Track your progress!

It’s really easy to gain an impression of our training/competing that is NOT the full picture.

We look at what we can improve, which is fine, but all too often, we do that at the expense of also taking time to think through what went well, what we’re already doing right.

And that can cause us to develop an unfair sense of where our team is. That being so, I designed this journal specifically to help handlers just like you to intentionally become more balanced in perspective- to see the good stuff that ALREADY EXISTS, and to use it to build your confidence and aim higher.

This is a not-so-secret weapon used increasingly by handlers who are kicking booty out there, and having a LOT of fun doing it.

Get yours here:


This lie may be standing between you and achieving your goals


Have you been taught this lie??

It’s the one that has you reaching for doughnuts and take-away when your body would benefit from more vegetables… it’s what convinces you to stay in bed rather than get up and give your dog an extra 5 minutes training before work… it’s definitely one way to make sure you never dust off your gym gear…

This lie can even be what gets you to quit: on your dreams, your relationship, your sport…

So yikes, Kathrine, you’re getting a bit serious there. Do you want to back up and explain what you’re on about and why you’re getting all serious on a blog about competing at sports with our furry friends? Sure! Let me explain.

Instant Gratification

We live in a world which encourages us to live for instant gratification- ‘patience’ and ‘self-discipline’ are often pretty much swear words.

It goes something like ‘just do what makes you happy‘… the implication is of course that what makes you happy is naturally the right and best thing for you.

But we know that’s not true! We would never allow our dog to eat the volume of cheese that it would if left to their own devices. More than that, we know from our own personal experience that what is right or good for us is not always pleasant- umm, anyone actually enjoy every day they went to school?? But having an education generally was a good thing for us, miserable though it might have felt at the time.

How many times did you fall off and hurt yourself when learning to ride your bike? And in other matters, as delightful as I might find it to sit down with a giant box of Krispy Kreme flavours and scoff the lot, if I tried to claim that was right for me (because it sure felt good at the time), my pancreas might beg to differ!!

Why this matters in dog sports

This is an unpleasant truth and I know some of you are regretting starting to read it. But I say it with love and encouragement in my heart for you- really! The thing is, as we’ve been basically trained to live disposable lives and expect everything to make us happy all the time (or we’ll quit it), we’re not being trained to excel.

There are going to be days when you don’t feel like training

There are going to be days where getting as fit as you want to be to run agility just feels like a ton of hassle

There are going to be people that you don’t like competing in front of who are going to be by the line

There are going to be handling moves that you or your dog don’t pick up easily and need to work on


At all these points, you will need discipline and possibly also patience, to keep going, and work on what NEEDS done, rather than what you WANT to do.

Doing what NEEDS done when it goes against what you WANT to do is going to be what makes the difference in those who go the extra distance. It is that extra bit of determination to ignore the nagging voice telling you you’ll do it ‘tomorrow’ or that wants you to quit because ‘you’ll never be able to do it anyway’. It’s what makes you grit your teeth and decide that you are going to risk failing, because you’d rather fail trying than fail to try.

‘Do what makes you happy’ is a really limited and limiting philosophy. Today, I want to encourage you to be better than that, to desire more for yourself than that. I will help you fight the mindset gremlins trying to trip you up, they can absolutely be beaten and YOU can do it.

Now let’s go!


TOP TIP: The ‘singing kettle’ handling style


Singing kettle

I love my little caravan. As many of you know, this is where I go to when I’m writing, and where I film occasional videos with training tips for you. I have an electric kettle, but there’s something about the singing kettle that brings back memories from childhood camping trips. I love the old-fashioned singing kettle, but I really hate the sound of the whistle it makes, so I try to catch it just as it’s about to get into full flight, ha!

It’s fine when it starts to boil, but the longer it goes on, the more high-pitched and shrill its ‘singing’ becomes!

I wanted to write about the Mind to Win show last weekend- not to brag about my phenomenal folks who really did brilliantly, but to note another phenomenon. This one is particularly observable in agility, because it is a give-away in the verbals people use.

It is actually a symptom, rather than a cause, so this is only a smidgen of what I really want to say on this topic!! So whether you are an agility competitor or not, please read on and see how this might be applicable to you, even if you’re not giving yourself away like the agility ‘singing kettles’ are!

