A Chat With the World’s Best In Dog Agility: Take Three

Posted on 11/27/12 7 Comments

 Today three time World Champion of dog agility Natasha Wise of the UK gives her input into how to bring in you and your dog. I took home three key points from this interview . . . what do you think they were?

I realize you might have a difficult time hearing this one, but be sure to read along with the transcripts that Mary Ann and I collaborated on. Seems a bit strange that the native of the country that developed the English language is one of the toughest for me to understand! Love you Natasha, just “taking the mick.”  

Natasha has that amazing connection in the ring with her Border Collie “Dizzy.” It is that connection that has allowed them to be one of only two dog and handler teams to win three FCI World Championships (the other being the amazing Lisa Frick and her dog Hoss). You will see after this interview it isn’t only her teamwork that is amazing, her insight and humility is also something to inspire towards. Although Natasha does yet have her website ready (naughty girl) you can contact her through her email address flippingada AT hotmail DOT uk DOT co (of course written like a proper email address:) or you can also find her on Facebook

Today I am grateful to Natasha for spending some time allowing us to get to know her.

Interview Transcript:

Susan Garrett: Great Britain’s Natasha Wise.  Natasha has been so successful in championships. She’s won two individual Gold medals; and team?

Natasha Wise:  Third.

Susan: Third.  Brilliant.  And had just had another blistering run in there.  Did you win that round?

Natasha:  Yes, Yes.

Susan:  Well done.  So, I’m here to ask Natasha, what you think is important, if somebody is doing agility right now and they think, I’d like to be on a world team, what would be important for them to keep in the back of their mind?

Natasha:  OK, my main dealing with um training is consistency and motivation. You got to have a consistent look to your approach and be motivated in the end I feel what you need for international competition is to have independent obstacles; independent contacts, independent weaves…

Susan:  (speaking to the camera operator) Come a little closer so maybe the mike can pick up.

Natasha:  …Independent weaves, um, to be able to trust those elements. The dogs, I’m saying its the dogs job to take equipment and it’s the handler’s job to show the course.  So that’s what I think makes up a good team.

Susan:  So once people have that, what do you think is the difference between, like how can you consistently go out there and run a beautiful run and other people just muff it up?

Natasha:  Oh, sometimes I don’t know. But, uh, my confidence is not great sometimes, uh, but mental head for me really, really makes a difference. So step at the start line and is has to be automatic to know exactly what you are going to do.  ‘Cause you are working as a team. It’s not just like “you” did it.  It’s you and your dog are a partnership. So connect with it.  So, yeah.

Susan:  Brilliant.  And as far as, you’ve been to the world championships several times. You’ve seen all the great teams in the world.  How do you think Great   ranks amongst all the teams in the world in the sport of agility?  Obviously you guys are like the motherland.

Natasha:  Yeah, yeah.

Susan:  You are the creator of it.  But, right now in the competitive environment, how do you think overall your country ranks amongst everybody else?

Natasha:  Um, I think from a sport, um because I’ve got a degree in sports science so from a sports science background I think that Great Britain seemed to just be participating, um and  so in the last maybe 3 or 4 years we picked up our game, um, and, um, more consistency, really willing to learn and make changes and a new fresh approach.  So, ah, so I didn’t answer the question. But, yeah, yeah, I feel we are in the mix now. Which is about new ideas, try and drive the sport forward, as opposed to just being there as a participant.

Susan:  Brilliant.

Natasha:  Yeah I think the Olympics this year proved that.

Susan:  OK, a really critical question, now

Natasha: Yeah

Susan:  On a scale of 1 to 10 how would you rate me as a sprinter?

Natasha: (laughs) Lets, see, well, today….. oh, I felt bad, because your tunnel bit . . .

Susan:  Oh, that wasn’t too good.  I tried hard.

Natasha:  I said “Oh, no”.

Susan: 1 to 10

Natasha:  I screamed head off  “Go! Run!”

Susan:  And every time I watch the video, I’m still not there.

Natasha: Oh, what a shame but a

Susan: 1 to 10

Natasha:  Oh, 1 to 10?

Susan: About a  . .

Natasha: How about a, 6?

Susan:  A 6? (laughing and high five).  And, 6 and I’m still rising.  I’m getting better.  Perfect, perfect.  Thank you Natasha.  Do you have a website we can contact you through?

Natasha:  Um, I do, I will have shortly. But it is flippingada AT hotmail DOT uk DOT co

Susan:  Perfect. OK thank you so much.  Brilliant.

Natasha:  Thank you.


  1. Lana Brown says:
    Wednesday, December 19, 2012 at 6:24am

    This is a great post. It’s quite fascinating interview too, I must say. For dog lovers, this interview by Natasha Wise will definitely help them in one way or other. The best thing I like the most is Natasha’s honesty towards her work. She has gained varied knowledge in the field of dog agility and their training.


  2. Ruth says:
    Friday, November 30, 2012 at 3:47am

    Brill interview! the biggest advice I got was independant everything is needed! and i realise I havent been training for that enough. time to step it up and really focus on how to do it and get it from my dog.


  3. nellie.marsh says:
    Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 11:57am

    I’m so enjoying these interviews! What I liked best was Natasha saying “I screamed my head off: ‘Go! Run!'” All your interviews with those best in the sport show this spirit – it almost doesn’t feel like a competition, but just a big enjoyable training session with friends on an international level!

    Thank you so much for the transcripts, the help enormously!


  4. Debra Jones says:
    Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 11:19am

    My take away points are:

    1. ” I’m saying its the dogs job to take equipment and it’s the handler’s job to show the course” That’s team work!

    2. “You got to have a consistent look to your approach and be motivated in the end I feel what you need for international competition is to have independent obstacles; independent contacts, independent weaves…”

    3. ” you are working as a team. It’s not just like “you” did it. It’s you and your dog are a partnership”

    Great interview!


  5. chloe says:
    Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 11:10am

    Actually thinking a bit more I think Natasha’s comment about how important it is to continue to learn new techniques and continuing to have an open mind is probably the most important for life in general. Something you mention often! And the recent USA elections show what happens when people stick to their old beliefs and cannot grow, and change.


  6. chloe says:
    Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 11:04am

    Thank you for transcribing. Yes she is a wonderful champion.
    The three point I got from the interview (as a non-agility person (anymore)) is:

    Honesty (when someone asks you to rate performance/job)

    The human is only one of 2 in the team

    It is the dog’s responsibility to perform the job he/she has been trained for and knows ie independence no micro managing.


  7. Jo says:
    Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 1:52am

    Hi, Susan …great interview…I see you, too, spoke the English language very well….”Brilliant!”LOL


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