dog trainer

Michigan Dog Training

1031 Cherry Street

Plymouth, Michigan 48170

Paws and Smiles: MDT Brings Service Dogs to Life for Summer Camp Kids

By michael burkey

On a rainy summer day in Plymouth, Michigan, the energy was anything but dampened as 50 excited children gathered at a special event hosted by MiYOUchad. This community youth organization, a 501(c)3 nonprofit, is dedicated to nurturing the appreciation for life—simchas hachaim—within each child through extra learning, special programming, workshops, and positive social experiences. On this particular day, the highlight was an engaging and educational presentation on dog safety and service dogs, led by Michael Burkey, CEO of Michigan Dog Training (MDT), and his talented team of trainers: Cari Moore, Aaron Quevedo, and Jackie Griffin.

Introducing the Experts and Their Canine Companions

The event kicked off with Michael Burkey introducing himself and his team. With years of experience and a passion for canine training, Burkey has built a reputable training facility at MDT in Plymouth, Michigan. He shared the spotlight with Cari, Aaron and Jackie, each bringing their unique expertise and dedication to the field.

However, the real stars of the show were the dogs: Bailey, Tig, and Sage. Bailey, a Doberman Pinscher, is a trained Mobility Service Dog. Tig, a Rottweiler, is a Mobility Service Dog in training, and Sage, a Mini Golden Doodle, is a PTSD Service Dog in training. The children’s faces lit up as they eagerly awaited the chance to meet these extraordinary animals.

Engaging Young Minds with Dog Training Insights

The presentation began with an overview of the dogs’ training programs. Burkey and his team explained the rigorous and specialized training each dog undergoes to become a service dog. This includes tasks specific to their roles, such as providing stability when their owners walk beside them and offering comfort during anxiety episodes.

The children were captivated and full of questions. They wanted to know how long the training takes, what kind of tasks the dogs can perform, which breeds make the best service dogs and more. The trainers patiently answered each question, providing insights into the dedication and hard work required to train service dogs.

Demonstrating Skills and Building Connections

After the informative session, it was time for some live demonstrations. Cari, Aaron, and Jackie showcased the obedience skills and service tasks of Bailey, Tig, and Sage. The children watched in awe as Bailey demonstrated her obedience skills. Tig, still in training, showed his growing ability to help with stability tasks, while Sage melted hearts by demonstrating how she comforts her handler during stressful situations.

The demonstrations were not only impressive but also educational, illustrating the incredible bond between the dogs and their trainers. This bond is built on trust, patience, and positive reinforcement, principles that MDT stands by in their training philosophy.

A Personal Touch: Meeting the Dogs

The most anticipated part of the day was the chance for the children to meet the dogs up close. But first, they learned how to meet a strange dog safely. They were given these safety tips:

  1. Always ask your parents if they can meet the dog first,
  2. Always ask the dog’s owner if they can pet the dog,
  3. Put their hand out in the form of a fist for the dog to sniff rather than an open hand with fingers exposed, and
  4. If the dog is calm, pet them underneath the chin rather than moving their hand over the top of the dog’s head where the dog can’t see their hand.

Despite the rainy conditions, nothing could dampen their spirits. The children lined up eagerly, waiting for their turn to pet and interact with Bailey, Tig, and Sage. The park’s flooded yards turned into an impromptu play area, adding to the fun and excitement of the day.

The trainers ensured that each interaction was safe and enjoyable for both the children and the dogs. They guided the children on how to approach the dogs calmly and respectfully, reinforcing the importance of proper dog handling and safety.

The Impact of a Memorable Experience

This special event at MiYOUchad not only provided a fun day for the children but also left a lasting impact. The children learned valuable lessons about dog safety, the role of service dogs, and the importance of respect and empathy towards animals. They experienced firsthand the incredible capabilities of service dogs and the dedication required to train them.

How You Can Benefit from Professional Dog Training

If you are inspired by the stories of Bailey, Tig, and Sage and are interested in having your dog trained to be a calmer family member or even a service dog, Michigan Dog Training offers a range of professional training services. Whether you want your dog to accompany you to fun and exciting places or need a service dog for specific tasks, MDT has the expertise and programs to help.

For more information, you can contact Michigan Dog Training at 734-892-1447 or email them at [email protected]. You can also visit their website at to learn more about their services and success stories.


The day at MiYOUchad summer camp with Michigan Dog Training was a perfect blend of education and enjoyment. It highlighted the incredible work of Michael Burkey and his team in training service dogs and educating the community. The children’s laughter and smiles, despite the rain, were a testament to the success of the event. It was a day filled with learning, joy, and unforgettable memories, underscoring the powerful connection between humans and their four-legged companions.


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