About Us




Our Training Philosophy

Communication, Motivation, Relationship

We are balanced dog trainers. That means we are specially skilled at each aspect of training and customize our training approach 100% to each individual dog. We believe strongly in the importance of a good training foundation so we use positive reinforcement to teach basic commands and behaviors. We focus on confidence building, the relationship between owner and dog, structure, rules and meeting the basic needs of each dog. Once dogs in training have a solid foundation, we use training collars, such as prong collars and remote e-collars, as needed, to make sure the training is reliable in public and around distractions. We never train using force or intimidation. Our training always has the dog’s best interest at heart and we use body language, treats, rewards and praise to help communicate with the dog and reward the dog for good behavior.

Our training focuses on three key principles: Communication, Motivation and Relationship. We communicate with the dog to teach him what we want. We motivate the dog to be obedient and responsive to commands. And our goal is to have a good, working relationship with the dog so that the dog is obedient without relying on rewards only. Our training is all about common sense and doing what’s right for both the owners and the dogs.


Our Services

Valor K9 Academy offers top-notch training for dogs of all ages and breeds. We specialize in puppy training, on and off leash obedience and behavior rehabilitation training. Our services include private lessons, group classes, board & train programs, stay & play private boarding, shadow programs, seminars and more. We offer complimentary consultations for prospective clients. This allows us to meet you, get to know your dog, answer your questions and give you a tour of our facility. 

Our standard is excellence. We are proud of what we do, and we love the clients we serve. If you’re looking for a trainer who cares about every part of your dog’s quality of life and training, look no further. We have a long list of satisfied clients and more than 170 5-star reviews!




Our Locations

What started as a small, apartment-run business in 2014 has grown to serve clients around the world from our four locations. Opened in 2014, Valor Chattanooga specializes in in-home puppy to advanced off leash obedience training and behavior rehabilitation training. Opened in 2015, Valor Spokane is our largest and busiest location. It is situated on five acres with a 2400 square foot training facility, a full outdoor agility course and sheep for herding. Opened in 2019, Valor Grand Rapids specializes in customizable in-home training for social dogs of all ages. Also opened in 2019, Valor Boise is home to our co-owners and head trainer. Currently Valor Boise offers board & train programs on a case-by-case basis and will someday be home to our trainer course.

Please click the link below to visit the home page for the location nearest you.


Meet Our Team

Here at Valor K9 Academy, we’re proud of the team we’ve built. Drawing from our clientele base, we have selected individuals who represent our passion for dogs, our commitment to quality and our core values.

CO-OWNER, HEAD TRAINER

Amy Pishner is the Founder, Co-owner and Head Trainer for Valor K9 Academy, LLC. She oversees operations, runs the trainer course and shadow programs, and provides mentorship for the team. Before training dogs, Amy served in the U.S. Air Force where she was worked in Intelligence Operations while stationed at Seymour Johnson AFB in NC. Prior to that, she was an English as a Second Language teacher stateside and overseas. Amy is triple-certified through The Michael Ellis School, Starmark Academy and Vohne Liche Kennels. She holds bachelor degrees in International Political Economy and Spanish from Carthage College (WI). In her spare time, she enjoys working out, playing piano and hiking in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Amy and her husband, Justin, live in Horseshoe Bend, ID, with their three dogs: Zoey (8) an Australian Shepherd/Border Collie, Havok (5) a German Shepherd and Yedi (4) an Australian Shepherd. 

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CO-OWNER, MANAGER

Justin Pishner is the Co-owner and Manager of Valor K9 Academy and oversees location operations, develops curriculum, and is Valor’s lead project manager. Prior to working full-time with Valor, Justin served 15 years in the U.S. Air Force as a Master Survival Instructor and currently serves as a Traditional Guardsman in the Idaho National Guard. Justin has deployed numerous times in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom where he worked alongside Military Cadaver Dogs. Justin enjoys riding his Harley, hunting and spending time with his family. Originally from Boise, Justin and his wife, Amy, now reside in Horseshoe Bend, ID. They have three dogs: Zoey, Havok and Yedi.

LEAD TRAINER

Dana O’Lone Long is the Lead Trainer for Valor Chattanooga. She was the first trainer to attend VK9’s Trainer’s Course with Owner/Head Trainer, Amy Pishner, in 2015 and has since been the trainer for the Chattanooga location. Dana provides on and off leash obedience training and behavior rehabilitation for clients across the southeast. Prior to training professionally, Dana spent over 15 years as a veterinary technician serving as the Department Head of both Neurology/Behavior and Internal Medicine at RIVER and working many years in Specialty Medicine, Emergency and Critical Care, and Preventative Medicine. Dana lives in Chattanooga, TN, with her husband, Nick, and their three personal dogs: Charlie (5) a German Shepherd, Yedi (3) a Belgian Malinois and Isadora (11) an Italian Greyhound. Dana enjoys cooking, traveling, running and spending time with family.

