We had the good fortune of connecting with Xavier Hernandez and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Xavier, can you tell us more about your background and the role it’s played in shaping who you are today?
I am originally from Spring Valley in San Diego County. My family is from Mexico and I spent a lot of my childhood in Tecate, as well. In some ways, I had a challenging childhood which led to poor choices down the road as I grew into adulthood. I felt overlooked and misunderstood in my youth, and this prevented me from becoming the best version of myself that I could be. I was able to get back on track in my mid-30’s, and when I had the opportunity to think about my true passions in life, I realized that working with dogs was something that came naturally to me. I grew up around street dogs in Mexico so I developed an innate respect for them and their needs early in life. I also began to see parallels between my life and the lives of dogs who develop behavioral issues. That is why I am so passionate about the way my business has evolved. It is much less dog “training” these days and much more “couples therapist” for dogs and their owners. I want to help people understand their dogs so that they can build a harmonious relationship with them. More often than not, the breakdown in the relationship comes down to a communication issue, and it never ceases to amaze me how much can be accomplished by educating more humans about dogs and their needs/communication styles. I have known what it feels like to be misunderstood and I want to help as many dogs as I can to live full lives and be seen for who they really are.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
It has been fairly challenging to establish a presence for this business as in some ways, it goes against the grain of mainstream dog training practices. We are always open to collaborating with others who use different methods than ours and learning new things to benefit the dogs we work with, but not everyone who works in this field sees it the same way. Additionally, sometimes people are looking for a quick fix for the issues they are having with their dogs, and we do not believe in quick fixes. We believe that dogs, as companions, should be seen as a family member to “raise” (not unlike children), not an animal to be “trained”. When raising children, it is an ongoing process, not a quick fix or short term project, and it requires leadership, respect, AND love. We are extremely proud of the results we have achieved with many of our clients who have been able to commit to a new way of seeing and interacting with their dogs. We have learned that running this business authentically and from our hearts is the only way we will feel good about the work we do, and that is ultimately what leads to success. Our goal is never to make money, but to help people and their dogs live full, happy lives together. We are still working to find our place in the larger dog training world, but we will always use our hearts and our passion as the compass and we have no doubt this will lead to a healthy business long into the future.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
We love to get out in nature and live in Eastern San Diego County, so we would plan many hikes in the Ramona/Julian area to share the beauty to the countryside with our friends. You also can’t go wrong with Julian Pie. We also enjoy walking around Balboa Park and the San Diego Zoo, which could be conquered in one day if you are ambitious. The beaches in San Diego are the best, and as dog lovers, we are partial to Coronado and the dog beach near the hotel. It is one of the most beautiful beaches in the world and a great place to bring family and friends. The Hillcrest Farmers Market is a great experience as well for anyone looking for local fare and presents to bring home.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
It is not easy building a business from scratch, but I have been fortunate to work with many amazing clients who helped me get to where I am today. You can’t say enough about the power of word of mouth and loyal clients who understand that this is a lifelong process. I have many clients who still attend pack walks and other events with me even after years of training. Their dedication to their dogs inspires me every day, and makes the hard days worth it. I am also grateful to the rescue organizations in Los Angeles that trusted me with the rehabilitation of adoptable dogs and to provide support for fosters and adopters in the area. Apollos Arc/Cara Dallamora and A Wish for Animals/Toni are true heroes in the rescue world and have dedicated their lives to the betterment of all animals.

Website: www.everydaypackleader.com

Instagram: @everyday_pack_leader

Facebook: Xavier Hernandez

Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/everyday-pack-leader-poway

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutSocal is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.