Passionate about her craft, Galva woman helps dog owners train pets

John R. Pulliam/GateHouse News Service
Rebecca Anderson, owner/trainer of Tip Top Dog Training, spends time with her own dog, Thistle, after conducting an obedience class at her business, southeast of Galva.

Does your dog keep the neighborhood awake with its barking? When it comes to your puppy’s behavior, does it seem things just aren’t clicking? Rebecca Anderson, owner and certified pet trainer at Tip Top Dog Training, is someone who can help.

Anderson is just 20 and already has owned her business for a year. Don’t think her youthfulness means she’s inexperienced, however. Her parents, Christina and Don Anderson, own a boarding kennel, Lucky Dog Lodge, and Rebecca grew up in the business.

When Anderson was just 9, her mother drove her to Peoria twice a week so that the young girl could learn “clicker” training.

“It’s hard being this young and trying to do this,” she admitted. “Once you’re over 20, you’re OK.”

While her friends at Galva High School were working summer and part-time jobs during the school year at Walmart, Dairy Queen and other businesses that hire teens, Rebecca’s work experience was much different. She did work at Walmart for a time, but her main summer employment was at the kennel.

“I scooped dog poop,” Anderson said, laughing. “I’m not ashamed to admit it. Dog poop builds character.”

Rebecca’s life could have been quite different. She started college at Black Hawk College’ East Campus, outside of Kewanee, with the goal of becoming an English teacher. She ended up being a teacher, but her students are all a bit furry.

“I love it,” the young entrepreneur said. “This is what I do all day. I train or I clean runs . . . I’m really passionate about what I do. I’m a crazy dog lady.”