Help your dog achieve their potential!

Dawson Bee Your dog is great and they have tons of potential. You know this. You also know that if you were able to hold it together in competition, they’d achieve so much more. You know that your dog reaching their potential depends in part on you as their team-mate.

And if nerves are getting in the way of you doing your best, they’re getting in your dog’s way too. Many people explain that this is why they want to work with me in the first place. They KNOW their dog is capable of more and they want to achieve it. They also know that they are human and need help tweaking their mental game so they can be the handler their dog deserves, and become who they want to be in the process.

Maybe that sounds familiar to you too? If so, GREAT! This is a fantastic place for you to start.


Earlier this week I asked survey participants ‘what causes you to get more nervous at a show?’ I listed a lot of quirky halloween themed names for common issues I see when I’m working with handlers worldwide. Nick Cardillo

A whopping 45% of respondents said that ‘Energy-sucking Vampires’ (a.k.a. other people’s attitudes) added to their nervousness. WOW! That surprised even me!

So because that’s such  big issue for so many people, that is exactly what this upcoming LIVE COACHING CALL is going to cover.

In this LIVE TRAINING you will learn:

*How to deal with those people who are negative towards you

* Overcoming unhelpful comments designed to put you down

*Dealing with comparison– with a special focus on when it’s litter sibling rivalry

*How to handle others’ negativity about themselves

*Handling distractions when you’re queuing in line

*What to do when others are jealous of you

*Filtering out the whiners, complainers and negative Nellies that want you to join them under their black cloud

*How to focus when all around you is chaos!

*And much more!

What you will get when you register for this training:

*1.5 hour training

*Live question and answer session

*RECORDING of the entire training, delivered straight to your member’s area for you to keep



*Your Exclusive Downloadable Training Guide, to use before, during and after our call, with room for lots of notes, plus bonus questions to boost your learning (will be posted in advance).


Jibe Kinney

PLEASE NOTE: You DO NOT have to be on the live call to receive the recording. Everyone who registers for the live call will automatically receive the recording once it is  ready. I know many of you are in vastly different time zones, so you can submit questions on this topic in advance and I will do my best to answer them as time permits on the call.

Fez skunk


See you then,


PS Thanks to all my awesome clients who submitted their dog’s halloween outfit photos for me to use. I couldn’t use them all, but here are just a few of my favourites. Thanks to ALL of you who took part! x


Mind to Win in Cornwall, England

Are you in the vicinity of Cornwall, England? Here are the details Jackie has put together for my seminar and Confidence Clinic in Cornwall in Feb 2015. Get in quick, I know she’s already had lots of requests for places, so book your place now! Kathrine   Here’s the details:

MIND TO WIN SEMINAR AND PRACTICAL CONFIDENCE CLINIC 14-15th February 2015 at Pelynt, near Looe PL13 2LX

Dr. Kathrine McAleese of Mind to Win is a qualified systemic psychotherapist. She has lived and trained in USA and works with clients from all over the world. Kathrine uses proven mindset principles in simple, effective and fun ways, so you can increase your confidence, focus and achieve your goals.

This is what Kathrine has to say:

I am so excited to be visiting Capable Canines Dog Training in Cornwall in February 2015. I’ll be offering my foundational seminar which has helped handlers like you to get past their mental obstacles so they can compete with more CONFIDENCE, have more FUN with their dogs and get over their fear of failure… leading to more SUCCESS!! In just our first 2 hours together, you will learn strategies to defeat that negative voice in your head that’s been tearing you down and learn the secrets to not letting other people get to you around the rings! Then, once we’ve done that, we need to put it all into ACTION! So we’re going to head to the agility equipment and put what you’ve learned to work. This is a SUPER fun part of the day as you will find you CAN achieve more than you previously led me to believe!
Mind to Win training days are:
  •   PRACTICAL: I want you to leave knowing HOW to solve your issues and WHAT you can be doing to progress until we meet again.
  •   FUN: expect to laugh, a lot.
  •   INDIVIDUALLY TAILORED: I am there to help YOU, not run through some pre-arranged agenda of my own. So whatever it is we need to work on, that’s my focus.
  •   RELAXED: You will NOT be put on the spot. You will ENJOY yourself!
  •   ADDICTIVE: once you get a taste of being able to make different decisions and even enjoy pressure, don’t be surprised that you don’t want to go back to tearing yourself down every time you go wrong.
  • YOUR STARTER FOR CHANGE: whether you fall apart with nerves, fear failure or get put off by what others are thinking or saying about you, change can start for you at a Mind to Win training day. No-one can change your mindset but you, so I dare you to take this rare opportunity to work with me in person on what you need to change.

