About Michael Ellis & The School Facility

Michael is an internationally renowned dog trainer, and teacher of dog trainers, with over forty years of experience in competitive dog sports, practical working dog training, and companion dog training.  He has taught extensively to a very diverse group of trainers, from competitive sport trainers, police departments, and the US Military, to search and rescue groups, service dog organizations, and pet dog trainers.  Michael’s broad experience, as well as his clear, concise, and patient teaching style, have made him one of the most popular coaches of trainers in the world.

Before opening the highly respected Michael Ellis School for Dog Trainers (MES) in 2009, he traveled full time for more than 12 years helping other trainers improve their skills.  That’s over 300 seminars in the US, Canada, Europe, South America, Mexico, and Australia. As a result, Michael has exerted a significant influence on the dog training culture internationally, and has been one of the driving forces in popularizing reward-based training systems for protection sports, as well as being an advocate for thoughtful training methodologies across all disciplines.


In 2009, Michael and his wife Carol opened MES, and in the ensuing 14 years they have helped close to 2000 trainers become better at their craft.  Many graduates of our programs have gone on to become well known, and highly sought after trainers in their own rights, and graduates of the school have become coveted employees for many well-known training businesses and organizations.


Michael has been a competitor in a wide range of dog sports (Mondioring, French Ring, IGP/Schutzhund, AKC Obedience, Dock Diving, etc), as well as a professional companion dog trainer.  He has been a decoy/helper for several national level competitions, both in Mondioring and IGP/Schutzhund, and has been a highly sought after teaching decoy for decades, and was one of the first certified Mondioring decoys in the US.  He has coached thousands of club level and beginning trainers, as well as many national competitors and national champions.

Michael was a past president of the American Working Malinois Association, and former board member of the US Mondioring Association.  He has been a speaker at numerous conferences, and has been a guest on many podcasts.

He has bred Malinois for thirty years under the kennel name Loups du Soleil, one of the most successful breeders of working Malinois in North America (here are some results from National Mondioring competition Levels 1 and 2 and Level 3).

For close to 15 years Michael produced videos and online courses for Leerburg Enterprises, and many of these are still among the most popular training videos available.

Our Facility


In November of 2014, we moved our school from a small industrial facility in Fairfield, California to our current campus in Santa Rosa, California. Our campus spans 3 acres, only minutes from downtown Santa Rosa and roughly an hour from San Francisco, in the heart of Sonoma County Wine Country.


Training Room


Our 2500 sq ft training room is where a majority of our classes meet. This set up allows us to work on obedience, agility, and bite work. It also serves as the classroom for Michael’s daily lectures.


We have a regulation dock diving pool that measures 48 feet long. It is designed to accommodate jumpers and swimmers of all abilities. The pool is 21 feet wide with a permanent dock which is 40 feet long and 8 feet wide. Find out more about our pool rentals and introductory sessions.


School Store


Our school store provides the students the ability to purchase most of the equipment that Michael and his staff use regularly in their training. There is also Michael Ellis School apparel available to purchase including t-shirts, sweatshirts, hats and much more.

Kitchen & More

We have a full size kitchen on campus which gives students the ability to store food and prepare their own meals during their stay. We also have a laundry room on campus, which includes a commercial washer and dryer, a crate room for the dogs, a cafeteria, and a small student lounge with a growing library of dog books.