Joe Secreti, the founder of Maximum Canine and Anita’s Pure Nutrition For Dogs, grew up in a close-knit Italian-American family who settled in Queens, New York, before moving to Long Island. All of Joe’s family members owned multiple dogs, including his grandmother, Anita Secreti, the matriarch of the family. Anita was a true dog woman. Regardless if her dogs were from her own breedings or rescues, she would train and live with them in the most natural ways. From Poodles, German Shepherds, Rottweilers, Dobermans, to mixed breeds, Anita could communicate with each dog and instinctively knew how to care for, train, and interact with them. She understood the dog-human relationship better than many dog trainers today. Joe watched how his grandmother worked with her dogs, developed bonds with them, and trained them in ways that supported their healthy, happy lives. Joe’s experience, along with his grandmother’s guidance, led him towards a diversified 35+ year career in dog training, k9 detection handling, sport competition, dog health, nutrition, and fitness.
How It Started: Rescuing Dogs
Joe’s background with dogs started at the young age of seven when he adopted his first dog Athena, an abused and neglected 3-4 year old German Shepherd mix. Due to the abuse that she endured, it took many months of TLC and socialization in order to rehabilitate Athena. It was a long road, but the day came when Athena became a young boy’s best friend. The outcome was extremely rewarding and from that moment on, Joe was addicted. This early experience was key in developing Joe’s passion for improving the relationship between dogs and people.
In the years to follow, Joe rescued and inherited many different kinds of abused and neglected dogs. From all these experiences, Joe acquired a skill and passion for dog rehabilitation and behavior modification. Joe and his team at Maximum Canine continue to concentrate a large portion of their time working with shelters and rescue organizations. Maximum Canine is proud to teach new fosters and new adopters rehabilitation techniques. In particular, the best ways humans can communicate with their foster dogs and newly adopted dogs.
The Start of Dog Training Education
Through the years, Joe has been fortunate enough to be given many different opportunities to explore and develop his relationship and love for dogs. When Joe was young, he gained valuable experience working at a dog boarding facility. He also became the person to call when you needed a dog sitter or help with training. As he grew older, Joe's passion and desire to be more involved in the dog community also grew. Joe started spending time with local trainers with backgrounds in advanced obedience, personal protection training, Belgium ring sport, and Schutzhund. With this experience, Joe began training with his own dogs at a higher level while providing part-time pet training services. Joe eventually joined a local Schutzhund Working Dog Club and quickly became intrigued with the impressive abilities of working and sport dogs, fueling his growing devotion for the sport.
Dog Sport Experience
Joe handled, trained, and decoyed many dogs at various levels of the Schutzhund sport. He has competed with his own Belgian Malinois and Rottweilers. Joe earned titles in Schutzhund, IPO and IGP ranging from BH, BST, ZTP, IPO1, IPO2, IPO3 along with FH1 and FH2. Joe competed at the club level as well as the National level. Joe has achieved high in tracking, high obedience, high protection as well as high In trial multiple times. Joe also spent time in a local PSA club training his Dutch Shepherd, Lupo, in the PSA sport (Protection Dog Association).
To date, Joe keeps his personal focus on competing at a high level in Schutzhund (IGP) Sport both national and internationally with his competition bred Secreti Haus Rottweilers.
The Working Dog Clubs: A Way of LifeJoe has spent many years as an active member of a few working dog clubs in Long Island, NY. Spending long days working with a group of talented and experienced mentors and dog trainers has catapulted Joe's knowledge about the canine world. Year after year, working in unison towards common goals with his fellow dog club members has played a major role in the evolution of Joe's canine education and in defining his identity within the working dog community. Working dog club members' experiences are entwined in such a way that all the successes and failures are shared. This camaraderie along with Joe's own experiences in Dog Trials and certifications has been the true evaluation of one's education. Without trials and tests, one could only have a biased opinion of one's level of achievements. Failure is the biggest driver of one's success. Being scrutinized and viewed with a magnifying glass by educated evaluators pushes an individual to reach true success. Over the years and all the experiences have reminded Joe how much more there is to learn.
Protection DecoyDuring Joe's dog training journey, he has spent thousands of hours learning and working with protection dogs for various dog sport, as well as personal and corporate protection dogs. His experience working and training different breeds at various levels over the years in dog clubs along with the many protection seminars he attended in the US and abroad created a knowledge that one can only achieve with such diversified long-term experience. Over the years, Joe acquired a USCA (United States Schutzhund Club) Decoy certification as well as becoming the second American to ever receive A helper certification from The ADRK (Allgemeiner Deutscher Rottweiler Klub) Germany. Joe continues to work and train Personal Protection dogs as well as decoy for dogs competing in Schutzhund (IGP), PSA, and American Schutzhund.
Partnering with Dog Runner Belgium
Over the years, training and competing with dogs, Joe always looked for ways to improve the mental along with the physical capabilities of all his dogs. His desire to incorporate nutrition, health, and fitness into their cross-training led him to dog treadmills.
Finding and incorporating the use of dog treadmills helped him achieve monumental success in all aspects of not just working with sport and working K9s, but also in obedience training. When first starting out with treadmills, he used slat mills, carpet mills and experimented with a variety of electronic treadmills. What he realized quickly was the electric treadmills provided his dogs a versatile machine to improve their overall physical fitness.
After trying a few brands, Dog Runner Belgium stood out as the gold standard for electric treadmills. He decided to team up with IGP Belgian Champion and Dog Runner co-partner, Nick Vannerom, to create Dog Runner USA in order to bring Dog Runner electric treadmills to dog lovers in North America.
