Instructor Bios

 

Please meet our dedicated, all volunteer group of instructors. They all have a warm spot in their heart for you and your dog. Get to know more about our instructors below and view the class schedule to see what they are teaching.

 

Betsy Metcalf

In my childhood, I started working with dogs in 4-H.  When I got my first Rhodesian Ridgeback, I joined WKC. Then five dogs ago, I really began to learn about dog sports training when I started training and teaching dog Agility. I have now taught Tracking and Agility for WKC for about 15 years. My dogs and I compete in Conformation, Rally, Tracking, Agility, and Lure Coursing. My goal is always to do the best that the dog and I can do with a happy attitude.

I have been very fortunate to have attended seminars and classes with some of the best dog sports instructors in the world when they have been in the Pacific Northwest. Several of these seminars were taught by Susan Garrett, a very successful international Agility competitor, and one of the premier Agility instructors in North America. Currently I am taking “Handling 360,” an online course from Susan Garrett, and I have incorporated many of Susan’s methods into what and how I teach at WKC.

Training should always be FUN for both dog and handler. Dogs are always learning; the question is what are we teaching them?

Eileen Pearl

I took my first Obedience class in 1967.  Ten years later, I joined WKC and soon began showing dogs in competitive Obedience and Conformation, later adding Rally and Tracking.  In 1990, I started North Central Washington’s first Agility classes, but since 2004, my focus has been on Junior Puppy class.   I have been an AKC Canine Good Citizen evaluator since 2013.

My real passion is learning more about canine behavior and training.  Over the years, I’ve attended literally dozens of seminars in the Northwest and beyond.  In 2002, I joined the Association of Professional Dog Trainers and have attended 11 of their 5-day annual conferences.  I’ve also accumulated a huge library of books and videos. 

Understanding the laws of learning has taught me the importance of using only positive, reward-based training, while understanding dog behavior has taught me the importance of seeing things from the dog’s point of view.  Together, they’ve taught me the importance of compassion when working with dogs.

Gail Roberts

"Lucky" the collie was my childhood pal, and I taught him all the basic exercises when I was 8 or 9 years old.  Since then, Siberian Huskies have filled my life for over 30 years.  For 20 years, I have been working in Siberian Rescue, and have fostered and rehomed 200 dogs (along with the 20 I kept).  All of those dogs needed training to make them easier to live with and become cherished pets in their adoptive homes.

Teaching Senior Puppy classes has been a passion for about 10 years.  Additionally, my dogs and I enjoy competing in Obedience, Rally, Agility, and (soon) Nose Work. We also participate in recreational mushing.  Several of my dogs have earned Working Pack Dog titles from the Siberian Husky Club of America.  Highlights were competing successfully several times at the National Siberian Husky Dog Show.

As an on-going student of Fenzi Dog Sports Academy, where they teach and promote positive training methods, my philosophy is to build on the positives to bring out the best in student/dog teams. My independent minded Siberians have taught me to be creative in training—another benefit for our students.

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Hannah Davis

My family got its first Australian Shepherds from my aunt when I was 3 years old, who bred them for Obedience and Conformation. Since then, I've been hooked. When I was 9, I joined the local 4-H club, the "Doggonits." Two years later, I got my first show dog,"Kori," and we were very competitive in the Junior Handling Program in both the American Kennel Club and the Australian Shepherd Club of America, winning numerous titles including Champion.

I have been involved in the dog world now for almost 20 years. In that time, my dogs have earned many Agility titles, and I have owned/bred many Champions, and some have earned top honors at the national level. We mainly compete in Conformation shows and Agility trials. In the future, I would like to compete in herding as well.

I help teach several levels of WKC Agility classes. Valuable training input has come through attending various Agility seminars. For over 10 years, I have worked for AKC Professional Handlers and have learned much about training, handling, care, and professionalism in the ring. Currently I am getting more involved in Herding and working towards my judging license for the Australian Shepherd Club of America.

Every dog can teach us a lesson. Some of the biggest ones I have learned are to have patience and to enjoy each dog individually.

Jan Flatten

I currently have three Australian Shepherds, and am involved with rescuing and re-homing Australian Shepherds. Over the past 3½ years I have taught or assisted all levels of WKC’s Agility classes. I compete with all of my dogs in Agility, primarily in AKC and Australian Shepherd Club Agility, at the Masters or Elite level. My goals are for my dogs and me to have fun, build our relationship and challenge ourselves.

