October 2017 Dog Title Earners



Canine Good Citizen, CGC, CGC testingMichigan Dog Training (MDT) is always proud of its students and their dogs accomplishments. Our October 2017 title earners include:

On October 24, 2017 the following puppy teams passed the AKC STAR Puppy program evaluation:

  • Morgan Spencer and Breland, a Black Lab of Plymouth, Michigan
  • Nadine Medley and Kevin, a ShihTzu / Bichon mix of Plymouth, Michigan
  • Sarah Smith and Emmy, an Australian Shepherd mix of Detroit, Michigan
  • Alyssa Alessanorini and Dove, a Pit mix of Redford, Michigan


On October 24, 2017 the following dog teams earned the Canine Good Citizen title:

  • Maria Boraniec and Gunner, a Besenji of Farmington Hills, Michigan
  • Richard Miller and Tank, a German Shepherd Dog of Taylor, Michigan
  • Ronald & Theresa Merbler and Tango, a Wirehaired Pointing Griffon of Canton, Michigan
  • Angela Austin and Lexi Austin, an English Lab of South Lyon, Michigan
  • Lisa Brunette and Alyce, an English Lab of South Lyon, Michigan
  • Deborah Buzzy and Odin, a German Shepherd Dog of South Lyon, Michigan

Congratulations to all!

Join a dog training group class and teach your puppy or dog to be a Canine Good Citizen.

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Key Cabinet Positions for your Dog

U.S. Capitol Building, Michigan Dog Training

Whether you agree with President Trump’s Key Cabinet Appointees or not; it is interesting to watch the selection and confirmation process. It would be interesting to know how President Trump goes about making his selections. How much of the decision process is related to the person’s skill sets and prior experience? Was the person crucial in supporting his bid for the presidency or was he willing to consider those who did not? Are they like minded or willing to question each other for the greater good? And, the confirmation process, what are their agendas in asking specific questions? Is it to further their own agenda or is it truly to ensure the right person is confirmed for the position?

So too it’s crucial to consider each family member’s agenda, skills, and prior experience when selecting a new dog or puppy. Will the right puppy or dog be confirmed to best suit the family’s lifestyle? Are the family members like-minded or willing to listen and compromise on important issues such as:

  • Is this the right time to bring a new dog or puppy into the home?
  • Why are we getting a dog or puppy?
  • Should we adopt or purchase our new family member?Golden Retriever, puppy, pup, puppy training, Michigan Dog Training, Plymouth, Michigan
  • Should we get a puppy or an adult dog? Male or female?
  • What breed of dog will best fit our lifestyle?
  • Is it a “should” that we get a puppy or dog or is it a “must” decision? (To be fair to the dog, it must be a “must decision.”)
  • Who will be the primary care takers?
  • Who will train the dog?
  • Where will we take our dog for dog training?
  • How will we properly socialize our new loved one?
  • Who else will take care of our dog and in what way?
  • If there are children, are they mature enough to interact safely with a dog?
  • How will the puppy or dog impact and add value to our life?
  • How will we add value to our pet’s life?
  • Who will be our veterinarian?
  • Can we afford the financial cost of a puppy or dog? (purchase price, training, veterinarian, food, grooming, boarding when away on vacations, etc)
  • Do we have enough time to spend with our puppy or dog?

So, who are your dog’s Key Cabinet Appointees? Do they want the job(s)? And, how will the family (department) carry out the mission and value of bringing a new puppy or dog into the home? And, what are the other considerations your family must consider before obtaining a new family member? Please comment below.

Testimonial – “she is a completely different dog”

Michigan Dog Training, MDT, Plymouth, Michigan

We are feeling truly blessed at Michigan Dog Training (MDT) in Plymouth, Michigan. Today we received a beautiful and tasty treat, Edible Arrangements, from Kona’s parents; Tim and Dana Montague.  Kona successfully completed a four week Day School training program at MDT with flying colors. Prior to starting her training, Kona was difficult to walk and loved to jump on everyone. Her high energy got the best of her and it was difficult to live comfortably with her. But now, she is a joy in the home. Dana and Tim included this wonderful sentiment with their gift:

“Thank you so much for all of your hard work with Kona these last 4 weeks! She is a completely different dog and can’t express how thankful we are for you guys. Kona loved coming here everyday! We will see you for VIP dog daycare soon! Thanks again, Tim, Dana and Kona Montague”

It has been a true pleasure and honor to train Kona for you. We receive so much satisfaction in being able to improve the lives of people and their dogs. So thank you Tim and Dana!

