Skip to main content
Spotify for Podcasters


By Cara Armour

Are you ready? I'm here to edutain  (educate and entertain) you about the world of dog sports, primarily agility. Join me as I discuss my journey, and share successes, laughs and failures. I'll talk about training and effective ways to work with your teammate. I'll also speak with special guests & other trainers. My hope is to help you grow in the sport we all love. Every journey is different, but they all start with the startline. 
Available on
Amazon Music Logo
Apple Podcasts Logo
Google Podcasts Logo
Overcast Logo
Pocket Casts Logo
RadioPublic Logo
Spotify Logo
Currently playing episode

Episode 33 - Stressed for Success

StartlineMar 03, 2023

Episode 42 - Avoiding Trial Tribulations

Episode 42 - Avoiding Trial Tribulations

I started compiling a list on my phone of what could make trials better for you as the exhibitor and me as an exhibitor. While these are specific to AKC agility, much of this information can apply to all organizations.

Keep these tips in mind to help make your experience be the best. We all were beginners once, we are all on our own journey but for this to work, we all have to participate in the community. Protect yourself and be part of something, you can do both.

Aug 25, 202301:01:47
Episode 41 - The Long Game

Episode 41 - The Long Game

Do you look at the big picture or are you focused on the details? This is an interview question I ask new hires for my dog-walking company. The correct answer is, both. But in agility, I feel like we lose sight of the big picture. And I don't mean the goal of a MACH or to be the #1 in our breed, we very easily lose sight of the picture that our dogs should be able to run any course with any appropriate challenges consistently, as long as we gave them good information. Not because we lied in that run trying to convince them there was a cookie at the bottom of the dog walk just so we could Q. That detail could derail your team from being as successful as you could be. It doesn't really help you play the long game with your dog and get everything you can out of their short lives to ensure the best runs each and every time you go to that start line.

Learn from the mistakes I made being short-sighted and Q-hungry. Learn about the sacrifices you can make today so that your team's future is better 6 months or a year from now.

Jul 19, 202329:18
Episode 40 - Canine Conditioning

Episode 40 - Canine Conditioning

Learn how to keep your pups in tip-top shape to be prepared to perform at their absolute best. While I obviously focus on agility, canine conditioning will help with duration sits in obedience, stamina in long nose work searches and in everyday life to afford your dog the physical and mental ability to keep up. The better shape they are in, the more longevity they have, and studies back me on this.

I also share my workout circuit and how I acquired equipment on a budget.

Jun 30, 202349:21
Episode 39 - The Importance of Decompression

Episode 39 - The Importance of Decompression

We compress the crap out of our dogs by putting them in situations that are not natural to them. This is not to say they are bad situations but they require a lot out of our dogs to handle the stimuli among other variables. Yes, over time many dogs become desensitized to all these situations, I would agree as my dogs age they become extremely comfortable and happy in their regular trial environments. However, we can help them bounce back to their baseline quicker and be more resilient if we give them a chance to decompress.

I know as humans many of us understand how great we feel after we go for a walk, get a massage, take a breather, unwind etc. Our dogs need this opportunity too, they need to do things that make them feel good like sniffing, running, jumping, shredding, digging and climbing and we need to be offering this to them every chance we get, especially after a long day at a trial, seminar or training.

Here is the episode where Julie and I discuss compression

Here is the episode where the Behavior Vets discuss the Resilient Rainbow and the 7 domains

Sarah Stremming's podcast on the same topic

Jun 15, 202334:33
Episode 38 - Keeping Cool 2.0

Episode 38 - Keeping Cool 2.0

When you have extra time please go back and listen to Episode 10 - Car Safety Setups & Keeping Cool it really covers an immense amount of useful information, so much so that I broke it down and redid it to a) remove the pandemic-isms and b) update some of the products I have found to be even better to help us and our dogs stay cool this summer.

What it boils down to is a little bit of science, good cooling products and a great car setup. I help you keep your pups cool so the stress from the heat is one less thing they have to deal with.

Here are the products I mention/recommend and no, I do not have an affiliate account. I would love one but the hours in my day slip away and I'd rather just give you the information than figure out how to get paid to share it :P

May 26, 202332:44
Episode 37 - Why Mindset Matters

Episode 37 - Why Mindset Matters

I struggled to develop a title for this episode because it covers SO MUCH! Julie Bacon of The Q Coach and I discuss the importance of our mindset for the human and the dog parts of our team, but then we cover so much more!

