Over the years, I’ve had the privilege of being loved by a multitude of mixed breeds dogs. In 2000, I rescued a 4-year-old Landseer Newfoundland who became my heart dog. In 2008, I got a Finnish Lapphund puppy, Teemu and began my adventures in dog showing, dog training and dog performance. This journey has taught me so much, introduced me to amazing people and pushed me to challenge myself and my dogs.
I learned to show in conformation, taking my 2 dogs to their championship (not the easiest thing for a rare breed). We have shown in Obedience and Rally with Teemu earning his Rally Excellence title. We had tons of fun in Barn Hunt with Teemu being the first Finnish Lapphund to earn a RATCH (Barn Hunt Championship). Along the way, there have been Star Puppy, CGC, CGCA, CGCU, Farm Dog and Trick Dog titles.
In every step of this journey, TMDTC has provided the training and support to make my dogs and me the best we could be. I really enjoyed Rally which created an amazing bond with my dogs. TMDTC provides me the opportunity to share my love of Rally by allowing me to teach Rally Novice classes. I love watching the dogs and their owners create bonds with each other. My goal for the classes is everyone should be having fun, be successful and if they learn something - bonus. And remember its always handler error.
My name is Trisha DeStefani. I currently teach Intermediate through Master level Rally classes. I have had dogs my entire life. I first started training when I was 12 years old by turning our picnic table and benches on their side to create jumps. I had a medium sized mixed breed dog named Sammy at the
time. I also taught her to jump up in front of me on my horse, so that when we were out riding and approached roads she would not be running loose. I got my first Doberman Pinscher in 1981 and currently share my home with my husband Armand and our two Dobermans; Paladin and Krystal. I have
trained and competed in AKC Conformation, Obedience, Rally and Lure Coursing earning numerous titles on my dogs as well as titling a couple of dogs for friends. I have also started training in Agility and hope to have the time to continue that training as my dogs and I have enjoyed it immensely. I also enjoy sharing what I have learned and watching the various different dogs and handlers make progress together. Training is an excellent way to bond with your dog and improve their confidence as well as their manners in various different situations, not to mention it’s a lot of fun!
Obedience & Rally
In 1970 I attended a dog show put on by the Reno Kennel Club. At that show I was attracted to the Obedience performances. When I obtained my Miniature Schnauzer I began a life journey of loving, training and showing dogs.
That mini schnauzer was Mozart (Mo) who became my first utility dog. Since that time, many years ago, I have been fortunate to have several dogs in my life, 2 Miniature Schnauzers, 1 English springer, 2 Giant Schnauzers and 6 Standard Schnauzers. All of these dogs have earned many AKC and ASCA titles in obedience work. We have also earned titles in Conformation, Rally, Herding, Scentwork, Barnhunt and Agility as well as the Canine Good Citizens titles. I have also been invited to, and participated in the AKC National Obedience Invitational.
Over the years I have attended many seminars presented by the foremost obedience instructors. You never stop learning and I have picked up many tips from these seminars. I enjoy working with dogs and their owners, and hope to encourage people to obtain their goals. Training and working with your dog builds a strong bond of friendship, and this is man’s best friend.
My interest in the field of dog behavior developed after attending classes at Santa Clara Dog Training Club where I eventually became a trainer. I am certified with CCPDT, a Certified Trick Dog Instructor (CTDI) and Canine Good Citizen Trick Dog Evaluator. In California I was a Certified Therapy Dog International® Evaluator and volunteer Therapy Dog team visiting Alzheimer’s facilities and Hospice at the VA Hospital. I have taught Puppy Kindergarten, Puppy I, Reactive Dog, Therapy Dog and all levels of Trick classes. My particular areas of interests are tricks and behavior modification for leash aggression and multiple dog household conflict. My training methods are holistic in nature derived from the dogs point with no forms of physical force or psychological intimidation. I live with a Standard Poodle and an English Springer Spaniel.
