My Name Is ... Janey Bell

Arvada woman and dog, Tinker, win blue ribbon in dog agility competition

Posted 7/3/19

About me My husband and I just moved here last year from Denver, to this property where we also own a dog training facility called Team Spirit Agility. We have group classes and we teach all levels, …

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My Name Is ... Janey Bell

Arvada woman and dog, Tinker, win blue ribbon in dog agility competition

Posted

About me

My husband and I just moved here last year from Denver, to this property where we also own a dog training facility called Team Spirit Agility. We have group classes and we teach all levels, from foundational all the way up to Masters. When I met my husband, we both had rescue dogs — and every pet we’ve had since has been a rescue except for Sascha, one of our German Shepherds. About 18 years ago, we saw our very first dog agility competition and thought it would be a lot of fun. We took a class at the facility (we now own), and we got hooked.

Making the podium

This year, Tinker got on the podium at USDAA (United States Dog Agility Association Rocky Mountain Regional Championship). We’ve had her since she was about 16 weeks old, and she’s five now. She learns very quickly, but she’s super social, too, so it took some time to show her that her job was to focus and not to visit everyone. This was our first podium with her and she’s also qualified for this year’s nationals in Tennessee.

Tricks for training

Here in the Denver metro area, you can almost compete every weekend. It’s very popular here. Anyone can certainly contact us for classes, but basic obedience is always helpful for dogs to know (beforehand). We work completely with positive reinforcement principles, so either food or play or toys, and certain dogs who are uncomfortable with some of the equipment can just go slowly and have fun. Any dog can do it. It doesn’t matter breed or size, and you can also do it with a rescued animal.

A family of rescue pets

People don’t always appreciate what a dog’s natural life is, and when the dogs have behaviors that aren’t human-like, as opposed to trying to train the dog, the owners just give up. It’s crazy how many pets of all sorts just get abandoned. We’ve trained a lot of rescues — there’s so many good dogs out there, and we really feel owning a rescue pet is meaningful in a different way.

If you have suggestions for My Name Is…, contact Casey Van Divier at cvandivier@coloradocommunitymedia.com.

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