We discuss the difference between outcome goals and process goals, what we can control, and what it takes to get there. We offer tons of tidbits to staying organized, saving brain power for where you need it the most (the ring) and even more ways you can help reduce the stress in your dog's agility journey.

For a deeper dive into the wonderful concepts Julie shares about our mindset to help us Q more, check out her podcast, Mindset Coaching for Handlers. It was recommended to me by a couple of agility exhibitors and I found it so fascinating that I went right to the creator to bring it to more people.

May 19, 202301:29:59
Episode 36 - All About ISC

Episode 36 - All About ISC

I have been seeing and hearing a lot about ISC events or classes added to trials recently. ISC stands for International Sweepstakes Class.

In my mind, this was a new addition to the AKC agility program which I admittedly knew very little about. Wanting to learn more about ISC, I went directly to the source, the director of AKC agility, Carrie DeYoung.

Carrie shares a heap of information with us including that I was wrong about ISC being something new that was added, it's been around for 20 years. However, thanks to the pandemic (did I just really say that?) and some exhibitors that came to Carrie to bring more ISC to a trial near you, it has been gaining in popularity.

Learn what ISC is, what the courses are like, the levels it has and how this style of course could very much help you on your agility journey. If anything, it's a fun addition that more clubs can be offering to break up the day, get you out of your "must Q" headspace and still allow you and your pup to have a blast. It's just another way to play agility, the sport we all love.

For more information on ISC click here and search "ISC"

Apr 29, 202327:13
Episode 35 - Solutions for Ring Stress (Stressed for Success Cont.)

Episode 35 - Solutions for Ring Stress (Stressed for Success Cont.)

Go listen to Episode 33 - Stressed for Success⁠ before you listen to this gem.

Noreen Bennett of PawPrint Trials and I follow up on our Stressed for Success episode not just by providing solutions but also providing creative ways to unravel the uncertainty you may find you and your dog in on your agility journey.

In our first episode about stress, we discussed how to recognize it. Now we cover how to actually combat it by building resilience in our dogs so we aren't just spreading the stress to another area of the ring, much like a pair of Spanx does to our midriff.

Don't be like Spanx, stop moving the stress around, and help recognize and relieve it, we want to help you do that.

To learn more in-depth about the 7 steps to building resilience in our dogs, definitely check out this podcast episode.

Otherwise enjoy the listen and as always, enjoy the journey with your dog.

Apr 15, 202301:24:17
Bonus Episode - Steve Basson and his dog Hogan, the 2023 24" National Agility Championship winning team

Bonus Episode - Steve Basson and his dog Hogan, the 2023 24" National Agility Championship winning team

I'm bringing this to you as a bonus episode because I wanted to be one of the first to interview Steve after his fantastic win at the 2023 National Agility Championship. He and his dog Hogan, who is not a Border Collie, clenched the final win for the 24" class with a touch less speed but 100% consistency as Steve gives us insight into his strategy.

Learn how Steve and Hogan go from ACT (the most beginner agility title one can earn) to NAC (the highest and greatest agility title). We discuss generalizing and how little things you can do with your dog throughout each day can turn your team into true champions.

Steve also shares just how involved he is in the world of agility and beyond. He's an avid golfer and golf rules official but also a great guy that does a TREMENDOUS amount for the sport of agility. Not only does he co-chair the biggest agility show on dirt each and every year, but he is also constantly volunteering on boards, chairing trials, course building and volunteering any way he can to make certain we all have the ability to continue to trial in the sport we love.

Want to learn about what a true champion team looks like, have a listen. Next time you are at a trial or especially at the Thanksgiving Cluster in West Springfield, MA, remember to find Steve and thank him for all his efforts in this sport and community. He is truly the epitome of a champion.

Mar 30, 202341:43
Episode 34 - Sniffing for Confidence

Episode 34 - Sniffing for Confidence

This episode captures a little bit of Michele and me geeking out on dog behavior and a whole lot of great information about how you can help your hyper, reactive or stressed-out dog in agility by letting them sniff.

