Top Agility Dogs - Official 2016 Results

Meet Canada's Top Agility Dogs

1-TAD-Zassowski-2-4.jpg#1  AgMChV Xtacee The Sixth Sense XPV, AgSC, AgMXJV2
Call name: “Foomin”
Cardigan Welsh Corgi
Owner/Handler: Lisa Zassowski
 
How long have you been training dogs? Fourteen years.
 
List other events you participate in with your dogs. In the past, tracking, herding, obedience, protection. Currently, lure coursing.
 
Most memorable win/trial in 2016? After Foomin successfully completed the distance portion of one run of Gamblers at the AAC regionals, the judge turned to everyone watching, spread his arms, and announced, “See? It’s so easy! That’s how you do it!” Foomin’s specialty is running distance courses in a smooth manner. I felt proud that her performance was recognized by, and seemed to impress, a judge at a high-level event. 
 
Favourite obstacle? Anything that lets her go, go, go! Her legs may be short, but she enjoys stretching them. Foomin loves to do her “job,” and her job is running agility. She doesn’t even want me right by her side, running with her. Just tell her where to go, and she will find it and do it right away. She also enjoys the end, leaving the ring, because that means it’s time to be paid! Yummy treats!
 
Most difficult obstacle for your dog to master? The opposite of going is staying. Foomin dislikes the table. She does not want to stop. She somehow knows there is more to do. The start line is also considered optional in her mind. Once the collar is off, it’s time to go… never mind that I am still bent over unclipping it.
 
Advice you would give someone new to agility? Build a good relationship with your dog. Be patient. Speed on course is nice, but safely performing the obstacles will ensure your furry friend will remain in good health and be around longer.

 
2-TAD-Brown.jpg#2  Ch. & AgMCh. Baywood Sask River Mission CGN, IP, CDX, RE, AgMX3, AgMXJ3
Call name: “Mission”
Portuguese Water Dog
Owner/Handler: Brenda B. Brown
 
How long have you been training dogs? I have been training/playing with dogs for over 35 years. I started with German Shepherds and got my first Portuguese Water Dog in 1989 when we discovered my youngest daughter was allergic. That was the start of Baywood PWDs.
 
List other events you participate in with your dogs. My dogs also compete in obedience, rally, conformation and also breed-specific water work. The water tests simulate the tasks the breed performed for Portuguese fishermen.
 
Most memorable win/trial in 2016? No one event stands out. Mission is a joy to play with any day.
 
Favourite obstacle? Jumpers is his event. He loves to stretch out and run!
 
Most difficult obstacle for your dog to master? The teeter – he has to think, not just fly.
 
Advice you would give someone new to agility? Find an instructor or club that makes you and your dog feel welcome and supported. Don't be afraid to try a few different options before settling in. Find a good fit for you and your dog. I'm really grateful to have supportive friends and students for training and trials. Volunteer at trials to learn more about the ins and outs. Most importantly, HAVE FUN! 

 
3-TAD-Davis.jpg#3  AgMChS Scouterrific AgX, AgXJ
Call name: “Scout”
Cairn Terrier
Owner/Handler: Karin Davis
 
How long have you been training dogs? Scout is my first agility dog. He is a rescue.  I do all the basics but employ a trainer, Liz Fortna, to train and run him.  I train dressage horses for a living and knew early on that I could not commit the necessary time.
 
List other events you participate in with your dogs. Just agility. Although I do own a young Cairn that will do enough conformation to finish her title, so she can be bred at some time. She also is showing unbelievable talent in agility. 
 
Most memorable win/trial in 2016? Achieving his Master Agility Champion title in the States.
 
Favourite obstacle? Weaves.
 
Most difficult obstacle for your dog to master? Teeter.
 
Advice you would give someone new to agility? Get a good trainer! "Perfect practice” makes perfect, not just lots of practice.