LEAD TRAINER

Courtney Sims is the Lead Trainer for Valor Spokane. She joined our team in October 2017 and now oversees the Spokane location. Courtney specializes in puppy training, on/off leash obedience and reactive/fearful dog rehabilitation. Before becoming a dog trainer, Courtney worked as a Licensed Veterinary Technician at Pet Emergency Clinic of Spokane for 10 years and as a Technician at Dermatology for Animals for five years. Courtney is certified through Valor K9 Academy’s Trainer Course where she studied under Owner and Head Trainer Amy Pishner. Courtney’s hobbies include gardening, exploring and hiking. She lives next to the Academy in Medical Lake, WA, and has two dogs: Pickles (4) a Boxer mix and Maverick (2) a German Shepherd.

LEAD TRAINER

Julie Richards is the Lead Trainer for Valor Grand Rapids. She started out as a client in June 2015 and joined our team in January 2019. Julie is a graduate of Valor’s Trainer Course and specializes in puppy training and basic to advanced off leash obedience. Previously, Julie worked as dispatcher for a police department in Washington state for 12 years. Julie owns four German Shepherds: Lexi (8), Steve (4), Mika (2) and Kora (1). Julie lives just north of Grand Rapids and enjoys training and showing her personal dogs in conformation. She grew up sailing with her family on the Puget Sound and is looking forward to taking lessons on Lake Michigan this year.

TRAINER

Jenna Larson is a Trainer at Valor K9 Academy – Spokane. She joined Team Valor in January 2019 and specializes in puppy through advanced off leash obedience training.  Prior to joining Valor, Jenna worked for two other training facilities, but did not agree with their training methods and knew there had to be a better way to train. Jenna attended Valor’s Shadow Program in September 2018 and fell in love with our training philosophy. Originally from Battle Ground, WA, Jenna attended Valor’s Trainer Course for certification and now lives in Spokane, WA. She has an Associates degree and enjoys hiking, camping and working out in her free time. Jenna has a one-year-old Heeler mix named Toby. 

STAY & PLAY HOST, TRAINEE

Skye is currently a Stay & Play Host and a Trainee in Valor K9 Academy’s intense 400+ hour Trainer Course. She is studying under Valor Head Trainer Amy Pishner and Valor Spokane Lead Trainer Courtney Sims. Skye is a graduate of the Valor K9 April Shadow Program and has also completed Starmark Academy’s 12-week Canine Training and Behavioral Specialist Program. Before training dogs, Skye was a dedicated volunteer in animal rescue and worked as a kennel technician for several years at VCA Animal Hospital. Skye was born and raised in south Florida and recently made the cross-country move to Spokane, WA, for this opportunity with Valor K9 Academy. She enjoys hiking, rollerblading and gardening and owns two mixed breed dogs: Ruca (7) & Moose (5).

STAY AND PLAY HOST, TRAINEE

Meg Rogers is a Stay & Play Host and Trainee with Valor K9 Academy- Chattanooga. She joined our team in November 2018. Meg welcomes dogs into her home for boarding and is currently enrolled in our Trainer Course to become a dog trainer. Previously, Meg worked as a Paralegal, Wedding Planner and Animal Shelter Volunteer. She has always had a passion for dogs and loves learning more about them. In her spare time, Meg enjoys running, spending time at the lake and being with family. She and her husband, Matt, live in Signal Mountain, TN, and have two children and three dogs. 

STAY AND PLAY HOST

Lex Silvrants is a Stay & Play Host at Valor Spokane. A client since 2017, Lex and his wife Dana joined our team in August 2018 to help with overflow boarding. Lex has a Bachelor of Nursing degree from Washington State University and is currently a Critical Care Nurse at Kootenai Medical Center in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Lex enjoys renovating their home, hiking and all things medical. He is trained in Canine First Aid & CPR and places each dog’s health and safety as a top priority. Lex and wife Dana live in Newman Lake, WA, with their dogs Greey (2) a Mini Aussie and Neeko (1) a Standard Aussie. 

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STAY AND PLAY HOST

Dana Silvrants is a Stay & Play Host at Valor Spokane. Dana has been a client since 2017 and joined our team in August 2018. She has participated in numerous classes, seminars and workshops over the years including Canine First Aid & CPR training. Dana is currently a Program Coordinator at a local manufacturing company and has an Associate of Arts Degree. Dana and her husband, Lex, were both born and raised in Spokane Valley and now reside in Newman Lake, WA. They have two dogs: Gretty (2) a Mini Aussie and Neeko (1) a Standard Aussie. Dana enjoys home projects, hiking, training and playing board games.  

STAY AND PLAY HOST

Sara McCann is a Stay and Play host at Valor K9 Academy.  Sara joined our team in January 2019. She is a graduate of the Valor K9 Academy shadow program and has participated in numerous classes and seminars over the years.  Sara works from home as an Innovation Specialist for an innovation research company.  She holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Washington State University and a master’s degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Hofstra University.  In her free time, Sara enjoys hiking, camping, painting, and sewing crafted dog collars and leashes.  She also volunteers her time as a dog walker for SCRAPS, the local humane society. Sara and her husband, Chris, live in Spokane, WA, and have two dogs, Kona (12) a Goldendoodle and Lincoln (5) a Poodle/Shar Pei mix.