About Cedar Valley Canine


Our History

A Family-Owned Kennel since 1993

Dave Taylor started Cedar Valley Canine in 1993. The business was originally known as Cedar Valley Kennel, aptly named because he lived in a cedar valley just outside of Nashville. In 2010, Dave moved to Alabama to become a Level IV instructor at The Auburn University Canine Detection Training Center, putting his own business on hold for a little bit. However, after a successful time with Auburn, he moved back to Nashville to continue with Cedar Valley Canine. 

Today, we are located just outside of Nashville with access to major interstates and only 30 minutes from Nashville International Airport. With 90 beautiful acres bordering the Cumberland River in Cheatham County, we have a training environment that allows us to prepare dogs for a variety of possible scenarios.


Our Philosophy 

Beyond Sit + Stay 

Whether it’s breeding German Shepherds or training dogs, we are passionate about going the extra mile to guarantee success.  

When it comes to training, we believe that establishing communication for both the dog and owner is the key to success. We’ve developed a learning method based initially on positive reinforcement (food, toys and praise). At the appropriate stage of training, we use negative reinforcers to teach the dog consequences of unwanted behavior. In the end, it’s about creating a mutual understanding between dog and owner that will last a lifetime. We have multiple programs that fit a variety of training needs- anything from civilian, sport, military, protection and law enforcement. We welcome any and all breeds to our training program. 

We’ve been successfully breeding German Shepherds for over 25 years, and we’ve taken that experience and expertise and used it to develop and raise our standards to the highest level of excellence. 

Our breeding program is small and carefully monitored. As a family owned kennel, our German Shepherds are hand-raised with a keen focus on health and temperament. We provide the utmost care for our puppies and dogs. 



Meet Dave Taylor | the man behind Cedar Valley Canine


Dave Taylor

With what started as being a hobby trainer while in high school, Dave’s passion for training dogs quickly turned into an over 40 year career. After founding Cedar Valley Canine in 1993, Dave has been at the forefront of the working dog world- dealing with everything from importing, selection, and sales and training for Police and Military Working Canines, Companion/ Protector Dogs and Commercial/ Private Security.

Dave has numerous accomplishments and memberships: he has been a member of the United Schutzhund Clubs of America and has been a member of the German Shepherd Dog Club of America. 

He is also an eight time competitor in Schutzhund/IPO III and ADPDA National Championships with five different dogs, twenty-plus time Protection Decoy for Schutzhund/IPO Trials and has eighteen first-time titles with six different dogs.

Dave has placed multiple dogs in Police/Military/Government service in the United States and abroad, has trained/certified hundreds of dog/handler teams in Narcotics, and trained more than 5000 dogs in the private and service dog sector. 

Today, Dave is the head trainer and owner at Cedar Valley Canine. He lives on the property and runs the business with his wife, Betsy, and enjoys spending time with their children, grand-children, two beloved German Shepherds, four cats, two miniature horses and an adorable Shih Tzu.  


Trainers + Staff


Ashley Beard

Training Director

Meet Ashley, our Training Director at Cedar Valley Canine. Ashley joined CVC in 2018 after three years of being a VWK9 (previously American K9).

While at VWK9, she started as a trainer then quickly became Lead Trainer and the Lead Explosive Detection Dog Instructor. Her accolades include being the first K9 handler in the United States to certify for TSA’s Cargo Screening and being the Lead  VWK9 handler for events and agencies including Auburn University football, the Atlanta Braves, Jacksonville Jaguars, and more. Prior to VWK9, she was at the Auburn University Canine Detection Dog Training Center. 

Dave has known Ashley since she was an intern for him in high school. As well as training dogs, she has also trained Tennessee Walking Horses and continues to love riding when she has the time. Ashley lives nearby with her German Shepherd Laz.


Marianne Whitaker

Office Manager and Trainer 

Marianne has been the Office Manager and Trainer with Cedar Valley Canine since 2019, but has known Dave for over 20 years. After a career in finance, real estate and politics, Marianne found that her true passion was working with animals, especially dogs. Her experience began in 1999 when she purchased her first German Shepherd from Dave at Cedar Valley Canine! Since then, she’s earned multiple working dog titles on numerous dogs and was president of her Schutzhund/IPO club. 

Outside of working at Cedar Valley Canine, Marianne’s passions are photography and anything having to do with dogs. She founded and continues to manage the Middle Tennessee German Shepherd Rescue and has several canine family members that include German Shepherds and Belgian Malinois. 


Megan White


Megan has been with Cedar Valley Canine since 2017 as a trainer. She graduated from Penn State with a degree in Animal Science. Megan knew that her calling was with animals - she graduated from the dog training program at Tarheel Canine and came to Cedar Valley shortly after. Her career started when she was just 15 after taking training classes at Brandiwyne Kennels in Pennsylvania. She went on to become a trainer and handler for dog shows in the area. 

When she’s not at CVC, you can find Megan with her two pups, an Australian Shepherd and Belgian Malinois, or behind the camera honing her photography skills, crafting or target shooting. 


Lilly and Kalie Mahaney

Kennel Technicians 

Sisters Lilly and Kalie Mahaney have grown up at Cedar Valley Canine - literally! They grew up next door and have been a part of our Cedar Valley Canine family for a long time. Kalie is starting her junior year at Austin Peay and Lilly is a freshman at UT Martin. We don’t know what we would do without these two! 


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