About Man K-9

With over 40 years of experience, there’s a lot to share.

About The Training Director

Meet Manuel Villanueva

Training Director, Manuel Villanueva, is one of the most sought-after dog trainers in the United States and beyond. Manuel’s career started when he was just 18 years old (over 40 years of experience) and he specialized in training working breeds such as Dobermans, Rottweilers, and Shepherds. Manuel was one of the few trainers to study under Mr. Fon Johnson, a pioneer in the dog training world, who specialized in the training of police dogs. In fact, Mr. Fon Johnson developed many of the K-9 training programs and canine psychology models that are now used throughout the country and founded the first full-service pet boarding facility in San Diego in 1950.

Certifications and Memberships

Serving the community is important to Manuel. Over the years, Manuel has devoted countless hours to the Humane Societies by working to educate the public in the care and training of our canine friends. In 2003 Manuel’s work was recognized with The Friends of Animals award from the North County Humane Society.

Family Dog Training

Recognizing Manuel’s skills in working with dogs, Fon took Manuel under his wing, and together they trained hundreds of dogs in various fields from puppy training, general and advanced obedience, to police service dogs. During the 1980s and 1990s, Manuel trained thousands of family dogs while serving as the head dog trainer for leading facilities in the region, including:

Specializing in:

Award-Winning Police Canines

K9 Raven with numerous 1st place awards and a prestigious Top Dog award

Man-K9 have had the pleasure to produce not only superior dogs out on the streets but also in the competition ring.

The K-9s we have trained have left a significant impression at prestigious trials, such as the Annual Riverside Canine Trials.

Our intense training on “obedience and control” ultimately gains spotlight attention at these competitions .Recently, officer James Smith and his K-9, Nero, of the Oceanside Police Department won the Top Dog Award at the 17th Annual Riverside K-9 Trails. The duo garnered media attention in The Coast News because this novice team won high marks in their first competition beating out seasoned “open” competitors.

Over the years, our handlers and their K-9s have repeatedly earned the following honors:

Retired Carlsbad Police K-9, Arlo, and his handler, Corporal Allen Severy, took home multiple trophy wins over the years. One major award included an open overall trophy, highlighting how they excelled in all phases of the trial.

The competition stadium is just another avenue that Man K-9 is able to demonstrate the talent of our police canines and handlers.

See Man-K9 in Action

Law enforcement officers with a police dog conducting a training exercise or demonstration indoors.
A police officer holding a leash of a police dog wearing a k9 vest, while another officer watches.

Certifications and Memberships

Police K9 Trainer (the only civilian Police K9 trainer in San Diego County)

California P.O.S.T. Certified Instructor

DEA Certified (the only trainer in San Diego County)

California P.O.S.T Certified Police K9 Evaluator

45 years of training experience

Member of the California Canine Narcotic Association

Canine Good Citizen Evaluator (AKC)

Certified Narcotic Detection Trainer

Kennel Tech Certified

Award Winning Police Canines

Manuel is the only civilian K9 trainer in San Diego County qualified, recognized, and contracted by Law Enforcement Agencies. Manuel has worked with hundreds of Police K9s in Patrol work, narcotics, tracking, trailing, and evidence searching. His police dogs have been responsible for apprehending thousands of criminals. He has also trained some special canines for work with S.W.A.T. teams and is a sought-after judge for national and international competitions, including the 2008 Riverside Police K9 Trials. Over the years Manuel has received recognition and awards for his substantial contributions in the area of Police K9 training. Manuel has also organized several Police K9 competitions throughout southern California to promote public understanding and respect for Police Service dogs. Manuel is considered an expert dog behaviorist and has conducted numerous interviews for television and newspapers. Manuel is one of the few Civilian K9 trainers in California to be a member of Law Enforcement Associations. Manuel is the Police k9 trainer for the following Police Departments:

About the Training Director

Our Team of Experts

Fon is a dedicated trainer that grew up alongside his father who was also in the canine industry.

Fon Villanueva

Senior Canine Trainer and Police K9 Instructor

Watching his dad, Manuel Villanueva, train dogs since he was a young pup himself, Fon grew up in the canine industry. He is named after Manuel’s long-time mentor, Mr. Fon Johnson. Fon has trained dogs in multiple disciplines from pet obedience to instructing our Police K9 Academies since 2012. In addition to patrol work, Fon is responsible for imprinting our detection dogs in narcotics or explosives. Fon is a certified canine decoy, certified dog trainer, AKC CGC evaluator, and more. His passion continues to grow as he learns from his dad and the dogs around him. Fon is proud to provide quality service and resources whether he is conducting private lessons with a family pet or police canine academies with officers learning to handle their new partner.


Edznna Villanueva

Finance Director

Starting her career as a kennel operations manager from 2006-2017, Edznna gained broad experience in the pet care industry under her father, Manuel Villanueva. She has competed and won AKC obedience competitions since she was a young girl. Over the years she has gained extensive knowledge observing her dad train the law enforcement officers and their canine partners. Alongside a love for dogs, she found a niche in finance as she was responsible for multiple accounts and began overseeing the finances of various corporations. Today she is the Chief Financial Officer for a real estate company as well as the Financial Director for Man-K9. She is our main point of contact for any and all finance/accounts payable needs.

A smiling woman with long dark hair outdoors in front of a vehicle.

Laurie Hay

Managing Director

Laurie started her journey working for Manuel in the kennel environment in 2012 as a receptionist. After learning more about dog psychology, she became fascinated with their abilities and what we are able to teach them. This fascination has since grown into a passion for dogs and the work they do when paired with a handler – on the street or in a family home. When calling Man-K9 you are likely to speak to her first as she fills you in on our training background and philosophies. You can see her at police dog training with her Rottweiler, Brutus! 

Sam, a dedicated and hardworking trainer at Man-K9 in San Diego, CA.

Officer Samuel Hay

Tactical Consultant

Officer Samuel Hay was a K9 Handler for 8 years with two partners, K9 Gonzo & K9 Jenko, at Oceanside Police Department. Officer Hay has been a police officer since 2004. In addition to being a canine handler, Officer Hay was on the S.W.A.T. Team, is a certified explosive breacher, tactics instructor, field training officer, and more. Because of his extensive background as a police officer coupled with canine handling experience, Officer Hay has been a great resource when training our Police Canine Handlers on how to tactically use their dog in the field. You will often see him debriefing scenarios or decoying, his favorite part of developing a green police dog! 

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Ricky Nanez

Puppy/Obedience Trainer

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