This weekend is mainly aimed at Agility Competitors. However, the seminar would also be invaluable to people starting out in Agility or other dog sports. NB: There are no spectator spaces at the Confidence Clinic.

Morning Seminar only: £35.00 including hot drinks. Full day: £75.00 including lunch Please contact: Jackie Lawer, Tel: 07720 859356 or 


girl with balloons

OH MY GOODNESS- we did it! We hit our first 10,000 Facebook ‘Likes’!

THANK YOU to each of you who have liked my page, and for all your post likes, comments and of course for being such a great community for sharing the encouragement you’re getting with others. This is only where we begin- we ARE going to help our dogs by getting on top of our mental game. And we’re doing it together!

I can’t tell you how proud I am of each of you who take a chance in working with me and PERSIST, sometimes fighting mindset gremlins that have bugged you for YEARS. That makes your victories all the sweeter and I LOVE getting to celebrate with you when you overcome a sticking point.


In honour of you and to celebrate our first 10,000 Facebook Likes, please join me, Kathrine McAleese, for  a FREE WEBINAR!

When: Next Thursday, 31st July
Time: 6-7pm BST (that’s 1-2pm ET)
What: Mindset Q&A Get your questions in quick and we’ll gather some of the most common questions to answer live on the call! Post questions on Facebook, Twitter, or even post me a video on Instagram!

How to register:

Sign up HERE, and you’ll receive a request for confirmation. Once you’ve confirmed, you’ll receive the dial-in details about 48 hours before our call. Simple!

This call is completely free, so please be sure to tell your friends about it too!

See you next Thursday and thank you again for letting me help you be your best,

Kathrine McAleese

Mind to Win



She's the cutest wee dog- it was all I could do not to bring her on 'holiday' to N. Ireland! ;)
She’s the cutest wee dog- it was all I could do not to bring her on ‘holiday’ to N. Ireland! 😉


A dog speaks…

Picture the scene from a dog’s perspective:

I have great fun playing with my human at training- they’re relaxed, sociable, they give me good rewards (though the odd bit of steak wouldn’t go amiss…), they are reasonably consistent (I’ve a bit more work to do with them on their criteria, but they’re only human)… generally, they have potential and should go far.

…then I take them to play at a different place- there’s loads of other dogs, lots of noise, the holy grail (rubbish bin by the burger ban) and some noisy speaker thing constantly wittering on about something. I thought we were here to have fun like we do in training… but

… holy moly what happened?!

I’m on the other end of the leash from a walking stress-ball!!

And this crazy character is really unpredictable…I mean, they’re throwing commands at me that I’ve never heard before (I don’t *think* that cuss word is an actual command?), they’re running funny (my handler runs like a constipated duck at the best of times, but SERIOUSLY, this is ridiculous) AND they’re really uptight about something… but what did I do, I’m working my butt off here?? And they get human-reactive too, so I get worried they’re going to snap at another person- they’ve done it before when someone looked at them funny, the merest look and in they went. Maybe I should muzzle them?

And then we get on course and Wow, my handler really freaks me out here… they seem like they’re on the edge and I’d really like to make sure they don’t go over it… I better stay closer to them…if I hold my wait, they could get away and goodness knows what they’d do, better break that and stick close… now what’s THAT hand signal? NEVER seen that before, maybe there was a bug in their face… oooh you meant me to take that jump?… well why didn’t you say so?…

I sense this isn’t going well- I’m doing my best here but bug-swatting-mime is not usually our handling style in training!

Yeesh, if they’d just do what we do in training, they’d be great, but every time I take them to a show, they behave differently. I just don’t know what I’m going to get from them, and I’m starting to get stressed before I even get out there. I have to admit, it’s spoiling my enjoyment but I’m pretty sure it doesn’t have to be this way…

ANYONE recognise this dog??

F.A.Q.- Mind to Win Camp

trophie winners 2013

Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about Mind to Win Camp NI, Aug 1-2 2014

Do I have to camp?

No! You can if you want, and it’s free to do so, but you absolutely don’t have to!


Do you have to be a ‘serious’ competitor to come to camp?


