Leanne Szostak started working with dogs as a young handler in 2001, and is now our resident agility expert. She is working toward accreditation as a KCAI Scheme Member. She also a registered Canine Hydrotherapist, helping to physically and mentally rehabilitate dogs after surgery or injury.
She was bitten by the agility bug in 2002, where along with her first dog Kim (a JRT x Whippet), she went from Grade 1 to Grade 6 (pending 1 win to the top level, Grade 7). Leanne and Kim also qualified for and competed at various national finals, including Crufts. Leanne’s second agility dog, a Border Collie/WSD called Dylan (Grade 6 at Kennel Club shows, and Champion level at UK Agility), inspired her to co-found an agility club in 2007 that focuses on providing positive, reward-based training for competitive agility.
Leanne now teaches agility classes from foundation through to competitive level agility at All Four Paws ATG and here at North K9. She also teaches one-to-one agility sessions and occasional workshops, and provides support and coaching for her students at competitions. Leanne judges at UK Agility competitions, and currently competes with her two young dogs; Australian Shepherd, Rio, and rescue Jack Russell Terrier, Daisy.
Although agility remains her focus, Leanne also has also trained and competed nationally in flyball since 2002 with all her dogs, and when she can find time, also competes occasionally in competitive Obedience.
Leanne has a keen interest in dog behaviour, and she is passionate about the importance of ensuring happy, stress-free dog sport training, where dogs are mentally as well as physically prepared for entering the exciting and demanding competitive environment. This also includes ensuring we have happy and confident handlers!