Katarina Podlipnik Capuder
According to my mother’s words, my passion and love for dogs started at the same moment when I first saw a dog. Since then, I only had one big wish- to get a dog!
That childhood wish only grew stronger with years, but since me and my mother lived we lived in a flat, it took quite some time to convince her to say “yes” to my biggest wish. Not sure what changed her mind at the end; maybe the fact that I have been reading only dog books in my free time, maybe the part whereI have been for years walking neighbour’s dogs while dreaming of having my own, maybe the fact that I put all my scholarship for talented students a side to save for dog, or maybe she got scared of how many of stray dogs or any other animals (including cats, rats, snails, hamsters, rabbits …) I might still bring home, while I am on the mission of changing her mind. But at the end all that mattered is, that I FINALLY got a DOG! 😀
As the proudest (and most enthusiastic) child who finally gets a dog, I entered my small spaniel to all possible classes, for which I have been saving money: first to puppy school, then to advanced classes, search and rescue and also to agility. I am sure people were amused, when they saw a young girl with her spaniel, driving to all possible lessons with a bike or bus (we had no car), but now that I finally had my dog, nothing could stop us. There were no limits in my head what we can train and soon we became the best (and far the youngest) student, who passed obedience exam in our training group and after that, there was no “way back”- I got addicted to dog training. And as much as I loved training pretty much everything that involved dogs (and positive reinforcements), I found my biggest passion in agility. I started competing in agility in the middle of 2004 and I qualified for my first EO at 2005- despite there were no “junior classes” back then, we successfully competed against the “seniors” and also managed to came to finals at our first EO (and placing on 13th place among all S dogs).
I have been “on and off” in agility (and dog training) since 2003. I say “on and off”, because during that time, I made some longer breaks from competitions (and sometimes even from training). Also in general, competitions are not my biggest passion – I like training much more then competing (in average we enter about 10-15 competitions per year).
But even with those longer breaks and by not being the most enthusiastic competitor, agility (and dog training) has always been my biggest passion. I might not compete a lot, but when I do, I strive for perfection and being the best.
“Love the dog first, the sport second”
If I have to list agility moments I am most proud of, then that would be for sure the part of succeeding with breeds that are not the most common in that sport. As much as I love agility, it still represents a really small part of my dogs life. For that reason, I find it much more important to choose breeds that I love and admire because of their character and not breeds which are most likely to succeed in agility. And success also has its “variations”, depends of the interpreter 😀 For me, the most successful trainer/handler is the one, who is able to get the best from every individual dog.
If talking about proudest agility moments, measured with results, then I can start with the fact, that I have become NATIONAL agility CHAMPION (after first two years of competing and still being a “junior”), multiple CUP WINNER, WINTER CUP WINNER, multiple IMCA WINNER, EO INDIVIDUAL run WINNER and multiple FCI AWC medalist. I accomplished that together with my 3 different dogs of different breeds (Cavalier King Charles, Papillon and Pumi). All my dogs have also qualified to EO (where Papillon and Pumi also set best times in several runs) and to AWC (as full members or as a reserve).
Currently I am competing in agility with my Pumi Minu (born in 2009) and Malinois Willa (born at the end of 2015) and my husband is running agility with our younger Pumi Leya (2014). We also have 3 retired from competitions dogs: Papillons Energy and Nara (born 2005 and 2008) and Jaka’s Croatian sheepdog Nisha (2008).
Coincidence or not, my “strange taste” for breeds, brought me the best possible job on the planet – becoming an international AGILITY TRAINER. Being successful with dogs that were not ”bred” for agility, taught me the most important lesson at very early beginnings: do not get caught in the “instant” dog training receipts, dog training is about successfully adapting to every individual dog. Not every method is appropriate for every dog. My dogs were my first and far the best teachers I could ever wish for. Because of them, I am where I am today and I will be forever grateful for everything they have taught me and still keep teaching me every day.
A big THANK YOU also goes to my amazing husband, who has through all the years fully supported (and encouraged) all my crazy ideas and who loves our crazy family as much as I do.
In 2018, another big wish will also come true – moving to the smaller farm we bought (in the central part of Slovenia). 12000 squares of nature, will offer us the life we always dreamed of (for us, for our son and for our 6 crazy dogs) and our dog training centre will finally become a reality! After all the years of training agility and being a dog trainer, I will finally be able to have my very own training field! Exciting times ahead! 😀
Jaka Podlipnik Capuder
All my life I have been surrounded by sport. I started my professional career at a very young age. I was a professional dancer for 15 years and then jumped to martial arts (Tae-Kwon-Do) where I trained for 6 years and earned an I.kup. I also worked for 5 years as a professional instructor for rollerblading and ice skating. 9 years ago my path lead me to Agility, where I found my dreams. My biggest passion is training agility HANDLERS to become faster, more coordinated and mentally fit in order to be the best partners to their dogs.