Dog Training From A Junior Handler’s Perspective

Posted on 11/21/13 36 Comments

When it comes to dog training, I recognize that everyone is in a different place in their journey.  Your needs may differ based on the challenges you face with your pet, your experience level, your goals for your dog (dog sports? obedience? Or just a happy, well-behaved family pet?), and finally, your age.

That is why from time to time we set out gather opinions and information from our students evaluating how you all are progressing and what role we can play to help further that journey. That’s why you’ll see me asking for your help in filling out surveys, or encouraging you to join in a conversation in the comments section below a video or blog post. It is with your feedback that we can create programs and products that will help you in your training.

Earlier this year Say Yes Dog Training had the honour of being a gold level sponsor at the first ever Canadian Junior Agility Championships. Although I have no children of my own I am so inspired by what these kids are accomplishing with their dogs. We are happy to be part of the Junior Championships as it grows. So happy as a matter of fact we have taken on a Junior Handler to act in the role of our Puppy Peaks reporter!

When the idea of having a Jr. Handler Report came up I thought, what  fantastic idea, it so aligns with my focused vision of bettering the lives of dogs and “their people” worldwide. Having a junior report allows our message of reinforcement based dog training to continue to grow on all levels of dog ownership!

Libby, Junior Reporter for Say Yes

Meet Libby, our new Junior Reporter for Say Yes!

Libby has agreed to document her experience as she works through each month of Puppy Peaks videos with her dog, Elliot, as well as as guest appearances by a friend’s dog, Riley.  She is writing a monthly “peeks” of Puppy Peaks from her perspective:  a young fresh dog trainer, new to the Puppy Peaks program, and eager to learn! By Libby sharing in how Puppy Peaks is changing her life I am hoping she may also inspire our readers, both young and the young-at-heart alike, to take strides out of their comfort zone with their own dog training.

We are so excited to welcome Libby to the Say Yes team, and can’t wait to hear what she has to say about Puppy Peaks, and learn more about how the program aids in her’s, Elliot’s, and Riley’s journeys through “Do-Land!” Libby’s first blog report will be up tomorrow!

Welcome to Do-Land, Libby! We’re so happy to have you!

Today I am grateful for all of the junior handlers out there who are actively seeking out a better relationship with their family pet by putting education, innovation and what is FUN for the dog at the centre of all they do together!


  1. Sharon F says:
    Monday, December 9, 2013 at 12:41pm

    Welcome Libby! I am so excited to see a junior handler writing and sharing her experiences. My daughter started training dogs at 9 years old and is still actively involved at 21! Training dogs has helped her in so many ways – as has writing about her experiences. What a great experience this will be for you and for those of us lucky to read about your journey!


  2. LTHQ says:
    Sunday, December 8, 2013 at 2:31pm

    Will this be written here on a separate blog?


  3. Nadine says:
    Sunday, December 1, 2013 at 2:44pm

    Great idea and a great team! It is really interesting to see a a young girl going her way with your help into dog (agility) training. I started with my first dogs in the age of 11 and it helped me so much to grow up in many ways.


  4. Libby Rockaway says:
    Saturday, November 30, 2013 at 12:21pm

    Thank you for all the welcomes and encouragement, I love reading all the comments! I am learning so much from Puppy Peaks; it’s all rather intimidating, but very rewarding! Feel free to offer me advice along the way 🙂


  5. Janet in Oz says:
    Wednesday, November 27, 2013 at 8:16pm

    What a brilliant idea.

    I look forward to the blogs. Roughly right is – great.

    I wish I’d had access to what SG knows now when I was training my first family dog.

    Frosty, my current dog and first agility dog – wished I knew what I know now – when I first got her too. Tho I’m not sure she’s going to like the Ruff Love program when I try to take her job as bus driver.


  6. Karey says:
    Wednesday, November 27, 2013 at 2:55pm

    Wonderful idea!!!! Looking forward to following your journey Libby :-).


