Growing up there was always at least one dog in the Burak household. Starting from a young age, Mike
was always involved in helping to train the family’s dogs. By the time he was 12 years old, he took it
upon himself to do the bulk of the training for the family’s Miniature American Eskimo dog. A few years
later, he got a Samoyed puppy for Christmas and all the responsibility that came along with her. Over
the years Mike and his family had several spitz breeds, as well as a West Highland White Terrier, and a
Dogue de Bordeaux, a breed that Mike had wanted ever since watching the movie Turner and Hooch.
Today, Mike shares his home with his wife, young daughter, a 7-year-old rescued pit bull mix named
Barge, 2 cats, and 2 guinea pigs. In 2016, after having had such a great experience with their own rescue
dog, Mike and his wife decided to open their home to other rescue dogs by becoming a foster home
through a local dog rescue. Over the last four years, they have had nine foster dogs and taken in several
others temporarily. These dogs ranged from young puppies, to a dog with severe separation anxiety,
and a puppy mill survivor who had never seen grass before.
In 2017, after his daughter was born, Mike wanted to make sure that Barge was still getting enough
attention, so he started looking into different activities that he could do with Barge. After reading the
description for Barn Hunt, he knew he had to give it a try. After a shakey start, Mike and Barge started
taking their training more seriously in late 2018 and have been completely hooked ever since. Barge has
since earned his Novice title with a 3 rd and 4 th place finish, and he only needs one more qualifying run to earn his open title after a second place and a high in class placing in his first two qualifying runs. Mike and Barge have also trained in agility which they both really enjoyed.
Most recently, Mike and Barge have started working together towards trick dog titles. Barge earned his
Novice Trick Dog Title in September of 2020 and is now well on his way to earning his Intermediate Trick
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