What is your name and how long have you been participating in the sport of dog agility?
Deirdre Luttrell. I have been training dogs for (gulp) 40 years and have been active in agility for about 13 years.
What are your dog(s) names, breed and ages?
I have 6 dogs: Trevor, a 13 yr old Australian Shepherd; Zoe, a 6 yr old Australian Shepherd; Morgan, Jack and Nicky, all 3 yr old Australian Shepherds; and Rupert, a 9 yr old Jack Russell Terrier. Don't tell my husband. He thinks we only have 5 dogs.
How many titles have you and your doggie partner(s) earned? What are they?
I have earned 3 CDs, 2 CDXs in obedience and 1 NA, 1 NAJ, 1 OA, and 1 OAJ through AKC agility. In USDAA, I have titled one dog, who earned his Agility Dog title, as well as his Advanced Snooker title before retiring four years ago.
How long have you been an instructor for LCDA and what class(s) do you teach?
I have taught with LCDA since 2004, and have taught a wide variety of classes from Puppy to Agility Handling. I am currently teaching the Intermediate Obedience classes and assisting in the Family class.
With whom have you trained during your dog agility career and what qualifications/certifications do you have?
I have trained with the Durham Kennel Club, LCDA and SCOOT Agility, and have taken seminars with Ian Dunbar, Dianne Bauman, Karen Pryor, Gary Wilkes, Bud Huston, Stuart Mah, and Lynne Stephens. I was an instructor with DKC teaching Puppy and Family Dog Obedience, as well as Competition Obedience classes at the Novice and Open level from 1988-2003.
What skills do you think are the most important for the dog agility team to master in order to be successful?
The most important skill is to have a good relationship with your dog. In order to have a great agility team, you need to master recalls and impulse control while maintaining drive and enthusiasm.
What words of advice would you give to starting dog agility teams?
Make sure to work on the basics in all kinds of places--sit, down, come, wait, and most of all, have FUN!
Why did you become involved in the sport of dog agility?
Agility is addictive! It truly is a team sport where both the dog and the handler have a great time.
Describe the most memorable experience you and your doggie teammate have had during your dog agility career.
My first clean run in an AKC Excellent Standard Class with Trevor, my retired agility dog. It was our second time competing at the Excellent level and we were one of two teams who qualified out of twenty-five in our height class.
And for fun.....if your dog had a theme song, what would it be?
With my two young dogs, for Morgan it would be "Every Move You Make" (....I'll be watching you!); for Nicky, "What Do You Want From Me" (because if I don't tell her, she'll do her own thing).
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