TY'S SUCCESS STORY
Since he was born, my German Shepherd, Ty, was aggressive to people and dogs both on and off leash. It was so hard to control him. When I had people over, he would just bark and growl at them. I paid four trainers to try to get him corrected at a young age. I was starting to think “maybe my dog isn’t fixable; no one has been able to train him”. For a long time, Ty would bark and growl; because of his size, he would intimidate other people and dogs. Every dog he saw he would want to go after and attack, and to every person he saw he would growl, bark, etc. Luckily I found OJ, read his success stories and immediately got in contact with him. He found a plan that would work for me and Ty to try to get him to the obedience level where I needed him to be. Now we continue to go to OJ’s trainings and they have completely changed our lives. I am able to have my furry friend Ty out in public because of OJ! He is now in the advanced class, which if you would have asked me before we met OJ, I would have never imagined my dog to be so well trained and well behaved.
JAX'S SUCCESS STORY
As everyone who has trained with OJ will say—the man is a godsend. A testament to his abilities as a dog trainer is the simple fact that other trainers recommend him. That is how I got OJ's information, and I would not have my dog today without meeting him. I rescued Jax two years ago from a large shelter and was never told he was reactive, anxious, or aggressive towards other dogs. Three months later, he lunged at multiple small dogs. After a few trainers didn't work out—some of which suggested I give up Jax to a farm—I was put in touch with OJ. From the get go I could see how engaged and obedient Jax was under OJ's supervision. That engagement, alongside a renewed confidence in myself, has grown each week I take Jax to dog training. I now know how to control any situation with my large dog, including dog attacks, which happen all too frequently in Los Angeles. Simply put, OJ's methods work, and they empower owners to take control of any situation. Jax and I will be forever grateful to him, as he has helped forged a healthier and more intense relationship between me and my best friend.
THE ADAMS FAMILY SUCCESS STORY
Ok, where to start... I’m a cat person (never owned a dog), I still have a cat and then I feel in love with a GSD called Max who worked next door to my gym at the Police Impound Lot, in Marina Del Rey. From that moment on I wanted one but it was 10 years before we moved to a house with a big enough yard to justify having a dog.
My husband finally relented to my nagging and said yes you can have your dog But you have to care for it and train it, oh and by the way check out Belgium Malinois’s ..... so I did. I had never heard of such a breed before so I went on line and read up on everything thing I could find about them and thought to myself ‘Yup this will work’....
First mistake, getting a Belgium Malinois as your very first dog. Second mistake, getting a pup from a breeder who breeds for Police and Military. (His mum is apprehension and his dad is narcotics). I had no clue what I was about to take on when this pup landed at the airport (we could hear him giving everyone the business as he was being unloaded). It was love at first sight. This pup was the Tasmanian Devil on crack times ten and I had no clue how to handle him. I was way out of my league.
Jump forward a few months and I’m really struggling with him, he’s showing aggression towards people as in ‘I don’t care how big you are, I will bite you’, I just happen to catch a program of the Dog Whisper and he’s talking about dog aggression, so I’m glued to the TV and there’s OJ Knighten..... and after listening to OJ talk, watching him handle these dogs I knew I had to see him, I did not care that I would have to drive two and half hours each way for his classes, I needed this mans help.
First day of class and Ranger tried to eat OJ, Ranger had his first of many ‘Come to Jesus’ moments and very quickly learned that OJ was not to be messed with. I also have had many of these moments with OJ as well but every one of them has been deserved and appreciated. Over a couple of years of going to class every other week Ranger and I progressed a lot and I became a much more confident handler because I now understand the dog that I have and how he is wired and the incredible intelligent’s that he has.
One day I show up at 9.00 for the basic obedience class that we have been doing and it had been moved to 10.00, OJ just says, ‘well, you will have to wait.’ By now he knows I’m a stubborn kinda person so I ask if I can do the advanced class at 9.00, he said ‘No.’ So I said ‘Come on OJ we have been practicing like crazy can we please do the class’. He said ‘Yes,’ I nearly peed my pants, thinking to myself, ‘why can’t you just keep your mouth shut......?’
The class starts and he has me keep Ranger on leash for a while and then he tells me to drop the leash, now if I was a religious person this is when I would have started praying. But turns out I didn’t need to, Ranger stepped up and he did everything that was asked of him that day in class and I could not have been more proud of him. At the end of the class OJ came to me and shook my hand and told me that I deserved to be in that class, that was and still is one of the best days ever.
A year later I decided I would like another Malinois and I contact Woofproject Rescue, and start the adoption process for a young female called Brooklyn. I call OJ and ask him if he would talk to the foster of this dog to see if he thinks she would be a good match for Ranger. He was kind enough to do this for me but he also says he is considering retiring one of his dogs, would I be interested.? There was absolutely no hesitation in my answer, I said ‘yes of course we will take her’, her name was Rocca. I called Woofproject Rescue and explained that I would not be adopting the young female, to please understand that I’m not a flake and that I will help them out any way I can.
We adopted Rocca on October 18 2015, this also goes down as one of the best days ever, she became my heart in every way, unfortunately we only had her for a very short 18 months due to a very aggressive, nasty lung cancer but it felt like she had been with me her whole life, she died July 10 2017.
In the time that Rocca was with us we started fostering for Woofproject Rescue, and we have been doing this ever since. They rescue Malinois and Dutch Shepherds. If it had not been for OJ and all the training that I have done with him and still do, there is absolutely no way I would be where I am now, no way.
