Marianne & Snowy: Snowy, our senior (10 year old) got 3 Qs, won her Novice title and also one High in Class in the Dogworks trial May 6 to 7 in Pitt Meadows. As with most terriers she and I needed lots of training when she was a pup just to bond. After basic puppy class we tried some agility and some tracking training. We stopped formal training at about age 3 but kept on with daily tricks just as part of our routine. When Snowy turned 10 in January she was sleeping a lot more and kind of withdrawing a bit and I decided to try Rally. I was worried about her reactivity in class but Dogworks are brilliant at handling dog-dog interactions. We felt totally safe there and have been training with Julia Schwark through Novice courses. This weekend was our first trial and it was so much fun! My girls eyes were sparkling and she was so happy and engaged. Love Rally!
Anna & Maya: Maya had been attacked as a puppy on three separate occasions by off leash dogs and has developed larger space margin requirements. She also disliked having dogs in her face and would snap at them instantly to keep their distance. At the time I had been working with Shannon from Zen Dog Canine Training for basic obedience, a few private sessions, and their out & about classes which gave me some tools, which definitely helped with Maya’s reactivity.I had seen Shannon teach her outdoor agility classes and was interested, but being outdoors and not fully fenced, it wasn’t an option for Maya. Shiba Inu’s are bred as hunting dogs and are prone to bolting once they get their scent on something; her recall wasn’t great at the time either. So my search began, I had visited another indoor agility facility, their space was smaller and the biggest turn off for me, was that they seemed disinterested in enrolling a reactive Shiba in their classes. Needless to say I was unimpressed and mentioned this to Shannon, she immediately recommended Dove from Dog Works. I contacted them through email and had a tour booked with Julia later that week. I was impressed that they had dedicated spots for reactive dogs but I was still concerned with Maya’s reactivity in a new space with new dogs. Julia suggested I take their Growlies course as a prerequisite to the agility foundations class, which was a great idea. Although some of the things were repetitive we learned an invaluable game called “Look at it” which Maya was really receptive to, and is now an integral part of our daily training to combat her reactivity. The instructor Karen was also super accommodating. There were times when we were having a “bad day” which at the start of class I’d let Karen know and she’d set up visual barriers with blankets. After completing the Growlies class I was more confident in handling Maya’s reactivity with the additional tools that I had learned.
Since then we have completed the agility foundations class. Maya enjoyed herself so much so, that she had the zoomies while practicing tunnels with other dogs around in class! We hope to continue agility classes at Dog Works and consistently use the tools that we learned with Maya. We’ve seen a vast improvement with her reactivity and are thrilled that the training efforts we put into working with Maya is paying off! A big thank you to the Dog Works team, although we live in Vancouver your training insights are definitely worth the drive into Burnaby! We highly recommend Dog Works and cannot say enough good things about them!
Tanya & Kayden: I attended Growlies class with our rescue Kayden. He has always been quite reactive and it was something we were always working on. I thought I would try him in a classroom setting at Dogworks so signed us up for Growlies with Karen Russell. I cannot say enough amazing things about Karen, the Dogworks team and the skills we learned in this class. We took things very slowly and then added skills each week. I loved the way Karen helped me push him just enough, but not too far, and we were always successful. She was always very aware of the surroundings, the boundaries of our dogs and turned everything into a learning opportunity. Kayden did amazing and in just 6 weeks had taken huge strides and surprised me in various situations.
An example of a recent success, was when I took Kayden out front of our house to pee. A girl and her dog were walking by about 10 feet from us. I saw her and was prepared to react, but he looked at her and her dog and then up at me right away. I went around a van thinking they had passed by and they were RIGHT THERE…he looked at the dog and then looked at me again and sat down..not a peep. I was so surprised and excited by this huge break through.
Kayden certainly isn’t perfect and we will always be working the skills Karen and her team taught us and working in different environments. We have come so far and I am very thankful I decided to take this class. Thank you to Karen and the DogWorks team for helping us to be successful.
Salina & Ferdinand: Ferdinand is doing really great! His barking has drastically decreased, to the point where he doesn’t bark about 80-85% of the time. There’s still some work to do, but at least that isn’t a huge issue anymore. Also he’s getting better with dogs/people/kids in his “space” at home. I’ve also been able to distract him when children are around when we are out in public.
Overall I’m really happy with his progress and I no longer feel anxiety when we walk past a dog or there’s kids around. I do always make sure my pockets are full with treats, but there’s been a few instances I haven’t even needed the treats! Crazy.
I just wanted to thank you so much for all your help & teachings. It’s really made a difference!
Cortnee Billon & Soda:Your classes are so well organized, and from day one you have managed to make Soda and me feel important. I never feel over looked, if anything I feel we get the most attention. You create a relaxing environment in class that is friendly and filled with great encouraging students. At the same time you manage to keep classes structured and filled with valuable learning time.
I’m looking forward to classes and agility more than ever. I wanted to share with you how grateful I am that you were able to find a spot in class for Soda and me. There are so many little things you’re doing that make the classes special and I appreciate all of it and will never overlook them. So thank you!
Kelly Moon & Shelby: I’ve been taking agility classes with Wendy Alexander for several years now. I came with two shelties one who was a “party girl”. Wendy is able to pinpoint areas that need work, suggestions on how to fix the problems and homework which has allowed us to be focused to work as a team. My “Party Girl” is very close to getting her Agility Trial Championship now!
Kelly & Sydney placed 5th in the 6″ Veterans Division at the 2011 BC/Yukon Regionals Championship
Note: Kelly and Shelby received their ATChC at the PAC trial on May 7th 2011 on a difficult gamble!
Elke Starr & Rookie: “Since beginning agility 4 years ago, I have tried 6 different instructors, and have been to a number of seminars and short sessions with other agility instructors. Wendy Alexander is by far the best instructor I have had. It felt like I was a mess when I went to her, and couldn’t believe the sorts of courses and skills she was asking me to do. She had explanations for why we were having problems in certain areas and solutions to fix them.
Over the 2 years I have been training with Wendy, I now have a very solid understanding of agility training, how to communicate with my dog, and have found a system that works great for us. When I make a mistake, I know why it happened and have a plan to fix it. We step to the line with confidence, knowing that Wendy has provided us with the skills to face the challenges out there. I would recommend her as an instructor to anyone who wants to improve their agility performance and communication with their dog.”
Elke Starr & Rookie, ATCHC, Silver Award of Merit
2nd Place – 22″ Specials Division 2011 BC/Yukon Regionals
6th Place – 22″ Special Division 2010 AAC Nationals
Kim Marosevich & Zen & Grimm: “We have been training with Wendy for several years now and the absolute critical piece for us in remaining with Wendy has been her ability to provide useful, personalized information for handler and each dog. My dogs are very different in personality but I’ve created some performance issues with both of them in my training. Wendy always has feedback, it is never generic and always shows an understanding of the handler and dog. Wendy is open to hearing ideas from us students and has an easy way of getting us to “just try” something we think “won’t work”. My dogs and I both have progressed, not only in terms of our hard skills but in our relationship in agility, way more important in my mind!
Wendy is not only a successful agility competitor but she is a skilled teacher as well.”
Sandy Ram & Smudge, Zoe & Razz: “I have been training with Wendy for a couple of years, now. Three different Jacks with three very different personalities. In all three, she has helped with ways to train for agility that suits both myself and my little team partners. Because of this, it has allowed me the chance to experience successes that I would of thought not possible.
With a strong understanding of what your dog wants and needs in order to excel, Wendy makes even the trickiest of handling seem obtainable. Classes with Wendy are always fast, fun and furious and it is just the way myself and my guys like it !”