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!
Jeff and Missy Gettings have had almost every pet known to man, from Solomon Island Eclectus parrots to Egyptian Arabian horses and everything in between. However, it has always been their dogs that have held a particularly special place in their hearts. Jeff has a background in financial analysis, while Missy’s background is in counseling; however, their passion is training dogs. They decided to turn their passion into their careers. As a team, they are committed to providing the most effective and convenient solutions to meet their clients’ needs. They decided to become professional dog trainers in order to help dog owners live better, more fulfilling lives with their pets and best friends. Check Out Some of Jeff & Missy’s Before & After Videos!
John Slemp, a native of East Tennessee, grew up with a love for dogs and a passion for education. From childhood through college, John owned and trained several different breeds from miniature Dachshunds to Doberman Pinschers. After completing Basic and Advanced Lessons through Off Leash K9 Training, John and his German Shepherd, Nyla, experienced the amazing results of this training method. Inspired by OLK9 methodology and building upon his background in education, John is dedicated to helping other dog owners develop a well-mannered, obedient dog of their own. Check Out Some of John’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!
Kirsten Møøre is a Georgia native but has lived all over the world! Like most of our trainers, Kirsten’s love for animals began at a very young age. While other kids were watching cartoons, she was watching Animal Planet and dog show reruns religiously. She found her love for training somewhere around 6 years old when she decided to train her family’s beagle to run through makeshift agility courses in their backyard. Kirsten has had many different breeds but she currently has an English Cocker Spaniel named Shotzee and a Boxer/Presa Canario/American Staffordshire Terrier/German Shepherd mix named Boston. Together with Blake, they have Enzo the golden retriever who competes in trick dog, agility, flyball and dock diving where they competed in the 2019 National Championship! Not only is Kirsten super involved with her own dogs, she has long been active in the rescue community. It was actually fostering that kickstarted her passion for working with problem dogs and pushed her to pursue a career in dog training. Before finding her calling, Kirsten worked in various pet professions and ran her own pet sitting business. Aside from all things dog- traveling, cars, and still obsessing over the 90’s boy band Hanson are other hobbies Kirsten enjoys. Check Out Some of Kirsten’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!
Thomas Groves was born and raised in Macon Georgia! He spent some years away at Georgia Southern University but was eager to get back to his home town. Thomas has owned dogs for most of his life and has always been extremely caring when it comes to animals. After hearing about Off Leash through a family member, Thomas knew it was his calling. Being able to strengthen the bond an owner has with their pet is something that really drives Thomas in his training. He’s trained plenty of people in the past, but has found dogs to hold a special place in his heart and a lot more fun! Check Out Some of Thomas’s Before & After Videos!
Kara Dixon started her love of animals from a young age. She grew up with rescue animals and in high school started volunteering at an animal hospital. A few years later she started working in shelters. With a lot of hard work she became a veterinary technician at the Greenville Humane Society. Soon after she realized how much she cares about shelter animals and it is her passion to keep as many dogs out of them and that is why she started learning how to train dogs. Her passion for misunderstood animals is a huge driving force in her work and she looks forward to shaping the lives of many pups in the future. Check Out Some of Kara’s Before & After Videos!
Emily Meredith was born and raised in Villa Rica, Georgia. Emily currently has three dogs: Stella, Sebastian, and Daisy. They are her whole world! She has been around animals her whole life. She can’t remember the last time she wasn’t around animals! She grew up watching Animal Planet, dreaming she could be a veterinarian. She always tried to save as many animals as she could by bringing them home. A little while after high school, Emily worked in a few kennels. While there she learned a lot about dog behavior and how to handle them, and before long, she found a job at a dog training company, where she learned more about training dogs and that’s when her passion began. Emily loved seeing dogs learn new things. The look on a client’s face when they see their dog could do things they didn?t think were possible is so rewarding to her! She was eventually offered, what she thought was her dream job, at a veterinary hospital in her hometown. Emily learned a lot more about dogs and their health, but quickly realized that wasn’t the field for her. Emily truly wanted to help people build a bond with their dogs. Through a friend and trainer at OLK9, Mary Webb, Emily was able to pursue her true dream of being a dog trainer, and she has been loving her life so much more ever since. Check Out Some of Emily’s Before & After Videos!
Heather Schirra was born and raised in West Palm Beach, Florida. She has always loved animals, from caring for her own diabetic dogs to volunteering at shelters and sanctuaries. Heather grew up with 3 challenging Miniature Pinschers and she began fostering dogs through LifeLine Animal Project when she moved to Atlanta to study at Georgia Tech. Her first foster became a “foster fail” and she adopted Jetta, an American Staffordshire Terrier, in June 2018. She and her dog worked through the dog reactive lessons at OLK9, Georgia and she became fully immersed in the world of dog training, finding herself watching hours upon hours of dog training videos on YouTube. Heather discovered that not only was her dog better behaved and more controllable but that her bond with Jetta grew enormously through their daily training sessions. She loves OLK9’s approach to training because they always take care to make sure the training is fair to the dog and is a positive experience for both the dog and the owner. She couldn’t imagine a day without dog training, so she decided to turn her passion into a career and become a dog trainer! Check Out Some of Heather’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.
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.
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.
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About Off Leash K9 Training
Dog trainers who are recognized around the world!
Nick White is the Owner and Founder of Off Leash K9 Training. Nick is a former US Marine and former US Secret Service. He currently has over 130+ dog training locations throughout the United States.
Nick is globally recognized as being one of the top dog trainers in the world. He has 2 official world records in off leash obedience, named on Wikipedia as one of the top 20 dog trainers in the world, recently named top 10 trainer in the world by bestdogtrainers.org, has been featured in many magazines and shows, and he is regularly requested by the top celebrities and athletes! He has been called upon by people such as actor Ryan Reynolds, WWE’s John Cena, MLB All Star Max Scherzer, UFC World Champion Jon “Bones” Jones, and many more!
You can visit our YouTube Channel and watch over 1500+ before/after videos of Nick and his team’s work! Off Leash K9 Training has more documented videos than any dog training business in the entire world!