TOP DOG INSTRUCTORS

Shelby Richardson

Shelby has been involved in dog agility for over 20 years and began competing at age 5. She spent most of her childhood observing/learning dog training and behavior from many different professionals at agility trials across the state of Texas and country. Through these experiences, she gained the skills and knowledge necessary to become the trainer, handler and instructor she is today. In her competitive years, Shelby achieved many different titles with her dogs, including 10 AKC MACHs. She attended the AKC National Agility Championship 6 times, making the finals with her 16” border collie, Swift, in 2011. She attended the AKC World Team Tryouts with Swift two times and aspires to be a team member. Shelby has been teaching group classes for 10 years and is a certified AKC CGC Evaluator.

Shelby took a break from competition after high school and lived in Colorado where she learned even more about teaching, behavior and managing a dog business.

She took over management of Holidawg Pet Resort (also owned by Rene & Jerald) in 2016 and began transitioning her time over to Top Dog in 2021.

Shelby currently owns 3 dogs who are in training with goals to compete again in 2021. Shelby is Top Dog's Training Director, overseeing all of our classes and teaching agility classes. 

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Diane Swanson

Diane has trained agility dogs for 16 years. Her first competition dog, Piper, a death-row shelter dog, began competing in AKC agility trials in 2018. Piper earned her MACH 2 title, and is 73% of the way toward her Agility Grand Champion title, in only 4 years. Piper’s Pack took 2nd place in the 2019 UKI Texas Cup. For11 years, Diane worked for federal gov. canine programs, including the DOD Military Working Dog squadron, the DHS and TSA, and the Canine Training Center, developing handler and canine training curriculum. Having earned her B.S. in Occupational Education / Corporate Training, and with over 20 years of experience in Training & Development, Diane is a gifted trainer who is able to teach to a diverse audience, including children. As a 20yr certified fitness professional, Diane applies her expertise in maintaining her dog’s peak performance. All of Diane’s pets are rescues. Her first dog, Shelby, was a registered therapy dog from 1996 - 2006, and was the neutral dog for testing aspiring therapy dogs in the Delta Society Pet Partners program. Her second dog, Callie, taught Diane more than she ever wanted to know about problem dogs, but learned obedience and found success through agility. Additionally, Diane is a dynamic motivational speaker, mentor, facilitator, agility cat trainer (yes, cat!), animal welfare advocate, and U.S. Navy veteran.

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Connie Hinton

Connie began her adventures with dogs in 1979 with her first dog, an Irish Setter who obtained her C.D.X. In 1980, she fell in love with English Cocker Spaniels. In the following decades, Connie discovered more dog sports and achieved titles with her English Cockers in Obedience, Conformation, Agility, Dock Diving, Trick Dog, Canine Good Citizen and FAST CAT. Some highlights of Connie and her dog’s achievements include 15 Master Agility Championships, 5 Conformation Breed Championships and attending the AKC National, Invitational and Westminster events multiple times.  She currently owns three English Cockers. MACH Belstar's Showgirl MXB MJS OF, "Lola" is retired and spends her time snuggling with her dad. Carefree Grand Undertaking NA OAJ OF BCAT TKN, "Eric" keeps all in the household on their toes. CH MACH7 Carefree Twist of Fate MXC2 MJS3 MFB TQX T2B5 DJ CGC, "Chance" is also a certified reading therapy dog and prior to Covid had a day job where he would go to an elementary school where students would read to him. In addition, Chance is a two time Westminster Agility Championship finalist and a finalist at the AKC Invitational.

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Ashlee Claggett

Ashlee Claggett is a third generation dog person. Her family has been breeding Doberman Pinschers under the, “Van Orman” kennel name for over 35 years, and is focused on the preservation and promotion of this wonderful breed. She is a graduate of Texas State University with Bachelor’s Degrees in both Animal Science and Agricultural Business Management— she completed both of her degrees while handling four different Dobermans to consecutive Top Twenty Conformation finishes every year she was in college. In addition to handling multiple dogs to successful conformation campaigns, she has managed her own all breed handling business where she has finished dozens of champions and grand champions of all different breeds— she has also handled dogs to Best in Show, Best in Specialty Show, and multiple group wins. Ashlee looks forward to the many opportunities for education that Top Dog Training Center will bring to the San Antonio area.

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Taylor McCoy

Taylor McCoy has been competing with animals since the age of nine, where she began by showing American Saddlebred horses. Taylor continued working and competing with horses in many diciplines until college, where she pursued and completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Animal Science from the University of Minnesota. She further nurtured her interest in  animals throughout college by completing multiple relevant and competitive internships— working at Hilltop Farm, Inc., a general practice veterinary clinic, the UMN Virology laboratory, as well as the UMN Food Sciences laboratory. Taylor has continued her study of performance animals with her Doberman Pinschers, earning titles in obedience, rally, dock diving, agility, and conformation. Taylor has a deep appreciation for the working animal, and believes that many principles that the professionals use to train and condition their animals can be utilized in all levels of animal ownership and care.

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