Since 2003, Ryan and Sandy Bulson (Mason Dixon K9) have been helping families and various organizations to rescue, re-home, track, and train dogs. Over the course of their 15 + years of tireless dedication, they have, and continue to, foster and re-home hundreds of dogs (200+ to-date), which includes litters of puppies, seniors, medically challenged dogs, and dogs with severe behavioral issues. In addition to running a Mason Dixon K9, Ryan and Sandy continue to make time assisting several rescue organizations, including holding key positions on the board and within the Mid-Atlantic German Shepherd Rescue (MAGSR) - a top 5 German Shepherd Rescue facility in the US. Their hard work, dedication, and fortitude have earned them utmost respect and many accolades within the K9 community, including the moniker, ‘The K9-Power Couple’.
In early 2021, Ryan and Sandy Bulson decided to turn their passion into a reality by opening the doors of Mason Dixon K9, a unique dog training facility located on their 50+ acre farm in Carroll County, Maryland. Serving various clients, and multiple rescue organizations up and down the East Coast, Mason Dixon K9 uses balanced training methods that are focused on the nucleus of dog-to-owner communication and relationship. One of the key elements that sets Mason Dixon K9 apart from other training facilities is during sessions, Mason Dixon K9 trainers distill and tailor complex training methods and techniques, creating a 1:1 balanced training regimen that is specific to each dog’s needs and client training requests.
This in itself may appear simple and obvious, but most facilities use a ‘cookie-cutter’ approach; meaning they use the same techniques on all dogs. With this unique approach, this ensures a higher level of communication between canine and companion, removing any barriers while delivering a well-behaved canine family member. Before each client/family leaves the Mason Dixon K9 facility with their newly trained companion, Mason Dixon K9 ensures there is an understanding of what your dog has learned during their stay with a comprehensive post-training session with all family members. The support for all graduates doesn’t end when you leave the facility, Mason Dixon K9 is always there to answer questions and address concerns.
Mason Dixon K9 understands that choosing the right trainer can be intimidating (overwhelming), but this philosophy and approach has given the Mason Dixon K9 training program continued growth and numerous success stories, even with the hardest K9 behavioral issues.
Mason Dixon K9 offers an array of services to all dog breeds ranging from 2-12 week sessions:
Ryan has put in more than 700 hours of studying and hands-on training into obtaining his certifications, and diligently strives to stay current with the latest strategies and additional certifications through continuing education. He has strengthened his experience and reputation by working with Steve Hagey, one of the best dog trappers in the US, of Detect a Pet. In addition, both Ryan and Sandy have worked with Find Toby of Pennsylvania, not only assisting in the growth of the Find Toby network, but also tracking and finding lost pets in PA and neighboring states.
With Ryan’s laser focus on balancing the right training techniques that are individually tailored to best suit each dog and training requests, he is also focused on ensuring all trainers and staff apply the same precision to every dog for their duration at the Mason Dixon K9 facility. Aside from executing these critical duties, his hands-on, hard-working philosophy proves to be the perfect approach with each success story, graduate, and staff member at the Mason Dixon K9 facility.
When his focus isn’t on Mason Dixon K9, he balances his time to serve on the Board of Directors of the Mid-Atlantic German Shepherd Rescue (MAGSR). His service goes beyond the board, but this also warrants many successful adoption stories coming from MAGSR. In his downtime, Ryan loves spending time with his amazing family and enjoys life on the farm.
Sandy has spent her life helping others and has found exceptional success doing so. The achievements of Mason Dixon K9 are attributed to the dynamic, hard-working and passion of both Ryan and Sandy; while Ryan focuses on the training and exterior of Mason Dixon K9, Sandy is the backbone of this unique facility. The day-to-day operations of Mason Dixon K9 are no small task, but she makes them look incredibly easy while balancing volunteer work with Mid-Atlantic German Shepherd Rescue (MAGSR), and her family (which includes everything on the 50+ acre farm). Her sweet and passionate demeanor are welcoming, and as you get to know her, Sandy’s drive for perfection is a positive force of good to be reckoned with. She prides herself on the accomplishments but is very proud of her family and their achievements.
When Sandy isn’t focused on the daily operations of Mason Dixon K9, she turns her focus to her positions within the Mid-Atlantic German Shepherd Rescue (MAGSR), of intake and vetting. She plays a critical role within the Intake team (evaluating dogs that enter the rescue), and overseeing the vetting group - ensuring medical protocols and vet visits are in place, in addition to interviewing potential adopters. Having this background also plays a significant role in the staggering achievements of Mason Dixon K9. Using these unique skill sets to give a different perspective into the dogs that come to Mason Dixon K9, has proven to be a winning strategy.
