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 Burckhalter - Owner and CoachAmber Burckhalter
Founder and President, Director of Training

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 a Professional Member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT), a Member of the Board of Trustees 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 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.

Kat CunninghamKat Cunningham
CPDT-KA, ABC-DT, AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator

Kat is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer-Knowledge Assessed® (CPDT-KA®) with the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers® and a graduate of the dog training certification program with the Animal Behavior College (ABC-DT®).

Kat’s passion for enriching the human-dog bond was inspired by her Border Collie, Dasher, whom she trained to compete in sheepherding trials across the southern U.S. Through this experience, Kat honed her ability to recognize what motivates, and how to modify, canine habits and behaviors. Realizing that her skills and talents could help other dog owners build healthier and happier relationships with their pets, Kat committed herself to a full-time dog-training career in 2008.

Whether it is basic obedience training or a more challenging issue, such as anxiety or leash reactivity, the clients with whom Kat has worked laud her ability to translate training methods into easily understood and useful techniques that owners can apply immediately. Her fun and engaging instructional style produces positive results. Kat also teaches scent work, urban herding and fetch & Frisbee.

Jenn_Edit(3)Jennifer Fair
Certified Professional Trainer

Jennifer Fair (Jenn) is the newest member of the K-9 Coach training team. A professional trainer since 2009, Jenn has extensive experience in basic, intermediate and advanced off-leash obedience using positive reinforcement. She has also worked extensively in scent detection and has assisted in training search and rescue canines.

Outside of obedience training, her professional passion lies in training service dogs for individuals with various physical, developmental and invisible disabilities such as autism and diabetes. She has successfully trained numerous service dogs for these areas and you can find several articles online referencing her work.

Vicky TrueloveVicki Tate Truelove, CPDT-KA
Certified Professional Trainer

Vicki is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer-Knowledge Assessed® (CPDT-KA®) with the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers®. Vicki has trained dogs her entire life – literally. She and her dog Daisy have earned various Titles in all agility organizations including AKC, NADAC, USADA, ASCA. They have achieved their “Excellent” Title in AKC and qualified for Nationals in the Grand Prix for United States Agilty Dog Association. She has one herding title with the AKC and has competed with and against National Champions, Purina Incredible Dog Team members, and World Team members.

Vicki’s professional focus is helping clients achieve obedience and behavior modification through the least invasive and most fun means necessary. She teaches everything from puppies to advanced off-leash work and loves helping nervous pups with the “Who Stole My Zen?” program!

Vicki joined the K-9 Coach team in 2011 and, whether through training or rescue work, she is dedicated to helping people develop a lifelong partnership with their dogs.

Client Coaches

Bobbi – As a Client Coach, Bobbi is critical to the success of our customers. She’s the person that customers see every day when they come to pick-up their beloved pups. She knows every customer and dog by name and can tell you in an instant how their day or stay was with us.

Jaclyn – Jaclyn is one of our beloved front desk employees. She joined K-9 Coach in March of 2013 as a volunteer, and quickly caught the attention of staff with her positive attitude, optimistic outlook, and strong desire to learn the industry. She has proven herself to be a great asset to our company and loves working with the clients and pups! You can expect to get a smile and a “hello” from her every time you walk into our facility. Jaclyn lives in East Atlanta with her boyfriend and in her downtime enjoys attending Braves games, festivals, and walking her dog, Zuzu.

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. It is her life’s purpose.

Khaz – Client Coach Khaz, AKA – The Dog Liberator. When not working at K-9 Coach, Khaz balances her love for rescue work, horses and being a full-time college student. Khaz has one goal at K-9 Coach – provide the dogs with unsurpassed care – and she goes above and beyond in that goal. She is, without question, dedicated to improving the lives of dogs everywhere and we are, without question, better for having her on our team.

Comfort Coaches

Anna – It’s hard to tell if Anna loves horses or dogs more. If she’s not here helping as a Comfort Coach keeping the pups happy, you can see her at Chastain riding her boy Will. Her excitement about K-9 is contagious; you simply cannot be around her and not get excited.

Aurelia – Aurelia came to K-9 on the referral of a current employee. Having run a dog-centered retail and grooming facility for over 5 years, she was a perfect fit for our growing needs. She is currently serving as a comfort coach and is training for additional grooming and customer related duties. She may be one of our newest members, but she’s already a valuable part of the family.

Caitlin – Caitlin joined K-9 Coach in October, 2012. A graduate of the University of Georgia, Caitlin is dedicated to becoming a professional dog trainer. Currently she is a comfort coach and is focused on learning each and every dog who visits us. Caitlin is always smiling, always upbeat and always pays special attention to the pups for whom we care. We’re SUPER glad she found us!

