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

About Us

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!


Mike Swirchak

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.

Marcie Jack

I started my career with Ridgeside K9 in 2016, part-time, while I was still a midnight shift Deputy Sheriff in Northern Virginia.  After an injury in 2018, which forced an early medical retirement from law enforcement, I went full-time with Ridgeside K9.  I am a west coast, country girl native who grew up on the back of a horse with working ranch dogs.  In my later life, I worked with several German Shepherd rescues, fostering and rehabilitating dogs to be suited for their final and forever homes.  My career with RSK9 has taken me far and wide in the dog world, working with everything from cute puppies to aggressive dogs.  I love working with dogs and helping families build an amazing relationship with their dogs just as much. 

Greg Hunt Dog Trainer

Greg Hunt

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

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

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

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!

Stefanie Lynn

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.

Dylan Lynn

Hi my names Dylan Lynn, a little about myself, I was born and raised in Jacksonville NC, I volunteered at animal shelters in Eastern North Carolina throughout most of my childhood, working with all breeds, as well as, my family having working dogs and training sport dogs. I have 3 dogs myself, 2 are Malinios and an Aussie/Collie. They are my angels. It has been a blast training them and being part of the sport world. Outside of sport work I love training in general, my whole life revolves around dogs. I love to hike and travel along with having a passion for herding as well!!

Kaitlyn Fulton

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. Especially 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.

George Spohrer

My name is George Spohrer, I am retired United States Army, and now I am trainer for Ridgeside K9 Eastern Carolina. I have always had a love for dogs and I am so thankful that I now have the opportunity to train with them as my career! Working with Ridgeside K9 has given me the skills and knowledge to teach dogs and their families how to better communicate and understand each other to allow for the most effective and loving relationship. I look forward to working with countless dogs in the future with Ridgeside K9!

Rachel Schultz

Hi! My name is Rachel Schultz. I grew up in Fredericksburg, VA where I then met my husband and we relocated here to NC in 2020! I have been working with dogs for the past ten years; I started out very young involved in the dog rescue world. I did that for many years which inspired me to get a job at a veterinarian office, and started a pet sitting business shortly after that. I quickly learned my love was working with dogs and their owners to help strengthen their relationship, which led me to join the Ridgeside K9 team!

My husband and I have five personal dogs; 2 Boxers, a German Shepherd, Belgian Malinois, and a Shetland Sheepdog. In our free time we love to travel and explore the outdoors with our pack!

I look forward to working with you and your pups!

Bella Espravnik

Hi there! Growing up I have always been a huge animal lover and enjoyed taking care of any animal I could get my hands on. In my adult life I have a history of working as a Veterinary Technician, where I gained valuable knowledge about dog behavior and health. I take pride in providing comprehensive and compassionate care to all dogs, ensuring their overall well-being and happiness. In 2023 I stepped foot into the dog training world where my passion truly lies and I haven’t looked back. In 2020 I moved to North Carolina from Indiana, where I now have a son, 4 of my own dogs, 2 cats, and a mini-farm consisting of chickens and ducks. Oh yeah, and a husband too. In our free time, we enjoy traveling, camping, and hiking with our dogs! I love being able to take the pups everywhere with us and making them apart of our everyday life!! I look forward to bringing out the best in you and your dog!

Mackenzie Vadnais

I started working for Ridgeside K9 in 2020 as a kennel technician and intern in Northern Virginia after living my whole life around dogs, both personal dogs and foster dogs. After a year and half working as a kennel technician, I then transitioned to shadowing under the owners, Mike and Marcie before making my move to become a trainer down here in North Carolina. I have experience with dogs of all sizes, temperaments, and breeds from puppies to high drive working K9s. In my spare time, I love hanging out with my German Shepherd, Hershey, reading, and being outdoors. I graduated from Shenandoah University in 2022 with my Bachelors degree in Environmental Studies and a minor in Spanish so my favorite thing to do is to get outside and enjoy nature!

Justine DeRubeis

Hey, I’m Justine! I currently live in Sneads Ferry but I am originally from South Africa. I have always had a passion for animals, growing up I had all different kinds of pets from dogs to snakes and everything in between. I currently have two dogs, Vito and Chappie. When I’m not training, I enjoy running, hiking with my dogs, and spending time with my family and friends. I joined Ridgeside in 2021 for the internship program and have loved helping owners improve their relationships with their dogs ever since.

Emma Nance

I’m trainer Emma! I have an extensive background working with and training animals, mainly dogs and horses. Although my love for working and training animals started when I was very young, thanks to a father who always had bird dogs, I have been training dogs professionally for over 8 years. I started out in Search and Rescue, training my own dog to certify with NASAR. Simultaneously and while in college at UNCW, I completed their Service Dog Training Program, and then interned under my professor for a couple of years. I took a hiatus from Service Dog training, to hop into the world of pet training, working with various companies until happily landing with the wonderful team that is Ridgeside K9! In addition to everything from puppy conditioning, basic obedience, & behavior modification for pet dogs, I also love and adore training client-owned service dogs!