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.
Denise Willis has trained under Tecla for seven years. Prior to meeting Tecla, Denise had vast experience in dog training and care having run her own pet sitting business, worked as a trainer for a successful dog obedience company, and as a kennel tech/assistant trainer for one of the top German Shepherd Dog kennels in the country. Denise has trained with and attended seminars by many top trainers including T Floyd, Bart Bellon, Mike Hamilton, and Roland Seibel. Denise continues to train and is currently grooming her young Belgium Malinois, Brix, for Schutzhund and Mondio Ring competition.
Di Matteson has trained under Tecla for three years. During this time she has trained a 10-month old pit bull rescue named Snorkle, and in the process earned her Rally 1 and Rally 2 titles receiving many 1st and 2nd place ribbons along the way. Di has also adopted a second dog, RifRaf, and successfully worked him through separation anxiety issues. She assisted in Rally 1 classes for 18 months and is now a Rally 1 instructor. Because of Snorkle, Di has since joined B-More Dog, a group of dedicated pit bull owners and advocates working to create a better Baltimore for dogs and their owners through outreach and education. She also volunteers at the Baltimore Animal Care and Rescue Shelter (BARCs).
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 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!
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.