About Rick

About Rick

I train dogs because my passion is facilitating a successful relationship between you and your dog.

Professional Dog Training

Your dog learns by association and repetition. Food is your dog’s #1 natural instinct. I begin training using food for motivation. When using positive motivation, I balance with negative reinforcement when needed. Durable and effective training cannot be accomplished with only positive or only negative reinforcement. Balance is key. As a combination trainer, I integrate numerous methods.

EXPERIENCE

2008-Present Owner and Master Canine Trainer: Focus Dog Training, LLC and Walkenstrutt German Shepherds

1997-Present Founder and Instructor: Professional training school; 1-year program (6 hrs/day x 4 days/week)

1992-2002 Owner: Walkenstrutt German Shepherds; 2 kennel facilities (Florissant, CO and Amsterdam, Netherlands)
Imported & bred German shepherd dogs
Trained dogs for personal protection and police canine units

1994-1998 Owner: Blue Hills Boarding Kennels (Longmont, CO)
100-run facility
Puppy kindergarten classes and training for family / service dogs

COMMUNITY SERVICE

1998-2011 Teller County Regional Animal Shelter (TCRAS)
Evaluated canine intakes
Developed specialized training for high-risk dogs and those with low adoption potential

1992-2002 Walkenstrutt German Shepherds:
Operated a targeted program that donated 2 fully-trained police canines to underfunded U.S. law enforcement departments
Non-profit demonstrations for DARE programs

1994-1998 Blue Hills Boarding Kennels and Walkenstrutt German Shepherds:
Expert witness for Boulder and Gunnison county court cases in relation to dog bite injuries
Non-profit board and trains for clients of the Boulder County Battered Women’s Shelter
Voluntary consultant for Longmont Humane Society via grant-funded community-based program: intake evaluations, community lectures on assessment/house-breaking/general obedience, employee skills development (aggressive dogs, dog fights, canine socialization)

OFFICIAL SCHOOLING & CERTIFICATIONS

NATTS-certified Master Canine Trainer* Colorado Career Academy; 600 clock hours = 4 months of full-time training

NATTS-certified Master K9 Instructor* Colorado Career Academy; 1,200 clock hours = 7.5 additional months of full-time training

Narcotic Canine Trainer & Narcotic Detection K9 handler (Vehicles, buildings, and open areas)

N.C.T. 8 week work-study program; Camelot Training Facility

Tracking and Cadaver Dog trainer/handler Donovan Training Academy; 1,300 clock hours

*I am not a member of training societies, because I do not always agree with their philosophies and lobbying efforts (e.g., the Association of Pet Dog Trainers and the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants). So, I do not have a series of letters behind my name to indicate membership, such as “CDBC” (certified dog behavior consultant). Realize, these letters only indicate paid membership in a society, not official schooling. As a family and as business owners, we choose to participate in charitable philanthropy, in lieu of obtaining memberships in societies. However, I remain committed to continuing education. I order and review training materials multiple times during the year, and my active training business constantly challenges my knowledge base.