I taught special education & reading for 31 years. Quite often I individualized lessons for my "special" students in nontraditional ways. One nontraditional approach included a furry "lab assistant" named Rosie, my first therapy dog. Reportedly she was the first & quite possibly only therapy dog working full time in a classroom in the Reno-Sparks area. My principal made an exception for her, it was magic & resulted in "Teacher of the Year for Special Education in 2004", I believe due to her help. After retirement in 2004, I volunteered at large facilities, but I continued to be most moved by the needs of individuals, choosing to have a relationship with them, to call them by name. From our first home visit with a Hospice patient, a one on one summer class with a traumatic brain injured teen, to Janice at Monaco Ridge, my dogs & I fit those visits into our already busy schedules. The memories of Gus singing with a veteran at the VA and reading to 3yr olds for 15 minutes had the biggest impact on me. With a renewed purpose, I've returned to evaluating & practicing pet therapy while adding training and consulting. When not out making the world a better place with wagging tails, I quilt & travel with my fly fisherman, Ron, a little wienie dog & a lab pup, who keeps me humble as I train her to take over Dixie's therapy work.
I have been a lifelong animal enthusiast and Northern Nevada resident since the age of 12. Throughout this time living in both country and urban settings the one thing that has always remained the same is my love and passion for animals, especially canines. Along with growing up in 4-H and always having horses I have had the opportunity and pleasure to experience multiple varieties of dogs, both rescue and purebred, in my own household and those of family and friends. I have found my true passion and calling in life in training dogs on an AKC competitive level. I have been especially enjoying working with my Cane Corsos with my husband Tracy. Together we have all been successful in both Rally and Therapy work. The joy I experience bringing the comfort, joy, and healing powers of my therapy dogs to people in need is an indescribable experience. I also am a CGC Evaluator and an AC+KC Farm Dog Judge.
Carol Chase Healy
I have been a member of TMDTC since 1984 and have taught over 100 classes for the club. I have bred and trained many AKC Champions and performance titled Dalmatians, two Parson Russell Terriers, and am an AKC Breeder Merit. I am a member of the Dalmatian Club of America, the Parson Russell Terrier Club of America, and The Dalmatian Club of Northern California. I have worked closely with researchers and faculty at UC Davis and was instrumental in acquiring AKC registration of the Low Uric Acid Dalmatian Backcross dogs. Ch Fiacre's Seeing Is Believing was the first LUA Dalmatian to earn her AKC Champion title in just 5 shows with a Specialty Best Of Winners and a Dalmatian Club of America Award of Merit entirely owner/breeder handled. She went on to be the first LUA AKC Grand Champion also finishing that title in 5 shows. I have competed and titled in Obedience, Rally, Dock Diving, Barn Hunt, Earth Dog, Lure Coursing, Canine Good Citizen, Farm Dog, and now Nose Work.
STAR Puppy & Obedience
Hi I’m Sheri Harrell. I have had many dogs in my life. Training them is something I love to do. I started training at a dog club in Salinas California. My background is in obedience showing and training. When we moved here about seven years ago, I enrolled in classes at TMDTC and immediately felt like I was home. I have a Border/Queensland mix (Abby) and a Miniature American Shepherd (Brook). Brook and I do Rally, Agility, therapy work, and she is my demo dog for classes. We have titles in Rally, CGC, CGCA, CGCU and a couple of legs in agility. This year I will also show Brook in obedience. Abby is my stay-at-home dog because she doesn’t like people or dogs. She is my challenge and we have come a long way together. I love working with dogs and their owners. I especially enjoy seeing the “light bulb” go on when they get what I am trying to teach them. I look forward too many years of instructing at TMTDC. Now go pet your dog.
STAR Puppy, Obedience, & Conformation
I have owned dogs my whole life. I had not been involved with obedience until I got a black Lab named Morris. We took obedience and rally classes at TMDTC for several years and he and I both loved it! Morris has approximately 13 titles and working with him inspired me to become an instructor. I now teach STAR Puppy class and the Beginning Obedience class. I am also certified to judge Farm Dog, CGC, CGCA and CGCU. We have two other black Labs besides Morris, Smithy who is a retired conformation dog and is doing Rally now and our newest addition Dylan who I will be taking to STAR Puppy soon. I enjoy my time training and taking classes at TMDTC when not at conformation shows!
