Q-Tip and I do agility for the Canine Stars performances. We enjoy jumps, tunnels and weave poles. Sometimes we will do a dock diving performance (she gets some good distance for a small dog). She also dances but she can be a little performance shy. I think her all time favorite part of any show is the meet and greet! She LOVES meeting everyone!
I have two dogs and a cat. Katie is an 11 year old Maltese X Yorkie. She is showing her age and the only trick she does now is ‘sit’ and only when she wants too. However she’ll do anything for food. Q-Tip is a 5 year old Havanese and for a small dog she has a lot of work ethic. She wants to go and unlike Katie, she needs something to do. She loves agility and trick training. Callie is the cat of the family and is 9 years old. My cousin found her on the highway after seeing her thrown from a vehicle. Her favorite toys are tennis balls and she is the biggest cuddle bug.
Q-Tip and I love performing at the Calgary Stampede. The crowds are amazing and there is so much energy. It is amazing to perform in front of thousands of people!
My three most important foundation skills are based on agility and having a well mannered dog. My main foundation skill is training a ‘down’. My dogs have an automatic down when walking if we stop or when crossing a road. It also helps in agility to settle them and calm them. I teach a ‘leave it’ command more for safety. I do not want my dogs eating things or getting too excited by people or other animals. By teaching ‘leave it’ they understand they get a better reward from me, not from what they want in that moment. I also teach a ‘touch’. Touch is a main training component in agility and I also use it as a foundation skill for tricks and recall.
Every dog has different tastes and different tricks they enjoy. My favorite tricks to train are leg weaves, jumping into my arms and spin. There are so many fun tricks to train and its an amazing way to bond with your dog!
I started training dogs when I was a child. I have always loved animals and my first dog was an amazing girl. My parents had a Cocker Spaniel so when I was born I had an older doggie sister. I grew up with her and to this day, I believe she was the smartest dog out there. She got me interested in training. She liked to hunt and when she went deaf in her older age I taught her hand signals, she picked them up quickly and to this day I love working with special needs dogs and enjoyed my time volunteering at multiple rescues.
Have FUN! Fun while training is a must for you and your dog. Patience – every dog learns differently and its up to you to figure it out! Consistency – Keep at it. 5 minutes a day, every day! And never end a training session mad! Sometimes you or your dog needs a break! Take a day off!
In my real life career I am a Primary Care Paramedic, Veterinary Assistant and Agility Trainer! Let’s just say, I keep busy! In between shows and days off I enjoy spending time with my family and enjoying the outdoors. During the summer, we are usually hiking or spending the day at the lake. We also enjoy a sunny day on the deck, or a mountain road trip. Winter means it is time for hibernating although I do get out skiing once in awhile. If you would like to join our agility classes, we teach at Dogtopia Blackfoot in Calgary!