Panel Discussion – All About Proofing & Adding Complexity

Saturday Oct 5

1:40 PM

Experience Level: Lecture Only

You’ve got the basic skills but then comes the big question of how do you get those skills ready for competition and real-life distractions? Join Crystal Wing, Denise Fenzi, and Nancy Little as they discuss this topic!

Presenter Bio

Denise Fenzi

Denise Fenzi (she/her) has titled dogs in obedience (AKC and UKC), tracking (AKC and schutzhund), schutzhund (USA), herding (AKC), conformation (AKC), and agility (AKC). She has two AKC obedience champions, perfect scores in both schutzhund and Mondio ringsport obedience, and is well known for her flashy and precise obedience work.

While a successful competitor, Denise’s real passion lies in training dogs and solving the problems that her own dogs and her students’ dogs present. She is a recognized expert in developing drive, motivation, and focus in competition dogs, and is known internationally as an engaging speaker and an expert in no-force training for sport dogs. She has consistently demonstrated the ability to train and compete with dogs using motivational methods in sports where compulsion is the norm.

In addition to training and speaking, Denise is a prolific writer. You can find her at where she maintains an active blog on all things related to dog training. She is also an active writer on facebook; follow her there to learn more about her range of interests in addition to dog training. Denise and Deb Jones have recently finished a four book series, “Dog Sports Skills,” which has received widespread acclaim in the dog sports community. In addition, she has written additional books on her own, including “Train the Dog in Front of You,” “Beyond the Back Yard; Train Your Dog to Listen Anytime, Anywhere!” and, for the younger audience, “Blogger Dog, Brito!” Several of these books have won Maxwell awards for Best Training and Behavior Book from the Dog Writers of America.

Denise thoughtfully and persistently works to break down the barriers that prevent people from obtaining a truly interactive and mutually enjoyable sport relationship with their dogs. Fenzi Academy is the culmination of her efforts as a forward step in providing progressive information to any trainer who wishes to learn.

Pronouns: Denise goes by she/her.

Nancy Gagliardi Little

Nancy (she/her) has been training dogs since the early 1980s when she put an Obedience Trial Championship (OTCH) on her first competition/Novice A dog, a Labrador Retriever. Since then, she has achieved many advanced obedience accomplishments, including 4 AKC OTCH titles (one CKC OTCH), 6 UD titles, 3 UDX titles, a 2009 AKC National Obedience Invitational invite, and multiple placements in National obedience tournaments.

In agility. Nancy’s dogs have had numerous advanced agility accomplishments including multiple MACHs (AKC), PACHs (AKC), ADCHs (USDAA), MADs(USDAA), qualifying and competing in multiple Cynosport events, 11 AKC National Agility Competitions with 5 different dogs – including many individual top 10 placements and Finals appearances.

In herding, Nancy has 3 Herding Championships on her dogs as well as 2 HXBs (advanced B course sheep) titles, 2 HXBd (advanced B course ducks) titles, 3 HXAs (advanced A course sheep) titles and 3 HXAd (advanced A course ducks) titles.

Nancy is a retired obedience judge, having judged all obedience classes from 1986-2008. She enjoyed judging around the country and was privileged to judge 3 National obedience tournaments in Florida, Kentucky, and North Carolina. She retired from judging to spend more time training and competing with her own dogs in the sports of obedience, herding, and agility.

Crystal Wing

With a passion for building strong bonds between dogs and their humans, Crystal Wing (BA, MAE) focuses on reinforcement experiences and reflective practices to build confident, happy teams. Crystal’s 21+ years as a teacher and coach translate seamlessly to dog training, fostering positive relationships and effective communication for both trainers and their canine partners. She believes that imagination is one of our most important training tools.

For the past 16 years, she has been dedicated to training dogs in various disciplines. She excels in protection sports, holding certifications as a GSDCA trial helper and Mondioring training decoy. Her competition experience includes titling multiple dogs in IGP and dock diving, as well as some mondioring, PSA, agility, weight pull, and rally. Crystal also earned a national certification for her Human Remains Detection K9 Rad-ish, through the American Rescue Dog Association.

Crystal is currently the Training Director for Evolution Working Dog Club in St. Louis, MO, and co-hosts the K9 Detection Collaborative podcast. She brings creativity and her expertise gained from instructing at K9Sensus Foundation and guest instructing at FDSA to create a fun and engaging learning environment for dog trainers and competitors.