ABOUT OUR TRAINERS
Meet the Off Leash K9 Team
Bryan & JoAnne Swihart - owner
Bryan & JoAnne Swihart are the owners and head trainers for the Off Leash K9 Training program in Georgia - offering locations in Peachtree City, Augusta, Smyrna, Duluth, Athens, Columbus, and Macon. We moved to the Atlanta area to settle near family after opening successful locations in Charlottesville, Virginia and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Bryan is an Army veteran with multiple deployments; while deployed he was impressed with military working dog’s impeccable obedience training and high level of confidence enabling them to be the most well trained canines in the world. Bryan has a lifelong love of dogs starting with his first dog “Squeak,” who used to sleep under his crib every night. He has owned and trained a wide assortment of dogs ranging from Chihuahuas to Pitbulls; including his current comrades, a Rejected Labradoodle, American Staffordshire Terrier Mix, and the newest addition a German Shepherd Hound Mix. Bryan has a special love for “Bully Breeds” and wants to empower people to showcase what wonderfully loyal and loving dogs they really are. After serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, he can now focus where his passion is. With a degree in business and finance giving him a solid small business foundation, with the precision and passion needed to transform your dog from unruly to obedient, frightened to confident, timid to content.
JoAnne’s passion is transforming fearful and anxious pups into stable confident members of the family! This passion began 5 years ago while fostering an extremely fearful young pup, who soon became a beloved member of the family. Obedience training helped transform the dog from a dog who was terrified of people to a super snuggle bug and constant companion for their 4 year old son. JoAnne has background in business and biological research and left her corporate career to join her husband in running Off Leash K9 Training, Georgia full time 3 years ago.
Bryan and JoAnne are thrilled to bring Off Leash K9 Training to Georgia, specializing in the same obedience training techniques used by the military and law enforcement. This style of training encompasses his core beliefs and philosophy of consistency, fairness, and crystal clear communication that will turn your dog into a well behaved member of society in any situation.
Our amazing Trainers
Taylor Lam was born and raised just outside of Atlanta with a love for all living creatures. She grew up in a multi-dog household, having at one point a total of 5 dogs ranging from small dachshunds to large pitbull/mastiff mixes. From a young age, she had a passion for helping animals of all shapes and sizes. Taylor attended the University of Georgia in Athens where she received her B.S.A. in Avian Biology. All throughout college, she volunteered with local humane societies, kennels, and veterinary clinics. After college, Taylor worked for a canine rescue organization called RescueMe, that specialized in disabled and diseased canines. There she learned about canine nutrition and its role in canine health as well as how to train and assist dogs with disabilities. By combining her animal health knowledge and her knowledge as a dog trainer, she has been able to create a unique learning and training experience for all of her clients and their fur-kids. She enjoys being able to help dog owners gain a deeper relationship and bond with their canine companions through patient, persistent, and positive training. Check Out Some of Taylor’s Before & After Videos!
Sam Mirtsopoulos and Dan Timlin are both lifelong dog owners and dog lovers. They are both born and raised in New York, but moved to Athens, GA from Connecticut at the beginning of 2017. Sam’s love for dogs all started with her family’s GSD, Lucy, and Dan’s started with his family dog, a golden retriever, Dakota. Sam started volunteering with various rescue organizations when she was just 14 years old, quickly realizing training dogs was her calling. She is an ABC graduate, and attended the Michael Ellis school for dog trainers in California. There, she worked closely with incredible trainers such as Michael Ellis, Forrest Micke, and Andrew Ramsey to name a few, while growing her knowledge of many different training styles and methods. Sam has worked various jobs along the way in police k9 kennels, grooming salons, and for pet dog training businesses. While Dan has loved dogs his entire life, his love for training didn’t truly blossom until he met Sam, and they got their first dog together, a Belgian Malinois, Vandal. With Vandal and Sam’s helps, Dan has learned all about puppy development, advanced obedience, relationship building, communication, and protection work. Now Sam and Dan work together to help clients understand their dogs better, and live a much happier life with their pets, while giving their pets the freedom they deserve. Check Out Some of Sam & Dan’s Before & After Videos!
