Meet the Trainer
Below are some of the highlights and credentials of the owner and his over 20+ years’ experience working with and training police dogs. Below this list will be a fun and interesting personal biography from the owner himself to better understand his training and experience in his own words.
Founder and Owner of American Standard Dog Training, LLC
Co-Owner and Training Director of American Overwatch K9 Services, LLC.
17-year Law Enforcement Veteran
Commander- Tactical Investigations Unit
Senior Police K9 Unit Supervisor
Patrol K-9 Handler
Narcotics K-9 Handler
Civilian EOD K-9 Handler
Instructor – 2021 Police K-9 Conference – Las Vegas, NV.
Instructor – 2021 K-9 Cop Conference – Nashville, TN.
Instructor – 2021 Military Working Dog Conference – San Antonio, TX.
Instructor “High Risk Tactical Tracking” Seminar – Summerton, South Carolina DNR, Feb. 2021
Special Guest “Donut Shop Podcast” – Police K9 – September 2020
Instructor “Streetworthy K-9” Seminar – Hutto, TX. 2019
Special Guest “Police K-9 Radio” Podcast – August 2019
Instructor “High Risk Tactical K-9 Tracking” Seminar – Virginia Police Work Dog Association 2019
Instructor K-9 Cop Conference – Nashville, TN. 2019
Instructor Police K-9 Conference – Las Vegas, NV. 2019
Instructor “High Risk Tactical K-9 Tracking” Seminar – East St. Louis, IL. 2019
Instructor K-9 Cop Conference – Nashville, TN. 2018
Instructor “Streetworthy K-9” Seminar – Sarasota, FL. 2018
Education, Training and Certifications:
Master’s Degree- Organizational Leadership
Bachelor’s Degree- Emergency Services Management
FDLE Patrol Canine Team Certification – 480hrs
FDLE General Instructor Certification –80 hours
IFRI/NFSTC Detector Dog Team Certification – Pass
In-Service Police K-9 Training Records – Over 3,000 hours
2015 Las Vegas Police K-9 Conference Attendee – 3 days
The Modern Approach to Police Dog Training Certification 2014 – 40 hours
Police K-9 Decoy Workshop 2013 Certification – 40 hours
Police K-9 Street Scenario Workshop 2013 Certification – 40 hours
Advanced K9 Team Training Workshop 2013 Certification – 40 hours
2013 Nashville Police and Military Working Dog Conference Attendee – 3 days
Southern Police Institute Organizational Management Certification – 160hrs
From the Founder/Owner:
My name is Garret Wing. I am the owner and founder of American Standard Dog Training. This company is the culmination of decades of personal experience living and working with police K9s. My father was a police K9 handler for nearly 30 years for a major metropolitan police agency in South Florida. My father started his police K9 career in 1981, and when I was born in 1983 there was already a fully trained police K9 in our home as part of our family. Thus, from birth, began my journey with police dogs being a significant part of my life. Instead of the usual family vacations, my family and I would travel to police K9 competitions and demonstrations across the state and country. My earliest memories are traveling to these competitions and watching my father and other police K9 handlers participate in these competitions. I have watched thousands of dogs and handlers compete over the last few decades, and yet I still get excited going to these events where now I get to not only watch but compete and help others train to compete as well.
To say I “grew up around police K9s” is an understatement. My first time catching a police dog on a bite sleeve was when I was about 7 or 8 years old. My father was putting on a police K9 demonstration for a kindergarten class at a local elementary school and his usual co-workers were unavailable to help so he threw me the sleeve and told me to hide in the bushes. I knew the dog that was coming into the bushes to bite the sleeve was my “family pet”. But I also knew when it came time to work, this was not the same animal I’m used to petting at home. A few minutes later, a 100-pound German Shepherd Police Dog came plowing through the bushes looking to crush whatever was on the other end. There was fire in his eyes and all semblance of the sweet family pet I saw at home were gone. He looked possessed and I was all but paralyzed with fear. But there was not time to think about the fear, so I just stuck my arm out and delivered the sleeve as I had seen done many times before. He came in, bit the sleeve, and it was all over in a moment without any issues. It was a huge experience for someone of my age at the time and I’ve always held on to that memory. I walked out of those bushes different then how I entered.
