Performance IntervieWs ~
Sharing the inspiration

An interview with Collies Online

Collies Online is proud to present an interview with eight top trainers from around the country who currently compete in performance venues. We interviewed Beth Elliot of Trinity Collies, Sue Larson of Trailwind Collies, Vicki Loucks of Kayloma Collies, Carol Dunton, Dr. Deanna Levenhagen, Jan Shields of Northshields Collies, Shelley Bergstraser of Wildwind Collies and Marilyn Clayton of Woodruff Collies. We wanted to know specifically what advice these very successful trainers had to share for newcomers to the various performance venues, the keys to successful training, how they keep their collies motivated, and whether or not collies had the ability to reason. We are pleased to share their wisdom in a nine question format. Whether you show in performance, conformation or just want to enjoy more quality time with your collie, we believe that the knowledge these talented trainers have shared will inspire you to have more fun and success in any venue that you choose.

1. COL: What events do you compete in? How long have you competed? What area of the country to do you compete?

Marilyn Clayton:
Obedience - 27 years; conformation - 26 years; rally - 3 years, agility - 3+ years
herding - 4 years. draft work (carting) - 3+ years,tracking - 26 years (off and on).

I compete in the Pacific Northwest - BC (Canada), also Washington State, Alberta (Canada).

Beth Elliot :
I live in Illinois and compete here and in the surrounding states.  I now
compete mainly in agility and flyball, but still show occassionally in obedience and rally.

Vicki Loucks:
Agility and breed.  Agility AKC and USDAA, I have participated in obedience since I was 12. I have been involved in competitive obedience for about 20 years, agility for 12 years, breed for 23 years. I compete mostly in the West -- New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, Texas, Kansas.

Jan Shields:
I have competed in conformation and obedience since 1958. Tracking came to me in the late l960s. Currently I compete in conformation, herding, obedience, tracking, agility. I compete in the western United States and attend the national nearly every year.

Sue Larson:
At the moment I compete in conformation, agility, tracking and herding. I started in obedience but haven't done that in several years.

Carol Dunton:
I live in Cincinnati, Ohio and do most of my competing within a couple hours of my home. Herding is an exception to this, since there aren’t many herding trials within that distance.  I started training my first performance dog in obedience almost 15 years ago.  Not long after that, I started in the sport of agility and have recently (within the last 5 years) started dabbling in herding and conformation.

Dr. Deanna Levenhagen:
I compete in agility, herding, obedience, and rally. I’ve been competing in agility and obedience for over 10 years, herding for about 7 years, and rally for 2 years. I have competed all over the country, but currently compete in the upper Midwest area (mostly in the Minneapolis, Minnesota area).

Shelley Bergstraser:
I compete in conformation, obedience, agility and herding. We live in Colorado and compete mostly in the West and Midwest.

> go to Question #2

The Collie presents an impressive, proud picture of true balance, each part being in harmonious proportion to every other part and to the whole.

– from the AKC Collie Breed Standard

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