Welcome to the ultimate destination for dog enthusiasts and social media mavens alike. At Dogfluencers, we're passionate about showcasing the best and brightest in the world of four-legged fame.
Whether you're looking for adorable photos, heartwarming stories, or expert tips on how to turn your own pup into a social media star, we've got you covered.
Today we got the honor of interviewing Tracey (Blue the Guide Dog's Human). You can find a direct link to their Instagram here.
Here is their story:
Can you tell us about your journey to becoming a dog influencer? What inspired you to start sharing your dog's adventures on social media?
Ford Perry: I’ve been sharing Blue’s life on FB and IG since I brought him home. We are an owner-trained guide dog team and I wanted to have all his life in one spot. Though it started as logging training and sharing our adventures with friends and family, in 2022, when I started sharing reels, we reached a wider audience. Now, it’s important to share our experiences to help other teams as well as learn from them. We also hit the general public who get to see a guide dog work. I narrate what’s happening help show exactly how Blue is helping me. I answer all questions and respond to all comments.
What do you think sets your dog apart from other dogs on social media? What makes them unique or particularly interesting to your followers?
Ford Perry: There are many great dogs on social media! We have a niche as we are a rarely seen, owner-trained, guide dog team. I share video of Blue working and narrate what’s going on so the average person might understand. I share our successes as well as challenges. So many people ask questions that they’d never get answered if they saw us in public. Our account is focused on Blue, not his handler. I keep the page positive. No hate or bullying allowed. I block and delete those immediately. It’s a safe space for people to feel like they can ask the difficult questions. Of course, Blue is a breed rarely seen, as well. He is a silver lab. I don’t allow breed questioning on our page either. If people don’t see a well-trained guide dog, they don’t get the privilege of enjoying his page. 😉
How do you come up with ideas for your dog's posts and content? Do you have a specific creative process?
Ford Perry: I started sharing reels of our daily life. Things Blue does to help mitigate my disability. I should mention that he has retrieval and mobility tasks along with his main task of guide work. When I review the videos, I see things I think would be interesting for people to see or other handlers to learn. So I share them. This leads to questions from his followers that I answer either in a comment or with another reel. I am beginning to start a few series because people are asking. Finding the bathroom (how Blue does it) and navigating the airport are my first two. So if I think it’s interesting, I share. If I’ve been asked, I share. If I think something will be helpful to others, I share. And share some of the silly stuff too.
Have you ever faced any challenges or negativity on social media, and how have you dealt with it?
Ford Perry: Oh yes! I block and delete. No second chances. It’s just trolls or ignorance. I use the tools in the programs to hide comments and then approve or block and delete as I see fit. I want to keep it a safe space for all. The negative comments never bother me. It’s just par for the course of using a world-wide platform.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to start their own dog influencer account or share their dog on social media?
Ford Perry: Keep it about the dog. Have fun with it. Post what YOU like! Don’t worry about clicks, likes, and such. Do it for YOU. If you get stressed about posting, don’t post. It’s your account. It should be fun. Ignore the haters. Block and delete without hesitation when needed.
How has your dog influenced your life outside of social media?
Ford Perry: After vision loss and other ailments, I needed Blue to get my life back to an acceptable level. He allows me to do most things independently. Since I owner-trained him for guide work, we trained weekly with our local SD trainer for two years. I’ve continued Blue’s training and have helped him understand all my needs. His skills are exceptional. Blue has gotten me out in nature more than I’ve ever been. And of course, I’ve met some great trainers and service dog teams. He’s expanded my world.
Can you tell us about a particularly memorable or funny moment you've had with your dog during one of your photo shoots or adventures?
Ford Perry: I’m sure there are many funny moments, but I go directly to a memorable moments. It’s his skills in finding places and things. I had lost my white gold, sapphire and diamond dangly earring somewhere in my house. Both my husband and I looked for it to no avail. I asked Blue to “find it.” He had no description or any other directions. Just, “find it.” I didn’t have high hopes of ever seeing the earring again. After a short time, 30-60 minutes, Blue sits in front of me and stares hard, which generally means he has something in his mouth to give me: generally a piece of cellophane or something off the floor. But not this time. He spit my earring into my hand. In perfect condition. He’s amazing!
What is your favorite thing about being a dog influencer?
Ford Perry: Sharing the amazing tasks Blue performs and communicating with others who are so curious.
Lastly, what's next for you and your dog on social media? Any exciting plans or projects in the works?
Ford Perry: We’re going to keep sharing, educating, and advocating. In about 1.5-2 years I’ll be looking to start this training process all over again with Blue’s successor. I’ll have a puppy and Blue will help me train. This will include modeling, which I rarely see in the training world. (Modeling is when one dog shows another how it’s done.) Blue is helping a few dogs right now by modeling. It’s incredible to see. He is a very tolerant dog.