The Upbeat K9™ - Rutland, Vt

Meet The Upbeat K9™ Rutland, Vermont Trainers

Nathan Whitehorne

Head Trainer – Upbeat K9 Rutland, VT

After starting a career as a freelance photographer in Boston, Nathan’s then girlfriend, now wife, moved up from Virginia with her fear-aggressive rescue dog, Sam. One thing led to another and not long after beginning training classes with Sam, Nathan started a one year unpaid internship at one of Boston’s premier dog training facilities. After just a few months he showed such promise that he was hired on as a full-time trainer.

This opportunity allowed Nathan to experience a diverse array of dog breeds and the full continuum of dog behaviors, from super aggressive to super submissive. Nathan trained these dogs for everything from household obedience to competition obedience, behavior modification and bite sports (what some would think of as police K9 work). Nathan quickly realized that there were a lot of different styles of training. None really had everything they needed to create the bond and solid behaviors that he wanted with his dog, and very few trainers were willing to see the good aspects of the other training styles. Nathan set out on a journey to take the good parts of any and all training styles and mix them together to create his own training system. He found that he was not alone in his view of dog training and his 10 year journey led him to create a form of what is now being called “balanced training”.

Nathan’s holistic approach is successful because he teaches owners how to see the world through their dog’s eyes and how to create an environment that enhances every aspect of their dog’s lives. He is not just a sit, down, stay and come-when-called trainer.

The strong bond created by Nathan’s ever evolving “balanced system” will result in behaviors that are consistent and reliable in any and all situations as long as you are willing to do the work.


Trainer – Upbeat K9 Rutland, VT

Lauren has had a love for animals since she was a young child. After years of working to convince her parents, Lauren’s family finally decided to add a puppy to their family. This golden retriever pup sparked Lauren’s interest and passion for dog training. While in her senior year of college, Lauren got a job working for Nathan Whitehorne at 4 Paws Academy and started learning how to train dogs professionally. A few months later, Lauren brought home her dream puppy: An Australian Shepherd named Rowan. Rowan’s high drive has helped Lauren learn about multiple fun outlets for all that Aussie energy such as nosework, competition obedience, treibball, strength and conditioning exercises and lots of frisbee fun! Lauren has worked at the 4 Paws Academy dayschool for over 3 years learning how to train a broad range of dogs, each with individual training goals and needs. Lauren is beyond excited to have had the chance working with Nathan as he partnered with Jesse and started the new Upbeat K9 location in Rutland, Vermont!


Trainer – Upbeat K9 Rutland, VT

Kyra has been an animal lover from the very start! She has had all types of pets from reptiles to horses and everything in between, but has always had a big place in my heart for dogs! Kyra has always had a special dog in her life to share many adventures with! She has had many breeds and loved all of the special things each dog has had to offer! 

She started attending training classes with Nathan and her Plott Hound Ellie-Mae a few years ago. After only a few classes she was sold on Nathan’s system and saw amazing results from her strong willed hound! After taking many group classes and enrolling in nosework class Kyra was offered the chance to be a trainer for Nathan and jumped at the chance! Dog training has quickly become a passion of hers! Kyra loves being able to help dogs and their owners reach their full potential together building a fun, loving relationship!

One of her other passions in life is horseback riding! For the past 20+ years She has been training and competing with her equine partners. She has also been sharing her knowledge and love for horses with others by teaching horseback riding lessons! Kyra really enjoys helping others learn and trust in these wonderful animals! Kyra is now taking that teaching experience and training into the dog world and could not be happier in this endeavor.


7, 14, & 21 Day Programs

Have your dog live with a trainer, at his/her home, for a 24 hour experience around dogs, people, and any other real world distractions we can throw at them dogs in this program will experience training in a home environment, with daily hikes, trips to dog friendly stores, and daily socialization with dogs. Following the Jumpstart Program, you will receive follow up lessons so you can maintain all of your dog’s new skills.

Private Lessons

Want to be more involved with the teaching and development of your dog’s training? Our private lessons are 1 on 1 with our trainers in your home, out at a park, or any other places you’d like to take them.

Group Classes


Available to any dogs that have been through Jumpstart or Private Lessons. This will give you and your dog some more exposure to other dogs, see how other owners and their dogs handle different situations, and sharpen your handling skills. Available when at least 3 clients can commit to a date and time.

Other Services

We can also tailor a program specifically to your dog’s needs.

Jumpstart Social

Available to any dogs that have been through Jumpstart or Private Lessons. This will give you and your dog some more exposure to other dogs, see how other owners and their dogs handle different situations, and sharpen your handling skills. Available when at least 3 clients can commit to a date and time.


Ever needed to exercise your dog but weren’t able to get outside because of snow, rain, cold, or just because you’re too busy? The treadmill provides mental and physical stimulation, allowing your dog to burn energy even when your hands are full! By enrolling your dog in our “treadmill program,” your dog will get six days of Jumpstart Social with special training on how to use a treadmill. You will then get a short lesson on how to transition that training to home. For those of you with extra spunky or over-weight dogs you can add some treadmill time onto any day of Jumpstart Social that your dog comes to.


Welcome to the fun and exciting world known as “nosework”. Nosework is based on the same principles that the military and law enforcement use to teach narcotic and explosive dogs but only we use legal and safe odors. The best part is DOGS LOVE IT!


    Perfect for groomers, vet clinics, shelters, or any other dog business, our Lunch and Learn Program will bring a trainer right to your facility. Not only will we go over our training philosophies and methods, we will gladly demonstrate our training with your dogs. We’ll also bring the pizza!


    Bring us out to your facility for one of our seminars. We’ll cover the topics important to you, from aggression to advanced obedience. For more information on our seminars, email us at


    Perfect for schools, daycares, summer camps, etc. Our trainers will come out an teach some safe, effective ways to stay safe around dogs and what to do in dangerous situations.

    See what The Upbeat K9™ – Rutland’s Clients have to Say:

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    Upbeat K9™ Rutland, Vermont

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