I began agility with my dogs in Northern California in 1995 with the help and encouragement of my first trainer, Myra Fourwinds. In 1996 I continued training back in Southern California with Pat Charlton. Over the years I have taken many training seminars with great instructors like Greg Derritt, Jo Fraser, Jim Basic, Elicia Calhoun and more. I’ve also attended several agility camps in my pursuit of new ideas and techniques for agility training. I believe that good instructors are always learning and, as students themselves, can help the handlers in their classes become better trainers.
My first agility dog, Kala, an All-American had to retire early from her agility career but before she did she earned her Novice and Open titles in NADAC's Regular and Jumpers classes. Kala also earned her Novice Gamblers title and needed one more leg for open Gamblers. Because Kala was my first agility dog, I made lots of mistakes in her training and yet she still wanted to play the game with me and hung in there while I figured out what I was doing wrong. Kala taught me patience!
My second dog was another All-American named Jacob. He earned his Novice, Open, and Elite titles in NADAC and his USDAA MAD (Masters Agility Dog) title. Jacob was what we call a “Velcro dog” because he preferred to work very close to me, so it took us a little while to earn those Masters Gamble legs. Jacob taught me the importance of balancing skill training in agility since close work came easy for him; we had to spend more time practicing our distance skills. Because he preferred to work close to me, Jake found games like Snookers fun and easy and he earned 14 Masters Snooker Q’s! Jake was an awesome dog who, without agility, would have gone insane with energy. Training him taught me so many things including the importance of play!
Over the years I have trained and competed with many different breeds and personalities of dogs from Papillons to Rottweilers. I am currently training my young Malinois/Whippet cross, Logan, for Agility and we’re cross training and/or competing in Lure Coursing, Barn Hunt, Rally Obedience, Dock Diving, and Nose Work.
There really is nothing else I’d rather be doing than playing and teaching with my dogs!
As one of the agility instructors for Paw Prints Dog Clubs Agility program, I offer specialty handling classes, Focus classes, and private lessons. If you would like more information on agility classes feel free to contact me by e-mail at Deanna@pawprintsdogclub.com