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 member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT), the International Association of Canine Professionals (IACP) and is recognized as a Certified Pet Dog Trainer (CPDT), 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.
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 Cunningham, CPDT-KA
Certified Professional Trainer
Kat’s professional introduction to the dog world included over 6 years experience in sheep herding activities with the US Stock Dog Trials. From there, she spent multiple years in the management of dog care facilities running play groups of every size breed and temperament. In 2008, Kat formally mentored under K-9 Coach and became a certified dog trainer. Today, her professional focus utilizes sports and games to achieve obedience and behavior modification.
Vicki Tate Truelove, CPDT-KA
Certified Professional Trainer
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. Today, her professional focus is helping clients to achieve obedience and behavior modification through the least invasive and most fun means necessary. 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.
Ceyda – Ceyda started with K-9 Coach as a customer and joined the team as a Client Coach as soon as she saw our help wanted sign at the front desk. When not working here, Ceyda is pursuing her Masters Degree at Georgia State and can be found riding her horses, giving lessons at her barn in Alpharetta.
Kerry – 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.
Art – Already having founded and run a successful Rottweiler rescue group and seeking to further his career in the dog world, Art joined K-9 Coach as a Comfort Coach and is now one of our Lead Comfort Coaches and a “Trainer in Training.” With a focus on obedience and problematic behaviors like leash walking, jumping, etc… Art is enthusiastic about training as part of playcare and can often be seen in the play yards working with pups to improve on their overall behavior.
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 – Bio soon.
Chris – Chris started as a client of K-9 Coach. He is never hesitant to show the dogs some affection and make sure that their having a great stay with us. Currently Chris is preparing to begin his college career.
Deanna – Deanna left the United States Army in 2001 – where she served as a military police person, a squad leader, an explosive detection dog handler and a kennel master. Her care for the dogs who visit K-9 Coach is unparallelled. Deanna is a valued team member who we hope is at K-9 for many years to come.
Ilya – Ilya is a man of many, many hats. He helps his sister run a local dog rescue group, volunteers with numerous other rescues and generally works around the clock. Always willing to go the extra mile, the dogs love Ilya and he loves the dogs.
Nick – Bio soon.
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.
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!