OUR COACHES…

You deserve to know who you are working with. We employ elite all stars! Unlike many of our “competitors”, our employees are ACTUALLY employees. They’re not 1099 independent contractors.

At K-9 Coach, we provide an environment where people want to work. We nurture employees desire to help animals and be a part of a larger goal. At K-9 Coach, employees know that they are valued, rewarded (financially, emotionally and professionally), challenged and inspired to excellence. We support their professional goals and continuing education endeavors wherever possible.

These practices create accountability – to ourselves, to our employees and, MOST IMPORTANTLY, to you.

Canine Coaches

amber-b-headshot-may2015Amber Burckhalter, CEO
CMT, CDBC, CPDT-KA

Certified Master Trainer and Animal Behavior Consultant, Amber Burckhalter is a renowned expert in canine obedience and behavior modification. She has spent 20 years working with all types of dogs on pack mentality, behavior modification and all levels of obedience. She is considered an expert in the canine aggression field, using positive training methods and, in addition to being the Head Coach and directing all K-9 Coach training activities, this is now her professional focus.

Amber grew up in a family that was very active with dogs and, in fact, rescued her first dog when she was just 7 years old. She spent much of her high school and college years working in the veterinarian field as a kennel technician, a veterinarian assistant and a surgical technician. After graduating with a Bachelors in Science from Georgia State University, she attended Tarheel Canine Training in North Carolina – a worldwide respected canine training facility. While there, she trained and worked with dogs in search and rescue, cadaver recovery, drug and explosive discovery, personal protection and basic and advanced obedience.

In 1995, Amber received her Certified Master Dog Trainer certification and began training professionally.Amber is a Certified Dog Behavioral Consultant with the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC). She is the Immediate Past President of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT) and Co-Chair of their Regional Educational Task Force. She is a member of the International Association of Canine Professionals (IACP) and is recognized as a Certified Professional Dog Trainer-Knowledge Assessed® (CPDT-KA®), the only worldwide recognized canine trainer certification, by the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT). She is active in numerous pet rescue organizations and the American Kennel Club’s (AKC) Canine Good Citizen® program. She is also a member of Leadership Cobb and the Cobb County Chamber of Commerce CEO Roundtable and Business U Task Force.

Amber has served as an expert witness in court proceedings and has been featured in the Atlanta Journal Constitution and other newspapers, both for her expert opinion and her call to action for other trainers. She has appeared in Women’s Day, Parents Magazine, The APDT Chronicle, CNN.com and numerous other publications. Amber has also appeared on local television programs including Good Day Atlanta and in a WSB-TV Channel 2 exposé that profiled Norred and Associates and Amber’s work with busting dog fighting rings and rehabilitating abused dogs. In 2008, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) named Amber ‘Head Trainer’ for the End Dog Fighting Campaign in Atlanta and she went on to co-design the curriculum for the nationwide HSUS program. She has appeared on National Public Radio and several other radio talk shows as a canine expert and is sought after by numerous organizations for her help using positive training methods to successfully train and rehab dogs.

She is proud to act as a mentor to other trainers and regularly hosts CEU approved educational conferences with world-renowned trainers.


Becca HancockBecca
Certified Professional Dog Trainer

A graduate of Animal Behavior College, Becca has been a Certified Professional Dog Trainer since 2008. Passionate about canine fitness and conditioning, Becca is a guest instructor for K-9 Coach. Currently, she is teaching our Canine Conditioning, Performance Puppy Fundamentals and Disc Dog Foundation group classes. She is active in extreme distance, freestyle disc and dock diving with her personal dogs.

She is a 20 time World Finalist in Disc (Skyhoundz and USDDN) and is currently 4th in the World in Women’s Microdog Xtreme Distance. She will be be competing at the World Championship for Skyhoundz Disc in September with three qualified dogs. Becca and Eclipse are also World Finalists in NADD (North American Dock Diving) and will be competing at the World Championships at Eukanuaba in Orlando in December. In addition to her canine fitness activities, Becca is an AKC Approved Canine Good Citizen Evaluator and teaches everything from puppy to advanced obedience.

 


kathryn-coach-pic-2Kathryn Woods
Certified Instructor

Kathryn began as a student with K-9 Coach several years ago. Since then, she has received numerous titles and, in 2015, began teaching nosework classes with us. She is currently in the process of attaining her certification for nosework instruction. She is an avid nosework enthusiast and enjoys sharing her love of the sport with others. She became involved in the sport about a year and a half ago when she adopted her Weimaraner, Grace.

