Patricia Linehan and Terry Clodfelter spent their lives in education … of people. Now, they are turning those teaching talents to the four-legged species. The former college professors opened True Connections Canine Academy (TCCA) on six acres of fully fenced property about two miles off Highway 22 between Mankato and St. Peter in August of 2019.
TCCA is a dog training business focused on teaching humans how to train their own dogs. This gives dog owners training independence because they have built their own skills to clearly and kindly communicate to their dog what they want the dog to do.
“We opened TCCA to fulfill a long-held dream of helping people and dogs understand one another better and do amazing, fun things together. Although we own the business and are responsible for it financially, it was designed and is operated quite nontraditionally. TCCA is truly a group effort, run by pooling good ideas from a small group of devoted dog trainers, then discussing them from every direction possible, and acting on the best. Without the group, there would be no business. This group of trainers keeps the business fresh with the latest ideas in training science and offers a creative energy, kindness and enthusiasm which permeate everything we do,” explains Linehan.
TCCA got off to a great start, but as with so many other small, locally-owned businesses, COVID-19 proved to be a challenge they are still trying to conquer.
“We had full classes when the pandemic hit and we chose to close and refund for the safety of everyone. We do not know exactly when we will open yet. This has been hard on all of us because we miss our students, the comradery, and of course all the funny, silly, sweet, or challenging dogs who make us all think hard and/or laugh,” she says.
The best part of her businesses is the people she meets along the way.
“Here at TCCA we get to see the best of people. We see them struggle at times with learning how to train, and then getting it. Light bulbs go off right in front of us! We see them touch their pups gently, with love. We see new owners of rescue dogs come for training so the relationship will work out. That’s commitment. It fills us with joy. I didn’t know this would make me smile so much!”
True Connections Canine Academy
32247 480th Street
Phone: (507) 441-1582