Basically, if you know that you might ever lack confidence, or get nervous in competition, camp is for you 🙂

Mind to Win camp is for anyone who ever feels nervous, or (for example) does things in competition that they don’t do in training: forget a course… give wrong commands…

Maybe it’s the dog who shows your nerves… vanishing start-line wait, leaping contacts, forgetting how to weave…

ANY agility handler is welcome at camp, no matter whether they’ve been competing for 20 years, or have yet to compete for the first time!

Is it serious? I mean, do I have to talk about my FEELINGS??!!!

No! Camp is FUN. The craic is mighty and we work on kicking our mental gremlins’ butts, but if you’re waiting for deep and meaningful conversations around the campfire, you’ll be disappointed!!


What will I get out of it?

Practical exercises. Fun. Encouragement. Support. More fun. Time out with like-minded people. Tons of tools to help you progress. Oh and don’t forget the opportunity to IMMEDIATELY put what you’ve learned into practice by competing in a supportive environment at our show on Sunday 3rd August!


How do I sign up?

Sign up here!

Always Remember Never to Believe This


If that little voice in your head- that mindset gremlin- tries to get you to believe things like you…


…mess it up

…forget courses

…get eliminated

…blow the start line because your dog…


…waits in competition

or you…


…get the weaves

…run clear

…get placed


…Then this video is to encourage you not to believe the lie. The law of averages suggests that somewhere out there, that gremlin telling you that you ALWAYS/NEVER is actually covering up evidence to the contrary. It may be blinding you to seeing it, it may even be inviting you to a pity party where you get to feel miserable about the times it’s right, BUT that does not mean that ALWAYS/NEVER is accurate! Don’t sell yourself or your dog short. LOOK for the times when the gremlin is wrong.    I dare you!

They ARE there, you may just not have been looking for them, or your gremlin may have been shouting them down with its tales of woe.

It’s up to you of course whether you look for the times you DO succeed or listen to the gremlin. That’s completely up to you to choose. But if you need help finding the gremlin-bashing evidence or just need a bit more support, I’m here to help you and I bring a community of phenomenal Mind to Win-ers with me- people JUST LIKE YOU who’ve overcome their own gremlins and are fighting to be their best for themselves and their dogs. You can do it too, and I’m here to help you.

Enjoy today’s video and please share this post with the friends you know need to hear it.

I’m rooting for you!



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Things that matter



When all is said and done, is it the ribbons that really matter? Do the rosettes or even the trophies stand out as the most important things we remember?

Maybe, on some occasions, but in my experience it’s as much because the occasion- the EXPERIENCE- that went with the achievement is what they’re actually remembering. Time and time again, when I ask people what matters most and what they want most from competing with their dog it is this:

Connection. A sense of partnership, of working as one team with their dog.

Perhaps you can identify with that? And yet, it can be hard to keep sight of that when you’re surrounded by people who’re desperately focused on that bit of cardboard and ribbon!

We ALL want to do our best, and we DO like to compete- otherwise we’d quit spending all our money entering shows, driving to shows, not to mention all the spends at the food stalls, trade stands etc etc….!!!

But we CAN do our best and have a ton of fun with our dog while we do it. In fact, I would argue that we can only do our absolute best when we are both enjoying ourselves. I can guarantee you that all the while you’re a nervous wreck, neither you nor your dog will be able to give your best performance.

So this week, as you think back over last weekend’s competitions or look forward to your next show, I challenge you to remember the bigger picture, that what you will remember after all this is over, is NOT that dust-catching piece of ribbon, but rather, the relationship you enjoyed with this incredible creature that you have the privilege of doing life with.

As you focus on savouring each moment of that relationship, you may very well find that you fixate less on the results and are freed up to actually achieve more. It’s a wonderful paradox, and one worth playing with- for your dog’s sake, if not also your own!

I hope you have a great week with your dog and create lots of great memories!


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Sleep to achieve!


I’m sure you’ve heard the expression ‘let sleeping dogs lie’. Well, if we want to be able to give our best in competition, it’s not just the dogs who need to be allowed to do a bit of lying around!

SLEEP is crucial to giving our best. That’s why there are motorway service stations and signs on the road telling you to beware driving whilst tired. That’s why freeway rest stops might offer free coffee! Ever been around an over-tired toddler?! Yikes! We all know at some level that when we are tired, we are not at our best. But how many of us actually strategically schedule enough sleep so that we can function at our best during our waking hours? Sleep is when our body does its recovery works, and we need to give it time.

