Meet the owner
Michele Willox is the owner and lead trainer at Diverse K9 Training. She had an unusual entrance into the world of dog training, but it has only propelled her career forward. Michele has worked in diverse dog communities for over half a decade. From volunteering in rescues, to internships, to dog walking, and pet sitting - she has extensive experience working one on one with dogs. She has a certification of completion from the NePoPo Service Dog Training school with Victoria Warfel. She has a certification in Pet Psychology, and was named one of the top five dog trainers in North Carolina by YoloPup L.A. Additonally, she was named one of the top 135 dog trainers in the country. Her passion was recognized when she brought home an adult dog from a Humane Society. As many shelter pets do, the dog came with a fair share of baggage, and it was the challenge that dog brought on that helped Michele find her calling. In short, Michele can relate to her clients because she has been in their shoes. She has been the owner of an extremely difficult dog. She has been the one seeking a trainer for help. Michele’s goal is to be the trainer she wished she could have found when she desperately needed it. She wants to be the trainer who brings a happy ending to every “difficult,” dogs journey. What sets Michele apart from other trainers is her ability to step into the owners shoes, and be flexible by seeing things from their point of view. Michele is very passionate about dogs, but more so about helping humans. Through extensive research, studies, online classes, podcasts, seminars, and hands on experience, Michele has grown her knowledge to become the trainer she is today. She has experience in all methods of dog training, but found that balanced methods were the most efficient. She also has experience in dog sports, competition obedience, and continues to grow in the dog community.
- Certification of completion from the NePoPo school for service dog training with Victoria Warfel
- Certification in Pet Psychology through UDEMY
- Voted Top 5 dog trainers in North Carolina, and top 135 in the U.S,A by YoloPup L.A.
- Completion of the following Michael Ellis online courses; Behavior Modification, Puppy Development, Obedience Intensive, Pet Dog Fundamentals, The Power of Training Dogs with Food, and Advanced Concepts in Motivation.
- Member of Piedmont Schutzhund Club
- Completion of the Ivan Balabanov "Training Without Conflict," online course
Griffin Cox is an assistant trainer with DK9T. He currently owns a beautiful English Labrador who works full time as his service dog. Griffins goal is to become a successful balanced dog trainer as well as a breeder of quality labs. Griffin completed a workshop with two of the most outstanding dog trainers in the country, Jay Jack and Larry Krohn. Both Griffin and Ellis were highly praised by these trainers! Outside of being a training assistant with DK9T, Griffin works at a local pet store. On the weekends he competes in dog sports and other trials, and hopes to eventually show his current lab, Ellis. Griffin has extensive experience rehabilitating dogs with severe behavioral issues,
as well as raising puppies for both service dog homes and pet homes. He also has experience in trick dog training, and his personal dog holds several trick titles. Griffin was the missing piece to our puzzle here at DK9T and we are so grateful to have him as a part of our team!
- Completion of Larry Krohn, Jay Jack, and Joel Silverman Workshop
- Member of Piedmont Schutzhund Club
- Member of Piedmont Kennel Club
- Certified AKC Evaluator
- Charlotte Dog Training Club Helper
Anne Patterson is an assistant trainer with Diverse K9. She currently owns a golden retriever who works full time as her service dog. Anne has always been very interested in dogs and took on training her own service dog. What started as a hobby became a passion, and she has decided that dog training is the path she wants to take. Anne works extremely hard to grow her knowledge base, and is always willing to help out and keep hands on learning. She has extensive experience working with young dogs to shape behaviors that will last them a lifetime. Anne works closely with the advanced obedience program, and helps set up owners for success with their dogs. Aside from training, Anne assists in the business side of things as well! She has been a phenomenal addition to our team, and the dogs love working with her!
- Member of Piedmont Kennel Club
- Completion of Michael Ellis Online Philosophy of Dog Training
- Completion of online Puppy Development Workshop with Michael Ellis
Sarah Bowles is an assistant trainer with DK9, as well as our professional photographer. Sarah has a decade of experience in the dog community, mostly as a professional dog groomer. Sarah has been asked to compete in many grooming competitions, including America's Top Groomer. Sarah has been published in grooming books for her outstanding work. She knew that she belonged in the dog industry, but felt like something was missing in grooming. For her entire childhood, Sarah's father was a K9 handler. Growing up watching him working such powerful and obedient dogs sparked a passion in Sarah to build up dogs to their potential. Currently she owns a six year old German Shepherd Dog (Turbo,) who is her service dog. Additionally she owns a German Shepherd Dog (Ripper,) who competes in IGP, a French Bulldog (Fuego,) and a senior German Shepherd Dog (Riley.) Sarah is passionate about both service dog training, and building up pet dogs to be the perfect adventure companion.
Angela Vermillion is an assistant trainer, gear maker, and business manager with DK9. Angela completed our year long internship program and quickly became a crucial member of our team. Angela has worked in the dog industry for several years now, in many diverse positions. Angela has experience in dog daycares, boarding, grooming, and training. Angelas time working in large dog facilities gave her an amazing skill of understanding dog body language and communication. Angela has a very natural ability to handle dogs and this is just one of the things that makes her an amazing trainer. Not only does Angela work as a trainer, but she also owns EdgearK9 which supplies all of our equipment. Collars, Leashes, Longlines, and more. Angela's diverse background also allows her to help with our business management. Whether it be client communications, office organization, finances, or invoicing, Angela can do it all. She is an incredibly important part of our team. Currently Angela owns a Border Collie mix (Edgar,) who is retiring from service dog work. She also owns a German Shepherd puppy (Freyja,) who is currently in training to be a service dog, and to eventually work as a search and rescue dog.
Emily grew up riding and training horses, which led to a passion and knack for dog training and communicating with animals in general. At a young age, Emily worked to train her childhood dog to perform tasks assisting her with various physical and mental health issues. Her own health struggles and service dog journey lit a fire in her to help others experiencing what she went through. After spending years working with horses and dogs, Emily was accepted into an apprenticeship program with a local trainer, which jump started her professional career. Emily currently owns a border collie mix named Copenhagen who works full time as her service dog and demo dog. Together they participate and compete in several sports, including dock diving, bikejoring, and shed hunting. Emily has plans to continue down the path of dog sports with her next dog! Emily is a graduate of Animal Behavior College, holds an ABCDT certification, is a member of the APDT and IACP, and frequently attends training seminars and workshops. Emily is our lead virtual lesson trainer, and has allowed us to have clients all over the world!