Founded in 2014
All Breed Training
Valor K9 Academy was founded in April of 2014 in Chattanooga (TN). The Spokane (WA) location opened in 2015. And the Boise (ID) location opened in 2019. Valor K9 Academy was named the Idaho Small Business of the Month in March of 2022.
Since its start, Valor K9 Academy has worked with thousands of dogs of all ages, breeds and temperament types. We specialize in puppy training, family dog obedience and service dogs for mobility support, psychiatric support including PTSD and TBI, epilepsy and more.
We believe in giving back to our communities and have donated over $54,250.00 in time and training over the past almost 10 years.
A home-based business, all of our trainers currently work out of their homes where they are equipped to care for and train dogs on a custom one-on-one basis. We do not operate out of a kennel facility and prefer this direct, hands-on approach with our clients and their dogs.
We strive for excellence in everything we do.
We believe in Foundation First training. Our training focuses on using primarily positive reinforcement first (rewards), and then we layer in training collars, such as a prong collar and e-collar, to proof obedience around distractions. We treat each dog like an individual and never use a cookie cutter approach to training. Our training is firm, fair and fun.
We love what we do, and we do what we love!
Meet the Team
Amy Pishner is the Founder, Owner and Head Trainer of Valor K9 Academy. She is responsible for managing, overseeing and expanding Valor K9 Academy operations on a local, national and international level. She is currently working on building an online platform so that dog owners around the world can access quality training for their dogs.
After graduating Carthage College in 2008 with bachelors degrees in International Political Economy and Spanish, Amy joined the United States Air Force where she worked in Intelligence Operations. She served first in Active Duty then transferred to the Wisconsin Air National Guard. After her military service, Amy pursued her lifelong passion for dog training and became a triple certified professional dog trainer through Starmark Academy, Vohne Liche Kennels and The Michael Ellis School for Dog Trainers. Additionally, she has attended countless workshops, seminars and K9 conferences around the United States.
Since becoming a professional dog trainer in 2013, Amy has trained thousands of dogs in various settings including private lessons, group classes, workshops, seminars, shadow programs, mentor programs and trainer retreats. She hand picks and personally trains all of the trainers on Team Valor K9 Academy. Amy holds herself to the highest standards and seeks to raise the bar for dog training as an industry.
Amy lives in beautiful Horseshoe Bend, Idaho, with her husband, Justin, and their daughter, Emma. Amy enjoys working out and hiking with her dogs. She has two personal dogs, Zoey (a 12-year-old Australian Shepherd) and Havok (a nine-year-old German Shepherd). They’ve been with her since the beginning of Valor K9 Academy. She is also currently raising German Shepherds for her protection dog company, Valor Protection Dogs.
Samantha is a Trainer for Valor K9 Academy – Boise. She joined the team in November of 2020 and specializes in behavioral cases, high drive working dogs and obedience training.
Originally from California, Samantha’s passion for training began a decade ago when she volunteered for Guide Dogs for the Blind. From there, she pursued her passion and spent many years working for various training and boarding companies in California and Texas.
Samantha attended National K-9’s Master Course in 2014 and is also certified as a Master Canine Fitness Trainer from the University of Tennessee. She has attended various workshops and seminars over the years under various trainers and upon joining Valor K9, Samantha studied under Owner/Head Trainer, Amy Pishner, to learn The VK9 Method of dog training.
Samantha has five personal dogs and enjoys hiking and traveling. She used to reside in NE Boise and now lives in Northern California where she works remotely for VK9-Boise.
Kelsi Long is a Trainer for Valor K9 Academy – Chattanooga. She joined the team in June 2021 and specializes in puppy training and family dog obedience.
Prior to joining our team, Kelsi worked as a kennel attendant and veterinary assistant, and then as a state tested nurse aid. She attended our six-day Shadow Program in August of 2019 and then completed our 240-hour six-week trainer course in July 2021 and has hit the ground running ever since!
Kelsi lives in Chattanooga, Tennessee. She has an Australian Shepherd and enjoys hiking, swimming and running.
Taya Hekking is a Trainer for Valor K9 Academy – Boise. She joined the team in September 2021 and specializes in puppy training, family dog obedience and service dogs.
Taya attended The Michael Ellis School for Dog Trainers in 2018 and worked for a dog training company in Utah for three years before joining Valor K9 Academy in September 2021. Taya was personally trained by VK9 Owner and Head Trainer, Amy Pishner.
She has an Associates Degree in Communicative Sciences with an Emphasis in Deaf Education from Utah State University and is fluent in American Sign Language.
Taya and her husband, Brittin, live in Nampa, Idaho, with their four personal dogs. Taya loves all things Disney an dogs!
Abby and Wiley Rowland
Abby and Wiley Rowland are Stay & Play Hosts for Valor K9 Academy – Boise. They joined our team in October 2021 and offer boarding out of their home to our clients.
Originally from Alabama, Abby has a Bachelor’s Degree in Agricultural Biotechnology from the University of Kentucky and went to the University of South Alabama for medical school. She currently works as a Family Physician for Saint Alphonsus in Nampa. Wiley does IT Consulting.
Abby and Wiley live in Meridian., Idaho. They have three dogs and three cats. And they enjoy binging shows on Netflix, hiking and kayaking.
Lindsay Pelazini is a Trainer for Valor K9 Academy – Boise. She joined our team in June 2022 and specializes in puppy training.
Lindsay is a former VK9 client who’s passionate about dogs and training. She previously worked as a manager at a pet resort and currently volunteers at the Idaho Humane Society. She has attended various dog training workshops and seminars over the years and recently earned her CCPDT certification. Previously, Lindsay worked as a Special Education School Teacher for 12 years; she specialized in working with children with Autism.
Lindsay, her husband, Rico, and their three children live in Meridian, Idaho. Lindsay has three personal dogs (a Corgi, a pittie, and a German Shepherd).
Contact: Valor K9 Academy
226 Winding Ridge Drive, Horseshoe Bend, ID 83629