Carolyn has been training and competing in agility since 1998. She learned so much about behavior and training through her own dogs. Her first sheltie, Zoie, taught her so much about agility, patience, and compassion. Her next sheltie Ginger retired from her AKC agility career with MACH 4 and numerous other titles in USDAA and NADAC. Ginger was a great teacher in helping Carolyn to better understand rescue dogs and their related behaviors. SirPrize (9 year old Border Collie at the rainbow bridge), was her agility partner and taught her so much about the differences in agility between big and small dogs and so much more. Jive, a 15 year old sheltie, taught her a great deal about behavior training and positive reinforcement. Charm is an almost 3 year old Mini American Shepherd that is teaching Carolyn so much along the way! Along with Jive and Charm, Carolyn share’s her home with Aidan, a golden/greyhound mix that challenges her training creativity, and Seamus, a rambunctious 5 year old Sheltie.
Carolyn’s love for conditioning was sparked by a training dilemma she had with her border collie’s weave pole performance. He was often not collecting before entering the weaves or “popping” at the end of the poles (the dreaded 10th pole syndrome). After much frustration and retraining with no success, she researched and realized that this may not have been caused by a training issue at all, but rather a conditioning one. Specialized exercises helped increase his strength and ability to correctly weave without having to undergo the physical stress of weave pole repetitions. This process helped to fuel her desire to keep him as physically fit and injury free as possible so they could play and compete together well into the future. She also saw the need to keep her other aging dogs in shape for a good quality of life well into their senior years. This is what truly began her journey into canine fitness.
But that wasn’t enough for Carolyn. As her passion grew, so did the coursework that became available. Amidst the many online classes she participated in, Carolyn eventually was led to FitPAWS and the University of Tennessee where she became both a (previously known as) FitPAWS Master Trainer and a Certified Canine Fitness Trainer. These two accomplishments involved completing case studies, examinations, getting firsthand training in Boulder, Colorado and coursework with the University of Tennessee. She continues her hands-on education today by frequently attending small-group intensive training sessions as part of Bobbie Lyons, CCFT K9FitTeam in Oregon as well as pursuing relevant online coursework that can further her understanding of canine conditioning.
Aside from training and competing with her own dogs in agility and teaching canine conditioning to others, she holds a master’s degree in literacy and teach elementary education.