Karen Vance, CPDT-KA, NADOI, CAP 2
Karen's first official obedience class was in January 1985. Her black Lab, "Winchester" won fourth place in the graduation match. She decided to go on to advanced work to be able to earn AKC titles on her dog.
February 23, 1987 the Dog Training Club of Tampa (DTCT) welcomed her as a member. She became an assistant puppy instructor shortly thereafter. Today's trainers recommend puppies begin training at eight weeks of age. All her dogs (after Winchester above) listed below have been rescues! "Used Dogs" rather than new!
September and October 1987 brought the first two AKC Novice Obedience Companion Dog (CD) titles, 1 for "Venus" (black female) and 1 for "Bear". "Bear" was seriously aggressive to both dogs and people when he arrived; this was not easy! April 1989 Karen earned her first CDX with "Bear", a chocolate Labrador retriever. In 1989, she earned her first instructors award from the DTCT.
By 1990, Karen was teaching classes for a private school, Hillsborough County Parks & Recreation, and DTCT. In 1991 "Bear" earned the Utility Dog Title (UD). She and her dogs represented the DTCT at the Florida State Fair's purebred dog tent annually for many years. After coordinating scent hurdle races at the Florida State Fair, she got permission to change the races to flyball races. More dogs can participate in flyball since the dogs don't need advanced scent training.
While continuing to train and title her own dogs Karen strives to read the latest magazines and literature and attend every possible seminar to improve her skills as an instructor.
In 1993, Karen applied to and was accepted as an endorsed member of the National Association of Dog Obedience Instructors. Please click on NADOI to learn more. Karen & other DTCT members trained agility obstacles before agility was a sanctioned event in the United States. Our A Frame was literally 2 doors leaning on each other!
Karen demonstrated musical freestyle with "Odie", a yellow Labrador, at the Gaines National Obedience Competition in Orlando, in 1995 before freestyle was a sanctioned event.
In 2000, "Odie" joyously earned his first official AKC agility title at the age of 10 years. In one of those competitions he was first place in his class, completing a perfect score faster than all the other dogs in every height class. He earned "High In Trial" for that although that award is no longer given in Agility. "Conan", a chocolate, earned his AKC CD on June 26, 1999 and began agility training.
On December 30th, 2001, Odie was thrilled to get his second AKC agility title with two first places and one second place score.
October 13th, 2002, Odie completed his second UKC Agility Title. His U AG II, was accomplished at 2 months short of his 12th birthday , proving that he was still going strong. Odie developed LP -laryngeal paralysis- and underwent surgery to relieve the symptoms. He lived as a retiree relaxing around the house until July 15, 2005.
By January of 2004, Conan earned his NAP and NJP AKC agility titles with 5 first place and 2 second place scores at 9 years of age! He retired soon after and was happily guarding "his" house and taking naps.