About - PupCamp

Our Story - A Tale of a Veteran and a Puppy

After serving a tour overseas fighting in the mountains of Afghanistan, I found myself alone and separated from the brotherhood forged in battle with my unit in the 82nd Airborne. When I became a civilian again, I was lost trying to find my way in a world coping with the effects of Post-Traumatic Stress. When all seemed lost, I found solace in the most unexpected of places: A boxer puppy named Lulu.

An incredible bond developed between me and this unassuming animal. She was my puppy, my teammate, but most importantly, she was my friend. This inexplicable bond that developed between a fading veteran and a bouncy happy puppy changed my life. Undoubtedly, Lulu had saved my life as she taught me how to live, love, and feel again. She healed the wounds of war (the ones you don’t see on the outside). This amazing animal had instilled in me a love for the species that made me want to help their kind. Many families and dogs lack great training, and I found I was born for this - to train dogs, create happy families and happy homes. Then, I spent 5 years training thousands of dogs. I saw everything from puppies to aggressive dogs and was able to successfully help these families not only to train their canines, but to understand them better too.

Later, I saw an opportunity to help even more dogs as I was limited by my geographical area to reach and train these families. So, I decided to launch Puppy BootCamp in 2020 and spent the better part of a year creating this program, for you. My goal is to bring cost-effective and affordable dog and puppy training to every family in America and across the globe.

In the midst of all this, Lulu had fallen ill the week of her 11th birthday. Sadly, Lulu had to be let go as she passed in my arms on her way to rainbow bridge. Despite fighting in a war, receiving a Purple Heart, and battling PTS, this was the hardest thing I have ever had to endure. However, Lulu’s legacy lives on in this program and the courses we offer. It is my hope that you can develop a bond with your puppy as I did with my Lulu.

David Shade

CEO and Founder

David Shade is a CEO, Entrepreneur, Combat Veteran, Paratrooper, Purple Heart Recipient, and Professional Certified Dog Trainer. After returning home from Afghanistan in 2008, he got his first dog, a female boxer named Lulu. David was then diagnosed with PTS (Post Traumatic Stress) and found that Lulu, like all dogs have the power to heal us through companionship. Then, David decided to dedicate his life to training dogs and coaching families to replicate the emotional bond that he had with Lulu. In 2020, Lulu passed away, but her legacy goes on as David has helped thousands of dogs and continues to be an advocate for training in the dog owning community. He has several publications as a guest writer, TV appearances, was a featured Tedx speaker, and a keynote speaker for fundraising events for dogs.

Lesley Shade

CMO and Co-Founder

Lesley is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer committed to modern, ethical and evidence supported dog training methods. She is a graduate of the Victoria Stilwell Academy for Dog Training and Behavior and Fear Free Certified. After spending her early career as a corporate paralegal in different industries like oil and gas and pharmaceuticals, she decided to make a change and dedicate her full time attention to helping families and their dogs understand each other. Her favorite part of dog training is seeing that, “Aha! Moment” when it clicks for a pup! Obedience and foundational skills are just scratching the surface for Lesley! From canine fitness and conditioning to gun dog training and training service dogs for veterans, she continues to embrace everything dog! Lesley lives with her pups: Otis a Boxer, Sammy a Boxer/Lab mix and Sarge a Field Labrador puppy and her husband, Dave.

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