Here at VDK we are proud of our work and the relationships we form with our clients. We often get great reviews and testimonials, of which we do our best to post them. Please read through this page and check out our Facebook reviews too!
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Nick Devor – Christmass 2016
A nice update we received in regards to one of our Behavioral Modification Aggression Cases.
“Nick, an update on Blitzen and your training – normally when Dr. Jeff came into the room Blitzen would bark, growl, hide behind me and be very rude to her doctor. BUT, today, thanks to your training, she sat on the bench like a lady, allowed him to offer his hand, without biting it, smelled his hand TWICE, took treats from him and all the time not making a sound!!! Thank You, Thank You, Thank You! Dr. Jeff said you must be a miracle worker to get such a completely opposite response from Blitzen. Dr. Jeff was very impressed!”
Connie Roberts – 04.08.16
Hey Nick, Thorn and I just got back from my Vet’s office. I was so proud of him, he went right in as if he owned the place. Loved everyone he met. Took his shots, no problem!! we even showed off for the Vet and her two techs. Thorn was sitting, downing, waving and fetching anything they threw, like their keys! a pen! and a friggin pocket knife!! They were blown away! I was beaming from cheek to cheek! He is by far the BEST puppy I have ever had the pleasure to share my life/home with. He weighs 19 lbs by the way! Thank you so much Nick!
Brenda Wendt – 12.22.15
Nick is amazing. I have a young rescue dog that was showing aggression towards men, and since I was not sure how to handle it, I was really afraid I was going to have to put him down. Patty Lance from NaNa N Paws recommended I take Blitz to one of Nick’s classes. Thank you so much Nick for understanding Blitz’ problems and helping me work through them. Nick has taught Blitz how to behave when he is fearful, but more importantly has taught me how to deal with them. A great trainer teaches the team not just the human or the dog, and that is what Nick has done. Blitz is not perfect yet but I am no longer afraid that I will have to part with my wonderful little furry man. I am looking forward to a great agility future for Blitz and am excited to see how far he will go.
Michelle Ridley – 11.04.15
I have a 5 year old German Shepherd, Sasha, who “didn’t play well” with other dogs or people. She loves to go for long walks but I couldn’t take her anywhere because she would scare the people we passed with her fierce barking at them. I decided to have her go to obedience training hoping that it would get her accustomed to being around other people and dogs. Because of her age, we were not sure if this would work. During Nick’s class, he would often walk around to everyone or have a dog walk around the dogs so the dogs would get familiar with people and dogs walking close to them. After the fifth class, I brought Sasha to the park to see how she would do with people walking, jogging or riding a bike. She did wonderful! We must have had 30 people pass us up from every angle, and Sasha did not bark at any of them. I finally feel confident to bring her for long walks in public places and know that she will not scare anyone. Thank you, Nick!
Janet P. 10.16.15
Mr. King worked a miracle with my furbaby, Blitzen, she is improving with her fear aggression problem. Other, supposed experts, suggested she be put down. Mr. King gave her a chance and has taught me how to respond to Blitzen’s insecurities in the correct way. We will stay with his classes for as long as he feels Blitzen’s needs his help. He cared enough not go give up on my furbaby and I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it. Thank you for being the best at what you do.
Connie R. – 10.15.15
The difference in our dog is remarkable after just a few training sessions with Nick and Michelle. From the day we brought her home at 8 weeks, Liezel showed signs of being shy. Progressively her shyness turned into barking and lunging at strangers. We sought the help of several different trainers and a behaviorist – one of whom told us “this dog should never be taken out in public.” We had been taking agility classes with another trainer and Liezel really enjoyed running the courses. It was off course, on the sidelines, that she would panic and bark/lunge at the other people in class. Her hyper-vigilance and nervous behavior convinced us to discontinue classes knowing that the fun of the course was not outweighing the overall stress of class. Discontinuing classes was a true disappointment! We got a working dog to continue lifelong learning – agility, rally or [fingers crossed] Schutzhund. Our optimism had dwindled but in our continued quest to find “the right trainer,” we found Von Der King.
Our first meeting with Nick was four weeks ago. The difference we have seen in Liezel’s behavior and overall disposition in public in these four weeks is amazing. We started Nick’s Basic Obedience class and I have to say it’s a fantastic feeling to be back in class! We’re very hopeful about Liezel’s ability to learn not only new commands but her ability to gain confidence and be the dog we knew she could be.
Nick and Michelle’s knowledge and presentation of training techniques, and the results we’ve seen thus far in the implementation of their techniques is incredibly impressive.
