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Sandi Ver Sprill's interest in dogs began at the young age of nine when her mother purchased a Shetland Sheepdog, "Fella". In addition to being the family pet, Sandi's mother trained the dog at the local obedience club. Watching the training sessions fascinated Sandi. Two years later her mother purchased another Shetland Sheepdog for Sandi to train, "Creekview's Fancy Free". A dedicated youngster, Sandi trained "Fancy" in obedience through a Utility Dog title. As if that weren't enough, she also showed the dog in the Conformation Ring in the Junior Handler's class, earning countless placement ribbons. Sandi spent her youth training and showing not only her own dogs, but the dogs of friends and acquaintances. She showed not only Shetland Sheepdogs, but Dobermans and English Cockers as well.

In her teens, Sandi began to assist her trainers, teaching basic and some advanced obedience courses. She also shared her talents, teaching classes for the local High School evening enrichment programs. The experiences Sandi gleaned throughout this time period were invaluable, as she was continually exposed to a multitude of dogs and people on every level of the training spectrum. After many years of teaching for local Obedience Clubs and other training facilities, Sandi decided it was time to open her own school. She had the property, the time, and all the other pieces fell into place. Thus Golden Rule School for Dogs was born.

In contrast to many popular training methods, Sandi believes there is no one way to train every dog but that every dog can be trained in some way. She starts with a basic method of training and then adapts that to fit the needs of each dog to maximize opportunities for success. Every student has different goals. Sandi works with each individual to ensure that they are getting the support they need to reach those goals. "My advice to anyone who wants to get involved with the sport of dog training is: decide what you want to achieve. What do you expect out of your dog? How much time can or will you spend training and showing? You can't succeed at this sport with only half effort and your dog will give it their best if you do!"Sandi's biggest inspiration is her mother who is now the Training Director of a dog club in Cape May, NJ. "My mother has always said over and over again: Don't complain about your dog, train your dog! Those are words to live by for every dog owner." Sandi credits her mother's no-nonsense technique of both child rearing and training dog with her own ease in front of a class. "My mother has always been a "Do it, or" type person. This helped me get over any of my insecurities about being in front of a large group. Having my dog beside me has always eased me through the lecture process."Sandi says she also finds great inspiration from her students and she enjoys watching them succeed in the ring

In addition to teaching, Sandi is active in the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT.com) and is a judge for their Rally Obedience program. She enjoys judging because it gives her the opportunity to observe other training and handling techniques. Her assignments take her all over the US thus exposing her to regional differences in training techniques as well. Sandi says she likes the relaxed atmosphere of APDT Rally Obedience as it gives the average pet owner an opportunity to participate in obedience with their dog. When she's not training dogs, Sandi enjoys working with her horses. "I have always been around horses and know them well, but owning four horses is a challenge. They are so much bigger than the dogs, but for the most part, the same." She also admits to being a Garage Sale Junkie and can occasionally be found prowling the weekend yard sales in Sussex County. These days Sandi is busy writing a book geared towards the new pet owner.

She sees so many owners unwittingly creating the problems they face with their new puppies. She hopes, with her book, to be able to reach a large audience and help alleviate some of the most common mistakes. Additionally, Sandi is taking lessons in web design and helping to create the Golden Rule site.When asked where she sees herself in the future, Sandi says she hopes to expand the school to include more classes, seminars and clinics. She'd also like to increase her support for the average pet owner. "There are quite a few basic things, like grooming and nail clipping, that most pet owners think they can't do themselves. We want to help people save some money and have fun with their dogs."

Golden Rule School For Dogs, LLC is a Woman Owned and Operated Business.
© 2006 Golden Rule School For Dogs LLC