Meet Chrissy Joy of The Joy Crew: An Exclusive Interview

dog trainer

Chrissy Joy is a very well known celebrity dog trainer, live performer, studio canine trainer, and educator through demos and workshops. A past equestrian and now dog trainer – she has over two decades of animal training experience. She rescued her first dog, Beasley, in 2014 and now owns four dogs that make up The Joy Crew.

Chrissy enjoys her journey with The Joy Crew on road trips, hiking, set work, sports, and creative content through social media.

dog trainer

Today she has become an internationally recognized dog trainer with several award-winning titles:

  • 2018 National Stunt Dog Champion
  • 2021 International Trick Dog Champion
  • Trainer of the Youngest Champion Trick Dog in the world (9 weeks old)
  • Trainer of the Second Youngest Champion Trick Dog in the world. (12 weeks)

Her lifelong motto is “Take chances, make opportunities” and her lifelong goal is to educate others on mental health matters and the pursuit of happiness, creating a greater bond with your pet, and making goals a reality.

Now Let’s Hear a Little Bit More About Chrissy Joy:

PRIDE+GROOM: How did you get into dog training?

Chrissy Joy: Spending my time with animals has always been an outlet that has made me the best version of myself. When I was a child, I dealt with a lot of anxiety and fear of even leaving my own home. Training and playing with my beagle, Angie, really allowed me to find peace and sparked my interest in training dogs.

As I grew up, I fell in love with riding horses as well. This turned into a degree from Delaware Valley College with a Bachelor of Science in Equine Studies. In fancy terms, it means training and business with horses! There was also a fierce love for TV production.  While balancing my world of horses, I was also building a career as an actress and worked in New York City with many popular TV shows and films.

Dogs came back into my life in 2014, when I rescued my first dog (not a family dog) named Beasley. It was at this point I began training at a local facility in Maryland called BFF Pet Services. Soon after beginning the classes, I was approached to consider being a Dog Trainer at their facility.

Helping people and changing their lives with their dogs shed light on a beautiful new path of life and I never looked back. I fell in love with the world of trick dog training and grew my pack to four dogs strong called The Joy Crew. Today I have married two worlds which I am passionate about - the world of dog training and TV/production. Today we work consistently on many commercials, TV, films and more!

Today, not only do I focus on improving the lives of people and their dogs through social media content, events, and education, but also to focus on mental health.  I feel deeply about self-esteem and following your dreams.  I want to share in my passion for never giving up when the doors close and to believe in your own capabilities that you can bring to the table.

Also Read - Paw Care Tips to Beat the Summer Heat

PRIDE+GROOM: Can you share a bit of your journey in the pet industry?

dog trainer

Chrissy Joy:  I am beyond thrilled to be in the pet industry!  Transitioning from a dog trainer in a facility to performing live shows, traveling the nation, and being a part of films and productions has been a dream come true. Discovering new products, life hacks, and sharing the good and the bad of being a dog mom helps me connect to others in the industry in an authentic way.  The fact that I get to share my journey with everyone on social media adds to the love and support I feel on these endeavors.  Some of my biggest supporters are friends and fans online. 

PRIDE+GROOM: When did you start your brand? What is the inspiration behind it? 

Chrissy Joy:  The Joy Crew began after bringing home my third dog, Darby in 2020.  During COVID, we all took a hit to our mental health and normalcy. I wanted to create a place and a brand that would exude inspiration and happiness! The Joy Crew is meant to celebrate my personal dogs, the world of dogs, but also following your own passion and celebrating life. The Joy Crew is more than a brand, it’s a mindset. As I like to say, it’s not just myself and the dogs  - we are all The Joy Crew!

PRIDE+GROOM: Our audience is going to want to hear about all of your dogs. Can you tell us about them, and how each one has impacted you in some way.

Chrissy Joy:  Yes! I own a collective group of dogs called The Joy Crew. My first dog and rescue is Beasley. He is a 65lb red/brown mixed breed who came from a PA rescue from a litter of 14 puppies.  Today he is the 2021 International Trick Dog Champion and 2018 National Stunt Dog Champion. He is also known for playing fun games such as Jenga, matching cards, and Connect Four.

I also have two border collies, Whidbey and Darby. These two have the same parents and are one year apart. Darby is the youngest titled Champion Trick Dog in the world. Whidbey loves skateboarding! These two enjoy competitive disc, agility, and performing tricks along with their film career.

The newest pup to our group is Fuji – he is a 9 month old mini aussie mix. He is learning lots of tricks and even had his first commercial! He is a bit smaller at just 23lbs. Fuji is learning frisbee and having fun with my 6 year old daughter, Elowen. 

PRIDE+GROOM: What is an example of your biggest challenge you have faced as you have built your brand/started your company? Did you face any challenges specifically during the pandemic?

Chrissy Joy:  When I first began, I felt that the biggest challenge was just having the self-belief and courage to start my brand. I think many can relate to the productivity paralysis - where you have a lot of great ideas and plans, but have trouble getting started.  I always wanted to make a difference worldwide. I knew it was time to bring a name and brand to my passion, work, and family.

The Joy Crew was built upon my love of dogs, building confidence, self-esteem, self-love, and hopefully inspiration to all people of all capabilities and interests.  