We bust myths about confusing dogs and allowing them to sniff, we arm you with a ton of information you can gather about your dog and we offer you an insight into the benefits of offering your dog the opportunities to tap into their innate behavior.

I knew from my own experience how beneficial nosework was to my agility journey with my dogs but when I have a conversation with Michele Ellertson, I realized how much this indeed dovetails with my previous interview with Noreen Bennett.

Learn and hopefully listen when we tell you that your dog isn't being an asshole when they run off and sniff, rather choose to see behavior not as bad, but as information. What is your dog telling you when they drop down and sniff?

Michele offers us ways to train in a way that changes the picture for the dog and taps into the different drivers and unleashes a different experience. This is for any aspect of our dog's lives but specifically, you can apply this to agility.

I also realize how fortunate I am to have such an incredibly knowledgeable, creative, and skilled nosework instructor. I was hooked years ago just dropping into a class. Don't worry if you aren't local, Michele teaches online, travels to teach tons of seminars as a CNWI (instructor), judges as a NACSW Certifying Official, and NACSW Trial Representative, and brings over 20 years of dog training experience. She's lively, passionate, and just wants to help your dog by getting you to get out there to give them something to sniff.

To learn more about Michele Ellertson you can check out her company website,

Mar 24, 202301:01:38
Episode 33 - Stressed for Success

Episode 33 - Stressed for Success

Noreen Bennett of PawPrint Trials and I just gave a seminar on the impacts of stress in our agility journey, called Stressed for Success. While she might be the most prominent trial secretary in New England, Noreen also has had a 25-year front-row seat watching stress in the ring and figuring out her own with her dogs over her lifetime.  

Some of us don't understand why our dogs act differently at trials, many of us know that it's stress making our Fido slow down, wander off or avoid obstacles but most of us don't know how to make that stress go away. We often just move it around the ring.

Knowing that our dogs are riding the stress-struggle bus, Noreen and I discuss what important things you can do to help your dog because that is exactly what they are asking for; HELP! When you have trial stress, first recognize it and next, stop asking your dog to do something they can't.

There weren't enough hours in the day to cover the solutions to removing the stress, which will be in another episode, but listen and learn how you can recognize what it looks like and what you can stop doing immediately to make the agility journey for your dog better. 

We highly recommend reading or listening to this book, On Talking Terms with Dogs  by Turid Rugaas

As Noreen says, agility is like a giant 500-piece puzzle of a blue sky. Often you are left just picking pieces to see what fits. We want to help make that puzzle easier for you and your dog. 

Mar 03, 202301:04:40
Episode 32 - The 2021 AKC Agility Invitationals
Jan 09, 202201:11:08
Episode 31 - Regional Differences

Episode 31 - Regional Differences

We're BACK! 

Sorry for the slight hiatus but Michele and I have had a crazy summer. We added puppies, travel, job changes, more projects, more trial work and so on and so forth! We are busy but we wanted to get back to what we love, talking about agility!

We're thrilled to bring you the regional differences episode. We posted a survey and got a lot of great responses. Sorry, we didn't say it was AKC specific, some of you took offense to that but we've never hidden that in our podcast.

Listen to what the respondents have to say about what they call their contacts, handling maneuvers, what services people primarily trial on, how late trials run and so much more! 

We're excited to be back! 

Oct 13, 202101:20:39
Episode 30 - Traveling

Episode 30 - Traveling

Have fun playing your favorite game in a new place! Michele and Cara share a bunch of tips on how you can travel safely to agility trials outside of your home-turf. 

Jul 11, 202101:10:55
Episode 29 - Areas of Opportunity

Episode 29 - Areas of Opportunity

Learn how to make a good trial great. What factors fill trials, what makes exhibitors keep coming back year after year?

Here is a the checklist for trial chairs. We're here to help you with ideas on how to fill trials in your area, keep exhibitors coming back and even marketing for you. What can you do to help the novice exhibitors who are the future of our sport? We want to help with that!

Novice exhibitors, here's a checklist of what can make your experience better. Did you have a good or bad experience at a trial? We want to help make all of your trialing amazing.

Share your ideas as well. These checklists barely scrape the surface. 

