Valor K9 recognized as Idaho Small Business of the Month

U.S. Senator Jim Risch named Valor K9 Academy in Horseshoe Bend as Idaho’s Small Business of the Month for March 2022. This designation is an honor for the company and its owners, Amy and Justin Pishner.

Amy and Justin Pishner. Photo submitted

The veteran-owned, women-led company was founded in April 2014 out of a small apartment and now has locations nationwide in Idaho, Tennessee and Washington. The Pishners and their team of 12 provide dog training based on three pillars: communication, motivation and relationship. Their method is called the VK9 method, and it is unlike any other. They specialize in puppy training, basic and off-leash obedience and service dogs, working with dogs of all ages, needs and breeds.

“We believe every dog ​​deserves a chance to be man’s best friend,” said Amy Pishner. “Big and small, we train them all.”

Since opening, they have trained over 6,000 dogs and worked with nearly 10,000 people.

A dog jumps over an obstacle. Photo courtesy of Valor K9

Amy Pishner explained that she loved dogs from a young age, having grown up with a special collie named Lady. Then, when Amy joined the military as an adult, she had a traumatic experience and turned to dogs for her own therapy.

“That’s when I realized I was passionate about rescuing and training dogs,” she said. “After leaving the military, that passion turned into a career.”

Today, that enthusiasm is still there, but she has moved on to not only training, but also mentoring other trainers so they can reach more dogs and their owners.

“I can share my passion with others, and that’s just the best feeling,” Amy Pishner said. “I feel so lucky to be doing what I love on so many levels: running businesses, training dogs and teaching people.”

Just recently, the Pishners launched their new branch of the business, Valor Protection Dogs.

Two German shepherds are sitting outside. Czech German Shepherds are trained by Valor Protection Dogs. Photo courtesy of Valor K9

“Valor Protection Dogs is the ONLY company in the world that provides family protection dogs that are imported, home-bred, professionally trained, health tested and guaranteed,” explained Amy Pishner. “In a nutshell, we import handpicked Czech German Shepherd puppies from the Czech Republic and breed/train them for two years to become family protection dogs before selling them. There are other companies that claim to offer the same thing, but no one has dogs of our caliber.

The dogs are bred to be family companions but taught to provide round-the-clock security. They are trained for various scenarios including carjacking, home invasions, theft, and kidnapping.

“While the two ventures both involve dogs and training, and have many parallels, they are also very different,” Amy Pishner explained. “Valor K9 Academy offers training to anyone who needs it, while Valor Protection Dogs offers elite guard dogs for sale to those looking to purchase a fully trained German Shepherd guard dog.”

A German Shepherd undergoes training. Photo courtesy of Valor K9

Valor K9 is also committed to giving back to the local communities of which it is a part. To date, he has donated more than $45,000 to local veterans, nonprofits, shelters, rescue groups, teachers, and first responders. As veterans themselves, the Pishners said they are committed to doing their part to give wherever they can.

Amy Pishner said being recognized as Idaho’s Small Business of the Month was both humbling and exciting.

“As a small business, this recognition means the world! We are so honored and grateful to Senator Risch for noticing us and putting us in the spotlight,” she added. “We hope to inspire other small businesses to continue doing the best they can for their communities. Recognition is just the icing on the cake. We love knowing that our small business provides great service and quality training to locals and their dogs. »

Looking ahead, the Valor K9 Academy team is working to build on its already rapid growth. They are working on growing their headquarters in Boise and offering a new Build-A-Beast expansion to Valor Protection Dogs.

Valor K9 dogs sit for a photo. Photo courtesy of Valor K9

“Through his efforts, Valor K9 Academy is a beacon of entrepreneurial and philanthropic spirit for all of Idaho,” Sen. Risch, R-Idaho, said in a press release. “You are the pride of our great state, and I look forward to your continued growth and success.”

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