Diane Whitehill – Obedience Instructor

It is my goal to help you learn and grow as your own dog's trainer, so that you can meet the needs of your canine family member or competition partner.

I grew up with dogs, mostly terriers. But I've shared my life with Shelties since 1984. My introduction to obedience came in the form of partnering my first Sheltie with a 10 year old girl who needed a dog to train and show in the local 4-H dog obedience program. It was fun to watch my dog learn from this young girl and see their working relationship grow. I knew that sometime in the future, I wanted to try obedience training with my Sheltie.

Fast forward to 1995 when Chase, my first competition Sheltie, entered my life. I worked through his confidence issues in obedience and agility with positive training techniques. Chase was very forgiving of my novice handler mistakes. And in spite of me, we earned 6 obedience and rally obedience titles together, including Companion Dog Excellent and Rally Level II.

Then Corey entered my life in 2004. My 'in-your-face', energetic Sheltie came from a long line of Utility Dogs and I was determined to carry on the family tradition. Our journey to a UD began when Corey retrieved the dumbbell back to me on his own at the age of 7 1/2 weeks. Together we have earned 22 titles in obedience and rally obedience, including 4 novice level High-in-Trials. In 2014, Corey and I achieved our ultimate goal when he earned Utility Dog titles from AKC and CDSP. Corey has taught me the meaning of patience, the importance of training good foundation skills, that it's OK to take a few steps backwards in order to move forward and, most of all, to enjoy the journey. Corey is now semi-retired but still enjoys competing with me in canine musical freestyle.

I am currently training Eli in obedience. Eli is a smart dog who doesn't like multiple repetitions in training. He has taught me to keep each session "short and sweet" and positive. We will begin competing in rally and obedience during 2016.

I have taken obedience seminars with Sylvia Bishop, Bridget Carlsen, Laura Rominick, and Betsy Scapicchio. I have trained with obedience instructors in PA and GA.