Starmark Academy Training Directors and Instructors have been successful in many aspects of dog training: companion obedience, competitive obedience, schutzhund, agility, police K9, retriever training, search and rescue, and assistance dogs. Academy Instructors have instructed others at many levels of dog training and competition. Academy Directors and Instructors are active trainers and competitors and can be seen training young prospects and seasoned champions daily.

Keith Benson

Keith is a certified professional dog trainer and animal behavior specialist with over 20 years of experience. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology with continuing education in Animal Behavior. He is the President/COO of Starmark Animal Behavior Center, Inc, which is one of the largest, most comprehensive training and behavior centers for dogs in the world. As President and Academy Director for Starmark’s school for Professional Dog Trainers, Keith oversees the school’s international curriculum and growth. The school attracts students from around the world seeking to learn the art and science behind a career as a professional dog trainer. Using client and behavioral research from these two corporations Keith helped found Starmark Pet Products, Inc., which designs award-winning training and behavior tools that are distributed in over 40 countries around the world. In addition to his executive role in these companies, Keith frequently provides media commentary and consulting for companies throughout the pet industry.

Chris Lander

Chris is the lead instructor for Starmark Academy for Professional Dog Trainers, Inc. He has assisted in the training of search & rescue, police, personal protection, and narcotics detection dogs. He has specialized in the areas of tracking/trailing, protection, and detection. Chris trains and competes in PSA and has spent several years working on his training decoy skills. He is always looking to expand his knowledge of dog training and in the wider application of operant conditioning in human behavior problems. Chris is a graduate of the Canine Training and Behavior Specialist program at Starmark, The Master Dog Trainer program at Highland K9, and the Patrol/Detector Dog Trainer program at American K9 Interdiction (AK9i). He will instruct students in all areas of training while at Starmark Academy for Professional Dog Trainers, Inc.

Derek Beckelman

Derek has been in the dog training industry since 2015. After graduating Starmark Academy’s 12-week program and earning the title of Canine Training and Behavioral Specialist, he returned home to work as the head trainer at a daycare facility and lead their training program. When he was not training, he helped supervise the daycare’s socialization groups, which ranged from 30 – 60 dogs a day. Upon leaving the daycare, he started a successful business with his brother, who also graduated Starmark’s 12-week program, where they worked with all different breeds, ages, and temperaments of dogs. Their business was structured to be more like a school for dogs rather than a daycare, with the dogs going home with their owners at the end of each day. Their “Dayschool” was extremely popular and always had a waiting list to get in. The main focus of the “Dayschool” was based around teaching dog’s obedience, structure in a home like setting, and how to make better decisions. Derek’s love of dogs and his desire to help owners and dogs form stronger, better relationships ultimately led him back to Starmark to impact the dog training world on a bigger scale.

Rosalyn Garcia

Rosalyn is a dedicated instructor at Starmark Academy that graduated the Academy’s 12 week program to become a Canine Training and Behavioral Specialist. After graduating, she was offered an internship position to continue advancing her knowledge and she gladly accepted. Over the last six years, Rosalyn has been active in the assistance dog industry, working as a service dog puppy raiser (raising one pup from eight weeks until it was paired with its final handler), an apprentice trainer for one organization, and as an administrative assistant at another with her end goal being to know everything (from holding the leash to filling out grant applications) about the non-profit service dog industry. She and her husband are both Army veterans, so it was clear to her very early on that dogs can help people, especially veterans with severe PTSD, in a way that humans can’t, thus igniting her interest in assistance dogs. As both a Combat Medic and an Operating Room Technician in the military, Rosalyn’s love of human medicine easily transferred to dogs. She greatly enjoys helping students learn about basic and advanced pet first aid and lifesaving CPR techniques.

Rosalyn is an avid competitor in NADAC Agility and enjoys teaching dogs new tricks for AKC Trick Titles. Even though agility and assistance dogs are her biggest passions, she enjoys helping dog owners and trainers from all over the world learn to clearly communicate and bond with their dog through training, exercise, grooming, and massage.