Biographical Information

Lori J. Peper-Rucks

Lori Peper-Rucks, owner and trainer of Sunshine Kennels & K-9 Training, has been professionally training dogs since 1975. Lori also instructs group-training classes for the public, along with private training and lessons for individuals.

Lori is the founder of Sunshine Service Dogs and is their Executive Director, and Director of Training; and for Sunshine Service Dogs Search and Rescue K-9 Unit she is the Training Director and Operations Manager. Lori is SARTECH II certified, through the National Association for Search and Rescue, and has 25+ years experience in Search and Rescue operations.

Lori does all of her training in a motivational style so it makes sense to the dogs and is more enjoyable for the handler. By training with this theory as her foundation, it makes more successful K-9 handler teams.

Lori started training dogs in obedience and competing in trials in 1975. She also competed in conformation and was a professional handler. She then was interested in tracking and schutzhund. Lori has also trained hunting dogs, although this is not something she has personal interest in, she has successfully trained pointing, flushing and retrieving dogs for enjoyable hunting companions.

The natural next step for her was to take her gifts for training, to what she enjoys the most and feels great gratification. Training dogs to be of service for people to make their lives and jobs easier.

With Lori’s competent background in training, she enjoys training K-9’s for law enforcement, private investigators and security agencies. She trains dogs for tracking/trailing, apprehension, evidence, narcotics detection, and cadaver, with obedience as a foundation for control.  She tries to custom train dogs for the needs of the individual departments. Having a K-9 in the department is a great advantage and a valuable tool. A K-9 that is trained to track/trail human scent makes them invaluable in going after a suspect whether day or night because they use their sense of smell not sight to find the suspect.

Having a K-9 trained for apprehension allows the officer to have immediate backup. Unfortunately our growing problems with drugs, a narcotics detection K-9 is a very
valuable tool for locating drugs in vehicles, buildings, or when thrown during a chase.
K-9’s are also a good education tool, when going into schools and in the communities.

Lori has advised and helped agencies put K-9 programs in place. She assists with proposals, fundraising, policies & procedures, training and usage logs, and certification. She has studied many training theories, and came up with a motivational training theory of her own which makes sense to both dog and handler, making training more enjoyable, which is necessary for good and competent dog/handler teams. Lori always says “If it doesn’t make sense to the dog, it’s just another theory”. This is important, because if it makes sense to the dog, it empowers and allows the dog to think and not be handler dependent. This is necessary for the working K-9’s.

Lori has frequent media interviews and writes articles on issues concerning the use and training of service dogs, therapy dogs, search and rescue dogs, and dogs that are trained for narcotics detection, evidence searches, tracking/trailing, agility, apprehension and obedience. She also does seminars and demonstrations for many organizations and agencies.

Lori believes SAR trained dogs to be a very valuable tool in assisting Law Enforcement and Emergency Agencies, to find lost/overdue people, disaster victims, cadaver, and drown victims in the water. That is why she dedicates so much of her time and energies with the Sunshine Service Dogs, Search and Rescue K-9 Unit. Sunshine Service Dogs, Inc., Specialty Unit is a few people who are members of DAD/DAC (Dogs against Drugs/Dogs against Crime) and have narcotic detection K-9’s which work with law enforcement and school authorities to educate and do random searches in the schools.

Lori has trained Service Dogs for people with disabilities. Mobility Dogs are trained to assist people to do daily tasks of retrieving, opening doors, pulling wheelchairs, turning off/on light switches, and a variety of other tasks. Sensitive Detection Dogs (detect seizures), and Hearing Dogs (helping those who are deaf, by being their ears), allowing people with disabilities, to live more independent lives, with a sense of freedom, and also give them a companion beyond words. She also gives an opportunity to qualified offenders to assist in the beginning phase of training these dogs, at both Shakopee and Lino Lakes Minnesota Correctional Facilities. 

Sunshine Service Dogs has Therapy Dog programs that Lori has put together. Lori instructs and certifies volunteers with their dogs, which are suitable for being therapy dogs, allowing them to be a real asset to the community making visits to nursing homes, and care centers. Another program Lori is proud of is the “Tales with Tails” reading program. This program is designed to have trained and certified Therapy Dogs being read to in schools, and in libraries. Studies show that children’s reading skills and motivation are enhanced when reading to a friendly canine partner. Lori also works closely with school personnel to have certified Therapy Dogs and their handlers, work within the school programs, to assist with educational, behavior, and psychological enhancement with the children on a daily basis.

Lori has bred German Shepherd Dogs since 1976 and Labrador Retrievers since 1996. Her knowledge in producing dogs that are capable in doing work from various tasks of helping someone with disabilities, to a police K-9 apprehending a suspect, are valuable in breeding dogs that are physically sound, intelligent, have excellent temperament, and are the real true dedicated working companions.

Her knowledge in training speaks from her vast training interests and experience in putting handlers and K-9’s teams together in various fields. Lori feels fortunate and great gratification to be able to share her gift with so many people, making this world safer and more enjoyable.

The Sunshine Service Dogs
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Sunshine Service Dogs Inc.
2019 - 100th Street
Luck, WI 54853
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