Pack Therapy/Healthy Play programme Information

Our Spirit Ridge K9 Crew

Spirit Ridge's  'Paws for Literacy' Programme

Training videos and slideshows of our dogs

Spirit Ridge 'Brags'!

Client Testimonials and Newsprint Articles about Spirit Ridge 

Important Reading:

Articles of Interest to Dog 'Owners'!

Our Rescued Friends' Hall of Fame

In Memorium
Jesse girl

"Zorro" (1999-2014)

"KOUKLA" (1998-2011)

A Tribute to Koukla's life

"TEQUILA" (2005-2011)

( 1995- 2008)


    Spirit Ridge K9 Training  & Rescue

PO Box 70,
Hillsburgh, Ontario, N0B 1Z0   


"........ because sit happens"

On July 25, 2010, Spirit Ridge's "Tequila" joined our students' dogs "Riley", "Ozzy" and "Shep" as they cleaned house at the Rally Obedience trial held at the Poodle Farm in Vanessa Ontario.  All dogs earned their Rally Novice titles with distinction (Magna Cum Laude) with Cindy's "Ozzy" recording a perfect score!  All dogs earned anywhere between a 1st and 4th place finish.  Fellow competitors were happy to see the backs of the Spirit Ridge gang departing as it allowed them a chance at the placement 'hardware"!  Congratulations Cindy, Kathy and Shannon!

                             (Right to Left) Cindy and "Ozzy", Kathy and "Shep", Shannon and "Riley" & Jim and "Tequila"

Not to be outdone, July 2010 brought huge successes in AAC agility competition where our client Helen Hill and her dog 'Cooper' earned his Advanced Games Agility Dog of Canada AND  his Master's Agility Dog of Canada titles.   Spirit Ridge's own "Jesse" also earned her Advanced Agility Dog of Canada title. The two dogs have formed an alliance in the agility competition trial ring with the objective of shutting out other dogs from the hardware!  Below, "Jesse" (left) and "Cooper" (right) are checking out each others 'loot' !

On June 20, 2010, a Herding Instinct Test (sanctioned by the Belgian Shepherd Doc Club of Canada) was held by Renee Worringer & Stephen Rowell at Woolagon Farm in Fergus, Ontario.

The main objective of a Herding Instinct Test is to determine three things:

a) that the tested dog displays a sustained interest in the sheep
b) that the dog is "biddable" (ie takes direction from the handler or tester by responding to the staff and moving in a certain direction) and
c) that the dog does not have as its sole intent the objective of 'taking down' and hurting the sheep.

Spirit Ridge had two entries in the instinct test - one, in particular, was the crowd's sentimental favourite.

At the ripe old age of 12, we decided to expose our therapy dog "Koukla" to sheep for the first time in her life.  "Koukla", previously a 'city girl', had never had the opportunity and, we were interested to see what her 'instincts' would tell her given that she is a Belgian Shepherd Dog - predominantly a herding breed.

Koukla's forray into the herding arena was truly remarkable and very successful.  By all counts, she flowed and kept her eye on the sheep, never letting her instincts get the best of her, was very biddable and, in spite her age and the heat, would have preferred to do this all day instead of being taken away from the sheep.  We are very proud of her and are sad that she never had the opportunity to train and trial in the sport of arena herding when she was in her prime.  Better late than never though!  Congratulations, Koukla!!!

On the very same day, we also tested our rescue girl "Jesse", who is already a multiple title holder in Agility and Rally Obedience, on sheep. "Jesse" also proved her strong, stable and biddable temperament by being exceptional in taking direction and sustaining her interest on the sheep.  Although there are no plans to start training "Jesse" in arena herding, it is a distinct possibility that she may move to herding once she has achieved her Master's title in Agility!  After all, at Spirit Ridge we practice what we preach - which is that it is only through 'work' that the bond with our dogs is strengthened - not to mention the fact that it keeps our dogs 'sharp' well into their senior years!  Congratulations, "Jesse"!

