Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in pet training but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Jemma Milne, Founder of Milne and Mutt Dog Training, located in London, England, UK.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

I am a reward-based dog trainer in South East London. I offer 121 training and group classes and have several online courses.

Tell us about yourself

From a young age, I had a real love for animals. I really wanted to be a vet, but truth be told, I wasn't good enough academically. Growing up, we had every small pet under the sun until one day I finally convinced my mum to let us get a puppy. Along came Molly, our wonderful Labradoodle. I took it upon myself to train her, and I have to admit I think I did a pretty good job, she did sit and paw - what more does a dog need to know?

I had a long and successful career as an assistant stage manager at West End Musicals. I have worked on shows such as The Bodyguard, Monty Python One Down Five To Go, Shrek the Musical, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Working on large-scale musicals gave me so much joy, but ultimately my love and passion for dogs gave me the push to change careers and follow my real passion.

My late good friend Oli Juste was a big catalyst in my big career change and head into dog training. He not only mentored me but played a huge instrumental part in my studies and in setting up my business. I set up my business in September 2017 and haven't looked back.

I am a full member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APTD) (no 01494). I completed the UK Sniffer Dogs Bronze and Silver Instructor. I also have done many scent courses, including Scent for Six by The School of Canine Science and Nosework with Fenzi Dog Sports Academy. I am a CPD-certified pet first aider.

I am a reward-based trainer, using kind, fair, and evidence-based methods only. I want to help you learn how to communicate effectively with your dog in a fun and positive way. My beagle Luna really has been the best teacher I could ever have. When I mention that I have a beagle, I can just see the look on people's faces, and the look is normally followed with, 'Aren't beagles hard to train?' Luna has made me a better dog trainer, she has thrown me some challenges and guided me along the way. I owe my passion for scent work to her, and she really does have the best nose in London.

I then went off to university to follow my other passion, theatre. Molly lived on until the grand old age of 15 years old, and she left a big hole in our hearts.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

When Covid hit, I was worried that business would just stop, but thankfully I was wrong. My biggest accomplishment is transforming my in-person business to online, and I was fully booked nearly every day on Zoom. I loved that I still got to do my job and help all the dog owners and their dogs during a very stressful time for the world.

What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?

Being self-employed, I have only myself to rely on, I wear all the hats of the business, and sometimes that can be very overwhelming.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Be you! Imposter syndrome can be so challenging, so my biggest tip would be just to stay in your lane, don't worry about what everyone else is doing. Doing you and do it the best you can.
  2. Organisation - be as organised as possible, keep your accounts in order, records of clients, etc. The admin side of my business takes up a lot of my time, so the more organised I can be, the better.
  3. Set small goals. Rather than thinking too far ahead, set goals that are achievable.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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