Matt Akenhead began his passion for dogs early in life. He won his first AKC obedience title in 1980. He has since attended Ohio State University, and has been certified as a professional dog trainer with expertise in: Search and Rescue, Police Dog Training, Tracking, Behavior & Problem Solving, Detection, and Training Assistance for the Handicapped. To round out his on-the-line experience, he competed as a mid distance sled dog racer for 4 years. He has been a professional trainer since 1996. He has owned and operated Boarding Kennels and full service Training Centers.
An ardent and committed trainer, Matt has taken his professional passion to the field. Competing in seven national championships, with four different dogs, from 2001 through 2005, Matt has placed in the top five dogs on four different occasions. He has won 40 titles with 8 different dogs in three different venues, including Service Dogs of America to Schutzhund.
Matt was one of the first four working dog judges to be certified by the United Kennel Club (UKC). He is also the youngest judge to be certified in that division. His professional memberships include: WDA, DVG, USA, and ADA training organizations. As Training Director for the Keystone-Buckeye Training Club, Matt worked with both Schutzhund competitors and Police dog handlers. Four members of this club were successful as national competitors in working dog sports.
Continuous education and mentor relationships with some of the best trainers and decoys in North America and Europe have sharpened Matt's knowledge and experience. He is a frequent contributor at canine behavior seminars, and has given Decoy seminars for police training groups. He is also a certified Decoy for working dog sports. In his capacity as trainer, Matt has participated in acquisition, training and certification of police dogs.
Signature K9 Today:
In 2009, Matt made the strategic decision to partner with Ray Allen Manufacturing, The World Leader in Professional K9 Equipment. Matt had built Signature K9 as a power brand to the Military Working Dog Community and partnering with Ray Allen Manufacturing who led the local and state police K9 market resulted in operational and marketing synergy. As the VP of Product Development for the combined company, Matt is allowed to focus on what he enjoys most which is developing new and innovative K9 products that serve a purpose for those who serve and protect us.
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