K9 Rix

It has been about 1 1/2 years since we got our dog Rix from Heimdallr K9 Services (HK9.) We reached out to HK9 just days after our daughter was violently attacked by a stranger on her doorstep as she was heading out in the morning to work. As parents, we rushed to our daughter and did everything we could to make sure she was safe from further harm. But it was our daughter who wanted a protection dog as a long term solution so she could feel safe on her own in her daily life.

It was clear from the start that HK9 Owner Sonja truly understood our needs and talked us through our many questions and concerns about bringing a protection-trained dog into our daughter’s and our lives. When meeting and getting to known Rix, Steve was also there to show us Rix’s protection ability, obedience skills, and commands. It was abundantly clear in all of our interactions with Sonja and Steve that they sincerely care and wanted to be sure our daughter had a dog that not only made her feel safe but also a dog that has what it takes to protect her. Rix has proven himself to be an extraordinary dog. He is a true and loyal companion, affectionate, loving, and stable. Whether tagging along on a trail ride, hiking or just sitting quietly at our daughter’s feet, he has helped all of us sleep better at night and helped our daughter maintain her independent lifestyle and personal strength.

Marty and Mike R. – Northern California

Sue Chipperton

I first met Sonja in 1996 when we both joined a Search and Rescue (SAR) group in Los Angeles. We became fast friends as our wonderful dogs learned the ropes of SAR. Over the years I have watched Sonja excel at every turn when in comes to any of the dog training fields she has pursued. She loves her dogs more than anyone I have ever met. Her training practices are very clear and fair to her dogs, with an emphasis on always setting her dogs up to succeed. I highly recommend Sonja for all your dog training needs. She has advised me many times over the years with successful results.

Sue Chipperton | Studio Animal Trainer and Author of “A Famous Dog’s Life”

Ian N.

I was in charge of an elite dog-training program for UKSF. This involved selecting and training dogs as well as training handlers for specified operations in hostile environments. In the early days of the program, Steve was invaluable for his knowledge and experience. Initially Steve came to the UK to help with setting up the program. Afterwards, he was always willing to take phone calls and emails to advise on issues even though there were thousands of miles and different time zones between us. Steve was even willing to come to a location overseas in a hostile environment to help with a particular difficult dog. Steve’s professionalism and experience, mixed with his sense of humor, make it easy for any handler to understand the knowledge being delivered. Nothing is too much trouble for Steve; he will always follow up and continue delivering excellent service on any request not matter what the distance is.

Ian N.| United Kingdom Special Forces (Retired)

Eugene P. Ramirez

I am an attorney who represents law enforcement officers in civil cases, particularly police service dog handlers. I have been defending canine units across the country for over 24 years and I have met several canine trainers over the years. I have personally known Steve Stoops for over 20 years and I have seen him training dogs and I have seen the dogs he has trained. I discuss canine issues with him often seeking his expertise. I think Steve is one of the premier canine trainers anywhere! He is constantly seeking new and improved techniques to enable him to stay at the top of his field. A Stoops trained dog is going to be a well-trained dog.

Eugene P. Ramirez, Esq. | [email protected]

Brian Lee

I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Sonja since we first met in 1996 at Los Angeles Search Dogs training. At that time, I worked with and trained handlers and their dogs for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Search Dog Team and California Rescue Dog Association. Sonja truly lives and breathes dogs 24/7 and her understanding of working dogs is nothing short of phenomenal. Sonja has a wide range of knowledge and experience, ranging from simple obedience for the family dog to complex scent detection including expertise in search and rescue as well as the dog sport/obedience arena. I have the utmost respect and admiration for her training abilities and I am awestruck by her absolute passion for dogs. Sonja has my highest recommendation as an expert in dog behavior and training.

Brian Lee | Owner of Way of the Dog, Premier behavioral counselor and trainer in Los Angeles with over 30 years of experience

Mike Diehl

There are many fine dog trainers in this world. What sets Steve apart from this group is his integrity and sense of honor. His keen grasp of reality based dog training has made him a much sought after subject matter expert. He has developed many training principles that have been implemented in the working dog world. Often imitated, but never duplicated, he is definitely one of a kind. Steve and I have exchanged ideas and dog philosophies over the past 20 years, and we have become close friends off the field as well.

Mike Diehl | Police and Sport K9 Trainer/Handler, World Level IPO/Schutzhund Competitor