Suzanne Wesley – 17 years of Agility, National Champion, World Teams
Long story short
Suzanne is currently located in Pensacola, Florida USA. She first started competing in agility approximately 19 years ago with her Miniature Poodle, Shannah. There were no specific “performance” lines for that breed so she searched for a conformation line that had great structure and temperament and were competing in hunt tests, tracking, and agility. In 2003 she found Sonic who has now retired the age of 14 and will occasionally run a veterans jumpers runs.
It was around that time that 2003 time frame I was fortunate enough to hear about Bob Bailey. It was his knowledge of animal behavior and learning theory that peaked my interest regarding behavioral analysis and to surround myself with similar trainers and people who understood more about behavior. One such person was Susan Garrett who I met in 2005. As luck would have it I was able to attend several of Bob Bailey chicken workshops and workshops and the rest as they say is history. I have been fortunate enough to see the importance in understanding behavior and learning the theory behind it. It has been a mission since the first time I heard of Bob Bailey to continue my education in animal behavior and analysis.
Sonic and I have had numerous successes over the years regionally and nationally and were ultimately selected for two USA World Teams: The IFCS WAC in Belgium in 2008 and the IFCS WAC in England in 2010. We were a young team and it was our first time being on the world stage but we handled the pressure well and both were able to stand on the podium not once but twice.
Sonic achieved 3rd place in Jumpers and 3rd place in Standard at the IFCS WAC in Belgium at just 4 years of age and placed as high as 5th in England. He was and still is an amazing partner and team mate. I could not have hoped for more from him and he certainly took me to levels and heights I could not have imagined. He has also produced 6 wonderful puppies which you will hear more of below.
While Sonic and I were in Belgium in 2008 we were fortunate enough to be able to select a female silver poodle from a German breeder I was interested in. Her formal name: Silver Princess Irene Vom Orcheres Hoff but to us is known as RAYA and well as MAMA RAYA. She is honestly the best thing to happen to me as she gave me the most unbelievable puppies through my breeding of Sonic x Raya and Jib x Raya. Her sweet and loving personality together with her great structure gave us some phenomenal working poodles. Raya was only really to produce puppies for us but has become a fabulous agility team mate. I could not help but train her and she did not disappoint.
Raya and I have accomplished a lot even with being out of action for extended periods of time having her 4 litters of pups. She was even on the Australian team at the IFCS WAC in Dallas, TX in 2012 at the tender age of 3. I was astonished how well she ran with a stranger, Natalie Winter and ultimately they placed 5th overall with many near misses at the podium. A testament to the training for sure. In consequent years Raya has won many championships including the 2017 Overall UKI Agility Champion in Jacksonville, FL
My first litter of pups with Sonic x Raya produced my first male silver miniature poodle, Scorch, who I have been competing in agility with these l6 years. Scorch has had the benefit of most of the education I have received from Bob Bailey and all the online training with Susan Garrett. That education has translated to the success I have with Scorch. In the last 6 years we have had an amazing amount of success as a team. He has won or placed in multiple regional events both in USDAA and UKI.
My current puppy Synge is from my 3rd litter with Sonic x Raya and she is quickly becoming a rising star. Each puppy that comes along is getting the benefit of an even more solid foundation of skills and behaviors. I cannot wait to see where our journey takes us.
I have also bred some of the best silver poodle performance dogs. Raya has produced 12 fabulous pups: Idge (Terry Herman), Summer (Cindy Glover), Bliss (Cassie Schmidts), Star (Carol Pena), Switch (Geri Hernandez), Miso (Barbara Currier), Dare (Lynda Orton-Hill), Tiller (Suzi Cope) and Surf (Cindy Glover).
My main emphasis has always been a solid foundation and problem solving behaviors by applying the science learned through all my years of online and real time education from mentors such as Bob Bailey. Breaking behaviors down to its simplest unit and giving her dogs the clarity, understanding and confidence needed to grow behaviors.