Colleen Steckloff, Founder of LAK9s
Colleen's life's work is not only rooted in her love of dogs but also on the construct that no dog should ever have to be given up by their owner because of a behavioral issue. Colleen's childhood dog her beloved Wendy had to be given away because of behavioral issues, which left an indelible mark on Colleen. That experience has left Colleen with a passion to give dog owners the understanding they need to eradicate the behavioral issues in their home.
In college, Colleen studied film and zoology with the dream of making
documentaries. She began working in the TV and Film industry and worked side by side with many of Hollywood’s top Animal trainers. In 2001, Colleen graduated from Animal Behavioral College and formed her own company servicing dog owners of Los Angeles, CA. She quickly began to be known as the girl who could walk your aggressive dog. Her reputation quickly travelled and Colleen became the first call of many rescue organizations for help with their unadoptable dogs. Over the years Colleen has successfully rehabilitated LA’s toughest rescue dogs and matched them with their storybook ending forever family. Education is key in communication with dogs and their human counter part. Colleen has studied tools and techniques with top behaviorist Martin Deeley and Linn Boyke. Colleen was one of the first students to complete Linn’s extensive seven month shadow program focusing on extreme dog aggression. She continues to stay at the top of her game through her affiliation with the International Association of Canine Professionals. Colleen trained dogs for commercials and films, but dog behavior continued as her passion and focus.
Colleen's experience and expertise got a big boost in 2010 when she was given the opportunity to work under Cesar Millan, the Dog Whisperer. Cesar saw her gift with people and dogs and asked Colleen to help the frustrated owners and dogs featured on “The Dog Whisperer.” In 2013 Colleen joined Cesar’s international team and has worked with dogs and owners in 28 different countries teaching dog behavior and dog psychology. Later the same year, Colleen designed and taught the very first weekend courses at the Dog Psychology Center in Santa Clarita, CA. She has worked with 100s of rescue organizations around the country to help rehabilitate and rehome dogs in their care. Colleen is currently the Head Trainer of Training Cesar’s Way Fundamentals I and II workshops, teaching students from all over the world at the Dog Psychology Centers in California and Florida. Colleen is grateful of this experience to work along with her mentor and handed the recipe of the “secret sauce.” It is Colleen’s goal is to share this information with everyone. She offers everything from puppy training to rehabilitation for severe aggression. She believes that the owners must be a part of the process in order to create balance and harmony in the homes of her client’s. Colleen’s Certification and Shadow Programs are sought out by dog trainers from around the world. Her celebrity client list is the who’s who of Hollywood. She has been featured on The Dog Whisperer, Cesar 911, Kathy Griffin’s My Life on the D-List, Lassie’s Pet Vet, Good Day LA, MTV’s Pimp My Ride, Cesar to the Rescue Asia, and Cesar Millan Viva Las Vegas. When asked about her extremely high success rate, Colleen responded, “I see all of my clients the same way their dogs do, as a packleader in the making. When I teach the human to lead, the dog will follow.”
Colleen lives in Venice Beach, CA with her husband and business partner Dave Aguilera and their 4 rescue dogs.
David Aguilera, Co-Owner of LAK9s
In 2015, Dave Aguilera made the jump from running his Artist Management & Merchandise company to partner up with his wife Colleen and LAK9s Inc, but that’s not where his love and passion for dogs began. It started a long time ago with his own dog Peanut. Dave was rarely home traveling the world as a touring musician. Touring and traveling was a dream come true for him except for one thing, he missed his best friend, his 8 lb. chihuahua.
Peanut sure did make coming home worth it! While Peanut may have been Dave’s little princess, to the rest of the world she was a bit of a devil. In 2006 Peanut was selected to appear on The Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan. This was Dave’s first introduction to dog psychology and he practiced it when rehabilitating his dog Peanut. Dave not only brings his business management skills to LAK9s, but he also has the knowledge and understanding of the dog owner and lover. “Peanut and her behavioral issues did not do well boarding at normal facilities because no one knew how to handle her. If she were around today, I know she would feel right at home with the environment we have created. I now get to help other dogs and their owners with similar issues to my Peanut!”