THE TEAM THAT MADE US THE BEST IN MCHENRY COUNTY

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Nikki

Office MAnager

I have been with Happy Tails since 2014. I am the office manger at HTR. I used to be a vet tech and love working with animals. I am a mom of 3 human kids and 3 furry kids and they are all my life. 

At Happy Tails I help the team ensure that your dogs are safe and comfortable while they are here with us. 

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KRISTINA

Obedience, Rally, Nosework, Head Trainer

 I have been training dogs since 2014 and competing since 2016. I specialize in competition obedience, rally, reactivity, resource guarding, clicker training, shaping and amongst many other techniques that I have gathered from my many mentors. I continuously learn new techniques to help whatever team that is in front of me. I love training and inspiring others to work towards their dreams and encourage people to want to show what their dog can do in any sport.


I currently have a German shepherd named Bane. Bane earned he’s CD Companion dog title under 2 years with scores 190+, all first places and he made it to the top 10 of German shepherds in the USA for AKC novice dog titles for high scores. Bane and I obtained CDX companion dog of excellent with all placements and being recognized as the #1 Open A GSD in the US in AKC for 2018. Bane was invited to the National Obedience Championship 2x for Novice and Open. Bane and I went onto the Rally ring Earning RACH, RM2, RAE2 with over 30 High combines and High Triple Q’s multiple placements and awards.

Bane and I have been invited every year since the rally novice title to the Rally National Championship. Bane was recognized as number 7 in GSDs by Front & Finish for the American Kennel Club Rally Master class earning 77 points on our Rally Master title and RACH title journey! Bane was recognized as 2nd GSD out of all, 7th in all herding breeds out of all in AKC Rally presented by Front & Finish! Bane and I are currently working towards the UD utility dog title and will see where the world takes us! Bane also competed in nosework achieving multiple 1st places and high in trials/class! 


Bane: RACH Shewana’s Handsome King CGCA, CGCU, TKI, CDX, RM2. RAE2, TDI, RATN, TDI, SNC, SNB, SNE, 


Tessa, a conformation Boxer, is the newest member of our pack. Tessa has been a great addition with different challenges. Tessa who was born in August 2017. Tessa earned her CD with all HIT (High in Trial) 1st place finishes with one score of 197.5/200. Tessa was recognized as 3rd top boxer

Tessa: Cloud N Wilk’s Audacious Darling TDI, CGCA, CGCU, CD, RE, TKN

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jaci

obedience, nosework, Website Manager

My name is Jaci and I am a special education teacher by day and dog trainer by night! I have been training since 2016. At home I have a German Shepard named Vera, and a Husky mix named Kain. I also regularly foster dogs for a local German Shepherd rescue. I became interested in training when I discovered the behavior theory behind training dogs is the same behavior theory you study to teach children and they both have been an integral part of my life since! I began looking into becoming a trainer formally when working with my Husky to get him through his many behavior issues. 

 

Vera is a certified therapy dog and has been my partnerin crime since I brought her home in 2015. Vera loves to visit my students at school with me and is a great ambassador for German Shepherds and therapy Animals. Vera and I are working towards our rally titles and currently have our RN and RI with goals to achieve our RAE and RACH before the end of 2021! Vera is a new convert to the sport of Nosework and has discovered that she can put her sniffer to good use to earn cookies. Vera and I are working toward her ORT for NACSW and training more intently for future Nosework goals. 

Kain joined my family in 2016 from a hoarding situation in rescue. Kain is affectionately known as my Oklahoma mutt because he is a transplant from Oklahoma. Kain was from a hoarding situation and came to me with a plethora of behavior issues including separation anxiety, dog reactivity and people selectivity. Since working with Kain he has become a functioning member of my family and his separation anxiety is a thing of the past! Kain is an excellent sniffer and enjoys Nosework and competing with his sister. In August 2020 Kain earned his ORT for NACSW and we have hopes to earn a NW3 if we can ever get into a trial! 

I am a firm believer that all dogs are capable of learning and training is an integral part of making any dog find their place within the workings and routines of your family.

