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.
CMT, CDBC, CPDT-KA
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.
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.
Certified Professional Trainer
Jennifer Fair (Jen) has trained professionally for 7 years. She has extensive experience in basic, intermediate and advanced off-leash obedience using positive reinforcement. She works extensively in behavior modification for aggression issues with both dogs and people and has also worked extensively in scent detection and 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.
Vicki 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.
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.
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 our lead groomer and also serves as as a comfort coach. Aurelia’s best characteristic – our customer’s satisfaction is truly her #1 priority.
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!
Nick – Nick started with K-9 Coach after spending several years working his way up through the ranks at a local animal hospital. Nick was originally hired as a Comfort Coach helping with the care and play of our puppy guests. He soon began helping with grooming and bathing duties and now serves as our kennel manager. Nick’s attention to detail and can-do attitude as second-to-none!
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.
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.
Aurelia – Aurelia is K-9 Coach’s lead Groomer. When not grooming, you can see her in the back taking care of the pups like they are her own. Aurelia embodies the K-9 Coach mission in all that she does. Not only do our human customers love her, but the dogs do as well!