A Common Bond
by Deb Neufeld

Deb is known across the country as a keen advocate for Dog Obedience and Rally competitions.  She has extensive knowledge as a dog trainer, competitor, and judge.  Beyond Deb's performance skills she is known as one of Front & Finish's most distinguished authors. 

Deb's comprehensive writing style conveys her considerable experience in the sport.  She has been a member of two AKC Advisory Committees and was the former vice-president of the Dog Obedience Clubs of Florida (DOCOF). DOCOF is an organization that connects all obedience clubs in the state of Florida for the betterment of the sport.  Deb has been involved with obedience competition since 1981 and she was one of the early adopters for Rally Obedience, initiating her interest at the onset of the sport in 2000.  Deb officiates as a judge at AKC Obedience and Rally competitions.

A Foray

By Janice Gunn

Janice Gunn started training dogs 35 years ago.  When she was 14 yrs old, her first competition dog, a Dalmatian earned a 198 in Novice A and gave Janice the obedience bug that she still harbors today!

Today along with her husband John, she owns and operates TNT Kennels and Training Center in Abbotsford, BC.  Her students have earned numerous High in Trial awards.

Janice’s retrievers are strong performance dogs.  Not only are they High in Trial, OTCH dogs, they also compete in the demanding game of field trials, and sport titles of FC, AFC, FTCH , AFTCH and Master Hunter.  Janice has learned how to achieve a flashy, focused dog in obedience, and along with her husband John, maintains incredibly competitive field trial dogs.  Balancing a multi-tasking dog at the highest levels is very demanding, yet incredibly rewarding.

Janice has earned titles on her dogs in obedience, tracking, agility, hunt tests, field trials and conformation.  She owns multi dogs that have reached their OTCH titles, and has earned numerous perfect 200 scores with 5 different dogs.  Her methods are well balanced and successful with all breeds of dogs.  She has produced 5 best selling DVD’s on competition obedience, and is an Internationally recognized trainer.  For more info on Janice & her dogs visit www.tntkennels.com. 

Janice heeling with  OTCH MOTCH TNT’s Run Raisin, UDX, WCX, MH
Photo by Kelly Tynan

Born in August 1954, I was the third child born to Robert and Dorothy Self.  Upon arrival to my new home Gerda, my dad’s German Shepherd, greeted me.  To the dismay of several relatives (and to my dad's delight) Gerda proceeded to protect me by biting an onerous on looking cousin.  From that point on I was destined toward dogdom.  Although registered in dad's name, I will always stake a claim in that dog since she was everything from a pacifier to a rocking horse for me.  
A few years later I somehow acquired Domino.  Recorded by my father, I endure the home movie every Christmas which shows me nailing that poor old mutt in grandpa's chicken coop.  Also during that time I recollect my dad's first Doberman, Jet.  I remember when she was a pup how dad gave each of us kids a special chore to help take care of her.  My mission was to roll hamburger into little round balls at dinnertime, a task I can recall taking great pride in.  Through some process, which I will never quite understand, the plate and spoon used for hamburger rolling evolved into a scoop and hoe for kennel cleaning.  I wonder if dad had that goal in mind all the time!
As I approached junior high school I finally got the word that I could have my "very own" dog.  Soon Sparkey, a Pembroke Welsh Corgi, came to live with us.  Although I never obtained a title on her she was a special friend to a young kid.  Once after hitting Luanne Logerstrom in the face with a snowball, dad was called to the school!  I recall how comforting it was to look into Sparkey’s understanding eyes after the long silent car ride home.  Towards the end of junior high school I received Ebony.  Ebony, was my first CD.  A hand-me-down Dobe from dad.  He always had more dogs than time and I usually benefited from his predicament.
After graduating from Galesburg Senior High School in 1973 I attended Iowa Wesleyan College where I graduated in 1978 with a degree in Music & Elementary Education.  Soon after I became employed in the Galesburg school system as an elementary teacher.  It was at this time that I met Teresa who had come from Kokomo Indiana to live with her sister.  We eventually became married and had three children Meggan Kristy, Thomi Rochelle, and Robert Taylor.  It was also during the early years after college that I began to work at Front & Finish setting copy for the Correspondents section.  I always enjoyed setting up the paper with "Doc" Harler and have many fond memories of our time together.
Later, graduating from Western Illinois University in School Psychology, I worked my way up to editor of Front & Finish.  It was during these years that I began to show more frequently with my Goldens Xtra, Punky, and Popo.  It was my experiences with these dogs, along with the efforts of Pat Krause (then AKC Director of Obedience), that led to my calling as a judge.  Once I got the courage to stand on the other side of the clipboard, I found a new enjoyment in obedience that I'd never experienced before.  

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