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

Posted on 11/19/12 14 Comments

Can you guess who this is in the picture to the left? She is today’s dog agility expert who I will feature in my second instalment of the “World’s Best in Dog Agility” interview. Take a close look . . . and if you guessed Silvia Trkman you would be correct!
Certainly Silvia needs no introduction as her success as with multiple dogs in the sport of dog agility makes “Silvia Trkman” a household name in the sport of dog agility, the world over.

Although our paths have never formally crossed in training it is enlightening for me to see how similar our approaches to success in the sport of agility is: relationship, “trick training” and not focusing on any outcome are the stepping stones on the pathway to success in our sport. Please share what you feel have been your important stepping stones.

Once you listened to what Silvia has to say be sure to check out her website where she shares loads of valuable tips on the sport of dog agility  www.lolabuland.com

Today I am grateful of Silvia Trkman and how she continues to push limits in the sport of dog agility. Below are the transcripts of this interview for those who would like to read along, thank you to Mary Ann Brown for providing these to us!

Interview Transcript:

Susan Garrett: I’m here with somebody who needs no introduction and her name is Silvia Trkman.  Very, very world famous.  Amazing dogs.  I think one of the things I admire most about Silvia is her relationship with her dogs.  She loves her dogs far more than any sport and it shows.  When she’s in there with her dogs.  You know I know a lot of you may have already taken Silvia’s online courses.  And, uh, so she’s no stranger to any of you out there.  Two gold medals in individual?  Is that correct?

Silvia Trkman: Ah, Yes.

Susan: And, and, team?

Silvia:  Also a couple.  And last year, third.

Susan:  And, then European Open. You’ve done extremely well there.  So, so many gold medals for her.  So the number one question I want to ask you is if somebody watching this video is thinking, “I would like to be at the world championships”, what would you think the most important thing that they need to keep in mind?

Silvia:  Well, as you noticed, I’m not counting the medals from world championships.  And, for the same reason I think is actually the most important to, uh, don’t be too focused on getting to world championships.  Or, making that the goal.  I think it’s better to focus on having fun with your dog, building the relationship, building the skills you need, and then just getting the best you can from the dog that you have.  Not every dog can be world championships.  But, um, well, you should just take the dog you have and get the best out of it.  I never thought with Bu will win a European Open ever because she was so scared and not a confident dog.  Has no accelerations.  But, she did, and, um, ya.  We never had that as our goal.  Our goal was to, ya, just get the best out of my dog.

Susan: So, if they have fun with the dog and they, there’s got to be a difference now; I have fun with my dog and I love my dog and I do all the skills.  What makes the difference between running and being a world champion and running and not qualifying?

Silvia:  Well, as I said not every dog is able to be a world champion.  I mean they need to have the structure.  They need to have, um, the nature of speed.  I mean I started in agility with a Samoyed and he never won world championships but he did really good for a Samoyed.  So, um this, and of course you have, ya, many talented border collies who could win and they will never win.  But, it’s mostly, I think, it’s very often because people are too focused on winning.

Susan: I agree 100%

Silvia:  They want it too badly and, then um, then, it’s harder.  It’s much easier to run without the pressure if you just come here to have fun and to see what the courses will be.  And, if you don’t manage, you just say, “Oh, it’s a new challenge I need to train some more.  Maybe next year, maybe not, maybe never.”

Susan:  So as far as you know you have had a lot of personal success.  If you look at Slovenia as a country and all the countries in the World into agility how brilliant they are.  How do you think your country rates compared to some of the other ones?

Silvia:  I think it’s pretty brilliant because it’s so small.  We have like 200 people in the whole country doing any kind of agility.

Susan:  Wow!

Silvia: So, it’s just 200 people and I think the average level is really very high because we did really well in Teams, too, and in general they are always placing very high.  So considering that we don’t have many people to choose from I think I really like.

Susan: And, do you think there is something in the water in Slovenia?

Silvia: (she laughs)

Susan: Is that the reason for it?  Or, is it another reason?

Silvia:  Ya, I think it helps that, ya, it’s small so I see everybody every weekend.

Susan:  I think that’s a big part of it.

Susan:  OK, Last question.  On a scale of 1 to 10 how would you rank me as my ability to run fast?

Silvia:  Hmm.  You could run faster….

Susan: How?

Silvia:  …but you are not trying.

Susan: (laughing) That’s the appearance. 1 to 10 it would be….?

Silvia: Well you could run a 10

Susan:  (excited) I could?

Silvia: You could!

Susan:  (excited and jumping up and down) I could? Thank you!  Ok, thank you to my friend Silvia Trkman.  Check out her blog, check out her website.  She’s got a lot of great information that’s for free for anybody and also a lot of phenomenal online courses.  So, thank you, Silvia.