October 2015 Dog Titles

Michigan Dog Training, American Kennel Club, AKC, Canine Good Citizen, CGC

Michigan Dog Training, American Kennel Club, AKC, STAR Puppy, Star Puppy, S.T.A.R. Puppy






On October 28, 2015 several dogs and puppies earned American Kennel Club (AKC) titles at Michigan Dog Training in Plymouth, Michigan.  Puppies who graduated from Puppy 2 class earned their S.T.A.R. Puppy Certificate and dogs who graduated from the Intermediate Manners class earned their Canine Good Citizen (CGC) titles.  Congrats to all!

S.T.A.R. Puppies

  • Andrew Ciesielski and his pup Roxy, a German Shepherd Dog from Canton, Michigan
  • Loretta Waldeck and her pup Charlie, an Australian Labradoodle from Brighton, Michigan
  • Stephanie Pritula and her pup Ripley, an English Bulldog from Plymouth, Michigan
  • Terry Harvill and his pup Gracie Harvill, a Golden Retriever from Novi, Michigan
  • Andrea Milhizer and her pup Maize, a Golden Retriever from Milford, Michigan
  • Stacy Grzelak and her pup Baxter, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel from Plymouth, Michigan

Canine Good Citizens

  • Robert Wilcox and his dog James P. Sullivan, a Bullmastiff from Canton, Michigan
  • Caitlin and Colin McCarthy and her dog Luna McCarthy, an All American from Brighton, Michigan
  • Michael Rutkowski and his dog Gus, a Labradoodle from South Lyon, Michigan
  • Craig Robinson and his dog Rembrandt, a Korthal Wire-Haired Griffon from Plymouth, Michigan


The next set of Puppy classes and adult dog basic manners classes start the first week of November.  There are still a few spots remaining in the classes.  Your dog too can be a STAR Puppy or Canine Good Citizen!

Dogs who graduated from Puppy 2 Manners or Basic Manners are ready to join the Intermediate Manners  class. And, dogs who earned their Canine Good Citizen will love the Do More With Your Dog class.


A village saves two loveable German Shepherd Dogs

www.michigandogtraining.com,  rescued German Shepherd Dog, Michigan Dog Training, Plymouth, Michigan

Bear is available for adoption


rescue dogs, Michigan Dog Training, Plymouth, Michigan

Kelly and Smokey

Dog Rescue

It takes a village many times to rescue dogs as in the case of Smokey and Bear. Both of them are eight year old German Shepherd Dogs who lived with an elderly man that passed away. When their rescuers found them, they were both tethered to a fence in the backyard. Concerned individuals threw food to them over the fence until rescuers led by Marla and Michelle were able to secure both of them. They were transported to a farm up north who watched after them for the next four days.

Michelle contacted Michigan Dog Training (MDT) in Plymouth, Michigan who in turn picked up the pair from the farm. Smokey was very friendly toward strangers but the care givers thought Bear wasn’t so much due to him charging workers at his kennel door. Michael Burkey, Dog Behaviorist at MDT pulled up a chair outside the kennel to get to know Bear. Very quickly Bear’s charging was paired with submissive pawing eliciting affection. His excitable behavior had been misread as aggression. Within five-ten minutes, Burkey was inside Bear’s kennel leashing him up for his trip to MDT.

Board and Train

Both dogs successfully completed a four week board and train program entitled K9 University at MDT with flying colors. Their training included field trips to parks and other public domains such as downtown Plymouth for real world training. Both dogs showed very friendly behavior toward all strangers. And, Alsager Animal Care Center in Canton, Michigan provided great medical care for the two of them ensuring they are healthy and ready for their forever homes.