I have been involved with Labrador Retrievers in some fashion for over 30 years, breeding training and showing in conformation. Over the years I have mostly been involved with conformation, but a few years ago, Morris, our black Lab, came into our lives, we compete with him in Rally and now Smithy, our retired conformation dog, is doing rally with me as well. We recently got a new conformation puppy, Dylan, also a black Lab that I am looking forward to training and showing in conformation! So we have our hands full with three black Labs! I am active with TMDTC, teaching conformation classes and as the Raffle and Conformation chairperson.
Training Director and Obedience
My interest in training dogs for competition began when I was a teenager. I had the joy and honor of training and showing my Miniature Schnauzer, Brandy, who retired with a Companion Dog Excellent (CDX) title. Years later I rekindled my interest in training and showing when I was adopted by Cody, my Australian Shepherd. His brother, Wrangler, soon followed. They both crossed over the Rainbow Bridge in 2018. I then adopted Jack, a Miniature American Shepherd who is my current companion and training partner.
I have had the honor of being the guardian of many dogs over the years including German Shepherds, Basenji, Australian Cattle dogs and several All American dogs. I am an American Kennel Club (AKC) Canine Good Citizen Evaluator and Star Puppy Instructor and AKC Farm Dog Judge. My dog Wrangler and I were a certified Therapy Dog team through Alliance of Therapy Dogs. I have had the opportunity to attend seminars by some of the top obedience trainers in the country. My dogs competed and hold titles in Rally, Obedience, Carting, Tricks, Therapy Dog and Barn Hunt as well as Canine Good Citizen (CGC), CGC-Advanced, CGC-Urban and Farm Dog.
STAR Puppy & Obedience
STAR Puppy, Obedience, Tricks, Rally, Fun-dations, & Agility
You get out of your dog what you put in.
Training dogs should bring dog and owner closer together. Positive training methods build confidence, both as individuals and as a team. The dog's well being is of the utmost importance and all training sessions should be fun.
Trick training has given me a special connection with my dogs: Jetta, who is a diabetic and doesn't like to compete loves to learn tricks. Baily, who can no longer compete in agility, loves the challenge the tricks provide. Then there is Justus, he came to us as an older dog and has fun trying new things because he can.
STAR Puppy & Obedience - Training Director
What do you get when you combine almost 40 years of teaching elementary school and a genuine passion for dogs of all breeds? Shari Sanger, an instructor, for both AKC Star Puppy and CGC Beginners' classes. I have been a life-long dog enthusiast enjoying the true companionship of seven different dogs of varying breeds and sizes. Currently, I own and train Bentley, an exuberant and loving rottweiler. Joining TMDTC in 2001 with my second rottie, I trained in great classes with wonderful, knowledgeable, and dog-savvy instructors. I began instructor training as an assistant with an amazingly adept teacher who mentored me for 2 and 1/2 years. Being tested and certified as an AKC approved CGC evaluator, I have been teaching for the last 5 years with this club.
What will you learn in my classes? In the Star Puppy program, you'll be getting your puppy off to a great start, in becoming a well-behaved family member and canine citizen. As a loving owner, you'll learn how best to communicate with your pup and how to teach practical skills such as 'coming when called'. The beginner classes teach adult dogs how to have good manners at home and in public. This class incorporates basic obedience skills such as 'heel' and 'down' and practical skills such 'wait' (wait until the handler tells the dog to do something else). These classes are an excellent beginning to therapy dog work, agility work, confirmation work, and competition in obedience and rally.
I want my classes to be fun, but filled with practical knowledge on how to train your companion to be a joy to everyone they meet and, most importantly, make you feel you are going home with the best dog!!
Fun-dations & Agility
I have had the pleasure to live, train, and partner with many doggie personalities. My family raised, trained, and showed German Shepherds and German Shorthaired Pointers. As a teen, I bought my first conformation show dog, Red, a Pekingese. He was followed by a champion, two girls, and my Special boy, Tonic. Tonic and I quickly earned a CDX, and began training for Utility. Unfortunately, College, Family, and Career halted the formal dog events, but several pound puppies kept me in the training/learning loop during this time (competition venues for mutts, aka All American Dogs did not exist).
