Training Thought

If you rely on force to get your dog to behave, will they listen when you can't?

Christie Meyer, BS, CPDT
Clinical Behavior Consultant
Certified Police K9 Trainer

Christie joined the ThunderHawk Canine team in March of 2008

Currently, Christie is offering educational in-services to veterinary staff about animal behavior in the veterinary setting. Since moving to TN, she has established the Putnam County 4H dog project for students 4th-12th grade and created a core group of volunteer certified therapy dogs to assist the Upper Cumberland Region.

Christie Meyer graduated from Michigan State University's College of Natural Science with a Bachelor's in Zoology and a Concentration in Animal Behavior and Neurobiology. After graduating, Christie attended North State Canine Academy in Sanford, North Carolina where she received her Master Trainer's Certification in Professional Pet Obedience and Behavior Modification. While at North State, Christie also gained experience in personal protection, narcotics and Schutzhund training. Christie worked with Kern Road Veterinary Clinic in Fowlerville, MI from May of 1997 to March 2008. She also spent the summer of 2002 running an obedience and Police K9 kennel in Maryland where she was the primary handler for pet dogs and imported police dogs. Since acquiring her first competition dog in 1999, Christie has titled in Obedience and Protection and is currently also competing in agility. Her diversified training experience, coupled with a strong veterinary technical assistance background, makes her well suited to address your pet's every need.

  • Master Training Certification
    North State Canine Academy
    Sanford, NC
  • Bachelor's of Science
    Michigan State University
    Zoology- Animal Behavior and Neuro.
  • Judge - Protection Sports Assoc.
  • AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator American Kennel Club
  • Certified Pet Dog Trainer - Association of Pet Dog Training (APDT)
  • Assoc. Member - Inter. Assoc. of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC)
  • President/Founder - North American Dutch Shepherd Rescue, Inc
  • Professional Member - National Tactical Police Dog Association (NTPDA
  • Demonstrator - Michigan Veterinary Conference 2008, Lansing, MI
  • Demonstrator - Michigan Veterinary Conference 2007, Lansing, MI
  • Lecturer - Michigan Veterinary Conference 2006, Lansing, MI
  • Lecturer - Cookeville Regional, April 2011- Present. Cookeville, TN
  • Lecturer - Saint Joseph Mercy Hospital, Sept. 2004- January 2008, Howell, MI
  • Instructor - Agility sessions at Camp Dogwood, May 2007 - Present
  • Attended-
  • - NTPDA Decoy Seminar 2009, TN
  • - IAABC Conference 2007, Ohio
  • - Dr. Karen Overall, DVM 2007
  • Michigan Veterinary Medical Assoc.
  • - Dr. Jean Dodds, DVM 2006
    Canine Health Seminar
    - Midwest Veterinary Conf. 2006
    - Western Veterinary Conf. 2005
    - Midwest Veterinary Conf. 2004
    - Midwest Veterinary Conf. 2003
    - Midwest Veterinary Conf. 2001


Matthew Faccinto,BS
Training Director & Chief Manager

Matthew founded ThunderHawk Canine in March of 2006

Matthew's personal dog, "Fonzie" lead to the largest monetary confiscation in the state of Tennessee's history - over 4 million dollars in drug money!

Matthew is currently assisting the Tennessee counties of Putnam, Jackson, Dekalb, Overton & Fentress in narcotics detection and apprehension. Within the last year he has placed dogs on all of these departments as well as the city of Monterey & Lafayette, and completed a "retrain" for the Smithville City K9. Contact Matt directly for more information regarding dogs available or programs to help your department.  

Matthew Faccinto served in the Navy from 1993-1999. From there, he attended Hamilton University and graduated with a Bachelor's of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering.

