I am a major dog lover and if you’re on this website, then I’ll assume you are too. I am also a Forensic Social Worker which means I have a mutual desire in rescuing dogs and people. The difference is, you can help innumerous people at the same time and even in the same place however, I’ve learned the hard way that the same principle does not apply to dog rescue. I have volunteered for several dog rescue organizations over the years and as a result, I now have a pack of 5 dogs (originally 6 dogs but, one had to be placed in wonderful home with no other pets). No, I am not a hoarder, just a sucker for every time a rescue organization convinces me that I am the last chance for some poor animal. Now, I am not criticizing or judging the amazing work and big hearts of these people but, being a dog owner requires great responsibility and knowledge. So, thank God, for O.J. Knighton! As my pack proceeded to fight over time for hierarchy (which is natural for dogs to do) and as I got bitten repeatedly trying to break them up, O.J. taught me that I needed to change, I needed to be the pack leader and I needed to stop taking in more dogs! With his strong yet calming presence, my dogs became obedient the minute he entered my house. O.J. truly has an amazing gift and love for animals and I believe my pack sensed it.
I wish I could clone the man or at least leave a life size cut out of him standing in my house!
We have been working with O.J. regularly and I am gradually becoming a more confident pack leader through his guidance and encouragement. I wish I knew him years ago when I was on dog number two! (Not that I regret any of my dogs) I just wasn’t prepared. Although, all of us animal lovers have the best intentions in providing loving homes, anytime you adopt multiple dogs without the full knowledge and training that O.J. can provide, you are putting yourself and your family at risk. Believe me, if there isn’t harmony among everyone in the home, there is no peace. And, since we can’t clone O.J. and a life size cut out would be hard to explain to guests, I recommend learning everything you can from this true Master with a very unique and special gift.
Ondrea Faillace, MSW
We are forever grateful that we found "Coach" OJ Knighten in mid 2010, it changed our lives. Our English Bulldog, Sadie, was out of control~dog aggressive, ball obsessed and despite three previous trainers, hardly responded to our commands.
Since working with OJ , Sadie is truly a different dog. She has come so far that now she is in training to be a Service Dog for Tom to assist him for his MS disabilities.
We have worked with close to a dozen dog trainers in the past 20 years with our various dogs and we have never experienced anything close to the success we have had with OJ. He is truly one of a kind...dedicated to the cause of helping people understand how to properly and consistenly communicate with their dogs and it really works. I highly recommend OJ Knighten and his team for any and all dog training issues.
Tom and Janise Cross, Huntington Beach, CA
I've been a friend and a customer of OJ Knighten's for over 10 years. He loves dogs and communicates with them in a way that I have never seen before. OJ is the only person I trust to train my dogs. When they are with him, I know they will get the same care and attention that they get when they are with me.
I adopted a Doberman puppy (Seven) in July 2010, I was so excited when I left the shelter. Reality then set in and all I could say was "What have I done now!". He was 63lbs at the time and the first night, I literally sleep with one eye open, wondering if he was going to get scared in the middle of the night and decide I was dinner! Over the next few days I would walk him and watch nearly everyone we approached cross to the other side of the street. I knew we needed training and had been hearing about a certain trainer but did not know his name. I went on a mission to find out who he was! After some research I came to find out this "certain trainer" was OJ Knighten. I then went to my first class. At that time, I did not even know the dog belonged on my left side, so when the "sit your dog" command came out...I had not a clue as to what to do. At the completion of my second class, I left the field somewhat frustrated because Seven would not follow any of my commands. Needless to say, I did not show back up to class the following week. Realizing my dog was still a puppy and that if I did not get the training under control I would have a dog that was complety out of control. I then remembered a very profound comment OJ had made to me at the height of my frustration, "It's not your dog, it's you". When I finally realized this, both my behavior and Sevens behavior changed. So back to class we went and that ended up being the best thing I ever did!
OJ has an amazing ability to work with an individual or a group and get results. Even in a group setting, he watches all dogs and handlers and is able to instruct and guide on individual needs. With the consistent help of OJ and his team, I started learning the proper way to handle my dog. Seven is now 90lbs and still growing, On a daily basis I receive complements on how well behaved he is and this makes me very proud. As I say thank you to the person that gave me the complement...in all honesty, the compliment goes to OJ and his team because in my head I THANK THEM EVERYDAY for the amazing relationship Seven and I now have.
In the end, with the help of OJ and his team, I learned it wasn't so much that my dog needed the training, I NEEDED TO BE TRAINED! I cannot thank OJ enough for everything he has done for me over the past few months. Training is an on going responsibility and I hope to be working with him for a very long time!
Deborah and Seven
When we rescued Teddy, a nine month old German shepherd, we knew he was very shy. Unfortunately, this shyness soon turned into dog and people aggression. He quickly learned that if he barked, growled and lunged at people and dogs, they would keep away. So he continued and escalated this behavior. In an attempt to socialize this gentle and sweet (at least to my husband and me) puppy, we enrolled and went through a 6 week training class at a local chain pet store. I knew we had problems when the focus of one class became, “Who wants to touch Teddy’s tail?” as a means to get him used to people. When he wasn’t hiding under a folding chair in class, he was growling at everyone and everything. At the end of 6 weeks, I was informally told that while my trainer was willing to continue lessons, the other trainer did not want us in the store. We were advised to buy a muzzle. In desperation, the vet put him on an anti-anxiety drug, Buspar, which did not seem to help. I finally decided to try OJ Knighten to see if there was any hope. At the beginning of the first class, he wanted to kill all dogs and people in the park. By the end of the first class, we were actually weaving around people—and Teddy wasn’t growling. We still have a ways to go, but Teddy can go through an entire class without growling at anyone. We can stand next to people and dogs, and he isn’t lunging. I look forward to our weekly drive from Orange County, being with the other dogs, and most important of all, to OJ’s calm words of advice and wisdom. Thanks.
