Who are we? The Trainers at EDTA:

Tazzie Winkler

Tazzie was originally into dressage riding and got active with dogs through Search&Rescue with her first dog, Fabian, in the year 2000. She certified and handled several SAR dogs for wilderness, disaster & avalanche searches, and later became a sought after instructor and judge. She remained active in SAR until moving to the United States in 2017. 

Tazzie was employed in the Norwegian Army for 16 years. She started out as an officer candidate with the Artillery, and ended up spending the last 9 years of her military career as Second In Command/ Platoon’s Commander in the Military Police K9 Platoon, Northern Brigade.

She instructed and oversaw all training of the K9 teams for patrol-, avalanche-  and detection work. The K9 platoon was on readiness 24/7, year round, and Tazzie was in charge of the platoon’s operational tasks, mission readiness and mission completion. Tazzie didn’t merely instruct and train others, but also raised, trained, certified and actively handled several dogs for the military while in the K9 Platoon. 

Academically Tazzie passed the year long  university programme “Dog Science” as well as obtaining university certification as a coach through a 2-year programme. She’s also a certified clicker instructor through the Canis Institute in Norway, another year long programme. 

Tazzie runs Rivanna K9 Services LLC together with her husband, Armin. This company primarily provides K9 services for Special Operations units and Law Enforcement. Tazzie does all handling and foundation work for dogs trained and sold through RK9S, as well as providing handler coaching and problem solving. She’s active in dog sports and has titled several dogs for sport (IGP and APA) . She’s passionate about helping people and dogs to easier and better lives together and offers Board&Train, private & group lessons as well as online courses through Empathic Dog Training Academy.

Armin Winkler

Armin stands as a trailblazer, reshaping the landscape of K9 training with his revolutionary methods. Drawing from decades of experience, Armin has honed his innovative concepts and techniques, specializing in training dogs to excel in critical situations. His journey to elite status is marked by unparalleled knowledge and skills as a trainer and decoy, a perpetual commitment to development, and genuine care for his clients.

As the driving force behind Rivanna K9 Services LLC, Armin extends a range of K9 training services to clients seeking excellence. For the past decade, he has held the prestigious role of the hired trainer for a Federal Special Operations team, a testament to the trust vested in his expertise. Armin conducts Police and Special Operations foundation schools regularly, both domestically and internationally. These schools, along with various specialty courses, comprehensively cover the essentials for maximum success in high-stakes operations.

Armin's global impact extends to an anti-poaching tracking and apprehension program in Central Africa, where he selected and trained dogs and handlers, contributing to the crucial fight against wildlife endangerment. His commitment to knowledge-sharing is evident through workshops and seminars for Special Operations Forces (SOF) and law enforcement worldwide. As a published author, Armin's articles have reached global audiences for decades, benefiting the K9 community at large.

In addition to his written contributions, Armin hosts the "Dog Advocates Unlimited" podcast, furthering his mission to assist K9 teams wherever they may be. Actively involved in dog sports since 1976, Armin runs his own sport club and continues to serve as a decoy and training director. Certified as a law enforcement instructor by the Justice Institute of British Columbia and the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services, Armin's overarching vision is to delve into the K9 mind, providing insights that empower more efficient and effective training methods. Having trained thousands of dogs, Armin Winkler remains steadfast in his commitment to enhancing the understanding of the K9 psyche and advancing the field of K9 training for the benefit of handlers and their loyal companions.

Frequently Asked Questions

For every question you have, we have an answer:

How Will My Dog Benefit from This Training?

Dogs get into all kinds of mischief when we cannot communicate with them effectively. Training is the way to improve communication and training dogs is our passion and livelihood. Our training teaches your dog that all good and fun things in the world come through listening to YOU and that not listening to you simply does not work. 

Can All Dogs Be Trained?

Yes. All dogs can be trained. Can we make your Alaskan Malamute into the next World Obedience Winner or your Cane Corso love on the mailman? No. But with the right training and empathy for the dog's needs we can modify behaviours extremely effectively and achieve amazing results!

I've Been to Many Trainers before and Not Gotten the Desired Results. Why Should I Give You the Time of Day?

We have pretty unique backgrounds and have trained dogs and handlers for real life tasks for a long time. Chances are that whatever you are struggling with I have either struggled with and solved for myself and my own dogs or I have trained owner or trainer to solve it. 

Numerous trainers possess extensive theoretical knowledge yet fall short in practical experience. At EDTA, we blend theoretical understanding with decades of hands-on practice. Training with us will reveal the distinct advantage this combination offers.

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