Rachel Downs was introduced to the world of dog sports early in life. Raised by a family heavily involved in conformation, obedience, and agility, Rachel began competing as a young child. By her teenage years she was teaching dog training with her local training club. While conformation and obedience were her introductions to the training world, agility soon became Rachel’s grand passion.

As a young adult, Rachel trained dogs semi-professionally for both sport and to address behavioral issues. It was during this time that she started to seek out and study the science of positive reinforcement based training, motivated by her studies in college. In 2010 she obtained a Bachelors of Science in Psychology, having focused heavily on the study of behavior modification and learning theory. Over the next decade, Rachel was married, moved with her military husband across the country and back again, and had two children. Throughout, she continued to train and compete in agility, as well as instruct.

In 2015, while living in San Diego, California Rachel started her own agility training school, Strategic Dog Sports. At the completion of her husband's military career in 2016, Rachel moved back to Texas and took a full time job at What A Great Dog in Richardson, Tx. to teach agility professionally. Her love for science and her consideration for the feelings of the dogs she works with has continued to motivate Rachel to seek out new and progressive training methods to apply to her agility training. It is this zeal for learning that Rachel attributes to her success with a wide variety of breeds she has personally trained, including Beagles, Belgian Sheepdogs, Catahoula Leopard Dogs, Labrador Retrievers, Border Collies, and Belgian Malinios, as well as her ability to help students  and their dogs with issues from behavioral to elite performance.

Along with numerous Championships in multiple agility organizations and countless podiums and wins at Regional Championships events, Rachel's major accomplishments include:

*2014 Steeplechase National Champion with Vixen
*2014 Grand Prix National Champion with Vixen
*2016 Silver Medalist Grand Prix National Finals with Vixen
*2018 UKI South Central Cup Overall Winner with Vixen
*2018 UKI South Central Cup Overall Winner with Glory
*2018 US Open Bronze Medal National Finals with Glory
*2018 US Open Silver Medal National Finals with Vixen
*2019 Performance Speed Jumping National Champion with Vixen
*2019 Steeplechase National Champion with Glory
*2019 Performance Biathalon National Champion with Vixen
*2019 Biathalon National Champion with Glory
*2020 IFCS World Team Member with Glory

Seminar topics! 

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Private Lessons with Rachel

3:00 - 6:30 pm

Friday, April 16th, 2021

$50 per half hour 

$100 per hour

Do you have something specific you want to work on with Rachel? Take a private lesson with her to troubleshoot the skills you want to work on! For more problem solving skills (such as stopped contacts, start line stays, disengagement, etc.) please consider booking a full hour.

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Masters/International Agility Drills

FULL - email for waitlist

9:00 am - 12:30 pm

Saturday, April 17th, 2021

$145 per team ($10 discount for current KK9 students)

This half day seminar is for teams who are training or competing at the masters level of agility.  Dogs should have basic jump skills.  Jumps, tunnels and weaves will be used for this seminar. Teams will focus on perfecting common skills seen in masters level of agility!


Novice Handling Skills

**1/6 spots left

2 - 5 pm

April 17th, 2021

$145 per team ($10 discount for current KK9 Students)

Rachel will help teams that are fairly new to the sport of agility! Teams will work on obstacle commitment, timely handling and short sequences seen in novice courses! Using just jumps and tunnels, dogs will be able to practice necessary skills needed for agility.

Do it when I cue it: Stimulus Control for Agility dogs

9:00 am - 4:00 pm (with an hour lunch break)

**working spots full - email for wait list

**audit spots full - email for wait list

Sunday, April 18th, 2021

$190 per team ($15 discount for current KK9 students)

$110 for audit spots (bring your dog and practice during the lunch break!)

Do It When I Cue It: Stimulus Control for Agility Dogs is a day-long workshop that teaches handlers and dogs how to obtain stimulus control on their reinforcements, and how this control will apply to the rest of their agility behaviors. Do It When I Cue It will discuss the difference between Stimulus Control and Impulse Control, how to obtain stimulus control through positive reinforcement rather than negative punishment, the mechanics of using different reinforcements, clean training, how to apply stimulus control to our trained behaviors, how to maintain control in the ring, and so much more!