Get to know our trainers...
Hey, my name is Reesa Hauge, I'm 27 years old and I have been involved in dogs for over 10 years. I'm passionate about dog sports and learning theory as it applies to teaching dogs. I consider myself a responsible, considerate and aware dog owner. My first dog was a Siberian Husky mix named Ole I got from a local rescue group. The second dog I lived with was a family dog, she was a Golden Retriever named Kena. When I was 14 I got a Labrador Retriever named Rosco who was all mine, my parents allowed me to train him the way I wanted and thats when I learned all about positive reinforcement training, counter conditioning, shaping and using the clicker. When first teaching Rosco how to sit as a pup I gently positioned him into a sit by putting my hand on his rear as this was how our other two dogs were taught but Rosco didn't care for that, he wiggled and squirmed and certinaly wasn't learning anything that way and I knew there had to be a better way, so from that day on my interest in positive dog training grew. When I was getting started I lived in a remote area and the trainers available were not ones I believed in, so I read a lot of books, magazines and many Internet articles from qualified sources as well as YouTube videos. All of this helped me to become a more independent thinker when it comes to dog training and I created my own methods for dealing with problems or teaching new tricks based on principles I learned. Rosco and I have been through a lot together and we have overcome quite a few obstacles, he was not an easy dog. As he grew up I realized he was a dog who was very high drive, high energy and loved to learn, thats when we started agility training, we also trained for Rally-Obedience, Conformation Jr Showmanship, Disc Dog and various tricks to keep his mind and body active. Rosco now knows over 100 tricks, earned his MACH(Master Agility Champion) and NATCH (NADAC Agility Trial Champion) title in agility, needs one more leg towards his advanced Rally title and he has his CGC(Canine Good Citizen) title.
I then took in a year old Papillon from a local shelter who I trained for agility and taught him over 70 tricks before finding him a new home.
In addition to working with my own dog I volunteered for the Alaska Dog and Puppy rescue for 9 yrs, working at adoption clinics and fostering many dogs and puppies working with them in my home to make them more adoptable by teaching them basic manners, continuing socializing and working through minor behavior problems.
I also showed a Rough Collie in Conformation Jr Showmanship for a year before realizing that was not the sport for me and that my heart was in agility.
I helped teach puppy and basic obedience classes at Northern Tails Dog Training for a year and a half.
I currently work at the Mat Su Animal Shelter part time, I also created my own business; Rush to Tug Agility Leads where I hand make braided fleece dog leashes and tug toys as well as fleece lined collars, all custom with the dogs name. Its based online and I ship all over the world. www.rushtotug.com
I have never taken any dog training classes with my own dogs instead I spent my time and money reading books, magazines, blogs, online articles, going to seminars, watching DVDs and YouTube videos all on dog training from some of the top trainers in the world.
I'm always continuing my education and learning as much as I can.
Seminars I have taken:
Suzanne Clothier - working with fearful, shy and reactive dogs.
Heidi Vania - Agility handling.
Jane Killian - Attention as a Behavior, Free shaping, Pigs Fly Fundamentals.
Lori Stevens - Canine Conditioning
Chris Ott and Frankie Joiris - Focus, Direction and Drive in agility, Agility Handling and Course Analysis, Bridging the gap between Practice and Competition.
Dog training is my passion, I love teaching dogs new things via free shaping, you get a chance to see them think and problem solve. It strengthens the bond you have with your dogs and really helps you understand them on a much deeper level.
I do not believe in using harsh outdated training methods like, screaming, hitting, flooding or roughly forcing a dog as a means of teaching them anything or correcting a problem behavior.
I believe in humane dog training methods and that learning should be fun and that there are consequences for your actions - both good and bad. My ultimate goal is to create a dog who loves to work with me, has quick responses to cues, knows what expected(and whats not allowed) and is full of enthusiasm for training and learning.
To learn more about our training methods click here.
While working with humans and their canine teammates my first goal is for both members of the team to be having fun and learning new things. Dog training should be enjoyable, productive and successful as much as possible. I want all my students to feel comfortable asking questions. My objective for you is to reach your goals, whatever they may be and have a good time doing it. Because afterall, every step of the jouney is the journey.
Hey, I'm James Roberts and I'm 28 years old. I have been Reesa's assistant for the past 4 years and am now taking on my own private lessons and jump start students.
I have always been a dog lover, with my first childhood dog being a Dalmatian. When I was 16 I got the first dog that was completely mine, a mixed breed rescued from the local shelter named Titus. When I adopted him he already had some basic training but wasn't great around other dogs or off leash. I learned a lot on my own how to overcome the challenges I had with Titus using a variety of different methods. As a teenager I lived with my family and their 5 dogs where I got a lot of hands on experience with a multi dog household primarily comprised of Pit Bull mixes and Boxers. In my spare time I occasionally work on basic behaviors with those dogs.
I got started with R Team when I took an agility foundation class with Titus, we completed all levels of agility and I became interested in learning more about dog training so I started assisting Reesa in classes and learning everything I could from her.
I'm very good with people and instructing them to be the most successful with their dogs. I use very clear communication when working with dogs and am consistent with my exceptions which allows the dog to learn quickly without confusion.
My goals for my students is for them to see results and learn how to maintain those results for a dog that is easier to live with.