A couple of weeks ago, Kelly came to meet the dogs and instantly fell in love with Smokey. She returned a couple of more times to work with Smokey and MDT trainers. This training support was put in place as she had never previously owned a dog. However, she was a quick study and she has a tremendous big heart. MDT includes life time group classes called Perfect Practice for dogs who complete the K9 University program. This ongoing support will ensure Kelly and Smokey are set up for life time success.

German Shepherd Dog available for adoption

Bear remains available for adoption. He continues to be trained at MDT while he waits for his forever home to find him. His continued training is made possible by a very generous donation from an anonymous provider. While both dogs are very affectionate, Burkey and MDT Certified Dog Trainer Eric Allport are especially fond of Bear. He is truly a big sweetheart.

If you are interested in adopting or fostering Bear as your loving companion, contact arejoycefulrescue@yahoo.com. Upon successful screening, an appointment can be set up for you to meet Bear at MDT.

As you can see many people were involved in the rescue of Smokey and Bear, more than I even know. In today’s times where nightly news are filled with horrific stories of violence, it’s reassuring to know and honor the good nature of people who came together to save these two affectionate dogs.

rescued German Shepherd Dog, Michigan Dog Training, Plymouth, Michigan

Bear happily having his nails inspected


Bear heeling nicely






Michigan Dog Training, German Shepherd Dogs, Plymouth, Michigan

Note, the correct email address is: arejoycefulrescue@yahoo.com




Will my dog miss me at a board and train program?

Michigan Dog Training, board and train, German Shepherd

Bane, K9 Univ. Grad.

Michael Burkey, President and Dog Behaviorist at Michigan Dog Training in Plymouth, Michigan answers the most frequently asked question about its board and train program.

Question: “If my dog participates in your board and train program rather than other services, will he/she forget me during that time?”

Answer: “Absolutely Not.” The great thing about dogs is that they think in the present time. They don’t fret over the past nor plan out their future. Sure, they can remember past experiences when something triggers that thought (just as when being reunited with their owners) but they think in the moment of time. So even though you are missing your family companion, your dog is having a grand time learning new behaviors and socializing with other dogs. However, when he/she sees you upon your return, your dog will be so excited to see you! To help you, we post frequent pictures of your pet on the MDT facebook page to lessen your loneliness.

So your dog won’t miss you but he or she certainly won’t forget you either. And, isn’t that what you want for your dog, the best of both worlds?. For more information about the board and train programs, please call MDT at 734-634-4152 or check out the Michigan Dog Training website.

Dog trained by Michigan Dog Training stars in a movie

Michigan Dog Training, movie Mr. What?

Kaboom is the hero in the movie, “Mr. What?”

Michigan Dog Training, movie Mr. What?

Kaboom says, “I’m a Movie Star”


On a cold and snowy day, February 2, 2014; Kaboom (Kaboom du Loups du Soleil bred by Michael Ellis), a Belgian Malinois trained and handled by Michael Burkey of Michigan Dog Training in Plymouth, Michigan shot his final scene for the movie “Mr. What?” in Canton, Michigan.

The movie is about a man convicted of a crime he didn’t commit and how he copes upon his release from prison. During his adjustment to freedom, he befriends a dog (Kaboom) or we really should say the dog befriends the man and ends up being the hero in the movie. Earlier scenes were shot in late summer of 2013 in Tecumseh, Michigan which included an action scene where Burkey was not only the dog trainer on set but also a stunt man for one of the characters.  The movie was written by the lead character of the film, Alan Maki and the Director is Shaun Maki of Panting Deer Productions LLC. Last year, they produced the “Singwalk Singer” that won five of five dove awards by the Dove Foundation.

“Mr. What?” is expected to earn several film awards and will make it’s debut in the fall of 2014.




Michigan Dog Training, movie Mr. What?

Michael, Kaboom, Zhao Yang and crew on the set of “Mr. What?”

Two loving dogs need new homes, can you help them?


Samson and Capone

Selene and Capone

Selene and Capone

A delightful and very caring young lady, Selene, is looking for a new home for her two dogs.  Her life circumstances have changed and she is no longer able to give them the care and attention that they need and she is use to giving them.

While Capone and Samson can get along with each other at times, it would be best for each of them to find separate homes. Selene says that both of them are awesome family dogs.  They love human interaction. If you are interested in providing a forever home for either one of them, please contact Selene (Shie) at 734-780-1000 or email her at shiebooker@gmail.com.

