Search Menu


On June 29, an All-American Dog who started life with his owner as “unpleasant to live with” and who “could not be taken anywhere” made good by winning the Advanced Class at the 2018 AKC Rally National Championship. Keep reading to learn about how this dog and his owner became a successful team.

Super Cooper Trooper CDX BN RE owned by Joshua Wiggins of Spring, TX

Cooper is a 7-year-old Lab mix and the dog Josh “never intended to have.” He was initially adopted by friends of Josh, from an accidental litter on their street. The couple quickly decided Cooper wasn’t going to be a good fit as he grew in both size and energy. So, at 5 months old, Cooper went to live with Josh.

Their formal training journey began when Cooper was 2 years old in an effort to help with his extremely reactive behavior towards both strangers and other dogs. Cooper was unpleasant to live with and could not be taken anywhere in public. Josh needed help “unwinding the mess I had made of my first dog!”

When Josh started obedience training with Cooper, he did not know that competitive obedience or rally existed. Like most, his understanding of dog shows was conformation and agility, but in one year Josh and Cooper were competing and placing in both Beginner Novice and Rally Novice. Fast forward a few years and Cooper has earned a 200 in Novice A with two High in Trials over that weekend, a CDX, and titled in rally through the Excellent class. Most recently, Josh and Cooper traveled to Ohio to compete in the 2018 AKC Rally National Championship where Cooper won the Advanced Class.

Though obedience is Josh’s main sport and focus with Cooper, they compete in rally because Josh teaches rally and obedience classes in Houston. Josh feels it is important to stay in the ring and current, especially with all the rule changes.

Since the 2018 RNC, Cooper earned his Dock Master title through North American Diving Dogs.

To say the least, Cooper is no longer “a mess of a first dog,” He is “bomb proof,” says Josh.

Photo Credit: David De Gendt of Tiltshift Studio