Margaret and Teddy
When we lost our first rescued German Shepherd Dog, a zen master named Duke von
Merrill, my husband and I decided that we were wanted a higher energy dog and were
willing to adopt a shepherd needing rehabilitation. We met OJ at one of Westside’s
Saturday adoption events. At that time, OJ was boarding Balco von Bamberg at his
training facility in Santa Clarita in an effort to civilize him and increase his adoption
chances. After talking with OJ, we went to his facility and that is where we met, and
ultimately, decided to adopt Balco.
However, that’s not where this story ends. While OJ and his assistant Emily had placed
a very nice foundation and had exquisite control of Balco, the learning process was just
starting for me! Balco turned out to be a sensitive soul with a penchant for worrying
if he was over-corrected. He was also convinced that I needed protection from all
comers including people, dogs and if we’d let him, my husband! With weekly lessons,
I soon came to understand the need to monitor the environment around me so that Balco
understood I was in control of any situation. I can still hear OJ telling me “you have to
Those first few weeks with Balco were tough. More than once, my husband and I
overheard the other saying “what have we done?” during one of Balco’s more, um….
challenging moments. But we persisted and with OJ and Emily’s guidance and coaching,
we were soon participating in group lessons with other dogs and people just a few feet
from us. We increased his obedience skills to include both off-leash and distance work.
We taught him movie tricks and jumping. In just a few weeks, we will participate in our
first Mondioring Obedience competition.
Both Balco and I have learned so much over the past year from OJ. Now, we just have to
get my husband a dog that he can train…
Most people would call OJ Knighten a dog trainer, but to me he is so much more... OJ does not just simply train dogs, he TEACHES dogs and the people who love them. Anyone can get a dog to do a little trick, OJ can actually teach a dog to comprehend what is being asked of it.
As a young widow I decided to adopt a Cane Corso Puppy to bring some energy and life back into my home. Corsi are a notoriously strong and protective breed, which translates to “big, scary, aggressive dog” if not trained properly. I quickly found myself overwhelmed and anxiety ridden as I realized my puppy Leonidas was rapidly out growing my training skills. At just nine weeks he was already showing signs of fearfulness and aggression. I knew if I didn't get help I would only continue to foster these negative qualities in my dog.
After the first day of working with OJ I knew I had found a lifeline. I have watched my fearful puppy turn into a stable and confident dog. Furthermore I have watched myself transform from a nervous anxious pet owner to a self-assured leader who my dog trusts. People so often say “wow your so lucky you have such a great dog!” My response is “no, I have a great teacher!”
OJ is undoubtedly gifted with dogs, he speaks their language. Just the same, he is also talented in working with us stubborn humans. He can teach a dog to do most anything. The challenge arrises with helping us dog owners to overcome our egos and see things from a canine perspective. His passion is contagious and if you listen to his instruction, trust his techniques, and have a little patience you will see results. It’s a beautiful thing!
Thanks OJ for the invaluable gift you have given me and Leonidas!
Lacey Taylor Anchorage, Alaska
Your donation of the K9 Onyx to Corporal Kunz has allowed our struggling city the opportunity to create our first ever K9
program. The lsleton Police Department would not have been able to create a program without your donation and
support. The lsleton Police k9 program is officer funded. Corporal Kunz has been looking for a suitable k9 for over six
months. He was referred to you by a German Shepard rescue in Northern California. After one phone call you graciously
invited Corporal Kunz to your facility and introduced him to Onyx. Corporal Kunz took Onyx home on that day and has been
with him ever since. The only request you made of Corporal Kunz was to care for his dog and work him hard. Your generosity
is unmatched. The lsleton Police Department will forever be in your debt.
Onyx and Corporal Kunz are attending weekly training with the Solano County Sheriff Department. Onyx has far exceeded all
expectations of Corporal Kunz and the Solano County K9 team. Your expertise in k9 training ls extremely evident. Onyx
passed all qualification tests for a working dog personality after less than a week with Corporal Kunz.
Your love for your animals is clear to us. Corporal Kunz is most impressed with your facility and staff. We look forward to
training with you in the future. Please accept this letter and certificate of appreciation from the lsleton Police Department
and the City of lsleton.
Sincerely. Chief Steve Adams lsleton Police Department
My name is Ranger and I am a Belgium Malinois and I am nearly 12 months old.
I have a little problem, yes I admit it, I do, really.
But it could grow into a very large problem if I don't get it taken care of, so I desided to come see OJ Knight, K9 Coach, he works with dogs who have problems of any kind, and when I say any kind I mean it.
I also bought my owner with me as well as I felt she needed some serious work, which she found out she did..... more than me in fact!
This guy is Awesome, I have only been to see him a few times so far and I feel different already and whats really cool, he makes me feel proud of myself.
Because he loves his job so much and wants to help dogs like me it really shows when you which him work with us.
Aggression comes in many forms, from many different reasons. OJ will work for as long as it takes YOU to understand your dog and do what ever it takes to make sure you have a happy healthy relationship/partnership with your dog. I travel two hours each way to attend his classes and they are worth every minute. Thankyou OJ.
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