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THE AGILITY VOICE | JULY 2012
Getting to Know...
WAO Medalist Nicola Giraudi
of Italy
By Brenna Fender, photo by Ian Watts Photography
Nicola Giraudi has had great success in international
agility over the last year. Giraudi, who is from Italy,
and his Parson Russell Terrier, Twister, won medals in
both the 2011 FCI Agility World Championship (Gold
in Small Dog Individual) held in Lievin, France on
October 7-9, 2011, and at the 2012 World Agility
Open, held in Belgium on May 18-20 (Gold in the
Individual Agility Pentathlon, Gold in Agility Games,
Gold in the Team Agility Pentathlon, Silver in the
Agility Biathlon). How do they do it? Recently I
talked to him to find out!
Brenna Fender (BF): Tell me a little bit about Twister?
Nicola Giraudi (NG): Twister is now eight years old. I
have had her since she was 50 days old; she comes from
a small breeder in Italy. She unfortunately had to
undergo surgery on both knees for patella luxation, but
as you can imagine she recovered perfectly and never
limped a single day after!
BF: How long have you been doing agility?
NG: I
ve been doing agility since 1992 and competing
since 1993. My first dog was a German Shepherd,
followed by Border Collies, and I also have a Sheltie
now.
BF: What do you do for a living?
NG: I am a professional dog trainer. I teach agility and
obedience and run the dog school Oh My Dog!!!
together with my partner, Francesca. We also breed
Border Collies and Shetland Sheepdogs.
BF: Tell me about some of your accomplishments. Are
there ones you are particularly proud of?
NG: My first Border Collie represented Italy at the FCI
Agility World Championships for four years, and the
Obedience Worlds for seven years; she is the only dog
in Italy to be both an Obedience and Agility Champion.
She also was Flyball European Vice-Champ. With
Twister I
ve been a two times Swiss Champion and once
[I was] third (when living in Switzerland), she is an
Italian Champion, we twice won the European Open,
and we are actually World Champions, plus winning
other major competitions like the Frontline Combo
Trophy and the Austrian Winter Cup.
BF: Very impressive! In general, how often do you and
Twister train and for how long? What do you focus on?
NG: Well that is a common question with a very
uncommon answer: we never train more than once a
week and when the weather is very hot maybe once
every two weeks. Twister knows her job very well and
has a cool mind; she doesn
t need to be trained, it
s
more for me! We keep our contacts consistent and focus
on details and handling solutions/variations to get the
best running times. But I don
t think we ever train more
than 10 minutes.
BF: Wow! Have you had any particular challenges with
Twister in training and trailing?
NG: Well, Twister was quite hard to keep motivated and
the biggest challenge was to channel her energy in the
direction I wanted it to be. It took 4 1/2 years until she
was like she is now, but it has paid off!
BF: Do you use a specific handling system?
NG: Yes, my handling system is very similar to the
Finnish one, with some differences. I think it
s very good
for the dog to have a handling system as he gets
information he can understand, therefore being happier,
faster, and more consistent.
BF: Would you tell me more about the Finnish handling
system? In the US we are pretty much divided between
Linda Mecklenburg
s Awesome Paws system and Greg
Derrett
s system.
NG: This handling system has been started by Janita