We now have 3 Belgium Malinois and a Dutchie, Ranger is still with us, still the most intelligent ass ever and the other 3, well they are all foster failures with their own stories. We still go to OJ for class, he never knows which dog I may show up with but no matter what, if it had not been for him and the confidence he gave me, there are 25 dogs out there that have came though our house as fosters, whether it was for just a night or 4 months, that may not be alive now.
So OJ Knighten, we have had the pleasure of knowing you for 7 years and in that time you have helped me grow into the dog handler/owner I am today, I have fostered the dogs no one else will touch, I have taken these dogs because if I didn't they will die, so thank you OJ. You are an a amazing man, an incredible mentor and the best trainer out there ever.
VICKIE'S SUCCESS STORY
For anyone who needs help with their dog who has aggression issues in any form or just wants to have a better relationship with their dog and needs basic training, OJ Knighten of K9 Coach is truly the best trainer in California. I don't say this lightly, I own two dogs and I am also the founder of Eloise Rescue where we have rescued more than 1,000 dogs. I'm sharing this because I have worked with dozens of dog trainers in the LA area. I had spent a huge amount of money and gained no results—until I met OJ. I met OJ seven years ago when I rescued a lab mix named Henry. Henry had many issues and was unadoptable. OJ was recommended to me. Henry had anxiety, he lunged at people, he had what is known as submissive peeing, which means every time someone addressed Henry, he would pee a huge puddle. When I brought Henry to OJ's beautiful ranch, he told me that Henry would have to stay in a kennel. I was worried, as I had no experience with having a dog stay in a kennel (my dogs always slept in my bed or anywhere my dogs wanted to be in my home). OJ explained that Henry would be just fine. I left feeling very worried and cried because I thought of him back in a kennel like being at the shelter. I knew I had to try this in order to get Henry to a place where he could be adopted and loved. I once again had to trust a stranger, but this time an amazing thing happened. I came back to see him, as advised, two weeks later. I arrived and there was Henry - so relaxed, so happy and no peeing and no lunging. I was amazed that Henry was sitting next to OJ and was so content. Of course, Henry needed to stay at the ranch a little longer. When I left, I thought Henry would want to jump in my car, but I was wrong- Henry went right over to OJ as if he had found his best friend. Now that was a beautiful site to see! I have since brought my own two dogs to training and each have excelled and are amazing dogs - all because of the hard work I did and the training OJ has given me. I am truly honored to know OJ and to know that any dog and any human who trains with him will have a well-trained ,happy and healthy relationship with their dog.
SMOKEY'S SUCCESS STORY
I have known OJ for almost 13 years, and without his guidance, I don’t think I would have the two dogs I have today. I met OJ in 2007 with my first dog, Smokey. Smokey, a German Shepherd Cattle Dog mix, was a rescue who was a very intense puppy with a high prey drive. I initially didn’t know how to channel his energy, and I was always wary having him around new people or dogs. When I found OJ and began taking Smokey to his weekly obedience classes, it was as if a huge weight had been lifted from my shoulders. OJ taught me how to work with Smokey so that I could become the leader that he had been lacking, and simultaneously, I grew much more relaxed and confident with Smokey. Through our work together, Smokey grew into a fantastic dog. Now, 13 years later, I have one of the strongest bonds with a dog that I could imagine, and our foundation came from OJ’s classes and guidance so early on. I’ve kept in touch with OJ over the years, and he has always been there to help with any issues I’ve had with Smokey. When recently my husband and I decided to get another dog, I reached out to OJ, as I knew that Smokey would not immediately welcome a youngster. I don’t think I would have been able to keep our new German Shepherd puppy, Maude, were it not for OJ’s help, guidance and encouragement. As predicted, Smokey was used to being the only dog in the house, and he “welcomed” Maude with a loud growl, figuratively and literally! So my natural instinct was to completely separate them. But OJ disagreed and told me that the best thing to do was to expose them to each other, but in smart, safe ways. OJ came to our house that first week and gave us some fantastic tips on how to keep them safely in the same room, using leashes, treats and Maude’s crate (which she still goes into on her own to nap, sleep, etc.). Now with Maude at 9 months old, the dogs are peacefully coexisting, which is nothing short of a miracle…and we never could have done it without OJ’s help! Regarding OJ’s training in general, over the 13 years that I have known OJ, I’ve never seen him meet a dog that didn’t immediately respond to him and start to be trained. Given his reputation and experience in working with so-called aggressive dogs, I’ve seen people walk up to his classes with some scary, barking, out-of-control dogs on their hands. And time after time, OJ takes their dogs from them and has the dogs respond to him in a way that would have been unthinkable only moments earlier. His understanding of dogs and what drives them is just awesome to see. And lastly, OJ walks the walk when it comes to his love for and commitment to the “difficult” dogs. OJ is often the call of last resort when people can not handle their dogs. So OJ established a non-profit called K9 Coach Rescue Rehabilitation and Placement that rescues as many of these dogs as he can handle. OJ gives these dogs, most of whom would be put down without his intervention, weeks and/or months of training until he feels they are ready to be adopted. He gives each dog as long as it takes. His focus on quality over quantity means that the dogs he rescues and ultimately places stay in their placements as their “forever homes”. We can't say enough about OJ...he is second to none!