Silvia: Thank you.

Susan: Perfect.


  1. denise says:
    Sunday, December 30, 2012 at 9:13am

    what I just love about Silva is that she ALWAYS looks like she’s having the most fun – make the most of what you have, love it.


  2. Emma says:
    Wednesday, November 21, 2012 at 6:35pm

    That was a great interview. I was just wondering what was the address for her website. I can’t seem to find it.


  3. Camilla says:
    Wednesday, November 21, 2012 at 12:30am

    Love the interview – thanks for sharing! How on earth did you come across that cute pic of Silvia!?
    Just a little correction to the transcript. Silvia said “You could run faster … but you are not running” (not you are not trying). I know this because she has said it to me many times!
    I live in Australia and was lucky enough to travel to Slovenia to train with silvia in April this yr. 5 of the most amazing days of my life! The theme was have fun and RUN RUN RUN!
    My stepping stones have been to have fun, run as fast as my legs can carry me and trust my dog 🙂


  4. Tru says:
    Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 4:28pm

    Great sense of humour Susan! what brilliant interviews!


  5. Debra Jones says:
    Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 3:54pm

    Susan, I posted a reply on your FB, but I would like to tell you what I have found my Stepping Stones to be, thanks to you:
    1. Embrace your holes
    2. It’s a journey not a competition
    3. Don’t dwell on the outcome – just stay in the moment and enjoy what you’re doing
    4. Your dog is a reflection of your training – don’t blame your dog
    It really has changed my way of training and my Snap shines as a result!


  6. Andrea says:
    Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 11:56am

    “Oh, it’s a new challenge I need to train some more.”

    thank you

    (hilarious about the run faster!)


  7. Alaska says:
    Monday, November 19, 2012 at 10:02pm

    How cool is this? Two of my main agility heroes and mentors in the same video 🙂


  8. Mary M says:
    Monday, November 19, 2012 at 8:34pm

    Love this quote: “…better to focus on having fun with your dog, building the relationship, building the skills you need, and then just getting the best you can from the dog that you have…”

    These are great Susan!!!! Thanks for taking your time to post video these and share them 🙂


    • Meg says:
      Saturday, November 24, 2012 at 5:09pm

      I, too, loved this quote. “…better to focus on having fun with your dog, building the relationship, building the skills you need, and then just getting the best you can from the dog that you have…” Each dog (as each child) has its own potential. We love each individual for who they are and hope to see them outshine themselves….not stress over shining just for us (their caretakers)
      Thanks for these interviews. 🙂


  9. Michele Fry says:
    Monday, November 19, 2012 at 2:34pm

    Thanks so much for doing these interviews. Please don’t delete any of them. They are truly inspirational. Wish our local daily newspaper could see the video on Sylvia’s website. Maybe then they’d agree to post our Agility Trial articles in the Sports section instead of the Fun section! WOW! What a runner she is, and her close handling gives me something else to think about. We’ve been focused so much on “distance training” these past few years, as though close handling is a sin, or something only newbies with green dogs have to do.


  10. Michelle says:
    Monday, November 19, 2012 at 12:59pm

    I also was hoping you would interview Silvia. Great interview and love how she thinks of the dogs first and expectations later. Not every dog is a world team dog. But if you try your best and get the best out of your dog, than you are a winner. I also like the fact that she got a dog that was not as likely to do as well and made it a winner. It shows what a good trainer and patience can do. Understandably though like she said that probably wouldnt have happened with her Samoyed. Certain breeds given a winning combination of the right breeds and great handler certainly do have their advantages. I havent seen any Newfoundlands in Worlds. Not that there arent some that have excelled past their expectations but I think people understand limitations.
    Bottomline though is have fun and enjoy the journey!!

    Any Susan, time to start running!!!


    • Michelle says:
      Monday, November 19, 2012 at 1:00pm

      funny, meant to say AND Susan, not any Susan, you are not any Susan for sure 🙂


  11. Kate says:
    Monday, November 19, 2012 at 12:24pm

    It starts with believing!

    These interviews are awesome, Susan – thanks so much for sharing!


  12. iamplume&lollipop says:
    Monday, November 19, 2012 at 10:23am

    Waouh ! Brilliant ! I was secretly hoping for this interview and you made it Susan ! 🙂 Silvia really is an outstanding person …I’m lucky i’ve started agility almost 10 years ago with a seminar given by Silvia and she has ever been in my mind ever since when i have to struggle in agility …
    and Susan, i like the way you accept being rated … The good news are that you can run faster ! yeah 🙂


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