Susan grew up with dogs, and has always had dogs in her life, even while balancing the chaos of a family and various activities. Passionate about providing a loving and caring environment to dogs who may not have had that in the past, Susan decided to fulfill her dream to help train dogs.
Her family knows her as kind, gentle, caring, all the while keeping you on task; perfect traits of a trainer. If Susan isn’t at Mason Dixon K9 pouring herself into the betterment of all the dogs, you can find her with her family and their two GSD (German Shepherds), supporting first responders in some capacity, or hunting down the perfect subject matter for the perfect photograph.
What started out as part-time quickly grew into full-time, full-passion for Michelle. She began her professional career as a teacher, but as soon as she stepped foot onto the 50+ acre farm, that was it, she was in and had to flip from teaching full-time to training full-time. With a family and three dogs of her own, she’s very familiar with ensuring there is balance, clarity, focus in order to achieve goals; all the elements of a well balanced trainer.
If Michelle isn’t on the farm improving her techniques, you can find her with her family, dogs included, doing something outdoors or cheering on the Baltimore Ravens.
Angela grew up with many dogs, and it’s impossible for her to recall a memory without one in it. Fast-forward to 2004, her passion for dogs began to solidify into a profession after entering in her first dog dock-diving competition with her Chocolate Lab, Nestle. Angela then became a charter member and the first President of the Keystone Dock Dogs Club. Through this club, Angela would not only help handlers strengthen their abilities, but also gain confidence and see her own potential as a professional dog trainer. Angela also participated in several other canine sports and enjoyed training dogs in canine disc, weight pull, and tracking and agility.
During her professional career (outside of dogs), Angela was a middle school physical education teacher as well as the school’s track and field coach. It was this incredible experience that encouraged her to become a Certified Canine Fitness Trainer through the University of Tennessee. This program not only facilitated her gradual transition from child educator to canine trainer, but broadened her understanding and strengthened her abilities of canine behaviors. When Angela is not applying her superior capabilities with the Mason Dixon K9 Family, you can find her enjoying the outdoors or engaging in canine sports.
Monty grew up with dogs and cats and spent a lot of time wandering the acres of his grandparents' farm and quenching his curiosity for animals and farm life. It wasn’t a surprise that he fell in love with all animals, domesticated or otherwise. As years passed, his passion and experience grew, and Monty found himself drawn to German Shepherds.
As this passion intensified, he and his wife joined Mid-Atlantic German Shepherd Rescue, of which they have been a part of for 20 years and growing. These days, he and his wife share their home with 3 Shepherds.
Monty loves the rewards that come from working with dogs that need some extra time, patience and understanding and spends his time between the Mason Dixon K9 family and MAGSR doing just that.
Rebecca’s first memory was with her German Shepherd Dog (GSD) and Shih Tzu always being by her side. Ever since then, she knew she wanted to fulfill her calling and work with dogs. Testing her training acumen at a young age, Rebecca helped her neighbors train their Westies in agility, and she knew then she was hooked. In order to gain more experience, Rebecca started working at boarding and doggie day care facilities.
Once she heard the Mason Dixon K9 Family had an opening, she jumped on it like a Westie heading over a hurdle, and the MDK9 family was eager to have her. When Rebecca isn’t working, you can find her testing out her agility training skills on her GSD at home, or watching agility and dock diving competitions.
Like most of the Mason Dixon K9 family, Juliet grew up around dogs and had the passion to do something in the canine field, just not sure what. Juliet began her professional career as an Open-Play Doggie Daycare technician. It was here her passion to help both humans and dogs was solidified. Her then manager took the time to explain the tedious body language dogs displayed during play, introductions, fighting and what to look for in various situations. This continued and her manager would randomly quiz her to ensure she was not only learning, but hyper-aware at how quickly a situation could change. Juliet also groomed dogs, but training is her favorite and is working towards becoming a trainer. “I want to know everything about the way dogs act and how you can train them to be the best versions of themselves. It’s important for their owners to have the best insight on their dogs in order to give them the most fulfilling life.”
When Juliet isn’t pouring her passion into MDK9 and soaking up all there is to learn, you can find her at home playing and training her two pups, a Doodle and Ausie mix.
