MEET THE OWNERS
Jonathan and JoDee Watkins
Jonathan and JoDee Watkins and family moved back to South Carolina in early 2014, and founded Pet Commander Kennels in 2015. We are located in Gray Court, SC, just minutes from Greenville! Through many blessings, what started as a twenty-year dream quickly turned into a three-year reality. Their vision of opening a dog boarding and training facility is just one component to a farm that meets and serves many needs. Their love and care for both people and animals is shown throughout the 100+ acre facility that not only houses Pet Commanders Kennels, but will also be home to the CHASE Equestrian Center. Additionally, the Watkins have established a non-profit organization, GIVEN WINGS, which provides hippotherapy (horseback riding as a therapeutic or rehabilitative treatment) and therapy canines to qualified individuals.
Jonathan, a former police officer, worked for one of the largest police agencies in the country. Throughout his career, he amassed numerous commendations, performed life-saving actions, and earned meritorious awards. While his love for working with canines dates back to his childhood dogs, his passion for the working companion comes from working closely with police canines. After his retirement from law enforcement in 2013, Jonathan was committed to pursuing his love for the working canine.
In 2013, Jonathan bought his first hunting canine companion. He quickly fell in love with upland game hunting and began to pursue this passion. His pursuit of this great sport led him to the small town of Big Cabin, Oklahoma, home of Ronnie Smith Kennels. Ronnie Smith comes from a long line of dedicated bird dog trainers, and the Smith family has been training “fine” bird dogs for well over 50 years. Ronnie Smith is recognized as one of the top bird dog trainers in the world, as highlighted by Garden and Gun Magazine.
Wanting to learn from the best, Jonathan spent three months of intense training with Ronnie Smith and his wife Susanna Love. Jonathan is now one of a select few trainers that have a Gold Level training certificate from Ronnie Smith Kennels. He is a proud member of “Team HUNTSMITH.”
Canines have brought Jonathan to some pretty amazing places in our country. From Montana to Texas, Jonathan has experienced a lifetime of upland bird hunting in a very short period of time. He has had the privilege of guiding hunts for countless individuals who love the sport of upland bird hunting. In the fall, you will find Jonathan in guiding camps at some of the most famous and largest ranches in Texas as a part of the Ronnie Smith Kennels team. He has ran guided hunts at the 6666 Ranch, Mariposa Ranch and the Norias Division of the King Ranch.
JoDee is a former cardiac nurse turned successful entrepreneur. You may say that she is the brain behind the Watkins operation. She spends the majority of her time coaching other entrepreneurs to achieve success. Her amazing talents and gifts as a personal coach have allowed Jonathan to pursue his dream. Additionally, these attributes have given them the opportunity to build a facility that will fulfill the vision they had birthed in their heart in 2013. JoDee has an amazing way with people that leaves them shining and successful, and we are thankful she brings that same expertise to Pet Commander Kennels.
Jonathan and JoDee are the proud parents of four amazing kids. Elijah (24), AnneDee (13), Chesney (10), and SaDee (9) can all be found roaming the farm on any given day, and will certainly offer to pet or play with your canine companion.