Owner & Trainer - Karen Cobb
Karen Cobb and Norman in Times Square after their first appearance on Good Morning America
Photo Courtesy: GMA
Karen grew up in a family of veterinarians. She started training dogs in 1994. Her first dogs were two Shiba Inus, which is a breed not known for being obedient. Training Shibas is actually similar to training a cat. Karen competed in agility and obedience competition with them and they were ranked in the top 3 for their breed in the country in both sports. She studied psychology at the University of Miami, read many books, apprenticed under talented trainers, attended many training seminars and classes and began training dogs professionally in 1997. She focused mostly on behavior issues, problem solving as well as aggression problems.
For her next dog, Karen decided to find a more cooperative breed and decided on a Briard. She got “Norman” in 2009, and planned on having him be her obedience and agility competition dog. Karen decided to also teach Norman a few tricks, like wiping his paws before he came in the house and wiping his beard after drinking water. This then lead into teaching amazing tricks like riding a bicycle, riding a scooter, skateboard, jump rope and even teaching him to surf. Karen and Norman have since achieved more than they ever could have imagined. They went on to star in two seasons of the Hallmark and Animal Planet reality show "Who Let the Dogs Out?" Karen had a training tips segment on the show teaching viewers how to solve household manners problems. You can see some of these tips at http://www.normanthescooterdog.com/training-tips They hold Two Guinness World Records for Fastest 30 m on a Scooter by a Dog and Fastest 30 m on a Bicycle by a Dog. The duo then won the prize of Best Trick on the CW World Dog Awards, hosted by George Lopez, in 2016.
Norman and Karen have been feature multiple times on The Late Show with David Letterman, Good Morning America, Fox and Friends and also appeared on, Rachael Ray, Anderson Live, Wheel of Fortune, Inside Edition, Today Show, a few National Geographic documentaries, as well as a few other cable documentaries and over 150 local news shows. Karen and Norman have surfed on a Guinness Record setting float in the Rose Parade and have traveled the United States and Canada, performing their tricks. Norman also was a spokesdog for a major dog food company for 5 years. They now have settled back home in Georgia and Norman is now competing in obedience, agility, rally, drafting, barn hunt, lure coursing, nose work, tracking, dock diving and more. They also do therapy work together.
Karen and Norman have achieved the FIRST and ONLY Advance drafting title for a Briard, and First Rally Championship for a Briard and in the Top ranking Nationally for herding dogs. Her dog also ranked #1 Nationally in Obedience, Dock Diving and Agility for the breed for multiple years.
Karen resumed her career of canine behavioral consultation and problem solving in 2014. She loves problem solving and helping dogs who have failed elsewhere. Karen's training style is a balanced approach based mostly on positive reinforcement.
Trainer - Brian Vinti
Brian has worked with animals his entire adult life and has a degree in Zoo Animal Technology and Animal Training. He has over 20 years experience working with a wide variety of mammals, birds, and reptiles as an Animal Trainer and Zoo Keeper for multiple zoos around the country. Brian has also worked as a Naturalist and Substitute Teacher, as well as having his own Animal Training business for about 10 years. He has spent his career working with and training both exotic and domestic animals for shows, presentations, educational programs, and veterinary procedures. He has experience in obedience training, agility training, behavior modification, and rehabilitation. Education has been a central part of his work throughout his career working with animals. Brian has also worked closely with a number of vets throughout the years assisting with medical procedures and behavior modification and rehabilitation. He has also worked extensively with canine socialization, having developed and established a doggy daycare program for a veterinary clinic in Montgomery, Alabama. Throughout his career he has done the animal training for numerous shows, presentations, demonstrations, fundraisers, lectures, and educational programs. He has performed in many of these shows as well. Brian has also worked with groups of all different sizes and ages.
We are very excited to have Brian join the Scooter Dog Training team. We have very high standards and he does excellent work!!!
Trainer - Amber Engle
Amber has spent a lifetime surrounding herself with animals. She grew up with cats but had always wanted to add canine companionship to her life. She started dog-sitting when she turned 18, and cared for a variety of family pets before starting a job at a dog daycare in Kennesaw in 2017. Amber continued to build upon the behavioral knowledge she’d gained from mediating daycare dogs by becoming a trainer’s apprentice.
After a year of apprenticeship, Amber began taking on board-and-train clients of her own. In the two years since, Amber has personally trained more than 85 dogs for two and three weeks at a time. Additionally, Amber has also trained more than 75 dogs in group settings, in classes on basic obedience skills and in preparation for the CGC exam.
Amber is also well versed in dock diving, which she teaches and competes in with her own dog, Oakley. Oakley is a 6 year old male Golden Retriever, and he is also Amber’s first dog.
When Amber rescued Oakley, he was in rough shape. Oakley was overweight and had a poorly maintained diet that caused almost full body hair loss. By changing his diet, giving him daily exercise and teaching him to swim, his personality quickly changed. Now Oakley acts like a puppy again; Amber loves hearing compliments that he looks so young for his age. In the three years she has had him, Oakley has brought so much joy into Amber’s life as her best friend and training partner.
They were lucky enough to find one another toward the start of Amber’s training apprenticeship, and their journey together has been well decorated and full of excitement.
Together they’ve earned the following titles:
(CGCA) AKC Community Canine
(CGCU) Canine Good Citizen Urban
(DSX) Dock Senior Excellent
(TKA) Trick Dog Advanced
Oakley and Amber have also been invited to NADD Regionals for two years in a row.
Amber met Karen in 2019 through a network of trainers and at workshops led by Karen. Under her guidance at Scooter Dog Training since March of 2021, Amber has been able to further expand her knowledge of dog behavior and obedience. The hands-on approach of her apprenticeship has given her confidence in knowing how to read each dog that she works with and in finding the right way to approach any obstacle.
Amber plans on training dogs for the rest of her career. She loves that her job at Scooter Dog Training allows her to teach handlers how to become leaders for their dogs with the right communication skills and the tools that will help achieve desired behaviors. For Amber, there’s no better feeling than knowing she can help give hope to dog owners who have felt their pup might be untrainable or unable to be rehomed.
Her favorite thing about Scooter Dog Training is that they offer a variety of services that cater to clients’ needs, and that each day is different than the one before!