Chandler, Arizona


Dog Trainers helping to make Happy, Confident, Well mannered Dogs

May 2020

Lucy's Story

We started basic obedience and training with East Valley K9 when Lucy was 8 months old. I knew I wanted a quality training program for her because I didn’t want an out of control dog that didn’t listen. Our family treated Lucy like a cute, fluffy baby she is and we had some bad habits to break. 

After our first lesson with Brandy and Steve we started practicing at home throughout the day. Lucy responded beautifully and was on her way to be a well behaved puppy. She is now 15 months old and is so much fun. 

She knows basic obedience commands and we are also on the way to becoming a therapy dog team. She loves to cuddle, play fetch, and tug .  

Lucy loves to go to her brother's baseball games and visit all of the people watching.  She behaves so nicely and everyone loves her.  Her love of people will make her a wonderful therapy dog and an awesome member of our family for years to come.

Susan  R.


april 2020

Faith's Story

Meet Faith, our one-year old Belgian Malinois.  Faith came to us as a rescue.  My service dog, Harley, was a 13 year old male Belgian Malinois.  He had been diagnosed with kidney disease. We started talking about finding a canine to take over when Harley could no longer work when Faith found us.  With Harley’s health failing, Faith started training at 10 weeks.  Normally the training would not start until she was at least a year old. Time was running short. We lost Harley on December 30, 2019. At 11 months old Faith was going to have to step up and fill a big set of paws.


My wife is an engineer and athlete who in the past had German Shepherds. She does a lot of biking and running and was looking forward to taking Faith with her. I’m a disabled first responder and have had a “retrieval” service dog since 2009. Previously, I had trained several dogs, including a 110 pound German Shepherd K-9, helped train Harley as a therapy AND service dog, and served on the Board of Directors for American Therapy Pets in San Diego. My wife and I felt confident in our abilities to raise and train Faith.  

As Faith began to grow, she became stronger willed and more determined – very characteristic of a Malinois.  Despite our backgrounds, my wife and I reached a point where our training abilities were challenged.  No matter what we tried, we simply could not get over the hump.  We needed help and that’s when we turned to Brandy and Steve.  After the second class my wife and I noticed significant changes in Faith.  By the end of the third week Faith was a different dog.  By the fourth week, she was on her game. If it wasn’t for Brandy and Steve, we would have seriously began looking for a different canine to be my service dog.  Going forward, Faith will continue with her training and fine tuning.  If we run into any challenges, we know we have Brandy and Steve to fall back on.   

If you would like to talk about our training experience, feel free to ask Brandy or Steve to connect us.  I’m more than willing to share our story.  

Chaplain Joel Kordis, PhD 


March 2020

Madeline's Story

 When we first met Madeline, she was an unruly dog.  She counter surfed, had to be separated from the other dogs in the house, chased the cat and her owners could not even watch TV in their family room. 

 It had become the dog’s property. 

There were chairs and obstacles every where trying to keep her off the counters.  Madeline also was not crate trained and was a nightmare on leash. 

Ann & Morgan were ready to re-home Madeline.  We started with private sessions and then they came and took classes.  It is very evident that the work has been done with Madeline, with rules and boundaries the whole family has come a long way.  We are so happy to spotlight this bunch!  It always shows when owners do the work. 

“Madeline is a wonderful member of the family. She is full of life and energy and thanks to East Valley K9 training (for both human and dog), Madeline’s loving disposition has shown through!” 

Ann & Morgan


February 2020

Zeus's Story


Logan and I are both first time dog parents and had no idea how much Zeus would teach us, not only about raising a puppy, but also how much he would teach us about ourselves. 

To say that Zeus has been helping us prepare for parenthood is a serious understatement.  Zeus has brought so much joy into our lives and puts a smile on the faces of everyone who meets him.   Zeus has such a strong personality, and sometimes we truly think that he is a human trapped in a golden doodle body.  

We certainly would not have the dog we have or be the pet parents we are today without the guidance and instruction of Steve and Brandy. They taught us, which I believe is the most important lesson, that training a dog is all about leadership, and if a dog does not have a strong leader to learn from, it makes it harder for the dog to succeed. Steve and Brandy shaped us into leaders that would allow Zeus to become a confident, well socialized, and well mannered dog. They have turned training from a stressful and frustrating experience into an enjoyable, rewarding one. 

Marissa  & Logan R. 


January 2020

Tristan's Story

 I first heard about Tristan in my work group chat at Family VetCare. Steve, of East valley K9 Services, told one of our doctors, Dr. Nemeth, about a sweet male puppy about 4 months old who needed a home. He had been dumped in a neighborhood along with a female littermate and both were taken in and fostered by a lady in the neighborhood, Pat. The girl had found a home, but the boy still needed a forever home. Steve told Dr. Nemeth that he has a gentle demeanor and has a lot of potential to become a therapy dog. 

All it took was one look at his picture and I knew he was meant to be a part of my family. I contacted Steve, and he set up a date and time for us to meet Tristan. I knew Tristan was special when I met him. He is just the right amount of goofy to offset his intelligence. When I first met him, Pat had already started training him, and I was surprised by his focus and skill. He knew his name, to come to Pat when she called him, sit, look at me, and off. She explained to me that training him is a piece of cake, he learned so fast. I know it was hard for her to let him go, it was clear how much she cared for him, through her actions and through her words. When we agreed to take Tristan home, we also agreed to attend more obedience classes with Steve and Brandy. 

