2023 Performance week Interview with Joyce Jackowski by colliesonline.com

How and when did you get your start in performance events?

Carlie is my oldest collie. We moved from Virginia to Florida in 2015 when she was a year old. I wanted to continue training classes with her. My local dog club offered an “Obility" class that combined agility with obedience. We had so much fun, we took the class for a second time. The instructor mentioned that we were a good team, recommended that we go further for specific agility classes. And that is how we got started. This opened up exposure to Rally, Scent Work, Barn Hunt, and more. With each of my collies, I have done a little more, depending on what they seemed to like. The exposure to the various activities at cluster events are great for an introduction.


Is there a particular venue that gets priority with your dogs? What is special about that particular venue?

Prioritizing venues for my dogs is like trying to juggle. You do your best and hopefully nothing gets dropped. My currently active dogs are involved in agility, UpDog, herding, conformation, dock diving, and Fast Cat. Carissa loves herding, dock diving, and agility; Rookie loves UpDog and agility. The venue that gets priority is agility because there are more opportunities close to home in which to participate. If we can combine two venues at the same site, this is a win-win. I like agility because the handler has a role in the success. When things go wrong on the agility course, 99% of the time, it is the handler's mistake. Those mistakes include late cues, wrong cues, not keeping connected with your dog. What is so special about agility? There is a connection with your dog. The courses require analysis of what to do and when. You have to know what your team is capable of, what your dog's strengths are, and what maneuvers are best to complete the course. Most of all, in any of these sports, it is the fun that I have with my dogs.

"Rookie" CH Tamiami’s Carmenn Rookery Bay HT PT CGCU TKA FDC FCAT DDS AXJ AX FITB in agility

Where do you train your dogs? What are the advantages or disadvantages of where you train?

Training for our events varies depending on the sport or activity. I take group classes, seminars/clinics, individual lessons, and practice in the backyard. Group classes allow for exposure to other dogs and a more trial-like atmosphere. Individual lessons provide for work on specific skills. We bring what we learn in agility lessons and practice in our small backyard. Herding lessons have been the most challenging for us. Sites for lessons are several hours away from home. Taking lessons is a daylong adventure and herding cannot be practiced in my backyard. We have participated in two herding clinics this year. The clinics helped to put the pieces together and gave me an understanding of what herding is all about.

Does training your dogs in Florida offer any advantages or disadvantages to your training?

Training in Florida. Training can occur all year round in Florida because of the weather. Yet, the weather provides challenges. The heat and humidity of the summer limits outdoor training to early morning or late evening. The rainy season is also summer, so outdoor training can be cancelled for weeks in a row. I am very lucky that there is an indoor, air conditioned facility near me. Bratty Paws Dog Plex has changed the access for agility training and trialing in SW Florida. Most weekends of the year, there is an opportunity for an agility trial.

"Carissa" Tamiami’s Meant To Be Carissa CGCU TKA FDC DN HT PT waiting for her turn at Brattypaws training facility.

Who are you currently training or trialing? What are the special qualities of your current performance dogs.?

I am currently training and trialing with Rookie and Carissa. Rookie is just a whole lot of fun to work with. He is a joy to be around, always happy, always willing. He loves the reward of catching a frisbee after any activity. He is my buddy. Carissa is my thinker. When she was younger, she would initially be like "what is in it for me?" before doing something. I have found that it was her thinking it through. Now, when I give her a cue, the look in her eye of understanding and then execution is thrilling to watch. In herding, she takes charge and instinctively knows what to do. Watching her work with sheep is amazing.

Rookie always ready for a game of frisbee!

Tell us about your performance goals this year.

My overall goal for Rookie was to qualify for the Collie Club of America Versatility Award. When he obtained his PT title in October, this gave him enough points for the Versatility Excellent Award. Our next goal will be to continue to work toward MACH. He recently got his first QQ. I am looking forward to seeing how he does at Fast Cat Invitationals. My hope is that he will represent the collie breed with elegance and speed. Goals for Carissa include finishing her in conformation, getting her novice agility titles, and to advance to Started A in herding.

What was your most memorable experience so far this year competing?

My most memorable experience in 2023 was when both Carissa and Rookie obtained HT titles the same day in July. They were the first collies from Tamiami Collies to earn herding titles. For me, herding has been the most challenging of the performance events I have done. Herding involves the handler and dog with a group of sheep that there is no prediction of what will happen that day.

Carissa (L) and Rookie (R) earning HT titles on the same day in July 2023.

What is the top accomplishment that one of your Collies ever achieved in Performance events and what made it so special?

"Carson" PACH Master Carson of Seabreeze BN RI RA MJP3 MXP2 OFP ACT2 CGCA TKI SPOT-ON FDC DCAT earning his PACH in 2020

I consider Carson earning his PACH in 2020 and then participating in the 2021 Westminster Agility competition at the Lyndhurst Mansion in NY as our all-time Performance experience. While Carson did not make the finals, the day was still a success because he was there. From a young dog that excelled in jumping out of the ring to handling the environment of Westminster, Carson was my rock star that day.

Joyce Jackowski and Carson at the 2021 Westminster Agility Championships.
Carson at the 2021 Westminster Agility Championships.

What advice would you recommend to others in their pursuit of performance / agility excellence?

Do what your dog is interested in doing. Try a class to see if the dog shows interest. If they do, take another class. Make it fun for your dog. This is a journey. You don't plant a seed in the morning and expect it to have a bloom that night. Love and appreciate your canine partner. Do not discount your older dogs doing new activities. The joy on Carlie’s face when she got to do Barn Hunt at the age of 8 was priceless. She earned a novice title.


Check out all six videos for Rookie, Carissa, Carson and Carlie below.

Carson's Video :: 2021 Westminster.

Rookie's Video: Excellent Standard run held at the Calusa Dog Agility Club trial on August 27, 2023 at Bratty Paws Dog Plex; Punta Gorda, Florida.

Carlie's Video :: 2019 Agility run.

Carson and Carlie Video :: Weave pole challenge training.

Carissa's Video :: UpDog 2023

Carissa's Video :: JWW :: Second time in competition at 15 months.

The four Collies loved and treasured by Joyce Jackowski:

"Rookie" CH Tamiami’s Carmenn Rookery Bay HT PT CGCU TKA FDC FCAT DDS AXJ AX FITB

"Carissa" Tamiami’s Meant To Be Carissa CGCU TKA FDC DN HT PT

"Carson" PACH Master Carson of Seabreeze BN RI RA MJP3 MXP2 OFP ACT2 CGCA TKI SPOT-ON FDC DCAT


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