Stefanie Rainer is an accomplished and proven dog agility handler and teacher. She is an accredited judge for the American Kennel Club and UK Agility International. With over 20 years of experience in dog agility, Stefanie has been competing and achieving new goals since she was 7 years old. She is passionate about promoting and developing the sport.
Stefanie has earned many titles on multiple breeds including a Papillon, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, four Border Collies, and an English Cocker Spaniel. She actively competes in AKC and UKI events with her dogs. Each of Stefanie’s dogs has taken her across the country competing in many regional and national events and earning her countless top placements and medals. Most notably, Stefanie and her rescue Border Collie, Spree, were 3-time AKC/USA European Open large dog team members representing their country at the games in 2012-2014. In 2021 Stefanie and her Border Collie, Believe, were named as alternates to the USA World Agility Open (WAO) team.
In the past year Stef and Believe have continued to soar and achieve new success including: 2022 AKC National Agility Championship 20” Vice Champions, 2022 Moravia Open (held in Czech Republic) Large Dog Champion, and members of the 2023 USA WAO team.
Stefanie’s love for dog training began at a young age. Her enthusiasm was sparked by her mother, an in-home dog trainer for 16 years specializing in pet manners and behavior modification. Stefanie had the privilege to learn from both her mother and through the mentorship of world-renowned dog trainer, Diane Bauman. Diane taught her about the sport of dog agility, and also exposed her to the different disciplines of herding, tracking, and competition obedience. With countless hours of hands-on experience, Stefanie was able to gain invaluable knowledge about the different learning styles of different breeds of dogs and humans.
The world of dog agility is fast paced and constantly changing. Handlers and dogs are constantly challenged to become faster and more skilled. Stefanie strives to remain on the forefront of the latest techniques which is why she frequently attends seminars and travels the world to stay up to date on the newest trends and learn from the top competitors in the sport. Stefanie first met Janita Leinonen and Jaakko Suoknuuti in 2013 when she had the opportunity to learn from them about the cutting-edge development of their methodology, OneMind Dogs. This system already aligned perfectly with a lot of Stefanie’s own beliefs that agility and training should be viewed through the dog’s eyes. Stefanie wished to continue to learn from the OneMind Dog team, so in 2014 she traveled to Finland with her Border Collie, Nike, where they continued their education and in 2016 Stefanie was named a OneMind Dog assistant coach and she is proud to be a part of the team.
Stefanie’s philosophies and techniques have continued to evolve. She has developed her own style of teaching. She doesn’t believe in any one system, rather she adjusts to optimally meet the needs of the team because not all dogs and people learn the same way. She enjoys sharing her knowledge and love of the game with her students to help both human and canine athlete reach their full potential.