Watch the video and read the article below to get to know more about the great Robbie Estill!
Robbie, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I grew-up in Keller, TX in a middle-class family the oldest of three boys. My parents were amazing. My mom took care of us as moms do and my dad worked hard his entire life to provide for us. My dad’s work ethic was instilled in us early on. My dad also raised pigeons and trained our family dogs. I’ve been around animals my entire life and always felt like I had a natural ability to ‘be’ with and communicate with them. I never knew it could be a career. It was just something I enjoyed.
Fast forward to 2003 – I met Brad Bevill through a common interest in music and baseball. We became great friends and remain friends to this day. After a really tough year in 2016/17 (lost both my parents and my grandfather), I was unhappy. I had a job that paid well but wasn’t fulfilling at all. I had zero work-life balance – I worked 7 days a week (80+ hours/week). And that was difficult because I have a wife and two sons of my own. I just felt miserable.
Brad had said years ago, “You should work for me. I think you’d be good at training dogs. You have good energy and a natural gift with animals.” I never thought much of it. But once I saw the business he created and the work he was doing (dog behavior and rehabilitation rather than obedience), I became interested. I also saw a great opportunity to do something that came natural to me and something that I loved. I could finally have a career instead of a job.
So along the way I started studying, training, and honing my dog behavior skills and in the summer of last year, Brad and I started talking seriously about making a move. He realized that his Fort Worth clients weren’t able to get the same experience as his Dallas clients. They were less likely to take advantage of daycare, boarding, and private consultations because of the lengthy drive. It was a no brainer to open up a Fort Worth location (it’s actually on the border between Hurst and Fort Worth). So, I quit my job and joined Bevill Dog Behavior. We opened up the Fort Worth location on August 1, 2017 and we have been packed with business ever since. It has been a crazy ride and a lot of fun. Taking that risk was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
Can you give our readers some background on your art?
I am a dog behavior specialist. I create calm, balanced dogs and educate humans on how to live with their dogs in a way that creates harmony, how to lead their dogs in a way that creates balance, and how to fulfill their dogs in a way that creates happiness. We do this because we believe the world can be a better place when we start learning from our dogs and honoring them for who they are rather than who we want them to be. There are so many amazing life lessons that have been given to us by our dogs. The main one being – learn how to live in the present. Let go of the past. Stop being anxious about the future. Live in the now and enjoy every moment.
To summarize Larry Krohn: Whether you realize it or not – if you have a dog, you are training it. The question is – what are you teaching it? How you live with your dog dictates how your dog lives with you. Obedience training doesn’t create a well-behaved dog. But properly raising a dog does. They are not humans and they are not our children. They are canines and must be respected as such. And they are a precious gift that is not here long enough. So, enjoy every minute and never take them for granted.
Any advice for aspiring or new artists?
Don’t quit and just keep doing stuff. Brad has this motto that he taught me years ago – “Keep doing sh*t.” And the real magic behind that is – keep meeting people. Keep getting better. Keep learning. Keep getting out of your house and putting yourself around the scene, the people, the mentors, the best of the best, others who have similar interests. If you just keep showing up and you just keep DOING, you can’t fail.
Also, read “Outliers” – the 10,000-hour rule is no joke. You’ve got to put in the time and work. And you have to have the ability to learn and change. Our craft is not about mechanics – it’s about feel. All the techniques in the world won’t help you if you don’t have good energy and don’t have good feel for what’s going through the dog’s mind. The only way you can “get that” is to spend tens of thousands of hours around dogs and watch them interact, train them, walk them, socialize with them – you just have to be with them.