Aggression and Anxiety Specialist
Certified member, NADOI
(National Association of Dog Obedience Instructors)
Certified SATS Trainer
AKC (American Kennel Club) Canine Good Citizen® Evaluator
Missouri Puppies for Parole Dog Training Instructor
Co-Author: The K-9 Coach’s Playbook
Co-Producer: 4 full-length dog training video productions
Dogs, especially German Shepherds, have always been a big part of Ken’s life. That’s just one reason we’re so confident when handling and training this breed!
When I was a baby, my dad moved our family to Venezuela, to work for an oil company for several years. While we were there, Mom would go swimming in Lake Maracaibo. Someone needed to watch my sister and me, to keep us out of the water. Grandma wasn’t always available to help.
Mom would sit us down on a beach mat and tell Mitzi, our family's German Shepherd, to keep an eye on us. Then she'd go swimming. Mitzi never let down
her guard. If we tried to get up from the blanket, she'd nudge us back on.
I’d never recommend a canine babysitter today, but Mitzi proved herself reliable.
We never got to the water while she was on duty. Only when Grandma was in charge!
Ken trained dogs from the time he was 9 years old. Dog training was his passion long before it was his vocation.
As a youth, he was even president of a local 4-H club that focused on training both dogs and horses.
Ken seemed destined to work with dogs – even as a Seabee in the U.S. Navy.
In 1967, I was back in Vietnam for my second tour of duty. I was a heavy equipment operator, working with bulldozers, cranes and forklifts.
The guys in my company knew I loved dogs. One day they brought me a stray puppy, a lab mix.
“Beast,” as we dubbed him, quickly wormed his way into our unit and our hearts.
Beast tagged along with different guys each day, but he always spent the night by my bunk. I wrote Mom about him, and she shipped me some of my dog training equipment. Beast and I began working with it in our free time.
We made quite a team. I realized how much I’d missed the love of a dog. I didn’t want to leave Beast behind when I returned stateside in just 10 months.
I’d made a friend on my first tour whose dad was a commercial pilot. He regularly flew into DaNang. I began making arrangements to send Beast back to the U.S. with him at the end of my tour.
One night, our camp took some mortar rounds. Fortunately, none of the guys was hit. But Beast was, and he died.
It was by far my worst experience in Viet Nam. Beast had gotten me through the last part of my last tour. People say they rescue dogs. But for those few months, Beast really rescued me. I still remember him, with gratitude, whenever I think back on my last days in the service.
Ken returned to civilian life and dog training after serving in Vietnam. He has over 60 years of dog training under his belt. He’s read hundreds of dog training books and spent thousands of hours in dog training seminars.
Ken has adopted many different dog training methods along the way. He knows that no one training style fits all dogs.
A good dog trainer is knowledgeable and experienced enough to customize a training system for each individual dog. Why? Because all dogs – and all owners - are unique. We need to be flexible, and committed to finding the right training solutions, to be truly effective.
How long does Ken plan to continue training dogs?
I spend every day doing what I love to do, with dogs and their people.
I'll never retire!