Questions? Call Us! 803.818.0643
Located in the Fort Mill Business Center - 1656 Katy Lane Fort Mill, SC. 29708 (803) 802-0032
Jennel graduated from the Arizona Canine Academy in 1999. She earned a bachelors degree in communication from William Paterson University and continues her education in animal and canine behavior through various seminars and conferences around the country.
Over the years Jennel has provided hundreds of hours consulting and volunteer work with shelter and rescue organizations throughout New Jersey, Arizona, Texas, Ohio and the Carolina's. Every dog she's ever lived with has been a rescue and she believes each one has contributed to her passion for the canine species. Of all her dogs, the one who particularly influenced her path to training and behavior consulting was Jenga. She was adopted as a puppy from the North Shore Animal League in New York and after training with Jennel, was signed by a Manhattan animal talent agent. From this, Jenga and Jennel were presented with many different talent opportunities but her most memorable was on Saturday Night Live when she worked with Katie Holmes, Will Ferrell, Jimmy Falon, Tracy Morgan, and Maya Rudolph. Jenga passed away in the fall of 2010 but will always be remembered and we honor her as the face of the Tega K9 logo.
In the spring of 2012, Jennel was invited to join Victoria Stilwell's Positively Dog Training team and is now licensed through the VSPDT program. Being a part of this team is an outstanding honor and exciting achievement. Jennel is also certified evaluator for the American Kennel Club's (AKC) Canine Good Citizen and STAR Puppy tests, a full member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers, IAABC, APHE, and the Carolina Trainers Network.
Jennel has been an evaluator for Therapy Dog International and worked as a team with her Therapy Dog Jenga for the Delta Society. She has trained, competed in agility with her Border Collies, won various titles and loves teaching agility for fun!
Jennel credits the following trainers, behaviorists, veterinarians, researchers, and authors for her education and inspiration: Dr. Ian Dunbar, Jean Donaldson, Sue Sternberg, Patricia McConnell, Dr. Sophia Yin, Pat Miller, Turid Rugaas, William Campbell, Dr. Nicholas Doddman, and of course Victoria Stilwell!
Tega K9, LLC was founded in Tega Cay, South Carolina in 2009. We are told in the Polynesian language, Tega Cay means "Beautiful Peninsula"; so the name was an easy fit..."Beautiful K9" or Tega K9.
Working with our trainers and canine behavior consultants means you'll work with those who have studied and employ positive, modern science based training methods which go hand in hand with healthy, effective, long term results. When choosing a dog trainer, consider the position statement below from the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior:
You will never see choke, pinch, or electronic collars as well as dominance, or fear based methods being used in ANY training within Tega K9. If you'd like to understand more about the difference between positive based training verses "traditional" or dominance/punishment and fear based training, please read the following position statements provided by the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior:
Jennel Cooper, Canine Behavior Consultant & Trainer
Tega K9 trainers and consultants respect human and K9 clients equally, taking the time to find where the behavior stems from and utilizing the most effective and humane approach for all involved to resolve behavior challenges.
TEGA K9 WRANGLER - TRAINERS & CONCIERGE CARE
From top left going across: Jennel with her Border Collie, Fusee; with classmates at the ACA; with her original dog training inspiration "Jenga"; Jenga's first agility title; with Dr. Sophia Yin; with Dr. Ian Dubar; with Victoria Stilwell &VSPDT team.
Shannon Burch - Class Instructor & Private Trainer
Despite an English degree from James Madison University, Shannon always had a passion for animals. She began her career in the equine field, training primarily fox hunters and 3-day-event horses, managing barns in Pennsylvania and North Carolina, and wrangling on a ranch in Montana for 3 years.
Shannon didn't own her first dog until 2012 when she adopted, Yukon, her beloved german shepherd mix. Her unwillingness to be parted from her new companion led her to seek out a new career in dog training. Shannon completed her dog training certification through Animal Behavior College (ABC) in 2014, months before her son, Bailey was born. Having a new baby didn't really allow Shannon the time to commit to her new career until recently when her husband, Travis, began working at the US National Whitewater Center.
Kayla - Wrangler-Trainer, CSR
Tega K9 Staff are the glue to keep our system (and team) together! Without their focus, attention to detail, patience and compassion for our guests; the day to day tasks would fall through. It's not an easy job but they are the most appreciated part of our team!
Kelsi Collins, General Manager
Elyani - Wrangler-Trainer, CSR
Kelly McVay - Class Instructor
Kelly is a graduate of Penn State University with a degree in Animal Science. Her passion for animals grew with each course taken during her four years at Penn State. Classes focusing on animal behavior were the most interesting and motivating courses for her.
While in college Kelly worked as a dog daycare supervisor and spent hundreds of hours monitoring and observing canine play and interaction. Kelly believes her time involved with groups of dogs, listening and watching them interact and communicate amongst themselves taught her invaluable lessons in regard to canine communication.
After graduation, Kelly continued her education in canine behavior by enrolling and successfully completing the Dog Trainers Certification program through the Animal Behavior College (ABC). Through a partnership with ABC she completed her externship hands on class requirements with ABC Mentor Trainer, Jennel Cooper at Tega K9 (that's how we were lucky enough to find Kelly)!
She continues to advance and apply her skills in the Animal Care and Service industry as a patient service coordinator at Spay Neuter Charlotte.
This bio wouldn't be complete without you knowing Kelly shares a large part of her home with her one hundred pound Rhodesian Ridgeback, Gryffindor! If he would just take some time out of his day to get off the couch, she would love to try agility with him!
Avery with her girl, Lily!
So happy with our new pink gate!
Morgan, Canine Concierge,
Hannah - Wrangler-Trainer
Meagan mastering wait at the gate with her group!
Jordan practicing group sits AND wait at the gate too!
Kelsi graduated from the University of South Carolina - Columbia with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and area of emphasis in entrepreneurship. While working towards her degree she was employed by PETSinc., a non-profit animal rescue organization. Her time with PETSinc. kick-started Kelsi's interest in the pet care industry.
Kelsi went on to work at a dog daycare leading play groups, and overall care of the canine guests and facility. She also found enjoyment volunteering with a handful of animal rescue organizations in the Columbia area. Her favorite organizations were Pawmetto Lifeline and Howlmore Animal Sanctuary.
Upon returning home from college Kelsi accepted a full time position in the financial industry and after some years felt she was missing something and went in search of something “animal-centric”. After assisting Jennel with puppy classes at Tega K9 she fell in love the positive training atmosphere and joined the team!
TEGA K9 TRAINERS & CLASS INSTRUCTORS)
As Tega K9 continues to grow and evolve we know it we wouldn't be the place we are without the team we have and those who have been a big part of our growth! Below are some of our favorite wrangler, trainer and csr alumni who have moved on to fulfill their dreams and goals in their education, career and families! We miss you all, please check back in and say hi when you can!
Sara working with a board and train puppy!
An Australian Shepherd puppy named Taz ignited Kelsi’s love for animals as a young teenager and at the old age of fourteen Taz still romps around like a puppy when going for walks at the river, she loves soccer balls and herding Teela, his cat sister who loves bird-watching, squirrel-chasing and showing Taz who’s boss.
Shannon has never felt more at home than with the purely positive trainers at Tega K9 and is thrilled to continue to learn and grow as a trainer and share with others her fascination with canine behavior.
Outside of work, Shannon still loves riding horses, as well as running, rock climbing, hiking, reading, and baking. Yukon still accompanies her on her adventures along with his puppy brother, Caber, a husky/blue heeler mix.