Sunday, April 13, 2014

Damien's Best Dog Toys: A Bloggerview

At the end of March I contacted Mark at Damien's Best Dog Toys to participate in their 7 Question Blog series. I agreed to answer 7 questions in return for a few toys donated to the Animal Rescue League of Iowa :). That's a win-win in my book! Here is my bloggerview with Mark:

Welcome to this week’s installment of the 7 Questions blog series.

This week I am very excited to hear for Erin Topp, CPDT–KA.
Erin is what I would call a true dog lover.  She is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer, owner of Topp Canine Solutions, LCC, and the writer of The Five Dog Blog.  Erin is also certified to administer the AKC Canine Good Citizen test, she is the president of Cyclone Country Kennel Club, the superintendent of a 4H dog project, a volunteer for Animal Rescue League of Iowa , and a foster home for Illinois Doberman Rescue Plus.
Somehow in between her job, her volunteer work, and maintaining her blog she was able to provide some really great answers for my 7 questions.   In exchange for her time and effort the Animal Rescue League of Iowa will receive a donation of 3 Damien’s Best Dog Toys in her name.

7 Questions for Erin

DBDT: Can you tell me about the animals that you have currently living with you?  Please include names and what you might know about their breeds.
Erin: I currently am down to 4 dogs of my own living with me and then a rotating foster. Sadly, I lost Baron (my 7-year old Doberman) back in November to advanced Wobbler’s Disease which is very common in Dobermans. Bourbon is my eldest – he is a 9-year old Doberman that doesn’t understand the meaning of slow. He was a Hurricane Katrina Evacuee and to this day still hates water! Vito will be 7-years old this coming July, he’s what you would call a big mouth in a small package :). He is a Staffordshire Bull Terrier mix rescued from a shelter in Chicago. Monday, an American Staffordshire Terrier, is (at best guess) also turning 7-years old this year. I adopted her from Chicago Bully Breed Rescue almost 5 years ago and she truly is my heart dog. And then there is Rookie, another American Staffordshire Terrier and my most ‘normal’ dog :). He will be 3-years old later this month. Currently, my foster is a 5-year old Doberman named River available through Illinois Doberman Rescue Plus.
Erin and her extended family
Erin and her extended family
DBDT:  I noticed from your blog that you are a Certified Professional Dog Trainer; at what point in your life did you know that you wanted work with dogs as your career?
Erin: Believe it or not, it took me a long time to realize that my life basically revolved around dogs. Ever since I can remember I wanted a dog, but my parents always said no. When I was about 10-years old they agreed to let me get a dog on one condition – I had to take my grandma’s 8-year old Beagle through 4H for the summer first. Their goal was that I would learn how much responsibility having a dog entailed – I don’t think they ever envisioned what that actually set in motion :). But yes, I took Julio (the beagle) through all the weekly training classes and showed him at the County Fair, even earning a blue ribbon! My parents followed through with their end of the bargain as well and I got to adopt my very own dog. We had Freedom (a Border Collie/Springer Spaniel mix) for almost 15 years. That started my love affair, but it wasn’t until much later in my life when I adopted Bourbon and had to deal with all the problems a 70-lb reactive Doberman presented, that I realized how much I loved working with dogs and learning about canine behavior. And I’ve been training (and adding dogs!) ever since. I am just ending an 8-year long career in Veterinary Medicine publishing to start my own dog training business and make that my primary career focus.
DBDT: As a professional dog trainer, what is the one thing that you would like every dog owner, or potential dog owner to know, and why?


  1. How cool is that! Great idea, and it is a win-win!

    1. Thanks! It was fun to participate in as well and he had great questions :).

  2. ohh wow. this is no doubt some thing out of the box idea to keep them busy and safe.
    Missing Cat

  3. Great post! There is some really great stuff here, can't wait to treat my pup to a new toy!