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Laurel Westall

I have always loved animals. My Airedale Terrier was the first dog I competed with in the obedience ring. In his first trial he missed scoring “Highest Terrier in Trial” by 1/2 a point. He scored 196 points our of 200. Another judge commented after our turn in the obedience ring, “That is the nicest working terrier I’ve ever seen”. For a 16 year old that was the highest praise I could imagine. That launched me into dogs and the dog training world. I showed the other family dogs in obedience as well and began to show in the conformation ring. I showed our family Pug in conformation then my father’s Staffordshire Bull Terrier to his championship in conformation. He earned his Novice Obedience title and we were working on his Open title when circumstances changed and I was unable to continue. I earned a Novice Obedience title for my brother’s Vizsla. I also began grooming dogs while I was in High School.

My experience has included Obedience, Conformation, Nosework, Agility, Tracking, Schutzhund. I raised a seeing eye puppy and more recently have learned the basics of Clicker training.

My Standard Schnauzer, Pearl, has done very well passing in Agility trials as well as Nosework trials. In her first Nosework trial she was second highest scoring dog in trial and continued to routinely, not just pass, but earn placement ribbons in subsequent trials. She is an outstanding dog who has done whatever I asked of her and done it with gusto.

Tulip, my French Bulldog, was wandering down our street in very poor condition when we found her. She quickly endeared herself to not only the humans, but the canines in our family. It took approximately a year to get her healthy and then we started her in Nosework. You might think that with that pushed in nose she would have trouble, but not so! She is a slow and deliberate worker and I’m convinced she has a wicked sense of humor. She has also taken competition obedience classes. The instructor said, “Those dogs won’t do anything.”  After a few classes she told me she had to take that comment back because Tulip had surprised and impressed her.

Violet is our Flat-Coated Retriever. I taught her basic obedience when she was young. We went through the Star Puppy program at Seattle Agility Center. That foundation prepared her for the work she has done with my husband in Agility, Nosework and  Hunt competitions.  I showed Violet in the conformation ring. She is an AKC Grand Champion. Last year we bred her. Having never done that before it was a joyful and educational experience supporting her through pregnancy, whelping and puppy rearing all with the other 2 female dogs involved.

Poppy is Violet’s daughter that we kept from the litter. She is now taking Competition Obedience classes with me. I am hoping to show her in Conformation too.

I have always been interested, not just in training, but in dog behavior and the relationships they have with their people. I worked for myself doing in home behavioral consultations to assist people with developing their relationships with their canine companions.

I met Doug and Diana by taking an Agility class where they were the instructors before they had even started their own business. When they opened their training center my husband and I followed them because they were focused on helping people and their dog, they made classes fun and they are just plain nice.

I have been a registered nurse for 37 years and I recently retired leaving me even more time for canine fun.

I am excited to working for Doug and Diana teaching puppy and obedience classes. In my experience working with your dog develops a closer bond. I believe that understanding our dogs and guiding them into the behaviors we deem acceptable makes them more comfortable in our world and makes others more comfortable with them benefiting everyone.

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