Jun 10, 202154:17
Episode 28 - AKC Agility Premier Cup

Episode 28 - AKC Agility Premier Cup

Get a blind review and reaction to Cara's experience at the AKC Agility Premier Cup, meaning Michele had no idea how things went! We usually talk before we record but we decided to go with a natural reaction. Learn about the amazing event in this episode, the happy the humbling and the haunting. 

May 18, 202101:00:04
Triple Threat Interview Series - Michael Teh

Triple Threat Interview Series - Michael Teh

We couldn't call this just a judge interview because Michael Teh is so much more than that! Mike is a judge, trial secretary and trainer. And because of his diversity in the agility community, we're going to need another interview with him or more. 

This is a great surface dive into all the different aspects of an agility trial from someone that wears many hats. At the end of the day Mike has a great message, no matter what hat he's wearing, he just wants us to enjoy!

Apr 21, 202101:26:46
Episode 26 - Judge Interview Series - Geoff Nieder

Episode 26 - Judge Interview Series - Geoff Nieder

Michele and Cara had a blast not only interviewing a judge but a judge who was in the middle of an assignment at a trial where they were both entered. Michele masters her MACH while Cara masters her NQ's. It's a fun interview covering topics spanning juniors to course design to memorable gifts clubs have given. Listen, laugh and learn with us. 

Apr 02, 202101:17:48
Episode 25 - Judge (& Rep) Interview Series - Arlene Spooner

Episode 25 - Judge (& Rep) Interview Series - Arlene Spooner

We had a double whammy this episode and had the privilege of interviewing AKC rep Arlene Spooner. In order to become a rep, you have to have judged and typically reps then can no longer judge. Thanks to the paindemic, unusual circumstances allowed an AKC agility rep to get back out there and judge. We get to learn from both sides, what it's like to be a judge, be a rep and then get to judge during the pandemic.

Arlene like most reps is instrumental in not only reviewing courses so we can play each weekend but she spends a ton of time on projects like the National and Invitational. These are huge events that require a ton of work to organize. So next time you see a rep at a trial, don't feel like they're big brother watching over us, remember they were once judges who love the sport enough to devote their time to reviewing courses and making certain we get to participate in everything we love about the great sport of agility! 

Mar 09, 202101:15:24
Episode 24 - Judge Interview Series - Oksana Syrkin

Episode 24 - Judge Interview Series - Oksana Syrkin

Another wonderful judge interview! Oksana couldn't figure out what our issues were in the 20" class after running a couple of Corgi's for many years so she got herself a super fast Australian Shepherd - now she knows! 

Listen to what she has learned with her 20" dog, how she commits herself to judging and the fun she has. Oksana always brings her big smile and dedication to judging; enjoy, learn and enter under her when you can, you won't regret it. But tie your shoes, you'll be running! 

Feb 16, 202101:02:15
Episode 23 - Judge Interview Series - Dr. Laura Kuterbach

Episode 23 - Judge Interview Series - Dr. Laura Kuterbach

Another fabulous judge interview. We dive into a little psychology of the sport and dogs, learn a ton about how Laura got into agility as well as judging. Find out what Laura likes most about agility and what she wishes every exhibitor knew. 

As always, rate, review, SHARE and subscribe! 

Feb 02, 202101:24:59
Episode 22 - Judge Interview Series - Zach Davis

Episode 22 - Judge Interview Series - Zach Davis

AKC Agility Judge Zach Davis helped us kick off this delightful series with a wonderful interview into the insight of a judge. Find out just what happens and goes into getting yourself in the middle of the ring. Zach gives some valuable advice to exhibitors and we let him know just what we think of his course designs! 

Jan 19, 202101:00:56
Episode 21 - Polarity in the Agility Community

Episode 21 - Polarity in the Agility Community

Attending an agility event has become a hot topic. Opinions are flying but we encourage you to focus on the facts. Understanding the information available will help you make a decision that works for you.

Cara made the decision to attend the AKC Agility Invitationals with 2 of her dogs. She gives a recap in this episode and also discusses with Michele why she didn't go and why they both will not be attending AKC nationals despite having several dogs eligible. 

This is a judgment-free podcast.  Some of you aren't even trialing right now and that is the best decision for you. Some of you are and that is the best decision for you. We embrace those decisions and discuss how organizations like the AKC could assist in making things easier for some. 

