In this “Meet the Trainer,” we interview the newest trainer for Valor K9 Academy – Boise (Idaho). Macy Blatter joined our team in June 2021 and completed our grueling six-week Trainer Course. She hit the ground running and is currently specializing in puppy training and obedience with an incoming service dog client on the way from out of state! Macy is an exceptional young woman and has proven to be a valuable member of our team already!
1. As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Ever since I was little, I always knew I wanted to work with dogs. People always suggested I become a Vet, but I knew that wasn’t the career for me. Once I was in Middle School, I realized for the first time that people trained dogs for a living. Ever since then, I knew I wanted to be a dog trainer!
Below is a picture of me in elementary school, dressed up as none other than a dog walker for Halloween. I don’t think I can ever top that costume!
2. Which season is your favorite?
My favorite season is definitely fall! I truly do not like the heat, so Fall is the perfect season for me! The air starts to get cooler. The leaves on trees start to change color, and everything just looks so beautiful! Fall is my favorite time to go explore nature.
3. What’s your favorite food?
My favorite food is none other than a bean and cheese burrito. I am easy to please!
4. Do you drink caffeine?
I do not! When I was in 5th grade, we did a “Pop Challenge” as a class. The challenge was to not drink any Pop or caffeine for an entire month. I did it and to this day, I still haven’t stopped! I would say the first two weeks were the hardest. Now, several years later, I still don’t have any desire to drink pop/caffeine.
5. What was your favorite part of raising service dogs for Cascade Service Dogs?
My favorite part was being able to help people on a whole other level than I ever was before. I was able to dog one of my favorite things ever (train dogs), and use it to help people gain their independence back. It was such a rewarding process from start to end.
My longest “project” was raising a standard poodle for 20 months to be a PTSD service dog. I knew Flynn the Poodle was never mine to begin with, but he was the dog that taught me the most about Service Dog training in those 20 months. I always thought that giving him back would be so hard, but it really wasn’t. I was ready for him to apply all that he learned to help save someone’s life, and I knew he was ready too.
I would raise another puppy in a heartbeat. It is a ton of work – all unpaid – but no amount of money can give you the same feeling as helping someone gain their independence back through a service dog. I started volunteer training service dogs when I was 15. Service Dogs will always be really special to me.
6. What’s something most people probably don’t know about you?
One of my favorite pastimes / stress reliefs is painting, specifically painting with watercolors. My favorite thing to paint, very shockingly, is dogs! I got my first watercolor set during Christmas of 2019. It quickly became my favorite medium to paint with! I had tried charcoal, chalk, acrylic, and even digital art, but none even come close to how much I enjoy watercolors!
Its been a few months since I have painted, but my favorite “most recent” painting I did was of Calypso, my dog Rumor’s mother! I wanted to do something as a little extra thank you to Rumor’s breeder for all that she did.
7. What are your top five favorite dog breeds?
This was a surprisingly hard one for me to answer! I love a lot of dog breeds, but I wanted to answer this with dog breeds that I would own. My number one favorite breeder is a Border Collie. I love everything about this breed – they are versatile, biddable, have a strong worth ethic, and are very intelligent.
My second favorite breed is the Standard Poodle. I raised one to be a PTSD Service Dog, and he was an amazing dog. These dogs are also incredibly versatile. Poodles are very smart, and fantastic athletes. I definitely see myself owning another Poodle one day!
Followed closely behind the Standard Poodle, is a German Shepherd. Before I discovered my love for Border Collies and Poodles, German Shepherds were my favorite breed.
These next two were kind of hard for me to choose! My fourth favorite breed would have to be the Shetland Sheepdog. I normally prefer medium to large size dogs, but every Shetland Sheepdog that I have met so far, have been really cool dogs. I like to think they are similar to Border Collies, just in a smaller package! Which explains why I like them!
My fifth favorite dog breed is the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever. Another great athlete dog breed. I always look for dogs that can be great athletes, but also ones that can fit my lifestyle. Luckily my whole life is dog training, so I can easily spend my free time working and training my own dogs. I plan to get into dog sports, and I only ever plan to own dogs that I can do dog sports with.
8. Where do you see yourself in five years as a dog trainer?
In five years, I hope to have made leaps and bounds of progress in the dog sport world. I think dog sports are such a great way to build a better bond with your dog, as well giving your dog mental and physical stimulation. I would love to help dogs and their owners start in dog sports and help them go as far as they would like – whether that is backyard agility or competing full time! I am especially interested in Heelwork to Music, Frisbee, Agility, and Dock Diving. I also hope to be training Service Dogs again! Service Dog training is how I got into the world of dog training, so they will always hold a special place in my heart.
9. Why did you decide to come work for Valor K9 Academy?
I got the opportunity to attend the 2020 Trainer’s Retreat that Amy held in her own home. It did not take me long at all to want to work for Valor K9 Academy, after meeting her and some of her team members at the retreat! That retreat opened my eyes to a whole new standard of dog training – one that my current job at that time didn’t even come close to.
I love everything about Valor – the methods, the philosophy, the people, the clients, etc! I knew I wanted to work for a company whose reputation spoke for itself, and that is definitely Valor K9 Academy. Every dog is an individual, and that is exactly how we treat them here at Valor. No cookie cutter methods to get quick results. We put in the work, to get real and long-lasting results. Valor also puts a big emphasis on training the owner, which was another big deal to me. We always want to set you AND your dog up for success!
Getting the opportunity to work for Valor was a no brainer for me. Even though it was a huge change – one that I wasn’t expecting, I am still grateful to be apart of this team. Being apart of the Valor community makes the hard days oh so worth it.
10. Tell us about Rumor!
Rumor is my 6-month-old male Border Collie. He is my dream dog to a tee! He was bred by Old Hemp Border Collies in Nevada.
Rumor’s registered name is OH It Started With A Whisper “Rumor”. His registered name was inspired by the song “Everybody Talks” by Neon Trees. I wanted a name that was pretty uncommon, and I am so glad I ended up going with Rumor.
Rumor currently has his Novice Trick Dog title, with his Intermediate Trick Dog title pending! I plan to work all the way up to Trick Dog Elite Performer with Rumor, which is the highest trick title you can receive through AKC. In addition, I hope to compete in Heelwork to Music, Frisbee, Agility, and Dock Diving with him. My goal for competing is to learn and have fun, rather than being focused on winning! However, there is a certain world record I aim to beat with Rumor, which I will be keeping a secret for now…
He also is a very striking dog – with his Black based Blue Merle coat and blue eyes! Color is the last thing I focus on when it comes to getting a dog, but I surely hit the jackpot when Madeline from Old Hemp BC’s decided to place Rumor with me! Rumor adores people, and his love for dogs is close behind. He has great toy drive, with food drive being next in line. Rumor is such a smart and eager to please dog – I could talk about him for hours! Currently, my favorite thing about Rumor is his tail. Instead of wagging it side-to-side, he wags it up and down! He has such a goofy personality, which truly shines through when doing trick training with him.
I am so excited to see all the things I am able to accomplish with Rumor!
Thank you so much to Macy for allowing us to interview her! We’re so blessed to have Macy on our team. Her energy is contagious. She’s a hard worker and a great trainer!