I have been training at Top Dog Obedience School with my English Springer Spaniel, Bailey since November 2003, starting out in the Attention and Handling Class. I had been training at other schools, but when I went to watch at obedience trials, I knew my training was missing something. Top Dog showed me that "something" was attention. Since then Bailey has gotten her CD and RN and my new puppy has started classes there as well. The training is happy and upbeat with close attention to the fine details that will help to create a great performance in the ring. Linda Brennan and Betsy Scapicchio are very upbeat and create a real team atmosphere and their students support each other at shows and matches. They also work with a variety of breeds of dogs and slant the training techniques to what will work with each individual. I have thoroughly enjoyed their Beginner (2004) and Advanced (2005 and 2006) Workshops and being able to immerse myself in top level obedience for several days. Even though I am a "Novice A" person, people comment on my good footwork and ask where I train. I am proud to tell them I train at Top Dog! -- Cathy Brooks and Northgate's Bailiwick, CD, RN, NA "Bailey" and All-Time's Kodak Moment "Eastman" from Warwick, NY (yes, I drive over an hour each way for class--twice a week)
I, for one have never taken Betsy and her expertise, her generosity, and her talent. for granted Without her, I would still be 'schlepping' along, getting titles, with no knowledge of what it takes to be a Top Dog!! Every moment we've spent together reminds me that I am so very lucky to have Betsy truly at my side, who has MADE me work my hardest, so that I and my dogs can have the experience of being good at what we do. I work harder, Flash works harder, and the team work we have I owe to Betsy. -- Margie and ALL my dogs who have been members of the TopDog club!
Before Betsy I got titles but never got a HIT or a HC or past a UD. Then I started training with Betsy. Now I have!! Lots!!! -- Vivian Bregman: Misty UD, Bda CD; Sassy CDX; Carla CDX; Sandy UD Can CD; Joker UD Can CDX; U-CDX Trek CDX; U-UD Cosmo UD Can. CD, AKC/UKC/ASCA OTCH Goniff UDX7 RA and AKC/UKC/ASCA OTCH MsSugah UDX4, OM3, RN, VER Sugah won the UKC invitational in both Open and Utility last year and Mazel --- just getting started.
All through these past eight years, Betsy has greeted us at every single lesson with the same amount of enthusiasm and passion for the sport of obedience as she did the first day we met her. This is what sustained me and gave me the drive to move forward with confidence and pride in showing Cal. Betsy was able to bring Cal and I to the highest level of attaining an OTCH!!! I didn't have a clue how to do that until we started training with her. I will be indebted to you forever, Betsy, for giving me that gift with my boy Cal !!! And it gets even better as Betsy has continued to make so much success happen with Guennie and Pronto!! Because of Betsy we don't just squeeze by with a title. We are able to attain many placements and lots of High in Trials. It is such a pleasure for me to be asked where I train when I am at a show. It is with pride that I say Betsy at Top Dog!!!! -- Dorita Slate, OTCH U-CDX Rushmore's Excaliber Can Do, UDX2, Can CD, JH, MX, MXJ, RE, WCX, OBHF U-CDX Whipaly's M'Lady Like Yours CDX, Can CD, JH, MX, MXJ, RAE, WCX and U-CDX Sunflower Ready to Rock, CDX, Can CD, RAE
My relationship with Betsy goes back to before the Top Dog Building. We were upstairs in a hall and had our videos reviewed by her. I don’t know how she kept a straight face while critiquing us. Without her help I wouldn’t have 5 UDs and an OtCh pointed UDX and hopefully another UDX in the works. I had as many laughs as I had tense moments in the ring. I will never forget Betsy telling me to move out when the judge says fast. I fell flat on my face and Abbie went on a down with me. I have it on video and all you can hear is the laughter. Thanks for the great memories and patience with someone long in the tooth. -- Kathy O’Connor
Many years ago I had given up on obedience because my yellow lab, Duncan did not enjoy it. Someone suggested I try Top Dog and I’ve never looked back! Betsy and Linda have trained Duncan, Tyler and especially ME for many years now and I have enjoyed every minute – most importantly, so have my dogs! Without Betsy and Linda, Tyler and I would NEVER, EVER have come this far!! Thanks to them Duncan (my Novice A dog) earned his UD. Tyler won the Novice division at All Star in 2006. He went from CD to OTCH in one year and earned his OTCH in 7 straight shows. Tyler has 4 perfect 200’s. He is the 2008 and 2009 National Obedience Champion – each and every one of these accomplishments were the result of incredible teaching skills, as well as never ending support and encouragement from Betsy and Linda. They provided more than just lessons on how to train my dog to do the exercises – but how to match correctly, how to handle yourself in the ring, mental preparation, etc. They were and are inspirational and motivational. Not only are they great trainers, they are exemplary role models. They always exhibit good sportsmanship, support their students at matches, shows, training sessions, etc. – their “work” never ends when the classes/lessons end. Betsy and Linda really and truly care about each and every student at Top Dog. Because of their example, Top Dog students are like a family – always supporting one another and helping each other when training, matching and trialing- sharing the joy of each accomplishment and providing support when things don’t go as well as planned. What a fantastic environment! This past year I have prepared for Crufts – and Betsy and Linda have been at my side every step of the way – including fund raising, training, matching, encouraging me and keeping me motivated. As always, going above and beyond!! Thanks Betsy and Linda!! -- Petra Ford
