Instructors

Jodi Kellar, MA-ed, ABC-MT, CTDT, WCRL Judge, CGC & PetPartners Evaluator and Owner/ Lead Curriculum Director

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Owner Jodi Kellar is an exceptional positive motivation trainer. Jodi holds a BA in Psychology and a MA in Education (graduating both Summa Cum Laude), where she extensively studied educational and behavioral theories and published three of her own studies. Following her Masters of the Arts Degree, she graduated from Animal Behavior College (ABC) becoming a Certified Dog Trainer and has mentored future trainers for ABC.
Jodi is a member of The Association of Pet Dog Trainers, a provisional member of the National Association of Dog Obedience Instructors, a certified evaluator for the AKC Canine Good Citizen & AKC STAR Puppy Programs, a Certified Trick Dog Instructor and a certified evaluator for the Pet Partner Therapy Team Program as well as a member of two teams for the Pet Partners program with her Beagles, Sweet Jellybean (retired) and Miss Maggie Moo, as well as BC Banana Split Sundae. They previously volunteered at Hackensack University Medical Center in the Angels on a Leash Program; they currently are the primary teams at the Bogota Public Library’s Project R.E.A.D. Finally, Jodi is a WCRL fully certified judge of all levels where she enjoys watching the bond between humans and their pups in the rally ring.

She is also a proud member of Canine Performance Events (CPE), Skyline Agility Club, Association of Pet Dog Trainers, Do More with Your Dog (where Maggie and Sundae have both earned advanced trick dog title), United States Dog Agility Association (USDAA),  The North American Dog Agility Council (NADAC) and competes regularly in WCRL (World Cynosport Rally Limited), AKC, USDAA and CPE agility events. Jodi received the Readers’ Choice Award by NYC ‘s City Tails Magazine & has been recognized by local media on several occations (News channel 12 and the Bogota Bulletin). She has earned championships on four dogs in Cynosport (formerly APDT) Rally and three in CPE Agility and has trained hundreds of dogs who have excelled in obedience, agility, tricks and therapy skills. C-ATE, C-ATCH4 Sweet Jellybean, now retired, earned  all 14 championship and extraordinaire titles. C-ATE, C-ATCH6 Miss Maggie Moo earned  Agility Team Championships (CPE- C-ATCH),  Agility Team Extraordinaire Champion (CPE’s C-ATE),  14 individual games championships and 13 extraordinaire titles, USDAA’s P-MAD (Performance Master Agility Dog), Tournament Master Bronze, Master Standard & Relay Titles, AKC’s Master Jumpers, Excellent Statndard & FAST and T2B Titles and many more . Her Border Collie, C-ATCH3 Banana Split Sundae has earned C-ATCH3(CPE Champion) & all 7 individual games championships, AKC’s Excellent  Standard, JWW & FAST Titles, USDAA’s Tournament Master Title, Master Gamblers Title and is close to earning the P-MAD! In obedience, they have both earned many championships and Awards of Excellence and Cynosport’s Rally Champion, Rally Excellent Champion & Rally Extrordinaire Champion (ARCH,  ARCHX & ARCHEX) & were ranked  in 2012, 2013 & 2014 Cynosport USA Rankings; Sundae was the #1 ARCHMX dog in the world, as well as the one of the overall top dogs in the USA! Sundae is now working toward ARCHMX4 & Maggie ARCHMX2 & having fun doing it! Finally, Jodi has recently added a puppy to the KCA crew, StellDora (AKC papered as Infanite’s Star with an Epic Gift, after her parents) and has already earned AKC’s Puppy STAR and WCRL’s  Puppy Award of Excellence & Championship. StellaD is on the road to many successes! All pups loves to play as a team with Jodi!

Jodi believes in continuing education. She regularly attends workshops, webinars, seminars, as well as continues to learn through DVDs, training books, and even competing (competing is a learning experience too!). Some of the valuable workshops she has attended include presenters Tracy Sklenar, Cynthia Hornor,  Julie Daniels, Pam Dennison, Jenn Crank, Stacy Peardot-Goudy & the Karen Pryor’s Clicker Expos. She has had the privilege of working with these gifted positive trainers in learning techniques for helping reactive/aggressive dogs, shaping and clicker training, rally obedience, basic and advanced agility techniques and skills and simply learning how to be a team with your dog.  Other than these hands on learning opportunities, Jodi’s training techniques and canine knowledge are influenced by her studies Dr. Ian Dunbar, Terry Ryan, Karen Pryor, Pat Miller, Emma Parsons, Kathy Sdao, Susan Salo, Arlene Spooner, Jean Donaldson, Peg Munves, Kyra Sundance, Stacy Peardot-Goudy, Sylvia Trkman, Kathleen Deavigne and many others.

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(WCRL judge Jodi Kellar, L3 & Nicole Levien, L1 w/StellaDora’s Rally Puppy Title)


Nicole Levien, Agility Instructor

  • Nicole has been training with Jodi for many years. She is a KPA graduate & WCRL Level 1 Judge and continues to work with her dog and new addition to her family, Aussie puppy Chamus. She has several years of experience in equestrian training as well. She competes in CPE agility with her dog, Puppa Monkey, where they have earned several titles and are working toward their C-ATCH. Niki and Puppa have earned many titles in WCRL Rally Obedience, including the ARCHEX and multiple individual level championships; they will soon earn their ARCHMX! In addition to training horses and dogs, Niki runs a kitten and cat rescue program and trains her cats as well. 

