Lucky dogs: Westfield trainer to expand specialty training services


Training dogs has been a lifelong vocation for Julie Case.

“I’ve been a dog trainer since I was a child because my parents were raising and training dogs back in the day as well,” said Case, who grew up in Russia.

Case, 43, has been training dogs in the United States for 22 years since moving from Novosibirsk, Russia, in 2001. She trains dogs for United States Special Forces, military police, service and therapy dogs and family pets.

Case started Ultimate Canine in 2012 when she lived in Carmel. About 1 1/2 years after she opened Ultimate Canine, she moved to Westfield and took the business with her. She had previously worked with other dog training facilities and founded of one them.

Case said the new two-story dog training academy, which has 15,000 square feet, will be finished in late fall or early winter. It will have a 3 1/2-acre outdoor space with outdoor training areas and trails.

Case said the facility will be for family dogs, therapy and service dogs and police dogs.

Her business is on Little Eagle Avenue, and the new facility is about a 1 1/2 miles away at Eagletown Road and Ind. 32.

Case has been training law enforcement and military dogs for 17 years.

Case has 46 employees, including 26 dog trainers.

“In our facility, we will have the only place in Indiana that has a grooming spa with a full-time veterinarian,” she said.

Case trains Belgian malinois dogs for criminal apprehension. She also trains Labradors, golden retrievers and springer spaniels for narcotics detections.

“A huge part of our business is dedicated to family pets,” Case said. “We have private training, in the facility training and in-home training for family pets as young as 8 weeks old, any age or any breed. If you have a family pet that needs training, you can come to us, or we can come to you and help train your pet.”

Case said training family pets can be for behavior issues, such as barking, jumping on people, pulling on the leash and stealing food.

“It’s been my dream to not only train dogs for the families but for the special services,” Case said.

Case said the business can train service animals for funeral homes and hospitals.

“It’s one-stop shopping,” Case said. “They can get their dogs groomed here, and we have a stay-and-train program when families are out of town. We will do a small amount of boarding.”

Case said she has breeders that produce Labradors, retrievers and Australian labradoodles.

“We take dogs from shelters, two or three dogs at a time, train them and find them suitable homes,” Case said. “We donate food and supplies to shelters.”

Besides Russian and English, Case knows some Dutch, French and German words for military and police dogs.

“That’s because we don’t want people to activate the dogs by shouting things like, ‘Go get him,’” she said.

Julie Case with personal dog, Tika, a Belgian Malinois she uses for a police demonstration dog. (Photo courtesy of Julie Case)

Expert training

Westfield resident Denny Smith knows firsthand the results Case can produce.

Smith took a family dog, a 25-pound female labradoodle, for general training, with basic commands of sit, stay and go to your place.

“What we found was that there was so much more there that we could take advantage of, including other general commands that are just fun for the dog,” Smith said. “Things like roll over, get dizzy for the dog to go around like it’s chasing its tail or bashful where they lay on their side and put their paw up to their nose like they are bashful. Most of all, I like how she socialized the dog with other dogs. The other dogs are educating new dogs into social behavior. It’s a wonderful process to watch.”

Smith said to watch Case and her staff’s ability to nurture the dogs step by step is amazing.

“It’s basically food motivation,” Smith said. “She tests the dogs when they’re puppies to see if they are motivated by food. She tests them by seeing if they have a fear component by startling them and see how the dog responds. She nurtures the dog along with praise, food and other enticements.”

Smith remembers picking up their dog in Fountain City, north of Richmond.

“When we got ready to leave, I asked the breeder if she had anyone she recommended for training in the Indianapolis area,” Smith said. “She said, ‘There is a world-class trainer, literally the best in America, living in Westfield on Little Eagle Creek Avenue.’ I live on Little Eagle Creek Avenue. It turns out she had moved into a house she bought from an old friend of mine. I can literally walk my dog over there for training. I’m in another city, almost in Ohio, and they are bragging about my neighbor that I haven’t met yet.”

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