The Rocky Top K9 Story

Sevier County and the Smoky Mountain community are rich in local businesses who aim to elevate the quality of life for the residents who live here, as well as those who visit our area. Rocky Top K9 is a great example of that.

The idea for Rocky Top K-9 began as Sandra Sudduth was training her own dogs. While out in the community, she captured the attention of others who asked if she was a dog trainer. Then, as Sandra began helping friends and family, she became increasingly inspired to help dogs and their owners. There was a need in the Sevier County community, so Sandra got to work filling it.

“The freedom that the dogs and their owners get from the training is phenomenal,” Sandra said as she spoke about her business. “Sharing that freedom was my motivation to start Rocky Top K9. We’re happy when we see the happiness that it brings to other people.”

While Sandra was contemplating starting a dog training business, she discussed the idea with her friend, Scottie Greene. The pair decided to collaborate her business experience with Scottie’s dog training experience. He had 30 years of experience, and he had been helping Sandra train her dog Kobi. Kobi was the one who sparked the inspiration for Sandra, and now he is the mascot of the company.

Scottie had an impressive military and police background. The veteran had many years in K9 training and handling as well as experience in the private sector. Scottie joined Sandra as her lead-trainer.

“He brought the knowledge,” Sandra stated about their partnership.

The Team at Rocky Top K9

Puppy training at Rocky Top K9 in Sevierville, TN

Rocky Top K9 officially opened for business in 2019, and they have since expanded to a team of five trainers. The team uses their talents and passions to make a difference in the lives of local families. Each member of the team loves dogs, helping others, and giving back to their community. It is for these reasons that Rocky Top K9 is a true asset to the Smoky Mountain community.

Dog Training Services

Dog training in Sevierville and East Tennessee

Rocky Top K9 offers various levels of obedience training. The classes are held in private and public places to simulate real-world experiences. Puppies can begin training as early as five-months old but dogs of any age can benefit from training. Regardless of your dog’s age, an initial consultation and evaluation are provided at no charge.

In addition to obedience training, the team provides therapy dog training so that owners can help others with their dogs. Therapy dogs can visit hospitals, nursing homes, individuals who are home-bound, or anyone that might benefit from the companionship and friendship the dogs can offer. They also offer select service dog training for non-medical needs such as PTSD and mobility issues. Not all dogs are qualified for these programs; contact Sandra to learn more.

Rocky Top provides behavior modification and agility training too. The team can help with any need a dog owner may have. Find the answers to dog owner’s frequently asked questions here. Also, see Rocky Top K9’s reviews here.

More Services from Rocky Top K9

Dog boarding in Sevierville, TN.

There is a huge demand for dog boarding in the Smoky Mountains. This service is available at Rocky Top K9. Training for new clients is actively happening on-site. For that reason, Rocky Top K9 will only allow trained dogs from their program to be boarded with them. The trained dogs set good examples for the dogs currently going through training. Time spent during boarding acts as a refresher for the dogs who have graduated. This is an exclusive benefit for those who train with Rocky Top K9, and it creates a positive community atmosphere for all the dogs.

Dogs who have graduated from training programs are invited to join The Dog Club. The club meets for monthly social events such as hiking, jogging, and scent work. They also hold picnics, Jeep rides, and social hours at local restaurants. The Dog Club is a great way to socialize dogs and keep people engaged with the training their dogs received.

Rocky Top K9 also sells dog-safe products. The products are of the highest quality and are made in the United States. Logo’d apparel is also available.

Giving Back to the Sevier County Community

Rocky Top K9 - dog training, fitness, and more in the Smoky Mountains

A new “Dog Safety Education” program for local kids is currently being developed by Sandra. The program will educate children on dog safety. Sandra will use a kid-friendly slide show and an interactive presentation to educate the children, and then she will provide activities for the kids to take home to complete with their families.

Sandra’s goal with this free program is to help families with young children learn about dog safety. Participants will learn how to interact with strange dogs and with their own dogs. They will also learn how to read a dog’s body language. Contact Sandra to schedule a free class for your group.

Advice from Rocky Top K9

The premier dog training company in Sevierville.

The Rocky Top K9 team is committed to helping families with dogs, especially during the transitional period that happens when introducing a new dog into the home. Sandra shares ways to ease that transition.

Introducing a New Puppy

It is important to understand the breed you’re getting. You can’t change genetics, so do research on a breed’s background before committing to a dog. When selecting a new puppy, you should consider your lifestyle and what your household is like. It is important to choose a dog that compliments you and your home. If you’re having trouble selecting the right breed, contact Rocky Top K9. They can help you identify which breeds would be the best fit.

Rocky Top K9 offers classes to give puppies a head-start on training. The first five months of a puppy’s life is all about learning its position in the pack, socializing, and learning about their environment. After that, they’re old enough for regular obedience training. 

Rescuing a Dog

There are many places in Sevier County to adopt a dog. Sandra and her team can help you as you bring a dog from the shelter to your home. Shelters are stressful for the dog, so your new pet will be over-stimulated. In addition, you will only know what the shelter has been told. Therefore, when you rescue a dog, give them some time to relax, decompress, and get used to you. You will gradually learn their behaviors, and then you can start training in just a few weeks.

Shelters help save dogs of any age and breed. Fortunately, there are no age restrictions on dog training. All breeds age differently. Training a puppy is easier because they haven’t established bad behaviors yet, but any dog can benefit from training. Older dogs must unlearn bad behaviors first before new behaviors can be learned. The team at Rocky Top K9 will evaluate your dog and recommend a comprehensive training plan.

Contact Rocky Top K-9 to discuss your rescued dog and arrange a free consultation. Sandra and her team can make adopting a dog a safe and enjoyable experience for the whole family!

The Dog Training Investment

Rocky Top K9 offers obedience training, agility courses, dog boarding, therapy dog training, and more.

Dog training has a reputation for being expensive but Rocky Top K9 strives to offer fair and affordable pricing. A la carte services are available. Bundled packages include discounts. Either way, they are dedicated to serving the needs of Sevier County’s dogs. They will work with you to best meet the needs of you and your dog.

Investing in your dog is an investment into your household. Being able to visit public places is one aspect of the benefits of dog training. Peace in your household and safety for the dog and your family is another. The proper training can ensure that your dog is fully integrated into your family. Spreading this type of happiness is the goal of Rocky Top K9, and they are committed to helping local families with their dogs. View their services and packages here and contact them to discuss your options.

Rocky Top K9 is an asset to the communities of the Smoky Mountains and Sevier County. Those visiting our wonderful area will appreciate the level of professionalism our local businesses provide. We who live here appreciate it too! Learn more about our other great local businesses here.

There are so many thrilling things to do in the Smoky Mountains, and our community offers amazing restaurants, lodging, and places to shop too. Learn more about Sevierville, Pigeon Forge, and Gatlinburg as you plan your visit to the Smoky Mountains.

Authored in Appalachia || Amy Morton


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