I have taken several agility seminars by Heather Kaluza and Gillian Crawford, a course by Bad Dog Agility, and Nic Ford’s Cues for Collection. Several years ago, I took Recallers from Susan Garrett, but right now my focus is on Susan Garrett’s Handling 360, which is the handling system we teach at WKC.  Recallers is all about the games we play in our foundation Agility courses which allow handlers to grow their relationship with their dog and create focus. H360 teaches not only the foundation games from Recallers, but also all of the links in the learning chain up to competition agility.  Breaking tasks down using this system allows both handlers and dogs to grow their relationship and understanding. I am also taking Susan Garrett’s Agility Nation which is focused on equipment, rather than H360, which is about handling.

My training methods use only positive reinforcement, which I believe is the only way to develop a trusting relationship with your dog.

Judy Lindahl

I have had dogs for years, but never took any classes before I got my Little Miss Molly in 2011.  I decided I wanted to start her with Obedience and then we tried Agility classes.  Of course, we got totally hooked! We have met so many great friends along the way. It has been quite a journey for the two of us. For the last couple of years, I have been assisting with both novice and more advanced Agility classes.

In addition to WKC training classes, Molly and I have taken a couple of Agility clinics from Andrea Dexter and Paula Ratoza, which were very helpful.  My competitive goals with Molly are to obtain additional Elite and Excellent titles from both NADAC and AKC. We are planning to enter several trials this year.  Our main goal is to make our runs as smooth and fast as possible, and eventually to improve our distance work as well. Teamwork is awesome!

The look on Molly’s face when she is enjoying the course says it all.  When we have a great, smooth run, it is wonderful to feel the sweet connection we have.  Have fun!  That is what my dog has taught me.

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Karen Hall

I have been training dogs since 1981.  I have taught many classes and trained one-on-one since 1984. In addition, I have 30 years' experience as a certified dog groomer. Working with dogs this way gives me even more understanding of how dogs think, and that hey do have great feelings and emotions in how they want to be touched and how closely you are able to work with them.

Over the years, I have attended various seminars to enhance my training skills, and to pass on to my students more positive methods.

In Obedience competitions, my dogs have earned Companion Dog and Rally titles, and currently I am working with a couple of dogs to earn their Agility Titles.

I am a certified evaluator for the Canine Good Citizen (CGC) program, which enables me to give both CGC and new Socialization, Training, Activity, and Responsibility (STAR) evaluation tests.

My reward is watching the companionship gorw between owners and their dogs through the use of more positive outcomes and rewards.

 

Karen Robelia

I have worked three dogs in Agility, and lost my first a few years ago. Currently I am training two border collies:  Lexi does Agility, and Kitt does both Agility and Herding. I enjoy both sports! Kitt is very fast on the Agility course, so she is teaching me patience, helping me get my cues out early enough, and how to place myself on the course so we are smoother together and so that she knows where to go and doesn’t drop bars.

Currently I help teach novice Agility. My own competition goals include entering both Kitt and Lexi in AKC, USDAA, and NADAC Agility trials this year. In addition, Kitt and I are training for a Herding trial.

To be successful in training, it’s important to break things down into smaller pieces, master those, and then put it all together.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Linda Harbury

I am proud to be part of the teaching cadre at WKC!  It is my passion to learn the best science based methods of building behavior.  The key, I believe, is to give an animal a reason to want to do what I want him to do through positive reinforcement based training.   My ultimate training goal is to build behavior that ensures the dog will be a valued family pet.  If training isn't fun and rewarding for my dog, it isn't fun for me!

I was a member of 4-H dog and horse clubs as a kid, and grew up in a family that raised and showed Scottish Terriers.  There has always been a horse, dog, goat or chicken in my life, but it wasn't until my children were grown that I turned my attention to training and competing with my dogs. WKC gave me a tremendous foundation and support.  I continue my education by attending yearly seminars, online classes, and conferences to learn about behavior modification, shaping, health and Agility training in particular.  As well as training my own dogs, I generally have a foster dog from the local shelter in my care for physical and/or behavioral rehab.

I successfully train and compete in Tracking, Rally, Herding and Agility dog sports.  My aim is to share my enthusiasm, techniques and passion with students at WKC!

Louise Day

I started showing dogs in the late 1960s by taking my Miniature Poodle through Obedience to her title at the local dog club.  I then taught Obedience for that club for two years.  A Miniature Poodle was the first dog I entered in a dog show, with English Setters following shortly thereafter. 

