Meet the TRAINERS
owner / trainer
Sarah Maffei grew up in Readfield, Maine and graduated from Thomas College with a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and from Purdue University Global with a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice with a focus in Leadership and executive management.
During her childhood in Readfield, Sarah’s family raised puppies and trained field trial and hunting dogs, beginning her love for working with dogs. Sarah’s mom, Kathy, transitioned into training one of her dogs to find cadaver. Sarah trained with her mom’s dog, Denali, almost every day developing her skills as handler and trainer from a young age. Throughout elementary school, middle school, and high school, Sarah was always laying tracks for her mom, teaching puppies obedience in the backyard, or training field trial dogs.
While at Thomas College, Sarah accepted an internship position to train dogs with Merrill’s Detector Dog Services. Sarah’s initial internship started with obedience training and working with multiple dogs in the company, but she eventually got the opportunity to buy her own dog, Phiona, who she trained to detect explosives. Throughout her internship, Sarah developed the skills to not only train dogs in obedience, but to also train dogs in various scent detection roles.
After graduating with her bachelor’s degree and master’s degree, Sarah went on to work for Merrill’s Detector Dog Services as a handler, trainer, and kennel hand. Throughout her 8-year career with Merrill’s, Sarah has trained and worked with multiple scent detection canines, attended multiple seminars to expand her knowledge in dog training, and has been a driving force in growing the company into what it is today. As the Program Manager for Merrill’s, Sarah has managed the growth of the company, clients, and been point of contact on large scale events, such as the NBA Allstars, with over 30 teams across an entire city.
Sarah currently lives in Readfield, Maine with her 3 dogs, Phiona (Explosive Detection), Primrose (Service Dog), and Belle (Retired Narcotics Detection).
Sarah is an approved AKC Canine Good Citizen & Trick Dog Evaluator.
Cody grew up in Mechanic Falls, Maine owning and training his personal dogs from a young age. He grew up training dogs with his grandfather, learning about reward-based training styles. After graduating from Poland High School in 2017, he knew he wanted to do work that required him to be out in the field instead of behind a desk.
Cody decided to choose a technical field instead of going to college and chose the Plumbing field. After spending 2 years becoming a licensed plumber, Merrill's K9 Academy recruited him to be a "friendly stranger" in dog training classes.
Cody spent the last year attending multiple group training classes shadowing MK9A trainers, including classes with aggressive & behavior modification training, and became invested in learning about training dogs. He started researching youtube videos and training articles to gain as much knowledge as possible to help during classes at MK9A.
Cody realized his true passion was dog training instead of plumbing and began working for MK9A around his full-time work schedule. Eventually, he left the plumbing field and become fully invested in learning as much as he can about training dogs with MK9A.
Cody has quickly shown that his ability to train and communicate with dogs is a skill he enjoys doing. Whether it be basic obedience, advanced obedience, or behavior modification, Cody is truly a natural at training dogs in different ways that fit the dogs personality and learning styles.
Cody is working towards his AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator license and currently helps run Day School, Group Classes, and Private Lessons.
Meet the Pack
Primrose is a 4-year old fox-red yellow lab and the reason that Sarah started MK9A. Primrose failed as a detection dog, but Sarah knew she still needed a job. Sarah took the opportunity of starting MK9A to turned Primrose into her service dog.
You will see Primrose in almost every class as a demonstration dog, distraction, and social advisor. Prim is excellent at teaching other dogs boundaries, giving appropriate corrections, and also showing them proper play and proper socialization.
Primrose is an active service dog with CGC, CGCA, & TKN titles.
Phiona is Sarah's 9 year old Black Lab that is trained in Explosive Detection. Phiona was the first scent detection dog trained by Sarah and continues to work with her on jobs. While Phiona is essentially retired, in her career she worked multiple large events such as concerts & NBA games and events.
Phiona is certified in explosive detection through NAPWDA and NNDDA as well as CGC titled.
Belle is a retired Narcotics dog who lives her best life every day. You will most likely see Belle enjoying life wandering around the property, eating grass, or chasing squirrels!
Dublin (AKA Beans) is the newest member to the pack for a temporary period of time. Dublin is staying with Sarah as a board and train for the foreseeable future to work on confidence building and being exposed to other dogs and people.
Dublin is in training to be a gun detection dog and needs to learn that the world is not a scary place! You will most likely see Dublin in all group classes learning that greeting other dogs (properly) and greeting people is fun!