MEET OUR TRAINING INSTRUCTORS


Currently Chief Solano Club's training instructor is Susan Sakala, who has several years training experience both personally and professionally. Christy Wren-Smith is the club's assistant training instructor. Susan and Christy are both also AKC CGC® Evaluators. In addition to Susan and Christy, Linda Wendorff and Dena Fennel are also CGC® Evaluators. Cynthia Cool is our conformation training instructor. Although all of the aforementioned persons have placed several titles of many dogs, the goal is for your dog to become a 'Good Canine Citizen' in the community. This is an AKC title for all dogs including the 'All American Breed' that includes mixed breed dogs.


Below you will find a brief history of Susan's, Christy's and Cynthia's training experience. The others will soon follow, please check back again for theirs.


SUSAN SAKALA

 PROFESSIONAL TRAINER

(Member Since 2007)

Susan‘s experience with dogs is life long and she has rarely been without one.
“They are my passion,” she said, “and I can’t imagine life without them.”
Susan’s training career started in 1975 with the purchase of her first purebred
dog, a Shetland sheep dog named Calcurt Lucy. “Lucy was the daughter of the
great Ch. Halstor’s Peter Pumpkin and she taught me more than I ever taught
her,” she said. “Together we took our first steps toward competition.” Lucy
earned her Companion Dog (CD) title at ten months of age (first two legs at 8
months) in three consecutive shows and continued to be Susan’s inspiration until
her death in 1988. “I have owned and titled many dogs since and loved them all,
but none can take the place of that little girl. She was my muse and was truly one
in million.”
In 1975 Susan joined the Olean Kennel Club (OKC), an All-Breed Kennel Club in
Olean New York, and along with club members Holly Norton Fischer and Molly
Bishop, took over and transformed the club’s training classes. “There weren’t too
many training books back then, so we all learned through trial and error, from
each other, and from our dogs. It was the 70’s and a very exciting time to be
active in the sport,” she said. “Many people shy away from joining a kennel club,
but it is still one of the best ways to collaborate and learn.”
Concurrently, Susan actively bred, showed and trained Shetland sheepdogs and
owned and operated a full service breeding/boarding/grooming/training kennel.
In addition, once a week Susan volunteered her grooming services to the local
S.P.C.A.
In 1978 Susan moved to Southern California and started training for and with Jan
Marlyn Reesman. Offering group and private lessons, their clients included many
entertainment personalities. “I got to handle a lot of dogs, and the more dogs you
train, the better trainer you become,” she said.
During this time Susan joined the Tri Valley Shetland Sheepdog Club and
continued to compete in breed and obedience competition.

In 1989 Susan moved to Vacaville and held obedience classes through the City of
Vacaville’s Community Services Department. “Knowledge and education are
paramount to dog owner responsibility, and I believe strongly that many dogs are
surrendered to shelters because of behavior problems,” she said.
Susan has almost 50 years of professional dog training and instructor experience.
An active member of Chief Solano Kennel Club since 2007, Susan is currently the
club’s Vice President. Susan and club President Ross Allen are the primary trainers
for the club and both are AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluators and Farm Dog
Judges.

Susan‘s experience with dogs is life long and she has rarely been without one. “They are my passion,” she said, “and I can’t imagine life without them.”

 

Susan’s training career started in 1975 with the purchase of her first purebred dog, a Shetland sheep dog named Calcurt Lucy. “Lucy was the daughter of the great Ch. Halstor’s Peter Pumpkin and she taught me more than I ever taught her,” she said. “Together we took our first steps toward competition.” Lucy earned her Companion Dog (CD) title at ten months of age (first two legs at 8 months) in three consecutive shows and continued to be Susan’s inspiration until her death in 1988. “I have owned and titled many dogs since and loved them all, but none can take the place of that little girl. She was my muse and was truly one in million.”

 

In 1975 Susan joined the Olean Kennel Club (OKC), an All-Breed Kennel Club in Olean New York, and along with club members Holly Norton Fischer and Molly Bishop, took over and transformed the club’s training classes. “There weren’t too many training books back then, so we all learned through trial and error, from each other, and from our dogs. It was the 70’s and a very exciting time to be active in the sport,” she said. “Many people shy away from joining a kennel club, but it is still one of the best ways to collaborate and learn.”

 

Concurrently, Susan actively bred, showed and trained Shetland sheepdogs and owned and operated a full service breeding/boarding/grooming/training kennel. In addition, once a week Susan volunteered her grooming services to the local S.P.C.A.

 

In 1978 Susan moved to Southern California and started training for and with Jan Marlyn Reesman. Offering group and private lessons, their clients included many entertainment personalities. “I got to handle a lot of dogs, and the more dogs you train, the better trainer you become,” she said.

 

During this time Susan joined the Tri Valley Shetland Sheepdog Club and continued to compete in breed and obedience competition.

In 1989 Susan moved to Vacaville and held obedience classes through the City of Vacaville’s Community Services Department. “Knowledge and education are paramount to dog owner responsibility, and I believe strongly that many dogs are surrendered to shelters because of behavior problems,” she said.

 

Susan has almost 50 years of professional dog training and instructor experience. An active member of Chief Solano Kennel Club since 2007, Susan is currently the club’s Vice President. Susan and club President Ross Allen are the primary trainers for the club and both are AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluators and Farm Dog Judges.


 

 CYNTHIA COOL

CONFORMATION TRAINING INSTRUCTOR

(Member Since 2012)


Cynthia bought her first pure breed Pug in 1990 and was smitten. She got her first show dog in 1995 and started taking handling classes privately and with the Chief Solano Kennel Club at that time. She subsequently joined the Northern California Pug Club and the Pug Dog Club of American to become more active in the breed.

Over the years she has shown many dogs to their AKC Championship, and Grand Championship. She has handled dogs for other people and mentored others in her breed new to exhibiting. During the years she also attended other handling classes taught by professional handlers in order to pick up ideas about how to handle her own dogs more efficiently and pass on those tips to her students.

Cynthia received her AKC Judging License for Pugs and Junior Showmanship in March 2013 in order to branch out into a different area of the dog show world. Teaching others what she has learned showing for over 20 years and giving them the benefit of a judge's perspective as well, is something she loves doing. Cynthia would like to invite anyone new to exhibiting or anyone with a new puppy to train for the show ring to come and join her Wednesday evenings.


 


 


Chief Solano Kennel Club Inc., (707) 469-3153  near Vacaville CA, near Fairfield Ca, near Dixon Ca