Nicki Gurr (B.Ed, B.Sc) – 4x Canadian World Team Member
FCI 2010, 2011 WAO 2012 (Bronze in Biathlon), 2013
Canadian National Champion 2012
The game of agility involves humans and dogs (animals) moving around an obstacle course together (in motion) as efficiently and accurately as possible. Efficiency requires mutual understanding between the two – a connectedness on course, and accuracy requires not only skill and understanding, but the ability to do it at speed.
It is breathtaking to watch a team running in perfect unison, speaking the same ‘language’ and completely understanding one another for those fleeting seconds. It is an experience all handlers strive for. ANIMOTION: animals in motion connecting on course.
Nicki’s handling philosophy emphasizes handling predominantly with naturally understood cues by her dogs; cues that require little or no translation time by the dog, delivered early enough, so that the dog can quickly and confidently process the changes of direction on course without ever questioning which obstacle is to be taken next.
Nicki has competed in Agility for 14 years with 7 dogs: 5 Border Collies and 2 Shelties.She has over a dozen championships in National events (Standards and Jumpers) and has had success in multiple associations: AAC, CKC, FCI, USDAA, UKI, AKC. Her success on course is rooted in emphasizing naturally understood cues by dogs; cues that dogs are born to understand:
“My language is English, my dogs’ language is motion – where I move, how I move, when I move – They’ll respond to my motion whether I want them to or not. Learning to speak ‘motion’ is much easier than teaching my dogs to speak English”.
She has worked with many students eager to learn more about motion based handling and has helped many discover what their dogs already knew! She has worked with beginners to World Team Members. Her experience training and competing with both large and small dogs has made her very well versed in the challenges presented to handlers on course. Nicki is a Masters Judge with the AAC
She began agility with her first Border Collie, Toby, in 1999 and was hooked after the first lesson! “I have been blessed with 7 wonderful dogs to play & train with in the past 15 years – all of them teaching me how to be a better communicator on course. Six have earned their ATChC (Canadian Championship title) and the new kid on the block is about to start trialling in November of 2014.” In addition to being on course as a competitor, she is also a Masters judge with the Agility Association of Canada and UKI agility. She has been enjoying the view from centre ring for 13 years. Teaching and judging are fuel for her own learning as well as others – “I enjoy teaching my students as much as I enjoy running my dogs!”
“I’ve had the privelege of studying handling skills from many, many renowned handlers over the past 15 years. Each one of them has contributed in some way to where I am at today in my philosophy of guiding a dog around an agility course. Many thanks to the following: Linda Mecklenburg, Daisy Peel, Jaakko Suoknutti, Janita Leinonen, Elina Janesniemi, Rosanne DeMascio, Susan Salo, Rachel Sanders, Jennifer Crank, Jen Pinder, Dana Pike, Stacey Peardot-Goudy, Rhonda Carter, Stephanie Spyrs, Karen Holik, Kim Collins, Greg Derrett, Laura Derrett, Guy Blanke, Terry Simons, Gerry Brown, Kathy Keats, … and probably a few others too.”
About Nicki’s Dogs
Toby ATChC, Silver- my first Border Collie to whom I owe everything! Toby introduced me to agility nearly 15 years ago. He was in my life for 9 years. His passions were swimming, big sticks and stealing food!! His accomplishments were many: BC regional Champion 22″ specials 2005, 2nd place Runner Up on 3 occasions, 2nd place 2005 National Championships 22″ Sp, many, many first place finishes regionally and nationally.
Panda(monium). ATChC, Silver. Panda is my 13 yr old Sr BC girl. She’s now retired from competition but she was such a fun dog to train. A naturally gorgeous jumper, she rarely took bars, but she sure entertained with her tunnel antics…. Her career highlight would include a 4th place Nationals finish in the 16″ specials class and many regional and national event placings. She is enjoying retirement keeping the others in line along with our 4 sheep! Click here for more about Panda.
2012 16″ Specials Canadian National Champion!
– Love her to bits!! There will never be another Breeze. She is a one of a kind in my life. Eleven years young and we’ve had so many fantastic experiences together on course and off. Breeze puts her all into everything she does making her a delight to work with.
