Dog Trainer

Stephen has joined Shelter to Soldier™ & Specialty Dog Training and he is bringing nearly a decade of professional experience to our programs!

Stephen has loved and connected with dogs his entire life. He started working with dogs professionally in 2008 as a kennel technician at a pet resort. Stephen cared for, exercised and supervised dogs in kennel and doggie daycare settings. Management recognized that Stephen had a special connection and understanding of dogs, reading their body language and being able to handle all breeds and temperaments. He was promoted as an assistant dog trainer, being the right hand to the training staff. After assisting for a couple of years, Stephen was again promoted to officially become a part of the dog training team. In this position, he trained hundreds of dogs of all sizes, breeds and temperaments. He worked one-on-one with clients in a private lesson setting, graduated many dogs from in-kennel training programs, ran group training classes, and he was called upon to handle aggressive dogs.

In 2013, Stephen was offered a great opportunity to further his experience in the dog training field by working alongside renowned dog trainer, Manuel Villanueva, at Fon Jon Pet Care. Stephen was hired on as the lead dog trainer, working with in-kennel training dogs, private lessons, behavior evaluations, service dogs, scent detection and protection dogs. His time at Fon Jon provided Stephen with a more in-depth view of dog behavior, specialized training, and an overall better understanding of dogs.

After a successful 9-year career in the animal care industry, Stephen is eager to continue his path in professional dog training. He strives to learn more every day. Born from his desire to work with service dogs, his passion to support our troops and a connection to his long time mentor, Graham Bloem, Stephen has joined the teams at Shelter to Soldier™ & Specialty Dog Training! While he is new to our team, he is definitely not new to this field and we are thrilled that our clients will have the opportunity to work with Stephen. You too will see his special connection with your dog(s).

Other Members of Our Pack