STK9 Training Company
6735 Gulfport Blvd. South
St. Petersburg, FL 33707

(727) 744-5914

About STK9

Samantha Triplett

Certified Master Trainer

Samantha Triplett is STK9 Training Company’s Certified Head Master Trainer. Samantha received her certification
through The North State K-9 Academy of Tarheel Canine Training, Inc.

Her certification includes:

  • Professional Obedience Training 
  • Patrol
  • Detection 
  • Man Tracking and Trailing 
  • Behavior Modification

Samantha began working with pet dogs at the age of thirteen at The Pasadena Pet Motel. Soon after, she began training dogs for a Schutzhund club and kennel. Samantha attended the University of South Florida, where she graduated with a double major in Criminology and Political Science. To pursue her passion for dogs, Samantha decided to attend North State K-9 Academy of Tarheel Canine Training. There she received hands on training with police, military, sport and pet dogs. She graduated as a Certified Master Dog Trainer and returned home to open her own business, STK9 Training Company.

Samantha is also a working member of The National Tactical Police Dog Association, The International Association of K-9 Professionals, The American Pet Dog Trainers Association and is listed as an American Kennel Club Trainer, and Certified Pet Dog Trainer.

Samantha is the preseident of Tampa Bay Protection Sports Association Club. She now competes in Protection Sports Association with her Belgian Malinois, Ruco. Samantha and Ruco competed in PSA nationals in 2014. Ruco has earned his SVV1, PDC, PSA 1, and is currently competing for his PSA 2. Ruco is also a trained narcotics detecton dog for STK9. Samantha also owns a German Short Hair Pointer, Scarlett Begonia. Begonia is a narcotics detection dog for STK9. Scarlett Begonia competes in Ultimate Air Dogs Big Air, where she qualified and placed for Nationals in 2017 and 2018. Samantha also competes in Ultimate Air Dogs with her German Shepherd Dog, Tatonka, who qualified and placed for Nationals 2017.

Matt Taylor

Head Police Dog Trainer

Matt graduated from South Florida University with a Bachelor’s in Biomedical Sciences. He went on to graduate from The North State K-9 Academy of Tarheel Canine Training, Inc’s Protection Sport and Decoy Trainer Certification course. Matt is a certified PSA Decoy and the Head Decoy of The Tampa Bay PSA Club. He is a working member of The National Tactical Police Dog Association.

Matt has a Dutch Shepherd, Kados. Together they compete in Protection Sports Association. Kados recieved his PDC and PSA 1 and also competes in Ultimate Air Dogs where he qualified and placed for Nationals 2018. Matt and KAdos are currently training for their PSA 2 title. Kados is also a trained narcotics detection dog for STK9. 

DJ Trantham

Professional Trainer

DJ graduated from Roberts Wesleyan College with her Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and a minor in Social Work.  DJ, then spent 9.5 years in the United States Army. During that time she completed 3 combat tours as a Criminal Investigator. Upon leaving the military she wanted to find something she could be just as passionate about as serving our country. That passion was working with dogs. In addition to being a pet dog trainer for STK9, DJ owns a German Shorthaired Pointer, Classified, who is a tobacco detection dog. Classified also competes in Ultimate Air Dogs Big Air. DJ and Classified qualified and placed for Ultimate Air Dogs Nationals in 2018. DJ enjoys doing therapy dog visits with her own dogs Romo, a Great Dane, and Nettles, a Yorkie mix.  She frequently opens her home up to foster rescue dogs. During this time she gives them a soft place to land teaching them basic obedience and socialization skills until they find their forever home.

Joe Menendez

Professional Trainer

Joe Menendez is a professional dog trainer at STK9. Joe has been training dogs professionally for 9 years with experience in guide dog training and instruction as well as pet dog obedience and behavior modification. Joe received his certification as a guide dog trainer/instructor through the International Guide Dog Federation while working at Southeastern Guide Dogs. There he was a graduate field service representative helping the graduates in their home environments navigate and trouble shoot any issues that would arise after returning with their dog. He was also a Lead Trainer and managed a team of other trainers preparing dogs for classes where they would place the guide dogs with the visually impaired students. 

Joe has spent the last few years training pet dogs through private lessons and board and train programs. Joe has experience with basic obedience, advanced obedience, off leash skills, anxiety, over excitement and aggression. He enjoys teaching owners how to communicate effectively to their dogs through private lessons and through the board and train programs. Joe’s goal is to bring the dog to it’s full potential. 
Joe spends part of his free time working his personal dogs in sports such as PSA (Protection Sport Association), Dock Diving and Frisbee. Joe recently became a PSA Certified Trial Decoy. Joe and his Belgian Malinois Mya have earned their PDC-SD title in PSA as well as a United Ultimate Jumper title in dock diving. Mya's personal best jump of over 27 ft ranked her in the top 10 dock diving dogs for 2017. 
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