A man and his dog sitting in the grass.

Our Journey

Zehfuss K-9 Training Center, helmed by Matthias Zehfuss, a distinguished Certified Dog Behaviorist, is dedicated to the art of professional dog training and world-class dog breeding. Situated in Lawton, Oklahoma, our center is renowned for its comprehensive approach to training dogs for obedience, search and rescue, protection, and family protection. Continue reading to find out more about Zehfuss K-9 Training Center.

Professional Dedication

Matthias's expertise extends far and wide, distinguishing him as one of the nation's premier trainers. His illustrious career spans various disciplines, including:

  • AKC Conformation
  • Obedience
  • UKC
  • VDH
  • Schutzhund
  • Schutzhund Conformation (IPO)
  • Hunting
  • Agility
  • Therapy

With a wealth of experience, Matthias has successfully trained and titled dogs across these diverse arenas. Through years of professional dedication, Matthias has positively impacted the lives of thousands of dogs and their owners, fostering healthier and happier relationships.

Two dogs sitting on chairs in a room.


"I feel as energetic and enthusiastic about dog training as I did the first day I started–which was nearly 40 years ago."
-Matthias Zehfuss

Certified Dog Behaviorist

Matthias Zehfuss, a Certified Dog Behaviorist, has a rich history rooted in a passion for canine training and companionship. Born and raised in Pirmasens, West Germany, Matthias's journey into the world of dog training began when he acquired his first dog, a bull terrier named Explorer of Prince Blizzard, affectionately known as "Bronson."

The Beginning

Bronson's spirited demeanor presented Matthias with the initial challenge that sparked his interest in dog training. Determined to unlock Bronson's potential, Matthias joined the prestigious Schutzhund club of dog trainers, where he immersed himself in the intricacies of the profession. Through diligent coaching and dedication, Matthias witnessed a transformation in Bronson's behavior, paving the way for a rewarding partnership.

Moving to the US

In 1986, driven by a desire to deepen his understanding of animal behavior, Matthias made the pivotal decision to relocate to the United States to pursue an education in Animal Behavior. Although parting ways with Bronson was difficult, Matthias's commitment to his passion remained steadfast. His time in the States proved fruitful, as Bronson and his new trainer went on to achieve remarkable success in competitions, solidifying Matthias's belief in the power of effective training.

The Education

In 1988, Matthias's journey culminated in the completion of his studies at a renowned canine college, where he obtained an accredited degree in Animal Behavior. Armed with a wealth of knowledge encompassing obedience, veterinary medicine, genetics, and more, Matthias emerged as a top graduate, ready to embark on his next endeavor.

An Instructor at College

Following the acquisition of his business license, Matthias's expertise caught the attention of his college, leading to an invitation to become an instructor. Eager to share his knowledge, Matthias embraced the opportunity, spending the next year training and certifying aspiring animal behaviorists.

Opening the Training Center

The culmination of Matthias's aspirations came to fruition with the opening of the Zehfuss K-9 Training Center in Lawton, Oklahoma. His entrepreneurial spirit flourished in Lawton, where he was recognized as the "Business Personality of the Month" by a local newspaper, fueling his passion for sharing his expertise.

The Achievements

Today, Matthias celebrates over 40 years of dedicated dog training, marked by numerous awards, accolades, and publications on animal health and behavior. While the majority of his students hail from Lawton and surrounding areas, Matthias's influence extends far beyond, reaching canine enthusiasts globally.

A man and his dog are jumping over obstacles.

Awards & Accolades

Matthias Zehfuss is deeply committed to helping dogs realize their full potential, irrespective of breed or background. From scruffy mixed breeds to championship purebreds, Matthias's expertise extends to all dogs, young or old, teaching them a diverse range of functions. Throughout his illustrious career, Matthias has garnered numerous awards and accolades for his exceptional work in the field of dog training.

