Professional dog trainer Chris Banke has worked in the industry since age 15 when he decided to make a hobby and passion his lifelong career. Banke, who currently trains dogs in Northern Vermont from his large training facility, has worked across various facets of the industry since he began with a meager interest as a teenager with a Doberman dog. After working under other dog trainers, including one of the U.S. top trainers, Chris Banke began his own business by age 19 and trained multiple dogs to IPO/Schutzhund III as well as working with competition handlers. He also worked in breeding with his own kennel and competition dogs. His trained animals have excelled in various facets and continue to do so today.
Not many adults discover their career paths follow their childhood dreams. Youngsters often run the gamut of many playful daydreams about future jobs — teacher, lawyer, garbage man, astronaut, President of the United States, racecar driver, football player. Kids want occupations big and small, but few of those aspirations come true once they meander through high school or onto college. Vermont’s Chris Banke, however, broke the mold and turned his youth passion into a true and profitable pursuit and profession.
It was a dog named “Dana” in his teenage years that guided Banke toward his lifetime career. This humble doberman wandered into Banke’s life and he found a passion for dog training. Soon thereafter, at the young age of 15, he started the Algemeiner Schutzhund Club. It was in this club that he met another enthusiast for dogs, a young woman named Margarete Iaquinto, who specifically helped pique Banke’s interest in the specific dog breed German Shepherd.
By age 18, only a few years later with his passion already significantly ignited, Banke was already excelling in helper work and conducting various Schutzhund trials. A dog trainer, Smitty — one of the top dog trainers in the U.S. at the time — helped to teach Banke more about the profession. By age 19, barely beyond his youthful years of dreams, Banke was beginning his first business to train dogs. Chris Banke Protection Dog Trainer was born and was the first step in turning his dreams to a professional reality.
Chris Banke started his own dog training business titled, “Chris Banke Protection Dog Trainer” at the young age of 19 after having found success in the training world through competitions and having some wonderful opportunities to train under some of the most reputable dog trainers in the United States. He then went on to train multiple dogs to IPO/Schutzhund III and continued coaching and doing helper work for other competitive handlers as well. He also was the first American to complete in the RSV2000 World Championship with his dog Iriac vd Maineiche Ipo3. After that was when Chris Banke started his own breeding kennel named “vom maechtigen Turm.” Many of the dogs he bred would go on to compete in Schutzhund IPO on regional and national levels or to work in law enforcement.
A passion for dog training has always been what has fueled Chris Banke. He first began training as a teen with a doberman named “Dana” as his first student. After that, his passion for training grew and at 15, he discovered the Algemeiner Schutzhund Club. At the Algemeiner Schutzhund Club is where he met Margarete Iaquinto. Margarete helped develop Chris Banke’s passion for more breed specific training, the training of the German Shepherd dog. She also was the breeder that bred his first German Shepherd Dog named, “Chief.” Chief was titled in Schutzhund.