Matt began formally working with dogs in 2002, both training and decoying for others. He began training police dogs for narcotics and apprehension shortly thereafter. Matt's accomplishments include titling multiple dogs in protection sport and certifying many dogs to work the streets as Police K9. Matt's own dog, Fonzie, has been requested by local PD to assist in drug raids and searches. Matt has also become very well established as a local expert in the field of canine behavior and works extensively with "Bite Free Putnam County" in Cookeville, TN and spends many hours assisting the local shelters in behavior assessment and recondition training.

Currently, Matt is still instructing classes though Cookeville Leisure Services - a program he instituted in October 2007. The goal of this program is/was to make having a well behaved dog available to everyone, at a very affordable cost. Since the creation of these classes, hundreds of dogs in the Upper Cumberland area have been assisted.

Bachelor's of Science
Hamilton University, Evanston, WY
Major- Mechanical Engineering

Decoy Camp and Certification, 2009
Protection Sports Association

Decoy Camp and Certification, 2008
Protection Sports Association

Asst. Midwest Director 2007-2009
Protection Sports Association

Certified Decoy
Protection Sports Association

Professional Member - National Tactical Police Dog Association (NTPDA)

Founding Board Member
Bite Free Putnam County

AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator American Kennel Club



Matt and Kelly Swallows . “We enrolled our German Shepherd puppy, Titan, in Matt & Christie's Puppy obedience class in the Summer of 2008 and continued our training with Thunderhawk Canine for both Basic and Intermediate classes. Titan obtained his Canine Good Citizen designation through Thunderhawk and we plan on doing additional Therapy and Trick training in the future.

We are so grateful to Thunderhawk Canine that we have even labeled Matt and Christie as Titan's "stepparents!"  We feel the puppy training started Titan off on the right foot (or paw!) towards being socialized with other dogs and therefore he has never shown any sign of aggression towards other animals or people - we give Thunderhawk credit for that fact. 

We have been so incredibly lucky Thunderhawk is Titan's 'home away from home' if we have to be out of town. The anxiety of leaving Titan is nonexistent thanks to Thunderhawk.  

Titan has been an extremely happy participant in Doggy Daycare with Thunderhawk twice a week for well over a year and we have been THRILLED! They pick him up before we go to work, and he is dropped off when we get home from work tired out and happy! A well-exercised dog is a well-behaved dog.

I have called Christie day and night with veterinary questions when Titan had medical issues.  She answered every question I had and came to the rescue countless times to ease my mind. 

For anyone with a dog, whether a puppy or adult, it is so crucial to enroll your four-legged loved one in Thunderhawk's training program because it teaches socialization and positive reinforcement and discipline. So many people tell me their dog is 'not good around other dogs.'  Thanks to Thunderhawk, we never have to utter those words because our dog is better off because he received positive training and exposure to other dogs during training and daycare at Thunderhawk. 

Titan isn't the only one who received excellent training - Matt and Christie taught us, the owners, how to become better parents to our pet.  This leads to a higher quality of life for our dog. We cannot thank Thunderhawk Canine enough for all the time, effort, love and attention they have provided our pup Titan - we can truly say our German Shepherd is amazing around all animals, babies, children, adults and the elderly, all thanks to the training and socialization Thunderhawk Canine has provided. I cannot recommend them highly enough.  We have never met two people so dedicated to not only their own animals but also to the animals they help train, board, and exercise."



Read More

our staff

"Impressed I was traveling to see family in Cookeville and didn't want to leave my dog behind. When my dog didn't get along with my dad's, we didn't know what to do. We were very impressed with with this places flexibility in hours. ..."
Samantha Hanna  

"We are so grateful to Thunderhawk Canine that we have even labeled Matt and Christie as Titan's "stepparents!..."
Kelly Swallows  

"Thunderhawk Canine is AWSOME! My experience at Thunderhawk was AWESOME!!!! Best kennel around. I have been to all of the local kennels and my dog was so very happy when I picked him up. He got time out of his kennel at least twice a day and that is part of the package. ..."
Pam G.  

Read More