At TK-9, all of our trainers have developed their dog training skills under the tutelage of founder and training director, Tecla Walton. Tecla has worked closely with each trainer to ensure that every dog’s training experience is the best it can be, and that the training philosophies and practices are up to TK-9's standards.Each trainer has worked closely with Tecla fulﬁlling the following requirements:
- Fulfilling training development in either of the following ways:
- Earning a minimum of 500 training hours taking, graduating from, and acting as assistant instructor in multiple classes with Tecla.
- Completing the TK-9 internship program which is a comprehensive study of dog training and behavior including both practical and written work and exams. Each level of internship provides the trainer with 350 training hours.
- Earning at least one title with their own dog.
- Passing Tecla’s K-9 Academyʼs written instructor exam.
CEO & Training Director
Tecla Walton, Pack to Basics Certified, has 24 years of experience as a music educator and 15 years experience as a dog trainer. Her unique ability to educate dog owners as well as train their dogs is a product of the way she has blended her two worlds. Tecla’s deep love for and commitment to the canine species has led her to continually seek out and implement the best training methods for the dogs she trains. Her emphasis is on balancing relationship between dog and handler through sound training principles, clear communication, and trust. Tecla’s dog training experience spans the worlds of pet obedience and competitive dog sports alike. She has studied under Bart Bellon, Chad Mackin, Tom Rose, and Michael Ellis. Tecla holds multiple high-in-obedience, high-in-trial, high-in-tracking awards, and “V” scores with her dogs and has helped many clients to do the same. She has also earned High In Trial honors with three different dogs in three different disciplines in an 18 month period of time. While her dog sport achievements are impressive, she is equally adept as a pet dog trainer. Whether your goal is raising a happy, well-adjusted puppy or rehabilitating a dog that other trainers have given up on, Tecla is the “go-to” trainer in her area. Her dog training business is TK-9 located in Elkridge, Maryland and is highly recommended by veterinarians, breeders, and rescues in the Baltimore/Washington area as well as across the country.
William Hendrix has had an affinity for dogs ever since he was young. He thought about working with dogs as a profession and began his internship at Tecla’s K-9 Academy in March 2015. Since then his love for dogs has only grown. William completed an extensive 18 month internship under Training Director / Owner, Tecla Walton. He was then hired by TK9 following the completion of his internship and has been working in the capacity as a trainer for over 2 years. William has over 6,000 training hours under his belt at TK9. He grew up in San Antonio Texas, moved to Maryland because his dad was in the military, and holds an Associates Degree in General Studies at Carroll Community College.
Cathy Ferguson is a former professional musician whose day job is with the Howard County School System as a special education teacher. She started working with Tecla in 2009 due to her adopting a 9-month old, exuberant dog from the Howard County Animal Shelter. Previous owners said that "Roxy," now named Thais, was agressive. Tecla's initial evaluation revealed not an agressive dog, but a highly energetic dog. Tecla had started teaching Rally and recommended that Cathy and Thais give it a try. At the first lesson, Thais did everything that Cathy asked her to do. Thais needed mental stimulation and Rally was it! They went on to compete in Rally, earning their Arch, Arch X, Arch EX, and their Arch MX. At the Breakaway Action Dogs 10 year Anniversary Rally Competition, Cathy and Thais earned Judges Best Team Award amongst other awards. Cathy started taking agility lessons with Thais and quickly brought her other dog Ange into agility training. Cathy is now the agility instructor at TK-9.