Meet Our Owner and Training Director
Having grown up with dogs in her life, it only made sense for Amber to become a dog trainer. Thanks to advice from her Parents and Peers, She officially began her dog training career in 2005. Amber attended the Military Working Dog Handler course at Lackland Air Force base in San Antonio, TX. Her experiences include training dogs for obedience, protection, and explosive/narcotic detection for the United States Army, as well as working those same dogs for Law Enforcement Operations.
Continuing her education; she has taken additional dog training courses, seminars, animal behavior courses with organizations such as Duke University, University of Edinburgh, Penn Foster, Mark McCabe’s TBTE “Training Between the Ears”; Level 1 & Level 2, Dr. Ian Dunbar, Michael Shikashio and is an AKC (American Kennel Club) Evaluator. Throughout her career, she has consulted and assisted with training for agencies such as the Honolulu Police and Sheriff departments, and the Department of Defense to include the Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps.
Featured in “K9 Heroes: Together We Protect, Defend, and Conquer as One” Published Oct 27, 2009 Written by Nicole Arbelo
In 2011, Amber took 2nd Place in Narcotic Detection at the International Korean Customs Bi-Annual Detection competition.
In 2013, Amber was medically retired from the Army and began training under the business name SDS K9. Then in 2015, she rebranded and opened Patriot K-Nine LLC.
In early 2015, she became a Certified PTSD Service Dog Trainer/Evaluator while working as a Kennel Master for a PTSD Service Dog Non-Profit in Sacramento, CA., as well as an American Kennel Club CGC Certified Evaluator (#91525). Later in the year after opening Patriot K-Nine LLC, she was recognized as a “Woman Veteran Up-and-Coming Entrepreneur” for Fayetteville, NC.
She is a member of APDT (Association of Professional Dog Trainers) and IACP (International Association of Canine Professionals), Pet First Aid and CPR Certified for both Dogs and Cats. (#151207942142128), and a Doggone Safe Educator.
In 2018, Amber began working with foster organizations throughout Cumberland and surrounding counties to provide behavioral safety and temperament assessments for families that are fostering and adopting children ages newborn through 17 (seventeen).
In 2019, Patriot K-Nine LLC became members of the International Association of Behavioral Consultants.
In 2021 Amber was selected to be on the Board of Directors for FAPS, Fayetteville Animal Protection Society.
When Amber is not dog training, you’ll find her with her own dogs Domino, Steve, Maverick, Dax, Oliver, Sherlock, and Zero. To be honest, most of her free time is dedicated to dog sports of some kind as her and other members of Patriot K-Nine are involved in Nose Work and Dock diving in their free time.
Alyssa Young (Senior Trainer)
Alyssa Young was born and raised in South Florida. During her schooling her love and interest in dogs grew exponentially and in August of 2017 she took on an eight-month apprenticeship with Bold City K9 in Jacksonville Florida as a Pet Obedience trainer. After working with Bold City K9 for two years, Alyssa became a Trainer for K9s for Warriors in Ponte Vedra, Florida where she works to train service dogs for Veterans that suffer from PTSD, Traumatic Brain Injury, and/or Military Sexual Trauma.
During her career as a professional dog trainer she has learned a multitude of different training techniques to include, but not limited to; relationship based training, scientific training, clicker training (marker training), as well as many others. She has a huge passion for behavioral modification, and being able to help dogs with aggression issues.
She continues to grow her knowledge by attending seminars, taking online courses, and working along side other reputable trainers.
Alyssa has four personal dog of her own; Lani, Doc, Pepper and Hiccup.
Alyssa has trained scent work with her own dog Kreacher (German Shorthair Pointer). Lani and Doc (Belgian Malinois) are trained in advanced obedience/protection and competes in PSA (protection sport association). Dobby (German Shorthair Pointer) has done some dock diving but due to arthritis in his back knees we have not been able to continue the sport.
Jamie Hogan (Senior Trainer)
Jamie started her career as a dog handler, training and showing dogs for a breeder. After adopting an extremely fear aggressive German Shepherd in 2016, she became obsessed with finding the most effective training techniques.
After getting a bachelor’s degree from Pennsylvania State University with a focus on psychology and education, she received her Dog Obedience Instructor certification from Penn Foster. She then became certified in Pet First Aid and CPR from The Red Cross. Since then, she has taken seminars from Dr. Ian Dunbar, Ted Efthymiadis, and The Dog Gurus. She has also taken classes from Duke University, University of Edinburgh, Leerburg University, and Dog Matters Academy. She has also become part of the Training Between the Ears community, attending multi-level seminars to improve communication between dogs and their owners, as well as teach calmness as a skill.
Jamie began training at Patriot K-Nine in 2017. She has even trained two dogs that have been adopted from and seen on the Villalobos Rescue Center featured on Animal Planet’s Pit Bulls and Parolees.
Kara Clyburn (Day School Trainer)
Abby Rice ( Obedience Trainer )
Coming to us from Arkansas, she’s been here in NC for over a year now and was previously employed with Tarheel K9 in Sanford.
Having attended Starmark Academy (Dog Training School) in Texas, and spent some time with Joint Forces K9 in Arkansas, she has a background in obedience training with a focus in building relationships between dogs and their owners. Her passions are puppy training, scent work, and behavioral modifications. Her personal dogs are Sophie and Indie.
Rachelle Brunke ( Service Dog and Obedience Trainer )
Mercedes Brunke (Apprentice Trainer)
Currently enrolled in Penn Foster to become a Dog Trainer, Mercedes is our Apprentice Trainer shadowing the other certified trainers in the facility a couple days a week. When she’s not working with us she is actively pursing her Business Administrative Degree as well at Fayetteville Tech. She has a background in rescue while growing up helping her Mother who has been a trainer and avid rescuer for years, it was only natural to follow in her footsteps.