  7. Julie says:
    Wednesday, November 27, 2013 at 11:58am

    Fantastic! I am looking forward to reading about your training adventure.


  8. Sharon S says:
    Wednesday, November 27, 2013 at 6:07am

    Welcome Libby, how wonderful to share with us all. Younger people like you makes the future for dogs seem bright – well done on all your achievements so far.


  9. Karen says:
    Wednesday, November 27, 2013 at 3:54am

    Hey, Libby! WOW! You are a real inspiration. Elliot is one lucky dog to have you as his companion person. I am looking forward to hearing how you are doing & what you are doing. I hope you can post some photos of you & Elliot with big ribbons & even bigger smiles. Go Libby! Go Elliot! Go! Go! Go! Cheering for you from BC, Canada.


  10. Mandy Pilgrim says:
    Wednesday, November 27, 2013 at 1:34am

    What a fabulous idea! As someone who is new to this type of training, I find it not only great to see a junior handler starting out the right way, but a huge benefit for myself to read/see someone else who is fairly new to this training go through the process 🙂

    Welcome Libby! I look forward to following your journey 🙂


  11. Denise says:
    Tuesday, November 26, 2013 at 10:52pm

    Good luck in your training ventures Libby. You are just a state down from me! I look forward to reading about your progress.


  12. Naomi says:
    Tuesday, November 26, 2013 at 10:50pm

    What a great idea!
    Libby I’m looking forward to read your perspective on your experiences thru Puppy Peaks with Elliot and Riley!


  13. Gail says:
    Tuesday, November 26, 2013 at 10:13pm

    Welcome Libby and Elliot. Looking forward to hearing about your adventures.


  14. Shirley says:
    Tuesday, November 26, 2013 at 9:19pm

    Thank u Libby for sharing. Always wanted to learn more from other trainers!


  15. sharon empson says:
    Tuesday, November 26, 2013 at 9:02pm

    Libby: Great to have you doing what you love and blessing us in the process. THanks so much for taking the time to share your experience. Love sharon empson california


  16. Claudia says:
    Tuesday, November 26, 2013 at 8:44pm

    Welcome Libby!! I look forward to reading your blog report! I am happy too see another teenager like me (I am currently 14) taking puppy peaks! I would also like to thank you Susan for being a sponsor of the Canadian Junior agility Games where I competed with my dog Carmel.


  17. Eve says:
    Tuesday, November 26, 2013 at 8:41pm

    LIbby, welcome! I look forward to your stories – all the ups and downs! I was lucky enough to have my son bring his own dog along in Agility and Obedience when he was in junior high & high school: even better, he was quickly better than me AND I got to run his dog when he left for college!
    So just see what you have to look forward to…it is a great journey, every experience along the way…Welcome!


  18. Debra n Snap says:
    Tuesday, November 26, 2013 at 8:33pm

    A huge Welcome, to you Libby! As I was reading this Blog about you, it took me back to my young age of 10 when I trained my first Border Collie. You have an awesome advantage with Susan in “Do Land”. All things positive… so different than what I learned. Even though those of us who grew up on Negative Reinforcement and joyfully embraced Positive Training… we still have some baggage to overcome! To read of your journey with Elliot will be refreshing for this ole lady!

    I’m looking forward to your blogs!!! So happy for you!


  19. Cathy says:
    Tuesday, November 26, 2013 at 8:30pm

    WOW Libby! I am so jealous because when I was young like you I wanted nothing more than to find a place to train dogs and there just wasn’t any especially for kids and like you I started being interested as soon as I saw my first dog that followed me home in the rain from school. We called him “Rags.” I really can’t wait to read your upcoming Blogs! I know you already know so many things to tell us. Waiting eagerly. All the Very, Very Best!


