At Tecla’s K-9 Academy, all of our trainers have developed their dog training skills under the tutelage of founder and esteemed dog trainer, Tecla Walton. Tecla has worked closely with each trainer to ensure that every dog’s training experience is the best it can be, and that the training philosophies and practices that are the Angel  K-9 gold standard are met. Each trainer has worked closely with Tecla fulfilling the following requirements:

1. Earning a minimum of 500 training hours taking, graduating from, and acting as assistant instructor in multiple classes with Tecla.

2. Earning at least one title with their own dog.

3. Passing Tecla’s K-9 Academyʼs written instructor exam.

Coming soon: Tecla’s K-9 Academy will announce our new, formalized dog-trainer’s certification program. Tecla’s K-9 Academy Trainer Certification will provide an official process and measurement to the development of our dog trainers. More details coming soon.


Tecla Walton, CPDT-KA, Pack to Basics Certified

Tecla Walton has 24 years of experience as a music educator and more than 14 years of experience as a dog trainer. Her unique ability to educate dog owners as well as train their dogs is a product of the way she has blended her two worlds. Tecla’s deep love for and commitment to the canine species has led her to continually seek out and implement the best training methods for the dogs she trains. Tecla uses operant conditioning alongside motivational and traditional training methods to accomplish dog obedience. Her emphasis is on truly teaching the dog and the handler because it is her belief that in this way the relationship between dog and handler can reach its fullest potential.

Tecla’s dog training experience spans the worlds of pet obedience and competitive dog sports alike. She has studied under the top trainers in the world (Michael Ellis, Bart Bellon, Tom Rose, Chad Mackin, T Floyd, and Sheila Booth), is sought after by top kennels in the country as a puppy imprinting specialist, and holds multiple high-in-obedience, high-in-trial, and high-in-tracking awards. Her dog training business, Tecla’s K-9 Academy, LLC is highly recommended by veterinarians, breeders, and rescues in the metro Baltimore-Washington area as well as across the country. The combination of Teclaʼs ability to read dogs, the wealth of training techniques she has at her fingertips, and her experience as a teacher make her unique in the world of dog trainers.


Chris Vissers

Chris Vissers has trained under Tecla for three years. During this time he has transformed a 13-month old out-of-control labrador retriever Boomer into a mature well-behaved, productive member of society. Together Chris and Boomer have earned a CGC, CD, and BH. Boomer is also a therapy dog who visits many nursing homes throughout Howard County as well as the veterans at Walter Reed.


Emily Vissers

Emily Vissers has trained under Tecla for three years and has been assisting in classes for 2 years. She is a retired teacher and has a deep love for teaching our puppy classes. Her skills in teaching the owners as well as the puppies are exceptional!


Rebecca Goldring

Apprentice trainer, Rebecca Goldring, has been working with Tecla’s K-9 Academy since 2010. Rebecca grew up around various animals and her first love was a German Shepherd mix who watched over her as a baby. She first came to Tecla’s K-9 Academy for help with a foster dog who had developed serious behavioral problems while in the care of her former owner. Rebecca has helped to train dogs, parrots, rats, and ferrets and spent many years working in fish and reptile husbandry. She has experience working with separation anxiety, leash aggression, and previously abused dogs. Though she appreciates all animals, her heart belongs to German Shepherd Dogs. To that end, she also volunteers with two local German Shepherd rescues fostering, fund-raising, and helping to train dogs in need.