Carly – Carly began working for K-9 Coach in December of 2012. She spends most of her time in our tending to our small dogs and has a spectacular eye for detail, keeping our boarding area in tip top shape. Carly is an aspiring environmentalist with hopes to travel the world. She loves adventure and plans to go on a safari in the future. One of her goals is to create the next fun and funky food truck for you AND your pet. She has a great space in her heart for each of our K-9 kids and is always excited to give them a pawsitively good time!

Joe – Joe has acquired years of experience working with dogs through various kennels in the Atlanta area. In his time spent with dogs Joe has become fluent in the language of our K-9 kids and works as a yard attendant in our big dog yard. His dream job in the industry is to be a trainer and plans to intern with our training team in the fall to begin that journey. Joe’s natural talent and ability make him a valuable asset to our team and we are very happy to have him on board!

Nick – Bio soon.

Niki – Born in Morocco, Niki has called Atlanta home for the past 10 years, and has spent 9 of them working hands on with dogs large and small. Niki feels right at home in either our large or small dog yards and has really become a Jack-of-all trades within our team. In her spare time Niki is either watching a trendy crime tv show, or brushing up on her molecular biology, always with her dogs Shelbie and Reggie by her side.

Nishil – Nishil started working for K-9 Coach in the early Spring of 2012 and quickly established himself as a valuable team asset. As a college-aged young man, we are amazed at how meticulous he is toward cleaning. You can literally eat off the floor when he’s done with it. And, not to be outdone my his other team members, Nishil is always quick to show the dogs affection. If he’s not making the place sparkle, you’ll find him in the play yards or outside in the park providing one-on-one play time for those pups who have a physical condition limiting their ability to play with the groups.

Rhonda – Like a lot of our coaches, Rhonda was first a client. She owns Rose & Thistle Gardening, Inc. and has been a professional in the horticultural field for 25 years. However, while working with our training team and her personal dogs, Rhonda’s passion for dogs was invigorated and she formally joined our team. To our benefit, her care and compassion for the dogs is beyond compare AND our interior plants have never looked better! Currently Rhonda is a “Trainer in Training” and responsible for our exercise and fitness playcare enrichment programs.

Roger – After retiring from the US Army, Roger (AKA “Uncle Roger”) began his dog career working with field trial dogs. Today, he has titled numerous AKC Rally dogs and is a Comfort Coach. You can always see Uncle Roger with the little guys (his favorites) in the small yard.

Rufio – At a young age, Rufio knew that dogs would be an important part of his life. Born and raised in Georgia, Rufio comes from a true dog-loving family and has a particular affinity for the bully breeds. He plans on interning with our training staff this fall to start on the path to becoming a dog trainer. Rufio’s natural talent and instinct make him a perfect fit for our team. You can find Rufio in our large yard, working hard to keep our K-9 kids clean, safe, and having fun!!!

Tommy – Tommy has an extensive background in dog care and training and is a Lead Comfort Coach and “Trainer in Training”. If you’ve received a picture or video of your pups stay with us, Tommy likely took it. Whether he’s up front helping customers with their dogs, working in the play yards, assisting with classes, working at The Farm or ensuring that the facility is 100%, Tommy’s commitment is to making our customer’s experience everything it is supposed to be.


Joey – Joey is K-9 Coach’s full-time Master Groomer and animal rescuer extraordinaire! As a Master Groomer of dogs and cats for over 5 years, a professional Veterinary Technician for 8 years and an extensive background in birds and exotic pets, there pretty much isn’t anything Joey can’t groom. His grooming talents are only surpassed by his genuine desire to make customers happy. Joey can be seen up front, helping in the back and, of course, in “Joey’s Groom Room” grooming our furry friends!

Aurelia – Aurelia is K-9 Coach’s part-time Groomer. When not grooming, you can see her in the back taking care of the pups like they are her own. Aurelia has been a tremendous addition to our growing grooming and spa services. Not only do our human customers love her, but the dogs do as well!

Jumper was out of control. He had seen two other trainers and was still awful. We were desperate until we met Amber at K-9 Coach. Now we can actually go to the park! The best money I have ever spent.
Parent of Jumper
We have seen such an amazing change in Tessa and the only way this could have happened was because of the work Kat did with her… Thank you Kat and Thank you K-9 Coach!!
Parent of Tessa
Thank you for the help you have given me and Dixie. She is responding so well to the training you taught us… You are a fantastic trainer and I am so happy to know you!
Parent of Dixie

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