Keeping paws on the ground.
At K-9 Access we focus on the needs of owners/handlers and their dogs to find the best training methods to help this special team reach their goals. We provide a wide range of training services, cold laser maintenance treatment sessions and Service Dog Accessibility Consulting.
We specialize in working with people who have special needs, including veterans who have a service-connected disability, and develop tailored handling techniques that will help you overcome challenges that a specific disability may pose while training your service dog.
Paul Johnson, founder and owner of K-9 Access, is originally from the Upper-Midwest. Calling St Paul, MN home prior to relocating to North Texas.
Paul’s love of the outdoors and waterfowl/upland game bird hunting, urged him to train his dog, and subsequent dogs, to learn the ins and outs of bird dog training.
Later he started doing field trials work with his labs Cookie and Libby, he enjoyed success in upper Midwest Pheasant Tournaments, and placed in many regional and local competitions where he competed against professional trainers with years of experience.
Although Paul enjoyed working with his dogs he was forced to stop as he began feeling pain and stiffness in his back and extremities. It took five long years to be diagnosed with an incurable condition; Segmented Spinal Schwannomatosis, a disease that caused small tumors to develop along his neural pathway, causing debilitating pain, swelling, and restricted mobility.
Although he will always have schwannomatosis, his condition slowly improved and he was finally able to cope with his disability but still experienced bouts of extreme pain. It was then that he realized a service dog could help him, and many like him, reach an improved quality of life.
Paul educated himself about service dogs and began reaching out to various organizations, veterinarians, and trainers to learn more. He learned that disability programs would not cover the cost of obtaining or maintaining a service dog and became a passionate political advocate for the use of service dogs as an alternative treatment through disability waiver programs: A fight he and his dog Duke, are still involved with today.
As Paul’s condition improved, he decided to start a dog training business that would not only help to create successful handler/dog teams, but also assist people with disabilities to obtain and maintain a service dog. Paul is living proof that a service dog’s help reaches far beyond assisting with daily tasks, but could heal hearts and bring purpose to so many like him. Having a trained dog allows many to break out of isolating situations while providing physical protection, which is sadly the reality of the times.
A BRIGHT FUTURE
Today, Paul’s ability to connect with dogs is illustrated in how he can successfully train dogs for specific tasks, in all sorts of environments. He works with handlers to ensure they have a firm grasp on training techniques, which is key in creating a successful team.
A driving goal is that he be able to cross traditional boundaries of training service dogs to allow them to also be trained as working dogs. By establishing special training, Paul’s Belgian Malinois Duke, is both a service and working dog, and has been key in getting him off of disability and back to competitive employment. He could not operate his business without Duke’s support.
Looking forward, Paul will be training Duke on cadaver detection work as a tribute to his brother Wade Johnson.
Paul lost his brother to an avalanche in southwestern China in 2009. Wade Johnson was working as a filmmaker for Sender Films, on an extreme mountain climbing documentary in the Sichuan Province of China on Mount Gongga.
"going thru the, not knowing part, the void of closure, is some thing no one should experience. I hope we can bring a way for folks to move forward, not move on but forward"