Two Hurlburt Field military dog trainers have joined forces and started their own dog training business.

With a combined 19 years of experience, Ryan Troester and April Walker launched Total Dog Destin in January. They decided to take their skills and put it toward one-on-one dog training during their off-duty time. They travel throughout the Emerald Coast and offer their personalized approach and high standard training.

“It’s all about empowering the owner and giving them that knowledge,” said Walker. “We go to the environment where the owner and dog will be everyday”

Walker said they want to train the dog at locations where the owner frequents the most, which can be the park, beach or restaurants. Most dogs need discipline on walking on a leash, jumping on people, barking and just listening in general.

“We want to show how to clearly communicate with your dog and not teach them basic commands. We want the owner to understand why the dog is doing certain things,” she said. “We are here to give permanent fixes instead of a quick fix.”

Total Dog Destin offers single sessions, which focuses on one particular problem, or the total dog package, which is a dream list of issues the dog is facing.

Troester said they always wanted to get involved with PAWS and help train their dogs. They are volunteering their time and making sure dogs are getting adopted and not being returned due to behavioral problems.

“Just seeing the dogs go to their new homes and be everything they want to be is very rewarding,” he said.

By the end of August, Walker and Troester will also be launching Doggie Day Adventures. The duo will pick up the owners’ dogs and take them out for a full day of dog friendly activities.

“Most dog care (places) have them in kennels, instead they will be active at the beach, parks and anywhere that is dog friendly,” Walker said.

Troester said one of the most important things is to form a bond with pet owners and become part of the family.

“Some of our clients thought their dogs had no hope and places would tell them that their dogs can not be trained,” he said. “We train the owner and the dog so they can better communicate with each other. The owner will be able to train any dog to their expectations.”