Robert Kripaitis – Agility and Obedience Instructor
While it all began on a cold February night in 1964, the dog sport addiction did not start until the year 2000. That was the year that Rob started training his sheltie, Molly in obedience. While Molly learned the basic commands, she was never really truly "obedient” and Rob often refers to her as “cat dog” since she is very independent and sometimes has a “creative” streak. Soon he discovered the sport of agility and from that point forward his life changed and it officially went to the dogs.
Because shelties are just like potato chips (you can’t have just one!), Rob soon adopted another sheltie, named Tibby. In 2003, because Rob wanted people to listen to him when he talked, he became an assistant agility instructor for Tailblazers Agility Club in southeastern Pennsylvania. Soon he was spending all available weekends at agility trials showing Molly & Tibby.
Tibby, his rescue sheltie, was a quick study and was shown in agility until her fears of the dog walk caused her early retirement. Tibby earned her AX and AXJ titles in AKC. Molly had a longer agility career. There are many interesting and entertaining stories about Molly’s ring antics and the efforts she went through to avoid earning a qualifying run. Molly earned the MX and MXJ titles in AKC Agility, and competed in the Masters level in USDAA.
In 2007, Rob’s agility career took a step in a slightly different direction when he became an AKC agility judge. Since that time, he has also added UKI, TDAA and USDAA Intro Agility judging to his resume. He is also an AKC earthdog judge, a judge for the Barn Hunt Association and a Level 3 rally judge for World Cynosport Rally Limited.
In 2008, Rob went to the “dark side” of agility when he purchased a Border Collie puppy that he named “Detour.” In 2014, Rob and Detour earned the MACH Title in AKC agility. They also compete in CPE & USDAA agility and are trialing at the highest levels. Detour and Rob are also competing in rally obedience, lure coursing and barn hunt, where they have earned multiple titles in these sports.
Over the years, Rob has had the opportunity to train and work with a variety of breeds. In addition to his own dogs, he has successfully handled a Belgian Tervuran, a Pyrenean Shepherd, a Scottish Terrier, a Field Cocker Spaniel, a West Highland White Terrier and a Papillion in agility when the owners were not available to run their dogs.
In 2011, Rob became an agility instructor at the Bella Vista Training Center. He used to describe himself as Stephanie’s enabler, since he and Stephanie are co-dependent in their joint addiction to dogs and dog sports. Now he says that he and Steph are agility dealers since they get other people and dogs addicted to the sport of agility!