Meet the face
behind the posts

The modern day Pocahontas and Meeko

Hi, I'm Sarah. Meet my racoon, Etsu the curietsu. Aka, a black and tan Shiba Inu.

When I first got Etsu on May 30th, 2020, I told myself I wouldn't make her an Instagram. I felt like everyone did that for their dog and I didn't want to be just another dog account posting cute photos for clout. Don't get me wrong, I love cute photos. Even more, I love taking cute photos of Etsu. But social media can be exhausting for my own mental health, so I wanted something for a purpose.

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Two weeks after getting her, my Instagram became flooded with all of Etsu's content. So I eventually gave in to making her own account. I never would have imagined the kind of community I'd find on there. I've loved dog training because it deepens my relationship with my dog. But I was so surprised at the support we received from everyone I met online and the fact that other people actually enjoyed the journey with us. 

I found my content becoming longer and longer. And while of course, we still enjoy sharing everything on Instagram, we can only share so much on that platform. So here we are with our blog.


Our intent here is to share our journey with you as authentically as possible. From the things we learned, things we're still learning, and to all the other things we enjoy outside of training - like all the bandanas, collars and more!

Thanks for stopping by and we hope you enjoy the journey as much as we do. Of course, drop us a message on instagram if this is your first time finding us! @etsuandme


Is Etsu your first dog?

She is not. She's my fourth. I've had a lab and two huskies prior to her, while growing up.

Where do you live?

I'm based in Los Angeles, CA.

What motivates you to train Etsu and other dogs?

I had to re-home two of my previous dogs after going through a huge lifestyle change years ago. Ever since then, I realized obedience alone wasn't enough to make sure my dogs will thrive regardless of a change in lifestyle, especially for when unexpected things happen. They needed that and more. But many dog owners are often going through several things at once along with training their dogs, and need a caring support system to make sure both they and their dogs have the best time together, regardless of what phase of their life they are in. I want to help make that happen; to ensure that dog owners feel confident and equipped to understand their dog and know how to train/adjust no matter what changes come their way.

How did you get a Shiba?

After researching for half a year, I started to reach out to reputable breeders I found on the AKC website. I then patiently waited for her for a year and a half, while meeting breeders at dog shows. I usually recommend getting to know the breeder and their personality. I absolutely love my breeder, who has been so kind to me since the beginning. When you get your dog from a breeder you like and trust, not only do you get a wonderful dog, you also get a new family member. 

What are your thoughts on the slip, prong, and e-collar?

Etsu is properly conditioned to all three. For other dogs, I always say never to teach anything new with an e-collar. Therefore, my personal preference is always to first properly condition the dog on a slip or prong, depending on the dog, and after foundations, we can add the e-collar on; only with proper conditioning. 

Did you work with a trainer when training Etsu?

Yes! While most of what I've learned are from research, learning from different trainers and unfortunately, trial and error from my previous dogs, I also have worked with @okami_canine. He has now become a mentor for me in my dog training journey. I'm a firm believer that regardless of whether we are dog owners, or dog trainers, we need a community that we can continuously learn from and give back to. Because of that, I enjoy surrounding myself with other dog trainers and believe in community over competition.