American Canine Institute

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Meet Our Team

American Canine Institute's trainers in Fruitland, Idaho have more than 30 years of experience training all breeds of dogs. We are certified and trained in professional dog training.

We not only teach each dog how to behave, we demonstrate how owners and their family members should interact with their pet so they can be comfortable and have a well-behaved companion.

Bob Vance

Master trainer, behaviorist, and founder, Bob, has been training canines since 1959. He worked with several police departments establishing K-9 units for San Francisco, Vallejo, Richmond, and Antioch from 1963 to 1984. During 1984 to 1996, he was a judge for police dog trials, founder of a Diensthund Club, and training advisor for Pro Train in Oakland, California. After these roles, he owned and operated a 100-dog guard service, and founded the American Canine Institute in Dixon, California.

Gene Cunningham

Gene began formal dog training in 1989 as an apprentice dog trainer with master trainer and behaviorist, Robert J. Vance. Gene became certified in 1991 as a master dog trainer conducting group and private classes part-time for the American Canine Institute & Kennels until 2006. 

Since 2006, Gene has been operating American Canine Institute full-time in Fremont, California, training dogs in Silicon Valley and the greater San Francisco Bay area.   He is an AKC trainer and evaluator for the STAR Puppy Program and the Canine Good Citizen Program. He is also a training provider for Service Dogs for Children with Disabilities (SDCD) .

John Butcher

Master trainer and manager at our newest office in Fruitland, Idaho,  John is a Retired Deputy Sheriff K-9 handler and trainer for 17 of his 32 years as a Deputy Sheriff in California.

He is an AKC trainer and evaluator for the STAR Puppy Program and the Canine Good Citizen Program. He is also a training provider for Service Dogs for Children with Disabilities (SDCD) ,  the International Association of Assistance Dog Partners (IAADP)  and the International Police Working Dog Association (IPWDA).   John holds a Bachelor's  degree in Criminal Justice.


Chuck Cunningham

Chuck began training dogs in 1991 with Bob Vance. In 2006, Chuck began helping his dad by assisting with teaching dog classes, and since 2012, he has been teaching dog obedience classes by filling in when needed. He currently conducts a group class in Mountain View, California.   He is an AKC trainer and evaluator for the STAR Puppy Program and the Canine Good Citizen Program. 

Robert Gholston

Robert is the newest member of American Canine Institute in our Fremont California Office, and he began training in 2013 as an apprentice dog trainer under the guidance of master trainer Gene Cunningham. Robert is conducting puppy and basic obedience dog training classes in San Ramon, Livermore, and Newark, California.   He is an AKC trainer and evaluator for the STAR Puppy Program and the Canine Good Citizen Program. 

Contact Us

American Canine Institute - IDAHO


Phone: 208-488-5021
Email: john@aci-idaho.com

Business Hours

Open 7 Days: 7:00 .m. – 5:00 p.m.

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