Ken has been training and competing in a wide range of dog sports since 1982. He and his canine partners have been successful in obedience, conformation, rally, agility and field. Ken has trained and competed with Irish Setters and Flat-Coated Retrievers. He has competed at the top level in Obedience (3 UD titles, 5 CDX titles and 7 CD titles), Rally (an RAE2 title and RE on a 2nd dog) and Agility (MACH2). His oldest dog, Colter, was inducted into the Flat-Coated Retriever Hall of Fame in 2008, while young Talisker is coming up in the field and competing in agility, obedience and field with an eye on qualifying for the Hall of Fame. Ken’s philosophy is that no two dogs are the same and what works for one handler or team isn’t necessarily what is best for another. His idea is to have fun in training and competing while helping each dog to be successful and confident. His classes are not only enjoyable for both handler and dog, they produce results. His students regularly qualify and place. By competing in obedience, rally and agility, Ken teaches how each area can help be successful in the other areas.
Darcy Rohats began training her first Elkhound in 1994 for conformation, obedience and agility. From that experience she was lucky to conduct pet obedience classes for the SPCA of Texas, private kennels, as well as with Petco and asked to develop pet partner instructors for some of their local stores. This experience allowed her to work with many different dog breeds and human/canine teams. Darcy has enjoyed being the Training Director for Contact Zonies Agility club here in Phoenix and actively competing in agility, rally and conformation. Over time she has attended seminars including Suzanne Clothier, Christine Zink and Rachel Sanders. She is also a Canine Good Citizen (CGC) evaluator with the AKC. Working with canine/human teams is rewarding and fun to Darcy. She feels it makes the relationship that much more solid.
BS Ohio State University – Animal Behavior Program
Certified Veterinary Technician – State of Arizona
Current: Researching Human – Canine Social Interaction and Canine CognitionTraining experience:
– Founder Precision Canine 1986
– Conformation, obedience, rally, tracking and other working dog sports
– Dogs, cats, birds and rodents for print and film industries
– Obedience titled 25 dogs from 3 different groups
– Dog World Awards (Obedience)
– High in Trial Awards (Obedience)
– Multiple RE’s including RAE Rally titles
– Conformation Championships on 28 dogs
– Best in Show, National Specialty BOB, BOS, Group wins
– Multiple Top Winning Belgian Tervuren Bitch of the Year
– First BIS Ch UDT female Belgian Tervuren
– Student teams enjoy success in their chosen canine sport venues
Will Bruner has worked professionally as an animal trainer since 1992 with a focus on zoos and exotic animals. In 1996 he started doing in-home dog training and animal behavior consultation second to his day to day work. He found the same principles he used on dolphins, tigers and birds of prey, transferred easily to helping people with their pets at home. This has led him to not only help dogs, but also conduct cat and bird training workshops as well. He believes strongly in the Canine Good Citizen program and has been an AKC Approved Evaluator since 2010. He has also competed in obedience and agility trials with his own dogs and most recently discovered the sport of Treibball. As part of the first US Treibball classes conducted in Colorado in 2010, Will went on to compete in the first sanctioned Treibball competition in Arizona in 2014. He is also certified as a judge and trainer for the American Treibball Association. Will is a professional member of the Animal Behavior Management Alliance (ABMA). Will’s passion lies in bettering animals’ lives through training and better communication, whether they are in the zoo or your home. His philosophy on training is based on three basic principles, consistency, honesty and rewards. Training works best, not when you try to control your dog, but when you are communicating with them. Dogs need structure, challenges (both physical and mental), as well as praise to be happy and content.
Lynn began training German Shepherds in the sport of Schutzhund in 1997. She has taken her dogs through all phases of this sport including the SchH3 level and several tracking titles. Lynn’s dogs also have their CGC (Canine Good Citizen) certificates. She is an active member and Board Member of the Phoenix Schutzhund Club. Lynn believes it is important for the handler and the dog to form a strong bond of trust and love from the beginning and she tailors her training to fully developing this bond through positive reward and reinforcement. She believe it is important for you and your new best friend to enjoy being together by having a dog who is fully under control and a joy to be around.
For the past ten years Karen has been training dogs of all breeds and experience levels and she is a Certified Master Trainer. She has experience working with reactive dogs, teaching agility and obedience at all levels. Karen’s German Shepherd has titles in Rally Novice, Advanced and Excellence, along with receiving her Canine Good Citizen certification. Her Sheltie and enjoys Agility for fun and she is a certified Therapy Dog. As a trainer working with various companies and private clients Karen has had the opportunity to work with hundreds of dogs and feel that each dog learns differently and no one method is perfect for all dogs- training needs to be flexible for the dog and owner. Her goal is for no one to give up on their dog.
