The Beginning: Billy's Personal Story
After losing both my hands in an electrical accident in 1973 part of my rehabilitation process was going back to school. While studying Business Administration I really didn't know what the future held for me. After all, my life had drastically changed in a moment, never to be the same again. I had never thought once about training dogs, but something was about to happen that would influence me into that direction.
We have all been to a Veterinarian Clinic before, but have you ever sat in the parking lot and observed dogs and their owners moving from the car toward the entrance and into the clinic? I did just that while waiting for my wife at Dr. Eugene Yarborough's Cleveland County Veterinarian Hospital in 1975. It seemed as if everyone needed help in controlling their dogs. Somehow, I knew help must be made available.
While in the 82nd. Airborne Division I had jumped out of planes with dog handlers and the dogs and observed them in training also. And again later, in Viet Nam, I went on patrols with dogs and their handlers. All of the dogs were well disciplined, obedient, and extremely reliable. Much the opposite of what I had observed in the Veterinarian Hospital parking lot. After mentioning the difficulties that everyone seem to be experiencing with their dogs, Dr. Yarborough introduced me to his assistant who had trained and shown her personal dogs in AKC obedience trials. She showed me several books by William Koehler and added that he was considered the greatest dog trainer of all times. That seemed impressive, but more than that he had trained some of my favorites, Bullet, Old Yeller, Big Red, and RinTin Tin. However, Koehler's credentials didn't stop there. He had first been a military dog trainer, accreditdated with two major innovations to Dog Training.
I read his books and trained my first 10 dogs over the next few months. William Koehler was also one of Walt Disney's chief animal trainers. The local newspaper heard about me and did a human interest story on a "Man with Hooks Training Dogs!" Continuing my studies at Cleveland Technical Institute, one afternoon after class, a fellow student introduced himself to me and commented on the newspaper article and my interest in Dog Training. This man then explained that he had been a dog trainer at Lackland Air Force Base and had something to give me. What he gave me was his Technical Manuels on Dog Training. It was like being given the gold mine on dog training.
Seven years later, when I became a Christian, I would come to understand more clearly what had happened. God often works out all the intricate details and places us exactly where he wants us to be in order to influence us, show us, and to give us direction, evening suppling us with the means by which to do a particular task. The odds of me sitting in that parking lot at that time, observing what I did, being introduced to a person who in turn pointed me to the great dog trainer, William Koehler. Then, at a Junior College in Shelby, NC meeting a former Air Force Dog Trainer, who gives me his Technical Manuels on Dog Training!
To me, these odds still, after 41 years seem quiet remote! The more I studied, the more I wanted to train dogs and the more exciting it became. The loss of my hands and learning to use my prosthetics, pursuing employment, suddenly seemed less challenging. I just wanted to train dogs! I had learned from William Koehler's Method of Dog Training, that dog training method worked just the way it was presented, and it worked on all dogs! Now, with the Air Force Manuels I understood why it worked!
"A TRAINED DOG IS A HAPPY DOG!"
OBEDIENCE TRAINING ALL DOGS
As a family owned business, both sons of Billy and Susie Wagner became professional handlers by the age of 6. Billy Jr. and Charles have over 35 years of dog training experience being master trainers.
Charles Malone Wagner has assumed ownership of Wagner K9 School and presently holds the positions of Chief Financial Officier. Charles also spends much time in the delivery of client's dogs to and from the school.
Billy and Susie presently have three grandchildren who participate actively in the business. Morressa 18, Luke 14, and Mattie 11, are great encourager's and a big help in motivating the Wagner K9 School client's young children to work with their own dogs in obedience training.
Morressa teaches, encourages, and motivates children of all ages to work with their dogs by demonstating the basic skills of obedience and proper communication tools: leash control, body language, and verbal communication. Morressa Leigh Wagner has actively worked with dogs since she was old enough to hold a leash. She currently gives demonstrations for all potential clients. Morressa also provides dog training demonstrations to students in public and private schools. When children see how well Morressa can handle even the largest of dogs they are thrilled to handle their very own dogs in the same manner!
Billy Wagner Jr. with his dog Holly in 1998 Billy Wagner Jr. today 2013
Morressa Wagner with "Minnie" an obedience trained Newfoundland owned by Chris and Kristy Broadway as they do a pose or the magazine Cats and Dogs of Charlotte, October 2006 issue.
Mollie & Maggie, King Charles Spaniels, owned by Roy and Sue Davis
Little white "Bogie" owned by Dr. Anthony Colvin and wife, Robin
Mrs. Nina Roberts with her beautiful poodle "Flash".
Billy Wagner working and playing with Whalee, a beautiful golden retriever owned by Jinny Collett. Below are pictures of the school grounds, dogs owned by the Wagners and various other dogs in for training.
Below are pictures taken of at our school with some personal dogs and dogs in for training.
Billy Wagner & Whalee, a beautiful Golden Retriever, owned by Jinny Collett.
This picture is of two beautiful King Charles Spaniels, Molly and Maggie sitting with their owners Mr. Roy and Mrs. Sue Davis of Concord.