Since then, nosework has made a tremendously positive impact on their lives. It has increased Grace’s confidence and decreased her anxiety. Most importantly, it has deepened the bond between handler and dog. Kathryn has also taken up nosework with her puppy, Greta. Both dogs have trialed and received numerous titles in competitions throughout the US as part of “Team K-9” at K-9 Coach.

 


Khaz-BrooksKhaz,
Certified Professional Trainer

Khaz joined the team at K-9 Coach in June of 2011 and has since mastered every area of the company: caring for our clients as a Client Coach and our pups as both a Comfort Coach and Kennel Manager.

Khaz completed her training internship, under Amber Burckhalter’s guidance, in 2014. Today, she can be seen teaching our foundational, basic and intermediate obedience courses as well as private lesson, playcare and learn for life instruction. At home Khaz spends her time reading and playing videogames. She is also an avid lover of the outdoors and enjoys hiking with her pups. Khaz aspires to earn an advanced degree in animal behavior and is particularly passionate about apex predators and conservation.

UPDATE – Khaz is currently participating in a several month internship at Wolf Park, Indiana. Wolf Park is Wolf Park is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization dedicated to behavioral research, education and conservation, with the objective of improving the public’s understanding of wolves and the value they provide to our environment.She will be back at K-9 Coach late December / early January.

 


SteveSteve
Professional Trainer

Steve joined K-9 Coach in May of 2014 and just radiated natural, raw talent with dog behavior and body language. His favorite aspect of working for K-9 Coach is his constant interaction with dogs and exposure to their behavior.

Steve joined our internship program in November of 2014 and graduated in the summer of 2015. He recently completed his certification and focuses on setting our young dogs up for a lifetime of success. You can see him teaching puppy, basic and intermediate obedience and also conducting training as part of playcare with a focus on leash walking, recall, manners and improved dog-to-dog interactions and socialization.

 


laurinLaurin Ward
Certified Professional Trainer

Laurin joined K-9 Coach in 2016. We first met Laurin 5 years ago when she was aspiring to become a dog trainer. Fast forward to today and she is an accomplished, professional trainer for everything from puppy to intermediate and advanced obedience, tricks and games. She is a Canine Good Citizenship evaluator and has served as a mentor for other aspiring dog trainers.

Laurin has had a passion for learning about animals, especially dogs, since being a child. She adopted and trained the first dog in the family, Marik, a Rottweiler mix, from a Puppy to a Senior. She is currently “clicker-training” her cat, Katniss, a 2.5 year old Calico. When she is not working with animals, Laurin enjoys being a visual artist, playing video games and writing stories.

 


Client Coaches

Tess

Tess – Tess joined our team in the summer of 2015 with an extensive background in customer service. She quickly became a jack of all trades and can be found doing everything from assisting our clients at the front desk, to managing our small play group. Tess is extremely active in the health and fitness world and ultimately would like to pursue a career in personal training.

Born and raised in Atlanta, she spends her free time traveling with her pups Lily and Glacier. Tess’s favorite part of working for K-9 Coach is getting to care for such a wide variety of pups in such a cohesive team environment.

 

 

 


JaclynJaclyn – Jaclyn is just about as positive as one can be. She has graced us with her endless energy and enthusiasm since March of 2013, when she first came to us to volunteer. We quickly recognized the value of having her on our team and established her as one of our beloved front desk staff. You will now find her most often caring for the pups in the back. Her favorite aspect of working for K-9 Coach is the extensive relationships she has built over the years with our clients and their dogs.

At home Jaclyn spends her time with her setter mix, Zuzu. She loves festival season and can be seen attending everything from craft beer fest to bacon run! She insists that while in Atlanta, K-9 Coach is the place to be!


 

KerryKerry, General Manager – Kerry found a home when she found K-9 Coach. After graduating from the University of Connecticut with a degree in Animal Science, and having worked for a top-notch veterinarian and boarding / daycare facility there, Kerry moved to Atlanta. She tried a few facilities in the Atlanta area and was less than impressed with all of them. Kerry says that finding K-9 Coach was like finding home. Although her academic and professional background is impressive, Kerry’s best asset is her passion for the industry. As the General Manager of the company you will find Kerry in all areas of the company, ultimately responsible for all of our employees, clients, and pups and the company’s day to day operations as a whole.

