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TitleMania Judge Profile: Rafael Quinones

Let's meet our TitleMania judges! Today's profile is Rafael Quinones.

Our new TitleMania event is coming up! Let's meet one of our judges, Rafael Quinones.

Where do you live?

Toa Alta, Puerto Rico

Tell us about your family?

I live with my beautiful wife, Sharon and our eight furry kids.

Tell us about your experience with agility either as a judge or competitor or both?

I've been doing agility as a competitor since 2000, and as a judge since 2005.

What types of dogs do you have and what are their names, ages, and any titles?

  1. Ziggy, 15-year-old Border Collie (ADCH)
  2. Skyler, 11-year-old Shetland Sheepdog (Conformation Champion) (Rescue-Rehome)
  3. Tyler, eight-year-old Shetland Sheepdog
  4. Funky, eight-year-old Shetland Sheepdog
  5. Chuck Norris, six-year-old Papillon (Rescued)
  6. Jovi, five-year-old Border Collie (MAD)
  7. Sparkles, five-year-old Papillon (Rescued)
  8. Derby, four-year-old Border Collie (MAD)

Tell us something unique or that you love about your dog(s).

They all have their own distinct personality. Ziggy is the old man - he is deaf as a doorknob but still wants to do what ever he feels like. The Sheltie twins are just two goofballs. Skyler is the serious teddy bear who just wants to cuddle. The Papillions are very different - Sparkles is go-go-go all the time and Chuck Norris is a little sweetheart who just wants to lay down next to you. Jovi is a mama's boy - he just wants to be with Sharon and run agility with her. Then there's Derby - Daddy's boy - he has to always keep his eyes on me at all times. He is also one of our cuddliest of the pups.

Do you participate in any other dog sports or training with your dogs and if yes, have you found these help you with your agility work with your dog?

I like to do trick training with them. It helps with focus for agility.

What do you do in your "other" non-agility life? 

I'm a full-time trainer but many don't know I am also a graphic artist.

How does it feel to be judging a brand new event for USDAA?

Feels great. I was very honored to be asked and I'm very grateful for the opportunity.

Do you do anything special to prepare yourself for your judging duties?

Nothing special. I just make sure I have everything I will need.

What expectations to you have for judging at TitleMania? Do you anticipate any challenges?

I expect TitleMania to be a fun time watching awesome handler/dog teams compete. I don't expect any challenges.

What goals and objectives do you have in mind when you are designing a course?

When I design a course, my main goal is that it will be FUN to run. I want to design courses that I would like to run on.  I try to make my courses flowing and fastI like to see dogs open up and run.

Do you have any tips or advice for TitleMania competitors?

My main advice would be, have fun, don't get caught up on the clean run. Enjoy playing out there with your dog and everything else will be icing on the cake.

Do you have any advice for competitors thinking about doing competing, either at TitleMania or local/regional trials, but are intimidated?

My advice would be DO IT. It is so much fun. Yes, it can be intimidating watching those incredible and well-known handlers, but the experience of just being out there and walking/running courses with them will make you better. Have the correct mind set and you will really enjoy it. Remember, the most important thing is YOU and YOUR dog.

What's your favorite dog in a book, movie, TV show or game?

I probably would have to say Maya from the movie 8 Below.

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