 
4-Guillote.jpg#4  AgMCh. Marolou Run McClean XPV, AgSC, CGN, CD, RE, AgMX2, AgMXV5, AgMXJV5
Call name: “McClean”
Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier
Owner/Handler: Diane Guillotte

How long have you been training dogs? Almost 20 years. 
List other events you participate in with your dogs.  We have been involved in the shooting of a documentary on canine osteopathy and acupuncture. We also go to the Terrier specialty in Pennsylvania.

Most memorable win/trial in 2016? To be invited with my 10-year-old dog to both the 2016 Top 5 CKC Agility Invitational Challenge and the 2016 AKC Agility Invitational in the same year.

Favourite obstacle? Favourite agility obstacles for McClean are the contact obstacles, as they are always rewarded.

Most difficult obstacle for your dog to master? The most difficult obstacle for him is the weave poles because this obstacle is long and he loses momentum.

Advice you would give someone new to agility? Find a coach who can guide you and give you small achievable goals, and that will help you reach your goals.


4-TAD-Lavoie-Bond-1-1.jpg#4  Ch. Symphonie’s Double O Seven CGN, RE, AgX, AgMXJ2
Call name: “Berry Bond”
Kerry Blue Terrier
Owners: Catherine B Lavoie, Fortin Joel & France Godbout
Handler: Catherine Lavoie Bélanger

 How long have you been training dogs? I began training dogs in early 2000 with my very first dog, another Kerry Blue Terrier named “Bleuet.”

List other events you participate in with your dogs. Conformation and the dog’s structure are very important to me. This may be partially attributed to the fact that I am an animal chiropractor by profession but regardless, this is the reason that my dogs start their careers in the show ring. We also train in obedience and compete in rally (Berry needs only one more leg for his RAE) as well as rat sports, a terrier necessity.
 
Most memorable win/trial in 2016? That would definitely be our Agility Trial Championship (ATChC) with the AAC. We were missing one last qualifying score in the Master Gambler class, which is certainly not our strong point! Berry and I achieved that last qualifier on home turf where we train, surrounded by all our agility friends, both two- and four-legged! It was so special, we were even awarded a custom rosette personalized in our favourite colours. 
 
Favourite obstacle? Without a doubt, the weave poles!
 
Most difficult obstacle for your dog to master? The contact zone on the A-frame!!
 
Advice you would give someone new to agility trials? Have fun and keep smiling whatever happens!! You are there to enjoy your best friend and you never know when it’s going to be the last run… Cherish every moment, the training and the trials.
 
5-TAD-Freeman-Zephyr.jpg#5  Ch. Auburnmist Familiar West Wind NPS, XPV, RA, AgNS, AgNJS, AgMXV2, AgMXJV
Call name: “Zephyr”
Golden Retriever
Owner/Handler: Annelise Freeman
 
How long have you been training dogs? I started in agility in 2013 and began trialling in 2014.
 
List other events you participate in with your dogs. Zephyr is also a therapy dog. We visit the elderly.
 
Most memorable win/trial in 2016? Our most memorable 2016 trial was in May running in my parka during a snowstorm!
 
Favourite obstacle? Zephyr loves the teeter.
 
Most difficult obstacle for your dog to master? Not breaking through the tire jump.
 
Advice you would give someone new to agility? Agility is learning to understand what motivates and engages your dog. Winning takes a back seat to that moment when you and your dog connect and run as a team.


 
6-TAD-Lavoie-Myrtille.jpg#6  GChEx & AgMCh. Symphonie’s Love Actually CGN, RE, AgMX2
Call name: “Myrtille”
Kerry Blue Terrier
Owners: Catherine Lavoie Bélanger & Joel Fortin
Handler: Catherine Lavoie Bélanger 

Most memorable win/trial in 2016? I had tears in my eyes when Mrytille and I completed her CKC Agility Master Championship (AGMCH). This win was very special not only because we were at the Kerry Blue Terrier Club trial, but most importantly because Myrtille made CKC history that day by becoming the first Canadian dog to receive both the GChEX and AGMCH titles.
 
