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Welcome to Sequoyah K9 Academy!  We would like to take a moment to introduce ourselves and provide you with more information regarding our facility and training options....   

First, let us introduce you to some of our key members. 

Shari Steven:

  • Shari is the owner and head trainer of Sequoyah K9 Academy.  She, along with Sherle Thompson, were the founders of the business in 2008.  They have both been training and competing with their dogs for years, participating in both Service Dogs of America and Schutzhund/IPO.  She spends her "off" time at home with her daughter who has also proven to be an excellent trainer as well, having already titled several dogs herself, starting at 7 years of age.  Shari is a SDA Judge and frequently serves in the role of ring stewart.

Sherle Thompson, DVM:

  • Sherle is the co-foundered of Sequoyah K9 Academy.  She is also the local, resident veterinarian.  Sherle has been training dogs for as long as she can remember.  As a kid, she trained the family dogs to play dead, retrieve drinks, jump thru flaming hoops, and pretty much anything else she could think up.  More recently, her attention has been directed to competition in obedience, protection, and tracking.  Having a special interest in behavioral modification, she is frequently consulted for input when dealing with behavioral issues.  Sherle is an AKC CGC Evaluator

Rachel Simpkins:

  • Rachel was born and raised in Kingston Springs, TN and has loved animals for as long as she can remember. She got her first personal dog, Murphy (bloodhound/lab mix), in college, and he was a bit more than she bargained for. His crazy puppy stages had her seeking out training for him, and she quickly fell in love with learning about different training methods and dog behavior.
         This new-found passion for dog training stuck and, after graduating college, Rachel attended a six month trainer's course at North State K9 Academy in Sanford, North Carolina. While there, she had the opportunity to work with a variety of dogs exhibiting various behavioral issues. Upon graduation, she received her certifications  in basic and advanced obedience, behavioral modification, tracking, detection, and patrol.
         Rachel was fortunate enough to find Sequoyah German Shepherds in her search for a German Shepherd puppy. When she came to pick out her puppy, she heard that Sequoyah K9 Academy was looking to hire a new trainer. From there, everything fell into place, and she is thrilled to now be a part of such a great group of trainers and animal lovers. She is looking forward to helping owners better understand their dog's behavior and wants to encourage you to seek help for your dog like she did with Murphy. A little training can go a long way in making life with your dog much more enjoyable... There's always hope!



Affiliated Trainers and Decoys....

Tom Cawood:

  • Tom Cawood frequently serves as a decoy for protection training for Sequoyah K9 as well as an additional trainer when needed.  He regularly trains with the Academy and actually heads up our Saturday training sessions.  We all benefit greatly from Tom's expertise with K9's.  He serves as a judge with the SDA (Service Dogs of America) in Chattanooga and is a member of the National Board.

Mark Boggs:


Real Life Training For Real Dogs