4th Street Retro Row and on 1st St in the East Village for all the little locally owned retail spots. I may take them to Shoreline Village for a funny hat, caramel apple or frozen yogurt because I’ve been going there my whole life and it just feels like home. Then roller skate in my favorite Moxi skates up to the lighthouse for a great view of the sun setting over the Queen Mary. I love Long Beach and anyone who comes to visit deserves leave it feeling the same.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’d like to shout out all the animal rescues who work tirelessly to get animals out of shelters and into homes. To get them medical treatment and training so these animals can stay alive and with these new families. Many shelters were cleaned out during quarantine and it was the efforts of rescues and citizens who opened their homes to these animals so they weren’t laying in concrete kennels with no social interactions. Donate to your local animal rescue or shelter!