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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.


Bryan Peachtree Dog Trainers
JoAnne Swihart Peachtree Dog Trainers

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!


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!


Dog Trainer Atlanta

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!


Dog Trainer Smyrna GA

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!


Dog Training Atlanta GA

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!


Dog Trainer Georgia

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.


Dog Trainer Atlanta

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.


Dog Training Atlanta

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.

Check Out Some of Elena’s Before & After Videos!


Heather McNamee was born and raised just outside of Savannah, Ga. Growing up she owned dogs, horses, turtles, birds, and rabbits. Even as a child she always was the one to help train pets for both her family and friends. As an adult, Heather earned her bachelor's degree in Outdoor Recreation Management and worked for several park agencies ranging from county to federal. Heather rediscovered her passion for dog training after becoming a lesson client with her two German Shepherds, Tyler and Stella. She now enjoys showing clients how they too can build trust and an unbreakable bond with their canine companion!

Dog Trainer Atlanta
Ashley Seals-Bonebrake was born and raised in Oregon. She has had a love for animals her whole life and would regularly be found playing outside catching frogs, crawdads, snakes and anything else she could find as a child. As she got older she realized she wanted to work in the animal field and follow her passion for helping animals. She volunteered at Chintimini Wildlife Rehabilitation in Corvallis, Oregon for multiple summers and got her first paying job in the animal world as a dog groomer. Ashley was a groomer for 3 years before moving on to training. Ashley loves to help people learn how to connect better with their dogs through training. She is always trying to learn and better herself as a trainer.

Dog Training Smyrna
Thomas J Cervone was born and raised in Connecticut and also spent a few years living on the East Coast of Florida before settling down in Georgia.  Thomas has always had a dog or two in his household growing up leading to a love for dogs.  He has held other careers previously, but when his good friends and trainers introduced him to the world of dog training, there was no turning back.  Thomas has a passion for training so that families get the most out of the joy of having a dog in their home.  He also has a beautiful wife, two small sons and a Lab at home.  Thomas loves having the kids grow up around so many dogs. 

Paige Williams was born and raised in Nicholson GA. I have had a love for animals since I was young, I grew up with a Cocker Spaniel and a German Shepherd at home. My love for animals took me to the veterinary field where I was a veterinary assistant for 11 years. I have also worked as a groomer and doggie daycare manager. I am married to my husband David, who I met while working at a vet office. Together we have a Chihuahua named Poncho, a Jack Russell Terrier named Coco and an American Pitbull Terrier named Legacy. I have a love for terrier breeds especially Jack Russell Terriers. To me, life is better with a Jack Russell around. I've had all kinds of animals from snakes to horses but dogs are my passion and becoming a trainer has only made that passion grow. I was introduced to training when I shadowed my friend and fellow trainer Savanna. I was inspired by Savanna and the way the Off Leash Training methodology worked. I knew instantly that this is the career path that I have been waiting for. I love being able to help people strengthen their bond with their dog and I also love to see the dogs' personalities and confidence grow as the continue to learn during training. 

Andy Grinstead was born in Anchorage, Alaska to an Army family. He then moved all over the US, finally settling in Augusta, GA in 2006. He graduated from college with a Business Administration degree and set out into the working world. It wasn’t until 2017 when he met Audrey that his whole career path changed. Andy became extremely focused on helping Audrey train her older Doberman. After turning the dogs behavior around he then started to pursue a career in dog training. Andy has been on board since 2020 and has already changed the lives of numerous dogs with Off Leash K9 Training. Andy also enjoys working on cars and drifting in his spare time.

Audrey Baker was born and raised in Columbia, South Carolina where she spent most of her childhood and early 20’s focused on becoming an equestrian. She has shown in Dressage, Hunter/Jumper, and some smaller one day eventing trials. Audrey’s love of dogs and animals started very early. She has always had dogs, growing up with a Pit Bull and then later Dobermans. Audrey has been a professional dog groomer for the past 11 years. While she still grooms a bit, her main focus has become training dogs. Audrey moved to Georgia in 2016 and found her way to Athens, GA in 2020 where she joined the OLK9 team. She currently competes with her youngest Doberman Pinscher in conformation ring and hopes to start in Rally Obedience soon as well. 

