About Us

Founded in 2014
Veteran owned
All breed training

Valor K9 Academy was founded in 2014 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. A second location in Spokane was opened in 2015, and a third location in Boise was opened in 2019. Valor K9 Academy was named the Idaho Small Business of the Month in March of 2022.

Here at Valor K9 Academy, we work with dogs of all ages, needs, and breeds. All dogs are welcome. We specialize in puppy training, family dog obedience, and service dogs.

We are a home-based business and are in the process of building a training facility at our Boise location where we will host group classes, workshops, seminars, trainers retreats, and shadow programs in the future.

Our new online training platform Valor K9 Academy Online brings quality dog training to owners everywhere.

Our Method

We are balanced dog trainers who believe in building a strong foundation first. We use reward-based training to teach commands and behaviors. Once dogs understand what is expected of them, we layer in a training collar to proof obedience on leash, off leash, and around distractions with the use of a food reward.

We focus on CMR: Communication, Motivation, and Relationship in our dog training. Our training is firm but fair and the end result is dogs who are happily obedient and have a great relationship with their owners. Our goal is to help dogs become go-anywhere, do-anything dogs who have a great quality of life!

Meet the Team

Amy Pishner

Amy Pishner is the Founder, Owner, and Head Trainer of Valor K9 Academy. She is a United States Air Force and Wisconsin Air National Guard veteran. Amy graduated magna cum laude from Carthage College with degrees in International Political Economy and Spanish. She is a triple certified dog trainer through Starmark Academy, Vohne Liche Kennels, and The Michael Ellis School. Dog training is a passion turned career for Amy. She started working with dogs professionally in 2013 and since then has trained thousands of dogs in various settings.

Amy lives in Horseshoe Bend, Idaho, with her husband Justin, daughter Emma, and two personal dogs, Havok (10) and Zoey (13). She enjoys working out, rollerblading, and camping.

K9 obedience training

Justin Pishner

Justin Pishner is the Co-Owner of Valor K9 Academy. He served fifteen years active duty in the Air Force as a SERE Specialist with multiple overseas wartime deployments and now serves in the Idaho National Guard. He helps with human resources, curriculum development, and boarding for Valor K9 Academy.

A Boise native, Justin lives in Horseshoe Bend, Idaho, with his wife Amy and their daughter, Emma. He enjoys working out, elk hunting, and riding his Harley.

kelsi long dog trainer

Kelsi Long

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, veterinary assistant, and nurse aid. She attended the six-day Valor K9 Academy Shadow Program in 2019 and Trainers Course in 2021.

Kelsi lives in Chattanooga, Tennessee. She enjoys hiking, swimming, and running.

nampa dog trainer

Taya Hekking

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 and worked for a dog training company in Utah before joining Valor K9 Academy where she studied under Head Trainer Amy Pishner.

Taya has an Associates Degree in Communicative Sciences with an Emphasis in Deaf Education from Utah State University. She is fluent in American Sign Language.

She and her husband live in Nampa, Idaho. Taya loves all things Disney and dogs!

abby and wiley

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 enjoy binging shows on Netflix, hiking, and kayaking.

Lindsay Pelazini

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. She previously worked as a manager at a pet resort and currently volunteers at the Idaho Humane Society. Previously, Lindsay worked as a Special Education School Teacher.

She and her family live in Meridian, Idaho.

Aaron Presley Shenk

Aaron Shenk is a Dog Trainer for Valor K9 Academy – Boise. He joined the team in May 2024 and specializes in puppy training, obedience, and service dog foundations.

Aaron formerly worked as a Trainer for T-Mobile where he designed and implemented training programs for new employees. He is a dog enthusiast who has been pursuing an education in dog training for many years. Aaron is First Aid & CPR Certified and formerly studied under a dog trainer in California. Aaron is a kind and caring person with excellent work ethic and attention to detail. He is trained in the VK9 Method of dog training.

Aaron lives in Meridian, Idaho, with his wife and daughter and enjoys hiking, playing guitar and piano, and graphic design.

Roberto Aristondo

Roberto Aristondo is a Dog Trainer for Valor K9 Academy – Chattanooga. He joined the team in May 2024 and specializes in puppy and obedience training.

“Robert” served five years in the United States Navy and is a combat veteran. After his military service, he joined the Orange County Sheriff’s Office in Orlando, Florida, where he served for fifteen years. He retired as a Supervisor and Assistant Firearms Range Manager. Robert is an experienced firearms instructor and has a knack for teaching people.

Robert and his wife live in Signal Mountain on three fully fenced acres. Robert enjoys Jiu-Jitsu, walking in nature, and painting.

Sarah Avery

Sarah Avery is a Dog Trainer for Valor K9 Academy – Boise. She joined the team in June 2024 and specializes in puppy and obedience training.

Sarah is a dog groomer by trade. She started grooming in 2018 and opened her own grooming business in 2023 where she now has staff who work for her. Prior to grooming, Sarah worked as a pet sitter and dog walker. She also taught piano lessons for many years. Sarah attended the first annual Valor K9 Academy Trainers Retreat in 2019 and has wanted to be on the team ever since. Sarah is a highly motivated and driven individual who studied Music Performance and Biology at Boise State University.

Sarah lives in Boise, Idaho and enjoys reading fantasy novels, crafting, and rollerblading.


We are currently looking for an experienced service dog trainer to join our team in Boise. If you are interested in learning more about the position, please send your cover letter and resume to info@valork9academy.com.


226 Winding Ridge Drive, Horseshoe Bend, ID 83629

(208) 577-0744