Terrier Agility is Different.If you’ve run a terrier in agility, you know that other competitors and agility coaches sometimes do not understand the unique set of quirks and challenges that come with running a terrier in agility. For example, you “running faster” isn’t always going to work when your terrier is already on another planet!
I get it!
SUCCESS WITH A TERRIER IN AGILITY IS POSSIBLE!
Receive private coaching with a coach who is experienced, educated, has focused exclusively on terrier behavior for a decade, and actively and successfully competes with an intense working breed of terrier.
Terriers are always driven and motivated, but towards what? Just because terriers are prone to tuning out doesn’t mean they intrinsically lack motivation! Is your terrier prone to distraction, off-courses, sniffiness, checking out, ring stress, or general wildness?
Learn how to motivate your terrier to perform in ways you never thought possible, to engage happily rather than frantically, and to crave focusing on you inside and outside of the ring.
Even those who don’t have competitive goals often become frustrated trying to do recreational agility with terriers. The reality is, recreational or competitive, the challenges are the same. MY goal isn’t just to avoid problems, but to help you unlock the FUN! Agility should be fun!
Learn how to work with your terrier with gusto, enthusiasm, and most of all, get to enjoy the process: no matter what your dreams are.
Being a teammate to a terrier in any level of agility requires the kind of mental game that no one but a fellow terrier teammate can truly understand! A group class can easily feel as nerve-wracking as a trial. You’ve got to have a really strong mental game in order for yourself and your terrier to thrive.
Join me in feeling confident, relaxed, and proud of the bond you share with your awesome terrier. #teamterrier !
New to Agility?
Check out the course Agility Foundations for Terriers! It is available occasionally as a group class, or as a private program.
Are you a Current Competitor?
By Application Only. I am looking forward to hearing from you! Go team terrier!
Agility Video Analysis
A fresh, terrier specific perspective can accelerate your training and/or competitive goals! You can send Emma Kesler, CDBC, CPDT-KA up to 90 seconds of video and she will provide you with expert insight and feedback.
Emma Kesler, CDBC, CPDT-KA & Miles
Emma is an experienced agility competitor and has made records for wild, wiry terriers with her beloved teammate Miles. Read more about their agility career below!
Agility Champion/Lifetime Titles
AKC, AAC, UKI
Agility Podium Placements
Most titled Welsh Terrier, all time (WTRH)
Miles went from a puppy that a veterinarian and many trainers thought wasn’t behaviorally salvageable to an adult dog that did zoomies in the competition ring. You thought I was going to go right to success there, didn’t you?
Miles inspired me to really break down every tiny step, and fine tune approaches that would not only work for a terrier, but lead to immense joy and success. Before we were competitively successful in 2013 an article I wrote about helping Miles relax at agility trials won the Maxwell Medallion for best dog training article. I guess they knew I was on to something before I knew I was! I am as determined as a terrier!
Terrier-Specific Methods for the WIN
Miles and I went from the most unlikely team (that is no exaggeration: ask anyone local to me and they will happily recount a wide variety of crazy stories!) to a record setting team. The trope that being relentlessly positive and following your dreams pays off… Well, it is kind of true. With the sort of coaching I didn’t have access to in the beginning, your path to success can happen faster than mine did. You don’t have to become as weathered to embarrassment as I had to be to get there!
Miles is a titled Agility champion in three major North American venues (AKC, UKI, AAC), is the first Welsh Terrier to stand on an agility podium (3 times, with no chance to follow suit in 2020) and is the first Welsh Terrier to earn a Lifetime Achievement Award in agility in the world. Together we have competed at the biggest events across North America. Success didn’t come to us because I have dancer-like skills or perfect memory, or to Miles because he naturally has laser focus on agility. It came from our teamwork and understanding, which is a gift I want to share with anyone who is as passionate about running a terrier in agility as I am.
Success Under PRESSURE
Any environment outside of the home is a distracting environment for a terrier. Heck, even the home setting can be distracting for a terrier; who are we kidding!
Group class can be as challenging for a terrier as a competition. Terrier teams are often overlooked as potential successes by agility coaches. I know that my first coach said, “Miles will never be a flashy agility dog.” Group classes shouldn’t be overlooked as a source of stress for terriers and their teammates; instead, building up to these challenges should be taken as seriously as those of big competitions.
The reality is, pressure is pressure is pressure for a terrier team.
If you can learn how to handle it, and handle it WELL in ANY setting. The sky is the limit. Miles and I went from struggling in group classes and bombing at trials to being solid in any environment and jet setting across North America, competing successfully at some of the most high-pressure events known to any agility competitor. We competed at Westminster in NYC, where many world-level competitors struggle with the pressure, and both felt happy and relaxed. We were able to relish every moment when we got the opportunity. Having spoken to other competitors, I know that it isn’t always the case that getting to a goal level results in enjoyment in the moment. I want you to get there too, so that you can savor the hard-earned moments in your agility career as I have been able to. That should be the ultimate goal, I think!