My name is Shawna Swanson, and I established Maverick Dog Training, LLC in 1997. For 2 years prior to that, I apprenticed with Lori Milroy of All American Academy of Dog Training and was a District Training Manager for Animal Behavior & Training Associates (the company that trained through Petco stores). I began Maverick Dog Training in hopes of helping owners understand their dogs, enjoy their time with them, teach them basic commands, and solve behavior problems.
I got my first Rottweiler, Maverick, in 1994 and began training with him immediately (a MUST with the breed and strongly recommended with ALL dogs!) — he was a fast learner and a joy to work with! I competed with him at a couple AKC obedience trials and got one leg of his CD (Companion Dog) before deciding that competition wasn’t for me (at that time!). I dabbled in agility, protection, and tracking with him, but mainly focused on creating a pet that was comfortable in all situations and well behaved around all types of people and animals. I fostered many rescue Rottweilers over the next ten years, doing some basic training with all of them, and also opened up my home to a stray Chow Chow, Destiny. In 2001, I was offered an incredible opportunity to live overseas in Eritrea (Eastern Africa) for six months to do administrative work for a “seawater farm” and to integrate dogs into their security program on the farm…I had a friend stay with Destiny and took Maverick with me. It was an incredible experience for both Maverick and me, and when I came home I had a puppy that I’d helped raise over there shipped to me. Panza lived a very happy 13 years with me and my family in the United States!
Unfortunately, I lost Maverick to cancer in October 2002 – a devastating loss for me, but a loss that opened up a new chapter in my life. After an intense search for a new pup to try and live up to Maverick’s legend in my life, I finally found my new canine soul mate — Legend came home in April 2003 and found his way right into my heart. He also led me to my new passion — dog shows! I trained and have competed with Legend in AKC and UKC conformation, Seiger conformation, AKC obedience, agility, and Rally obedience, some Schutzhund (tracking and obedience), carting, herding, and tracking. He was a registered therapy dog and an air-scent Search and Rescue dog. I was lucky enough to have Legend in my life for almost 12 years before losing him to lymphoma in January 2015.
In June 2008, I brought a new pup into my house… Rory, a female Pharaoh Hound. I competed with Rory in AKC conformation, obedience, Rally, carting, Barn Hunt, Lure Coursing and herding! Rory had some amazing successes in the conformation ring during 2009, which lead me to begin handling other peoples’ dogs professionally. I LOVE that part of my job, and spend at least three or four weekends each month at dog shows competing in the conformation ring with client dogs.
I bred Rory to a lovely Group Winning, Dual Champion, Pharaoh Hound in 2013 and was very pleased to bring four wonderful puppies into the world on January 9, 2014 — three of those puppies are enjoying their lives with their new families…and enjoyed success in the show rings as well (all four are conformation champions). One of the little girls stayed with me – Reason has enjoyed a very successful career! I finished her AKC Championship at 10 months old as well as her AKC Grand Championship just 2 months later. In between earning her Gold Grand Championship and Multiple Group Wins and Placements, she was the first Pharaoh Hound to earn a Dock Diving title, has completed her Beginner Novice obedience title, her Rally Masters title, her Field Championship and Lure Courser Excellent title. She was the very first Pharaoh Hound to earn multiple herding titles (in sheep and geese) from the American Herding Breeds Association! She is currently working on agility and more obedience titles.
I’m currently showing my new Pharaoh Hound youngster named Jayla. She is working on her championship and lure coursing titles, and will hopefully be bred to Reason’s littermate in 2022.
In 2020, a friend and I started a website called EtcPets.com to share information about dogs and other pets. While the site is still in its beginning stages, there are a couple of training articles on there that I have written that you might want to check out! We’d love it if you would take a look through the site, and we welcome feedback!
Although I compete in obedience with my own dogs, and I am more than happy to teach others what I have leaned when it comes to competition, my main focus for the obedience portion of Maverick Dog Training, LLC is basic pet obedience and conformation training — getting dogs ready for the show ring, and just helping people live in harmony with their dogs as they get the most out of that relationship.