1986 to 1990

1988 Recognition

  • Shortly after opening his business in Lawton, Oklahoma, Matthias was honored as the "Lawton Business Personality of the Month."
  • Matthias's initial dog was a bull terrier named Explorer of Prince Blizzard, affectionately known as "Bronson." Despite being unable to bring Bronson with him when he moved to the United States in 1986, Bronson went on to achieve remarkable success, winning the German Championship, European Championship, and World Championship.
  • In 1989, Matthias collaborated with Jean Strock and her Bernese Mountain dog, Cloe. Cloe earned the title of "Best of Breed" at the Mid-Del Tinker dog show in Oklahoma City. Later that year, Cloe competed at the Faith City Kennel Club in Wichita Falls, Texas, securing another "Best of Breed" title along with 2nd place in the working group.
  • Matthias contributed to the training of the award-winning German Shepherd, VA1-SCH3 Harko von der Wilhemswarte. In 1990, Harko achieved the distinction of Vice Sieger at the Sieger Show. The following year, in 1991, Harko emerged victorious at the USA Sieger Show.
  • In 1990, Matthias teamed up with John Wilkens and his German Shepherd, Amigo vom Heidgrund. Amigo participated in both the North American Championship and the National Championship, securing 16th place at the North American Championship.
  • Matthias also worked with a German Shepherd named Chiva vom Schwalbenstein in 1990. Chiva attained the title of SCH-III multiple times, and Matthias successfully qualified Chiva for the National Championship.
  • "Winning is not always about competition. I have a true passion for rehabilitating last change dogs and training dogs with severe behavior problems."
    -Matthias Zehfuss
    Certified Dog Behaviorist

1991 to 2000


  • Matthias achieved a title with Nigel vom Kervinshof, a German Wirehaired Pointer, in hunting. Together, they were honored with the prestigious award, Verbands-Jungend-Pruefung. Matthias took pride in this achievement, notably being the sole non-hunter at the event.

1993 Achievements

  • Matthias and his Rottweiler companions accomplished Schutzhund BH and AD titles
  • Benno von der Nordsaar
  • Nora von der Bleichstrasse
  • Aika vom Hause Wagner
  • Matthias collaborated with Donna Hughes, training her Belgian Tervuren, Thor, who earned a CD by year-end.


  • Matthias trained Spanky, a miniature dachshund, certifying him as a therapy dog alongside owner Tammy Simpson, recognized by Therapy Dogs International, INC.

1996 Highlights

  • Tammy Simpson's Rottweiler, "Rowdy," achieved CD and Highest Rottweiler honors at the Lawton, Fort Still ACK Club.
  • Matthias began working with Kruemmel, a rescued Golden Retriever, completing her CD in three shows with two first-place finishes.
  • Collaborating with novice handler Manuela Green, Matthias contributed to the success of her Irish Wolf Hounds:
  • Trampos Endore secured an AKC Championship in 1996.
  • Harvey von der Sarazennen clinched International, German, and American AKC Championships in 1998, ranking among the top ten Irish Wolf Hounds in the US until 2001. Harvey also won the Award of Merit at the Rocky Mountain Specialty in 1999.

1996 Recognition

  • Matthias received acknowledgment from The Lawton Constitution for his involvement in the Helping Hands to Education program.

1996 Collaboration

  • Matthias and Michelle Norton jointly trained two Cocker Spaniels, Oobie and Babe, both achieving a CD.
  • Matthias and his dog, Aika vom Hause Wagner, earned recognition as Schutzhund BH level at the United Schutzhund Clubs of America competition in Lubbock, Texas.

1997 Highlights

  • Matthias and his Giant Schnauzer, Racee vom Lindelbrum, won "Best of Puppy Breed" at the International All Breed Canine Association, Alle Rasse Gruppe in Dallas, Texas.
  • They also secured 1st Place and Reserve at the AKC Mid De Tinker Kennel Club show in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.


  • Matthias worked with Mae-Ruben, an English bulldog, who achieved two legs of a CD before passing away tragically before completing her third leg.
  • 1998 Show Success: Matthias and Racee von Lindelbrum earned 2nd Place and Reserve Winner at the AKC Mississippi State Kennel Club show.

2001 to 2009


  • Matthias assisted in training security dogs for the Charles O. Norman Investigative Agency, earning a "Certificate of Appreciation" in 2002.


  • Amy Moore's Golden Retriever, "Beast," trained by Matthias for two years, attained a CD and secured two first-place finishes.