 


 

Betsi Hartman, Agility Instructor

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Betsi has been an instructor since 1997 and surrounded by the love of dogs all her life.  She has put AKC, USDAA, CPE, and NADAC titles on all her dogs along with numerous championships and has shown in numerous nationals and ending in the finals and HIT in Standard with her GSD. She attempts to focus the style of training to the individual dog and student and the constant need to let our companions know when the are right. Betsi is showing Border Collie, Icy,  and 1 Swedish Vallhund with the following titles:

MACH2, PACH, ADCH, PDCH, NATCH2, Vers-NATCH, CATCH2 Savi Rose (BC):  CDX, RN, MXG, MJG, MXP4, MXPB, MJP4, MJPB, PAX, MXF, MFP,  TQXP, O-ECC, O-EJC, HP-N, CGC/TDI, MACH, ADCH, NATCH, Vers-NATCH, CATCH2 Rainbow Bridge 2014

Jazzi Q (BC):  CD, RN, MXG, MJS, OAP. OJP, MXF, MFG, TQX, OFP, HP-N, SG, CGC/TDI -Rainbow Bridge 2015

Angi Mae (GSD):  AX, MXJ, MXF, MFB, NAC, NJC,TG-O, WV-N, HP-N, C-ATCH (retired)

Indi B (SV) MX, AXJ, MXF, CL4

Maggi Mae: (GSD) UDX, PT, MX, MXJ, EAC, EGC, OJC, PII, U-CD, OAP, OJP, CGC/TDI, CAN UDX  –  Rainbow Bridge 5/10/94 to 01/25/07

Dulci Jo:  (GSD) CD, CGC/TDI, NA, Can CD -Rainbow Bridge 2/26/08

http://www.hartmanharness.com Their time with us is short & precious – they need love, hugs, & to know when they are right.


 

Kathleen Desvigne, Agility Instructor

Instructor KathleenKathleen, a native of NYC, began agility with Long Island Agility 1999 as a fun way to exercise the mind and body of her dog at that time, a large Rottweiller named Med.Knight. It didn’t take long for both of them to fall in love with the sport and the special communicative relationship that it fosters for dog and handler.

After Med.Knight, Kathleen went on to new achievements competing with her Golden Retriever, ADCH Platinum, LAA Platinum, Player. Player was a three time USDAA National Performance finalist.. Finishing on podium twice , and winning the Veterans All All Around Championship in her final year of competition. During Players final National, Kathleen introduced her young border collie, Vivian! to the team event. It was the beginning of another special relationship and a new legacy of achievements.

Kathleen and Vivian! are 3 time members of team USA At the European Open and a Two time Steeplechase finalist at the Cynosport World Games. Vivian! who is pretty small for a large dog (approx. 17.5 inches tall, weighing about 28 lbs) , but she has a big heart, a remarkable work ethic, and was born to run!

Kathleen and Vivian! represented the USA at the FCI World Championships in October.

Through it all Kathleen remains a student of the sport, and makes it her job to stay abreast of new training and handling techniques. She also recognizes the importance of being flexible and innovative in her approach to teaching.. She regards each dog as an individual, and each dog handler/team as unique. From this point of view, she brings forth the best training program she can muster for her own dogs as well as for you and yours.


 

Marsha Dominguez, CNWI, K9 Nosework Instructor

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Marsha Dominguez is a certified instructor through  the NACSW program.  Marsha has been involved with dogs since 1993 when she got her first Portuguese Water Dog, Jasmine.  Jasmine was shown to her championship, competed in Obedience, Agility, Water Work, and Therapy Work;  as was her 2nd dog, Primo, National Specialty Winners Dog.  Chairperson of the Nutmeg Portuguese Water Dog Club’s Water Committee for many years she organized the Water Program for that club.  She has been teaching and helping individuals and families improve their relationships with their dogs for 15 years.  She is a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers, and a long time member of Hudson Valley’s Visiting Pet Program.
Marsha worked as an ABA therapist providing individualized instruction to children on the autism spectrum, as well as conducted workshops for children in the New Jersey Child Assault Prevention Program in Bergen County.  She has a Masters Degree from Hofstra University in Education.  She has learned from such trainers as Suzanne Clothier, Sue Sternberg,  Pia Silvani, Turid Rugaas, Carolyn Wilki, Ted Turner, Pam Dennison, Susan Garrett, Jean Donaldson.  She has taught dogs Nosework skills at K9HighPoint in Middletown, NY and at Port Chester Obedience Training Club, in White Plains, NY.  She loves doing Nosework with Brie, her 6 year old Portuguese Water Dog who has a NW 1 title winning 2nd Overall.