Fast forward to the age of 16, I began to go on police ride-alongs with my father at his police department. He would normally work the afternoon or night shift and was an extremely pro-active police officer. It wasn’t hard to find action almost every night working in a very busy and often violent big city. It was with my father that I witnessed and participated in my very first police K-9 search/track for a criminal suspect. I walked closely behind as the K-9 tracked and eventually located and bit a suspect who had fled from police and was hiding refusing to come out. I was there from start to finish and was hooked after that. Almost every time I rode at work with my father, we would get the opportunity to either deploy his K9 or back-up another police K9 handler as they searched for one suspect or another. They were very good at what they did so the deployments always ended in K9 locating the suspect and often ended in a physical apprehension.
By the time I was 18, I had been on more K9 searches and witnessed more K9 bites or “apprehensions” than most police officers would in their entire career. Walking with or “backing up” a K9 team during a search was and still is considered a distinct privilege most regular police officers never get to do. That assignment is usually reserved for K9 handlers, SWAT officers, or a select few police officers. There I was at 16, seeing and experiencing first-hand what a well-trained police dog was capable of both with their nose and their mouth. To this day, it still amazes me what highly trained police dogs are capable of when it comes to tracking down and apprehending a criminal.
At the age of 18, I started working for a very well-known and successful police K9 importer and vendor whose company expanded to providing K-9 security services. This was in early 2002 and our country had just experienced the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 and businesses were spending tons of money improving their security measures. I was hired and trained as an EOD K9 Handler (Explosive Ordinance Detection). My job was to work highly trained dogs at the Port of Miami and Port Everglades sweeping for explosives for many of the major cruise ships. All the other EOD handlers were either active or retired police K-9 handlers who worked their weekends at the port to make extra money. I was a lot younger and inexperienced then them, but I was a natural. My father took me under his wing and taught me personally the art of leash handling, working a dog in odor, rewarding with toys and praise, and outing dogs with freaky high levels of toy drive.
Most of the dogs I worked and trained with were bought for the original purpose of being sold to police agencies across the country. Many were titled Shutzhund or IPO dogs (German Shepherds, Dutch Shepherds, and Malinois) bought and shipped from overseas (Holland, France, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, etc.). Our job was to not only work them at the ports sniffing for bombs, but to keep them sharp as they would all be eventually shown and sold to police departments looking for new dogs to add to their unit. During my two years with this company, I had the honor and privilege of working with and being a handler of a few dozen dogs. Most police K9 handlers will leave the K-9 unit after working just one dog. Even the most experienced K9 handlers who put in 20-30 years in a K9 unit will get to handle maybe 3 or 4 dogs. By the time I was 20, I had personally worked with and handled dozens of dogs of different breeds, sizes, and temperaments.
In 2004, at the age of 20, I was hired as a police officer at the same police agency my father had been working at for nearly 25 years at that point. Yes, the same one where I had already done numerous ride-alongs and K9 searches. Two years into my career, I jumped at my first opportunity to become a police K9 handler. When I transferred into the K-9 Unit I was working alongside my father and step-mother (also a police K9 handler in the same unit). I don’t think in the history of police work there has ever been three K-9 handlers from the same family in the same unit at the same time. It felt like a family-run business. I eventually promoted to the rank of sergeant and had the opportunity to come back to the K9 unit as a supervisor (after my father retired from the department and step-mother transferred to another unit). I spent the next 3 years pushing the envelope on our department’s K9 training and learning as much as I could while traveling to train at different seminars across the country and learning from others in the industry. These were the best years in the department by far because working and training with police dogs never felt like work to me.