Dec 22, 202001:03:06
Episode 20 - Obsessing

Episode 20 - Obsessing

Obsessing can run right down the leash and ruin your runs. We have firsthand experience with obsessions, learn how you can recognize and rise above the compulsive feeling to obsess!

Nov 16, 202054:48
Episode 19 - Be Adaptable

Episode 19 - Be Adaptable

The Rona is hanging around longer than any of us could have imagined. What was once how we did things has now become how are we doing things? Gather the information you can from your confirmation but otherwise, show up, be appreciative that you have the chance to run with your dogs, and be adaptable; things can change instantly - and that is Ok! 

Oct 13, 202040:27
Episode 18 - USDAA@Home!
Sep 07, 202051:54
Episode 17 - Volunteering

Episode 17 - Volunteering

COVID-19 has changed the landscape of agility trials for the foreseeable future. The need for volunteers and more of them is even greater. We take a deep dive into the importance and fun you can have working at a trial, especially now in the paindemic.

Aug 23, 202049:06
Episode 16 - Championships

Episode 16 - Championships

There are several agility organizations where we have the privilege to trial with our pups. Most of us trial to showcase our relationship with our canine partners and while our dogs get rewarded in tugging or cookies, we get rewarded in ribbons. The collection of titles and ribbons becomes addicting and in each organization, there is the big daddy title - your championship. 

Explore along with us the various ways in which five of the most popular agility organizations award championships. If your team is consistent versus versatile, you'll want to learn about which organizations could be the most fun for your team

*One correction (possibly of many) the AKC agility grand championship was started four years ago, in October 2016. Cara mentions two years, she was wrong. 

Aug 01, 202048:15
Episode 15 - Goals

Episode 15 - Goals

"A goal without a plan is just a wish". 

We all wish to be great at agility but it takes planning, goal setting, evaluating and often changing your goals. It of course takes training, dedication, money and all that good stuff but in this episode, we specifically dive into the benefit of setting goals.

You also will help your team and mental strength by being prepared to change them. Learn about realizing that and how to accomplish it, knowing when to change your goals is hard. Goals without deadlines are just dreams, we can dream but we should also set realistic goals for our team. The more achievable they are and the more likely we are to reach them, the happier we will be. This ties back to the Stockdale Paradox (episode 9), if we set goals we cannot achieve, especially when out of our power, we let ourselves down. Don't be a downer for you or your dog. Set fun achievable ones you can reach and celebrate! 

Jul 11, 202053:08
Episode 14 - Stress

Episode 14 - Stress

Michele and I dive anecdotally deep into trial stress. It's been one of our biggest challenges and we are quasi-experts in the field at this point.

From stressing up to stressing down, our dogs have displayed it all but certainly not in all the ways it can be displayed. We encourage you to step back and look at your runs objectively. Is your dog happy? Are you finding yourself having to cheerlead and by the end of the run exhausted that you had to coax your dog along with promises of sweet nothings if they did one more obstacle?

Stress is real and sometimes it can be really fun. It also can be really depressing. Learn about what we went through, ask yourself is your dog performing under stress? Chances are the answer is yes, which may in fact be fine. It may also mean you have some work to do either on your own mental game or theirs. 

Jun 30, 202001:02:12
Episode 13 - Back at It

Episode 13 - Back at It

Michele and Cara dip their toes back in the agility trial waters. The new normal has some benefits and if you want to be a part of it, think about joining a club! 

We discuss all of that as well as fat bars, a bit about stress and what we missed these past 3 months away from trials. 

Clubs, trial secretaries, and venue owners are working hard to bring us the sport we love. Support them with your entries, your offers to help and by focusing on what is working. 

Most importantly, be kind to your dog, they didn't fill out that entry form but are happy to be back by your side. 

Jun 21, 202059:46
Episode 12 - Life Hacks for Keeping Track
Jun 10, 202045:03
Episode 11 - Kay9 Fitness

Episode 11 - Kay9 Fitness

Canine conditioning is a big deal regardless if you have a performance dog or a couch potato. Older dogs, baby puppies and everything in between need regular fitness exercise in order to be healthy. 

