When I first joined this forum I was very busy. I didn't have the time to make an intro and had planned to as soon as I had the time, but forgot! *Gasp* So, it is a very much delayed intro, but an intro none-the-less! My name is Tessa. I live in Northwestern Ohio where I train and compete with my dogs in 4-H, agility, obedience, jr showmanship, and soon I will be competing in conformation. I first started training my dogs when I was only eight. Now, at the age of 15, I have been training for seven years. My family consists of two parents, but only one working adult. I am the youngest of four children, though I am a twin. All of my siblings also train and compete in dog sports, but most would say I am the most successful at it and the most obsessed with it! My family also consists of 8 dogs! We own seven cocker spaniels and one english springer spaniel. Although we have eight dogs, as of right now, I only train one. I hope to be adding a ninth addition to our furbaby collection! I have spend the last year researching and reading about the Vizsla. I am in love! It has been a long wait, but Iam now speaking to a breeder about a co-ownership on a dog. Leslie of Jazzan Vizslas in central Ohio has a 10-11 month old Vizsla b*tch available. When we last spoke on the phone we agreed to meet at a Cleveland, OH show on Dec. 17th so that I could meet the breeder and Georgia, the 10-11 month old Vizsla b*tch. If everything goes well, I may be able to take her home that weekend! Well, all of this talking about my self is making me feel self-absorbed! So why don't I tell you about my dogs! Cocoa is my cocker spaniel. She is a choc & white parti and is five years old. Unfortunately, we recieved Cocoa from a BYB. She has horrible conformation and experience seizures 3-4 times a year. Despite that, she is a wonderful dog! She does very well in obedience and has recieved both her U-CD and CD(UKC and AKC Novice obedience titles). She is also competing in the Elite levels in NADAC agility and AG3 in UKC agility. She is getting older and slower, but her distance work is amazing. Along with training my own cocker spaniel, for the past few years I have gotten involved in training rescue dogs. My dog training instructors run an animal rescue and sometimes they keep dogs. Those dogs that they keep will be brought up to class and us more experienced 4-Hers are allowed to train and work them. Dega is owned by my dog training instructors. She is what I believe to be a basenji/rat terrier mixed breed. My dog training instructors found her in our local shelter. It is evident that she was previously abused. Out ofall the rescue dogs that I train for my dog training instructors, Dega is the dog that I feel the most gratitude for. Before training Dega I had always training sporting or herding dogs. These dogs usually do better with traditional training... Dega was the exact opposite. She could not and would not take the corrections. Due to her previous abuse, corrections made her nervous and would cause her to fear-bite. She would just shut down. In addition, she is a terrier. If you know terriers, you know that they won't just work to make you happy. *They* better be getting something out of working for you! Dega is the dog that made me rethink my training methods. She is the dog that helped me find positive reinforcement and clicker training. She is the dog that helped my relationship with not only her, but all of my other dogs. For that, I will always be greatful that I have that little dog in my life. I do not own her, but I love her like my own. Tusket, a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, is also owned by my dog training instructors and is a rescue. Unlike Dega, she had previous training before I started handling her. Though she had previous training, she still has alot of issues. She is a dog that *needs* to be near you. Sadly, she will never be able to compete at the higher agility levels because she is afraid and not confident enough to do distance work. Her neediness to be near you and always watching you also causes problems with the weave poles. We are slowly fixing them. Correcting her for making mistakes in the weave poles did not work, so now I have been taking a different approach. I started by telling her weave. She'd go away from me, and when she'd weave back through the second and third pole she'd always get a treat. This seems to be working so far. Her weaves will never have great speed, but I do not care for speed. I just wish for her to do them. Tusket it is not the world's perfect agility dog, but she is the most incredibly sweet dog I've ever met. At agility trials I am always reminded by other competitors how sweet and pretty she is. I am honored to work with such a great dog. Tip is a border collie. My dog training instructors got her from a herding breeder in Indiana. Though they got her from a breeder, they claim she has been abused. Tip was also trained before I started handling her, but I had to re-train a lot of things to her. She had to relearn the contact obstacles(she tended to do fly-offs) and the weaves. Her contacts are now beautiful, but her weaves have tons of room for improvement. Although I admit I am absolutely addicted and obsessed with dog training and my dogs, I am also a cheerleader. Dog training and my dogs will always come before cheerleading, but it is just an extra thing that keeps me busy.