Posted Date: April 17, 2017
A profile of IFCS Team USA Member Melanie Rock and her dog Puma.
do you live?
I live in west Bloomfield Michigan. We have an acre in a
subdivision on a lake which is great for the dogs.
did you first get involved with agility?
Growing up I had two big Standard Poodles who I trained all
kinds of tricks and took to a few local fairs. We won the trick
competitions and made the paper in our town. I also was horse
crazy from very young age. I competed in eventing and dressage all my life. I had
my first pony Misty when I was eight-years-old. She also did tricks as well. But
when I wasn't at the barn I would make my dogs do horse stuff, jumping and
such. When I first saw dog agility in person I was so surprised and could
wait to give it a try.
made you decide to compete?
I have always been competitive. I love to show
off. I always felt when I was training it was so that I would do well in
competition so it seemed natural.
you participate in any other dog sports or training with your
Just agility but love to hike and swim with them. I take at least one
almost every where I go.
us more about the dog you will be competing with as an IFCS Team Member?
Puma is a Border Collie and my first Border Collie. I got
him in the hopes that he would be able to be a world class dog. He has made
training so much fun with all his enthusiasm in every thing he does. He
is very much a cuddler too and a big mush. He gives everything his
all and has taught me so much. He was not easy to show at first. It took
lots of hard work to come together but deep down his heart and mine were all in
your dog have any quirks or unique habits that you loved to share?
Of course he is a Border Collie, so lots of funny stuff. He is
crazy about the garage door opening and feels the need to try to herd everyone
in or out of it. He is possessed and loves water bottles. He
will look all over parks and fields in hopes to find one, then of course wants
to play fetch with it. I stopped throwing sticks for him. He
always has to be touching me like a crazy cuddler.
you have other dogs/pets aside from your IFCS dog? Tell us more about them:
I have five dogs right now, 10-year-old Shiloh my Doberman. She did so much in her life, won almost every national and invitational I took her
to and she is retired. I have two young Border Collies Guess (one-year-old) and Frye (five-months-old). Frye is also Puma's niece. I also have Coyote who is an
alternate on the team. She is a Pyrenean Shepherd. I have also had
two Min Pins, a Boxer and a Manchester Terrier who competed as well.
for us what you do in your "other' non-agility life, work life?
have an 11-year-old daughter and am married to a great guy who lets me do all
this craziness. I teach agility class for my job at the time. I mainly am also
into yoga, boating, art and having fun.
does it feel to be on the IFCS Team this year?
This is really my dream come true. When I got Puma as
a pup this is what I had always hoped would one day be in our future. However
for it all coming together is just the best feeling ever. I wake up
everyday and am so excited for what we are doing to prepare and train. To be
part of such a great team is amazing and to have the friendships and support
along the way is just incredible.
are you looking forward to the most at the World Agility Championship event in
Spain this April?
To be surrounded by such awesome teams and be able to be
apart of it. The adrenaline at the event is huge and to know that
everything you have worked so hard to be a part of is finally here.
you do anything special to prepare yourself for a big competition?
from good rest to mental and physical training to be in good shape to run.
Rest and condition the dogs properly.
who enjoy agility with their dogs are often intimidated by the idea of
competition - what advice would you give them to encourage them to take the
I like to look at competition as a test of my training. So it
is just that: Enter and see what you got. This should be fun and
at the same time you are still just running around in the dirt with your dog. It doesn't have to be perfect so don't worry. Everyone has to
start somewhere and then you have stuff to work on. Don't worry what
other people think - keep it personal.
you have a favorite dog from a book, movie, TV-show or video game?
Scooby-doo and Dobermans in movies are probably my favorite, but my mom always drew Snoopy on everything.