Four generations ago, the love for dogs started in Jennifer McCarthy’s family during the 1940s in Germany. Her second cousin Fritz Klemm and his daughter Barbara trained German Shepherds for the sport of Schutzhund. Fritz became well known in Germany for his amazing dog “Bingo” who he titled, owned and trained. Fritz went on to serve over 30 years of dedication to the sport as the head “boss” of the Zweibrucken Schutzhund Club.
The passion continued here in America, when Jennifer’s grandfather taught his daughter Gloria to appreciate the breed. On what little money they had, a rare black German Shepherd named Stranger became the family’s newest member after being found in South Boston. Gloria McCarthy went on to own several canines over the years and followed her passion in showing, training and owning within the German Shepherd breed. With her mother’s help, Jennifer’s love for animals began at home with horses, cats, fish, hamsters, rabbits and many, many dogs.
Through her mother’s guidance and help, Jennifer began horseback riding at age 3 and teaching her own dogs to do tricks by age 5. Those tricks led to experiments such as training her goldfish to swim in a circle for food, teaching her horse to bow for a carrot and her cat how to sit. Attending dog and horse shows, training classes and private lessons with her mother was a significant part of Jennifer’s life growing up. By age 14, she had been accepted into one of the top riding programs in the country with her 17 hand Thoroughbred ex-race horse that no one else could ride but her. Jennifer notes, “I always felt a connection with animals – I don’t know how to explain it other than a mutual understanding.”
In 1996, Jennifer formed Very Important Pooch (V.I.P.) in Los Angeles, California. She started the business after college with just a few business cards and word of mouth from clients. She later extended her services to teach group classes as the primary dog trainer for Chateau Marmutt, a high-end pet boutique/daycare in Los Angeles. V.I.P. led to work with international investigation and security firms, for whom she trained numerous personal protection dogs for their celebrity and executive clients. V.I.P has since evolved into Jennifer McCarthy World Class Dog Training. Jennifer and her team continues to provide private in-home training sessions, dog-walking and hiking for clients throughout Los Angeles and Orange County.
In 2012 Jennifer formed a partnership with Healthy Spot stores and became their exclusive referral for professional dog training services. Jennifer taught group obedience classes at Healthy Spot store locations throughout Los Angeles and Orange County.
Jennifer continues to work with private clients across Los Angeles and Orange County and is now offering her own customized group classes in Rolling Hills Estates on the Palos Verdes Peninsula.