“Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole”

~Roger Caras~

Our team at Specialty Dog Training is a dedicated group of professional dog trainers with a combined 45+ years of experience. Together, we hold over 20 certifications, a dozen local and national awards and professional memberships. With our vast professional experience, our love of helping dogs and their owners and customized training programs, there is no problem too big or small. We look forward to working with you and your canine family member.

Leadership

Graham Bloem

Graham is the Founder, CEO and Training Director of Specialty Dog Training™. He is the proud recipient of the 10News Leadership Award, Waggy Award for Animal Welfare, American Red Cross Real Heroes Award, Honeywell Life Safety Award presented by Larry King and CBS8 News Change It Up Award for community leadership. Graham has 19+ years of dog training experience throughout the West Coast;  from running rescue organizations to managing and directing pet resorts, helping dogs and their owners better understand one another and rehabilitating dogs that otherwise did not have a chance. Graham specializes in all levels of obedience training, as well as dog behavior, aggression cases, service dog training, consulting and public speaking. Graham, his wife Kyrie and fellow dog lover and friend, Krys Holc, founded Shelter to Soldier, a CA 501c3 nonprofit that supports our veterans suffering from combat-related PTSD by placing service trained rescue dogs at no charge.

Kyrié Bloem

Kyrie is the Co-Founder and Vice President of Specialty Dog Training™ and Shelter to Soldier. She has a Bachelors Degree in Biology and Spanish, and a Masters Degree in Nutritional Sciences. Kyrié is a passionate dog rescue and veteran advocate who works behind the scenes helping run the business. Kyrié is constantly in motion working in all facets of our organizations, with a key focus on community partnerships and development. She is someone that wears many hats well and is an asset.

Nicky Moore

Director of Dog Training & Operations

Nicky is our Director of Operations and a graduate of Animal Behavior College’s Professional Dog Training Certification program. Originally from Cincinnati, OH, Nicky has a Bachelors of Science degree in Business Management. After years of training her own dogs, pet-sitting, and working with animals at a veterinary hospital, she decided to transition her lifelong love of dogs, and over 10 years of customer service experience into a dog training and leadership career.  Nicky is a talented dog trainer and excellent leader with a wealth of knowledge in this field. When she’s not leading this pack, she loves training and hiking with her Dutch Shepherd, Bodhi and Pocket Pittie, Swayze.

Cassie Bostrom                          

Kennel Supervisor & Dog Trainer

Cassie is a graduate of Animal Behavior College’s Dog Training program, and has been with the SDT team for 5 years. With additional industry experience in kennel supervision, behavior, and grooming, Cassie is an all around resource for canine knowledge. Cassie uses her wealth of knowledge to create comprehensive training programs for every dog and client she works with. When she’s not training or mentoring, Cassie loves spending time with her family, her two dogs, and volunteering with her rescue pup, and certified therapy dog, Harley.

Lauren Scarbrough

Assistant Kennel Supervisor

Lauren was raised in Sioux Falls South Dakota and has always been a dog person. She has worked in various different kennels and has volunteered at many shelters growing up. Lauren is a dedicated animal care provider and leader on the SDT team. Some of her favorite hobbies outside of working include spending time with her friends and training her own dogs. Lauren is currently attending Animal Behavior College to become a certified dog trainer. She loves working in the dog industry and it will always be one of her biggest passions.

Krystyna Holc

Krys is the Vice President and CFO of Goodsell and Company CPA firm, Co-Founder of CA 501c3 nonprofit Shelter to Soldier and an asset on our financial advisory team for Specialty Dog Training™.

Krys has a 45 pound rescue German Shepherd mix named Tumble that she adores.  Her elite financial services help our companies stay on task, follow budgeting guidelines and assist us in reaching our financial goals.

Dog Trainers

Nicky Moore

Director of Dog Training & Operations

Nicky is our Director of Operations and a graduate of Animal Behavior College’s Professional Dog Training Certification program. Originally from Cincinnati, OH, Nicky has a Bachelors of Science degree in Business Management. After years of training her own dogs, pet-sitting, and working with animals at a veterinary hospital, she decided to transition her lifelong love of dogs, and over 10 years of customer service experience into a dog training and leadership career.  Nicky is a talented dog trainer and excellent leader with a wealth of knowledge in this field. When she’s not leading this pack, she loves training and hiking with her Dutch Shepherd, Bodhi and Pocket Pittie, Swayze.

Graham Bloem

Graham is the Founder, CEO and Training Director of Specialty Dog Training™. He is the proud recipient of the 10News Leadership Award, Waggy Award for Animal Welfare, American Red Cross Real Heroes Award, Honeywell Life Safety Award presented by Larry King and CBS8 News Change It Up Award for community leadership. Graham has 19+ years of dog training experience throughout the West Coast;  from running rescue organizations to managing and directing pet resorts, helping dogs and their owners better understand one another and rehabilitating dogs that otherwise did not have a chance. Graham specializes in all levels of obedience training, as well as dog behavior, aggression cases, service dog training, consulting and public speaking. Graham, his wife Kyrie and fellow dog lover and friend, Krys Holc, founded Shelter to Soldier, a CA 501c3 nonprofit that supports our veterans suffering from combat-related PTSD by placing service trained rescue dogs at no charge.