At home Kerry prefers to spend her time outdoors with her beloved pit mix, Amy, and St. Bernard, Luna. She is also an avid lover of videogames and is an accomplished cellist. Her long term aspirations are to raise a family and enforce K-9 Coach’s position at the pinnacle of quality service, as a leader in the industry.


 

Comfort Coaches

Matt – Matt is our small play group guru and is rarely found without a pup in his arms!  Part of our team since the summer of 2015, Matt came to us from another Atlanta doggie daycare and has become a great asset with his intricate knowledge of dog behavior and body language.  What Matt loves most about working for K-9 Coach, is our focus on safety in our play groups.  His other passion is all things music – playing and listening and discovering new sounds. 

When it’s time to go home he leaves our play groups for his own, taking care of a slew of rescues at home – Diesel, Mildred, Shadow, Indy, and Sally.  Matt plans to stay in the industry long term, hoping to one day run his own business in the pet care field.

 

 


ParkerParker – Parker joined our team in early 2015 and quickly became a company asset with his deep rooted passion for the pups and great customer service skills. 

Parker was promoted to our Kennel Manager in October of 2015 and is found doing everything from running our large play group to helping our customers up front.  He’s always busy keeping our building in tip top shape, always putting the dog’s safety first.  He often says that his dream life would be to spend his days in our large play group and go home to a large play group of his own. 

Parker spends most of his free time outdoors with his pups Floyd, the German Shorthaired Pointer, and Penelope, the Cattle Dog Mix. He also loves to go hiking, camping, kayaking, and enjoying the wilderness.  His favorite part of working for K-9 Coach is our heavy focus on behavior and training.


Anna – Anna has been with K-9 Coach since October of 2010. It is hard to tell if her passion lies more with dogs or horses, but she has an infectious excitement about her for everything K-9 Coach. You will find Anna caring for our boarders on Mondays and Fridays. Anna frequently reminds us that her favorite thing about working here is our team – her friends – and how supportive of her we all are. Anna spends her free time at Chastain, riding horses and practicing for competitions. She is rarely without her Rottweiler companion, Nala, and loves training and caring for her. Anna aspires to compete in the Special Olympics for dressage.


KimKim – Kim is one of our veterans, having joined out team back in 2013.  She has developed such a detailed knowledge of all things K-9 Coach and knows everything about every dog that walks through our doors!  Her favorite thing about working for K-9 Coach is the great team work among a group of people who always put dogs first. 

In her spare time she indulges in the Atlanta art and music scene and one day hopes to own her own photography studio.  In the mean time she spends a lot of time outdoors with her Tennessee Tree Hound, Picasso.


 

JoshJosh – Josh joined our team in September of 2015 and quickly became an advocate for all things K-9 Coach.  He is most often found in our kennel taking care of our Grumpy Gus pups and detail scrubbing our dogs den spaces. 

Outside of work Josh loves to read and play videogames and is a big Steven King fan.  He hopes to one day pursue a degree in Psychology and loves our focus on animal behavior.

 

 

 

 


AnthonyAnthony – Anthony simply belongs in the dog care industry.  He came to K-9 Coach with years of experience managing playgroups at another facility, and quickly came to love K-9 Coach for our focus on dog behavior and acceptance of all breeds.  Anthony is an artist, and in his spare time plays various music shows in Atlanta. 

He also loves fashion and is particularly interested in fashion design.  Anthony has a degree in Computer Science and Information Technology, but has since found that his true passion is dog training and plans on a future in this industry.


TessTess – Tess joined our team in the summer of 2015 with an extensive background in customer service. She quickly became a jack of all trades and can be found doing everything from assisting our clients at the front desk, to managing our small play group. Tess is extremely active in the health and fitness world and ultimately would like to pursue a career in personal training.

Born and raised in Atlanta, she spends her free time traveling with her pups Lily and Glacier. Tess’s favorite part of working for K-9 Coach is getting to care for such a wide variety of pups in such a cohesive team environment.

 

 


AureliaAurelia – With us since October, 2012, Aurelia has become a great asset as one of our successful groomers. While you will see her most often in our grooming room Thursdays through Sundays, she insists on making time for our pack, and can be found monitoring our small dog play yard around her grooming schedule. Aurelia is adamant in her investment in our mission and plans to lend her talent to our team for the foreseeable future. She aspires to continue to hone her craft through the exposure our company provides her, as well as attending various conferences and seminars. At home Aurelia likes to relax with her husband, Leagree, and her Husky, Josh. Outside of work her passion is her cars, and she is quick to let us know when the trees are growing too far over the parking lot!