Ryan Wuelfing started his dog training career training, Therapy Dogs with Paws for Healing out of Napa, CA in 2007. After that he apprenticed with Sonny Henager of Clearview Kennel for almost 3 years as the kennel manager while learning how to train pups in basic obedience, behavior modification, bite work, and detection. He then moved to Potsmouth, RI to work and train with Matt Betts of K9 Instinct with a focus on advanced obedience, puppy management, extreme behavior modifications, bite work, and detection. Ryan love is working with therapy dogs but he is verse in everything dog, from basic to advanced obedience, puppy management, behavior modification, bite work, detection, tracking, search rescue, decoy, and anything else that will allow an owner to enjoy their pup more! Check Out Some of Ryan’s Before & After Videos!
Greg Morris was born and raised in Vero Beach Fl, where from an early age he developed a love and passion for dogs while helping his father raise and train their hunting dogs. A United States Navy veteran, he was deployed on multiple cruises in the Persian Gulf during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. After serving he pursued his other passion of cooking, becoming an award winning Pit-Master at one of Atlanta’s most renowned BBQ restaurants. But his love and passion for dogs never ceased, only growing stronger. After Buster, his chocolate Lab of 15 years, passed away, he decided that life was too short and that if you were going to do something, you should do the one thing you love. He began to spend all of his free time volunteering at local shelters and rescue missions, watching and learning dog behavior at all levels. After researching and observing dozens of local trainers he was most impressed with Off Leash K9’s methodology of obedience learning, confidence building and the extensive knowledge of all the trainers. He lives with his wife Terri and their thrice rescued pup Toby with a backyard that is a doggie heaven. Greg has a special fondness for rescue dogs that suffer from anxiety and fear issues, taking great pride in reforming and building confidence in them. His goal is to help create that special bond between dog and owner that forms with our obedience training programs and to make sure that you walk away from a lesson with all questions answered and a smile on your face! Check Out Some of Greg’s Before & After Videos!
Rob Summe is an Atlanta native and United States Marine Corps Veteran. He spent 20 years in Law Enforcement and maintains his GA P.O.S.T. certification. Rob worked the uniform patrol division, criminal investigation division and was a member of the SWAT team. Rob was also a canine handler for 8 years and a police canine trainer for 4 years. He is a certified trainer in the areas of obedience, aggression control, tracking/trailing, article searches, area/building searches and narcotic detection. Rob is also the owner of a security consulting business called Konflikt K9 LLC. Rob has dedicated his life to training and working with all types of dogs. He thoroughly enjoys helping build the relationship between dog and owner. Check Out Some of Rob’s Before & After Videos!
Miranda McKinley was born and raised in Spokane, Washington and spent several years in Colorado and Wyoming before settling down in Georgia in 2013. She has always been passionate about animals- horses and dogs in particular. Her Family always had 2-3 dogs in the house growing up and her grandparents bred Arabian horses. Miranda trained and showed horses all through high school, and still has her horses to this day. She began working in veterinary medicine when she came to Georgia and loved that it allowed her to help so many people and animals. Miranda became interested in behavior and training after meeting so many of my patients and owning/fostering several rescue dogs. She loved veterinary medicine, but decided to take the leap and pursue a career training and help pets and people in a different way. Check Out Some of Miranda’s Before & After Videos!
Mike Trimble is a lifelong dog owner and animal lover. Mike has always had a special affinity for rescues. He discovered his passion for training when he adopted a challenging Boxer mix, Obi. After completing the Advanced Obedience program through Off Leash K9 Training, Georgia, Mike found himself naturally helping others and soon became known as the ‘dog whisperer’ of his local dog park. His next rescue, a Rat Terrier mix named Roxy, flourished under the same training regimen! She went from being shy and knowing no commands at the shelter, to being much more confident and fully obedience trained in just a couple of weeks. The message was clear – keep going! Obi and Roxy continue their training, currently accompanying Mike as helpers for reactivity cases. His primary motivation is to improve quality of life for people and their dogs through a structured bond that fair and balanced training builds. Finding creative, real-world methods to help every client overcome their challenges is what he strives for! Check Out Some of Mike’s Before & After Videos!
