Dog Trainers

Bernadette

I am a full time teacher in a secondary school and I first started agility about twenty years ago, when I lived in Kent.  I competed in agility and obedience for several years but gradually changed to sheepdog training.  Many collies later, I came back to agility when we reluctantly decided to retire one of our five current collies from sheep work.  We were looking for ways of keeping him physically and mentally challenged and felt that agility would do this. He has enjoyed the change of discipline and three of our current collies now also do agility, including a rescue dog who is profoundly deaf.

I am involved in training some of the new handlers to the club and I am currently working towards an Agility 1st trainers’ qualification.  I would thoroughly recommend agility at Whitminster for both dogs and owners.  It is a wonderful way of spending time with your dog and with other like minded people.

Matt

Hi, my name is Matt and I have been a part of Whitminster Agility for nearly three years where I have been a trainer for one year.   I first got into agility as I was “Dad’s Taxi” for my two daughters and their dogs.  In seeing the fun and excitement of it all, I decided to join with my dog, Ellie.  It is also a great way to keep the dog’s mind active, and its’ exercise for both the dog and myself.  Since I started competing, as a club we have had some great days out.  I am very proud of the 1st place trophies Ellie and I have managed to achieve over the years.  However I don’t always get great results, I still do get the ‘E’ which I have translated from the judges meaning of “Elimination” to an “Excellent”.  It is from those where I can learn and improve.

This has given me the courage and enthusiasm to become an instructor and pass on my knowledge and skills.  I am currently revising for my instructors’ course which allows me to further my skills, training and teaching experience to enable me to deliver a fun and insightful agility session.

Tracey

I am currently the Chairperson at WCATC and also have the great honour of being a trainer.  I too have been training for about a year and in the process of taking my instructors course.  I have been a member of WCATC for 7 years now and have seen it go through many changes as people leave and new members enrol.

We are a friendly bunch of people who enjoy having fun with our dogs.  It is great to see so many familiar faces week after week and to watch the bond grow between owner and dog.  We all have weeks when nothing seems to go right and then you see the absolute joy when it finally clicks, both in the dog and human!

I first took up agility with my Staffie “Molly”.  I wanted to give her mental stimulation and not to turn into a typical Staffie.  I didn’t want a house wrecker so I knew I would have to put in the hard work to keep her busy.  She has now retired as she is getting older, we have only ever had one clear round, but boy have we had some laughs along the way.  She comes out of retirement for some of the displays just for the sheer hell of it.  She loves it!

Carol

I started training approximately 12 years ago with Inga (who has now sadly passed away, living to the ripe old age of 14). I got the bug and got another dog, Django.   He is now 11 years old and still enjoys his agility and competing.

We have moved up to Novice in Agility and Jumping and Senior in Steeplechase with the UKA, Grade 2 KC.   I have been teaching for about 6 years and have really enjoyed it.  The real reward is seeing everyone succeed in the goals they have set themselves, and to become a team with their dogs.

This has given me the courage and enthusiasm to become an instructor and pass on my knowledge and skills.  I am currently revising for my instructors’ course which allows me to further my skills, training and teaching experience to enable me to deliver a fun and insightful agility session.

Jaye

Jaye has been a member of the club since 2008 when she started training her Hungarian Vizsla, Blaze.  She started as a hobby with no intention of competing but as they both grew in confidence started competing and had quite a few successes before Blaze was retired last year. Jaye is now training her second agility dog Tali, a German Shorthaired Pointer, who is proving quite challenging but is also extremely quick and keen. Both dogs love doing agility, as Jaye does, especially as it creates a fabulously strong bond between dog and handler.
Jaye has been a trainer for the club since 2011 and was inspired by another trainer at our club who took the time to really get to know her and her dog, tailoring the training to suit their needs and encouraging them every step of the way. Jaye saw how much they improved with this positive coaching approach and wanted to pass this onto other club members – so a big thanks to Carol Doane!

Jaye has seen many dogs and handlers achieve great results over the years and looks forward to seeing many more :-)

Jack

I began my agility career at Whitminster in 2007 with my springer spaniel Gus. I joined the club’s committee in 2009 and became Club Secretary in 2010, which is when I also began teaching.

Having retired Gus, I now train and compete with my cocker spaniel Evie, who loves her agility but seems to love visiting burger vans even more. At any competition you may expect to hear the following announcement: “Would Lesley Wilson please report to the catering van, where we have Evie waiting for you”!

We haven’t made much progression through competition grades but we qualified for the SWAG Beginners Steeplechase semi final for 2015 and competed in the UKA Grand Finals.