I first came to Top Dog in 1994 with a totally out of control black Labrador that I was fostering. When it became clear that this dog was too much to handle in a pet home & more dog than I was used to having, I knew that I would need help to get her under control. With Betsy's encouragement & guidance, I not only was able to get that dog under control but she went on to earn her UDX! Classes at Top Dog were so much fun that I couldn't stop with just one dog & so I continued with each dog there after. After 16 yrs. training at Top Dog I'm still learning exciting & fun ways to train a dog. Betsy & Linda constantly encourage & inspire each & every one of their students to try a little harder & be a little better than you think you can be. They have helped me to earn 2 UDXs, 3UDs & 4 CDX's on my dogs. The number of titles earned by Top Dog students is just incredible. It's not called Top Dog without good reason. --Jody Hedderick
Betsy and Linda’s Beginner Competition Workshop was a great experience for our whole “family” (including two adults, 4 canine kids). We learned a lot about the basic obedience commands, and taught the correct techniques to obtain a high success rate. Betsy and Linda are extremely knowledgeable in their field. Both their patience and their personal attention given to each student were exceptional. As participants we also had many laughs, and were quite entertained by these two wonderful instructors and their competition canines. The evening socials were very enjoyable, and relaxing. This workshop was an awesome experience, and we are so glad that we were able to be part of it!. -- Georgette & Gene Edkins
Thank you so much for your workshop on March 30th. I was hesitant to take a beginner workshop as my dog already has her CDX. I can’t believe how much I learned each day and how much better both of my dogs are working already. Your motivational methods are beneficial to dogs of any level and I wish I knew all of the attention games earlier on in my dogs training. I feel that I got a lot of personal attention with my dog’s specific issues even though you had so many dog and handler teams present. I look forward to working with you both more in the future. -- Deb D’Elia, Halley and Triton
I have been training with Betsy over five years now. I first met Betsy and Linda when they came to our area in October 2004 to do a two-day seminar on “Fun with Fundamentals”. That seminar was so good I traveled to Top Dog the following spring for the 2005 Beginner Competitive Workshop. When they call those workshops “intensive”, they are not exaggerating. My head was swimming from all the information by the end of the 4th day!! I came away with lots to work on and to help me move forward toward my goal of getting into the obedience ring. Later that year I began taking monthly privates from Betsy, and when time and weather permitted, have taken classes from Linda or Betsy. In 2006 I attended the Advanced Competitive Workshop, and I have not missed one since then. I continued to take monthly privates from Betsy, and occasional classes from Linda or Betsy, and attended every other seminar they offered that I could get to or was level-appropriate for me. Of the four Advanced Workshops I have attended, none have been exactly the same. I learn so much at every one. Betsy and Linda are always continuing to learn themselves and develop new and better ways of doing things. Working participants get lots of floor/work time. Even my puppy or young, pre-novice dog has been able to get on the floor and work! Betsy and Linda try to customize the workshops to the needs of the attendees, and as co-instructors, they compliment each other perfectly. As a regular private student, and “part-time” class student, it is so good to have those 4 days with Betsy and Linda, where you can get a detailed overview of their entire “system”. Hearing their explanations/answers, watching them demonstrate, and having them help me for four days . . . for the money it is VERY cost effective. I highly recommend the workshops, even for those who attend Top Dog regularly! And for me, it is the highlight of my “dog year” . . . my own vacation, away with my dogs, training for four days! -- Lana Kline
I love the workshops at Top Dog, they are three or four days(depending on the workshop) of intense work, with lots of fun and camaraderie thrown in. And my dogs have a great time. Every time I go I learn lots of new stuff, even tho I have trained with Betsy for years. I always leave tired, but totally motivated and excited to continue to work on what we have learned. -- Mary Ellen Culbertson