Carol Stephens

I grew up as an avid dog enthusiast owning sporting breed dogs and a beagle named Puppy. For 30 years, I was part owner and manager of a small family business near Louisville, KY until 2016 when I left the business and moved to beautiful East Tennessee. I now work as Head Trainer and General Manager for a private doberman pinscher breeder.

Like so many other trainers, I came from an equestrian background. I began training dogs in 1980 with my first Great Dane, Odee. After much success in classes, I was encouraged by my instructor to enter the show ring in 1981 and ‘try it’. After showing at just one trial with much success, I realized that dog training and showing was my true passion. I stopped showing horses so that I could focus on my dogs.

I have developed my motivational training techniques by attending many seminars, continuously taking classes, and learning from my peers. I began instructing obedience in the late 1990’s by giving private lessons at my home. I then began teaching for a training center which gave me experience in every level of obedience, from problem solving to competition obedience at the highest levels, which included group and private lessons.  

While achieving my doberman Phoebe’s OTCh title, I was invited and competed at the prestigious and elite National Obedience Championship in 2013 and again in 2014. The NOC is by invitation only and open to the top 3 of each breed based on OTCh points. We finished the NOC competition in 2013 with a 4th place in the working group, and in 2014 we finished 2nd place in the working group.

I have also finished in the DPCA (Doberman Pinscher Club of America) Obedience Top 20 for the past 10 consecutive years and in 2017, all 3 of the dogs I was showing claimed final placements on the list.

What I enjoy most about working with dogs and their owners is watching the bond between dog and human develop into more than just a pet, but a teammate. I enjoy the problem solving aspect of how to communicate with the dog so it understands what the handler is asking, then seeing the dog willingly and happily respond. The sense of achievement I get when seeing the excitement and joy in the owner after accomplishing what previously was thought impossible is rewarding beyond compare.