Meet Our Certified Professional Dog Trainer Instructors!
All classes or privates are booked through AZ Dog Sports training desk at 602-237-6775.
Darcy is a longtime dog trainer with experience that includes teaching with the SPCA of Texas and private kennels in Texas. She was involved with the Texas Kennel Club, Petco, an Agility Club and the last 5 years with AZ Dog Sports. Her professional experience includes standup training and Training Director responsibilities for a large retailer. Darcy has attended numerous seminars by top name dog trainers and holds a Bachelor’s from University of North Texas. She has earned numerous titles on her dogs in Conformation, Obedience and agility venues. In addition she is a member of APDT, an AKC Canine Good Citizen administrator and holds her CPDT – KA certification.
CPDT-KA, Service Dog Trainer
AZA, ABMA, AAZK Animal Trainer / Behaviorist
Will Bruner has worked professionally as an animal trainer since 1992 with a focus on zoos and exotic animals. In 1996 he started doing in-home dog training and animal behavior consultation second to his day to day work. He found the same principles he used on dolphins, tigers and birds of prey, transferred easily to helping people with their pets at home. This has led him to not only help dogs, but also conduct cat and bird training workshops as well. He believes strongly in the Canine Good Citizen program and has been an AKC Approved Evaluator since 2010. He has also competed in obedience and agility trials with his own dogs and most recently discovered the sport of Treibball. As part of the first US Treibball classes conducted in Colorado in 2010, Will went on to compete in the first sanctioned Treibball competition in Arizona in 2014. He is also certified as a judge and trainer for the American Treibball Association. Will is a professional member of the Animal Behavior Management Alliance (ABMA). Will’s passion lies in bettering animals’ lives through training and better communication, whether they are in the zoo or your home. His philosophy on training is based on three basic principles, consistency, honesty and rewards. Training works best, not when you try to control your dog, but when you are communicating with them. Dogs need structure, challenges (both physical and mental), as well as praise to be happy and content.
Jaymie’s love for dogs started when she was still in diapers. She grew up around dogs, and always knew that she would make a career out of this passion. She began working with animals as a volunteer at the Phoenix Zoo. After joining the Arizona Dog Sports family in 2016, she attended and graduated from the Arizona Dog Smart Academy.
Jaymie became involved with training service dogs in high school, first raising and training a rescue dog for diabetic alert work through a high school class, and then volunteering with a local non-profit to raise a golden retriever for mobility assistance. Her passion for raising service dogs inspired her to attend and complete the Summer Service Dog Seminar at Bergin University of Canine Studies. She is excited to be back at Arizona Dog Sports as a trainer, and wants to share her love of positive reinforcement training with pet parents here in the valley.
Kwanho, a native of Seoul, South Korea; is a certified professional dog trainer and also certified in working with behavior modification. He owned his own business in Korea specializing in positive dog training, clicker training, and tricks training. He strives to understand each dog’s temperament and personality. By designing a customized curriculum to appeal to both the guardian and the dog’s strengths, Kwanho maximizes efficient learning for both. He also does private lessons and assists in the mentorship program for AZ Dog Smart Academy for new trainers. He attended the mentorship program with Will Bruner at AZ Dog Smart Academy this fall. In his spare time he volunteers for Power Paws. Kwanho is adding this exciting new skill set to his repertoire, and his love of helping people work with dogs in new ways. His other love is Music. He has both his Bachelor of Music degree from Seoul National University, and his master of Music degree from Indiana University, Bloomington. He is a professional Trombonist and now resides in Arizona, with his wife, also a professional musician. His interest in dogs was first in learning to train his wife’s two therapy dogs, and the rest is history!
Michael Brand – BS, CPDT-KA
Michael has been a lover of dogs since he was four years old. His first dog was an American Eskimo called Freeway, so named because the dog was rescued from a freeway in San Francisco. Freeway was one tough cookie, who provided Michael his first, early lessons in understanding the complex needs of dogs, from the reactive and unsocialized to the easy-going and gregarious.
Early work as a pet sitter and dog walker fueled Michael’s commitment to learn as much as possible in the field. As his interests and involvement with dogs grew, he studied for and obtained the CPDT-KA (Certified Professional Dog Trainer) certification from the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers.
Michael was the General Manager of AZ Dog Sports, working closely with clients to learn their needs and then prescribing appropriate training classes. As a principal trainer for Zen K9, Michael worked with dogs on everything from basic obedience to aggression. These experiences greatly increased Michael’s practical knowledge of canine behavior and his ability to “speak dog.” Michael enjoys working with and educating owners, helping them to understand their canine friends. He is actively involved in developing workshops on subjects important to pet owners and is often called upon to consult with dog-centric businesses to develop protocols for assessing canine temperament. Michael lives in Phoenix, Arizona, with his wife Danelle and their two daughters.
Emily Hopkins has been raising and training service dogs since 2013. She started out co-raising puppies with the Tucson chapter of Guide Dogs for the Blind while she was a senior in high school. Throughout her sophomore and junior years at Arizona State University, Emily raised a black lab (Quantico) for the service dog organization Power Paws. Though Quantico was career changed out of the program due to health issues, Emily continues his training and he now serves as an exemplary demo dog. While a senior at ASU, she began teaching service dog classes at Power Paws covering task work and public access for puppy raisers. In the spring of 2018 Emily graduated magna cum laude from ASU with a bachelor of science in Criminal Justice and has background in parks and protected areas management as well as homeland security. Emily continues to train service dogs and is starting to explore ways to integrate her passion for law enforcement into her dog training career. Emily is a certified AKC Canine Good Citizen (CGC) evaluator and utilizes positive reinforcement methods in her training. She believes a dog should want to work for you – not feel obligated to. Emily believes training should be a fun activity for you and your dog and when done correctly, can strengthen the bond between dog and handler.
Our next Dog Trainer Class is starting soon!
Call Layne Kizler at 602-430-6619 or click here to request more information!
Learn how to become a dog trainer — and start that NEW career you will LOVE!!