Our Story

Welcome to Elite K-9 Training! We would like to take a moment and introduce Chris Winkler, the founder and owner of our company. Chris’s love for dogs began in early childhood. He remembers claiming the family dog as his own and using all his spare time teaching them all kinds of different work that they could accomplish together. Chris and his dog would drag branches together to build tree forts, help each other dig holes throughout the yard, and explore the backyard together for hours and hours at a time. Training, working, and communicating with dogs was a part of everyday life throughout his childhood. 

Shortly after graduating from high school, Chris joined the United States Marine Corps, and after five years of service, was honorably discharged. About a year after his military discharge, Chris started to display signs and symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), which is when his long search for healthy and positive ways to work through and live with PTSD began. Following a couple years of research, he bought Ryelie Jo, a smart and energetic Dutch Shepherd and, with some professional guidance, helped train her as his personal service dog.  Alongside Ryelie Jo’s training, Chris was launched into the fascinating world of working and service dog training, and he has not looked back since. 

Today, Chris’s passion is to integrate personal and working dogs into every facet of life, while helping to create and nurture an unbreakable bond in the human-dog relationship. Also, he is dedicated to educating the public on excellent in-home obedience, public-perfect animals and behavior modification techniques. 

Chris is an experienced handler and actively trains: 

  • Tracking
  • Trailing
  • Air scent
  • Human Dead Remains Recovery (HRD) 
  • Article retrieval (dry, wet, submerged) 
  • Narcotics/explosives detection 
  • Service/therapy/emotional support animals with direct disability interventions
  • Handler stress management 
  • Canine stress management 
  • Handler leadership and canine relationship building

Our Values

We support our military, both at home and abroad. We believe that many of our veterans would benefit from the skills and companionship that service dogs can offer, which is why we want to partner with the community to meet those needs.

We believe that each human-dog relationship is unique, which is why we take the time to meet with you, and understand your frustrations or needs, in order to create a personalized training package for you and your dog. 

We are passionate about advocating for animals, especially man’s best friend, which is why we use a multitude of different learning theories to help alleviate frustration with unwanted behaviors, without using punishment or negative reinforcement. 

We are committed to operating with integrity and honesty with every client. You can trust us to work alongside you to create a better quality of life for you, your family, and your dog, in the safest and most effective way possible.