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Meet the Judges: Dave Grubel

2011 Cynosport World Games judge Dave Grubel talks to Deborah Davidson Harpur.

Name:  Dave Grubel
Hometown:  Pleasant Hill, California
Years active in agility:  13 
Occupation:  Internet Banking Product Manager

What breeds of dogs do you currently have and do they compete in agility?

My wife and I have three Aussies and one Border Collie; One Aussie and the BC are active agility competitors. The two younger Aussies have just started competition.

Have you ever participated in the Cynosport games as a competitor?

Having competed in the Games from 2000 through 2009 (Del Mar, Dallas, and Scottsdale), I think I have a good sense of what is going through the minds of the competitors, and it's a lot. That being said, I hope to be as understanding as possible when things might not be going as smooth as they would hope.

Have you judged for the Cynosport Games in the past?

I judged last year, 2010. The highlight, beyond a doubt, was judging the Grand Prix Finals on Sunday.

Are you doing anything in particular to prepare for judging this year's Games? 

Stretching and sprints.  The frequency of running contacts continues to increase so I want to make sure I'm there for the yellow!

Do you find that designing courses for cynosport is different than designing courses for a trial for a local or regional event? 


How would you describe your style of course design?

I hope that competitors look at my courses as flowing, with fair challenges and multiple handling options.

If you could invent a new game to be played at Cynosport, what would it be and how would it be played? 

It is still in the conceptual phase but it would involve easy scoring (by judge(s), competitor, and spectators), optional adult beverages, a certain skeleton, George Mariakis as DJ, and no dust.

What advice can you share with competitors who hope to come through with a clean run on one of your courses?


Deborah Davidson Harpur has been competing in agility since 1998. She currently handles 16 dogs of various breeds including Rat Terriers, All Americans, French Bull Dogs, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, a Shetland Sheepdog, a Border Collie and more. She enjoys competing in USDAA agility and is the proud mom of USDAA roving reporter Rickie Roo. Her dogs are all proud canine ambassadors for the Active Care line of dog food by Breeder's Choice and for,, and You can learn more about Deborah and her dogs at

Photo courtesy of Mike Lifer 


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