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MYTDOG™ is committed to helping you have the special relationship with your dog. Dogs are our companions, our partners, our family members. Dogs are capable of so much more than what they are given credit for. At MYTDOG™ we work to bring out their full potential and give you the dog you have always wanted.


MYTDOG™ has a program to fit the needs and desires of nearly every dog and owner. Whether you want a performance dog with a high level of skill for agility, hunting, obedience or any other dog sport, OR you only ask that your dog be mannerly, not jump on people, drag you on a leash or bark at every moving object, the MYTDOG™ approach can help you achieve these goals! 

Our training approach focuses on helping you clearly communicate with and train your dog in a fun, fair, and effective manner. Whether you select the most basic or most advanced program our goals are the have a "no-excuses" pet. You shouldn't have to say "well, he listens at home" or have excuses for why Bowser just won't listen. We want you to have a reliable dog in all situations, ANYTIME-ANYWHERE!


Susan Barnes,  
Owner/Head Trainer

In the early 1990's Sue got her first "very own dog", a rottweiler named Bria.  This dog was the beginning of a journey and passion that drove Sue to want to learn all she could about the art and skill of dog training.  Sue sought out every possible opportunity to attend classes, read books or pick trainers brains.  And so the story began......

Sue sought out trainers to spend time with and apprenticed with both pet and hunting dog (pointing dog) trainers in the Dubuque area.   A social worker by trade, she appreciated the common importance of consistency, boundaries and communication that are a cornerstone to success in both fields and  built on the knowledge and experience she gained to apply it in her dog training. 


In 2000, Susan took the suggestion of a fellow trainer to attend a Remote Collar seminar. After two short days at this seminar, Sue's whole view of dog training changed. She embraced an approach that focused on using this tool to communicate in a new way, a way that was fair, humane and clear to a dog when teaching/helping the dog was the focus. The struggle to handle the out of control dog, the run away, the barker.... could all be dealt with much less struggle and without the need for the owner vs dog problems so often encountered in classes.  This tool and the information that she gained at this seminar was the beginning of the journey to becoming a true professional dog trainer. 


Sue taught many owners and their dogs in both individual and group class settings at veterinarian offices, pet stores and independent locations. Researching and learning all that she could about  the different training tools and techniques, she focused on being a trainer with a balanced approach and making owners successful in training and communicating with their dogs.

In 1999, she was selected as the Animal Control Officer for the City of Dubuque, which brought her even closer to her love of animals and working with people.  The opportunity to combine her two worlds, that of Social Work (working with people) and Animal Control (working with dogs and their owners) was a perfect blend to build on her passion and utilize her knowledge of dog behavior and training.


In 2005, Susan and her dog Tanner got their dream of competing in a DockDogs® event when it came to Dubuque for a Regional Championship.  Over their career they would develop a resume full of placements, personal records and being placed in the World DockDogs® rankings as the #1 GSP and the #25 dog overall and may many amazing memories and accomplishments spanning Tanner’s 12 seasons.  This successful team developed a Dock Jumping program,  TEAM MYTDOG™, that trains and coaches people and dogs of all levels to be successful teams, and provides the opportunity to train on the regulation TEAM MYTDOG™ dock at a private pond.


In April 2006, Susan launched MYTDOG™ on a full time basis in the Des Moines, IA Area.  MYTDOG™ serves clients locally but also has clients as far away as Nebraska, Kansas City, Illinois, Ohio and Florida.  MYTDOG™ is a full service dog training company dedicated to helping owners in all areas of training, whether pet or competition dog.


Some of Susan's memberships  and accomplishments include:

  • 2010 DOCKDOGS HALL OF FAME with Tanner.

  • Certified Remote Collar Specialist, No Limitations School for Remote Collar Training, Midwest Branch (Now called the That's My Dog!® E-cademy).    

  • E-collar seminar presenter (agility), class instructor and trainer in Agility, AKC Obedience, Pet Obedience, and Advanced E-collar skills. 

  • Experienced presenter and educator.  She has presented Dog Bite Prevention Programs to hundreds of children and done Responsible Dog Owner Education for people of all ages for the past 7 years.

  • Trainer and Handler for FOUR TIME Dockdogs® National Champion, Tanner

  • Handler for 2011 Dockdogs National Champion, Junior Divsion, Bella

  • 2011 Recipient of "Contributor Award" from WOrld Dockdogs Organization.

  • Nominee for National Dockdogs® Sportsperson of the Year, 2007 and 2011

  • Dockdogs Sportsperson of the Year Recipient, 2008

  • Nationally Certified Animal Control Officer.

  • Completed the Level I, II and III National Animal Control Academy.

  • Trained and experienced in the handling and management of aggressive behavior in dogs.

Professional Member of International Assoc. of Canine Professionals (IACP) 

Tanner, aka "Tanman"
The Original MYTDOG
Dockdogs Hall of Fame Member
June 24, 1999- April 25, 2016

Tanner was the original demo dog and the dog that built MYTDOG™  when we began serving Des Moines full time back in 2006. Tanner’s impeccable manners, obedience and endearing personality won hearts everywhere he went and made people want to have a MYTDOG.  He was andexceptional example of how a high-energy dog could live as a wonderful housedog and family member with training, and he LOVED getting to meet people and show off his skills!


Tanner was also an elite athlete and excelled in everything he did.  After starting his life competing in field trails, and then running against some of the fastest dogs in the tri-states in Mutt Dog Derby’s, Tanner got his chance to try what would end up being his first love, competing on the DockDogs™ circuit .  His career began in 2005 and spanned until 2016 when he was well over 16 years old.  He travelled the country, logging well over 100,000 miles over his career, competing in 26 states, achieving 5 National Championship Titles, World Championship Invites, World Records and was one of the top competitors in the country in his prime, and touched hearts and left a legacy even as he aged. He was well know by many across the country and appeared on tv numerous times for news coverage, several episodes of the OUTDOOR CHANNEL’s coverage of Dockdogs, and his most far reaching moment was when he was featured on ANIMAL PLANETS DOGS 101, which still plays to this day. 