  • Sarah Williams and her Jack Russell Terrier, Maddie, achieved 1st place in an agility contest in Navasota, TX, and 3rd place in another contest in Sulfur Springs, TX, marking notable achievements recognized by Matthias and Sarah.

2008 Achievements

  • Matthias was honored with the Silver Needle of Honor by the German Rottweiler Club (ADRK).
  • Tim Hagen's dog, Wyatts Joleen, received Canine Good Citizen (CGC) certification at an AKC show in Tulsa, OK, an accomplishment cherished by Matthias and Tim.
  • Matthias celebrated Merlin, a standard Poodle owned by Cindy Segler, for becoming a certified Therapy dog by Therapy Dogs International, Inc.
  • Maddie's Accolades (2008): Sarah Williams proudly shared Maddie's impressive awards, including multiple 1st place finishes in agility trials across various locations, highlighting Maddie's exceptional performance.

2009 Achievements

  • Matthias celebrated Moto, a mixed-breed owned by Michael and Lea Gonzales, for becoming a Certified Therapy Dog by Therapy Dogs International, Inc.
  • Matthias rejoiced in the success of Von Ruelmann's Zeke, an award-winning Rottweiler owned by Lori Hagen, who secured several prestigious awards at various regional and international shows, despite being only 9 months old.

2009 Collaborations

  • Matthias worked with Grant Moulden and his Doberman, Dax vom Kimbertal, who received four 1st place awards in the puppy class and won the "International Puppy Championship" at the Sooner Sieger Show in Oklahoma City.
  • Matthias collaborated with Carol Pagnanelli and her German Shepherd, Pexton Blu Iris, who garnered numerous awards at the 2009 Sooner Sieger Show in Oklahoma City, including four 1st place ribbons, Best of Breed, and recognition in the Herding Group and International Youth Championship categories.


  • Matthias collaborated with Debora McCarty and her two award-winning beagles, Pete and Molly. In January 2010, Pete and Molly achieved the distinguished honor of becoming certified therapy dogs by Therapy Dogs, Inc.
  • Melinda Murch and her Scottish Deerhound, Fionn, participated in the Kyana Cluster Dog Show in Louisville, Kentucky, in March 2010, securing 1st and 2nd place in the Puppy Class.
  • Rochelle Kamont's mixed breed, Buddy, successfully passed the Canine Good Citizen test in May 2010.
  • In June 2010, Matthias and his German Shepherd, Jax, attained sg 11 at the USA Sieger Show in Wisconsin.
  • Carol Pagnanelli and her German Shepherd, Isa, achieved g 14 at the USA Sieger Show in Wisconsin in June 2010.
  • Carol Pagnanelli and her German Shepherd, Gunt, secured sg 13 at the Sieger Show in Wisconsin in 2010.
  • In September 2010, Lori Hagen and her Rottweiler, Zeke, earned V1 and best of breed at the UCI dog show in Oklahoma City.
  • Sarah Williams and her Jack Russell Terrier, Gabbie, clinched the first qualifying score and 1st place at an agility trial in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in September 2010.
  • Jack Russell Terrier, Maddie, dominated with 5 qualifying scores, 2 second places, and 3 first places at a local dog show in September 2010.
  • Melinda Murch and her Scottish Deerhound, Fionn, garnered multiple awards throughout the year, including Best of Breed and Best of Winners titles at various kennel club shows in cities like Louisville, Tulsa, Oklahoma City, and Lubbock, Texas.
  • Melinda Murch's Scottish Deerhound, Eilidh, also achieved several distinctions in 2010, including notable placements in breed and class categories at kennel club shows in Oklahoma City and Lubbock, Texas.


