About Us

Georgia K9 National Training Center, the South’s premier K9 training company.

Georgia K9 NTCGeorgia K9 is a partnership of professional K9 trainers from across the United States with a wide range of dog training experience. We are nationally certified and work with dogs and handlers throughout the United States. We are specialists in a wide variety of K9 disciplines from dog obedience training, dog tracking and trailing, to canine narcotics detection. Whatever your needs might be, Georgia K9 has a solution for you!

At Georgia K9 we pride ourselves on our knowledge and experience with dogs.  We offer information on every breed of dog and every behavior problem. We have a staff of Certified Professional Trainers that will help teach the dogs proper behavior as well as educate you, the owner, on how to fairly and effectively communicate with your dog.  We offer a variety of services, each tailored to fit the individual personality of your dog.

Whatever your needs may be, Georgia K9’s trainers will work with you to achieve the relationship you’ve always wanted with your dog. Our specialties are dog obedience training, police K9 training, and service dogs for people with disabilities.

Kelli Collins

Kelli Collins

Kelli Collins is Co-Founder and General Manager of Georgia K9 NTC.  Kelli has spent the last 18 years working with canines in the areas of Puppy Development, Breed Identification, Dog Behavior, Basic and Advanced Obedience, Retrieval Training, Utility Training, Trailing, Scent Discrimination, Police Service Dog Training, and Narcotics Detection.

Kelli started the Georgia K9 Service dog program for children with disabilities with a special emphasis on providing dogs for kids with Autism.  Kelli’s ground breaking efforts have set the K9 stage for an entirely new approach to service dogs.  She was an instructor for Auburn University’s Canine Detection Training Center and a Police Officer in the State of Georgia.

Kelli is currently working her Narcotics Detection/Trailing K9 “Havoc” and an Explosives Detection K9 “Ben”.


Jeff Schettler

Jeff SchettlerJeff Schettler is a Police K9 Trainer and a retired police K9 handler. He has worked for the Alameda Police Department, Amador County Sheriff’s Department, and was attached to the FBI’s Hostage Rescue Team’s K-9 Assistance Program designed to apprehend high risk fugitives. Jeff is considered an expert witness in the areas of scent evidence and trailing.

Jeff is the author of “Red Dog Rising”, a chronological account of his police K9 work with Ronin, a modern police bloodhound.  Red Dog Rising won the 2009 Dog Writers Association of America’s Best Service Dog Book Award.   Jeff’s second book, a trailing training manual The “Straightest Path K9 Trailing”  will be published in October of this year. He is a frequent contributor to various dog magazines and is the K9 Trailing writer for K9 Cop Magazine.

Jeff established the first California Peace Officer Standards and Training K9 Trailing course in 1998.  He also produced California’s first POST certified Tactical Tracking Course and is considered and expert in tactical/ SWAT applications of trailing dogs. He is an analyst and advisor for various K9 programs throughout the United States.  Jeff coordinates approximately 10 K9 training courses per year in various parts of the US and abroad.



Joseph Cita – K9 Apprentice specializing in obedience, agility, scent detection and trailing

Jospeh is one of Georgia K9 NTC’s Kennel Techs responsible for overall kennel and ground maintenance and has worked as a Georgia K9 NTC Kennel tech since 2009.  He is currently serving as a K9 Apprentice specializing in the areas of scent discrimination, trailing, general K9 Scent Detection, and agility/ confidence course work.  Joseph has a strong interest in Search& Rescue as well as police K9 work.



Chase Hagerman

Chase HagermanChase Hagerman was born and raised in Marietta Georgia, graduated from George Walton High School in 1985. Joined the Army in 1986 with a military occupational specialty of Artillery, Small Arms Repair, and was Air Assault qualified. Soon after the Army Chase attended Truett McConnell College in North Georgia before getting Married and moving to Washington DC where he worked as a Chief Engineer  with Marriott for 10 yrs before moving back to Georgia. ” I just love dogs, I have been around dogs all my life. I’m very excited to be here with GAK9.” Chase is working on his K9 Training Apprenticeship program for K9 Behavior, Obedience, and Scent Specific Trailing.



