Michael Burkey and Michigan Dog Trainers. Dispatches From The Barking Lot

Posted: October 18, 2013 in Uncategorized
A VERY welcoming place!!

A VERY welcoming place!!

The “GSA” home Pack (All 4 of us) have been on the road again, making an effort to keep learning about our fur-kids, and dog-training in general…We’ve had the privilege of being around some real canine luminaries recently, and the learning curve has been steep, and enjoyable!

Our latest foray was back North to my home state, Michigan.  Every time I cross the line into Michigan from the “Wretchedness Below”, I give a triumphant cheer.  After that, I usually have another 6 hours to drive to get home.  But not this time.  We were headed to Plymouth, Michigan to spend a weekend at Michigan Dog Trainer, with Mr. Michael Burkey and his great group of employees.  Here’s the link: http://www.michigandogtrainer.com/

We went for a seminar with Andrew Ramsey on Nosework, and it was amazing.  I’m going to write separately about the actual seminar, because both subjects deserve their own post.

AndrewRamseyseminar 003

Michael and a beehive of friends and workers have been developing and renovating his new location for several months now, and what they’ve  accomplished is a state-of-the-art dog training facility.  Clean (exceptionally so), brightly colored, well equipped, and just the right size, MDT will be able to stretch it’s wings here for a long while.  Due to the happy coincidence that a photography studio also inhabited half of the building, MDT even has a commercial sized photography cyclorama that makes every photo look professional!  Michael has plans for photography, and videography in the future, so he wisely kept the large curved wall intact.  It will be interesting to see what Michael has in mind in the coming months.

This is going to be an ideal winter time training facilty for them as well.  With enough room for Schutzhund work, (Tie-backs are conveniently located throughout the building!) and plenty of room to work, there will be a steady flow of training.  There are plans to have an Agility course too, albeit somewhat smaller than competition size.   That will be a welcome respite during the wonderful Michigan winter.

Even the best  dog training facility is just a building without great people though, and Michigan Dog Trainer is building a very talented staff.

Michael Burkey with his dog Kaboom...

Michael Burkey with his dog Kaboom…

Michael Burkey is the President of Michigan Dog Training, LLC, a highly successful dog training company whose aim is to provide behavior solutions so your dog can become a well-mannered family member and so you can do more fun activities with your dog. He is a Professional dog trainer, Dog Behaviorist, Expert trial witness, Certified Canine Good Citizen (CGC) evaluator for the American Kennel Club (AKC), and former Police K9 Handler, Search and Rescue (SAR) K9 Training Director and SAR K9 Handler, obedience and rally competitor and social worker.

He volunteers his services as a Dog Behaviorist for the Humane Society of Huron Valley, in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  He was a founding member and Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (CDBC) of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC) and served as their Ethics Committee Chairman for many years.  Additionally, he previously served as a founding member and Board Member for the Association of Humane Dog Training, a non-profit organization which promotes the safe and effective training of companion and working dogs.
Michael trains calm and happy family dogs and specializes in working with dogs who show fearful and/or aggressive tendencies in southeastern Michigan (metro Detroit area):  Oakland County, Washtenaw County and Wayne County.   He works with all breeds, large and small.

He is highly regarded by veterinarians, rescue organizations, and clients. Many dog trainers refer their aggression cases to Michael and veterinarians choose him to train their personal dogs.

Michael Burkey is also a former social worker.  This unique experience of consulting and training (people and dogs), sets Michael apart as the one to rely on to help you solve your dog training problems.  I also invite you to find the very touching story that Michael shares about how he, as a young boy had a serious hearing problem and because of that condition, had speech problems.  A dog helped him thru the problems, and a Dog Man was born.  He knows the value and worth of dogs to the human spirit, and the physical man.  This is a foundation of his work…http://www.michigandogtrainer.com/aboutus/dogtaughtmiketotalk.html

There are several other trainers available as well for various purposes.  We were fortunate to meet and watch Wendy Bemis in action.  Wendy is a Michigan Dog Training LLC Certified Dog Trainer. She has been a dog trainer since 2008. Prior to that, she served as a dog coordinator in a local rescue, served as a foster parent and volunteered in various shelters training dogs and preparing them for adoption. She enjoys spending her spare time traveling with her dogs, hiking, swimming and boating as well as attending dog training seminars.

Her passion is to help families and their dogs achieve the level of training needed so that they can enjoy their lives together.  A well adjusted and trained dog is able to go on family adventures and live a high quality life. Wendy knows this personally. She successfully modified her own dog’s (Fleetwood, Beauceron) reactivity to other dogs enabling him to go more places with her such as group dog hikes, kayaking as well as earning a Championship Trick title and Rally title with first place finishes. She has a special interest in teaching puppy classes, advanced tricks, and providing solutions to behavior problems.

Her personal dogs include:  two certified therapy dogs, three Canine Good Citizen dogs as well as one titled in Rally Obedience and Championship Trick Dog. Her current dogs are:  1. Fleetwood Mes Yeux Vigilant, a Beauceron, CGC, TDI, NR, TDCH and trained shed antler dog; 2. Gina, a Dachshund, CGC, TDI; and 3. Adrian, an adorable deaf Toy Australian Shepherd. Her dogs who have passed over the rainbow bridge include: Archie, an All American mix, CGC, adopted at ten years of age; Scooter, a hound mix, adopted at 13 years of age; and Taz, a doberman mix adopted at eight years of age.  Wendy handles Fleetwood like the Pro that she is…Wendy and Fleetwood, the Mighty Beauceron!

Michael’s charming wife “Annie” is Michael’s right arm…Zhao Yang (Annie), is also an Assistant Dog Trainer
Annie assists  other trainers in training the K9 Campers and Day Campers as well providing them with much love and exercise. She joined our training team in 2012.

The Michigan Dog Trainers staff is growing…They are a dynamic group, and are using their dogs for every conceivable type of canine activity, including Diabetic alert dogs…Truly a state of the art training team.

If you live with 4 or 5 hours drive from Plymouth, Michigan, keep your eye on the MDT page.  I have a distinct feeling that Michael’s facility is going to become THE hub of caninery  ( I  just made that word up!) in the region.  He is looking toward hosting many different types of seminars, as well as in house activities.  I know for a fact that our pack will return as soon as we find the tiniest excuse…

Also look for the MDT Blog!!!  http://michigandogtraining.me/

MDT's Search Wall!!!  Great innovation!

MDT’s Search Wall!!! Great innovation!


  1. Thanks Robert for the wonderful write up and I look forward to seeing you, Carol Ann and your dogs again soon.