I love dogs.

cropped-cropped-ariel122.jpgSince October 2016, I have been an approved CGC Evaluator for the American Kennel Club (#93744) in the Boise, Idaho area and can provide training and testing for Puppy S.T.A.R., Canine Good Citizen, Community Canine (the Advanced CGC Title) and Urban CGC. I can approve AKC Trick Dog program applications too. In 2020 I became certified as an AKC Level 1 Fit Dog Instructor and I am currently in the process of finalizing certification as an AKC Agility Course Test Evaluator.

A professional educator in my day job, I have been working and playing with dogs for over a decade, training and competing in multiple companion dog events with my own dogs and volunteering hundreds of hours to helping shelter dogs and their adopters and 4-H youth.

I am a member of the Idaho Capital City Kennel Club, the Lizard Butte Kennel Club, and Boise Agility Runners and Climbers (BARC). I have held several board and officer positions with BARC. I frequently serve as Trial Chair for local AKC, USDAA and NADAC agility trials through these clubs. I have judged agility and obedience for 4-H youth, and serve as the co-superintendent for the Canyon County Fair 4-H and FFA dog show.

I have Shetland Sheepdogs, a small herding breed known for their lovable, loyal natures and their aptitude for numerous performance events. From the beginning, I have embraced training that focuses on positive reinforcement and reward-based methods with them that are mutually enjoyable for dogs and humans. A few of my influential heroes are Patricia McConnell, Pat Miller and Paul Owens. I am also inspired by the work of Sarah Stremming and I continue to learn from the many gifted trainers at the Fenzi Dog Sports Academy.

I have experienced incredible success with my first dog, MACHmach-1-with-clyde-claussen-10_9_14 Shalamar Flashdance “Oliver,” (7/29/2007-2/21/2021) who earned his CGC title in 2009. He went on to complete an AKC Agility Master Agility Championship, and competed twice at NADAC National Agility Championships, winning Team Champion and Highest Scoring Veteran Sheltie in 2014. In 2015 Oliver made the Bad Dog Agility Breed Power 10 list in the 12″ Preferred category. Oliver has also competed and earned titles in AKC Rally, AHBA Herding, and BarnHunt. In 2014, Oliver was one of the first dogs in Idaho to earn the Community Canine Advanced CGC Title. One of his favorite jobs was helping me with CGC Tests as the distraction dog. When he retired from agility he pursued AKC Trick Dog and Scent Work with joy and success. Oliver was a very special first dog who made it all seem easy!

ariel18My beautiful and spirited girl Twilyte Allstar “Dodger” competes in AKC Scent Work, Rally, Barnhunt, Trick Dog, Herding and UKC Conformation, where she has one Best in Show (Altered Class) win. She was the first dog in Idaho to earn the AKC Act-! Agility Title, but she plays agility just for fun. She recently met the qualifications earn a Versatility Champion Title from the Association of Working Shetland Sheepdogs! Dodger has taught me a great deal about how to work with a very intense, fast, sensitive dog with significant drive and desire to understand her task.

The youngest dog in our family is IDAWG Infinite “Newton,” a little tri sheltie who came to us from the Intermountain Domestic Animal Working Group rescue. He is a bright and adorable boy who earned his CGC title and has begun to earn titles in AKC, USDAA and NADAC agility. He has taught me a great deal about how to work with a dog who needs a little extra help developing his confidence and bravery. He also dabbles in Rally, Barn Hunt, tricks and obedience with enthusiasm!

Top and middle photos by https://www.facebook.com/amyjeanwphotography/. Agility photo by Donna Lee, Q-Quest Agility. Bottom photo by Claire Krigbaum.