Committed to Responsible Breeding
Secreti Haus is a Rottweiler breeding program formed after many years owning, training, and competing with the breed in Schutzhund as well as Rottweiler Sieger conformation shows. Over the years, Secreti Haus Rottweilers has had many proud accomplishments in the Sieger show ring including multiple V1, multiple Youth Siegerin and Sieger, Siegerin and Sieger, select males and females, best puppies, champions, and his dogs have earned 1st place in multiple kennel classes—including at the Rottweiler National Championships. Joe traveled to Germany and competed in the ADRK Rottweiler Klub Sieger show, the largest most competitive international rottweiler show in the world. He achieved astonishing results with a V3 and V4 in his class.
On the Schutzhund field, his dogs earned BST, ZTP, IPO1, IPO2, IPO3, and high in multiple categories; Joe’s goal is to better the breed by using an ethical breeding program that follows the FCI and ADRK German standards. Secreti Haus is dedicated to enhancing and promoting the quality of the Rottweiler breed. They proudly breed European bloodlines that are consistent and proven. They are fully committed to the breeding of healthy and trainable dogs with excellent temperaments, high intelligence, superior workability, and prized physical qualities for conformation.
Joe’s Experience With K9 Detection
In 2011, Joe had the opportunity to learn even more about working dogs by volunteering at Amdetech Detection Services, a working K9 detection kennel in Connecticut. Here he learned how to train and handle all levels of Detection K9’s ranging from Green to advanced in narcotics and explosives. He was fortunate enough to train multiple dogs from start to finish and handle them during third party certification.
Within a year, Joe was offered a job as a trainer and K9 handler for Amdetech where he worked as a K9 explosive detection handler in many of the seaports in New York City. Joe’s experience with Amdetech Detection Services included K9 port security guard for the waterfront commission of NYC, a K9 security officer in many of the seaports in NYC, working for Disney and Carnival cruise lines as an explosive K9 handler. His duties included, but were not limited to baggage sweeps, and searching cargo, personal, cabin, tractor trailers and vehicles.
After working for Amdetech, Joe worked as a private contractor for many security companies in the tri-state area. He has worked for homeowners, business owners, private air flights, high net worth clientele in the entertainment industry, and many Middle Eastern royal families.
Today, Joe and his team offer certified K9 Detection services under his Maximum K9 Detection Service company. They service a customer base ranging from public and private schools, hospitals, rehabs, commercial cruise lines, public seaports, VIP air flights, foreign diplomats, royal families, celebrities, and private security firms.
In 2019, Maximum K9 detection service was one of the few selected companies to become approved under the TSA developed Third-Party Canine Program (3PK9) which establishes the process for the aviation industry the use of private sector companies to provide K9 cargo screening. These EDC teams have the ability to be deployed into TSA regulated environments.
Dedicated to the Bird Dog SportJoe’s dog training journey also led him to years of training and experience in upland and waterfowl hunting. Joe truly enjoys the bond and camaraderie that comes with a purposeful dog and handler enjoying the teamwork to satisfy a common goal. He enjoys hunting with two of his dual-trained K9 Detection Labrador Retrievers, Gauge and Callie. In the winter months, you can find them in the fields, ponds, and waterways around the North and South Shore of Long Island.
How Anita’s Pure Nutrition For Dogs Was Born
Anita’s Pure Nutrition For Dogs started when Joe got tired of the health issues that his dogs were experiencing. His regime of health treatments for his dog's ailments would seemingly fix one problem only to have another arise. Joe began researching canine nutrition to address this imbalance. He wanted to take preventative measures against canine health problems such as allergies, dental and gum disease, digestion issues, cancers, and ligament damage. This research brought him to the importance of nutrition and how a Biologically Appropriate Raw Food diet could help to alleviate many of the conditions his dogs were dealing with.
In the 1990s, Joe began to experiment with raw food; first adding fresh vegetables and raw meat to his usual kibble feeding. When he saw the positive effects that this change was having, he started adding fish, fruit, and eggs, which brought even more positive changes. Naturally, the next step was to implement a completely raw diet. Joe began to notice that his dogs had fewer health problems, more energy, healthier teeth, fresh breath, and thick, shiny coats. He also saw a marked improvement in the performance of his competition dogs.
After Joe successfully transitioned his dogs to a sustainably raw diet, he began to experiment with his own raw food blends purchased from retailers. After working as a distributor for other raw food brands on Long Island, Joe decided that the best way to ensure his dogs were eating properly was to team up with dog nutritionists and raw food manufacturers to develop Anita's Pure Nutrition For Dogs line of raw food blends, treats, and supplements.
With more than 25 years of experience, Joe has become an educational source and supplier for performance and pet dogs on Long Island and beyond. .
Joe’s Dedication to Diversity and Ongoing Education
Diversity has given Joe and his team an open-minded approach and ability to meet all levels and needs of the dog community .
His extensive background has allowed Maximum Canine to become an asset and offer a one-stop-shop for educating on the value and connection of humans and dogs.
Joe firmly believes that continuing education and surrounding him and his team with new experiences is the key to the success of Maximum Canine. Along with a lifetime of diverse dog experiences, Joe puts a strong emphasis on continuing education, attending certification courses in a variety of disciplines in the dog training and care industry. He also travels nationally and internationally to attend dog related seminars, workshops and sport competitions. He regularly trains with friends locally as well as ones as far as Belgium and Germany to enhance his craft.
Joe’s biggest reward is helping people truly understand the meaning of a healthy fulfilling partnership with clarity between owners and their dogs. To him, there is nothing more rewarding than seeing this transformation happen and the end goal come to fruition.