Anna McEwen was born and raised in rural Indiana where her love of animals really blossomed. As a little girl, she always knew she wanted to work with animals in some capacity, often checking out books from her local library about various dog breeds, what they were bred for, and how to care for them. After settling in Central Georgia in 2005, Anna went on to achieve a Bachelor's degree in Writing and Psychological Studies from Mercer University. Her passion for helping others lead her to become a coach, counselor, and mentor for those who strived for better career opportunities in their own lives. Although she continued volunteering at the Animal Rescue Foundation in Milledgeville, Georgia and growing her experience with pet sitting and dog walking, Anna knew she wanted to do more. She decided to take the same advice of honing her skills and following her passions that she gave to so many others for years as a career counselor, and finally made a career change of her own! Now a part of OLK9, she has been able to combine her love of helping others and working with animals every day! She even uses the OLK9 methodology on her personal dog, a Labrador mix named Sage, and has noticed a world of difference in his obedience training. Anna loves being able to share that same transformation with her clients and their doggie best friends, creating stronger bonds and happier and healthier lives together.

Christian Scholfield has owned and loved dogs for his entire life. He discovered his innate ability to understand and communicate with dogs at a very young age. Once old enough, he got his first job at a boarding and daycare facility where he was able to test and strengthen his natural abilities by working with dogs of all sizes and personalities. His love for dogs grew even stronger. Through working in the field, he started to realize that his natural understanding of how dogs operate wasn't so natural to everyone else. He noticed a disconnect between dogs and dog owners and has made it his mission to give owners the proper guidance and information to help them to grow their bond stronger than they ever thought possible. He understands the impact a well trained and well behaved dog can have on one's life and will do anything in his power to help you get to that point. Christian is pictured with his newest addition "Koa", a border collie pup. In which he will be competing in sports such as agility, disc, dock diving, and herding.

Ellen Cervone was born and raised in Connecticut, after spending three years in Florida she and her husband have now settled down in Georgia with their two small children. Along with being a mother and wife, Ellen has always had a passion for helping people. She’s worked with special needs, the elderly, and children but her passion has and always will be dogs. Ellen has had a love for animals for as long as she can remember. She’s always had a dog in her life whether it was her pet, a stray she rescued or a neighbors that she was pet sitting. Ellen found her way to the dog training business after her husband started working for Off Leash K9 Georgia. She started as a camera woman but couldn’t resist getting more involved when she saw how rewarding being a dog trainer is. Since joining the company Ellen has fulfilled her true passion in life. By becoming a dog trainer she is able to help people and their adorable pets live their life’s to the fullest! She is hoping to make a difference in as many people’s and pet’s life as possible.

Daniel Bozard is a native of Marietta, Georgia, Daniel, and his family returned home from Louisiana to be closer to their family during the pandemic. After spending a career in higher education and non-profit fundraising, the pandemic presented an opportunity to make a career change and pursue an area of lifelong passion for Daniel. Having grown up with Shelties and Aussies, Daniel’s 4-year-old mixed breed, Beignet, had a completely different personality and was highly reactive.  While transitioning home to Atlanta, Daniel thought the family may need to rehome Beignet until they sought out the services of a professional trainer.  That experience quite literally changed the life of his family as well as Beignet.  Beignet thrived with the structure, and Daniel found joy in the presence and connection that came from working with Beignet. Daniel is grateful to turn this passion into a career and to continue to develop his craft by being part of the Off Leash Georgia team.  He looks forward to sharing with you what he continues to learn along this journey to help you and your dog build a harmonious and mutually rewarding relationship. 

Dog training Atlanta
Erin Ivey and was born and raised right here in Smyrna Georgia. She has always had a huge love for animals of all shapes and sizes since she was very young. Erin had frogs, lizards, ferrets, rats and guinea pigs, but dogs have always been a piece of her soul. She has volunteered with Cobb County animal shelter in previous years, and was a veterinary technician prior to becoming a trainer. In 2019 Erin rescued my first dog, a German Shepherd named Rocky. Thanks to Rocky and his behavioral problems upon rescue, Rocky and Erin completed 8 lessons with Off Leash K9 and couldn't have been happier with our results. Since then, she has had a growing hunger for helping dogs work through their challenges and become the best versions of themselves through training. Rocky helped her love for dogs blossom into a passion that helps create happy dogs that can live their best lives, and even happier owners who can connect and pursue an unbreakable bond with their pet. A well-trained dog is a life-changing thing, and it is my goal to make a difference in as many pet's and pet owners lives as possible.

Augusta Dog Trainer
Rebecca was born and raised outside Pittsburgh, PA where she developed a love and passion for animals from an early age. She grew up with numerous pets in the house including giant breed dogs and cats and worked for 2 years in her teens training vaulting horses. Rebecca finished cosmetology school when she was 17 and maintained licenses in 5 states over the next 7 years but her passion remained with training and caring for animals. She volunteered at several animal shelters training dogs and in 2018 she graduated from animal behavior college then interned with several dog trainers before finding Off Leash. Rebecca married into the military and is excited to be in the Augusta area with her husband, 3 year old daughter and Newfoundland pup!


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