My Background

What Is




Photo Gallery




Put Me on Mailing List!



2009 Agility Camp

July 11-12

Sugar Bush Farm, Stephentown NY

Camp Instructor Biographies

Julie Daniels

Julie Daniels
has been training dogs all her life.  She was one of those tireless early agility enthusiasts who helped get the sport up and running in the United States during the mid-1980's.  Julie is a charter member and honorary lifetime member of NEAT (New England Agility Team, 1988), and was one of the first U.S. agility judges back in 1989.

Now that the sport of dog agility has come so far and gets wide TV coverage, Julie also provides expert commentary in front of the camera on many networks including ESPN, Animal Planet, USA Channel, and now also on the new HDTV network World Sport.

Julie is a member of 2 gold medal winning international teams.  In 2004, Team USA won the IFCS Championships in Valencia, Spain.  Spring & Julie earned 4 trophies and 3 medals at that event, and anchored the Relay Team to clinch the Gold for the USA.  Julie and Spring are also members of Team USA 2002, which earned the Gold in Moscow, Russia.

As a competitor, Julie has won many televised events including ESPN's Great Outdoor Games and USA Channel's Purina Incredible Dog Challenge, and has also won many gold medals in top-level tournaments in the U.S., including the USDAA National Steeplechase Championship, the 2003 Dog Agility Masters National Team Tournament (on the new World Sport channel), and the winner-take-all Challenger Round at the 2003 AKC National Championships (on the Animal Planet channel).

Julie opened her dog agility school, White Mountain Agility, in North Sandwich, NH, in 1992, and has run agility camps since 1993.  The first-class facility now attracts enthusiasts from all over the world.  White Mountain Agility is a 100-acre agility haven with a luxurious indoor arena, several outdoor grass agility fields, an acre swimming pond, and miles of well-groomed woodsy hiking trails.  Headquarters for all the camps is a beautiful barn and covered pavilion which provide a comfy indoor classroom and bathroom in a relaxed, dog-friendly space.  The White Mountain Agility camps accommodate everyone from novice to expert handlers, and from young puppies to international champions.

Julie has trained, titled and won with all sizes and sorts of dogs, including two Rottweilers, an English Springer Spaniel, a Cairn Terrier, A Pembroke Welsh Corgi, and two Border Collies.  She is the only person to make the national finals with a Rottie (Jessy in 1989 and 1991), or with a Springer Spaniel (Arrow in 1993 and 1994).

Julie and Spring are on the USDAA's Lifetime Achievement Award list as well as the AKC's Lifetime MACH points list.  They have made USDAA's Top Ten list in every category and also won the AKC's Iams International Class for three years in a row at Springfield, the largest agility trial in the country.  In 2003 alone, they were on the winning tournament 3-dog team at USDAA's Spring Festival, Saratoga, Denver, Fryeburg, Fair Hill, and the national championships in Texas (with 154 teams).  Julie is also showing her Wild Child youngster, Clark, in both AKC and USDAA.  Last we heard, Clark was running 24" AKC Excellent standard courses with a table in 36 seconds. Wow! Meanwhile, Julie's newest addition, "Boss" is enjoying learning all the puppy fundamentals, in preparation for her future career.

Julie is the award-winning author of three agility books.  The first one, Enjoying Dog Agility, is now in its 8th printing and available in paperback. The second book, Jumping From A to Z, co-authored with Chris Zink, DVM, PhD, has improved the jumping technique and confidence of thousands of dogs worldwide.  A collection of some of her many magazine articles is available in her new book The Teacher's Room.  Her new DVD is now available: Agility Fix It- Contacts & Weaves.





















Mary Jo Lavin

Mary Jo Lavin & True

Mary Jo Lavin, BA is a seasoned national competitor whose strengths as an instructor come from her success and the hurdles she has overcome. As the co-owner of Homestead Farm Agility, Mary Jo has 15 years of teaching agility to students with all breeds. Mary Jo carries a full toolbox of techniques, tips and strategies. Her skill lies in detecting the minute details of handling and helping handlers be more precise. Mary Jo is a master at developing potential into proficiency and getting results beyond her students’ expectations. Mary Jo’s strength is teaching others how to build and train strong foundation skills in their budding agility dogs. She has an analytical approach and a gift for breaking down complex concepts into understandable lessons. Her training is based on positive, motivational methods for both dogs and handlers.

