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Peacekeeper K9 Philosophy

​It is our responsibility as dog owners to have a well-behaved dog. How each owner approaches that goal is a matter of individual choice. While the formula for successful training may vary with individual owners and dogs, we have found that attention to these four elements generally yields the best results.

Training-Consistency is the key. Training should be part of your everyday routine, whether it’s just you and your dog, in a formal instruction group, or in a one-on-one session with a trainer. Every activity and social interaction with people, animals, or places should be a training opportunity. Creating positive interactions and experiences to further your dogs training potential.

Exercise-To keep dogs healthy, happy and well-balanced requires frequent exercise for both their body and their mind. Thus, working your dog by making them follow commands while they get physical exercise is essential. Throwing the toy, or taking the dog for a walk or run is fine, but make sure there’s a mental exercise element as well. A well entertained dog is a happy dog.

Diet-Proper nutrition is often unique to each animal and the topic is broader than can be covered here. The key is to provide a balanced diet to avoid any weight issues. We advise consulting your Veterinarian for guidance on a well balanced nutritional diet.

Discipline-In this context, discipline refers to the owner’s consistent ability to apply the other three elements and especially to use correction in an appropriate way. You should be using firmness, rather than force. And correction should only be applied when the dog already knows the command being given, or is otherwise exhibiting inappropriate behavior.

Consistently applying these important key as well as becoming a leader to your dog builds trust and respect and is the best way we’ve found to train a well-behaved dog.

Establishing a routine over time will generate good habits in your dog. With patience and perseverance you can build a happy life long friendship with your best friend.


Toni Matthews
Senior Trainer/ Kennel Master

Born and Raised on the Monterey peninsula Toni Matthews is a local native with a long family history of community service running through her veins. Her Father Jim Lacalamita raised his family in the midst of many local events and organizations benefiting our local community. It was when he created Monterey County Search and Rescue Dogs, Inc that  Toni began her journey from student to teacher.

Spending many years working in the Veterinary Industry Toni already had a working knowledge of dogs. But upon joining MCSARD, Inc she gained a valuable and unique education. Not just how to work a dog but to be a partner to a dog. Under the guidance of seasoned experts, Toni gained important insight into the mind of a working dog and the tools needed to nurture the important bond between dog and human.

In 2009 A Belgian Malinois named Raven came into Toni's life. At 9 weeks of age Raven began her education as a Search and rescue dog. It was a life changing event that further shaped the course of not just one, but two lives and the creation of a partnership Toni never dreamed she could have. Through Raven, Toni developed and acquired skills to identify problem areas and change training tactics accordingly for the best positive result.

Today, While Raven is enjoying retirement a new partner has joined the ranks. A third Malinois popped into Toni's life unexpectedly in 2015. Bulleit made his grand entrance as a gangly 9 month old foster puppy. Seeing recognizable traits in such a young puppy Toni tested him to discover a stable and solid dog that ended up staying as a permanent member of the Matthews clan. He is enjoying retirement from search and rescue by competing in the Protection Sports Association (PSA) along side his handler, Toni. 


In 2021 A new member was added to the pack. Malinois puppy Mongoose made her debut as our new PSA prospect and Demo dog. She made the long journey from the east coast to join us. We look forward to big things from this great girl.

Giving back has always been in Toni's blood. She believes education is the most valuable resource we can give. By offering training Toni has helped bring many dogs and humans together developing life long happy partnerships. With the loving support of her Husband Kevin and Sons A.J., Mikey, and daughter Katlin, Toni has become a wonderful trainer and a resource for San Benito county.

"Our best friends deserve to understand what we ask of them through clear communication, By learning their language we can offer them that. Don't let your dog just be man's best friend. Be theirs in return."

                                                             -Toni Matthews


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