Jill D. – 09.11.15
“I decided to bring my dog Tessa to training with Nick after a friend told me about him, she has been training with Nick for years and highly recommended him. My dog Tessa is very fearful of new people and places and exhibits inappropriate behavior when she is scared. I knew she needed training but I wasn’t comfortable taking her to just any trainer, I needed someone who had experience working with fearful dogs. I brought her for an assessment with Nick and everything that he said about her behavior made complete sense, upon his recommendation I made some changes with our daily routine and started seeing a difference almost immediately. I brought her for weekly one on one sessions and each week I would see improvements from the week before. We did a six week basic obedience training course with Nick and that really gave me a solid understanding of how to work with and train not only Tessa, but my other dogs. Tessa and I continue to attend one on one sessions with Nick and will be enrolling in another obedience class soon, the changes I have seen in Tessa since starting to work with Nick have been amazing and I am looking forward to seeing her continue to improve while working with him. I would highly recommend Nick if you have issues that you would like to work on with your dogs or if you are just wanting to take obedience classes. I have a lot of respect for Nick and I have witnessed firsthand that his methods do work, I am so thankful I have found an amazing trainer like Nick to help me and Tessa!”
Vanessa Frassetto – 07.14.15
“I want to thank Nick King for his training and teaching of “Engagement”. It is so important in all aspects of working with your dog and it has made a huge difference in our training with Tessa. It helps in not only obedience but in the conformation ring. That girl never took her eyes off Tom today. It was so cool to see! Thank you Nick! Now on to IPO!”
Kathy Ballard – 06.11.15
A nice little note I received – “Profound moment for me… Yesterday at dog school while discussusing some advanved obedience I mentioned to my dog school teacher Nicholas King that the people I saw in a competition video were doing it different and that it looked easier. He replied with “It works but it’s not the proper way of doing it. You don’t need to do what is easy. You don’t need to go with the masses. Haven’t you ever heard that.?” I just said “yes”… But in my head I was thinking “What about training this level of obedience is easy? Going with the masses? The masses don’t train their dogs like we do!!!!”. Then on my hour long back road drive home I got to thinking about what he said. Easy doesn’t get you anywhere. We always need to do what’s proper even if we feel we are already going above and beyond that doesn’t give us a good excuse to slack. Doing what is proper vs what is easy will always take you farther, no matter how far you already are. I know this. This sticker on my truck is my daily reminder… But apparently I needed another reminder!! Thank you Nick for the reminder. It hit home for me on many levels of life.”
Janae Jodway – 04.21.15
“Tessa won her first two legs in Rally Obedience at the Dogsports of Genesee County RO Event in Flint MI today. A big “Thank You” to Nick King for his patience and excellent obedience training. We couldn’t have done it without you!! Tessa scored a 95 (Second Place) and a 96 (First Place) for the day. We hope to get our third leg in December at Kalamazoo for our RO1 UKC Title.”
Sincerely, Kathy Ballard – 11.15.14
“Thanks Nick and Michelle for coming to Potter Park Zoo yesterday to speak with/demo what you do with our high school animal science program! They need to know there’s more animal careers out there besides vets and zoo keepers, and they need to learn more about entrepreneurship. 🙂 They seemed to really enjoy your presentation!”
Sincerely, Deborah Brewbaker
“When I purchased a sixteen week old Dutch Shepherd from you ten months ago I started out really excited but then after getting her home and realizing that I was the proud owner of a working dog (a breed I have never owned) panic began to settle. I think this is where I need to mention that my husband is not really a dog person and I have just brought a lot of dog to live in our home – this only amplifies my stress and worry. We began training with you right away. You were always cheerful, attentive, full of explanation and were careful to point out that you were not just training the dog you were training me because I needed to learn everything about this animal. Your knowledge and willingness to help me, a total novice, through all that this breed needs is worth every penny and every minute. This point was proven just last night.
You and I were working my dog, running through personal protection scenarios, when another client and her troublesome German Shepherd (not bred by you) showed up. She arrived unannounced and you graciously told her you would give her some time. You then quickly explained the situation to me and politely asked me if I would be patient while you attended to her while we let my dog rest. After giving her a few pointers and a pep talk, you were wanting to go over some basic obedience with her and even asked me to get my dog out and do obedience training together along with this other client. So there we were heeling, sitting, turning. You could tell that the other client was frustrated by her dogs continued bad behavior and that she kept glancing at my well behaved dog, so you were quick to tell her that we do a lot of training and not to be overwhelmed. A well trained dog does not happen overnight. It was at that moment I realized just how far I had come with my dog. She is the smartest, fastest, quickest, most interesting and intense animal I have ever had the privilege of owing and that has a lot to do with you. You have already made her a wonderful family member by teaching me how to teach her. She is so well behaved I even catch my husband loving on her everyday! I am really enjoying seeing her mature and she is really enjoying her training. You keep her interested and focused and you keep me informed and educated.