Unfortunately, due to an ongoing disagreement with the commander of the K9 unit, I was asked to leave the K-9 unit. The commander was not very well liked by most folks, but for the most part he let me do my thing and run the unit. I thought we were on good terms. While I ate, slept, and breathed police K9 work and wanted us to be the very best we could be, he sat back in his office pushing papers. In my opinion, to be the best you have to constantly push the envelope and experiment with new ideas and improve upon old ones. This did not sit well with this commander whose career focus at that time was just trying to make it a couple more years until his retirement. My style of leadership and constant pushing for better training and tactics didn’t coincide with his retirement mindset. He sat me down a couple of times and tried to get me to “slow down” and get with his program. He was not a K9 handler at heart and knew little to nothing about real police work. I did not agree with his retirement mindset and did not respect his “leave good enough alone” viewpoint. We clashed a few times about these issues and ultimately, he used his authority to force me out of the unit. Getting transferred from the K-9 unit was the most devastating thing that ever happened to me in my life. However, I found later on down the road, it became one of the best things that could ever happen to me.
Because I could no longer get my K9 training fix while at my regular job, yes training with dogs is like a drug to me, I had to find another way to scratch that itch. A very long soul-searching story short, I partnered up with another K9 handler on the West Coast of Florida and we established American Overwatch K9 Services, LLC. Our company motto is “Realistic Training for Real-World Deployments” and our mission is to save lives on the street or battlefield by training other law enforcement and military K9 handlers to be the best that they can be. I am now the co-owner and training director for AOWK9 and have the amazing opportunity to travel around the country teaching seminars and training other K9 handlers and supervisors how to do their job better and safer. Naturally, when you run a successful police K9 training business, people come to you for help and advice with their pet dogs.
After a couple of years of constantly turning people away, because I “only train with police dogs and handlers”, I discovered I was unable to find a suitable local dog trainer to refer to my friends and co-workers for their pet dogs. I decided one day to take on and train my first “civilian” dog as a favor to a friend. I had tremendous success and enjoyment in the process and realized I was selling myself and my clients short by refusing to work with and train civilian dogs. I had thought, incorrectly, for several years that by training civilian dogs I was somehow ruining my reputation as a Law Enforcement K-9 Trainer. I also came to the realization that for every police dog there is in the world there are 10,000 or more civilian dogs and their owners who also need help training. Once I made the decision to open my doors to the civilian world there has been no turning back. The phone never stops ringing and I’m never at a loss for dogs to train.
My initial success and the vast bulk of my business to date has been almost purely via word of mouth and referrals from past clients. Now, almost three years into the success of training civilian dogs, I find myself obligated to create a website and get my company’s information out there on the web for potential clients to see. Not for the sake of advertising, but simply as a place to refer people to so that I can free up my time to keep training dogs instead of answering many of the same questions for potential clients that come up as they call to inquire about my services. Having a website just affords everyone an opportunity to search for themselves online at their leisure and to refer back to should they want more information. Don’t get me wrong, I am very happy to speak to any potential client on the phone because I love talking about dogs and dog training. Sometimes I find myself trying to talk to someone over the phone about dog training while I’m actually in the middle of training a client’s dog. As you can imagine, it is not ideal for you, the client, or the dog I’m training to try to juggle too many things at once. So, if you ever call me and I don’t answer I’m probably in the middle of training a dog and will call you back on my next break.
The success of our company continues to grow, and I am very thankful for all of my customers who have given us the opportunity to serve them along the way. We are expanding our business in the very near future to accommodate some of the customers who are on a waiting list for sometimes months to get a training spot in our board and train program. We understand it’s not ideal to have to wait that long to get a dog trained and we are constantly working to streamline our process, and expand our business without sacrificing quality. That takes time but we will continue to push like we always do.
I want to thank you, the reader, for taking the time to come to our website and find out about our company. We look forward to meeting you and your dog or puppy and I am excited about the opportunity to provide you the same amazing service and training that we are known for and have built our reputation on.
Thank you again for stopping by and we look forward to training with you!
American Standard Dog Training
“Setting the Standard for Professional Dog Training”