Owner | Head Trainer
Hometown: Phoenix, Arizona
Current Home: Camp Verde
Hobbies: Firefighter, family man, dog behavioral studies, and service dog education for NAZSDS
At the age of sixteen, Shawn began the journey towards his calling by ensconcing himself in dog training books from reputable canine trainers. He soon put this knowledge into action by shadowing certified dog trainers, and absorbed as much information as he could, about what makes a professional dog trainer an outstanding one. In those years, there were only three Arizona dog training schools in existence. Of those three, only one still remains in business and is owned by Shawn's mentor. Shawn became a certified dog trainer about a year after beginning his apprenticeship from his mentor. Eventually, he became a professional canine trainer for all three academies. He provided in-home training for two of them, and performed countless hours of decoy work for his mentor at current facility.
In the late 80’s a well-known professional dog trainer and his wife moved to Phoenix, Arizona from Boston, Massachusetts. He thought very highly of Shawn, and asked him to come and work at their kennel. This ushered in a new phase in Shawn's professional career and allowed and enhanced outlook on how certified dog trainers run a successful business. Together, they trained all breeds and types of dogs, including show dogs, working dogs, and companion animals. Their motto was “to exceed the customer’s expectation of the training that was given to their dog.”
Shawn is certified dog training specialist recognized by the International Association of Canine Professionals and the American Kennel Club.
Certified Dog Trainer
Hometown: Phoenix, Arizona
Current Home: Rimrock
Hobbies: Hiking and training Kira, her Belgian Malinois, Sampson, her Stafford Bull Terrier, and Stella, her Dachshund
Born and raised in Phoenix, Tori moved with her family to the Verde Valley in early 2017 to take advantage of the slower paced lifestyle and beautiful scenery. Here, she was able to escape the unfulfilling lifestyle of public school and simultaneously earned her diploma online while working full time as a Kennel Technician at Hillside, where her family took their dogs for training and grooming. Now, Tori is enrolled in NAU's online bachelor program where she is working towards her degree in business administration and management. Her level head, quick mind, and life-long love for dogs has built up her dream of one-day owning a business just like the Hillside companies.
Shawn quickly saw potential in Tori's nerves, focus, and ability to handle both the Resort's boarded dogs and the Academy's working and protection canines during her kennel tech work. So when Tori asked to begin apprenticing as a dog trainer, he gladly agreed.
Within the first year of her apprenticeship, Tori's passion for everything-training propelled her quickly through basic obedience, to intermediate obedience, off-leash training associate, and even agility. In 2018 she passed her DTFE exam and became a certified dog training associate recognized by the International Association of Canine Professionals. Now, Tori assists in protection training, and has taken on the responsibility of our client's private obedience lessons, and will begin heading our group classes in spring of 2019.