Rescued Royalty Queen Vera BN RE CGCA CGCU TKA ACT1 ACT2

No Kain, No Gain RI CGCA CGCU TKI NC ORT

GSR's Perfect Timing CGC

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TIFFANY

obedience, conformation

My name is Tiffany Grap, and I am one of the trainers at Happy Tails Ranch.  I have worked here for almost 5 years and I absolutely love working with the dogs!!!  I also got my first Boxer from owner, Amy.  Jewel is a conformation show dog and a breed champion. I decided to start showing her in obedience and rally as well because I love working with dogs. Jewel has earned her CGC title, beginner novice obedience title, rally novice title, and she has two of three legs towards her rally intermediate title.

I love teaching and training obedience because it builds such a wonderful bond between you and your dog!! I love working at Happy Tails and working with all different dogs.

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KarIn

Barn Hunt

My name is Karin Magnuson and I am thrilled to be joining the Happy Tail Ranch Family.  I trained my first dog when I was 16 years old. He was a shep / St Bernard mix my brothers and I found in the woods. As a teenager I spent the summer on my Uncle’s Horse farm, he raised Standardbreds for Harness racing trotters and pacers.  My job was to work the foals and years to halter leads and ground reining. I joined the Air Force after high school and spent a year at Lackland Air force base. In boot camp and tech school I volunteered to help with the military working dogs. I served 8 years between active duty and reserve time. 

Upon returning home, I started working with the local animal shelter, as an adoption consultant/ admin. I did this for almost 3 years.  I left the shelter to become an Animal Control Officer and a Humane Investigator, which I did for 23 years. At the same time, I was working with a local trainer Marge Gibbs at collar and Leash.  Marge referred me to a local park district to teach classes there. I am still teaching classes today for over 25 year. My classes are Puppy, Basic and Advanced Obedience class, Beginner Agility, Intro to Nose work, Rally Classes, triball, Therapy dog, Trick dog, and a new class we call ruff and rally.

I currently train my 3 Dobermans in conformation, obedience, rally, barn hunt, nosework, and have just started dock diving, and tracking with them.  My dogs have many titles and we enjoy going to trials most weekends.

I am also a Judge and evaluator, for the Following, S.T.A.R Puppy, CGC, CGCA, CGCU, TRICK DOG, FARM DOG, AKC ATT TEST, and LURE COURSING ABILITY TEST (CAT). I am currently waiting for approval for TDI to be able to certify therapy dogs. 

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Gena

Agility, Conformation, Obedience

I've been training and competing dogs in obedience for over 30 years. I've worked in shelters, dog kennels, animal hospitals and am a registered nurse.

I started training and competing in AKC agility 13 years ago, titling 5 boxers to excellent and masters levels. It's a sport that I find passionate, rewarding and fun to share with your dog.

I bred 4 boxer litters and show in conformation. I've taken many group wins as an Owner Handler. I also assist Professional Handler, Amy Bieri in the ring as well as ringside.

Ch Happy Tail's Moment Of Trust CD BN RN OA OAJ NF ACT1

 

GCH JoKar's N Happy Tail's Blonde Moments DOM CD RE MX MXJ

 

Happy Tail's Blonde Ambition CD AX AXJ

 

Happy Tail's Bold Contender CD (2 CDX legs)

 

AX AXJ Bruin's Blizzard CDX (2 UD legs)

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brandy

obedience

My name is Brandy and I am a registered nurse by day with a passion for dogs. My husband and I share our home with two white Akitas Addie and Shiro. Shiro, a rescue Akita who is 9-10 years old is the first dog I have seriously focused on training with a goal to compete in dog performance sports and he has continued to train and achieve goals despite his history, age, and breed. Addie is still a puppy and we are currently learning the ins and outs of the conformation world with the goal to also compete in performance once she is ready. I have been owned by a total of 5 different Akitas over the last 20 years and understand how each dogs personality impacts the training plan! I'm thrilled to be a part of the HTR team!

