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.