We started training dogs for the public in 2004,
but we have been around dogs most of our lives. There's nat much we haven't seen. We will be glad to discuss how our training might be able to help your dog.
HELPING YOUR DOG BECOME A FAMILY MEMBER
We are a family business dedicated to helping your dog become a welcome member of the family - not a family pest.
We will work with your dog's specific needs to develop a personal training program.
At Discover K9, we have produced years of results, and will gladly discuss your dog's needs & how we can help. We try to be up front and honest about what we can accomplish.
Over the years, we have rarely raised our prices. We want to offer an reasonable rate for families. We realize that there are trainers who charge twice as much or more than we do, but we value your business and your money. We will continue to strive to provide the same reasonable rates.
Over the past years Rickey Hooker has sought out training and experience from some of the top dog training professionals in the country. By keeping an open mind and learning new techniques he has incorporated the best of what he has learned to allow him to work with dogs that other trainers refuse. Rickey is more experienced than most when dealing with dogs with behavioral problems. During his time as an Air Force K9 Handler and Trainer, many other handlers and agencies sought out his expertise in dealing with problem dogs. He discovered that the knowledge he learned in dealing with police dogs could be carried over into pet dog training as well. He purposefully started looking for low stress training methods which were easy for the dog and the handler or owner. This is what led him to incorporate focus-based training techniques which allow an owner to work and train with his or her dog without having to be strong and have a loud voice. This focus-based training allows for dogs, even as young as 4 months, to be trained in a fun and confidence-building manner. This type of dog training is successful for dogs of all temperaments and ages.
Rickey Hooker - Owner/Trainer
In 2008 Rickey separated from the United States Air Force and left his position as Military Working Dog Trainer at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida (near Fort Walton Beach). He has been married to his wife, Kelly, for 25 years; and they have 2 children . They were stationed at Eglin for 6 years; but after 10 years in the military, they decided to move back to their hometown in Pontotoc, MS.
Although Rickey received his first formal dog training/handling at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas; he has really been learning about dogs his entire life. He continues to work hard to perfect his skills as a dog trainer/handler/teacher. Rickey has sought out training from some of the best dog trainers in the country and enjoys studying what others do right and wrong with dogs. He has a unique ability to incorporate many different ideas to form his own dog training approach. Rickey is a great teacher and enjoys helping others perfect their techniques too.
While at Eglin Air Force Base, Rickey was chosen by the military to attend a NORTH STATE K-9 ACADEMY of TARHEEL CANINE INC in North Carolina, a civilian K-9 Trainer's School which earned him the title of "Master K9 Trainer". During this six week school, he gained experience training civilian obedience dogs, their owners and new dog handlers.
He attended a Drug and Explosive Detection Dog Instructor's Course taught by Randy Hare with Alpha K9 from Jackson, MS where he received an additional Master Dog Trainer Certification.
He has also attended dog training seminars taught by Fred Hassen of SIT MEANS SIT from Las Vegas, NV where he learned the proper use of Remote Collar Training.
He has worked in conjunction with Jason Purgason - of Highland Canine Trainingin North Carolina to conduct a week long Basic Police Canine & SWAT and Advanced Detection seminar for Eglin Air Force Base near Fort Walton Beach, Florida.
As an Air Force K-9 Trainer, Rickey was in charge of the training of all Eglin Air Force Base’s Military Working Dogs and K9 Handlers. Although his official job was in the Working Dog Field, he has experience with hundreds of behavioral and obedience problems; and the civilian schools that he has attended have given him extra skills to tackle even the most difficult dogs and he enjoys the challenge.
Rickey enjoys teaching and helping other K9 handlers with their dogs. He has trained K9 teams for numerous military and civilian police agencies including Niceville Police Department in Niceville, Florida, Los Angeles Police Dept. Metro K-9 Division, California, Louisville Police Dept - Louisville, KY, Okaloosa Sheriff’s Dept, Fort Walton Beach PD, Panama City PD- Panama City, Florida. He has worked with other agencies in Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Illinois and Louisiana.
Rickey also considers himself fortunate to have been the Head K9 Trainer for Dr. Robert Gillette at Auburn University Veterinary Sports Medicine, Auburn, Alabama.
Rickey and Kelly adopted Rickey's Military Working Dog Jacco in 2007. Jacco served the US Air Force for 10 years before retirement. He spent almost 7 months in Kirkuk, Iraq with Rickey in 2004. When SSgt Hooker took Jacco to USPCA Trials in October 2006 earning a score of 195.5 out of 200 possible points; this was the first time Jacco had competed.
Rickey and Jacco's war story was featured in the following book:
Veterans Day 2008 was spent in New York City, where Rickey and MWD Jacco were featured on Fox News!
Kelly is the co-owner and manager of Discover K9; she is also an obedience dog trainer. Kelly has enjoyed working with dogs since she was a young girl. While in college, she worked as a veterinary assistant at Rolling Hills Animal Clinic in Pontotoc, Mississippi. She and Rickey have owned and operated Discover K9 since the beginning in 2004. Most phone calls, texts, emails and social media responses are handled by Kelly. They are both very involved in the training and care of all the dogs.
Katelyn, Rickey & Kelly's daughter, has been assisting with dog care and training since she was 9 years old. She loves dogs of all kinds, and has a special gift for helping them adjust to their new environment.