Monika has been actively working with, training, and devoting her time to improving canines since 1998. She is a professional member of APDT (Association of Pet Dog Trainers) and a certified AKC CGC (Canine Good Citizen) Evaluator. She is committed to turning difficult situations into the most effective and convenient solutions for her clients’ dog training needs. Her passion is working with reactive canines by creating structure in the family environment and strengthening the relationships of pets and owners. Monika avidly pursues continuing education and professional development by attending several seminars per year and keeping current on all industry literature and training techniques. When she is not helping clients enjoy better lives with their canine companions, Monika competes in AKC Obedience, Rally Trials, and French Ring Sport.
Anzi has worked extensively in the pet training industry. As a canine instructor teaching both group and private lessons in Obedience 1, CGC and Therapy Dog Certification; Anzi was responsible for training at over 67 locations in her previous position. Her primary interest is in helping people train their own dogs for Therapy and Service Dog work. Anzi has worked with the ADI tests and TDI evaluators for Service Dogs. She is certified by the AKC as a CGC and Therapy Dog trainer. She offers Board & Train services in her own home. Anzi especially likes working with children, Veterans and people with special needs.
Kwanho, a native of Seoul, South Korea; is a certified professional dog trainer and also certified in working with behavior modification. He owned his own business in Korea specializing in positive dog training, clicker training, and tricks training. He strives to understand each dog’s temperament and personality. By designing a customized curriculum to appeal to both the guardian and the dog’s strengths, Kwanho maximizes efficient learning for both. He also does private lessons and assists in the mentorship program for AZ Dog Smart Academy for new trainers. He attended the mentorship program with Will Bruner at AZ Dog Smart Academy this fall. In his spare time he volunteers for Power Paws. Kwanho is adding this exciting new skill set to his repertoire, and his love of helping people work with dogs in new ways. His other love is Music. He has both his Bachelor of Music degree from Seoul National University, and his master of Music degree from Indiana University, Bloomington. He is a professional Trombonist and now resides in Arizona, with his wife, also a professional musician. His interest in dogs was first in learning to train his wife’s two therapy dogs, and the rest is history!
Debbie Nichols – Trainer
Debbie has been working with dogs her entire life. Her love of dogs started early on with 4-H, then as Vet-Tec and as a shelter manager, in L.A., Las Vegas, and Maricopa County. Debbie’s passion for working with dogs introduced her to the sport of Agility. Her love of Agility is one of the reasons she teaches her favorite leisure past time at AZ Dog Sports. Debbie has been an instructor for Contact Zonies Agility Club since 2006, when she was training her own competition dog. She teaches foundation, novice, and competition Agility. Her creative courses are now part of our indoor venue all year around. In her spare time, Debbie also fosters many rescue dogs for Boxer Love Rescue and has fostered and trained over 30 dogs in the last 10 years for that organization. Debbie provides basic obedience and level 1 training as part of our Board and Train program, where the trainer houses and trains the dog over a 2 to 4-week period. This is a great way to have your dog develop the practical obedience and manners that most guardians would like for their pets. Debbie is a Realtor by vocation and loves living and training in her space designed for dogs to have fun and exercise in her own spacious home venue.
Michael Brand – BS, CPDT-KA
Owner – Desert Canine
Michael has been a lover of dogs since he was four years old. His first dog was an American Eskimo called Freeway, so named because the dog was rescued from a freeway in San Francisco. Freeway was one tough cookie, who provided Michael his first, early lessons in understanding the complex needs of dogs, from the reactive and unsocialized to the easy-going and gregarious.
Early work as a pet sitter and dog walker fueled Michael’s commitment to learn as much as possible in the field. As his interests and involvement with dogs grew, he studied for and obtained the CPDT-KA (Certified Professional Dog Trainer) certification from the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers.
Michael was the General Manager of AZ Dog Sports, working closely with clients to learn their needs and then prescribing appropriate training classes. As a principal trainer for Zen K9, Michael worked with dogs on everything from basic obedience to aggression. These experiences greatly increased Michael’s practical knowledge of canine behavior and his ability to “speak dog.”
Michael enjoys working with and educating owners, helping them to understand their canine friends. He is actively involved in developing workshops on subjects important to pet owners and is often called upon to consult with dog-centric businesses to develop protocols for assessing canine temperament.
Michael lives in Phoenix, Arizona, with his wife Danelle and their two gorgeous, young daughters. While keeping up with the growing business demands of Desert Canine, he continues to attend dog-training seminars and workshops to keep current on all facets of the dog training profession.