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IFCS Team Member Profile: Karen Beattie Massey

A profile of IFCS Team USA Member Karen Beattie Massey and her dog Bella.

Where do you live?  

In Issaquah, Washington (just east of Seattle).

How did you first get involved with agility?

I had a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel who was so shy as a puppy that she hid under the table at puppy class. Somebody suggested that we try agility to build her confidence. 

What made you decide to compete?  

My first Cavalier was very fast and motivated in her agility training so we decided to give competition a shot. Fourteen years later we're still in it!

Do you participate in any other dog sports or training with your dogs?  

Yes, I have competed in Obedience, Rally Obedience, Conformation and Lure Coursing with my dogs. I have also dabbled in tricks training, canine freestyle, and herding. 

Tell us more about the dog you will be competing with as an IFCS Team Member?  

Bella is my first Pumi, and for those who aren't familiar with the breed they are a medium-sized herding dog from Hungary known for their high spirits, athleticism, and funny ears! Bella is 10-years-old and has competed internationally at the European Open 2012-2015 ,the Americas and Caribbean Championships in 2012 and 2015, IFCS 2016, and WAO 2016, where she took a bronze in the Speedstakes class. She was a finalist in the AKC Agility Nationals in 2014, and a silver medalist in the Masters Challenge Biathlon at Cynosports 2015. In addition to enjoying her agility career, Bella has been a two-time mom with four of her kids from her first litter in 2012 and one from her 2015 litter competing in agility at the Masters level. She also has two grandchildren who are training in agility.

Does your dog have any quirks or unique habits that you loved to share?

Bella's ears are a very good barometer of how she's feeling. When they are fully upright you know she's ready for anything.

Do you have other dogs/pets aside from your IFCS dog? Tell us more about them:  

I have an up and coming agility prospect, Bella's four-year-old daughter Aria, who is even more spirited and vocal than her mom. I am also running my third-generation Cavalier from our own breeding called Teddy. He is a four-year-old ruby male who's not only sweet and a joy to live with but also loves to lay down great agility runs. We recently welcomed one of Bella's grandson's called Everett into the family, who we're hoping will become our third-generation Pumi training in agility, this time with my daughter Dinke.

Describe for us what you do in your "other" non-agility life, work life? 

I work as an agility and manners instructor at It's a Dog's World Training in Sumner, WA and provide dog training services through my company MayaLu Training. I'm also busy parenting my two girls - one in elementary and the other in middle school. Outside of agility I am active as a breeder and member of the Hungarian Pumi Club of America.

How does it feel to be on the IFCS Team this year?

It's an honor to be on the team again and I'm looking forward to another great competition!

What are you looking forward to the most at the World Agility Championship event in Spain this April?  

I'm looking forward to great courses with lots of fun challenges and the camaraderie of my teammates. 

Do you do anything special to prepare yourself for a big competition?  

I like to familiarize myself with the courses from the event's judges and figure out the likely challenges. I then dedicate some practice time to setting up courses and exercises with those challenges. 

People who enjoy agility with their dogs are often intimidated by the idea of competition - what advice would you give them to encourage them to take the plunge?  

Give competition a try. There's a real sense of accomplishment when you can succeed with your handling plan under pressure. And you never know; you might just win!

Watch a a video of Karen and Pumi at the 2015 Masters Challenge Biathlon at Cynosport:


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