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As the founder of Chesapeake Canine, my journey into the world of dog training began in the most natural of settings – surrounded by a loving pack of German Shepherds from the moment I entered this world. Dogs have been my constant companions, my teachers, and my friends for as long as I can remember. From those early days, I found joy in helping neighbors and friends train their dogs, laying the foundation for what would become my life's passion.

For over 25 years, I've had the privilege of professionally training dogs in the Annapolis area, drawing inspiration and wisdom from some of the finest trainers worldwide. From the disciplined world of working dogs to the compassionate realm of pet training, I've integrated the best practices to create a unique training system.  A system that dogs quickly understand and one in which they love.

At Chesapeake Canine, we believe that dogs are not just pets – they are family. Like us, they experience a rich tapestry of emotions: love, joy, sadness, fear, and loyalty. It's this profound understanding of the emotional landscape of dogs that forms a cornerstone of our training philosophy.  We also recognize that each dog is unique and what motivates them and what they find instinctually fulfilling is different for each dog.

Our methods are also deeply rooted in human behavioral science, allowing us to forge connections with dogs on a level that transcends words. By tapping into their instincts and emotions, we achieve not only lasting results but also rapid transformation. Each training session is tailored to the individual needs and instincts of your dog, ensuring a holistic approach to their development.

We strive to cultivate balanced dogs – ones that excel in obedience, find peace in relaxation, embrace independence, and revel in play. We call these facets "windows" , and our training system teaches you and your canine companion to move seamlessly between them.

Central to our approach is the creation of a shared communication system between you and your dog – a language of clarity, confidence, and calmness. Through this language, we foster understanding, strengthen bonds, and build a foundation of trust.  At Chesapeake Canine, we take our responsibility to you and your dog with the utmost seriousness. You can rest assured that you and your dog will be treated with respect, compassion, and unwavering dedication.

But our commitment doesn't end with a successful training session. My clients are more than just temporary clients – they're clients for life . I'm here to support you and your dog throughout your journey together, offering guidance, encouragement, and a listening ear whenever you need it.


Join us at Chesapeake Canine and embark on a journey of discovery, growth, and boundless love. Together, we'll create connections between you and your dog that will last a lifetime.

Rick Haefner



Rick Teaching and Reinforcing   Behaviors with Play

Certifications and Courses Attended

**  Michael Ellis- Principles of Dog Training 1

**  Michael Ellis- Principles of Dog Training 2

**  Michael Shikashio- Aggression in Dogs- Maser Course

**  Ted Efthymiadis- Aggression Mastermind Course

**  Linn Boyke- Dog Psychology

**  Ivan Balabanov- Professional Dog Trainer's Course

**  Pat Stuart- NEPOPO

**  Larry Krohn Seminar

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