Kim began her journey with Mason Dixon K9 (MDK9) as a customer with her Fur baby, Ace. Once Kim stepped onto the 50+ acre farm, the draw to become a part of the MDK9 family was an intense dream she was eager to pursue. What Kim once dreamt, quickly became reality and full-time position as a kennel technician she was passionate about, and the Mason Dixon K9 Family welcomed her with open arms. Life for Kim wasn’t always about dogs; she began her professional career in accounting but was eager to leave counting beans to count dogs and has never looked back. Kim explains with pure magic in her eyes, “The magic of the Mason Dixon K9 family really does exist, and there is a compassionate and welcoming environment not only for the dogs, but also the customers, and staff."
Kim is hoping to one day become a trainer and continue to work with her MDK9 family. If Kim isn’t at the farm, a rare occasion, you can find her spoiling her fur baby Ace, or baking treats for both humans and those with four-legs.
It may come as no surprise that just like some of the other Kennel Technicians, Abbie also absolutely loves working at Mason Dixon K9; mainly because it doesn’t feel like work! To an outsider, it may seem like just play, but there is a method to her approach to any dog who is at MDK9. To ensure the hard work all the trainers are putting in are reinforced, Abbie is meticulous and focused to ensure the highest level of care and attention is given. The level of communication and respect the staff has for one another is unmatched, and the proof is with a happy team. Mason Dixon K9 creates a compassionate and welcoming environment not only for the dogs, but also the staff, and it shows with the passion and drive that Abby and her colleagues have.
In her downtime, you can find Abbie recharging on a nature hike, focusing on hitting bullseyes with a bow in hand, or drawing. You can also find her taking care of her own herd of animals (2 dogs, 3 cats, bearded dragon, leopard gecko, chickens, and rabbits) or you might just find her spending extra time with the Mason Dixon K9 family showering all the dogs with extra love and attention.
Growing up on a farm has given Erika a special appreciation for all animals, especially cows and dogs. It wasn’t a surprise that at a young age Erika knew she was destined to work with animals. She is a certified veterinary technician and is studying to become a certified dog groomer. When Mason Dixon K9 had an opening, Erika seized the opportunity and joined the MDK9 Family.
When she’s not playing with pups on the MDK9 farm, you can find her studying or doing farm chores taking care of her fur babies.
Savannah loves the outdoors and loves spending time with her family, furry or human. Growing up with animals has taught her the importance of perception, patience and understanding. Traits that have served her well not only when caring for dogs, but also in her studies to become a dental assistant, because the little things do matter. Savannah believes it is truly rewarding to be a part of something where you can make a positive difference in the lives of an animal or a person.
When Savannah isn’t studying, spending time with family, or taking care of her three dogs and fiancé, you can find her enjoying any one of her hobbies - hiking, kayaking, Pilates, gardening, reading, live music, and painting.
Growing up on a farm certainly has advantages, you develop an enormous passion for animals both large and small, and Rileigh's passion and drive is huge! When she’s not showing cattle from her family’s farm, planning and executing activities for her school’s Future Farmers of America (FFA) Veterinary Science Team, she’s showing her adorable French Brittany with the Carroll County 4H Dog Club, of which she’s been a member for more than 5 years. Rileigh has always been actively involved with caring for animals. Prior to working for Mason Dixon K9, Rileigh worked with a dog breeder specializing in the Cane Corso, Schnauzer, and mini-Schnauzer breeds.
When she isn’t plotting her course to become a veterinarian, you can find her kicking around the dirt on the farm enriching the lives of her many animals (horses, dogs, cats and goats) in some unique new way.
Viviana knew at an early age she was meant to help animals. At age 12 she began the rewarding, but arduous task of fostering dogs from a local rescue. From there, her love for animals blossomed into more volunteer work. Outside of school and MDK9, Viviana enjoys spending time volunteering at the local nature center working with reptiles and amphibians. When she is home, her full attention is on her dogs, multiple lizards and fish.
After graduating from college, Cassie began her professional career in health care and stayed in the industry for nearly two-decades. Holding her degree in psychology, she felt it was time to expand her horizons to something she has been passionate about her entire life; helping others and communicating. It wasn’t until nearly a decade ago when her family lost their beloved lab, that they discovered that fostering would heal the heartache. Since then, Cassie and her family have fostered more than 70 dogs, all the while maintaining a busy family life in addition to two dogs of her own; Hendrix from MAGSR, and Joplin (foster fail) from Double Dog Dare Rescue.
When Cassie isn’t busy managing Mason Dixon K9 social media, you can find her looking after her family, fostering more dogs in need, or engaging in any number of outdoor activities like camping or kayaking.
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