Meet the Team
Rob ShewmakeOwner / K9 Handler
The love and affection that Rob shows to his dogs are beyond impressive. There is no better example of what a good clear-headed obedient sport dog is if you were to meet his beloved Ado. Rob has always had a love of dogs and this drew him into the K9 world. He is a good handler and takes the time to travel the country to attend as many seminars as he can to continue learning different techniques and current training methods to keep his dogs on their toes. Competing in Protection Competitions has become a passion for Rob and his dogs. Rob served an honorable 4 years in the Army as Military Police. following that Rob served an additional 3 years in the civilian law enforcement sector.
Adam NewbyOperations Manager
Adam is a native of Northeast Arkansas. Whether it be dogs, farm animals, or wildlife Adam knew at an early age that he and God’s creatures had a special relation.
Adam served an honorable 5 years active duty in the Marine Corps and during his time of service, Adam was able to interact, train with, and serve alongside Military K9’s. Adam’s love for K9’s grew fonder when he became a Police Officer. Adam served as an officer for 5 years and always had an interest in one day, having his own K9 to work with. Adam feels that his prior service, supervision skills, and love for animals combined make him a great fit for the Joint Forces K9 Team.
Mike HayesProfessional Lead Dog Trainer
Nick SmithPolice K9 Trainer
Nick grew up with a passion for dogs, always wanting to be around them and work with them. Nick served 9 honorable years in the Air Force and ANG. He got out after spending some time as an AGR. While in the Air Force he got certified as a Police Officer level 2.
After discharge from the Air Force, he went to work as a DOD government contractor PSS and site security manager. During that time he spoke to another government contractor who was an explosive K9 Handler. Nick then pursued instruction on how to become one himself. Nick graduated and started working with AK9i and obtained Trainer/Handler certifications, successfully training and certifying multiple NAPWDA law enforcement K9 Teams.
Taking green dogs and fully certifying them per NAPWDA certification. Specializing in scent detection for narcotics, explosives, tracking, patrol, building searches and decoy work.
Tristan BivensDog Trainer/Police K9 Handler
My name is Tristan Bivens. I am a Texas native and spent the last 6 years
serving in the Army as a Military Working Dog Handler. I have had the
opportunity to work with many agencies both foreign and domestic in dog
training and strategies. I have extensive knowledge in police dog handling
and training. I graduated from Military Working Dog Handlers Course in
Lackland Air Force Base, the Army’s advanced off-leash obedience and
detection school, and dog behavioral short course given by the United States
Army. Over 1,900 hours of obedience, aggression, and detection training. I
look forward to bringing my extensive knowledge and passion for training for
Alicia PotenzaProfessional Master Dog Trainer
Hi, my name is Alicia! I’m originally from Carver, Massachusetts where I was a dog daycare attendant for two and a half years. It was around two years into that job that I realized, dog training can really be someone’s career?
I looked into dog training schools in the country and found Highland Canine Training, LLC in North Carolina and enrolled in their extensive Master Dog Trainer Program for six months. I learned and experienced many aspects of dog training, including dog body language, how to teach new behaviors, obedience, behavior modification, trick training, dual purpose police K9s and service dogs. After six months, I interned with Highland Canine Training for another five months. I was able to get even more extensive training and hands on experience than I could have ever imagined!
Over a year ago, I fostered and adopted a Red Heeler named Johnny. He had some major aggression issues with humans that we are still working on to this day. I truly understand what it’s like to have a tough dog and to feel all the pain that comes along with it. My goal is to help people enjoy their time with their dogs, to have a better relationship with them and to make a difference in human and canine lives.
Bryan GibbyProfessional Dog Trainer
Bryan is an Oklahoma native who has spent most of his life in Arkansas. His passion for dogs has led him to a 5 year career immersing himself in animal health. This intense drive has only grown his love for them and has inspired him to pursue a lifelong commitment in mastering and training dogs. Bryan has joined the Joint Forces K9 team and is excited to become proficient in all aspects of training dogs for your every need.
Zach StreetCanine Behavior Specialist
Zach graduated with a BA in Psychology, as well as a double minor in Biology and Business from Ouachita Baptist University. While getting his undergraduate degree he gained experience working with primates and learned how they are trained in a zoo setting. He is now certified as a Canine Trainer and Behavior Specialist from Starmark Academy. Dedicated and prepared to handle whatever training or behavior modification you might need, Zach is excited to work with your dog and be apart of the Joint Forces K9 team.
Jace MacDonaldProfessional Hunting Dog Trainer CPDT-KA (Certified Professional Dog Training-Knowledge Assesed)
Jace is a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania native. He graduated with a BA in Business while also obtaining a minor in Entrepreneurial Studies from Alderson Broaddus University. He comes to the Joint Force K9 team with thousands of hours in hands-on training, group class instruction, one on one sessions and over 6 years’ experience in the field training under some of the most experienced Dog Trainers on the East Coast. His specialty is the ability to work with and train Pointing breeds to become Master Hunt Dogs.
Jace loves working with people and their dogs. His goal is always to make your goal a reality! Whether that be creating the best hunting partner, teaching your dog basic to advanced obedience, or even just simply potty training. He does it all and will do everything he can so you and your dog can succeed.
Bryant BarnesKennel Technician
Bryant Barnes grew up in Southern California and joined the Army shortly after high school. Dogs have always been a part of his life even in childhood and his compassion for animals is unmatched.
He hopes the determination and discipline learned during his service will be an asset to the Joint Forces Team. Bryant currently has 3 dogs; a heeler/dachshund mix, a rescue rat terrier, and a Corgi.
Tonya HopkinsKennel Technician
Tonya was born and raised on a small farm in Oklahoma. When she was 6 years of age, she was given her first set of animals to care for. Her parents taught her the value and caring of animals and the hard work it entails. Tonya continues to carry these values with her to this day. Her search for a change of pace in a field that she can enjoy has lead her to Joint Forces as a Kennel Technician. She is shown above alongside her dog Tyler, a pup of American/ Turkish origin.