Karen Kay, from Kay9 Fitness, joins us to explain just why that is. So many dogs are receiving wonderful veterinary and post-op care for injuries but what if you could help prevent them in the first place? 

The health of our dogs is in our hands. The more fit we can keep them, the more likely they are to live healthier lives. Knee surgery, shoulder issues and joint problems are common, but it doesn't mean they have to be. And while surgery is not fun, fitness training certainly is.

Karen is super passionate about what she does and she has an amazing background, beginning with humans but we all know working with dogs is way more fun :) I could relate to many of the issues, particularly about having an injury somewhere that sets the entire body out of balance. Just like you can get a sore neck or back from having a bummed knee that causes an off-gate, the very same biomechanical issues can and do happen with your dog.

Super excited to try canine fitness but thanks to the paindemic a class near you is not possible? No worries, Karen is doing something INCREDIBLE, for just $14.95 she is running a private group that not only offers an exercise every day in June, but she is providing video commentary on any submissions you want to make!  So if you are uncertain if you are doing an exercise correctly or if what you are doing is helping your dog with their fitness, join Karen's group and submit a video. This starts now, June 1st so get going and reach out to her today on Facebook, or via email

Jun 02, 202001:02:26
Episode 10 - Car Safety Setups & Keeping Cool

Episode 10 - Car Safety Setups & Keeping Cool

The agility forums have been littered with worries about having to crate from our cars so Michele and I decided to tackle this tantrum head-on. We both happen to be experts in crating out of our cars, particularly in hot weather - we do not have heat-tolerant dogs by any stretch of the imagination.

Listen as we describe our setups and even post them on Facebook, we have it down to the tiny 4" spot you might have in your car, Cara knows something you could stick there like your chair! We also troubleshoot several safety tips, there are some good nuggets in this episode. 

From sun-reflection to powering your cooling system we know how to keep a car at a comfortable 72° even when the sun is blazing, the engine off and the temps surpassing 90°.

Below you'll find some helpful links to the products we recommend, all of these having been sourced with your wallet in mind. The health and safety of our dogs are paramount but we also need to keep our wallets cool so we can stay hot on keeping up with our entries. 

Schumacher Jump Starter - apologies, this bad boy became more expensive, still sooooo worth it!                                                                                      Click here for the link, it's super long on Amazon (same price on Walmart)

Temperature Monitor                                              

Aluminet Shade Cloth                                         

Dunnage Racks                                                                  12" for the rear of most minivans  

Feel free to email us if you want more!

May 24, 202001:01:58
Episode 9 - The Stockdale Paradox

Episode 9 - The Stockdale Paradox

Michele and I set out this week to bring you great information on how you can keep your dog conditioned during the pandemic. We even made some videos to share with what you can accomplish with things such as couch cushions - but things changed. 

We both have had an emotionally tough week and rather than provide an episode on conditioning, which we still absolutely will, we're bringing you an episode on keeping your mental condition healthy.

The Stockdale Paradox, created by James Stockdale, an ex-POW demonstrates that we are better off surviving a bad time if we are able to acknowledge our situation and balance optimism with realism. If you constantly look forward to the date of a trial and then it keeps getting canceled, you will be sad. But if you keep real and realize while things suck right now, we will one day trial again. You're better off spending your time focusing on doing what you can to keep busy until that unknown time happens.

We discuss this and the new trial guidelines released by the AKC. 

We also share our excitement about our new sponsor, Cody's Creations Use the discount code STARTLINE at checkout to receive 15% some AMAZING items. Custom made collars, leashes and an entire massive collection of pre-made accouterments for your canines. We're huge fans, major patrons and super happy that Kerrie is offering this deal to our listeners. 

Oh and she took it a step further, she has a free give away! Kerrie, the creator of Cody's Creations is giving away a medium martingale, 6ft ½ biothane leash with stainless snap and a bait bag. Details on how to win can be found on our social media posts.

Enjoy this episode, chin up and stay optimistic while remaining realistic.  

May 15, 202052:06
Episode 8 - Fangirling & ETO With Meg McCarthy Cataldo
May 08, 202001:03:27
Episode 7 - Homemade Agility

Episode 7 - Homemade Agility

You're stuck at home - you have some equipment, you don't have any equipment, you have a well-trained dog, you have a novice dog. . . it doesn't matter! We discuss so many options available to you without equipment, skill or geographical limitations.

