Kathy's teaching philosophy is based on concern for each dog and handler's unique needs. She believes training challenges should be addressed by considering the dog's physical and emotional wellbeing, prior training history and its relationship to its handler. When training new skills or solving a training challenge, Kathy’s approach is to work on foundation first, then gradually increase challenges.
For over 40 years Kathy has shared her practical knowledge and enthusiasm for a variety of dog activities, including obedience, rally-o, nose work, tricks, games, parkour, freestyle and Rally Freestyle Elements. She stays abreast of advances in training methods by attending seminars and workshops instructed by internationally recognized canine behaviorists and trainers.
Currently, Kathy focuses on teaching K9 Nose Work and Canine Parkour because both activities help to build a strong human-canine relationship and taps into dogs’ innate abilities. Nose Work because dogs “see” the world through their sense of smell. Canine Parkour because it builds confidence in a variety of environments and fosters teamwork between the dog and its human.
As an instructor, Kathy’s primary goals are to strengthen the bond students have with their dogs and to help them achieve their goals. She challenges students to be creative in their training and, most importantly, to enjoy working with their dogs. She believes it is vital for students to be consistent and provide clear communication with their dogs.
Kathy’s dogs have earned multiple AKC obedience and rally titles, World Canine Freestyle Organization (WCFO) championships in Musical Freestyle and Heel-to-Music, Rally Freestyle Elements Grand Championship, herding trials championships, trick dog championships, parkour dog title, and numerous placements in NACSW and UKC nose work trials.
She has trained and competed with Labradors, Golden Retrievers, Jack Russell Terriers, Border Collies, Australian Shepherds and Belgian Tervuren. Kathy is currently competing with her Jack Russell Terrier and Belgian Tervuren in Nose Work. Her 6-year-old terrier is competing at the Elite level in NACSW and her 2-year-old Tervuren at the NW2 level.
Kathy’s motto is “Every day and every training session should be a good time for you and your canine.”
Vicky Lovejoy has been a student of animal behavior all of her life. She grew up competing horses first in gymkhana events and later in three-day eventing, stadium jumping, and dressage. She always had companion dogs who were both household pets and working dogs at the barn. When she began competing in agility, she was able to transfer her experience and knowledge of jumping dynamics with horses to helping dogs learn to efficiently and safely navigate agility courses. As a trainer n Long Beach, CA, she became well known for her jumping grid classes and seminars and a recognized competitor.
Vicky was in the first nosework class offered at the SPCA in Long Beach when the founders, Ron Gaunt, Amy Herot, and Jill Marie O’Brien first came up with the idea to offer a version of detection training to pet owners. As the activity developed into a sport, Vicky competed in the fledgling competitions. With the eventual formation of NACSW (National Association of Canine ScentWork), Vicky became a certified nosework instructor (CNWI) and ORT judge and certifying official. She is also certified as an AKC Scentwork judge and UKC nosework judge. She has multiple championships on all of her dogs in both agility and nosework and, in 2017, competed in the NACSW National Invitational with her Australian Shepherd, Kendra. Kendra has earned two titles in the new Summit competitions offered through NACSW for dogs who have completed their Elite Championship.
As her interest in dog training and fitness has developed, Vicky has earned certification as a FitPaws Master Trainer (FP-MT) and is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA). She has national board certification in small animal massage and is licensed as a small animal massage practitioner (SAMP).