(910) 330-3734

About Our Team.

Experienced, Professional Dog Trainers. Since 2018.

Reasons To Choose Us: 

  • Experienced & Professional
  • 1,000’s Of Dogs Locally Trained
  • 5-Star Rated By Customers
  • Results Guaranteed 

Welcome to Ridgeside K9 Eastern Carolina

Since we opened in October 2018, we have trained hundreds of Board and Trains. We have clients that come to us from all over the state, even from other states!

We’ve had clients come from Texas, Florida, Michigan, and so many others. It doesn’t matter where you are from; we can help! Our communication system and training techniques allow us to train your dog and train you, so you can create a stronger relationship with your dog! This will result in the obedient dog you have always dreamed of.

We offer training for dogs of all ages, sizes, issues, and breeds. Our most famous package is our 3 week off-leash board and train. We also offer a puppy trainingaggression rehabilitation, and our newest training option, Day training! For more information on our programs, please check out our Programs page.

We are the only dog training company in Onslow County that offers financing!

We also offer lifetime support for our board and train clients, we have a Facebook family group, and we are working on a new platform exclusively for clients only! When you train with us, you join a family!


Call/text (910) 330-3734, or complete the form below to schedule a free consultation.


Mike Swirchak

Owner/Trainer - Jacksonville

Our owner Mike was a police K9 handler in Northern Virginia for close to 10 years where he worked 2 police K9s, Max and Thor. In 2015 Mike left police work to serve a greater purpose. Mike utilized his K9 skills in support of the Global War on Terror as a private contractor for the Department of State and then Other Government Agencies. After having children Mike returned stateside and became a trainer for GardaWorld Federal Services where he helped to modernize their K9 training practices. After leaving contracting K9 work, Mike joined the Ridgeside K9 Northern Virginia team full time. Mike was also the head trainer for Ridgeside K9 Winchester where he provided oversight for all of the facilities training dogs and excelled at customer service and client education. Mike became owner of Ridgeside K9 East Carolina in 2023 and is looking forward to providing top notch training and customer service.

Greg Hunt Dog Trainer

Greg Hunt

Trainer - Jacksonville

I joined the Ridgeside team in August of 2020 as a Kennel Tech and training apprentice, eventually graduating to the responsibilities of an At Home Trainer. During my first year I had the fortune to train dogs 1 on 1 and also had the opportunity to work with the Service Dogs that we helped train for the Rescue 22 Foundation. Being a 9 year veteran, giving back to my fellow brothers and sisters in a way that improves their lives is the greatest highlight of my job. By the summer of 2021 I came back to our training center to work full time as an instructor for our Ridgeside K9 Academy/Intern program. Since then I have been an at Home Trainer again with my wife and fellow trainer Ashley. In 2022 we expanded our growth within the community by building our dog training supplies store. Heading into 2023, Ashley and I have trained over 500 dogs and would love to add your pup to our extended family. 

Ashley Hunt

Trainer - Jacksonville

I started my dog training journey going through college to be a Veterinary Technician. I always have had a passion for dogs and knew that I wanted to help them in some way. Throughout school I worked at vet clinics, groom shops, and kennels getting the most hands-on dog experience I could get. After graduating, I started working for a Service Dog facility as a kennel technician where I discovered that my passion was with being able to help dogs through training tasks and obedience rather than medicine. I interned under an Army Kennel Master for a year and then started doing purely 1-on-1 lessons with my own clients.  Greg & I joined Ridgeside’s internship program in 2020 and since have become a power team of full-time Trainers serving the Jacksonville area. Having trained over 100 dogs with Ridgeside, we have both gained experience in training dogs of all breeds, backgrounds, and ages. We share a passion for helping owners live the best life possible with their dogs. We opened our dog training supplies store in September of 2022. We love having the opportunity to promote dog owner education through quality training tools and our store provides a great training space for our board and trains and past clients! 