Savanna Hicks is from Islamorada, Florida moving to North Georgia at 16 year old. Her mother is a dog groomer, so Savanna practically grew up in her moms dog grooming shop! Having trained and competed in equestrian sports all her life, Savanna just became very involved in training and competing in various dog sports over the last few years, to include flyball, agility, dock diving, lure coursing, rally obedience, barn hunt, trick dog, and some scent work! She currently has 7 (yes 7!) of her own pups but each has their own particular job “dog sport”. Savanna is extremely passionate about working with senior dogs and she competes regularly with her 9 year old, mixed breed Axle Ray, placing 2nd overall in the veterans division for the Dock Diving National Championships with a 26’ jump!! Savanna has a Bachelors Degree in Biology from the University of North Georgia and worked as a veterinary assistant for a several years. Her border collie mix, Marley, originally brought her to Off Leash K9 Training and the training methodology resulted in a life-changing experience! She also wants all to know she has a small farm with mini pigs and horses to round out her life. Savanna is now committed to helping others build a loving, working relationship with their own dogs! Check Out Some of Savanna's Before & After Videos!
Sharon Summe was born and raised in Georgia. She has always been an animal lover and care giver. From a young age she has always had a passion to help all of her furry friends. Sharon attended Gwinnett Technical College in Lawrenceville, GA and obtained an Associates Degree in Veterinary Technology; took the VTNE and became a registered veterinary technician. Sharon has spent well over a decade working in the ER and ICU departments of one of the most renowned emergency/specialty veterinary hospitals located in Atlanta. After assisting her husband Rob, a fellow OLK9 trainer, she was excited to see that training was another avenue to help owners with their dogs, this way improving the bond between dogs and their owners. Sharon finds that training the dogs that are lacking in confidence the most rewarding. She likes seeing the transformation of a dog that comes out of their shell and emerges a more confident, obedient and happy dog. Check Out Some of Sharon’s Before & After Videos!
Josh Crummie was born and raised in Central Georgia! He realized his passion for training at an early age by training his German Shepherd from a puppy. He looked forward to practicing everyday after seeing the potential in his companion and learned very quickly that this was his calling. Josh went on to train several other family pets in his life including his childhood miniature Schnauzer and his Labrador Retriever who was a retired bomb dog! While training his Labrador, Jo-Jo, he found a special interest in high drive dogs who enjoy working! After hearing about Off Leash from his best friend, and now coworker, his passion was reignited. Since joining the team, Josh has dedicated himself to helping each and every client strengthen the bond with their dog through training. Check Out Some of Josh’s Before & After Videos!
Blake Rogers was born and raised in Augusta, GA but spent some time in Blairsville, PA where he attended Wyotech for High Performance Automotive Technology. For 7 years Blake pursued his career as a master tech mechanic until his girlfriend, Kirsten, introduced him to the world of dog sports. Together, with their golden retriever Enzo, they have competed in trick dog, agility, flyball, and in 2019 they competed in the National Championship for Dock Diving! Blake’s all about learning new skills and living life to the fullest! His favorite part of working with Off Leash as a trainer is that it allows him to help so many families build better bonds with their dogs, presents tons of opportunities to experience different areas of training, and allows him to still be involved with cars and traveling. Check Out Some of Blake’s Before & After Videos!
Elena Feliciano was born and raised in Cumming, Georgia. She began sailing at age six and became a sailing instructor at age 14. She was able to travel to Seattle and New Zealand as a sailing instructor where she taught children and adults how to sail. In addition she was also a lifeguard instructor for for Delta. These experiences made her realize how much she enjoyed teaching. She loved that sense of accomplishment when someone learned a new skill. Her teaching skills extended to training her childhood pup. Unfortunately, as her pup grew, he became extremely aggressive and had to be put down. She knew from that point that she wanted to help other families and their pets and teach them how to overcome problems. She decided to get a job working with dogs. She started as a kennel tech and was soon promoted to a dog trainer. At that point, she realized there was no turning back and wanted to make dog training her career of choice.
Ally Gray is from Smiths Station Al and developed a passion for animals from the start. Her family had German Shepherds and when she was 10 years old she got her own dog, a Red Heeler. She is also no stranger to horses and barrel raced through high school. Ally earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a minor in Animal Sciences from Auburn University. During college she worked for a dog/cat rescue, a veterinary clinic, and volunteered for Auburn University’s Canine Performance Sciences program to aid in puppy training for drug/bomb dogs. Through her volunteer experience she gained a passion for training dogs and knew that would be her career focus. She has three dogs of her own, a Lab, a Red Heeler, and a Prynese mix, and they are the center of her world. She loves that she gets to go to work every day to positively impact the lives of pets and their owners. Check Out Some of Ally’s Before & After Videos!