Tommy-StoweTommy – Tommy is a lifer, through and through. His extensive background in canine husbandry and behavior finds him most often monitoring our large dog play yard. Many of you know him through the videos and pictures he sends to clients of their dogs enjoying their time here. A member of K-9 Coach’s team since November, of 2010, Tommy is involved in much of what we do and often assists in classes and events.

He spends his free time outdoors, fishing and kayaking with his “children” Smokie, the Dalmatian, and Ranger, his puppy hound mix. His long term goals revolve around the continued success of K-9 Coach, and he looks forward to being an integral part of launching a future farm location.


Groomers

AureliaAurelia – With us since October, 2012, Aurelia has become a great asset as one of our successful groomers. While you will see her most often in our grooming room Thursdays through Sundays, she insists on making time for our pack, and can be found monitoring our small dog play yard around her grooming schedule. Aurelia is adamant in her investment in our mission and plans to lend her talent to our team for the foreseeable future. She aspires to continue to hone her craft through the exposure our company provides her, as well as attending various conferences and seminars. At home Aurelia likes to relax with her husband, Leagree, and her Husky, Josh. Outside of work her passion is her cars, and she is quick to let us know when the trees are growing too far over the parking lot!


DanielleDanielle – Looking to further branch out in the grooming industry, Danielle came to K-9 Coach in March, 2014, from a local veterinary hospital. Her grooming expertise and extensive knowledge of canine health and medicine have made her a valuable asset to our team. Danielle can be found in our grooming room on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays, and says that her favorite thing about working for K-9 Coach is that we are always putting the dog’s needs first, without exception. In her time away from K-9 Coach she enjoys the outdoors, hiking and running 5ks and 10ks as often as possible. She shares her home with O’Malley, the enormous shih tzu, and hopes to one day open an animal sanctuary.


Management Team

amberAmber Burckhalter, CEO – Amber founded K-9 Coach in 2000 and has led the organization from the parking lot of a local animal hospital to one of the most well respected and recognized facilities of it’s kind. Her full bio can be seen in the Client Coaches section above.

 

 


 

JarretteJarrette, Director Marketing & Operations – Jarrette joined K-9 Coach in 2008 after selling his marketing and business development firm. At K-9 Coach, he applies his professional experience to ensure that the organization maintains it’s core mission and values while developing and offering products and services that improve the lives of customers and their dogs. When not at K-9 Coach, Jarrette can be found spending time with his family – Amber, their son Jack, Relic (a rescue German Shepherd), Birdie (a rescue, deaf French Bulldog) and Swimmy Swimmy Red Fish (his son’s red Beta)! He also runs the Atlanta arm of My Heroes: A Hippotherapy practice dedicated to improving the lives of persons with special needs through the use of equine related activities.



KerryKerry, General Manager
– Kerry found a home when she found K-9 Coach. After graduating from the University of Connecticut with a degree in Animal Science, and having worked for a top-notch veterinarian and boarding / daycare facility there, Kerry moved to Atlanta. She tried a few facilities in the Atlanta area and was less than impressed with all of them. Kerry says that finding K-9 Coach was like finding home. Although her academic and professional background is impressive, Kerry’s best asset is her passion for the industry. As the General Manager of the company you will find Kerry in all areas of the company, ultimately responsible for all of our employees, clients, and pups and the company’s day to day operations as a whole.

At home Kerry prefers to spend her time outdoors with her beloved pit mix, Amy, and St. Bernard, Luna. She is also an avid lover of videogames and is an accomplished cellist. Her long term aspirations are to raise a family and enforce K-9 Coach’s position at the pinnacle of quality service, as a leader in the industry.


ParkerParker – Parker joined our team in early 2015 and quickly became a company asset with his deep rooted passion for the pups and great customer service skills. 

Parker was promoted to our Kennel Manager in October of 2015 and is found doing everything from running our large play group to helping our customers up front.  He’s always busy keeping our building in tip top shape, always putting the dog’s safety first.  He often says that his dream life would be to spend his days in our large play group and go home to a large play group of his own. 

Parker spends most of his free time outdoors with his pups Floyd, the German Shorthaired Pointer, and Penelope, the Cattle Dog Mix. He also loves to go hiking, camping, kayaking, and enjoying the wilderness.  His favorite part of working for K-9 Coach is our heavy focus on behavior and training.