Manako Sugiyama – Director and Instructor –
- Full Member of Association of Pet Dog Trainers New Zealand
- Certified Trick Dog Instructor (Do More With Your Dog!)
- Certified Sport Dog Trainer (Foundation) (Fenzi Dog Sports Academy)
- Certified Instructor of Rally-FrEe (Rally Freestyle Elements)
- Registered Training Provider for Purina Pro Plan Canine Good Citizen Programme
- Fear Free Certified Professional
Manako took up clicker training and started doing heelwork to music with her second Beagle, Cinnamon, in 2009. In 2011 they became the national champion, gaining the highest score, at National Dog Obedience Assembly (NDOA), their second competition. In 2013 they became the champion again at NDOA.
In 2013 Manako and Cinnamon had an honourable opportunity to showcase Canine Freestyle on TV and reached the semi-finals in the third season of New Zealand’s Got Talent.
Manako has been instructing tricks/heelwork to music class at Manukau Dog Training Club since 2014. In 2015 she came across a trick dog titling program in the U.S. called “Do More With Your Dog!” (DMWYD) and brought her third Beagle, Mint, up to the champion. Shortly after that, she became New Zealand’s first Certified Trick Dog Instructor (CTDI) for DMWYD.
Manako is passionate about learning positive reinforcement based training techniques and has been attending numerous seminars and workshops as well as taking numerous online classes at Fenzi Dog Sports Academy to keep her skills and knowledge up to date. In 2019 she gained a Fenzi Sport Dog Trainer Certificate (Foundation) and also became a certified Rally-FrEe instructor. In 2020 she became a registered training provider for Canine Good Citizen programme and also a Fear Free Certified Professional.
Manako’s another focus is on behaviour modification, especially for so-called reactive dogs. Her first performance dog, Cinnamon, was not only reactive to other dogs but also a resource guarder. When she first started to address those behaviour issues, she didn’t know modern positive training methods yet. So, she tried to solve the issues using traditional training methods and tools, such as a choke chain and even an e-collar. However, such training was very unpleasant for both Manako and Cinnamon and causing a lot of stress in both of them. So, when she found more kind and effective methods, she didn’t hesitate to adopt them, and in fact she found them much more effective than traditional training using aversive tools.
Mint (Kenalis Candyman CGCB RA ADX JD R-FE/CH MF/N TDCH) – Demo Dog –
Mint is Manako’s third dog and third Beagle. Perhaps because he always accompanied Cinnamon to attended classes at Manukau Dog Training Club as a little puppy, he has always been good with other dogs as well as people. Because he was a very attentive puppy, Manako dreamed that one day she would reach top classes in Obedience, but that didn’t happen. At the age of two, he started having seizures and was diagnosed with epilepsy. On top of his Beagle nose, his medication to control his seizures enhanced his craving for food and hunger and made it difficult for him to stay focused in Obedience competitions.
In addition to Obedience he also competed in Agility, Rally Obedience, Canine Freestyle (dog dancing), and Rally Freestyle Elements. However, in late 2018 Manako retired him from all competitive dog sports in late 2018, because it became extremely hard to manage his epilepsy that he had had since the age of two while training for competitions.
Mint visits a local rest home as a therapy dog for Outreach Therapy Pets.
Mint has two Champion titles, Trick Dog Champion and Rally Freestyle Elements Champion.
Jasmine (Chelseacourt Matsurika TDCH) – Demo Dog –
Jasmine joined the family in December 2019. She earned her Trick Dog Champion title when she was six months old.