Georgia's Rockstar in White BN RI FCAT CGCA CGCU TKI ATT

Quantum's Smooth Criminal CGC BCAT

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allison

obedience, conformation

My name is Alison and I work as a registered nurse. I have always had a strong passion for animals, especially dogs. I started training my own dogs in 2015 when I got my first conformation and sport Leonberger, Grizz. Since then, I am constantly learning and growing my skills and techniques to become a better trainer as well as to build a stronger bond than the day before. I currently own a 6-year-old Great Pyrenees, who I have learned a tremendous amount from in regards to his reactivity. My 5-year-old conformation Leonberger, who was in the top 20 for Leonberger's in 2018, has been owner-handled every step of our journey. Finally, there is my 3-year-old Leonberger Taaliyah who has opened up so many doors to compete and learn in many different disciplines. I love teaching and can’t wait to help you learn and grow with your dog! 

 

GCH CH Ex Animos Dance Me to the End of Love RN BCAT CGCA CGCU TKN  

 

Ex Animos Gluecksprizessin Azzura BN BCAT DN CGCA CGCU TKA

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Taylor

obedience

Hi I’m Taylor and I am one of the trainers here at Happy Tails Ranch. I have come from a long background of working with animals. I’m a mentor at my barn for the younger kids and I help educate them about working with horses I have also been a Surgical Assistant at a small vet clinic and a Veterinary Assistant/Customer Service Representative for a 24/7 Emergency hospital for small animals.My passion for working with animals has always been a big part of my life. I currently am a World Qualifying barrel racer and have been working with horses for 15 years. I have learned from the years of working with animals that there isn’t a huge difference in how a horse and a dog may react when in a scary or difficult situation. I owned a reactive great Pyrenees and also a dog aggressive English bulldog. It’s always been important to me to figure out why animals react the way they do in certain situations and to also give them the most fulfilling life they could have. I am excited for this opportunity to not only teach others about there dogs but also the ability to learn from others experiences with their pets as well.

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Karina

obedience

My name is Karina and I am one of the trainers and kennel technicians at Happy Tails Ranch! I have been training dogs since 2018 and love every dog that I meet. I have been an animal person my whole life and fell in love with helping people find the perfect training technique to train their furry friend. I have helped train a variety of dogs from blind, to deaf, to service dogs, and reactive dogs. I love learning new training techniques to further expand my knowledge here at HTR! I have my own Australian Shepherd, Dakota who has been with me since she was 8 weeks old. We are active in Agility and Dock Diving and are always learning something new! I also have a horse named Lola in which we compete in the NIHJA circuit! 


Dakota’s Been There Done That           CGCA CGCU TKP ACT 1&2

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Callie

obedience, Service Dog Training

I’m a Certified Therapeutic Recreational Specialist but my passion for training dogs was rooted in me since childhood.


At first it was pure motivation to not be dragged down the street by my childhood hound mix “Sam” who nearly doubled my size - returning with scrapped knees every time—I didn’t care, because I was “successfully walking my dog”.
I quickly grew to love everything about dogs and the psychology behind training them. As a a CTRS, the avenue that always sparked my interest was how animals could be incorporated to better the lives of people who were ill, sick or injured, so I told myself my goal will always be to work with animals & people to improve lives.

I truly believe that if you want a better dog, you need to be a better person- education is power when it comes to dog training! Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong.

I currently have a 4 year old American Great Dane named “Knox” who has taught me more (than any person) about how to train the dog in front of you-not the dog you’re seeking, a skill I will never take for granted.

I also have a 3.5 year old German Shepherd who is my Service Dog.

I have been training service dogs for over seven years and it is truly my heart’s passion. I have spoken at local, state and national levels on the education and training of Service, Therapy, Working Dogs. I feel there is no greater purpose than to help someone achieve independence and accessible life through the assistance of a service dog. I can’t wait to help you & your dog live a life of independence!

Tritan’s Legacy Knox of North CGC, CGCA, CGCU, TKN, VHM

Legends of The Dark North Sergeant CGC, CGCA, CGCU, TKN, VHM, SD