Adrienne Symanowski

Adrienne SymanowskiAdrienne has been a Georgia P.O.S.T. certified Law Enforcement Officer and Mounted Patrol Officer since 1999. She earned her General Instructor Certification in 2002, later acquiring Specialized Instructor Certifications in Driver Training and Tactical Vehicle Intervention. Animals, predominantly dogs and horses, have been an integral part of Adrienne’s life since childhood. She began riding horses at the age of six and has certified several horses in Mounted Patrol Techniques. While a majority of her formal training has been with horses, she has found that many of the training concepts that apply to horses also apply to dogs.  She has worked side by side with Police K9’s on deployments while on patrol and is currently in training for her Police K9 Trainer credentials.



Wesley Visscher

Wesley VisscherWesley was born and raised in Hoofddorp (The Netherlands).

He has worked for 5 years as an explosives and narcotics detection dog handler. For the last two years, he was a senior dog handler for a Dutch private security company. He obtained his degree as a bomb tech for improvised explosives, security advisor for air cargo, and education as a narcotics detection dog handler.

Working in this industry has allowed Wesley to work in many different and diverse venues as a canine handler and bomb technician. These areas included airports, large festivals, and football games. He was responsible for searching these areas and people for explosives and narcotics.

In 2013, Wesley started his puppy project. He realized by training puppies from 8 weeks of age for detection work, the learning process is very fast. By the time the puppy is 4 months old, it can be completely imprinted on narcotics or explosives. Currently, he training with a malinois, Tess, for explosives and a cocker spaniel, Noa, for narcotics. He completed the puppy project with one malinois as an accelerant dog and one partridge dog for tobacco detection.

He also, writes articles for a Dutch magazine, focused on variety training methods.


Shayne Schettler

Shayne SchettlerShayne Schettler was born in Germany and raised in the California bay area. He grew up with dogs, and helped in the training of bloodhounds and police K9s as man-hunters throughout his teen-age years with his father, Jeff Schettler. Shayne completed his Bachelor’s in History at Westminster College in Utah, and his Master’s in Teaching History at the University of San Diego. After teaching in the public and private sector Shayne has returned to his roots of training dogs by joining his father at Georgia K9. Shayne will represent Georgia K9 in Virginia, specifically Arlington and the greater DC region as an obedience trainer. Keep an eye out for the opening of a Georgia K9 NTC: Virginia!



Tara Sturey

Georgia K9 NTC Tara Sturey

Tara was born and raised in a small town in Cochranton, Pennsylvania.  Throughout school, she was very active in sports and showed market animals in 4-H for eight years. For her senior year in High School, Tara raised a Future Leader Dog for the Blind (Franklin), through that program she realized her passion for dogs.

Tara graduated from Thiel College in 2012 with a B.A. in Psychology and Minor in Sociology and moved to Charleston.  She worked at a Dog Daycare in Charleston but wanted to do something more rewarding.  Tara has been with Georgia K9 for nine months and is going through the K9 Apprentice Program specializing in trailing, detection, and obedience.  Tara found her dream job and cannot wait to see what the future brings with GAK9.


Lauren Lemon

Georgia K9 NTC Lauren Lemon

Lauren was born and raised in southern Indiana farm country. She attended Indiana University and graduated with a B.A. in History. After graduating, she escaped the cold winters for Charleston and is now attending Graduate School at The Citadel.

Lauren’s love of dogs began at the very early age of 3 after being bitten by a neighbor’s dog. Instead of panicking and crying like a normal toddler, she just walked away from the incident acting like it was no big deal. As an early teen she became a junior show handler for her Labrador Retriever, Rocky, in a series of confirmation shows and then went on to become a Veterinary Assistant throughout high school and the beginning of college. Now she is extremely thrilled to be a part of the GAK9 team!


Samantha Ashby

Samantha AshbySamantha Ashby was born and raised in Columbia, SC. She attended College of Charleston and graduated with a B.S. in Accounting.

Samantha has always had a love for dogs. In college she trained her Labrador Retriever (Evan) for Dock Dogs where he earned several ribbons. She began volunteering with Georgia K9 which eventually lead to her attending National K9, School for dog Trainers in Columbus, Ohio. She earned a Master Trainer certification at National K9 which covers various facets of dog training. She is our Obedience and K9 Behavior trainer at our Edisto Island facility.


John Wyrick

JohnJohn was born and raised in Canton Georgia, Graduated from Creekview High School in 2014. For his senior year of High School, John Trained his Labrador (Bailey) to be a Duck Hunting Dog, during the training John realized his passion for dogs. Since the training of the bailey, John cannot get enough of dog training. John is now working on learning the art of trailing and detection training. “ I am excited to see what the future brings me here at GAK9. I am honored to be part of the team.”


Georgia K9 Professional Trainers >>