Yvonne has been in and around animals all her life. Working at the local Zoo; playing with cougars, jaguars, coati mundis, Guinea fowl, gibbons and whatever came into to the Zoo. With weekend excursions to the ranch to work with stubborn milk cows, bulls with pink eye and deranged gelding horses. Additionally, growing up on the show circuit while the family boxers were shown and became champions---I realized early on, that subjecting our will on those pooches we loved was not an effective way of getting the best out of our friends.
As a teen I trained my Siamese cat to ride on my shoulder while I toured around town on my 10 speed. Later, once married, I trained our two DSH cats to come when called and to enjoy travelling in the car. Once I took up jogging I wanted a companion--- so along came an all Canadian named Kaela, rescued from a local farm. She was afraid of men, door thresholds and loathed mailmen. She became a therapy dog, visiting senior’s homes before it was vogue. At the end of our time together, she trotted to town with me, off leash, while carrying my wallet.
When she passed I became attracted to the Belgian breed and that led me to the world of clicker training. I really felt a choke chain and screaming orders at my pooch were not the best methods of training. A friend recommended clicker training and I attended several clicker seminars including one presented by well known Sue Ailsby. I then sought out another gent named Ray Underwood who was enjoying much success in the CKC obedience ring with his Shelties. Ray refined some ideas I had in regard to clicker training. My first Belgian Teaka learned to dislike obedience immensely, so I began looking for a fun alternative for her….that is when we discovered agility !! Since then, seminars with Marlene Ness, Mary Zacharatos, Kim Collins, Stacy Peardot-Goudy, Kayl McCann, Bobbi Lyons, Dr.Sophia Yin and Denise Fenzi have changed my training methods in a very positive way.
Collectively, the pooches and I have earned 6 AAC agility ATCHs, we are currently competing at the excellent level in CKC agility. We have reached the CDX level in CKC obedience, the dogs have tracking titles, herding titles, trick titles and currently are competing at the excellent level in Rally-O. Back to agility, we have competed in a number of Regional Championships, reaching the podium twice and reaching the podium at Nationals. We’ve dabbled in carting, skijoring and hope to start nose work soon. I am currently a Master’s level judge for AAC and I’ve instructed foundational agility for a local business.. I have experience rescuing different breed types and re-homing them where they live out their lives happily…this includes one cantankerous Chow Chow named Grizzly who came to me during the horrible wildfire season of 2003.
Your experience at my seminar will be equally fun for you and your beloved pooch. I do feel if you are not having fun doing what you are doing with your pooch, you are doing it wrong !