Sandi Ver Sprill, Owner & Director
Sandi Ver Sprill's interest in dogs began at a 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 and two years later her mother purchased another Shetland Sheepdog, "Creekview's Fancy Free", for Sandi to train. A dedicated youngster, Sandi trained "Fancy" in obedience to the highest level of accomplishment - a Utility Dog title. She also showed the dog in the conformation ring in the Junior Handler's class, earning countless placement ribbons. Sandi spent her youth training her own dogs as well as dogs belonging to friends and acquaintances. She showed Shetland Sheepdogs, Dobermans and English Cocker Spaniels.
In her teens, Sandi began to assist her trainers, teaching basic and some advanced obedience classes. She also taught classes for the local high school evening enrichment programs. These experiences proved to be invaluable as Sandi was exposed to all types of dogs and people at every level of training. After many years of teaching for others, Sandi decided it was time to open her own school. She had the property, the time and everything fell into place. Golden Rule School for Dogs was born.
Sandi with her dogs (l to r):
Wilson, Denim, Jasmine and Levi
Sandi with her dogs (l to r):
Breezy, Pippa and Flyer
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 and maximize opportunities for success. Recognizing that every student has different goals, Sandi works with each individual to ensure that they are getting the support they need.
"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 from your dog? How much time can or will you spend training and showing? You can't succeed in this sport with only half effort and your dog will give it their best if you do!"
Sandi's biggest inspiration was her mother, who was the Training Director of a dog club in Cape May, NJ. "My mother always said, 'Don't complain about your dog; train your dog!' Those are words to live by for every dog owner."
In addition to teaching, Sandi competes in competition Obedience, Rally Obedience, Agility and Nose Work. She owns and manages the national Companion Dog Sports Program (CDSP) Obedience program and judges for CDSP and the WCRL (World Cynosport Rally Limited) Rally Obedience program. She enjoys judging as it gives her the opportunity to observe other training and handling techniques. Her assignments take her throughout the U.S., giving her the opportunity to experience regional training techniques as well. Sandi says that she likes the relaxed atmospheres of CDSP Obedience and WCRL Rally Obedience as they give average pet owners an opportunity to participate in obedience with their dogs.
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."