K-9 Obedience Training Club of Essex County, NJ

Trained dogs are better companions

Lenore Vizzone

     I've been a member of K9 OTC since 1998, having served two terms as President.  I am presently a member of the Training Committee and teach classes for K9 and for other clubs. My professional career in dogs started in 1974, when I opened Lenore’s Canine Clippery, a grooming salon. I also offered obedience training.  I started professionally showing my Borzoi in 1984 in breed competition and then decided to show in competition obedience in 1989 with my first collie, Gus.  Fella was my second and I had the greatest honor when he was invited two years in a row to the National Obedience Invitational.  Trey was my next obedience dog. I'm presently showing Cyrano and Jekyll. All of these dogs are blue merle collies.

     My human family consists of three adult children, two daughters and a son, all who inherited my love of dogs. Both my daughters are also trainer/exhibitors. One daughter, a Marine Corps dog handler, now runs her own business training dogs from pet obedience to police work and everything in between.

     I've put numerous titles on each dog, including titles from Obedience, Rally, and Conformation in both AKC, UKC and CDSP. We're working on herding and tracking titles.  I have over 43 years collective experience in training and handling dogs. I enjoy sharing my knowledge with novice trainers and sincerely try my best to help them attain their personal goals with their own dogs. My training philosophy is to find the best way to HAVE FUN while teaching your dog what he/she needs to know in order to go into the competition ring and do well!

Diane Kramer
     My love affair with dog training began in 1993 when I moved to Wayne, NJ with my
husband, Art and son, Chris. Shortly after we moved in, we made good on a promise we
had made to Chris and acquired our first dog, a Rottweiler named Molli.  In due course, two things became apparent: First, the love affair with Molli would not last long unless we did some training with her and second, Chris and Art were not going to do the training!
     Barbara Nagy of Patience Unlimited was our first trainer, who I credit with both starting me off on the right foot with Molli and introducing me to the larger world of advanced obedience training.  In the following years, Molli earned her AKC Canine Good Citizen (CGC), Companion Dog (CD) and Companion Dog Excellent (CDX) degrees. She also participated in Agility and Tracking and was working toward her Utility Dog title when age and health concerns made retirement a wiser choice.
      Much of my progress with Molli was made possible by my membership in K-9 OTC, and my ongoing association with Patience Unlimited.  With Patience Unlimited I understudied, taught group classes, and provided in-home private training and kennel training at Hal Wheeler’s in Cedar Grove, NJ. I have also had the good fortune to train under some of America’s top obedience trainers, including Jack & Wendy Volhard and Martha McCluskey.
     Today, I am a certified CGC and STAR puppy evaluator. I will assist in the beginner classes at K-9 OTC and also teach some of the other classes as needed. I am also hard at training Ace, my 7 year old Labrador Retriever, who has earned his Utility Dog title along with 17 OTCH points and 3 High In Trial placements throughout his career. He currently has 3 UDX legs along with his Rally Excellent and Novice Agility titles. Ace is also a certified Therapy Dog participating in the ROCK (Reading Out Loud Creates
Knowledge) program at the Banyan School in Fairfield where he gets read to several times a month by children with reading and language disabilities. Sophie, my 2 year old lab, is full of energy and shows great potential for the obedience ring, agility, and for field trials. She has earned her Rally Novice and Beginner Novice obedience titles. My previous lab, Luka, who taught me so much, earned his Utility Dog Excellent and his Obedience Master titles before he retired.
     I continue to live in Wayne, where in my “spare time” I am the office manager for a
video tripod importer and where I play viola (my other passion) in two community
orchestras.
Joni Primas

     I discovered the world of obedience when I happened across an obedience trial in East Orange NJ, early in 1979.  Even though I had a reasonably well-behaved pet, I had never seen the likes of obedience competition and I was immediately hooked.  Lady, my puppy mill collie, and I joined The K-9 Obedience Training Club in April of that year and the rest, as they say, is history.  Lady earned her CD in June of 1980 and she died in July of that year of a brain tumor.  Since then, I have matured as a trainer and my collies and I have earned many obedience and rally titles.  I have also dabbled in breed showing, but my first love is obedience.

     My association with K-9 OTC has also matured over the years.  I went from wide-eyed novice, to Secretary of the club, to Board member, to President, and finally to Training Director.

     Barbara Heesemann, has loved dogs her entire life. She started training at the age of 5, teaching tricks to the family dog. When asked as a child what she wanted to be, the answer was a dog trainer.

     Her first blue ribbon was earned in 1990 with her Novice A, Golden Retriever named Dusti. Barbara learned to be a dog trainer first at a boarding kennel where under the guidance of a more experienced trainers she trained boarding dogs of various breeds. She began taking competition training classes with Martha McCluskey of Flying W Dog Obedience and attended Bob Self’s summer school for dog trainers. Constant improvement and dog training seminars are still an important part of Barbara’s life.

     Barbara continues to compete, but her accomplishments include two Obedience Trail Champions the PhD of dog training. She has earned two invitations to the National Obedience Invitation. She was invited and competed at the inaugural Obedience event at Westminister Kennel Club.

     Barbara has 4 different dogs that have earned the Highest Score Dog in a regular trial award and 2 dogs earning High Combined awards over a dozen times. Barbara has been an AKC breeder of record limited times; however, she takes great pride in being the breeder of a Master Hunter, Master Agility Champion, and an Outstanding Dam. She has received the AKC medallion for Breeder, Owner, Champion for her dog Toby. Barbara has dabbled in Rally and at Hunt test achieving entry awards and cannot wait to title in dock diving.