ScampMary Jo started agility in 1989 with her rescue Tibetan Terrier ADCH Scamp CDX MX MXJ and remembers when agility trials had a total of 30 runs for the whole trial! Scamp and Mary Jo were one of New England’s top teams for ten years. Scamp’s USDAA accomplishments include: Steeplechase Champion, three-time Grand Prix finalist - placing 2nd, 5th and 6th, Top Ten List and multiple Team Tournament placements. Retired Portuguese Water Dog, Ozzie AAD OA OAJ, also rescued, taught her patience and how to motivate and show a low drive dog.  Mary Jo currently has 3 competition dogs. Border Collie, ADCH True GM JM RM MACH, an accurate, fast, and honest dog who has many local tournament wins and has competed at the USDAA Nationals for the last four years. True is has also made the Top Ten List and has either Bronze or Silver distinctions in all the USDAA classes with limited showing.  Aussie, Nell MAD AX AXJ, a.k.a. the “party girl”, is happy to enjoy agility as long as it is fun. Nell is an anchor dog in agility and in life – steady and strong.  She likes to work around the home doing chores and caring for her family. Mary Jo’s newest agility prospect is Border Collie, Peg, who is currently in training and just starting competition,  but is already in the Masters/Excellent levels.

Mary Jo is married and a mother of two adolescent daughters; so like many agility instructors and competitors she is always balancing her business, and competitive interests with her home life. She has a BA from Wheaton College in English Literature. In a previous life, she was a reference librarian, managed a medical practice and was an editorial assistant for an Asian Studies journal and has studied Japanese language and culture. She is the agility contributor for The Australian Shepherd Journal.

Sue Sternberg

Sue Sternberg is the founder and director of Rondout Valley Animals for Adoption, a local not-for-profit open admission animal shelter in upstate New York.  She is also the founder of the Community Animal Shelter Association (CASA), a not-for-profit organization dedicated to pet owner outreach, safe animal adoptions, and quality of life at animal shelters around the world.

Sue is an expert in dog aggression and an innovator in the field of shelter dog welfare, and she develops programs to prevent pet relinquishment and overpopulation, to match families with safe pets, and to help shelters attend to the mental health of the animals in their care.  Training Wheels®, a mobile community outreach program, and Assess-a-Pet™, a method to evaluate animal temperament, are two popular programs developed by Sue.  With over 23 years or experience she shares her knowledge of dog behavior on radio and television shows, as a popular speaker at national humane and dog training conferences, and through books and videos.

Her most recent books are Successful Dog Adoption, A Howell Dog Book of Distinction, and Great Dog Adoptions: A Guide for Shelters (Latham Foundation Press, 2002).  Other publications include Defensive Dog Handling, 1999 (awarded APDT honor, Top Ten Dog Training Videos of 2001); Temperament Testing for Dgos in Shelters (1996, 1998, 1999 republished and distributed to over 3,000 shelters by Milkbone Nabisco and ASPCA), as well as contributed articles to The HSUS Animal Sheltering Magazine.

Sue has five dogs and two cats (all adopted), and shares her yard with a hosst of adopted farm animals.  She is an accomplished fiddle player, a mineral and fossil collector, and a major Star Trek fan.


Ray Wheeler

Ray's Dogs

Ray Wheeler and Nancy ObaraRay Wheeler has been involved in the agility scene on many levels since being introduced to agility in 1992.  Ray is a competitor, as well as an instructor, mentor, organizer, and agility judge.  With a homebase in Springfield, MA and a “day job” with Mass. Mutual Life Insurance Co,. Ray is also President of ACE Agility Club in central MA, and an agility instructor for ACE in Palmer MA and for Paws’n’Effect training center in Hamden, CT.  Ray currently has three dogs: two Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers, Majel (ADCH, NATCH, MACH, CATCH ), and Imzadi (CATCH) and a young border collie, Natira (NA, OAJ, CL2).  Ray is recognized as a fun and fair Judge for three venues:  NADAC, CPE, and TDAA.  He is well known for his generosity in sharing his considerable experience in course design, course analysis, and course handling with competitors and numerous clubs he’s already presented training workshops with.  Ray believes in positive training methods and making agility fun for all dogs..