The 2006 arrival of my Labrador Christmas gift, Piper, resurrected my canine competitive hobby, and I began preparing for the show ring once again. I enjoy the obedience ring and continue to compete in that venue, but I have found a true passion (the likely result of a personality matching 'fun factor' for events such as Rally, Agility, Splash Dogs, and the like. I also believe in service to others: both of my dogs are registered Therapy Dogs. We participate in Paws2Read at the Sparks Library and are members of Washoe County's Crisis Response Team.
My Philosophy: I am a proponent of positive shaping/training. My all-time favorite quote is from the following song in Disney's Mary Poppins:
A Spoonful of Sugar in every job that must be done, there is an element of fun. You find the fun. And snap, the job is a game! Training animals does require work---results are directly related to effort. If we make the work fun (a game), a unique relationship will emerge between dogs and their owners. Find the fun! Make training a game, and the rewards will follow!
La Donna Sprinkle
STAR Puppy & Obedience
My name is La Donna Sprinkle. I teach Star Puppy Kindergarten and Beginner Obedience class for our club. I am also a Canine Good Citizen Evaluator. My experience with dogs and other critters began as a child. My family talks about how I used to rescue dogs and bring them home even if they didn't need it. All my dogs were rescues my whole life until my husband wanted a Rottweiler. I insisted this type of dog had to be trained. So I took him to class and loved it, and I became a member of the club. That was 1990.
I started helping in class and eventually started teaching my own classes. I wasn't really interested in showing. I was more interested in just having a good companion, but then I decided to get into obedience. I bought Bailey, trained him, and now we have some titles. Bailey has his first leg in Open. We are working towards an Open title now. My Rottweiler Bennie has his Novice Title and is working toward his Graduate Novice Title. He also has two legs on his Rally Excellent Title. Both dogs have all their CGC Titles except for Farm Dog.
I enjoy working with all the dogs in my classes. I get to play with the puppies and see al the different breeds. But best of all is to see a frightened little dog come in the door and a few weeks later a confident, happy tail wagging dog go out.
Thora chooses to not have an online presence, and we respect her request for privacy.
Hi I’m Thea Tsurumoto. I got hooked on obedience with my Pekingese Snicker. He liked to “bite” the judge on the long stand - so we were excused a LOT! 1974 came my beautiful German Shepherd, Maxx, with a lot of hard work I put a CD on him; I trained 4 German Shepherds, a German Shorthair and a Siberian Husky named Majick whom with I did conformation and obedience. With dogs getting older, came work, kids and taking care of extended family. In 2005 we bought our first Australian Shepherd - Chili. Started agility at 10 months old to get him interested in obedience. We acquired a CDX, RE, CGC, CGCA, CGCU, Farm Dog Title, Tricks Advanced, Barn Hunt, Lure Coursing, Master Standard Agility and Master JWW Agility titles in AKC. We were ready to compete Utility when he became “lame”. Chili holds a CD, RA, Elite Jumpers, Elite Gamblers and Elite Regular agility titles in ASCA. He is a therapy dog; trailed in NACSW, started training in AKC Scent work. I have obedience, rally, barn hunt, lure coursing, fast cat, tricks titles and agility titles in AKC on my Border Collie, my friends Doberman and my younger Aussie, - who has a PT in herding and is a 3 times ASCA Agility Merritt Award Winner. I have AKC/ASCA agility titles on three of my good friends Australian Shepherds. My Border and Aussie also hold rally & obedience titles in ASCA; I now have NADAC agility titles on my Border and young Aussie. We move to Carson City in December 2017 from the Bay Area, a member of Mt. Diablo DTC for over 24 years; I was one of MDDTC’s representative to the AOCNC. I was an assistant obedience & rally trainer for over 6 years. I ran my own tricks and beginning agility class at Mt. Diablo DTC. I am a member of TMDTC, and I am an assistant agility trainer in Erna’s beginning and advanced agility class on Wednesdays. I have up and coming agility, obedience, rally, tricks etc., puppy. I am an CGC evaluator and a ACT Evaluator.