  20. Rebecca says:
    Tuesday, November 26, 2013 at 8:30pm

    Go Libby!!!!! It’s always awesome to hear about junior handlers and even better to hear about junior handlers’ contributions! I feel that as kids, we have a unique view of the world that can be critical toward shaping (…no pun intended) the world around us. Moreover, the way we phrase concepts can great for others to read- especially other juniors! Again, it is so great to hear that you’re stepping up and giving us a voice!Thank you!:)
    -Rebecca, Az, 16


  21. Yvette Chevalier says:
    Tuesday, November 26, 2013 at 8:20pm

    Welcome…you are a terrific asset. ” Yes !”


  22. Peter Groenendyk says:
    Tuesday, November 26, 2013 at 8:19pm

    I think this is Fantstick Libby , I do wish you Luck.


  23. Mysa says:
    Tuesday, November 26, 2013 at 8:07pm

    Libby, I’m so impressed with all you have done and want to do! Can’t wait to read your reports!!!


  24. Linda says:
    Tuesday, November 26, 2013 at 8:00pm

    Great idea! Have fun, Libby. Wish I’d had this when I was your age! Best wishes from your (practically) neighbor in Indiana.


  25. Linda says:
    Tuesday, November 26, 2013 at 7:49pm

    Welcome Libby and Elliot. I look forward to following your journey and picking up ideas from your perspective.


  26. Kathy says:
    Tuesday, November 26, 2013 at 7:49pm

    Welcome, Libby glad to have you hear and I am looking forward he hearing all about your perspectives. Again Welcome.


  27. Taney says:
    Tuesday, November 26, 2013 at 7:28pm

    Welcome Libby, I’m looking forward in reading your blog and learn how you trained Elliot through Puppy Perks. 🙂


  28. susan says:
    Tuesday, November 26, 2013 at 7:24pm

    Great news, good to know youngsters like Libby can offer such fantastic and advanced training with dogs. Welcome Libby,


  29. Kate says:
    Tuesday, November 26, 2013 at 7:13pm

    Welcome, Libby! I’m looking forward to hearing your perspective as you work through Puppy Peaks. Enjoy every moment!


  30. Lori says:
    Tuesday, November 26, 2013 at 7:11pm

    That is so awesome, Libby. Best of wishes to you on your journey with you handsome partner, Elliot!


  31. Pam Coblyn says:
    Tuesday, November 26, 2013 at 6:55pm

    Hi Libby,

    I’m delighted that I can read about your dog training experiences. I’m fascinated by the younger generation that is getting into agility and what they have to teach us. When I watch young people like yourself run, I see pure joy, positive passion and natural ability. You are so in tune with both your dogs and athletic-style handling. You have so much to teach us “old timers”. Can you please share what you are thinking about when you are waiting to go in the ring and while you are running? Have fun and I’m sure we will see you in the finals one day!



  32. Kristi R says:
    Tuesday, November 26, 2013 at 6:36pm

    Welcome, Libby! It is generous of you to share your experiences to help others learn, too. I’m looking forward to following your reports. Thanks!


  33. Mary M says:
    Tuesday, November 26, 2013 at 6:31pm

    What a wonderful experience for you Libby, great stuff, can’t wait to learn from you on the reporting 🙂 All the best!


  34. JanV says:
    Tuesday, November 26, 2013 at 6:29pm

    Welcome Libby, and wishing you great successes on this journey. What a phenomenal opportunity for you to learn this way right from the start. Many of us “old folks” came from a whole different philosophy of dog training and need to overcome a lot of CRAP (pun intended).

    I look forward to reading your reports!


  35. Julia Stege says:
    Tuesday, November 26, 2013 at 6:28pm

    What a wonderful idea! I will look forward to reading Libby’s blog.


    • Audrey says:
      Saturday, November 30, 2013 at 9:56pm

      How fortunate you are. Libby, to have a great start to the wonderful world of the sport of dogs. I can’t wait to read what you are doing with your beautiful Border Collie.


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