Favourite obstacle? Myrtille loves jumps and tunnels
 
Most difficult obstacle for your dog to master? The weaves.
 
Are there benefits and challenges to training/trialling more than one dog at a time? When you run more than one dog in a class you can learn from any mistakes you may have made with the first dog.  It’s sort of like having a second chance! It can be difficult to warm up and connect with two different dogs before their runs especially if they are close in the running order. Occasionally you have to memorize different plans for the same course.  I sometimes choose two different ways to handle my dogs, so walking the course becomes even trickier.
 
What advice would you give someone trialling two dogs at the same event? I am typically very busy when at trials.  I not only manage and run my own dogs, but I also provide chiropractic adjustments for my clients’ dogs at the trial, but it’s all very feasible. I think the best way to juggle everything is:  Arrive early, be organised, have a friend (or many) to help out and keep smiling!! It’s all and always just for fun!
 
7-TAD-Jefferis.jpg#7  AgMChS Abitt Scooter Jones XPS, AgSC, AgSCS, AgMXJS3
Call name: “Scooter”
English Springer Spaniel
Owner/Handler: Jane Jefferis
 
How long have you been training dogs? Training dogs seriously since 1999.
 
List other events you participate in with your dogs. Agility is my main focus, but I am doing obedience and nosework as well.
 
Most memorable win/trial in 2016? Best trial was the November trial in Edmonton when Scooter was able to participate again (after an injury)! It was so wonderful to run with my “comfy old shoe” guy!
 
Favourite obstacle? Scooter has great weaves and contacts, so I can count on him to do his job when we run.
 
Most difficult obstacle for your dog to master? We have struggled with start lines, so that is an ongoing training issue! Waiting to go is not his favourite part of agility!
 
Advice you would give someone new to agility? For anyone new to agility, I would recommend they make sure they have trained foundation skills really well, then go out and have fun playing with their canine partner. The clean runs will come if the game is fun, and the focus is on using results to improve skills.

 
8-TAD-Alexander.jpg#8  Ch. & AgMChV Catamyrann Chardolini AgN, AgNJ
Call name: “Cromwell”
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Owner/Handler: Anita P. Alexander
 
How long have you been training dogs? Cromwell and I started to train in agility in 2007, the year we moved to the U.S. from the U.K. Later we moved back to Canada where we started CKC agility when the Wascana club decided to have a yearly CKC trial.
 
List other events you participate in with your dogs. Cromwell was a therapy dog and had his own hospital ID for Christiana Care Hospital in Wilmington, Delaware, where he was cleared to visit surgical wards and the cancer clinic. He and some of our Cavaliers also visited nursing homes. We also show in conformation.
 
Most memorable win/trial in 2016? It is hard to pick a most memorable agility trial moment. Most trials this year were new to us and were memorable for either the clubs or the people, the talent or the weather. Spruce Meadows has to be the most spectacular site.
 
Favourite obstacle? Cromwell has neither a favourite nor a difficult obstacle. He is just a consistent, efficient seasoned dog who handles all of the obstacles.
 
Most difficult obstacle for your dog to master? He handles close to me and his only level of difficulty on a course involves how much I choose to have him move away from me. Any non-qualifying runs are either my mistake or we have run out of time.
 
Advice you would give someone new to agility? My best advice to any agility competitor would be to realize that you and your dog are a team, and at the end of the day it is your utmost responsibility to make sure your teammate is safe, and is a happy competitor.


8-TAD-Titon.jpg#8  GChEx & AgMChS Fwaggles Million Dollar Baby CGN, NP, PCD, RA
Call name: “Frankie”
Toy Manchester Terrier
Owner/Handler: Corey Titon
 
How long have you been training dogs? I have been training dogs for about 25 years. I became involved in competitive agility about eight years ago.
 
