Get to know our team! In this article, we interview Trainer Samantha Lee from our Valor K9 Academy Boise location. Get to know more about Samantha and her awesome background with dogs!
1. What would your dream home be like?
My dream home would be a farmhouse style home on acreage where I could once again have a horse. I would also convert one of the pastures into an agility course and set up a dock diving pool for the ultimate dog fun for my pack.
2. How many cups of coffee, tea or beverage-of-choice do you have each morning?
Well, I am not a coffee drinker or big on caffeine in general. A few times a week, I drink a cup of macha green tea in the colder months and Alani Nu energy drinks in the summer months
3. Are you an early bird or a night owl?
I can be both actually, but I prefer to be an early bird. I love sunsets and sunrises so my favorite way to start the day is to sit on the porch with the dogs while the sun is coming up.
4. What’s your favorite scent?
Lavender and Downy fabric softener
5. What is your most used emoji?
Probably the crying laughing emoji
6. How did you get into dog training?
My aunt was a career dog trainer for Guide Dogs for the Blind and my love of training dogs began through her. I really committed to making dog training a career when Tucker came into my life 10 years ago; I accepted a job as an Operations Manager of a dog daycare, boarding and training company so that Tucker could come to work with me everyday.
7. How many years have you been training dogs? And in that time, how many dogs would you say you’ve trained?
I began teaching dog training classes 10 years ago, but I wasn’t training full-time until 6 years ago when I completed my first training certification. Over the years, I have trained well over a thousand dogs between group classes, private lessons and board and trains.
8. Why did you decide to move to Boise?
I had been looking to move out of California so that I could achieve a better balance between my work and personal life, but I wanted to remain within driving distance of California as I am very close with my family. I have followed Valor K9 and Amy for years and have always respected and loved the training philosophy so, when they advertised that they were hiring last year for the Boise location, I jumped at the opportunity to apply. I feel like it was completely meant to be; I absolutely love my home, my job and I feel so blessed to be able to be so close to dozens of hiking trails so that I can enjoy my favorite hobby multiple times a week!
9. How has your experience been thus far with Valor K9 Academy?
It has been challenging in the best way! My mantra as a trainer is “Train Hard and Stay Humble” as I believe in being a forever student as a dog trainer. I absolutely love how much I am learning and growing as a trainer on the Valor team. The clients are amazing and so much fun to work with and I love being a member of the team. I am grateful for this experience.
10. Tell us about your pack!
My pack has 5 members!
Tucker is the OG, my heart dog! He is 9 years old; he loves to roll in grass and train for treats! His favorite activity is swimming so Boise has been his favorite location to live because we are 5 minutes away from a reservoir and our neighborhood has a river running through it!
Savannah is almost 6 years old and my first malinois. She has been my greatest teacher as a trainer. Her favorite hobby is training; I call her my work horse because there is no quit in this dog. I love that she always gives me 100% no matter what we are doing. Her favorite activities are fetch and agility and she loves swimming.
Kit Kat, she is the sassiest and my oldest pack member! She was a street dog in Oakland so I don’t actually know how old she is but she is estimated to be 10-11 years old this month! Kit was my very first human aggression case as a trainer. She is very handler sensitive and I am so proud of how far she has come over the years. She loves to herd the other dogs, howling / talking when it is meal time and anytime we are leaving as those are her favorite times of day. She is independent, opinionated and the ultimate huntress! She loves chasing off turkeys and geese and catching lizards, squirrels and rodents.
Vixen, I call my angel girl. She was my 2nd malinois and is 6 years old now. Everyone who meets Vixen, falls in love with her because she is truly the happiest dog. Vixen is my favorite co-pilot; she has travelled all over the United States and even Canada with me! She is also the dog who sparked my love for dog sports and bitework. She is fearless, enthusiastic and loves to go!
The baby of the pack is Sloane; my 3rd malinios who is now 3 years old. Sloane is a prankster who never takes anything seriously; she just wants to have fun! She loves antagonizing her “siblings”, stealing my shoes, even when I’m actively putting them on my feet, taking the pillows off the couch, etc. She basically finds joy in doing things she isn’t supposed too (ha!) Sloane has very high food drive and loves to play frisbee and fetch but she absolutely lives for dock diving! I am super excited to join Trainer Jenna and Toby for dock diving here in the Boise area!
Samantha is an awesome trainer who brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table. She’s a hard worker and has exceeded our expectations. We’re thrilled to have her on our team!