Our senior Therapy Dog "Koukla" showing her herding                      "Jesse" shows her own prowess on sheep and earns her Herding
prowess on sheep earning her Herding Instinct Certificate                        Instinct Certificate

Special thanks from Spirit Ridge to Renee and Steve at Woolagon Farm for allowing us the opportunity to test our dogs in order to earn their H.I.C.s on their sheep!

On May 16, 2010, Spirit Ridge's "Jesse" achieved her CARO Rally Excellent title (Magna Cum Laude) in three straight tries (achieving two 1st place and one 2nd place finish) and a perfect 200/200 score along the way at the Poodle Farm in Vanessa Ontario.  This was Jesse's sixth title spanning two sports of Rally Obedience and Agility.    At the same trial, N' Sonic Boom Van Arek, received two qualifying scores (a 1st and 2nd place finish with one perfect 200/200 score along the way) towards his Rally Excellent title which he subsequently earned on June 25, 2010 at the Poodle Farm in Vanessa Ontario.

Jesse" proudly sporting her new Rally Excellent MCL title

On April 11th and April 17th, 2010 three of our dogs ("Zorro", "Jesse" & "Sonic Boom") were entered and competed in Rally Obedience trials.  Our 11 year old Zorro was entered in a Rally Novice Team event. Jesse and Sonic in Rally Novice Team and Rally Advanced events.  In order to receive a title in the majority of dog sports, dogs have to earn three qualifying scores (otherwise known as "Qs") under at least two different judges.  Qualifying scores under the Canadian Association of Rally Obedience is anything above 170/200. Average scores for all three Qs of over 190/200 earns a dog an MCL (Magna Cum Laude) title.

On April 11th (at the Poodle farm in Vanessa Ontario) and on April 17th (at SuperDog Central in Bowmanville, ON) all three of our dogs earned the qualifying scores they required and Spirit Ridge walked away with FIVE (!) titles - all Magna Cum Laude!  In fact, along the way, Sonic Boom earned a perfect 200/200 score on April 11th in his Advanced Rally 'run' - our first perfect score ever!  Overall, our three dogs earned three first place finishes, four second place finishes and three third place finishes on the two trial dates out of a total of twenty runs that they competed in!  In fact, in the second Rally Novice Team run at Superdog Central on April 17th our three dogs (and their running mates) placed 1-2-3 while in the 1st Advanced run, Sonic and Jesse took 1st and 2nd place!  

We are very proud of our dogs and how well they perform when asked to!  Even though we spend the vast majority of our time trying to help handlers better enjoy their dogs, it's nice to get away from the routine and compete with other colleagues and handlers in the trial ring.  It re-affirms our strong belief that our relationship with our dogs is vastly improved when we create a strong working bond with them - a philosophy that we try and instill in all our clients.  This working bond does NOT necessarily mean competing in a trial ring - which is not something for everyone - but can be as simple as teaching your dog to properly walk with you on leash or even just engaging in training for a variety of dog sports without necessarily the added 'pressure' of competing.

Below is a picture of our three Belgian Malinois with me after coming home with our 'loot' (ribbons, titles rosettes) ...


On January 2, 2010, Spirit Ridge's "Jesse" (and our Agility Instructor Suzanne Adams) earned her Starter Games Dog of Canada title under the AAC. (see picture below)

"Jesse" receiving her title ribbon at Royakkers in Ariss, ON, Jan 2, 2010

On September 13, 2009, Suzanne Adams' dog 'Jesse' (agility instructor at Spirit Ridge) and our client and friend Helen H.'s dog 'Cooper' (of Cedar Valley) completed perfect qualifying runs (at an agility trial hosted at TAMSU Learning Centre) in their standard agility courses and under the Agility Association of Canada rules. Click here for the complete story and pictures!

More Spirit Ridge 'Brags' here ......