Meet the Gang at Ferg & Co...
Andrew has been a strong and positive force behind the growth and success of Ferghus & Co. since its inception in 2008. He has always been there to lend a hand on busy days and also took the reins as pack leader during Erica’s 2010 maternity leave. The Ferghus & Co. play areas and trails have been designed and are cared for by Andrew and his trusty sidekick Crozier. He is also Erica's partner in Willow Afghan Hound Rescue. Andrew and Erica Share their home with their two legged and four legged children and a foster dog or two.
Paula got her first dog, a poodle named Susie, when Paula was only 2 years old. It took a few more years before she became involved in dog sport, but a Doberman named Willi took her into obedience when Paula was just 13. It wasn’t long before Paula was asked to assist a local obedience instructor in her classes and things really took off for her. She started running her own classes at home, teaching for a local obedience school and trialing, all before she was old enough to drive.
When Paula moved back to the country from an apartment building after going away to school, one of the first things she did was get a puppy. This even though she & her husband (the incredibly tolerant Dave) were living in a 14’ trailer while their house was being built. That puppy was a lovely Dobe girl named Abra. Abra was as sweet as sweet could be but had way more energy than anything either Paula or Dave was used to. Paula took her off to obedience classes but got bitten by the agility bug just as the sport was being introduced in Canada. Abra excelled, despite Paula’s lack of experience in that type of training & despite the use of old-school obedience techniques in a sport that really didn’t seem to call for correction training.
Due to the overwhelming lack of agility instructors, Paula stepped up to help teach in Canada’s founding agility club. She ended up as one of the early A.A.C. agility trial judges & even did a term as President of the A.A.C.
Paula brought 2 more Dobes into her family before a clinic with Patty Ruzzo opened her eyes to the benefits & joys of reinforcement training. Her whole dog world changed in the course of one Saturday. She figured that if Patty could put H.I.T.s on sight hounds using squeezey cheese, should could certainly do the same with a Doberman Pinscher.
As Paula became more obsessed with the sport of agility, she became more involved in teaching, taking clinics, & trialing. In 2004, she got her first Jack Russell, Jazz. Unfortunately for the Doberman Pinscher world, that meant the end of Dobes in her home. She was smitten with the happy-go-lucky attitude and work ethic of her little white whirl-wind. Jazz has recently retired from the sport – Paula’s goal was for Jazz to run his last agility with joy & dignity – healthy & happy, but ready to relax at nearly 12 years of age. Jazz was the start of a love of the breed. Paula & Dave now share their home (and bed) with not only Jazz, but also Rainey (10), B.B. (8), & Roly (2).
Paula has trained with Julie Daniels, Terry Simons, Janet Lundy, Tiffany Salmon, Jessica Martin and Daisy Peel. She is a firm believer that we can learn something from everybody out there and loves learning new techniques and skills. She has had her struggles with some of her dogs, but a stubborn streak and some good advice helped her overcome those problems. She also believes that not every method will work with each dog and is more than willing to try different methods to find one that matches the handler/dog team.
Although Paula takes training seriously, she still manages to inject a bucket-load of fun & and humour into her classes.
Erica’s love of dogs has been apparent since childhood. After adopting a rescued Afghan Hound in 2006, Erica and Andrew began volunteering their time with a few of the local dog rescues, fostering homeless hounds and helping to prepare them for their new adoptive families. This confirmed to Erica that a career with a strong focus on dogs was where she truly wanted to be. After starting her apprenticeship to become a trainer and to learn more about canine behavior in 2007, it became clear that a focus on social interaction between dogs and understanding how they communicated with each and their people truly intrigued her. Ferghus & Company was created to offer a relaxed, supervised and experienced environment for groups of dogs to socialize, play and learn. Socialization is an important component for a dog’s emotional health. Erica focuses many hours on her volunteer work with rescues. She enjoys helping through fostering, training and screening new homes. Erica and Andrew also run Willow Afghan Hound Rescue together.
Lana has been and continues to be a student of agility since 2007. She has taken many different canine obedience and agility classes at several of the dog schools in the Ottawa area and from many different instructors, all with diversified approaches to handling dogs. Since a child she has had one or more dogs in her household pack ranging from small terriers to large Irish wolfhounds, several of them rescues. Lana is a firm believer in what works best for one handler/dog team may not work for others so her own handling is constantly evolving and is a little different for each of her dogs. Her first agility dog was an Irish Water Spaniel named Clipper who earned several Masters Agility titles before retirement. Her current agility dogs are a miniature poodle (Holly) and a rescued Jack Russell Terrier (Rosie). She is also training her pot belly pig Pickles! Lana brings to her agility training 30+ years of working as a research scientist so her approach to learning and teaching dog agility is systematic and intellectual. She also has a wicked sense of humour and at Ferghus and Company we affectionately refer to her as ‘Sparkles’!
Toni retired in Sept 2016 from a career in healthcare recognizing that she still needed the satisfaction of meaningful contribution, problem-solving and learning new skills. Dog training had always been a personal interest. Years of training her own dogs introduced her to the capacity of positive training methods to unlock the dog's potential and strengthen the bond between owner and pet. In January she completed the Dog Training Foundation unit at Best Friends Dog Training. A student at Ferg & Co, she was approached by Erica to apprentice at the facility. It was a smooth transition as the values of the school focus on not just how dogs learn but also the principles of adult learning....learning that is a partnership between pet owner and instructor; that encourages and celebrates growth. Toni enjoys working with individuals and families and the variety of programs offered at the school keep the work stimulating.
Owned by a Border Collie, English Shepherd and mini Schnauzer terror, Toni competes with her Border Collie, Rayne at the masters level in agility and with all three dogs at the excellent level in rally obedience.
Meet Ferghus. This happy-go-lucky Golden helped get Ferghus & Co. off the ground. In our early days we would run our groups on a large, private wooded lot. Ferghus carried our first aid and emergency supplies in his backpack and helped to round up stragglers within the groups. Since our move to the Ferghus & Co. Dog Farm Ferg has relaxed into his retirement and just enjoys relaxing with the dogs.
Our saucy little store front kitty Fiona LOVES to welcome people and dogs alike to Ferg & Co. Her relaxed nature and fearless attitude have made her a regular helper in puppy playdates and in classes!
Jane grew up and has lived in beautiful Renfrew County all her life. She shares her rural farm home with her husband, 3 horses and 2 Aussies, Oakley and Jive, as well as her Corgi Jiffy.
Jane has been involved in horse sport since childhood and for the past 12 years has been involved in dog sport as well. She has been successful achieving multiple titles with her dogs in the disciplines of obedience, Rally – O and Agility. Jane has been privileged to achieve Masters Agility Titles on all of her dogs and all 3 have competed at AAC Nationals. All of Jane’s dogs have multiple Rally titles in both CKC and CARO with her senior dog, Oakley, achieving her CARO Rally Masters Champion title in 2016.
Jane is foremost committed to having fun with her dogs and hopefully learning a lot along the way. She hopes to help you and your dog develop into a successful partnership in a positive, fun and encouraging way.
Dr. Cheryl Osso
Cheryl Osso has lived in a variety of places throughout her life, but most recently hails from Brockville, Ontario where her parents still live. Cheryl completed her lifelong dream of becoming a mixed animal veterinarian in 2015 when she graduated from the Ontario Veterinary College. She loves animals and owns two rabbits who terrorize any unwanted visitors. In her free time she plays soccer and hockey, bikes, canoes and knits. She is an avid reader, and can often be found curled up with a good book. She has spent the occasional summer raising orphaned kittens, but is proud to say that she found them all homes before she could talk herself into keeping them.