Over the years, I have taught Conformation and Obedience classes for six different dog clubs, as my husband and I were relocated for various work positions in the Forest Service.  I have titled many different breeds, including Malamutes, Borzoi, Miniature Poodles, English Setters, Cockers Spaniels, Old English Sheepdogs, Newfoundlands, Shelties, and Pointers. We also train our English Setters for Hunt Tests and have finished five to their Junior Hunter titles.

At WKC, I have been teaching Conformation since 2010. In addition, I enjoy being an evaluator for Canine Good Citizen, Community Good Citizen, and Star Puppy titles.  My dogs and I do therapy dog work, and I am one of two Therapy Dog International (TDI) evaluators in the Pacific Northwest, which takes us to various locations to administer TDI training and testing.

Lynda Pheasant

I have been a WKC member 8 years. I am loved by my husband Jack and our two Aussies:  MACH Pheasant’s Awesome Annie, and GCH Supremes Jettin Round My World.  We have been involved in Agility for 10 years. I teach specialized classes/workshops in distance and FAST, and especially enjoy mentoring youth.

It has been a marvelous experience to grow from 4-H leader (dog project), to now take my turn at training and developing teamwork and new skills with my own dogs.  I’m thrilled to be among “the elders” actively engaged in this marvelous sport of Agility.  After 5 years of competition, my “Awesome Annie” became the first dog from North Central Washington to earn a Master Agility Champion (MACH) title.  It has been both fun and challenging to take Jett through Puppy classes, Rally Obedience classes, and build foundation skills for Agility training.  Now, at age five, Jett works at the Excellent/Masters level in Standard, Jumpers, and FAST competition.    

Each year I’ve had opportunities to take classes or workshops from world-class competitors, instructors, and Agility judges. The more actively engaged I am with my dog, the more rewarding – we’re both happier and our teamwork and Agility skills continue to improve.

Maggy Susman

I have owned and trained Labrador Retrievers for the last 22 years. I’ve been teaching at WKC since the Training Center opened in 2002, and currently teach AKC Tracking, and previously taught Rally.

My competition experience includes:

Tracking: Tracking Dog, Tracking Dog Urban, Tracking Dog Excellent

Competition Obedience: Novice, Graduate Novice, Open, Graduate Open, Utility,

Rally: Novice, Advanced, Excellent

Agility: Novice Levels only

 To increase my handling and teaching skills, I have attended workshops with Connie Cleveland (Obedience) and multiple workshops with Sil Sanders (Tracking Judge and instructor).

One the most important things I’ve learned is to keep the handler’s attention on the dog and have the dog's focus on the handler.

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Pam Pettit

I have enjoyed the companionship of dogs since I was a small child. About 9 years ago, I became curious about the dog sport of Agility and started by taking a variety classes at the Wenatchee Kennel Club.  It didn’t take long for me to get hooked! The last 4 years my focus has been training to improve both my dog’s and my own Agility skills.

I have been trialing in Agility for the last 3 years, and I started teaching Agility at WKC in 2016. My main goal is simply to continue to improve and learn the sport to my best of my ability, have fun and enjoy the Agility experience with my dogs!

In addition, I am currently enrolled in Susan Garrett’s H360 Agility Handling course. Susan Garrett is recognized as a leading instructor of dog trainers and one of the most successful Agility competitors of the last decade.  Agility is an evolving sport that you will continually train for and I am excited to share what I have learned from this course with my students!

Make every learning experience for your dog a game! Always positive and fun!  After all, what is more fun than spending time with your dog!

Suzanne Metcalf

I have worked to title Rhodesian Ridgebacks through Open Obedience, Rally Excellent, Masters Agility, Junior Courser, Tracking, and Conformation Champions since 1979. I started out by being involved with the family dogs when I was growing up, and then acquired my own dogs after college.

Currently I teach Rally and Tracking, and previously taught Senior Puppy class, in total about 10 years of teaching.  My current competitive focus is in Agility and Tracking, and am also training in Nose Work and Open Obedience.  To keep improving my teaching skills, I try to take at least one Obedience or Tracking seminar per year.

Years of working with dogs has taught me that focus must be dog to handler, and handler to dog! If you are having fun, you have a better chance that your dog is having fun. The better trained a dog is, the more freedom they have earned. A well-behaved dog is a pleasure.

Additional WKC Instructors

 

Carole Parsons

Jeff Koski

Vicki Hobbs

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