Off Leash K9 Training, Athens
Bryan & JoAnne Swihart are the owners and head trainers for the Off Leash K9 Training program in Peachtree City, Smyrna, Athens, Columbus, and Augusta. We moved to the Atlanta area to settle near family after opening successful locations in Charlottesville, Virginia and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Bryan is an Army veteran with multiple deployments; while deployed he was impressed with military working dog’s impeccable obedience training and high level of confidence enabling them to be the most well trained canines in the world. Bryan has a lifelong love of dogs starting with his first dog “Squeak,” who used to sleep under his crib every night. He has owned and trained a wide assortment of dogs ranging from Chihuahuas to Pitbulls; including his current comrades, a Rejected Labradoodle, American Staffordshire Terrier Mix, and the newest addition a German Shepherd Hound Mix. Bryan has a special love for “Bully Breeds” and wants to empower people to showcase what wonderfully loyal and loving dogs they really are. After serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, he can now focus where his passion is. With a degree in business and finance giving him a solid small business foundation, with the precision and passion needed to transform your dog from unruly to obedient, frightened to confident, timid to content.
JoAnne’s passion is transforming fearful and anxious pups into stable confident members of the family! This passion began 4 years ago while fostering an extremely fearful young pup, who soon became a beloved member of the family. Obedience training helped transform the dog from a dog who was terrified of people to a super snuggle bug and constant companion for their 2 year old son. JoAnne has background in business and biological research and left her corporate career to join her husband in running Off Leash K9 Training, Georgia full time 2 years ago.
Bryan and JoAnne are thrilled to bring Off Leash K9 Training to Georgia, specializing in the same obedience training techniques used by the military and law enforcement. This style of training encompasses his core beliefs and philosophy of consistency, fairness, and crystal clear communication that will turn your dog into a well behaved member of society in any situation.
Professional Member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT)
Taylor Lam as born and raised just outside of Atlanta with a love for all living creatures. She grew up in a multi-dog household, having at one point a total of 5 dogs ranging from small dachshunds to large pitbull/mastiff mixes. From a young age, she had a passion for helping animals of all shapes and sizes. Taylor attended the University of Georgia in Athens where she received her B.S.A. in Avian Biology. All throughout college, she volunteered with local humane societies, kennels, and veterinary clinics. After college, Taylor worked for a canine rescue organization called RescueMe, that specialized in disabled and diseased canines. There she learned about canine nutrition and its role in canine health as well as how to train and assist dogs with disabilities. By combining her animal health knowledge and her knowledge as a dog trainer, she has been able to create a unique learning and training experience for all of her clients and their fur-kids. She enjoys being able to help dog owners gain a deeper relationship and bond with their canine companions through patient, persistent, and positive training.
Sam Mirtsopoulos has grown up in a family particular fond of German Shepherds! She originally found her passion for training after getting her first dog as an adult, a Shar Pei Beagle mix. Every trainer she talked to, told her that her dog was “untrainable”. From there she was determined to learn everything she could about training dogs. Sam began her education by attending the Animal Behavior College (ABC), volunteering at her local shelter and rescue organizations. She loved getting her hands on as many different dogs as she could to help increase their adoptability. After working at a police K9 kennel, she decided to go to the Michael Ellis School for Dog Trainers in California. The amount of knowledge she gained from that experience is priceless. While there she worked closely with Michael Ellis and many other fantastic trainers such as Forrest Micke and Andrew Ramsey. Also while being there, she fell in love with protection sports and the Belgian Malinois breed. Now Sam enjoys helping people build strong relationships with their dogs through Off Leash K9 Training Georgia!