Capone “Poni”- is a three year old Pitt mix.  He loves attention and is good with people and children but not with other animals.  He is potty trained and knows how to sit, stay, roll over and shake with his left and right paws.

Samon is a three year old Laborador Retriever (Lab) mix who is good with children and other dogs but not with cats.  He is potty trained but does not like to go in a crate.  He knows how to sit, stay, roll over and loves to swim.






Eddie, Pitt mix saves the day! Dog training tips before/after your dog goes missing

Pitt Bull, Pitt mix, Michigan Dog Training

Eddie, Hero Dog

Today, while working at my computer, I noticed a grey truck come in and out of our parking lot and go up and down the street.  It was quite odd since I didn’t have any appointments scheduled for that time.  Shortly later, I saw a Boxer run down the street past my business.

Now it all made sense. The person was trying to locate their missing dog. As I stepped outside my business, the dog came running to me but it wouldn’t come up the last 20 feet to me before darting off behind a house across the street.  Upon the owner’s next trip around the block, I pointed her in his last known direction.  She parked her car and went behind the house looking for him while I went back inside to retrieve treats and a leash as she had neither.

While I was retrieving those items, Eddie a Pitt mix (who has received training at Michigan Dog Training LLC and is now a frequent boarder when his parents go on vacation) went to the front glass door and sat there peering out.  When I came back to the door, Eddie had seemingly called the Boxer over to play with him. The Boxer was at the front door trying to sniff Eddie through the glass  They were both enjoying their interaction and this allowed the owner to grab a hold of her dog’s collar. So Eddie was the hero of the day!

Afterwards, I gave Eddie a finder’s reward of tasty treats.  And, then he did want any tired hero would do, take a much needed nap.

Here are some before and after tips in case your dog gets loose and goes missing:

1. Have your dog micro-chipped at your local veterinarian office

2. Have your name and phone number on your dog’s collar tag

3. Store an extra leash and food treats in a zip lock bag to keep in your vehicle.  This way if you head out the door and jump in your vehicle to retrieve your dog, you won’t have to think about what to take with you

4. If possible and safe to do, elicit the help of a friendly dog to entice the roaming dog to come closer to play

5. Don’t chase after your dog, instead get your dog’s attention and run away from him/her to entice your dog to chase you

6. As your dog begins to chase you fall down to the ground and act as silly as you can so your dog will know you want to play

7. And, obviously take your dog to Michigan Dog Training LLC in Plymouth, Michigan for private dog training lessons or group dog training classes.  Classes start soon, call 734-634-4152 to register.


Pitt mix, Pitt Bull, Michigan Dog Training

Taking a Hero nap

Pitt mix, Pitt Bull, Michigan Dog Training

Rewarded with Hero Treats

German Shepherd Dog headed for the pound earns CGC

Michigan Dog Training

On October 28, 2013 Starbuck Von Burkey earned his American Kennel Club (AKC) Canine Good Citizen (CGC) title. It is a ten step evaluation of dog and handler which includes items such as walking on a loose leash; doing basic commands such as sit, down, and stay; coming when called; walking politely up to another dog team, remaining calm despite the owner walking out of sight from the dog, etc.

Michigan Dog Training, School for Dog Trainers, Dog Training Academy

Michael and Starbuck CGC

Starbuck was adopted by Michael Burkey, President of Michigan Dog Training (MDT) LLC prior to him being taken to the pound by his former owner because they were moving, unable to take him with them and cited some house manner problems.  Starbuck has been a blessing to Burkey who is training him to be a Diabetic Alert Service Dog.  Starbuck has a wonderful friendly temperament so he also serves as MDT’s welcoming ambassador to all dogs trained in MDT’s K9 Camp program. He loves to play with other dogs so he is very helpful when accessing the temperament of dogs being trained at MDT.

MDT in Plymouth and Ann Arbor, Michigan offers Intermediate Manners group classes which includes the CGC testing at the end of the class series.  To learn how your dog can earn his/her CGC title, contact Amy, Program Coordinator and Client Support Specialist at 734-634-4152.