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Meet Alyssa Lanier: Dogs are a Family Affair

Name: Alyssa Lanier
Age: 11
Hometown: Ocklawaha, FL
Grade: Sixth
Family: Parents Chad and Jennifer Lanier; Brother, Zachary; Sisters, Brianne and Skyla

Dog training started as a 4H activity for Alyssa’s older siblings. Alyssa tagged along and soon was training her own dogs. Now showing dogs is something the entire family participates in. Alyssa and Wrangler placed third in Novice A at the 2019 AKC Juniors Obedience Classic and third in Rally Advanced B at the AKC Juniors Rally Classic in Orlando, FL. Alyssa said she has learned that dog training and showing is a good way to build friendships and learn how to work toward goals.

AKC: How old is Wrangler, and how did he come into your life?

Wrangler turned 5 on January 26. I have had him since he was a puppy. His mom was a rescue that was pregnant, and he was actually born in our house.

AKC: What got you started in dog training? Tell us what dog training has meant for you.

My older siblings trained and showed in 4H. So, I would tag along to every training class, and sometimes I would bring a dog. When I turned 8, I was finally old enough to train and compete with Wrangler. Our first year, we won all our classes.

Dog training has been a fun way for me to make new friends. It has helped me learn to make choices and realize what teamwork is.  It has helped me build a stronger bond with my dogs.

It has taught me to set goals and to work hard towards them.

Dog training has also expanded my family. My trainer has become like an aunt to me, and the entire team supports me. They always try to attend my events to cheer me on.

AKC: Is your family involved with dog training/showing?

What started as us kids showing in 4H, quickly turned into the entire family showing. Both of my parents show, as well as my siblings.

AKC: What sports does Wrangler compete in and what titles has he earned?

Wrangler competes in agility, rally and obedience. We are also working towards competing in dock diving and scent work.

Wrangler has his Beginners Novice (BN) title in obedience, his Rally Excellent title (RE), and his Open Jumpers with Weaves title (OAJ) and Open Standard title (OA) in agility. He also has his AKC Canine Good Citizen (CGC), AKC Community Canine (CGCA), AKC Urban Canine Good Citizen (CGCU), and his Trick Dog Performer title (TKP).

AKC: Tell us about any other dogs you may have– names, ages, sports they compete in.

I have four other dogs of my own. Phoenix is my Australian Cattle Dog. She is 4, and she competes in Junior Showmanship and Rally. Voo-Doo is my German Shepherd; she is 2. She doesn’t compete in any sports. Lennie is my Russell Terrier; he is 18 months and competes in Junior Showmanship. We will be starting rally and obedience in January. He will also be competing at the State Fair in rally, obedience and agility. Arrow is my Border Collie puppy. She was born Sept. 1, 2019, and I plan on competing in rally, obedience, agility, and anything else she shows an interest in.

AKC: Do you have any “non-dog’ pets?

I have several other types of animals that I show. My horse, Dezzie, is an off-the-track Thoroughbred, who I compete in the hunter ring with. I have a heifer named Nutmeg that I show, and I have my second steer for the fair. His name is Jazmar. I also breed and show Holland Lop rabbits in the ARBA.

AKC: What are your goals in the sport of dogs?

I am hoping to obtain championships on all my dogs in multiple sports. Right now, I am working on obtaining Wrangler’s RAE and Masters titles, then we can work towards his RACH. He also has his first leg towards his Excellent Standard title in agility.

My ultimate goal for Arrow is to make it to the Junior Olympics team when we are both old enough. I realize that is a few years out and I look forward to all the fun and work it will take to get there.

AKC: Do you plan on something animalrelated as a career?

I am interested in several careers. I really want to be a veterinarian. I am also interested in being a dog trainer; I love working with and training the dogs. On top of those two careers, I would love to be a horse trainer and riding instructor!

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