Dog training, event center opens in King

The Brylin Obedience Specialty School offers a 9,300 square foot agility area with a one-inch foam dog agility matting and regulation agility equipment.

A dog trains in the Brylin Obedience Specialty School Nose Works facility.

King could soon become a center for the dog training world thanks to the efforts of long-time residents Bruce and Gayle Riggins who have recently opened the Brylin Obedience Specialty School (BOSS) in the 19,000 square-foot Hastings building at 416-D W King Street.

“I have been training dogs and their owners in Winston for the past 5 years and decided it was time to come home to King,” said Gayle, noting that the new school has been designed and outfitted specifically for a variety of dog training and canine sports.

“We are thrilled to offer the extended Winston-Salem area a comfortable, safe place to connect with your dog in a variety of ways,” she said. “Our team of instructors has a wealth of specialized education and experience in such disciplines as Obedience, Agility, Family & Community Dog, Control on Leash and many more. We are especially proud of our ability to offer ‘Rowdy Rover’ classes for those dogs who may not be best served by a traditional class setting.”

The new school will employ four instructors, two assistants and two staff members, several of which are from the King area.

“As the school grows, we will be adding more instructors and classes,” said Riggins.

The school features a 9,300 square foot agility area with a one-inch foam dog agility matting and regulation agility equipment. Additional obedience and/or rally rings with AKC equipment are also available for training and competition.

Riggins said the the school is planning on hosting a variety of regional agility trials starting with a United Kingdom Agility International trial on July 25 through July 26.

“We are expecting 50 to 75 dogs that will compete,” she said. “This event is open to the public and free. The agility trial will have classes that will test the dogs speed, jumping and maneuver through a designed course. We will see some of the top handlers in the Eastern region of the country.”

The facility will also offer training for a new dog sport called Barn Hunt.

“Barn Hunt is based on the traditional roles of many breeds in ridding farms, barns, crop storage areas, and homes of destructive vermin,” said Riggins. “Some breeds were specifically created to fill this role, and for many of those breeds, Barn Hunt provides their first true opportunity for responsible breeders to test proper working traits in their dogs. Barn Hunt is also open to any dog of any breed or mix who wishes to play the game and can fit through an 18” wide by “bale-height” tall tunnel. Barn Hunt has titles, levels of increasing difficulty, and championships. Barn Hunt is an independent sport, but titles are recognized by both the American Kennel Club (AKC) and United Kennel Club (UKC).”

Instructor Kim Williams, a retired Winston-Salem canine drug dog officer, will also be providing nose work instruction at the facility.

“She teaches dogs to search in a systematical way,” said Riggins. “She teaches in a custom designed classroom specific for nose work. After the dogs are trained to search, they will learn to identify an odor and then to indicate the order buy sitting, barking, scratching, or laying down. The dogs are then taught to identify the odor in boxes, rooms and automobiles.

“Kim will soon attend a Nose Works seminar with the goal of becoming an event judge,” she added. “Our plan is to hold a Nose Works trial in King.”

The school also offers Small group classes and events for puppies and dogs of all ages for both new owners and experienced dog trainers.

“We also offer Puppy University – a safe place for you to bring your puppies and learn how to train to each developmental stage,” said Riggins. “After graduating from Puppy University at the age of 5 months, each trainer and puppy will be able to continue working on skills needed at home. Family Dog at Home will help with training a well behaved dog at home, Family Dog in the Community will help train those much needed skills for good behavior in the community. The school provides a unique opportunity to learn much needed skills, both by the dog and the owner.”

Riggins said she wants her new school to also be a good citizen in the community and is already planning several ways to help the area.

“BOSS will sponsor Stokes County 4-H with a Canine Camp and a future canine focused club under the direction of Pam Davis. The canine club will meet monthly with a program to help the kids train and partner with their dogs” she said. “BOSS will also partner with the Stokes County Animal Shelter to help with their needs. We are planning a fund raising and food drive for October. The team at BOSS will work hard to help raise money for the shelter. We will be donating money from our Agility Trials each month to help with immunizations. Currently BOSS provided the shelter with coupons for each dog adopted. The coupon will allow both handler and dog three free classed on transitioning from shelter to your home.

For more information, visit or contact BOSS at [email protected] or 336-365-8455.

Nicholas Elmes may be reached at 336-591-8191 or on Twitter @NicholasElmes.