 

Jeannie Bonsignore, Agility Instructor

Jeannie and her agility dogJeannie has been involved in agility since 2001, when her Maremma Sheepdog, Powder, needed a job to do. Quickly falling in love with the sport, and coming from a competitive background with Appaloosa horses, competition was a natural next step. Due to physical issues, Powder was never able to compete, so Jeannie adopted an Australian Shepherd, Joshua, for competition. In spring of 2003, Josh and Jeannie had a great start, doing exceptionally well for a novice team. Sadly, that excitement was cut short when Joshua became very ill. Almost a year went by before they could compete again, however Joshua’s heart wasn’t there. After finishing his Open/Advanced titles in USDAA, AKC, ASCA, and NADAC, Josh was retired.

 Wanting to continue with the sport, in October 2004 Jeannie turned to Border Collie Rescue and adopted Mollee, who was recommended as an agility prospect. Excited to begin training with her new teammate, agility training turned to behavioral training when Mollee started exhibiting severe phobias and confidence issues. The next year & a half was devoted to helping Mollee live in society. “Mollee has taught me more about dog training than any book or class could. Helping Mollee see the world is not a scary place, and seeing her confidently go places, was more important for her than training for agility competition.” Knowing Mollee would likely not compete, with the help of a very good friend, in January 2006, Jeannie brought home a Border Collie boy, Zeke.

Zeke and Jeannie started their agility career in July 2007, and since have earned numerous titles in USDAA and AKC, including ADCH-Gold, LAA Championship-Gold and MACH.  They have competed regionally in USDAA earning a Gold Medal in Team, Silver Medals in Biathlon and Grand Prix, and finishing as the top team dog. Nationally, in the past 5 years, at the Cynosport World Games, they have made semi-finals in either or both Grand Prix and Steeplechase, and made Finals this past year in the Team event. Last spring 2013 they competed in their first International event, the IFCS Continental Championships of the Americas, finishing 11th overall in Individual and 12th overall in Biathlon. This spring 2014, they competed in their first AKC National event, finishing 58th out of over 400 dogs.

Jeannie has 2 more Border Collie boys, Tag!, who is working toward his ADCH and MACH; and Denali, who has yet to start his agility competition career. “As an instructor, I feel it is important to have continuing education, learning & understanding the latest training & handling techniques, and being prepared for the newest challenges on course. I attend several seminars a year to achieve this, so my students and I can be the best we can be.”

 

Kimberly Smith, Agility Instructor 

Kimberly grew up riding and training show Quarter Horses. She has always had a love and appreciation for animals, and they have always been a part of her life.In 1990, a Keeshond puppy became her constant companion. A few years later a rescue racing Greyhound and then later a rescue Norwegian Elkhound joined the family. Selah, her second Keeshond came into her life in 2006. They discovered agility and a new chapter began. 

Selah & Kimberly’s first agility competition was April 2008 and earned their MACH, June 2011 (AKC Master Agility Champion, 750 points and 20 double qualifying runs). To qualify for the AKC Invitational, the Top 5 dogs in each breed are invited. Selah qualified for the 2011 AKC Agility Invitational in the top 5 Keeshonden. In 2012 she earned MACH 2 and 3 and competed in the 2012 AKC Invitational. MACH 4, 5 and 6 were completed in 2013, and she again competed in the 2013 AKC Invitational. Selah is the #1 AKC Agility Keeshond for 2013 & 2014. MACH 7, 8 and 9 were earned in 2014. And Selah again competed in the 2014 AKC Invitational. MACH 10 and 11 have been earned to date (August) for 2015 and once again Selah is invited to compete at the 2015 AKC Invitational. Selah has been the #1 ranking Keeshond for the qualifying period (July 1-June 30) for the AKC Invitational for 2013, 2014 and 2015.

In the Summer of 2010, Kimberly added a second agility partner, a 3 month old Border Collie puppy. Sebeka, from Glen Highland Border Collie Rescue, found her heart and Selah’s. Sebeka earned her first MACH in March 2013 and MACH 2 in July 2013. Sebeka was the #7 Border Collie for 2013 AKC Agility. MACH 3, 4 and 5 were earned in 2014. Sebeka finished in the top 10 Border Collies for 2014. To date (August), MACH 6 and 7 have been earned in 2015. Sebeka has qualified to attend the 2015 AKC Invitational, ranking #4 Border Collie.

Kimberly holds an Accounting degree and MBA and has been teaching college Business courses since 1982. Her values in learning and teaching are integral facets for her life. Kimberly continues to invest in agility training and to advance with the sport. She regularly works with a trainer, and trains and conditions her dogs.

Agility creates an opportunity for both dog and handler to bond and grow. It is one of the most rewarding experiences in life. Agility is a fun activity where a unique partnership is created with your dog, whether for fun or competition. Developing this relationship with your dog is a journey.

Selah, MACH 11 Sherwood’s Selah TQX T2B2 AD (Keeshond)
#1 AKC Agility Keeshond, 2013,  2014 & 2015

Sebeka, MACH 7 Glen Highland Tallulah Sebeka TQX3 T2B2 (Border Collie)
Top 10 AKC Agility Border Collie, 2013 & 2014

# 2 AKC Agility Border Collie, 2015