Posted Date: October 5, 2017
A profile of Cynosport 2017 Judge David Bozak.
Where do you live?
My wife Esther and I live in Oswego, NY, about 35 miles north of Syracuse and right on the shore of Lake Ontario.
How did you get involved in agility and how long have you been involved?
We adopted a pup born in our local shelter who turned out to be a smooth coated Border Collie. She was quickly bored with companion-level obedience - sit, down, stay -- boring! We were introduced to Dee Bramble at Over Rover Agility in Cato, NY. Jemma was thrilled with being able to use her mind, and we've been involved in agility ever since - 19 years, seven dogs and counting.
What types of dogs do you have?
We currently have four dogs, all rescues. Two are Border Collies - Chad, closing in on 14 years, and Ryder who is seven-years-old. Both are retired from agility, Ryder due to injury. We also have two miniature American Eskimo dogs. Pearl, soon to turn 12, is retired from agility but is still Esther's "go to" dog for classes and seminars. Scruggs, just turning seven, is working his way into Masters, with a SQ and two Steeplechase wins under his belt.
What do you do in your "other" life?
I am a tenured member of the faculty at the State University of New York at Oswego, holding a joint appointment in both computer science and psychology. After 14 years as the Associate Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, I returned to the teaching ranks a few years ago, teaching courses in statistics, psycholinguistics, and beginning in the spring, a course on canine cognition and behavior.
How long have you been a judge?
I became a USDAA judge in 2003 moving up to the Masters level in 2005. I am also a Certified Measuring Judge.
What do you enjoy most about being a judge?
While all the traveling is sometimes too exciting, I enjoy seeing the way agility is played around the US and in other countries. Meeting so many wonderful people and stinkin' cute dogs is well worth the travel stresses. Watching handlers tackle the courses I put up helps me in future course design. As much as it is a rush to handle a dog smoothly and quickly through a course, it is every bit as much a rush for me to see a team blitz a course!
What events will you be judging at Cynosports?
I haven't learned which classes I'll be judging.
How do you approach designing courses for Cynosports?
I don't think that designing courses for Cynosports is much different than for a local trial. Our first agility dog, Jemma, was born in our local animal shelter. As a result she craved novelty over everything else, and her favorite courses were those with unexpected challenges. Those are my favorite courses as well, so I try to create flowing courses with a surprise here and there that keeps the dog (and handler) on their toes.
Do you have any tips or advice for Cynosports competitors, especially ones competing at the event for the first time?
Relax, have fun, and stay connected with your canine partner. Enjoy the experience.
What are you most looking forward about Cynosports this year?
Connecting with old friends, making many new friends, enjoying the camaraderie and excitement of dogs competing at the very highest level!