"The Mecca of Working Dog Training."

Tim Tonsor.

The Mecca of Working Dog Training


  This has been the most asked question the last several weeks from my friends, colleagues and family. Why would I leave the coastal beauty of North Florida for the bitter cold winters of central Indiana? Why would I leave a good job that had its own type of rewards, friendly coworkers and training results that you could see improving our Veteran’s lives every day? There is one reason and one reason only, I love this place. I love the energy that goes on here every day and I feed off of it, I always have. The first time that I came here was in 1998 to attend a Trainer’s course and I have been coming back ever since. I was here buying dogs and teaching a Handler’s course while Ken, his wife and several of the staff watched in the office as a commercial jet flew into the World Trade Center. I cried that day, something I rarely do. I knew at that moment my life was about to change in a very profound way.

  You see, this is what I have called “the Mecca of working dog training” for many years. When I started coming to VLK to buy dogs the internet was in its infancy and news traveled slow but there were a lot of us who were thirsty for knowledge and wanted more, more from Europe, more from Canada, Hell, more from anyplace that we could get it. If it was different from what we had been taught by the dinosaurs at the DOD, I was all in. Law Enforcement tactics were evolving rapidly and K9 had to stay up with the changes. We always got our fix at VLK. There are always so many diverse groups of people training here and everyone is always ready to share their experiences and training methods. Cops from California, the Northeast, the South, Government agencies, the Military Special Ops, K9 Trainers and Handlers from all over the World. This place is a cornucopia of people that are in the K9 field. I would take vacation time from my job so that I could jump in my patrol car and make the 10 hour drive from North Carolina to Denver, Indiana. I would imprint dogs in the box room, wear a bite suit, take bites all day long and love every minute of it. Ken thought he was getting the better end of the deal by getting us to train his dogs for free but little did he know, we were there to become better at our craft and he was the catalyst for that improvement and knowledge. I would say that we both came out pretty good and satisfied each- other’s needs when it came to training dogs.

  “The Mecca of Dog Training.” This was the center of the universe if you wanted to learn how to work and train a real working dog and have a little fun while doing it, and it still is. Although the market has become a little more saturated over the years with everybody opening a detection dog kennel, VLK is still doing it harder and faster than they ever have. This is still the best place to get your working dog fix, that hasn’t changed. What has changed is that the market demands better quality dogs and better training. VLK has evolved with the changing market and has the ability to adapt and give their customers exactly what they are looking for. We still offer a quality K9 and quality training paired with the best warranty offered in the industry. Now, with our kennels in Europe and our relationships the World over, we can ramp up any K9 need with a rapid response no matter how large or how fast it needs to be executed.

  So, to answer my critics questions as to, “why would you trade Florida for Indiana?” Ask a football fan why they want to go to a Super bowl. Ask someone that loves NASCAR why they want to go to Daytona. Ask a baseball fanatic why they absolutely have to make the trip to Cooperstown before they die. I think I have successfully answered their questions and helped them to understand, why. Come to the Mecca of working dog training and take it in, you will be glad that you did, it’s a special place. And if you keep your mind open, you might just go home with the burning desire to return and learn more. I did and I’m here 23 years later, wanting more.

Tim Tonsor

Sr. Contracts and Business Development Manager

Vohne Liche Kennels