I have been training dogs since I was a kid in 4-H. I have put numerous obedience titles on my own dogs, and have recently begun agility training. The poise and confidence I learned on stage (I sang professionally for years) benefits me well in the show ring.
My MethodsI come from a horse background. One can not manhandle a one ton animal into doing what you want. Dogs, although smaller, are predators not prey. You probably could manhandle a dog into doing what you want (many try)...but why would you if there were other more effective means???
My success as a handler depends on your dog's happiness in the ring. I do everything possible to ensure that he LOVES to show. All the best conformation in the world is wasted if your dog drags himself around the ring.
People love to send me their puppies! Showing a puppy is all about winning but not what you think. It's about winning the trust and respect of the pup. They trust that I will never let anything bad happen to them and that they will learn to want to show more than anything else in the world.
Every Dog Is Different
What works with one may not work for another. A good handler will change to meet the needs of the dog rather than demanding the dog change for them. I take the time to get to know each individual dog.
I rarely carry more than 10 dogs to any given show so your dog does not spend hours in a crate, rather they are walked by me, groomed by me, and cuddled on the bed by me! I form close bonds with the dogs I handle. They feel at ease with me, because they know they are loved.
Big Dogs and Little Dogs
I strictly separate tiny dogs from big dogs so as not to risk injury. Some small dogs like Pugs and Frenchies may feel right at home with big dogs, but tinies, like Poms are never allowed, even under supervision, to run lose with big dogs for their own safety.
Preparation for the Ring
If time allows, I am happy to meet with you and work with your dog during the week free of charge in order to ensure we click as a team. Austin Canine Central offers a handling class that is great for working new client dogs. The center is air conditioned and has a wall of mirrors that I use to find the best way to stack and move your individual dog. All I ask is that you pay the $15 class fee. Having a ring-ready dog is worth the investment of my time and energy, and I happily do this for clients who invest in me. I am also happy to carry your dog to one or two shows, if space allows, even if he is not entered so that I can spend time preparing him for the ring (see fee schedule for info on applicable expenses).
I Love Winning!
Most importantly, I show dogs to WIN, not to socialize or have something to complain about!