About Top Tier K9
Top Tier K9 teaches you how to train dogs and to train the dog's owner. We teach you how to start your own dog training business. Our programs cover basic pet training, advanced pet training, working dog, and service dog training.
Learn to train a dog in basic obedience, advanced obedience, bomb detection, narcotics detection, tracking, search and rescue, protection and even service dogs for people with disabilities. Learn to manage projects and start your own business.
Our programs have been designed for people who desire to train dogs, but don't want to quit their jobs or move away to a dog training school in a different state. Our program is without peer and you will learn more about dog training and about starting your own business at Top Tier K9 than at any other dog training school or business school in the country.
We train people to be true entrepreneurs who provide the highest levels of quality and integrity in the dog training industry and reap the rewards for taking the risks that so few are willing to do. We help our students live the American dream.
Top Tier K9 Team
Top Tier K9 is staffed by some of the top dog trainers, and people trainers in the world. Our team is made up of industry experts, certified master and professional dog trainers, decorated combat veterans and award winning business leaders and teachers. The core team at Top Tier K9 are listed below. We also have many affiliates and graduates that you can see on the affiliate page and the graduate page under the school menu who contribute to classes and to the on-going improvement of our educational programs.
CEO and Founder
Jeff Minder is the CEO and Founder of Top Tier K9. Jeff has been recognized by Dell Computers and the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) in their entrepreneur of the year awards, was a nominee to the Air Commando Hall of Fame, and was recognized as one of the top Survival. Evasion, Resistance and Escape (SERE) Instructors in the US military.
Jeff is an award winning teacher and entrepreneur. As a business consultant and project manager, Jeff has worked with some of the largest and most successful companies in the world. As a teacher, he has provided his unique approach on project management and business analysis through organizations and universities across the United States to thousands of students.
Jeff is a Master Dog trainer and specializes in advanced puppy imprinting, tracking, scent detection and protection. Jeff has degrees in computer science, mathematics, and search & rescue.
Jeff's unique approach to project management and business analysis has been taught at several universities and businesses across the country. The training programs developed by Top Tier K9 utilize Jeff's unique approach to course development, project management, and cutting edge learning tools, processes and methods.
Director of Operations
Kari is the Director of Operations of Top Tier K9. She is an instructor in our Pet Training Program and our Working Dog Trainer Program.
Kari is a Summa Cum Laude Master Graduate of The Tom Rose School (TRS) and served as their Business Coordinator and Director of Training for 6 years before joining the Top Tier K9 team.
Kari’s experience includes AKC, PSA (Protection Sports Association), Schutzhund as well as dog training and handler team training. She exhibits in AKC and in PSA where she competes at the National level, and has professionally trained over 4,500 dogs of all breeds and ages.
Kari is an approved AKC CGC (Canine Good Citizen) evaluator and brings over 30 years of experience in training, sales, and marketing in the pet industry from one of the top kennels in the country. Kari is a major supporter of many rescue groups, having rehabilitated over 350 dogs during her successful career.
Brian is a Top Tier K9 Certified Service Dog Trainer, Decoy and Instructor. and earned a rare 100% score on his SCH/IPOI track.
Brian is a decorated US Army combat veteran serving with honor and distinction in Iraq. Brian was a member of the 82nd Airborne and also served as a Combat Engineer with the 1st Cavalry Division.
Brian is responsible for our Service Dog Training Program where he provides Foundation Dog training support for Top Tier K9 civilian and government customers as well as helper and decoy evaluations and training in our protection training program.
Brian is responsible for Top Tier K9's IED identification and avoidance program, bringing what he learned on the battlefield in Iraq to the classroom at Top Tier K9.
Duane is considered by many to be one of the top dog trainers in the world. He holds 25 AKC titles and has actually trained 3 bloodhounds at the AKC utility level. Anyone who understand utility and bloodhounds recognizes what that would require.
Duane was the first person to train a dog to indicate on human cancer cells. "George" was an amazing Schnauzer who won over 400 obedience awards. Read about it here
Duane is a Vietnam combat veteran and was a dog handler and scout during the war participating in many search and rescue operations. Duane ran the Tallahassee Fl police Department K9 unit for decades and basically wrote the book for trainer and handler certifications within the state of Florida.
Duane assists us in all areas of training and conducts seminars for Top Tier K9 on scent detection and advanced training principles. Duane is also the Commander of VFW Post 3308 in Tallahassee, Fl.
Trainer and Student Liaison
Ashley Blue is a trainer and student liaison for Top Tier K9. A graduate of Top Tier K9's Pet trainer Program, Ashley has started the process of becoming a working dog trainer.
Ashley ensures that the health and welfare of the dogs and the students are the top priorities for the school. Ashley is the recipient of the very first Top Tier K9 Employee of the year award for 2018.
Master Trainer and Instructor
Chris O'Brian is a Top Tier K9; Certified Instructor, Certified Working Dog Trainer, and Certified Safe Catch Decoy.
Chris was responsible for the Madison County Sheriffs department K9 unit up to his promotion to Sergeant where he now works with more people than dogs. To offset this imbalance in life, Chris spends off duty time with Top Tier K9 students and dogs assisting in the Service Dog and Police K9 training programs.
Chris has successfully trained and is finishing his Foundation Dog "Rex" for placement as a Service Dog for a deserving disabled veteran.
Certified Safe Catch Decoy and Trainer
Jim Hayes travels 3 hours round trip every Saturday in support of our Foundation Dog training program and to provide helper/decoy services to our students and customers.
Jim is the Vice President of the Andersonville Theological Seminary and has a Doctorates in Theology and a PHD in religious Studies. Jim taught in the religious studies program at Florida State University. On weekends, Jim puts on his custom fitted bite suit and improves the bite and disposition of each dog he works with.
Jim provides invaluable insight and counsel to everyone who attends our school and our weekend training programs and seminars.
The Cracked Bell symbolizes liberty, specifically those values that are central to the American ethos: freedom from oppression over our way of life, political views, and personal expression.
The Crossed Knife and Rifle
symbolize survival and defense, and our legacy as proud veterans of America’s armed forces.
The Shield itself symbolizes protection, the primary function of the professional canine
The Dog symbolizes those qualities we most admire in professional canines: loyalty, vigilance, endurance and strength.
The Compass symbolizes direction and orientation, keeping us focused and clear with our mission.