MEET THE TEAM
Cassie Nilsson grew up surrounded by dogs of different sizes and breeds, and would routinely set up jumps and obstacles for them to go through or over. Cassie first learned about structured dog training while in 4-H, where she trained and showed her Jack Russells. Her second Jack Russell, Chloe, really helped shape Cassie's dog training as she was, true to her breed, a spunky, high energy, and opinionated lady who liked being in charge. Learning to manage that collection of traits was definitely a challenge, but was great preparation for future dog training endeavors.
Unfortunately, Chloe was diagnosed with kidney disease and passed away in 2018 after 15 wonderful years. Not surprisingly, Cassie felt the loss quite strongly and definitely needed a new companion. This is how she ended up with her current dog, Marty. Marty is a very different dog than Chloe was, and has helped further improve and develop Cassie's training skills.
Cassie and Marty are currently competing in Agility and Rally, and they are starting to take some Herding lessons. In addition to the specific training, Cassie and Marty also thoroughly enjoy going on trail runs several times a week. The longest run they've done together is 13 miles! Marty also regularly goes to work with Cassie at The Mill of Whiteford to help with product testing and selection.
My love of learning and helping others continues after my teaching career with Cecil County Public Schools came to a close. I was privileged to be able to work with many children and families during my thirty two years of teaching.
I love dogs and have been around dogs, especially Miniature Schnauzers, all my life.
During COVID I fostered two Miniature Schnauzers. It was so fulfilling to be able to help them learn to trust and watch them find loving homes.
However, it was one particularly challenging Miniature Schnauzer that got me involved in obedience training. Working together she earned her Obedience UD title and her Rally RACH title. Competition obedience also evolved into a passion and a favorite hobby for me.
Currently I am working with my three Miniature Schnauzers. My two older girls were retired at the ages of 12 and 13. The older girls still train with me even though I am not showing them in competition. I also have a 13 month old Miniature Schnauzer that I am having a blast training in Obedience and Agility. It is so exciting to start our adventure of learning and working as a team together.
I’ve had dogs all my life. In 1996, I wanted a dog to bring to work that would do well on a horse farm. After a lot of research, I decided on a smooth collie. She was perfect on the farm!
I became interested in competition and I wanted to try showing, but Sparkle didn't like the show environment. In 2000 I added another smooth collie who became my first show/performance dog. Treasure earned her conformation championship and titles in obedience, rally, agility, and herding.
Since then, I have gotten 4 more smooth collies. Three earned their conformation championships and went on to get their grand championships. They earned titles in obedience, rally, and herding. Treasure was my first champion. Dazzle was my second champion and first grand champion. She also titled in RN, HSA-ds, CGC. Jack was 9 months old when he acquired his championship, 10 months old when he acquired a grand champion major and was then transferred to me. He acquired his RN, BN, CGC and 2 qualifying legs Novice scent work (container and interior).
Faith was acquired at 5 years old and is now a retired service dog. She earned her RN, 2/3 of beginner Novice, TKI, and CGC.
My latest adventure and my youngest grand champion collie is Dandy. He has titled in CGC, FDC, RA, TKA which he earned at 4 months of age. He is currently working in obedience, rally, herding, tracking and scent work.
SCENT WORK TRAINERS
A native of Maryland, I graduated from Loyola in Baltimore with a B.S. in Computer Science and an M.S. in Electrical Engineering. Afterwards I married, had my daughter Michelle and had a challenging career in private industry and the government.
I’ve always loved animal and water sports. I’ve had many rescues and pure-bred dogs. I’ve also fostered and done many transports for rescues. But watching my daughter and her two dogs run agility, made me wish for more time for dog sports. I began taking Nose Work classes in 2015, volunteered at trials to learn the ropes and then trialed my dogs. When I retired, I began doing more scent trials with my rough collies Martina (now 5) and Jaylin (now 3). This became an addiction! My dogs compete in American Kennel Club(AKC),National Association of Canine Scent Work (NACSW) and Canine Work and Games (C-WAGS) Scent trials. Currently, both dogs have earned their AKC Container Master (SCM), making them eligible to enter AKC Detective trials. We will also trial for NACSW NW2/NW3 and C-WAGS Detective Diversions (CW-SDD). Each level brings new challenges, so we continue our education.
We also enjoy Obedience, Rally and Trick Dog. Recently my dogs have earned Trick Dog Intermediate (TKI), Rally Novice (RN), Rally Intermediate (RI), C-WAGS Scent Ranger 3 (CW-ScR3), C-WAGS Zoom Rally 1.5 (CW-ZR1.5), and C-WAGS Obedience 2 (CW-Ob2) titles. Next year we’ll train and trial more in rally and obedience. Of course, I’ll do more kayaking! It breaks my heart that the dogs don’t fit and help with the paddling.