Here are some thoughts - ok, really our outline for the episode but you get the idea.

At-Home Training

  1. What equipment do you have and workspace
  2. What level are you
  3. What resources are there available?


Examples of Resources Available


Start with your instructor, are they offering anything?

Personalized training:

  • Sarah Baker $100 for 4 weeks,
  • Ashley Castro of Level Up Dog Sports $199 for 4 weeks $150 for multiple dogs

Online Classes

Facebook Groups

  • Ashley Castro of Level Up Dog Sports $10 to join
  • Go With the Flow
  • Agility America
  • Dog Agility Training and Discussion

Course Building Specifically for your space

  • Level Up Dog Sports - $10 for 3 nested courses based on your size and equipment list $10 extra if you want feedback

Trick training! AKC trick dog titles available via video review. Michele is an evaluator. Trick training is good for foundation agility behaviors (targets, spins, wobble boards, etc)

AKC Rally now available, earn a rally novice leg! 

UKI doing at home agility

Most importantly enjoy the time with your dog and have fun! Please share what you're doing on our FB page or tag us on Insta

May 03, 202048:24
Episode 6 - Find the Joy in helping others

Episode 6 - Find the Joy in helping others

Michele and I had the privilege to spend our evening with Grace Heck ( and Stefanie Rainer ( These two women are not only sparkling stars in the agility ring but they are spreading sparkles around our community with their Power of Positivity Fundraiser (and T-shirts).

The dog training world has taken a huge hit in the pandemic. Not only were the mats rolled out from underneath all of the competitors but the trainers were left without students, without income and without the ability to pay their huge overheads on facilities, or just pay the mortgage on their homes. While the news has toted tails of loans and unemployment benefits, they're not easy or even possible to get for many sole proprietors, the typical business structure of your favorite agility trainer. 

So Grace watched this happening to her friends and training colleagues, the struggle, and fear of losing everything. Fortunately, with a fulltime job unrelated to agility but certainly related to positivity in the pandemic, Grace with the help of Stefanie decided they had to do something. 

They began the Power of Positivity Fundraiser where students like you, nominate your instructor and students like you with family and friends support your agility instructor through donations, shirt purchases, contacting larger companies, however you can to help these beloved teachers survive the fall. 

Listen and learn how they came up with the idea, how Stefanie is the prime example of an instructor with no income or way to obtain unemployment and how you can help. 

Our sport is in jeopardy to even hold trials again but you can't enter a trial if you haven't been training. While in our next episode we will discuss what you can do at home to keep your skills and your dog's skills sharp, nothing competes with what you gain from your trainer.  We know trials are a far cry ahead, but as many states start to slowly reopen and small dog training classes make the cut to resume, we have to make certain we help our trainers so they can come back in to show you how to be the best handler.

P.S. When you listen to the podcast, the first person from a West Coast state that drops a comment on our FB page under the post for this episode gets a free T-shirt from Startline Pod. Get listening, get supporting, get nominating.  

Apr 23, 202048:42
Episode 5 - What's Your Positive?

Episode 5 - What's Your Positive?

Let us know what you are doing to stay positive during the PAIN-demic. What activities are you doing with your pups, what are some new things you wouldn't have been able to do or find yourself with more time to do? Please share, we need the social interaction :)

Apr 09, 202047:35
Episode 4 - Entry Refunds During the Pandemic

Episode 4 - Entry Refunds During the Pandemic

Michele and I discuss at the beginning of the COVID-19 shutdown of all things social in life, the impact of refunds on clubs versus exhibitors. We don't always agree so enjoy listening to how our opinions panned out. 

Apr 06, 202040:07
Episode 3 - Entering a Trial

Episode 3 - Entering a Trial

We go through the process of how to enter a trial. We may also plea for online entries, listen and enjoy our conversation! 

Apr 06, 202043:15
Episode 2 - Novice A Stories

Episode 2 - Novice A Stories

Join us as we share our stories with our first agility dogs! 

Apr 06, 202037:34
Episode 1 - Preview

Episode 1 - Preview

Our first episode! Get an idea of what's to come!

Apr 04, 202022:31