Karen & George Duet

OUR STORY

K-9 Companions is a family owned business founded in 1979 by Karen Freeman Duet.  After a very successful run training and showing her first AKC Labrador Retriever in obedience trials (as a Jr. Handler) Karen was hooked on dogs and the love of training them.  Training her Labrador “Sunny” in obedience for both CD and CDX titles, she scored 199.5 out of 200 points possible. In 1979 while working in a local law office she met a man who trained dogs for a living.  After saving the money to take his trainers course she successfully completed the course and determined to continue her education by apprenticing with other trainers and learning about dog sports.  Soon she has so much business that she had to hire assistant trainers and move from a home based business into an office in Orange County California, and later into a kennel. During this time she continued to show and breed Rottweilers and obtained several titles in obedience and conformation.  She also helped clients obtain titles.

In 1985 Karen met and later married George Duet who was U.S. Army Retired (Special Ops) and had been involved in the K-9 program and had been Kennel Master at Ft. Banning GA in 1965.  Together they began to study French Ring Sport (Obedience, Agility, and Protection) and brought one of the first trainers from France to California as an ambassador to the sport. After training her Belgian Malinois “Nana” in both French Ring and Schutzhund (Obedience, Tracking, and Protection) Karen wrote her first book:  The Home & Family Protection Dog, followed by her next book The Business Security K-9 in the 1990’s.  Later is 2000 she was asked to pen the book Advanced Schutzhund which was nominated for a Maxwell Award for excellence in writing. Later she penned the book Dog Training 101 as a manual for her training staff (that had increased to 18 employees) and for her student dog trainers in the Dog Trainers Course offered by K-9 Companions.

In 1992 George and Karen graduated from The Executive Protection Institute in Berryville Virginia and were certified as Personal Protection Specialists. This was a logical next step for them as they had been asked to use dogs professionally in the protection of celebrities, executives, and dignitaries.  Since George had been involved in security while in the military the marriage of K-9’s and Executive Protection seemed logical.  For the next 20 years a side business for the Duets was providing protection for dignitaries, corporations, and celebrities on contracts that spanned anywhere from one day to several years in length.  The Duets provided Force Protection for the US Navy with an explosives detection K-9, Narcotics and Explosives Detection for a television studio for over a decade, daily corporate security for a major US Corporation over a 5 year period, and many celebrity and dignitary security jobs over their 20 year career in the industry.

After running K-9 Companions for 20 years the Duets built a beautiful facility in Lake Mathews (Riverside) California.  Having been known for training obedience and protection dogs for two decades and being recognized as Celebrity Dog Trainers (having trained dogs for dozens of celebrities over the years) they now saw a need for Service Dog Training for Veterans.  George Duet, having served 20 years in the U.S. Army saw a need for his fellow veterans coming back from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with physical and emotional wounds.  The Duets began reaching out to Veterans Organizations regarding the Funding of Service Dogs for these veterans. Currently the training of Service Dogs is a large part of the business operations both in California and Tennessee.

 

In 2010 George and Karen’s son Travis Duet (who had grown up working in the business in California) deciding he wanted to strike out on his own starting a business in the Nashville, Tennessee area.  The Duets oldest son Troy had graduated from Belmont University there, and George had been stationed there at Ft. Campbell. The Duets had friends there as well, so it was a logical location for Travis who loves to farm. The 38 acre farm in Hartsville (metro Nashville) allowed plenty of room for training.  Travis later met and married his wife Abby who was born and raised in Nashville.  Travis and Abby ran K-9 Companions Nashville from the farm in Hartsville from 2010-2017 when Travis determined to go into horticulture full time.

In 2016 George and Karen sold K-9 Companions California to Laura Gwin (Snap on Tools) and moved permanently to Mt. Juliet Tennessee.  They determined that at this stage in their lives they would create a very exclusive K-9 training boutique.  The totally indoor state of the art facility is secluded and offers the clients beauty and privacy along with one on one attention.  Celebrity clients enjoy a private atmosphere where they can relax with their dog and learn training in peace and privacy.  Service Dog and Therapy Dog owners can enjoy the same privacy and one on one service. Dog runs are state of the art stainless steel on epoxy flooring with central air, heat, and air exchange system.  The dogs listen to country music from some of our famous clients and can train indoors in our training room in comfort no matter what the weather is like outside.  The runs can accommodate the smallest to the largest of dogs.  Yes, family dogs are welcome too!  Advance reservations are suggested as this facility is uniquely small with only a hand full of dogs being trained at one time by Karen and her beautiful young assistants Melissa and Nicole.