My addiction to dog training all started when I was nine years old and saw a Super Dogs show at the Edmonton Klondike Days. At the end of the performance the MC announced that there was a Super Dog training center that was about to open in Edmonton and it just so happened that they were taking registrations for classes.  My mom signed me up for my first agility class and it was all down hill from there. 
Ten years later my life is now centered around my four wonderful (not to mention talented) dogs.   Along the way I learned many, many things from both my instructors and my dogs.  I was fortunate enough to attend a school where the curriculum was centered around your interests and personal aspirations, therefore missing school for world championships, national competitions and many seminars was not a problem.  Though my teachers all encouraged me to choose something in the math/science field I think they all knew their persistence was futile.  I graduated from high school in 2006 with the idea of going to university to take something that may benefit a career in dog training but I couldn’t possibly turn down the opportunity to compete on Canada’s world agility team so I decided school could wait.  Since then I am now teaching in dog schools all over Edmonton and teaching seminars abroad.  I do plan to go back to school eventually, but only time will tell.

After my first World Championships in Italy it became apparent that my knowledge of dog training was extremely limited.  The FCI World Championships is an event that any agility enthusiast must see at least once.  So in my quest for knowledge it was recommended to me by a team mate that I attend a Greg Derrett seminar.  After flying home I found out that Greg did workshops every fall at a training school in Ontario called Say Yes Dog Training owned by Susan Garrett.  So I booked my flight and one month later flew back to Ontario with Chase to attend his 2 day basic handling seminar.  It was an eye opening experience to say the least.  It instantly made sense to me that there was consistency and rules instead of just “seeing what works”.  Since that year I have worked with Greg at least twice a year and I can attribute my success to all of his help. 
Up until that point I had taken many training classes in Edmonton but for the most part I had just trained on my own.  As far as I knew I had two extremely successful agility dogs so why change what I was doing?  Well…then came Riot.  Looking back now I would have done so many things differently, but Riot has taught me so much and I can tell that all the dogs that come after her will reap the benefits. 
After attending many of Greg’s seminars at Say Yes I decided I would bring Riot to a dog training skills camp with Susan Garrett.  I learned all about operant conditioning and building drive and motivation and how it’s important to create a strong foundation with every agility dog.  Riot and I were on the road to recovery after that seminar, I took her out of competitions and spent the next year retraining and filling in hole (or shall I say craters?).  Every trip to Say Yes is a learning experience and I always find myself motivated when I leave (we can all use an ass kicking sometimes).  I’m very thankful for everything Susan has taught me.  
Along the journey I have met many fantastic and inspirational people and it is extremely uplifting to know that things can only get better.  Thank you to my friends and family who have helped support me along the way and put up with my crazy dogs!!  

Justine Davenport

http://www.shapeupdogs.com

 

 

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4 Responses to “About Me”

  1. Alanna St Jean said

    hello Justine,

    I hope you had a great time at your competition! It has been a few days since we met at my indoor and I was just checking in to follow up on our discussion. I am looking forward to chatting more about the rental and I hope you are still interested! I look forward to hearing from you in the near future.

    Cheers
    Alanna St Jean
    780 686 2438

  2. Dad and Mary said

    Hey Jus, Mary and I have spent a little bit of this morning watching your videos. Really really enjoyed watching and reading your websight. Also watched some of your runs with the shelties. I must say I and Mary are very impressed with your writing. Not only do you write constructively well, but it is very entertaining to read..” Did I mention he’s perfect” what a grabber.
    Keep up the great work. lots of fun to read!!!!

  3. Great Aunt Rene' said

    Hey Justine, Saw your dad, Mary & Carson 10/10/09 and found out about your website. Wow, your are doing great. Would you please let us know when you might be on TV so Great Gramma & I can watch you…
    Rene’ in Palm Springs

  4. Susan Kennedy said

    Would like to know when Fanny will be back

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