About Us

All of our training staff hold certificates, awards and commendations in the working dog community, both here in the USA and abroad.

Irene Howcroft, Owner & Trainer
Irene founded Ruidoso Malinois and oversees all the kennel's programs. She has been in the working dog world for decades internationally and domestically in the United States. Irene is a certified master trainer and has brought a scientific approach to clarifying the needs to push standards in the breed to a higher level. In the counter-narcotics community, she is known for the first U.S. Department of State K9 program within the Mexican Department of Corrections. Her breeding program, development and nutrition-based programs are the baseline to numerous K9 programs here in the USA. Irene is an invited speaker at Police K-9 Seminars nationwide speaking on K-9 psychology and the mind of the dog from whelped to fully trained K-9.

Darren Pretlow, Trainer
Darren has 23 years of experience as a trainer of which 20 years were spent with DoD as a bomb/patrol dog handler and instructor with the United States Airforce. Darren brings the expertise and finesse only decades of experience in a vast variety of environments can offer.

Christopher Pendelton, Trainer
Christopher served with the DoD, Marine. Christoper is a certified Decoy who brings with him both a wealth of knowledge, training and application experience.

Justin Rivera, Trainer
Justin and has over 15 years' experience working and training K-9’s in a multitude of environments. He is a certified decoy. Like all the trainers at Ruidoso Malinois Justin brings a depth of knowledge of dog behavior, development and training skills.

Guest Trainers and Instructors

Franco Angelini, The Bite Dr, instructs the decoys at Ruidoso Malinois twice annually, ensuring that standards are high and skills are consistently honed ensuring the best possible training and development of the Ruidoso Malinois decoys, thus providing high quality, trained dogs.

In addition Ruidoso Malinois has a consistently revolving staff of guest trainers and Instructors that allow us to remain current in the evolving world of counter-narcotics, patrol, tracking and explosives work. They are comprised of retired and active military, law enforcement and non-government personnel. We are embedded in the community to not only train to a higher standard but also utilize unique perspectives of guest trainers to the modernization and application of keeping K9 teams efficient.

With large contracts other certified trainer team members are available to ensure that these contracts are fulfilled in a professional timely manner to the highest standard.