During the pandemic I definitely saw a drop in the type of work I enjoy the most with The Joy Crew.  This includes live shows, TV work, and dog training. Basically, anything face to face with people or crowds was nixed from our world. However, I will say that my interest in film and recording my own content really grew during this time. I have expanded my topics and content on social media which was a way to reach friends, fans, and family. 

PRIDE+GROOM: Who is your target customer and/or audience? 

Chrissy Joy: Honestly, my ideal audience are people who find value in improving their life, not take life for granted, and strive to achieve their goals.  I know that it is like to beat yourself up, afraid to take the leap, unsure of following your passion as a career, and dealing with anxiety/depression.

Of course, it helps to be a dog lover, too. I resonate most with an audience that likes to interact and build discussion about life’s hurdles and achievements. I have two accounts which offer a different perspective, but the same underlying foundation as mentioned. “The Joy Crew” which focuses on my dogs and our adventures. “The Chrissy Joy” which takes more of a pet parent role, motherhood, and focusing on mental health and inspiration.

PRIDE+GROOM: Do you personally have any favorite dog products or brands? 

Chrissy Joy:  I do! Right now in this season of my life, I really enjoy Rogue Pet Products as a fantastic supplement I use on my dogs. I really like using their 5-in-1 which offers a great balance of nutrition to aid in my dogs’ active lifestyles.  

PRIDE+GROOM: What is a day in your life like?

Chrissy Joy: If I am working, you can be sure it’s a lot of phone calls, emails, filming, and living the “hurry up and wait” schedule of working on set. At home, I balance my life with family, exercising and training the dogs, and keeping up with work at home. You can always be sure to see me with a cup of coffee first thing in the morning, messy hair, and dogs under my feet.  I am a true dog mom after all!

PRIDE+GROOM: Can you share a few personal tips or advice on being a successful business owner?

Chrissy Joy:  Well, I think this can relate back to my original motto I made once graduating from college. “Take chances, make opportunities.” I feel to this day that I have lived by these words and it has helped me discover (and reroute) many decisions in my life. Sure, many, MANY doors have closed with the energy of trying and failing. However, I look back today and I am so grateful for the doors that have closed.

Oh, how those closed doors can hurt at times. Taking those chances to make new steps on your journey and creating your own opportunity through hard work is such a healthy foundation to strive toward any goal or passion. Another thing that I believe in - keep your circle small and cherish those people. Make time to express how these people mean so much to you. Keep your circle small to protect yourself.

PRIDE+GROOM: What would you change about your business journey if you could go back?

Chrissy Joy: To be honest, I can’t think of something that I would change. All of the things that worked - or didn’t - all led me to what I do today. It has all led me to the people I keep close. I feel so grateful and in a better position than ever before.

PRIDE+GROOM: How do you stay motivated?

Chrissy Joy: It can be hard! Honestly, the days I do not feel motivated is usually a sign I need more self-care. This could mean a healthier diet, better sleep, more water, less sugar. Also, I have learned that a good workout plan does wonders for my mental health. So I try my best to stick to that when I can. I try to sweat a little bit everyday! 

If I am having just a rough day, I allow myself 24 hours to be that way and just give myself a mental break from it all. However, after that I will try to make small motions to improve my life. This could be cleaning something, walking the dogs, or listening to my favorite music.

 Also Read - How Long Can You Leave a Dog Alone?

PRIDE+GROOM: How do you speak up for the humane and ethical treatment of animals in the entertainment industry?

Chrissy Joy: One way that I can advocate for the safe treatment of animals on set and in the performance world is by leading by example. I take many precautions and preparations to be sure that my dogs will be considered and cared for throughout the lifecycle of a job.

From travel, being on set or showgrounds, to balancing work/mental health of my dogs  - I take every step with utmost consideration for the dog’s health and happiness. One thing that I preach is to remember that my dog will sacrifice their happiness to be with you. Be sure that you are doing this lifestyle because they enjoy it… not just because you want to do it.

Ways that I can speak up would be by engaging with peers online, educating in workshops and demos, and covering topics through media and entertainment outlets.

PRIDE+GROOM: What is one unexpected twist or turn you have encountered in your business journey and experience that turned out to be positive?

Chrissy Joy: The biggest surprise to me is the massive change from being horse-crazy and a college degree in Equine Studies (horses, business and training) to rescuing my own dog and being pulled into a massive shift in passion. Where one was waning - the horse industry can be extremely difficult to build a lifelong career - another was naturally planting roots and taking off to the skies! Since starting dog training with Beasley I have never looked back. 

PRIDE+GROOM: What do you like to do in your free time?

dog

Chrissy Joy: Thankfully, I still ride horses and enjoy many outdoor activities. You can find me hiking multiple days a week with my dogs, walking the beaches, taking a run, or training the dogs outside. I really love to practice agility and frisbee with Whidbey, Darby, and Fuji and compete in local competitions when my work schedule allows. 

PRIDE+GROOM: Tell our readers where they can follow you and keep up with your brand!:

Sure thing! Be sure to check out  www.chrissyjoy.com or email  thechrissyjoy@gmail.com.

You can follow me on:
IG: @thejoycrew or @thechrissyjoy

TIktok:  @thejoycrew
YouTube:  @chrissyjoy
Twitter (X):  @thechrissyjoy
Facebook:  @thejoycrew @thechrissyjoy 

Check out Chrissy with her dogs on  DOGTV’s “The DogMoms” as well as The DogMoms Podcast. Also, her newest show “Farm Girl” will be premiering in the fall of 2023 on DOGTV.