Some of my best bonding time with Tristan since bringing him home has been through training, playing, and cuddle time. In class, Steve and Brandy taught us how to continue Tristan's training and help mold him into the dog we could all clearly see he could become. Training Tristan sometimes seems too easy; we would work on something new, and he would pick it up in a matter of minutes. Out on walks he is everyone's best friend, whether they are another dog or person big or small. He genuinely just wants attention and to be loved. He especially loves kids though. I was worried that with his puppy energy he would get too excited and knock them over or play too rough, but it seems he knows how to scale his energy to be the perfect friend. I was over at my grandma's house with Tristan and she had a friend over who had her four-year-old grandson with her, and they became inseparable. Tristan followed him everywhere he went, it was so precious. Oliver would run around the yard, and Tristan would run right alongside him, hoping he would pet him or pick up a toy and play with him. They ran and played in the yard for about an hour, and in that entire time he never once knocked him over or played too rough. I was so impressed. 

Tristan has the purest heart and just seems to excel at whatever he puts his mind to. We recently had to say goodbye to our other beloved dog, Beau. Since Beau’s passing, Tristan has been my little angel. He has comforted me when I cry, snuggled when I needed a hug, and played when I needed a distraction. He is everything I need him to be right now and a blessing I didn't know I needed. It is going to take us a long time to recover from letting Beau go, but having Tristan makes our days bearable. Tristan has truly made a difference for us, and his compassion and heart are just part of what makes him so special.

Caitlyn I.  


December 2019

Poppy's Story

 Poppy’s Story I adopted Poppy from a local dog rescue in July 2019. She was just 18 months old and had been surrendered twice. She was surrendered first at 9 months old and again just a week before I adopted her. Poppy is a Maltese/Poodle mix, or Maltipoo. She is as cute as can be, and loves to play with toys, especially ones with squeakers. She can be very affectionate, but had some major behavioral problems, the main one being biting. She was also not house-broken and could be very aggressive towards other dogs. In addition, she was blind due to genetic cataracts. I decided to adopt her because upon reading her history I felt that since she had already been surrendered twice, her chances of adoption were slim. I felt that I had the time to devote to her to try and correct the behavioral problems that she had developed over her short life. Immediately after adoption, I scheduled appointments with a regular veterinarian at Family VetCare of Chandler and with an ophthalmology vet at Eye Care for Animals in Gilbert, AZ. Both veterinarians felt that she was a good candidate for surgery. However, it would be almost two months before the surgery could be scheduled so I asked the veterinarians for a recommendation about where I could receive some private in-home training for Poppy and me. As a previous dog owner, I was aware that I would need as much training, if not more, than Poppy. I was attached to her from almost the first day and the adoption was final in my mind. Now it was up to me to re-train both of us so she could be the companion she was meant to be. The veterinarian at Family VetCare of Chandler recommended East Valley K9 Services and that is how I first met Steve. We started weekly training sessions in my home within the first week that I had Poppy and the change was immediate. I was right in my first assumption; I needed the training as much, if not more, than Poppy. With Steve’s simple and direct guidance, we started making progress. Steve’s comment at the end of the first session was something like, “Poppy is not really an aggressive dog, she is just very smart and has learned to control most of the humans in her life through her behavior.” Thus, I had to work very hard to become the leader in our relationship. At first, I had to use bite gloves to work with her while trying some of the handling exercises that Steve showed me and at other times when she was out of control. Riding in a car was a real experience for both of us; she barked continuously and did everything to get out of any restraints I placed on her. At the beginning, I still got bitten occasionally but after the first few days her attempts to bite became less aggressive and became more of a threat than a real physical attack. It was difficult to tell if she had been abused or if her lack of eyesight caused her to over-react to situations. However, Steve kept reminding me not to dwell on her past or feel sorry for her, but to concentrate on the “now” and the “future”. We worked with Steve for 5 weeks and the progress was amazing. By the time that she was scheduled to have her surgery about 4 weeks into the training, the ophthalmologist was amazed at the change in her behavior. When she went to the regular vet for her shots and annual check-up in October, they said that she was like a totally different dog. They no longer needed to muzzle her to examine her and administer shots. Although her blindness was certainly not the only cause of her behavior, it had obviously contributed to it. Immediately upon being able to see, the aggressive behavior diminished even more. She now loves to ride in the car and greets people and dogs in a much friendlier manner. She is almost too friendly towards some people so now we are working on how to properly greet people. She does not get to jump up and lick people to death upon meeting them. In November, we joined a group obedience class at East Valley K9 Services taught by Brandy and Steve. During that class we worked on basic commands and Poppy is making progress. She still reacts to other dogs with a growl at times but she continues to be less aggressive and I am going to enroll in their Walkabout Class after the first of the year to work on more socialization skills. The most important part of this story is how Poppy has had such a positive impact on my life; she is becoming a true companion. As I become trained, she becomes an even better companion. The big problem I have is that she is so cute that I sometimes forget what my job is and then we backslide a little. I know that we are both going to continue to improve our skills and I am looking forward to a lot of years with Poppy by my side. 

Susan M. Sun Lakes, AZ