For some of you today, this should be a HUGE encouragement to sleep more! Make sleep a strategic priority. It doesn’t mean you’re weak or lazy, it means you take your health seriously and see the value in doing what best supports your physical and mental functioning during your waking hours. Any mental gremlin trying to tell you otherwise may be politely told to push off 😉

But what about you insomniacs out there? What have I got to offer you?

This came up on my Facebook page yesterday and, as promised, here are a few suggestions for how to enjoy more restful sleep. This is not a completely comprehensive list of course, merely a few pointers that I hope will help you.

A few relaxation exercises

Breathing exercise

Lie on your back and slow your breathing. Aim to breathe out slower than you breathe in. Deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth. As you breathe out, be aware of any tense areas of your body and visualize your ‘out’ breath taking the tension away with it. As you breath in, picture cleansing breaths clearing out the tension and leaving that area relaxed.

Relaxation exercise 1: tense and release

As you again work on your nice deep breaths, start tensing individual parts of your body, holding the squeeze for 3 seconds, then completely letting the tension go. Start with your feet, and as you move up your body, add bits, until you tense your entire body – including your facial muscles- before relaxing… zzzz…

Relaxation exercise 2: Let your mind wander

Admittedly this one is a little harder to do if you’re out in the wilds somewhere away from all civilization, but as there are very few completely silent places on the planet, I’m throwing this in. Lie in a comfy position and listen to the noises around you. Listen to a vehicle (or an animal if you’re out in the wilds somewhere) as it passes by. Go with it in your mind, and as it travels further away, imagine yourself going with it. Where are you going to? Is it warm there? Where do you find yourself? What do you do there? Go off on a mental vacation as far as you’d like from where you are. Sweet dreams 🙂

Other general tips

List yourself to sleep

If you’re one of those folks who goes to bed worrying about all you’ve got to get done the next day, do your schedule the night before. Right down everything that MUST be done the next day and a cunning plan for getting it done. Also schedule in decent breaks throughout the day- if nothing else, you’ll have something to look forward to. Having written it down, you are ready for tomorrow so let it go. You have taken the things out of your mind and onto paper that you were previously using brain power to remember, so let putting them onto paper clear that space in your mind.

Go to sleep sober

Sorry, but alcohol does not lead to quality sleep, so I’m just throwing it out there that if you need to be on top of your game tomorrow, you might want to go easy on the margaritas tonight.

Go to bed in the dark

Numerous studies have shown that light- including off TVs, alarm clocks etc. can disrupt sleep, so try to get your room dark. Obviously if you’re reading this from a hotel room at nationals that may be somewhat out of your control, but do what you can.


Like the tip above for scheduling your next day, scribble down today’s events in a journal if you’re struggling to let them go. Even just writing can help our minds sort out the clutter and ‘file it’ a bit more neatly. Sometimes even seeing what was bugging you on paper can be enough to show you solutions you weren’t able to see when the thoughts were rattling around in your head.


There’s just a few tips and exercises to help you out. Let me know how you get on with these and please share this with your friends!

To your success this season!




Start Line Confidence: NEW Online Class!



Have you ever come off a course and just thought ‘ugh’?

That feeling of having let your dog down is horrible, isn’t it? And whether it’s at a small local competition or a national championships, there can just be times that the unwary competitor is caught out by that annoying voice in their head, destroying their focus and making them doubt themselves… you know the one:

‘You’ll never beat… [big name]’

‘You’re too fat/slow/old/short-legged/born on a Tuesday… to get round that tricky section’

‘Ha! You think you’re going to handle it like that?! Don’t make me laugh…’

Right?! You KNOW that voice, and you know what? So do I. And I’ve helped hundreds of competitors just like you to identify and start defeating it.

That’s what Start Line Confidence is all about.

What are we going to work on?


*Increasing your confidence in your abilities

*Silencing that voice that wants you to fail

*PRACTICAL strategies for:

  • walking the course,
  • queueing,
  • distractions (including how to deal with other people distracting you)
  • and MUCH more.

What’s involved?

*4 week Online Class

*Your own private members area where your class materials will be kept together, online, for future reference

*Weekly video

  • with a focus on a specific aspect of your competition day AND
  • how to use it to help you compete at your best

*Daily interaction in our own class Facebook group


TWO  LIVE group coaching calls

  • where I’ll answer your questions
  • offer you suggestions specific to YOU and your dog
  • practical exercises you can immediately begin using.

