Trainer / Milwaukee – Chicago

David Paulus first got started in mantrailing in 2008 when he was asked to join a Wisconsin search and recovery team. Realizing that the team’s trailing K9’s were not effective, he brought in Jeff Schettler of Georgia K9 for a seminar. From this time forward David has been training in the GAK9 style.

When the Covid Pandemic hit in 2020, David partnered with Orland Park Police K9 Officer Joe Zumerling, as both handlers sought training partners during the lockdown. What initially began as training for these two K9 teams, where they worked on setting up problems for their respective K9’s to improve trailing in the urban environment of the Milwaukee – Chicago corridor, has grown into a multi-agency training group.

David and his Hovawart, K9 Gretel, have earned multiple GAK9 certifications in the field, suburban and urban environments. David has trained the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service K9 Unit, the Kent County, MI Sheriff’s Department K9 Unit and multiple agencies in northern Illinois and southeastern Wisconsin. GAK9 WI’s seminars have attracted students from across the Midwest.

Beyond trailing, David holds a Professional Engineering License in the State of Wisconsin. He also serves on the board of directors of the Hovawart Club of North America. David has earned a third-degree black belt in traditional Taekwondo. Before his involvement in K9, David competed at the master level in NRA Service Rifle and Long-Range Rifle matches.

David served in the Marine Corps Reserve from 1988 to 1998. He saw active duty in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait during Desert Shield/Storm. He rose to the rank of Staff Sergeant and last served as the Platoon Sergeant for Surveillance and Target Acquisition Platoon, 2nd Battalion, 24th Marines, out of Chicago.