Brandi got into dogs late in life. While in grad school (earning a PhD in Zoology), she adopted Riley, a 7 month old chocolate Labrador puppy from Heartland Lab Rescue. She was immediately bit by the training bug and shortly after added a second Heartland Labrador, 8 week old Jet, to the family. Devoting much time to keeping the Labradors tired and well-behaved, the three have competed in agility, dock jumping, nose work, lure coursing, straight racing, and barn hunt, and have played in a variety of others. Barn Hunt is the most recent sport added to their repertoire. Their favorite non-sporting activities are hiking and swimming. To support the Labradors sport habits, she maintains her day job as a research scientist.
Brandi has assisted with several informal hunts, as well as many sanctioned fun tests and trials. At each early event, she could always be found volunteering ringside most often in the position of rat wrangler. There is no better vantage point than being inside the ring and watching dogs of every skill and interest level work. From each judge that she worked alongside, she picked their brains on training and competing. Brandi loves getting new handlers and dogs hooked on the sport, and her favorite thing is seeing a dog that wouldn't be considered a vermin dog finding their calling in the non-discriminatory sport that is Barn Hunt. She is a certified Barn Hunt Association Judge (BHAJ-085), and when not judging, she can still almost always be found at a trial in the position of rat wrangler. She is a member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT #86039) and teaches group classes and private lessons in obedience and tricks. She also works privately with dogs exhibiting behavior issues such as dog-dog aggression, fearfulness and lack of socialization, leash reactivity, etc.
The real talent on the Barn Hunting Labrador team is Jet! As a tiny 6 lbs when wet puppy, Jet ended up in rescue as a breeder seizure and has never been your typical Labrador. He rarely fetches, and it took more than 2 years of work (and swimming lessons) to convince him swimming was something Labradors do, in fact, enjoy. But Jet was an absolute natural at Barn Hunt from the very first time he saw a rat. The reality is Jet is just a Jack Russell Terrier stuck in a Labrador body. Jet is a master in the ring with loads of ribbons to back up his skills, but those ribbons mean nothing to him, and the real motivation behind Brandi teaching early classes was to find a place where Jet could play more often! When not Barn Hunting, Jet equally enjoys lure sports, like coursing and straight racing.
Jet Black Stealth Bomber CGC SPD-B SR2 RATM CAA ETD NW1
1st Dog in Oklahoma with a RATO title
1st Dog in Oklahoma with a RATS title
1st Dog in Oklahoma with a RATM title
Gonna Getcha All Riled Up CGC TDI JD-S FF-B ETD NW1
Riley couldn't give a rat's you-know-what about hunting rats! Riley was found as a very skinny, mildly mangy puppy. She was estimated to be about 5 months old and was quite sick when found as a stray. Riley was born to fetch and is a natural water dog. She became a certified therapy dog at the age of 2. Riley is returning to agility training and we hope to enter the competition agility ring soon. She competes in dock jumping and nose work, and she loves weight pull training.
We have long competed as The Always Agile Labs
Fueled by the Honest Kitchen
Accept the dog you have,
work in positive ways to strengthen your dog's "weaknesses,"
and keep your expectations fair and realistic,
you will be rewarded with a rich personal relationship if you do.
~Denise Fenzi & Deborah Jones, Ph.D.