Young business owner Sam Triplett loves her K-9 training business
By RaeChelle Davis, BayNews 9 Reporter
GULFPORT -- Watching her dog attack is the moment Sam Triplett lives for.
At 21, she is a student at St. Pete College and already running her own business.
“You know I was raised up in that environment of dogs all around all the time and I really got into training when I was about 14 and I was into pet dogs,” said Sam.
She says that changed when she started learning about protection and tracking training.
That led her to become a Certified Master Trainer. Her father could not be more proud.
“It’s amazing when somebody so young has such a passion and they know what they want to do and they go for it. So many young people need another decade to figure things out but I think Sam knows what she’s going to be doing for the rest of her life,” said Clarke Triplett.
He's supported her every step of the way.
Triplett convinced her parents to let her get a summer job at 13. Her mother, Kristen Triplett, remembers thinking there was no way her daughter would get hired so young.
Triplett proved her parents wrong and got a job at the Pasadena Pet Motel.
When the Motel came up for sale Triplett convinced her parents to buy it.
Now, it doubles as a place for Triplett to train her K-9’s.
They use positive reinforcement to teach the dogs where to bite and when to let go. Her training partner, Stefan Herceg is a certified decoy.
He admits it can be painful, despite the protective gear, but says it’s worth it.
“Throughout the whole entire training progression you see exceed and everything to get them to where they need to be – and then when they go off to a police department and the police department calls you back and says hey so and so got their first bite, hey so and so just hit on 60 thousand dollar cash hey so and so just apprehended a criminal it’s a great feeling,” said Herceg.
Together, Triplett and Herceg train police dogs, protection dogs, and dogs that find explosives or narcotics. It’s the fruit of a lifetime of love and labor.
“I’m glad I’m here. I’m glad I stuck with it,” said Triplett.