  • In January 2011, Sarah Owens and her German Shepherd, Heidi vom Hause Zehfuss, participated in the Lone Star New Year's Sieger Show in Belton, TX. Heidi excelled, winning 4 First Places and the Best of Breed in the puppy class across four shows. She was also honored as The International and National Puppy Champion.
  • March marked a significant achievement as Matthias became an AKC Certified Canine Good Citizen Evaluator.
  • In June, Melinda Murch and her Scottish Deerhound, Eilidh, secured 2nd place in the Amateur Class at the National Specialty Show in Oregon.
  • Sarah Williams and her Jack Russell Terrier, Maddie, triumphed at the Agility Trial in Memphis, TN, in October.
  • Also in October, Melinda Murch's Scottish Deerhound, Eilidh, completed her AKC Championship in Enid, Oklahoma, now recognized as Ch Darlin von Averlon.
  • Returning to competition, Sarah Owens and Heidi vom Hause Zehfuss showcased their skills at the Sooner Sieger Show in Oklahoma City in October, claiming 2 First Places and 2 Best of Breed awards.
  • In November, several clients and their dogs achieved success in passing the Canine Good Citizen Test, including Karol Haney and her Boxers, Sarah Da Silva with her German Shepherd Mix, Rob Shearer with his Belgian Malinois, Paul Da Silva with his Hound mix, Karol Zea with her Catahoula Hound, Valerie with her Dobermans, Sarah Owens with her German Shepherd Gina vom Hause Zehfuss, and Carol Rhoads with her German Shepherd, Diva vom Hause Zehfuss.
  • Additionally, in November, various owners and their dogs earned the AKC Puppy Star Test certification, including Vanisa Johns with her Rottweiler Scout, Evelyn Bailee with her German Shepherd Bones, Holly Globig with her Rottweiler Mix Cannon, Stacy Amos with her German Shepherd Maverick, Barbara Pitman with her Vizsla mix Mocha, and Jennifer Hoffman with her Labrador Champ.
  • Sarah Williams and her Jack Russell Terrier, Maddie, secured 1st place in the Veterans Class at the Agility Trial in Denton, TX, in November.
  • Also in November, Sarah Williams and her Jack Russell Terrier, Laila, demonstrated their potential by achieving 4th place in the puppy class at the dog show in Denton, TX.
  • 2019 Started the "Puppy Rehabilitation Program" at Lawton Correctional Facility


Matthias, alongside his professional dog training and world-class dog breeding endeavors, is a seasoned writer and public speaker. Throughout his career, Matthias has authored numerous articles focusing on animal health and behavior.

Television and Radio

In 1994 and 1997, KSWO Channel 7, a local broadcasting network, featured the Zehfuss K-9 Training Center in a segment titled "Positively Texoma," highlighting small businesses with significant impacts.

From 1998 to 2001, KSWO Channel 7 aired segments featuring Matthias in a program called "Pet Tips," offering valuable insights into professional dog training and tips for dog owners.


In 2011, the Lawton Constitution, a newspaper based in Lawton, Oklahoma, ran an article on Matthias titled "Lawton's dog whisperer."

A 2002 article in the Lawton Constitution titled "Bits of hot dog used to train animals" shed light on Matthias's unique training methods.

Matthias contributed weekly articles to the Cobblestone Corner, a local publication, from January to May 2002.

The Times Record News, a Wichita Falls, Texas newspaper, featured Matthias in a 2001 article titled "Dog saved from death for rescue."

The Lawton Constitution published an article in 1999 titled "Teaching dogs obedience," which gained nationwide attention after being picked up by the AP Wire Service.

A book with an image of a man holding a dog.

In 1993, the Lawton Constitution published an article titled "Career goes to the dogs," highlighting Matthias's dedication to his profession.

The Daily Oklahoman, an Oklahoma newspaper, ran a 1992 article on Matthias titled "Pupils leave lasting mark with dog trainer."


Matthias's article "Sugar Diabetes in Dogs" was published by The National Diabetes Foundation in 1994. Its popularity led to its inclusion in Dog World Magazine in 1995, reaching a wide audience globally. In 2021, I was featured in the 580 magazine.


Since 1989, Matthias has conducted numerous seminars on dog care and behavior for local schools, businesses, and non-profit organizations.

In 1999, Matthias was invited by the Public Service Co. of Oklahoma to conduct a seminar for utility meter readers who often encounter dogs on the job.


Matthias is currently in the process of writing a book on animal behavior, which he anticipates publishing in the near future.

Our Commitment

With a passion for excellence, a commitment to professionalism, and a wealth of experience in dog training and breeding, we strive to help every dog reach their full potential. Whether you're seeking expert training for your furry friend or looking to add a new member to your family through our world-class breeding program, we are here to support you every step of the way. Reach out to Zehfuss K-9 Training Center for your canine needs.

A man holding a dog in his arms.