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2010 Agility Camp

July 31-August 1

Sugar Bush Farm, Stephentown NY

Camp Instructor Biographies

Elise Paffrath

 On a January night in 1993 ...

... I attended my first night of dog agility class with my 5-year-old mixed breed, Breeze. Little did I know I was stepping into a whole new chapter of my life! As I learned how to teach the ever-exuberant Breeze to traverse planks, scurry through tunnels and soar over jumps, our already close bond was fastened even tighter. IElise and Sprytet was the perfect way to channel her energy and inspire my passion for training. She was a natural, we were a team, and I was hooked!

Over a dozen years later, I am still consumed by the thrill of teaching my dogs new behaviors and fine tuning our moves together out on the agility course. I began teaching for CATS (Canine Agility Training Society) of Keene, New Hampshire, a year later and found it equally exhilarating working with students to gain a higher level of communication with their dogs through agility training.

Breeze Thru Agility was born in early 1995 in the Brattleboro, Vermont, area. Using positive, reward-based training philosophy, I have been teaching a range of dog and handler teams to enjoy the sport ever since. It is as much of a joy for me to help beginner students delight in their dogs' first successful tunnel execution as it is to help guide competition-level handlers working toward the sport's highest titles!

Elise and Spryte recently came in 10th at the Agility World Championships at the Cynosport Games in Arizona.


     Tracy Sklenar

Tracy Sklenar - triathalon winner USDAATracy Sklenar has been training dogs and competing in dog agility for over 10 years. She is the Training Director of Leader of the Pack (www.lotp.com) in central New York State and is a longtime instructor at Susan Garrett's Say Yes! Dog Training (www.clickerdogs.com) in Ontario, Canada.

Tracy has competed successfully in agility with a variety of dogs of shapes, sizes and temperaments. Currently, she shares her life with 5 dogs: 2 Dalmatians (11 year old Pierce and 10 year old Samson, both retired from agility), a Rat Terrier (8 year old Rebound) and 2 mixed breeds (4 year old Export and 17 month old Matrix). In the ring, their runs are noted for accuracy, consistency and speed! Besides putting numerous titles on the dogs, Tracy and her canine partners have earned multiple wins and placements at local, Regional and National events.

In 2009, Rebound and Export both enjoyed tremendous success in the ring: Rebound began the year by finishing 5th overall in the Ontario regionals, followed by finishing 8th overall at Canadian Nationals, earning multiple placements along the way. Rebound ran clean and fast in every run at the USDAA World Cynosport Games, earning his way to a 5th place finish in the 2009 Performance Grand Prix Finals!

Export on AframeExport won or placed in a variety of classes at Regionals in both the US and Canada, including winning the Regional Grand Prix Finals at the USDAA Rocky Mountain Regional. In July, Export represented the U.S. at the European Open and will once again represent the US at the 2010 EO, this time in the Czech Republic! At the 2009 USDAA World Cynosport Games, Export ran fast & clean, garnering a 7th place finish in the highly competitive Finals of the Grand Prix of Dog Agility World Championships!

Export has started off 2010 with a bang by winning the Triathlon at the USDAA Spring Festival in Virginia - he was the overall winner of his division, including the dogs that attended the Texas event!

Matrix in the weavesBaby dog Matrix has begun her career as a demo dog and will hopefully make her agility debut in the spring of 2010.

Tracy uses positive reinforcement, games and shaping to build brilliant behaviors in the dogs while teaching the handlers to be consistent and positive in their handling and dog training. She emphasizes teamwork, consistency, mental focus, play and fun for both the handler and the dog.  She also has extensive experience teaching and coaching, instructing local classes, teaching clinics & seminars throughout North America. Tracy is once again serving as the Manager for Team Canada at the IFCS World Agility Championships in the U.K. in May, 2010, reprising her role from the 2008 event in Belgium. She has learned from and is proud to use the methods of Susan Garrett, Greg Derrett, Laura Derrett, Bob Bailey, Susan Salo and Greg Louganis.

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.. 

Becky Therian

Inspired by her beloved companions, Becky Therian founded The Animal Touch and is dedicated to the well-being of the animals in her care.  Using Reiki energy therapy in conjunction with manual massage techniques, Becky strives to improve the physical condition and performance of her animal clients and relieve any stress or discomfort the animal may experience due to injury, disability or age.  Becky also has a special interest in the behavioral effects of these healing modalities as she has observed the increase in overall health and vitality of the animal tends to coincide with the reduction of various behavioral problems and complaints.  She has extensive experience working with a variety of different animals in many related fields - including veterinary, training and rehabilitation. 

Becky operates The Animal Touch, and works in alliance with the New England Canine Rehabilitation and Fitness Center.  Together they provide service to CT and Western MA and offer a comprehensive rehabilitation and/or fitness plan specifically designed to meet the needs of each animal and support their individual path to wellness. 

Becky is passionate about her work and considers it one of her greatest interests.  Other interests include hiking with her dogs, gardening, writing and good conversation with family and friends.

Each friend represents a world in us, a world not yet born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that the new world is born."