Our Trainers

Trainer Amanda

Offers New Ringgold based Private Lessons, Dog Aggression Lessons, Puppy Lessons and Board and Trains

Amanda is the co-founder of MAK9 Academy. Amanda’s love for animals was engrained from birth. She grew up with mainly German Shepherds and has always had a natural understanding for canine behavior and training. Growing up, Amanda found ways to train her dogs at home by her own means. She understood that the bond between an owner and a well balanced, trained K9 is one of the most fulfilling facets of life. She looks forward to helping her clients find that connection with their K9 companions and releasing its full potential! 

While Amanda has always dreamed of working with animals for a living she attended Lehigh Carbon Community College where she graduated with an A.A.S. in Occupational Therapy in 2017. After working in the health care field for quite some time she felt a lack of fulfillment and satisfaction in her professional life. When the opportunity to work as a trainer professionally presented itself, she jumped on board without hesitation and never looked back! 

Amanda shares her world with four Shiloh Shepherds: Luna Rae, Nova Mae, Kyros and Elara. In her spare time Amanda enjoys hiking with her pack, photography, and keeping up with her personal dogs Instagram account! She volunteers her time at a local therapeutic riding program where she serves as Vice President and assists people with disabilities of all ages in experiencing the joys and benefits of horseback riding. She is also heavily involved in the Shiloh community and works towards improving the Shiloh Shepherd breed in various capacities.

Trainer Maria

Offers New Ringgold based Private Lessons, Puppy Lessons and Board and Trains

Maria co-founder of MAK9 academy, trainer and avid dog lover, has two happy pups of her own! Riggs a field line Golden Retriever, and Hoyt, a Black Labrador Retriever. Also pictured is Atticus, Maria’s German Shepherd who will forever be remembered in our hearts.

Maria has a son, Michael, who loves to train his own doggies while Mommy is training hers. When you see them out and about, you can guarantee he has one of his pups along too!

Maria is married to Michael who was formerly a dog handler in the Marines. He had an Explosive Detection Dog, Hitch, that he adopted afterwards and hiked the Appalachian Trail with.
Michael was Maria’s inspiration to start dog training.

Maria loves to work with obedience training but greatly enjoys her therapy dog clients and plans to get a new pup of her own in the new year, to train for therapy work. She also has additional plans to get into Service Dog work, specifically diabetic alert dogs.

Trainer Sara

Offers Lehigh Valley based Private Lessons, Puppy Lessons and Board and Trains

Sara loves animals wholeheartedly, and enjoys nothing more than helping dogs and owners enjoy the freedoms of solid obedience. You can often find Sara on outings with her two dogs, walking on trails or exploring local lakes. German Shepherd, Zoey, and Golden Retriever puppy, Marshall, love adventures together. Zoey especially loves trips to her favorite store, Lowes, and practicing her “jumps” (agility) in the backyard. Marshall, on the other hand, will try anything Zoey does, but enjoys ending his days with snuggles on the couch. Sara also has a cat named Coco, who is very loving, yet possesses major catitude at times. Coco especially doesn’t appreciate Marshall’s puppy shenanigans!

When she’s not training dogs or spending time outside, Sara utilizes her teaching passion in a sixth grade classroom, teaching English and social studies. Sara has been teaching for eight years, and has always found that witnessing students developing self confidence and pride is the most rewarding part of teaching. Like in teaching, the best part of dog training is watching the transformation that occurs. When Sara recognized the bond with her own dogs strengthened by obedience, she was eager to share the same tools for achieving clear communication and trust with others dog owners. 

Weekends and summers also give Sara time to spend with friends and family. Frequent walks on the trail or attending outdoor community events give Sara many opportunities to bring the dogs along. Sara hopes to bring the same comfort and reliability to you as a dog owner.