Tanner accomplishments on the dock were numerous but his most prestigious was his Induction into the DOCKDOGS HALL OF FAME in 2010.  Tanner was also nominated and selected by the dockdogs community as the MOST INSPIRING TEAM for this honor in 2015.


Tanner was one of the first GSP’s to compete in the early years of dockdogs and he paved the way and inspired many GSP’s to join the sport and there are now HUNDREDS of GSP’s competing across the US, Canada, Australia and the UK.  Tanner’s personal best jump in competition was 25’6” (measured from where his tail meets his spine), a enormous jump for the time back in 2007.


Tanner has left a legacy of inspiration through his NEVER GIVE UP TOUR, which was created back in 2014 after he,  was diagnosed with kidney failure at the age of 15.  Though he had his set backs, he continued to LIVE LIFE and enjoy dog sports and activity right up to his passing on April 25, 2016, at the age of 16 years 10 months and 1 day. His health never stopped him from enjoying life or inspiring anyone he met to look at like with a positive and hopeful view.  His Legacy continues through the our other TEAM MYTDOG’s that compete in his honor and carry on the  NEVER GIVE UP TOUR.  People can learn more abut Tanner, the Never Give up tour and follow our journey on our NEVER GIVE UP TOUR Facebook page.



  • 2010  Inducted into the Dockdogs HALL OF FAME

  • World Championships Qualifier and Competitor 2008, 2012, 2013, 2014,2015

  • Big Air World Record Holder for Veteran Dog- 25' 6 "

  • Master National Champion ‘07

  • Veteran National Champion ‘07, '08

  • Veteran National Championship 3rd Place, '09

  • Legend National Champion, '10

  • Veteran national Championships 8th Place, '10

  • #1 Ranked GSP ’06 & ‘07

  • #2 Ranked GSP '08

  • Recipient of the Gracie Award (Top Veteran Dog) ‘07, '08

  • Most Inspiring Team Nomination /Recipient 2014, 2015

  • Appeared on OUTDOOR CHANNEL (3 episodes), 2008

  • Featured on Animal Planet’s Dogs 101, 2009-present


Demo Dog  
DOB: June 16, 2008

Tate is a male, Black and White German Shorthair Pointer, and the son of our ORIGINAL MYTDOG Tanner.  A boy with a happy personality, tons of energy that finds great joy in “zooming” through the yard, stalking birds, bouncing like a pogo slick and chasing butterflies, there is nothing but happiness that comes from this sweet boy. He was a silly puppy and his registered name was chosen to reflect that, “MYTDOG’s TATER TOT”.  To this day he is the dog that seems to never let anything bother him, that is just happy to be alive and share this with everyone he meets, you can not help but smile in his presence.


Tate enjoys working with me but his greatest challenge during training demonstrations is having to WORK before his gets the opportunity to meet people because his joy in life is meeting people and he believes his first job is as a “social director and greeter”. Despite his high energy, he is a perfect blend of “crazy” and “calm”, and truly represents what good training can offer when you give an energetic, short attention span dog a purpose and job.  His amazing personality, his cute face and constantly wagging tail, are the qualities everyone notices and loves about him.

Demo Dog
June 16, 2008 - January 4, 2021

Tini is a little Black and White, female German Shorthair Pointer and is the daughter of our ORIGINAL MYTDOG Tanner.  I always joke that she “grew into her name” because though she was a small puppy, I had no idea she would only grow to 38lbs, a truly “teenie” GSP.  Tini will be that perpetual “puppy”, that dog that never seems to look older and had that never ending tail wag and miniature ize that just makes you want to hug her. 


Tini’s registered name, “MYTDOG’s Destini”, was chosen to reflect my hope that she would be future of MYTDOG and her father’s legacy, and has definitely been that. The alternate spelling of Destiny was reference to her name and small stature. 


Tini is the more serious between she and her brother and those that see her are often amazed at her calm and focused personality.  Tini works hard and plays hard and knows when the situation calls for each. She is so focused and consistent and I can always count on her doing her to be her best for me.  


DOB April 15, 2012

Rylee is a female chocolate lab that loves running, jumping and swimming more than anything in life.  Well, maybe those things are a close second to her love of people and snuggling.  Rylee is an accomplished dockdogs and dueling dog competitor that has earn invites to the world championships several years ins a row and has finished in the top 10 or each discipline along with a WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP 3rd Place finish in dueling dogs in 2015 and in 2019.


In 2016, Rylee had a tragic accident when she landed wrong while trying to catch a disc and broken her femur, requiring plates, a pin and screws to reconstruct her femur. Two surgeries, months and months of rehab and recovery, Rylee returned to the dock in March of 2017 and picked up right where she left off by earning several dockdogs World Championship invites and event placements.  Rylee competes in Big Air and Speed Retrieve and ranks among some of the best in her division.  


Rylee added new sports /competitions to her resume when she competed in UPDOG and Toss and Fetch,  disc dog competitions.  Rylee’s enthusiasm and athleticism makes her exciting to compete with and to watch. Even with a past dramatic injury while playing disc, Rylee's desire commitment to every disc thrown is a joy to see.  

Rylee is the greatest example of how dogs never let things hold them back and how powerful their desire is to live and love life!

DOB March 10, 2014

Bio coming soon...

February 28, 2016

Dockdogs Hall of Fame Member
April 17, 2007- June 18, 2017

Bio coming soon...

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