About Ridgeside K9 Summerville
Ridgeside K9 Summerville started as Liberty Training Group in 2020. Tara found herself helping many of her friends and they were recommending her to other new clients. It was evident it was time for this to officially become a business and start helping as many dogs and owners as possible! In 2021 I invited Lydia to move down from the upstate and join our team. Later in 2021, Tara and Aaron met and Aaron invited Liberty Training Group to morph into Ridgeside Summerville.
(Tara) took my first basic obedience trainer course in 2009 to quench a thirst for knowledge and have fun with my personal dogs. That course served as a catalyst and I began helping friends with their dogs as well. In 2016 I was selected as a K9 handler for my police department. That selection ignited my passion and dogs became my life. I attended any course I was able, read as many books as possible and spent every minute in the car listening to podcasts. 2017 threw me a curve ball when I was selected as our K9 unit supervisor. Over the next few years I trained 6 fellow K9 teams and handlers and managed not only the training but all of the administrative needs of the unit. In early 2019, I was presented an opportunity to train a dog for profit. I began giving lessons on my off days and the business quickly started to grow. I began to realize that training dogs truly made me happy and I made it my goal to make it a full time job. Helping owners and dogs improve their relationship and better communicate drives my passion for work and to continue learning every single day. Some of Tara’s certifications include: Police K9 Trainer, Canine CPR and First Aid, Behavior Modification, Breeding/Whelping, Canine Good Citizen Evaluator and Animals in Disaster to name a few!
Lydia is a South Carolina native. Animals have always been special to her, from the creepy crawly to the cute and fluffy. She began volunteering at an animal shelter during her early college years, which ultimately helped shape her education path. She now holds a degree in Animal and Veterinary Sciences with a concentration in Animal Agribusiness from Clemson University. During her time as a Clemson student she was heavily involved with their equine programs. She worked as a student employee for Clemson’s Equine Center and rode on the ISHA Clemson Equestrian Team. She has been training dogs for 5 years. Lydia has most recently worked as a vet tech for both a small animal clinic as well as an equine clinic. She is also very passionate about canine fitness and nutrition and is seeking certifications in both areas. In her free time Lydia enjoys training her dogs in scent detection, and competing in protection sports with her American Bulldog, Rosie.
Since he was a child, Zack has always been an avid dog lover. He got his first dog and immediately his passion ignited. In 2015 Tara and Zack became a blended family of 5 dogs and the need for a balanced household became paramount. In 2016 Tara was selected as a K9 hander and their lives forever changed. Both Tara and Zack became completely immersed in dog training and dog behavior. It was because of that, Zack discovered his true passion in life, developing young dogs for protection work. He dedicates all his spare time learning all aspects of helping dogs develop gripping behaviors, both police dogs to sport dogs alike! In 2020 he became a certified training decoy in the Protection Sports Association and has risen through the ranks to become an Instructor and Ranked Purple Belt under Shawn Edwards, owner/trainer of Stateline Canine. Zack’s passion continues to grow every day and it won’t be long before he once again attains another belt!