ALBANY — Here’s how you start your new life as a dog trainer.
You train your own dog so well, others notice. And when they chat you up about your four-legged friend’s discipline, they ask you if you’d work with theirs. And then they tell their friends and their friends start calling. And pretty soon you have so much work, you decide, what the heck, I’ll do this for a living.
At least that’s the way it happened for Kris Morrill, owner of Revolutionary Canine in Albany.
“I sold my gym (World Camp CrossFit) in 2018 — loved it, but was tired of it — and one day I was in Lowe’s with my Rottweiler, Cash,” Morrill said after a recent workout with some of his clients’ animals at Veterans Park downtown. “As we walked around the store, I noticed this guy that was following us. I asked him if there was something I could do for him, and he told me that he’d never seen a dog of that breed so well-trained. He asked me who trained him, and I told him I did.
“He asked me to train his dogs, then he started telling his friends and they told their friends. Pretty soon, we had a business.”
Revolutionary Canine is located on Gaissert Road in east Albany on 10 acres of property Morrill shares with his girlfriend, Shay Foy. The property is licensed for 41 kennels, and Morrill and the five members of his Revolutionary Canine staff stay constantly busy, boarding and training dogs for pet owners as well as law enforcement agencies.
“You’d think that there would be a greater call for training law enforcement K9 officers, but it’s (training pets) that keeps our business going,” Morrill said. “There’s never been even a month where we said ‘I don’t know what we’re going to do.’”
It’s easy to understand why Morrill burned out at World Camp.
“It was time for me to sell; the pace was ridiculous,” he said. “I’d open the gym at 5 a.m. and work as late as 10 p.m. on some days. I knew I needed to do something to improve my own quality of life.”
Along came the curious Rottweiler owner, and suddenly Morrill — who’s no stranger to change, having taught school and played in the popular band Holly Drive before buying World Camp CrossFit — found himself in a new line of work. And it was one that he immediately took to.
“It was like a rebirth,” he said. “I found myself feeling like a sculptor, using my creatively to turn dogs, who when they come to us are like balls of modeling clay, into a well-trained animal. These dogs improved my quality of life.”
Morrill offers a demonstration of his work with Roger Fletcher’s Belgian Malinois Reaper. As he dons his protective gear, it’s clear that the training is not without its share of pain. Morrill’s arms are dotted with bruises, bruises he endures with relish.
Kris Morrill, owner of Revolutionary Canine in Albany, trains individuals’ personal pets and law enforcement canine officers through his business.
“We teach our dogs to grip instead of bite,” Morrill says after Reaper gives him a working over on Fletcher’s commands. “(A criminal or attacker) can get loose from a bite. We teach animals to grip until their owner can come in and handcuff or control the attacker.”
To talk with Morrill about training a dog, interested persons may call him at (229) 343-5369. More information about Revolutionary Canine is available on the revolutionarycanine.com website.