I look forward to many years of development and training with Von Der King.”
Sincerely, Holli Titus – 05.02.14
“I would highly recommend Nick as a trainer. I took my 4yr old German shepherd to Nick 6 weeks ago & I can honestly tell you I have a new dog that I am truly enjoying. After only 2 private classes, 1 home visit/class & 3 group classes.
Let me tell you a little bit about “Mr. Rommel”. Rommel is a very emotional & excitable dog. During our daily walks whenever we would run into a person Rommel would greet them with his intimidating German shepherd bark & then jump up at their face (so good to see you). Tends to scare the heck out of people. God forbid if there was another dog or how much fun “a cat” on our walks. Rommel would lunge at the other animal (so excited “we must play”). On one of our walks a “CAT” walked out in front of us, Rommel took off after the cat (remember I’m at the other end of leash)…yep I was pulled down & broke my hand. There were a few other minor problems that I won’t bore you with.
Nick taught us the art of “FOCUS”….yep focus, Rommel has learned to focus. I can now walk up to a person on the street, carry on a conversation & have a very calm well behaved Rommel at my side. He has learned to focus on me & he is always rewarded for such awesome behavior. Not only does he receive a treat from Mom, everyone is more than happy to pet the well behaved dog.
When we run into other animals on our walks he ignores them & focuses on me.
I am so so very pleased with the training we received from Nick. Rommel now always comes when he is called (that is huge), stays when I tell him to stay & is doing great at walking at my side off leash.
Nick “You Rock” Rommel & I Thank You”
Diane Zsalako – 04.14.14
“So when Catara died our family was in a worry of who would fill her collar as a personal protection k9 for our family!! Well just by chance we had a Puppy we had gotten from Nicholas King which was bought to do French ring and narcotics searches for Magnum K9 so fittingly we choose to use Logan who will fill the position nicely and already has shown a natural instinct to do so thanks a lot Nick for breeding such natural dogs for the jobs that need done!!”
Scott Laroe – 04.04.14
Dear Mr. King,
Just wanted to thank you for the excellent Obedience Class we just completed with our young Lab, Molly. We also want to make a “confessional” of sorts!
We adopted Molly from CAHS on November 2, 2013. At the time of adoption, we knew she needed immediate surgery for a right rear ACL repair, which she was provided the following week. Needless to say, our home-based training was significantly postponed during the initial 8 long weeks of her recuperation. Nonetheless, we made progress and she had already proven to be a wonderful house dog.
But we immediately noticed she was impolite to other dogs and humans, being so friendly she just wanted to be everyone’s playmate. At 80 pounds, her aggressive play was a bit daunting to smaller dogs…and humans. So we figured we would take her to an Obedience class, primarily to get socialized, be around other people with other dogs and that would be just fine.
After all, what could you teach us, as we have loved and trained a number doggies prior to Molly and we thought we knew the ropes.
How pleasantly wrong we were! We learned more than we expected from your excellent class and look forward to continuing advanced classes with you. Your instructional style was clear, concise and with your explanations of canine/human interactions and psychology, easy to understand and follow.
You also provided a great deal of one-on-one with each of us in the class, and these opportunities were highly instructive and valuable to the entire class. A perfect learning environment for our learning styles.
Thank you so much for a great class. We highly recommend your services to anyone with a dog. And we’ll see for the next class as well.
All our best,
Ken B and Marilyn S – 03.23.14
I was looking for another German Sheppard and did a web search for some. I came across his web site and reviewed it. I and my wife went to see the puppies. We were impressed with his facility and how he treated and cared for his dogs. We have now had Thor for almost a year and I am very impressed with the dog. He is extremely smart, wants to learn and please us and he loves the family. Both our girls are grown and out of the house and I am still in the National Guard. So I have taken Thor back to Nick for personal protection training. This gives me peace of mind as I am gone a lot and that would leave my wife home alone. I am sure even without the extra training he would protect the family but this gives us and him an extra level of control and confidence. As well as giving him a “job” to do. I would recommend Nicks dogs to anyone looking for a good dog to be part of the family and add an extra level of security to your family. Also if you are looking for a dog for police or military work this is the place to go.