Samir has always been fond of animals, especially dogs. Having grown up around many strays on the streets of India, he always considered them to be his best friends who were always there for him. Although he moved to the states with his family, got a degree in Biology and got involved in developing his family’s hotel business he could never forget the love he felt for animals as a child. He left the family business 5 years ago to travel the world and to pursue his passion for wildlife. Traveled through 9 countries, volunteering at various conservation projects in S. America, Mexico and India involving alpacas, jaguars, pumas, seabirds, stray dogs, primates, bears and tigers. During his travels no matter where he was in the mountain towns of Ecuador or in some remote village of India, there was always a dog, who found him and showered him with unconditional love. Having these experiences Samir came to realize that there is something special between him and dogs and he needs to use this gift wisely. Ever since getting involved in the dog training world has been fascinated with service, therapy and working dogs. He’s blown away by the infinite possibilities that dogs can provide if we cultivate that human-animal bond with a proper foundation and training. He’s delighted to have a career where he can literally transform the lives of dogs and their families.
Dillon Rhodarmer served in the Marine Corps for 5 years as a military police officer. He spent his first 2 years in Iwakuni Japan and 2 years at Camp Lejeune as well as deploying for 6 months to Afghanistan as the Lead Forensics Expert. Dillon has been around dogs his entire life, with his pup Indie being his current love since 2016. Indie and Dillon now enjoy going to dog sporting events with Indie working up the ranks of AKC Lure Coursing and FastCAT in the All-American category with plans towards earning as many AKC titles as possible.
Rachael Moran was born and raised just outside Athens. She has owned dogs big and small all her life and was obsessed with teaching them new things from a young age. She’s had experience with dock diving, agility, and owning reactive dogs. Rachael brought her pit mix Mellow through our lessons and joined the team shortly after, combining her passion for animals with her passion for helping others. She looks forward to working with her clients to make their pups happy, healthy, and well rounded!
Nic Hooks was born in Savannah Georgia but grew up all over the U.S due to his Dad being in the Marine Corps. He always had dogs growing up but Roxy his little brothers Doberman was the one who really sparked his passion for training dogs. After high school Nic followed in his Dads footsteps and joined the Marine Corps. There he served as a Military Working Dog handler before being selected for MARSOCs Multi Purpose K9 program. He has attended Vohne Licke Kennels for MPC Handlers course and has participated in multiple Train the Trainer programs. After his time in the Marine Corps he started working at K9s for Warriors a non profit that trains rescued dogs to be service dogs for disabled veterans. Outside of work he enjoys spending time hiking and camping with his fiancé Caroline and his 2 dogs Lana and Willow.
Carolina Davies was born and raised in Southern California to immigrant Argentine parents; she came to Georgia as former military spouse. As a child and as an adult she has always had dogs in her home. Mom of two teenagers, both children have had medical alert service dogs. She was the handler for both dogs as a service dog team. Her son got his service dog in 2012, a golden retriever named Zeppelin, and that sparked her interest in dog training. Her daughter got her service dog, a papillon named Spud in 2016. Carolina continued to stay home to raise her children, mainly because of her son’s profound developmental delays, and complex needs. However, that was until her divorce in 2021 when enrolled at Animal Behavior College; in which she earned a certificate in animal behavior and dog training. While going to school she started working at a dog day care as a caretaker. Looking for an opportunity to advance her new found skills, she found Off Leash K9 training and is now accomplishing a dream she’s had since the first service dog came home. She is now dedicating this next chapter in her life to continuing to give her son the best life possible, sending her daughter off into adulthood and especially helping clients with their canine bond through obedience training.
Jahi Hamilton was born and raised in Tucker GA in the metro atlanta area. He grew up having and training dogs from a very young age. Jahi attended the University of Georgia where he earned his B.S in psychology. He also raised a guide dog named Ray and trained with the Guide Dog Foundation. Jahi has experience volunteering at local shelters and vet offices. Through these experiences Jahi has learned a lot about animal behavior. He is currently pursuing his professional dog trainer certification through the Canine College of International Studies. Jahi enjoys working with people and their dogs of all ages and sizes and believes in a gentle but balanced approach to training.
Anna Slusser was born and raised in Acworth, GA. She grew up in a family that constantly fostered dogs, big and small. Her mother took to dog training, training their family dogs and Anna took after her. She has always had a passion for animals but dogs have a special spot in her heart. After working in customer service for five years Anna has developed a passion for people and making friendly connections with clients. She is so excited to have career that focuses on the people just as much as the pups.