Cassie Bostrom                          

Kennel Supervisor & Dog Trainer

Cassie is a graduate of Animal Behavior College’s Dog Training program, and has been with the SDT team for 5 years. With additional industry experience in kennel supervision, behavior, and grooming, Cassie is an all around resource for canine knowledge. Cassie uses her wealth of knowledge to create comprehensive training programs for every dog and client she works with. When she’s not training or mentoring, Cassie loves spending time with her family, her two dogs, and volunteering with her rescue pup, and certified therapy dog, Harley.

Garick Stenseth

Garick is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps, where he was a Military Police Officer, and a Military Working Dog Handler. As a Military Working Dog handler and trainer, Garick specialized in narcotic and explosive detection, combat tracking, advanced obedience, and protection/apprehension work. While working as a MWD handler, Garick has worked with local/foreign law enforcement and government agencies such as the Secret Service. When not training pups, Garick spends his time in the outdoors, in the gym, and working towards becoming a professional pilot.

  • Garick brings years of experience handling and training Military Working Dogs (MWDs) for the US Marine Corps in both combat tracking and Explosive detection.
  • And has worked with the Secret Service, both Local and foreign Law Enforcement, and the DoD.

Dahlton Seel

Dahlton is a United States Marine Corps veteran, where he served 5 years as a Military Police Officer, and a Military Working Dog Handler. As a Military Working Dog handler and trainer, Dahlton specialized in narcotic and explosive detection, combat tracking, obedience, and protection/apprehension work. In his free time, Dahlton enjoys exercising, surfing and spending time outdoors.

  • Dahlton brings years of experience handling and training Military Working Dogs (MWDs) for the US Marine Corps in apprehension, decoying, combat tracking and explosive detection.
  • Dahlton has also worked with the Secret Service, both local and foreign Law Enforcement, and the DoD.
  • Primal K9 “K9 Street League” Decoy Workshop Participant

Danielle Boyer

Danielle grew up in Poway, CA with Boxers and Great Danes in her home. Having been around dogs most of her life, Danielle began to discover her passion for pet care and training. She began her career in dog training in 2017 working at Kahoots Pet Store as a dog trainer, and also completed a mentorship under a pet dog and working dog trainer in San Diego, CA. Danielle enjoys the problem-solving involved in dog training and loves seeing the tremendous transformation in dogs and their relationship with their handlers. While Danielle’s primary passion is educating dogs and handlers in training, she also enjoys staying active outdoors alongside her 3 year older boxer, Nika.

Nicole Powell

Nicole started her career in animal rescue in 2008 working for a local dog rescue in Los Angeles. She quickly realized her passion for animal welfare and worked with multiple larger animal welfare organizations for over 10 years. In those years she worked as a veterinary nurse, volunteer coordinator, manager, kennel master and dog trainer. Throughout her time in shelter work, she fell in love with animal behavior and saw the huge need for training with the amount of dogs who were surrendered specifically for behavior reasons. That in turn, changed her career path and she began to solely focus on dog training in 2018 and has been expanding her knowledge since! Nicole enjoys working with dogs that are in need of serious support and seeing them shine with a little TLC and professional training. She specializes in behavior modification, advanced on & off leash obedience, engagement & bond building, rattlesnake aversion, scent work, protection dog training with an emphasis on bite work development, AKC Good Citizen, and therapy/service training.

  • KPA Certified Training Partner (Karen Pryor Academy)
  • Certified Basic Obedience & Advanced Off Leash Obedience- Dustin Winn NC Canine
  • Trikos by Mike Ritland – Team Dog Online Academy Certificate
  • Sophia Yin- Low Stress Handling University
  • Silver Level Certified
  • Fear Free Pets- Fear Free Elite Certified
  • Former Certified AKC Dog Handler- Lend A Paw Therapy Dogs- Canine Assisted Therapy
  • Certified Canine Good Citizen Official Evaluator (STAR Puppy/CGC/CGCU/CGCC)
  • Certified in Pet CPR and first aid

Andres Orozco

Andres has been a committed team member for over 4 years with Specialty Dog Training. He took a keen interest in training and behavior and after hundreds of hours of handling, hands on training, attending seminars and spending time with our training team, Andres is now a dog training assistant along with being a lead animal care tech. He loves spending time with the dogs and watching how curious they are about life and their surroundings. In his free time he enjoys skateboarding. Dogs and skating mean the world to him.