Breeze’s drive and speed were the catalysts for my quest to become the best handler I could be for her. Career Highlights to date include:1st place finish in Standard 2 2009 AAC Nationals (118 dogs in the 22″ class), 2011 16″ specials Champion BC Regional Championships (winning all 6 events in the competition and also earning highest score of the 300+ at the championships with 619 points Breeze 2011 BC Regionals, 2011 National Steeplechase Champion 2011 AAC National Steeplechase Finals , 2012 16″ Sp National Champion and 2nd place Nationals Steeplechase Finals.
Karab’s Kamikaze Ninja. ATChC, Gold, AGX, AGXJ
The Ninjinator is my nearly 10 yr old agility smitten sheltie. He is a bundle of Border Collie energy in a little sheltie body on the agility field. But off the field, he loves to do as little as possible!
Ninja has taken the two of us to agility on the international scene via USDAA tournaments, the 2011 USDAA World Cynosport Games in Kentucky, the FCI World Agility Championships as members of CKC’s Agility Team Canada (Germany 2010, France 2011) and in May 2012 and 2013 as a member of Team Canada at the World Agility Open in Belgium. His career highlights to date would include achieving his ATChC at age two, winning the BC Regional Championships in 2010, 2013 and being on the podium in 7 out of 8 regionals attended. He has placed at the top of his division regionally and nationally in many, many events. In 2011 he was the 16″ Grand Prix Champion at the USDAA NW Regional USDAA NW Regional GP Final and qualified for the semi finals in Grand Prix at the World CynoSport games along with qualifiers in DAM & Steeplechase. Highlights for us in 2011 were 2nd place in a field of 80 dogs in Jumpers at Cynosport Cynosports Team Jumpers a 5th place finish in the $10,000 Steeplechase Finals $10,000 Steeplechase Finals and having 3 out of 4 clean runs at the FCI World Championships in France. Ninja placed 10th in 2011 Team jumpers at FCI Ninja FCI Team Jumpers and his 2 clean individual runs placed him at the top of the leader board for 67 dogs. He finished in 13th place in the Individual Standard Agility run Individual Standard Agility landing him 13th overall in a class of 82 dogs/36 countries competing.
MAY 2012: At the 2012 World Agility Open (Belgium), he finished 2nd in Agility 1 Pentathlon, 3rd in Biathlon Jumpers, 2nd in Sweepstakes and 7th in Biathlon Agility. He was the Bronze Medalist in the 400 division for Biathlon.
Our runs from the 2012 WAO
August 2012: AAC National Championships: 7th overall in 16″ Regular with 1st place finish in Standard 1 and Jumpers 2.
(def’n: shiny, slippery and dangerous), ATChC, is my 7 yr old sheltie , also Ninja’s nephew 🙂 He is such a card this dog!….full of enthusiasm and zest for life. He just likes to be in on whatever plan we’re hatching next around here! He was a 5th place podium finisher in his 2nd regional event (2011) in a class of 40+ 16″ dogs. The Iceman is super athletic and powerful.
He is settling into his own in his fourth year and things are beginning to fall into place nicely. Black Ice competed in the 2011 NW Regional (USDAA) and made it to the finals in Steeplechase where he landed 3rd place.
Keen Eye FedX – ATChC, Bronze
Measuring in at 23.5 inches and 53 pounds, FedX is an awesome boy to have in our home. He is athletic, a gorgeous jumper, a quick learner and super biddable and easy to train. At 5 years old he has earned his ATChC. At the 2012 AAC Nationals he finished in the top 1/3rd of the 26″ers at 17th place. Final Leg of AAC Advanced Jumpers
Rival’s Beat the Clock “Quiz” !
Named after my favourite game/quiz show I used to watch after school where contestants had to perform stunts- requiring mental and physical skill- against the clock. This pup is a little dynamo and is fitting in so well with his new family. He takes on anything with enthusiasm and confidence. I am so looking forward to our journey! At nearly 17 months old, Quiz has attended his first AKC trial and earned HIT Novice. He will be debuting at 18 months old in the AAC in November ’14. We are both looking forward to it!