Kylee Jochim

Trainer - Jacksonville

My name is Kylee Jochim and I just recently made the move from North Dakota to North Carolina to continue my dog training career. I’ve always had a passion for animals since I was young, from training horses to dogs and everything in between. I started working with rescues back in ND in my off time while working as a registered dental hygienist and quickly found a passion for being able to bring out the best in dogs and help make them more adoptable for the rescues. I started offering lessons & training programs from my home and finally made the full time switch to dog training back in 2019 and haven’t looked back since! I’ve worked with everything from aggression to resource guarding to reactivity to your basic puppy training and everything in between—all breeds, all sizes! I have 1 cat that rules the roost & 5 personal dogs that I enjoy taking hiking, competing in PSA, AS & dock diving with! I look forward to working with you & your dog and helping bring out their best self! 
dog trainer

Bethany Kronick

Trainer - Jacksonville

Growing up watching my uncle’s bond with his dogs made me realize how special dog training can be. That is part of what led me to become student of dog training. I began following many online training platforms to understand the why’s behind different training methods and fell in love with sport obedience. Shortly after, I bought my first working breed, worked one on one with a mentor, and started to training to compete. Very quickly the hobby became an obsession which prompted a major career change. Helping owners build the type of bond with their dog that I grew up watching has become my passion.

Outside of dog training, I have been a volunteer teacher in two languages for over 15yrs. I train in IGP/American Schutzhund with my personal dog Ezekiel. And I love to roller skate!

Cierra Bachmeir

Trainer - Jacksonville

Hey I’m Cierra! I’m a North Dakota native but have been calling North Carolina home the last year and a half. Ever since I was little I’ve been obsessed with animals. I grew up with hunting labs and met my first mentor at 13 years old. Quickly after that at 14 I got heavily involved with and started volunteering and fostering with local rescues. My passion for dog training really took off there after working so closely with so many dogs with problem behaviors that lead them to the shelters. Before moving here I was competing in dock diving with my dogs. Since moving here I have been actively training my dogs for Protection Sport Association and American Shutzhund. I absolutely adore working with the wide variety of dogs I’ve had the pleasure to train over the last 7+ years. Watching owners reconnect with their beloved dogs through training and proper communication is such a rewarding and fulfilling thing to see. 

Kaitlyn Fulton

Trainer - New Bern

Hey! I’m Kaitlyn! .I currently live in New Bern, NC with my husband and our crew of German Shepherds. I have always had a love of teaching our family pets tricks and obedience from a young age. My world revolves around my dogs and husband. We are always training! My favorite thing to do is take our tiny zoo to a big open field and just relax and watch them be dogs. 

Along with working my own dogs I have a passion for training and fostering shelter dogs. Specially with CCHS in New Bern. I love helping better the dogs and showcasing them to help find them homes. When I’m not training dogs for other people, I am adventuring with my gang. 


Amy O'Donnell

Trainer - Wilmington

Hey! I’m Trainer Amy. I’m a Minnesota native, spent the last decade in Southern California, and relocated to North Carolina in July 2021, where I joined the amazing Ridgeside K9 Eastern Carolina team! I’ve been a huge animal lover since the beginning and grew up around hunting dogs. I currently have two horses, a Chesapeake Bay Retriever, and two German Shepherds. After getting my male German Shepherd Hooligan, I started to enjoy the sports side of dog training as well. Outside of training, I enjoy traveling, especially with my dogs, and spending time with my family and friends. 
I was a nurse for nine years, specializing in OBGYN and Narcotic recovery. Though I found it very rewarding, I knew it wasn’t my true calling. I’ve always been more of a dog person than a people person and decided to change career paths. I was hired at a facility in Southern California specializing in basic obedience and behavior modification before moving to North Carolina. Now, I’m helping people in a different capacity by assisting them in building a more meaningful relationship with their dogs. I hold the philosophy that a well-trained dog is less likely to end up in a shelter and stay in their forever home.