Kailee Sullivan

Kailee grew up in Rancho Santa Margarita located in Orange County, California. She grew up with dogs and eventually adopted two of her own named Penny and Koda. Kailee has worked at a kennel in Canyon Lake for a year and a half from where she had hands-on training, Her husband had been stationed at Camp Pendleton giving her the opportunity to join our team at Specialty Dog Training. Since joining us, Kailee has grown with the company as an animal care attendant and has recently started assisting with our training team. Kailee will eventually attend the Animal Behavior College to become a certified dog trainer.

Client Care

Callie Espinoza

Enrollment Advisor & Client Care Specialist

Callie began her employment with Specialty Dog Training as a front desk receptionist with a passion for dogs, but very little knowledge of their behavior. Through study, mentorship and hands on training, she has developed a wealth of understanding of dogs and uses this knowledge to consult with clients to help them in the first steps of establishing a training plan for their dog. Outside of work Callie enjoys caring for her plants and spending time with her Cavalier King Charles named Lady.

Candace Swearington

Candace is a San Diego Native. She has a pit mix named Yoshi and 3 Pugs named Zeppelin, Jovi and Whitney. She has been working with dogs most of her life. From dog walking, dog sitting, working at boarding facilities and vet clinics. She has also volunteered with rescue organizations such as Pug Nation of LA and Thrive Animal Rescue. Her goal is to become a dog trainer and to help dogs and people at the same time. Candace also has a passion to help addicts and alcoholics feel like they have a reason to get clean and sober through the support and love of therapy dogs. She would love to help rehabilitate dogs with behavior issues at the same time. She loves dancing, Disneyland, camping, all things nature, and hanging out with her husband, Jerad.

Animal Care

Lauren Scarbrough

Assistant Kennel Supervisor

Lauren was raised in Sioux Falls South Dakota and has always been a dog person. She has worked in various different kennels and has volunteered at many shelters growing up. Lauren is a dedicated animal care provider and leader on the SDT team. Some of her favorite hobbies outside of working include spending time with her friends and training her own dogs. Lauren is currently attending Animal Behavior College to become a certified dog trainer. She loves working in the dog industry and it will always be one of her biggest passions.

Andres Orozco

Lead Animal Care Technician

Andres has been a committed team member for over 4 years with Specialty Dog Training. He took a keen interest in training and behavior and after hundreds of hours of handling, hands on training, attending seminars and spending time with our training team, Andres is now a dog training assistant along with being a lead animal care tech. He loves spending time with the dogs and watching how curious they are about life and their surroundings. In his free time he enjoys skateboarding. Dogs and skating mean the world to him.

Matt Nelson

For Matt, dogs have always been a passion of his. He has owned them all throughout his life and they are one of the biggest parts of Matt’s life. Matt is a dedicated animal care team member that is in this line of work because it is his passion. In his free time, he enjoys fishing and going to the driving range. Matt shares that he loves working for Specialty Dog Training because he am able to see how much we can change both a dog, and the owner’s life through our training. Matt plans on pursuing a career in dog training as his passion for dogs and the training industry will only grow from here.

Aylin Hernandez

Aylin was raised in South Carolina and moved here with her husband who currently serves in the Marine Corps. She grew up with dreams of becoming a veterinarian and working as a kennel tech has provided heaps of hands-on experience. This allows her to pursue her studies in January of 2022. Aylin currently has a family of 8 dogs consisting of 4 chihuahuas, a belgian malinois puppy, and a Catahoula leopard. Her devotion for animal care inspires everyone to push forward as a strong team member.

Luke Swart

Luke has been around dogs for as long as he can remember. He is a dedicated animal care provider on the team. Luke shares “Working at SDT means so much to me because being around animals and taking care of them for a living has been a dream of mine since I was little. SDT allows me to improve the lives of both dogs and people while doing something I love. I really enjoy seeing how much the dogs grow in just the short amount of time they are here and how different they are from the beginning of their training to the end.” In his free time, he enjoys surfing,working on his car, and playing video games.

Publicist

Eva Stimson

Eva is a very welcomed addition to our pack! Eva is the Public Relations Director for Shelter to Soldier and Specialty Dog Training™. Eva specializes in strategic partnerships and helps share the mission of each of our corporate sponsors with local and national media outlets.

Eva Stimson is an award winning marketing communications specialist and is President of EMS Marketing Consulting, Inc., headquartered in Rancho Santa Fe, California.

Certifications, Awards & Professional Memberships

Other Highlights

  • Animal Behavior College Certified Dog Trainer
  • Animal Behavior College Authorized Mentor Trainer
  • National Association of Dog Obedience Instructors
  • AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluators
  • Association of Professional Dog Trainers – Professional Member
  • International Association of Canine Professionals
  • USMC Military Working Dog K9 Handler Certification
  • AWDA Certified Explosives Detector Dog Team
  • Vohne Liche Kennels Dual Purpose K9 Handlers Course