*Weekly Q&A days in group where we continue our focused work on the week’s topic.

*By doing this we are going to be laser focused on what we’re working on and want to achieve.


Who is this group for? This group is for you if:

*You know your mindset  is letting you down

*You’re ready & willing to change

*You are prepared to put a bit of work in to develop your mindset

*You know that there are no magic wands and no-one else can do the work for you

*You believe your dog deserves a handler who can hold their nerve and you want that to be you!

*You’re up for having a lot of fun while you learn!


This course is NOT for you if:

*You want someone else to do the work for you

*You have no intention of changing

*You think you have nothing to learn.


PLEASE NOTE: Seats in class are highly limited for maximum learning, so please don’t miss out. Register NOW!


SO- if you want to learn and have a LOT of fun doing it, then let’s get you registered!

Class begins Monday April 7th and finishes Monday 5th May.

Sign up NOW!

I can’t wait to work with you!



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Kathrine McAleese, M.S. is the go-to dog sports psychotherapist and a performance coach, speaker, writer and cheerleader of excellence! Her unique talent is helping dog handlers take simple, useable mindset principles to build their confidence and focus so they can compete as well as they train. She has been helping clients reach their dog sport goals since 2005 and, serving dog owners internationally, Kathrine’s seminars, workshops and hugely successful online courses help average and elite competitors alike to get results they can be proud of.


© Kathrine McAleese 2014

Secrets of Start Line Confidence








Have you ever noticed how Facebook on Mondays can be a bit of a show and tell? Or a public flogging… depending on how the weekend went??

I have, and it bothers me. Not just because of the fixation on clear rounds (that’s a whoooole other course!) but because so much of what made rounds go ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ was actually decided in the person’s head, long before they ever got near the start line.

WHOA Kathrine, provocative statement there- how can you say that?

Easy. I didn’t. Handlers like you told me.

I recently asked handlers when they felt UNHELPFUL nerves (not the useful kind that get you psyched up and focused). The results were clear:

At a ‘normal’ show:  35% of respondents said they were alreadyexperiencing unhelpful nerves BEFORE they walked the course. 

(That’s over 1 in every 3 people)

70% said their unhelpful nerves kicked in before they made it to the start line.

(Over 2 out of 3 people)

At an ‘important’ show (as defined by respondents):

49% experience unhelpful nerves before they walk the course.

(Almost 1 in 2)

86% said they experience unhelpful nerves before they make it to the start line.

(Almost 9 out of 10!)

Although 20% of respondents said they didn’t have any unhelpful nerves at a normal show, that dropped to 7% at an ‘important’ show.*


WOW! There are a lot of unhelpful nerves reported in this quick survey! And they attack EARLY!

That’s why my next class is going to be focused on building Start Line Confidence. On searching out when, where and how our mental gremlins start to undermine our confidence, and working out how to BUILD confidence, so that we can reach the start line feeling calm, focused and confident. THEN we can really go for it and give our best for the dog we love!

If your confidence could use a boost, this is the class for you!

  • You DO NOT have to feel defeated before you compete.

  • You DO NOT have to come out of the ring feeling like you’ve let your dog down.

  • YOU ARE NOT beyond help!

Find out more

Even should you do nothing more than read this far, know that you are not alone. you’re not the only one, you’re not a freak, and I would be delighted to help you. After all, the time you spend OUTSIDE the ring makes up far more of your weekend than the time you spend IN it. wouldn’t it be nice to ENJOY that time more?

Have a great day!

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Kathrine McAleese, M.S. is the go-to dog sports psychotherapist and a performance coach, speaker, writer and cheerleader of excellence! Her unique talent is helping dog handlers take simple, useable mindset principles to build their confidence and focus so they can compete as well as they train. She has been helping clients reach their dog sport goals since 2005 and, serving dog owners internationally, Kathrine’s seminars, workshops and hugely successful online courses help average and elite competitors alike to get results they can be proud of.


© Kathrine McAleese 2014



 *Science-y bit for my fellow geeks: This was not intended as a rigorous piece of scientific research. 
It was an informal survey of those who saw and chose to take a survey posted on Facebook, Twitter, and forwarded by others. n=116. Whilst I do not claim representativeness, it remains 
a fascinating cross-section of nerves experienced by competitors in dog sport activities. 
Perhaps more rigorous publishable research will follow... ;)