Owner/Head Trainer | Background and Experience
Ben is from a college town in Rhode Island and grew up an avid reader, Eagle scout, and athlete. After college he pursued his dream of enlisting in the Army. During his time in the service Ben specialized as a Tactical Explosive Detector Dog handler. After serving five years he was honorably discharged and it was two years later he started his own business with his Belgian Malinois "Bila" at his side.
Ben built a word-of-mouth following by showing off Bila's skills in and around Savannah. Five years later he has a booming boarding and training operation and is working to expand further. Ben works tirelessly for his clients new and old and never stops short of changing lives!
Ben is certified by multiple government agencies, has trained and worked with some of the top trainers and kennels in the country, and has a decade of hands on experience treating behavior issues and teaching obedience and manners. Ben has trained multiple Service and Therapy dogs with a variety of specializations. Nose work, agility, drafting/carting, no bite defense, Ben teaches it all and more.
What sets Ben and At My Side K9 apart from the rest?
We know choosing a Trainer can be daunting, how do you find the right one? Here is why you should choose Ben and At My Side K9:
Ben's background as a working dog handler laid the framework for him to go on to gather decades of hands on experience handling dogs. Good dogs, "bad" dogs, rescues, special needs, Ben has seen and handled a huge variety of cases.
Canine behavior and psychology is as complex as humans', with whom they have evolved. Ben believes that to effectively modify behavior one must first understand why is it being exhibited. This informed approach allows him to connect with almost any dog he meets.
Education and Experience are invaluable tools, but the most crucial component to Ben's approach is simple Empathy. No matter the situation, Ben will meet you and your pup right where you are and gently guide you to meeting your goals.
Meet the At My Side K9 Pack
Abby began working with Ben in August of 2021 and has grown into an indispensable part of the team. She manages the farm while Ben is away teaching lessons, giving the boarding dogs the opportunity to play all day long. She is also apprenticing under Ben to become a trainer, something she dreamed of as a child but never thought would be her career!
Abby is from Sylvania, GA and attended Valdosta State University where she studied Psychology, which she loves applying to her work with the pups!
Great Pyrenees | 9 years old
Ben raised Bruce from a puppy and he has grown into a fierce protector! He watches over the farm and definitely lets us know when someone approaches! He loves to lounge around the training yard and keep an eye out for troublesome ATVs and mailmen. He occasionally likes to wander and check the perimeter. He always comes back, but sometimes he's taken a dip in the pond first! This is how he earns his loving nickname of "Swamp Beast".
Belgian Malinois | 6 years old
Ben rescued Bila at 18 months old and worked with her to overcome her traumatic past. She became his demo dog for the business and was instrumental getting At My Side K9 started. Bila went out with Ben all over Savannah and amazed passerby would ask how he got her to behave so well, he would tell them he trained her! Bila is semi-retired now and prefers to stay on the farm, but she still works by helping out with lessons. She loves to chase goats and chickens, play with the water hose, and bark at the neighbors' ATVs!
Hound Mix | 3 years old
Patty came to Ben as a rescue pup in need of serious training, she had been kicked out of foster after foster because no one could manage her. By the end of her training she had stolen his heart and he decided to keep her. Her shining characteristic is her ability to play with almost any dog at their pace! We always use her in lessons because she is so friendly and easy-going with every dog she meets. Patty loves to lay in the sun and bake like a Patt-ato!
Giant Schnauzer | 9 months old
Wolfie joined Ben's pack in July of 2022 at just 10 weeks old. Since Bila and Bruce are getting on in years, Ben wanted a puppy to train as a demo dog as well as a protector for the farm. Ben chose Wolfie from his litter based on his energetic and driven personality, he also just happened to be the largest and is now well over 50lbs! Little (more like large!) Wolfgang has grown into a model puppy and well on his way to being one impressive pup!
The Ladies and Java
Yard Goats and "Mini" Pig | 6 and 7 years old
When Ben moved to the property that would become his farm almost seven years ago, the entire backyard was covered in thick Georgia scrub brush. He cleared it by hand that first Summer, and when it came back with a vengeance the next Spring he knew he needed some help! He found these girls on Craigslist and brought them home to put them to work. Today the entire acre and a half is clear of underbrush! Yard goats Nilly, Pizza, and Black Betty answer happily to Ben's call of, "Hey La-dies!!" Java the "mini" pig has learned to root up and eat the roots of vines, and enjoys many a leftover treat from the kitchen. All of Ben's livestock also help train dogs! He brings pups out back to desensitize them to the other animals, as well as teach them to obey commands in the presence of distractions!
Chickens | 3 years old
Pictured left to right are Dora, Agar, Mulan, and Salem. These girls have a custom roost in the backyard that Ben built with his dad shortly after moving in. He wanted hens for fresh eggs, and these girls lay more than he can eat! They also help train dogs by distracting and desensitizing them.
Get in Touch
Feel free to text or call during normal business hours, otherwise leave a message here and we will respond as soon as possible!