The Callander Canine Centre would like to shine a spotlight on local well-known dog trainer Rebecca Koebel. Rebecca was already booking space to hold classes at the Callander Canine Centre while we were still in the final stages of inspection. She has been a leading client since our doors first open and has been instrumental in making the hall rental a success.
Hi Rebecca, thank you for doing this interview with me today. I think a good place to start is with you telling us a little bit about yourself and how you got started in Agility? Of course! I have been a dog groomer for 6 years and dogs have been a main part of my life for a number of years. I have always been interested in Agility so my dog Indiana Jones and I started travelling to Huntsville to take lessons and then we took some more classes with Pure Gold DogSports in North bay. We now formally compete in AAC Agility and I have since been actively teaching Agility for 3 years. I do love all dog sports and Indy and I had a short Frisbee career until sadly she injured her jaw. We have also tried Tracking, Rally, Dock Diving and Herding but Agility is our favourite.
Can you share with us a bit about the dogs currently sharing your home, and what are you currently working on with them?
Temple (5 months) is mostly focused on being a good, happy puppy. She is currently in a wonderful puppy class at the Callander Canine Centre. We do some flat work for agility but mostly just socializing and learning about the
Indiana Jones has her ADC, SGDC, AADC, AGDC, MADC, MGDC, MJDC, MSCDC, ExJB, and ExGB titles along with her Champion Trick Title with Do More With Your Dog. She has qualified for Regionals twice this year with a podium finish of 4th place. On top of all that she is my best friend and shadow. Indy is also currently working on touching up her obedience and doing some advanced Trick Dog Training.
What would you say is your best memory, experience or achievement in your life with dogs? I would say the best memory with Indiana Jones would be our first (Q)ualifying. In our first trial she had a beautiful gamble run, I am always proud of every run but will never forget that first one.
Will you share with us what your most silliest/funniest/embarrassing moment was when training or trialing your dogs? LOL, yes! Indy once jumped a snooker number that was beside the jump. Someone in the ring crew said “at least she is pretty” Ah yes! I think we can all relate to having a “pretty dog” a time or two in our chosen sport.
Who would you say has been the biggest influence on you in your training? Susan Garrett and Kayl McCann have been the biggest influences. Susan Garrett, I think she has made a big impact on a very large number of dog trainers and owners.
Can you tell us what types of training classes you currently run? I teach Agility from beginner to advanced. My Agility Ready Class, teaches the beginning of handling cues and how to safely use the equipment. I could see that safety would be a very important part of doing agility. Is Agility right for every dog? Agility is not right for every dog. Puppies and young dogs aren’t old enough yet to do a lot of the advanced skills that are required of them such as repetitive jumping. They can’t start jumping till 12 months of age as we want the growth plates to close to prevent any injuries but, they can learn some foundation skills to prepare them that doesn’t involve putting undue pressure on their growing bodies. Some dogs may have other health issues that would make running Agility unsafe for them and then some dogs have no real interest in the sport and are just more happy to be companion animals.
Is Agility only suitable for a certain type of person and do they need to buy all sorts of expensive equipment to have fun with Agility? Anyone who wants to have fun with Agility can do it. Some of the stuff you can make out of things already found in your home such as a broom stick and two boxes. I do recommend taking a class to anyone interested in Agility, whether it just be for fun in the back yard or to compete in the sport. This way they can learn how to teach and train their dog safely. Taking a class will also give them an opportunity to try out the professional equipment and to see if it is something they and their dogs would enjoy doing.
What type of teaching methods do you use in your training? I like using clickers and games to shape behaviours. Agility is a fun active sport that can be very rewarding in its own right so we tap into that when teaching and motivating our dogs.
What is the best way for people interested in taking your Agility classes reach out to you and is there anything else you would like to share with us? (Class sizes, cost, favorite quote?) Anyone interested in getting more information on doing Agility with their dogs and taking a class with me can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or they can visit my face book page All For The Dogs.
I keep my class size small, limiting them to no more than 4 dogs per class and the prices start at $180 plus tax
Favorite quote. “It’s never the dogs fault”
Thank you very much Rebecca for taking the time to share with us. It has been a real pleasure getting to know more about you and your dogs.