Dave Clark – US Army – 10.17.13
I was a little concerned at first about taking my Collie to the training classes with Nick. Buddy was the only dog there that wasn’t a protection dog. I was training him for therapy work not protection work but to my surprise he did very well and was having fun! Nick is very knowledgeable with any type of dog and I have learned so much. It was more about the way I was working with Buddy and it was really me that needed the training. I couldn’t seem to stop Buddy from jumping on people and mauling the children he just loved to play with. I had Buddy in other training classes but things just weren’t clicking until I met Nick. Within a couple of days working with Nick’s techniques Buddy has stopped jumping and absolutely loves our training sessions. He doesn’t maul the children that he adores as we are out walking and is much better behaved around other dogs. I would highly recommend Nick’s training classes for anyone that would like a happier more well behaved companion!
Carol Walker – 03.16.13
Suki is an awesome little girl! She fits in perfectly in our family. After my experience with Malinois puppies, I have to say she is a total pleasure. We’ve begun some puppy obedience and she is learning how to be on a leash. She is totally nuts for frisbee. I can’t wait to see how she grows up. She certainly will be beautiful!!
Thanks for everything,
Betsy K. Chicago IL – 01.02.13
I’m one of those people who learned as well. We’ve came a long way with our now one year old GSD. Nicholas King has really done wonders for us. Especially with us being older now(we’re grandparents) I don’t want tons of stress…Owen is a great part if our family AND obeys. Can’t get any better than that! Looking forward to more classes!
Karen Pulido – 12.12.12
Having a sick Happy DOG really has me thinking about life in general. She is my second rescued pitbull. There was a time when I was not a fan of pitbulls. This was before I knew one. Kind of scarry how we can be so clueless that we are so clueless!! Sexy Kano taught me that they are one of the most misunderstood and loving breeds out there. You really can’t judge a book by its cover. Over the years I have sought out information about dog behavior problems and what to do about them… From what I can tell the problem is almost always “humans being clueless”. We really don’t have any idea how little we know about them…. We treat them as though they are humans when they are not, in reality they are much better than. Happy DOG is my everything. She was listed as an unadoptable dog aggressive dog who was returned by two families and on the verge of being put to sleep when I got my hands on her. I did not ask for any ones opinion. It just felt right. I knew my dad would throw a fit (and he did ;P). There was someone who surprised me though! I had only known Nick for 3 months at the time I got my girl and I wasn’t too sure what I thought of him yet. June 2011 I show up to obedience class with Sirius Lee and his new sister, a pitbull with a muzzle on her face. First thing he says to me is “What is that on her face?”… with a puzzled and sarcastic expression I said “um a muzzle” assuming he knew what that was (;P)… I remember his reply like it was yesterday, he says “Take that thing off of her”, I became argumentative and said I wasn’t sure how she was going to react to the new dogs and Nick says “I said take that thing off of her” and then he walked away. So the story goes Nick showed me proper introduction and when to give corrections along with WHY to give these corrections. I have known Nick for over a year and a half now, I have watched him help numerous people learn how to communicate properly with their dogs. I am so thankful for Nick and people like him. Dogs like Happy DOG can get a second chance or third or fourth… 😉 So thanks Nick aka TEACH…
Janae Jodway – 12.12.12
“Thank you for all your help with Rogan on his aggression issues. I can’t believe how far he came in 6 weeks! He went from a dog that everyone was afraid to get near, to being the door greeter at TSC on his 4th lesson. And I can’t get over the fact that on his 6th lesson he was turned loose, allowed to run around a room and even interacted with a very young child with no problems! I highly recommend Nicholas King for anyone who is dealing with aggression issues in their dog.”
Peggy Wagner – 12.09.12
“HUGE, HUGE, HUGE success. Today Ingham county had their rabies/license clinic in south Lansing. I took Bo up hoping for the best behavior out of him. We were surrounded by about 30 very out of control dogs of all breeds, and of course NO ONE kept their distance from one another. Bo was AMAZING. He stayed at a heal or down and not once challenged or growled, not even a whine. He even was happy to greet people at a sit. I am so proud! Thank you SO much Nicholas King (Von Der King) for all you have taught us. We are looking forward to our continuing training and I can now see a CGC at the end of our tunnel!!”
Tinetha Weeks – 08.24.12
” Thank you thank you thank you for all your help with Bo tonight! With his dog aggression issues, I was beginning to think that he was never going to be able to be in public again, nor would there be any hope of competition! But after tonight, you have given us great encouragement!! Thank you again and we will see you next week!” – Tinetha Weeks
Testimonials and Audio from WITL 107
Audio Coming Soon.