Stefanie Lynn

Trainer - Raleigh

Growing up on a farm in Wisconsin I was active in 4-H and I’ve always known I wanted to pursue a career with animals. I graduated Triple Crown Academy, a dog training school outside of Austin Texas, in 2011. Since then I’ve helped hundreds of clients through board and train options, group classes ranging from puppy obedience to agility to swim classes, private lessons and so much more. I’ve been lucky to be able to travel and train dogs both nationally and internationally. 
In my spare time I enjoy traveling and doing basically anything outdoors with my personal dogs Doc (Lab), Bolt (Belgian Malinois), and Suey (Pit mix).
I am passionate about bringing out the best in dogs and helping families create healthy relationships with their pets through education and establishing clear lines of communication.

Chris Thompson

Trainer - Myrtle Beach

Hello, my name is Chris Thompson. I am happy to be member of the Ridgeside K9 team. I look forward to being able to help people enjoy their pets and live in a more harmonious home with them. 
A little about me, I got the first dog of my own when I was 14. She was a beautiful golden retriever. I would spend time training her everyday after school. She turned out to really nice obedience and was a great hunting partner. She saw me through a lot of life changes and taught me how important training is. 
In 1992 I got a Rottweiler, and because of her I found the sport of Schutzhund. Since the day I saw this working dog sport I was hooked. I have been actively training in the sport since 1994. I trained Rottweilers until 1999. 
In 1999 I discovered the American Bulldog. While this breed was designed to work, they weren’t meant originally for dog sport. Even with the challenges I managed to title 7 American Bulldogs in Schutzhund. I also became an AB senior conformation judge, as well as winning the National show title 3 times as well as the American Bulldog of the year show title 4 times. 
After being in Schutzhund for a number of years I finally decided it was time for a German Shepherd Dog. I achieved SchH3 with that dog in the 2009 North East Regional Championship also taking home the High Auslander trophy from that competition.
My next GSD was a female named Basnshee. With her I also achieved SchH3. She was the dog I took to my first National level event. We also took the SchH2 award in the South East Regional Championship.
After Bashee I got another male. By this time the sport changed its name to IPO. With him I achieved IPO3 a few times over. Most notably winning the 2012 South East Regional IPO3 Championship. 
My next dog, Cid is without question my most award winning IPO dog. We achieved IPO3 16 times. With 15 of those being at a championship level. We won the South East Regional IPO3 Championships in 2015 and 2016. We made top 10 in 4 National events, and qualified for the World Championship qualification trial in 2014. We missed going to represent USA in France by 1 point. 
Currently I am training another great male and we are enjoying our journey and look for a very productive year in 2022. I also have a puppy coming up. He is a Giant Schnauzer and is showing a lot of promise for sport work. 
Through all these years, I’ve trained countless pet dogs for other people. It’s always satisfying seeing a family finally enjoying their family member instead of being frustrated from lack of training. 
I owned a narcotic detection company for 5 years. During that time I trained 3 dogs and had them Nationally certified for narcotics detection. 
I love dogs and training them. The love and loyalty of a dog can never be matched. I look forward to helping you enjoy a healthy home with yours.

JaQuasia Thompson

Trainer - Myrtle Beach

Hello! I’m JaQuasia and I am your trainer in Myrtle Beach and surrounding areas. Here is a little bit about me. 

I’ve been working and training in the dog industry for over 10 years. I began my career working at a veterinary office with an extensive behavior modification program. We helped dogs with all different type of issues to include separation anxiety, aggression, uncontrollable barking, and much more. I then moved to CT to train and sell police dogs. Which involved a lot of Detection training/ Nose work, tracking, trailing, and apprehension.

While in CT I also had the chance to do quite a bit of pet training! This is when I found a huge passion in helping owners develop a relationship with their dogs through training. My mission is to teach your dog a strong foundation in training and then teach and educate YOU the owner.

In my spare time I train and compete in IGP with my German Shepherds.

  • I have titled multiple dogs to IGP 3.
  • Competed at Regional championships with multiple dogs. 
  • Competed at National championships with multiple dogs (WDC, GSDCA, AWDF)
  • Won Helper’s choice at GSDCA Nationals 2021.
  • Trained and Handled dogs for movie and TV shows (Blacklist, The Week Of, Knives Out, Bad Education, Castle Rock)
  • Raised and Trained multiple dogs for Police/Military.