List other events you participate in with your dogs: I participate in agility, conformation, rally and obedience.
 
Most memorable win/trial in 2016? I have two. Frankie completed his Masters Agility Champion Selected title and obtained his second all-breed Best in Show in conformation.
 
Favourite obstacle? He really doesn’t have a consistent exercise as his performance can vary depending on weather, his mood or the amount of distractions with the amount of people or other dogs present. I have learned that working with terriers can be different and as such, take nothing for granted.
 
Most difficult obstacle for your dog to master? The teeter.
 
Advice you would give someone new to agility? Have a light attitude and have fun with your dog. Be patient. Set training goals and break them down into small, manageable portions to be successful.

 
9-TAD-Beard.jpg#9  The Swirling Tuula Du Josar CGN, XP, AgSC, CD, AgX, AgXJ, AgMXJ3
Call name: “Tuula”
Belgian Shepherd Dog
Owner/Handler: Wendy L Beard
 
How long have you been training dogs? I have been training in agility since 2000, when I started with my Belgian Shepherd, “Tanja,” in the Netherlands.
 
List other events you participate in with your dogs. Other dog sports I have participated in (and titled dogs in) besides agility, are obedience, herding, disc, rally and dock diving. My dogs are also conformation champions.
 
Most memorable win/trial in 2016? Our most memorable trial was the Summer Spectacular held at the Red Barn last summer. Tuula attended as #1 Belgian Shepherd in CKC agility for 2015 and we were honoured to be awarded first place in the invitational event, and receive the Adele McNiven Memorial Award.
 
Favourite obstacle? Tuula is by far most consistent in Jumper with Weaves, having earned 38 Master Excellent legs compared to just eight Master Excellent Standard legs.
 
Most difficult obstacle for your dog to master? Most difficult exercise – see above! Apparently she has an aversion to yellow [contact zones].
 
Advice you would give someone new to agility? My advice is to run every run like it was your last and never leave the ring upset with your dog. They are not with us forever.
 
9-TAD-Freeman-Zia-1.jpg#9  AgMChS Saudi Desert Light XPS, AgSC, RN
Call name: “Zia”
Golden Retriever
Owner/Handler: Annelise Freeman
 
Most memorable win/trial in 2016? We had a great time at the four-day AKC summer trials at Spruce Meadows.
 
Favourite obstacle? Weave poles.
 
Most difficult obstacle for your dog to master? Contacts zones. I think she believes she should avoid those yellow zones.
 
Are there benefits/challenges to trialling more than one dog at a time? Benefits are in learning the course pattern and getting to run it twice. Challenges are in remembering which dog you are running since they have different speeds and different needs.
 
What advice would you give someone trialling two dogs at the same event? Keep hydrated… you are going to run a lot. Remember to balance volunteering with spending time with each dog.
 
10-TAD-Boyes-1.jpg#10  Hyperhounds All Fired Up CGN, XP, CD, RE, AgX, AgMXJ
Call name: “Spark”
Shetland Sheepdog
Owner/Handler: Kim Boyes
 
How long have you been training dogs? I have been training dogs for 18 years. Competing in dog sports for 16 years.
 
List other events you participate in with your dogs. Agility is our main focus, but we also train and compete in formal obedience, rally, nosework and scent-hurdle racing.
 
Most memorable win/trial in 2016? Spark won the 16” Regular Division at the AAC BC Regional Championships.
 
Favourite obstacle? The dogwalk! Spark has a running dogwalk, so we have spent countless hours reinforcing running on the dogwalk. It is now her favourite obstacle and she will choose it over tunnels or other obstacles on course!
 
Most difficult obstacle for your dog to master? The teeter. Spark was worried about the motion when we first started competing.
 
Advice you would give someone new to agility? Just have fun! We all need to remember that agility is just a game we play with our dogs. Win or lose, qualify or not, just enjoy the experience and the time spent with your furry friend.
 
 
 
 

 
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