Polo X Esta Puppy 2011
“Hey Nick, I’m visiting here in MI now and I just wanted to say Pai is looking GREAT! She is really filling out beautifully. Her angulation is exactly what I was hoping it would be and she has such amazing drive and athleticism. She is such a sweet girl, too, and very smart (sometimes too smart for her own good… LOL). Mom is very happy with her. Thanks for such a great pup!”
“Nicholas King is very professional, accountable, and charismatic in his training, breeding, and sales services. He has been readily available to us throughout our purchase by phone and email to answer any questions we have had.
Upon taking our new family member home, Nick checked in on us regularly to make sure things were going well and that our pup was adjusting to his new family. He has provided us with sound advice as far as what further training and classes Var would benefit from and made the process and transition of Var run very smoothly.
As far as his accountability, we found Nick to be very honest and trustworthy – he offered all medical and health history information as well as the x-rays and documents to be reviewed by our own veterinarian before completing the adoption process simply to verify that all of his information was correct. He also provided many resources as far as where we could find all things needed to keep Var healthy and happy.
His training and protection classes are very thorough and we enjoy participating in them – the costs of which, we found to be very reasonable. Overall, we are very pleased with our experience at Von Der King, and highly recommend Nick’s services to anyone interested in exceptional dog breeding and training!”
~Amy & Brian
“Couldn’t be more proud if I tried! The personal protection classes that Sirius and I have been taking had real-life results tonight! While paying for my gas, I was approached by a guy asking what my plans were for the evening. I politely brushed him off and went on my way. Next thing I know he is leaning into my open drivers’ window …asking again. My friendly dogs were happy to greet him. I brushed him off again and when he didn’t back away I calmly gave Sirius his command to “guard”… and wouldn’t ya know… I was deafened by the barking coming from my boy. Happy D O G was glad to imitate her brother! The guy
backed away with his hands up as though I had a gun pointed at him… LMAO… “Good boy Sirius!” Thank you Nicholas King for the education you have provided! You saved me a bullet tonight! ♥”
“About a year ago we were having issues with break-ins in our higher scale neighborhood. Due to the nature of the economy and how much my job has me away from home, I needed protection. Von Der King/Nick, has taken a lot of time and effort to make sure we have the perfect dog for our family. Masons Bronx Von Der King, is part of our family.
Bronx, knows how to protect our family yet he is gentle w/our 3 year old daughter! Nick puts a lot of time and effort into training and making sure you are taken care of. It has been one of the best decisions we have made.”
“Arco, my Polo and Esta puppy just turned 1 year old. My experience with Von Der King has been excellent. Nick is very professional and always has time to help and answer questions. I think his puppy guarantee is one of the best in the business. Arco is definitely the smartest dog I have ever owned. He is extremely high drive – tons of ball drive, food drive and a nice balance of defense and prey. He is a pleasure to train and I am looking forward to competing on the Schutzhund field with him. Besides being a great working dog, he is very social and loves people, including children. I highly recommend Von Der King to anyone looking for new puppy.”
“Nick, I just saw Alyson’s dog for the first time do bite work. Let me tell you, the dog is absolutely awesome buddy. Gustavo was very impressed, he did not know where she got the dog, and then I told him. All Gustavo could say was that it was pure genetics, pure genetics. The dog bites so hard it’s unbelievable! He’s crushing the sleeve, and then he immediately pulls. As a matter of fact a couple times Gustavo wasn’t ready and was jerking him forward. The dog is for real, really well balanced. He goes back and forth working on the sleeve, then back on the man. The dog is just balanced. He was really a good dog from what I saw. The drive is right there, the hardness is there, he’s really a great dog.”
“We are very happy with our puppy from Von Der King. Guinness, is 9 months now, and has truly become part of the family. He loves to go around the house in the morning and wake up our three kids with his kisses! He is very trainable, smart and loves to please. He also loves to tease by “stealing” favorite shoes and running around with them,thankfully there is only one eaten so far. Guinness is a very strong dog, both physically and emotionally. He is exactly what we wanted, and your guidance on selecting the right dog was right on. Definitely not a couch potato!! He loves to exercise, and I can see that he would be very adept at agility – I hope to start this soon! We have completed only one class with your training, but the improvement in Guinness is obvious! We are looking forward to the next class already. Von Der King has been very good to work with and I would recommend these dogs to anyone who wants a solid working GSD with great attitude.”
Rick and Lori A.
“Whether it was a full class or private session in protection or obedience, Nick demonstrated his ability to tailor training to the specific dog or situation the dog was in.”
– Brandon and Maximus