I call it the ‘singing kettle’…

The Singing Kettles of Agility

Someone starts out on a course and their voice is a reasonably normal tone…

it might be a bit nervy sounding,

but it’s at a pitch that humans can hear…

as they’re going round, they have no faults…

and as they keep going, with each obstacle, their voice gets higher

…and higher

… until by the end,

they’re all but squealing like my kettle!!

Why is this significant?

Well it points to a couple of things:

1. Unhelpful Nerves– which are clearly being communicated in multiple forms, straight to the dog…

2. An outcome or even a clear round focus– they are not focused on the job they have to do, their ‘singing’ is a ‘tell’ that their mind is on the potential outcome, rather than the job at hand.

3. Me, me, me– all the while the person is focused on that piece of ribbon and cardboard that they might possible get (or the Q, points, etc.), they are neglecting the fact that they are part of a team, with a living creature who frankly doesn’t give a monkey’s about the ribbon! No matter how big it is!

I’m a singing kettle! What do I do?!

If you recognise yourself in this, don’t worry and please don’t feel bad. It’s really common and easily tweak-able. You can simmer down.

1. Be aware of what you actually do– video yourself! Video training and competition, see what you do differently. Even if you think you’re not a singing kettle, video and check! Some ‘kettles’ sing at specific points on course… such as contacts or weaves, so watch out for those too.

2. When you walk a course, put in a mental post-it note to intentionally lower your tone.

3. Learn strategies to build your confidence so you can step up and give your dog the handling they need- which absolutely includes not freaking them out with your nerves!!! Your next chance to do this with me in a group of dog sport competitors from all over the world is here: Start Line Confidence

4. Focus on what your dog needs from you, right up until you have finished, rewarded them and left the ring! This includes making sure you walk the entire course! Just because the end of the course appears to be 3 jumps in a straight line, don’t take them for granted- practice, rehearse, visualise what you’re going to do to finish at your best and get the most out of the course that you can!

What’s your next step?

There is NO point in just accumulating knowledge- you’ve read this far, now what are you going to do about it? What do you need to tweak?

* If you need more skills, get into class now! It won’t be returning until at least 2016, so get on and get your seat if you know you could improve your mindset skills (and let’s face it, who of us couldn’t?)

* Maybe you need to start videoing yourself so you have an up to date view of your partnership and what part you play in that.

* Perhaps you know a ‘singing kettle’ who needs to read this. Please share this with them.


There is NO shame in recognising you haven’t got it all sorted- we’re all human, we all need help and we’re all guaranteed to get things wrong from time to time. It’s part of being human, so that’s not the problem. The problem is when we deny or refuse help to improve. ANYONE can change, it’s more a choice of whether we WANT to badly enough.

I am rooting for you, I’m here to help you, please let me know how I can. I know I’ll see some of you in class and I’ll be looking forward to bringing that to you from September 14th! It’s a brilliant toolkit to help ANY competitor step up with more confidence.

Here’s that link to snap up your seat in class! CLICK HERE






Testimonial from Team Canada competitor, Ann Carrington

Ann has competed for Canada at WAO, IFCS and FCI world championships and won her place on both FCI and EO squads for the 2015 competitions. I have had the pleasure of working with Ann since before her first WAO and through our collaboration and her sheer hard work and determination, she is a different person and in the process of making her biggest dreams come true. After winning her place in these most recent squads, Ann sent me this testimonial to share with you:


Gremlins and Other Voices in My Head


Nerves are your permission to excel! This is one of the ways you are teaching me to deal with competition nerves and build up confidence. Using those flutters of fear to focus and be confident in the moment with my amazing little Jazz is really helping me to find that quiet place where our runs seem to be in slow motion and we are a team. Kathrine, you are an insightful and empathetic guide in how to deal with those voices and gremlins in my mind that want to give me excuses to not perform at my best mentally.


Thank you for helping me to find the way through those challenges, so that I can achieve my dreams, one task and goal at a time. Each time I walk to the line with Jazz, I am grateful for that moment with her; I square my shoulders, pull down my shirt, and say to her, “let’s go do it!” This is something I couldn’t have achieved not long ago, and it is your coaching and faith in me that is helping me continue to reach new levels of trust in my dog and myself as well as confidence.

Another Goal-Setting for Success Testimonial…

Here’s Marie’s feedback from her Goal-Setting for Success journey…

“Things that have changed for me since starting the “goal setting for

No longer obsessed on clear rounds.
More relaxed in the competition ring.
Learned time management skills for life.
No longer beat my self up for making mistakes/ or forgetting things.
Sleeping better.
Can recognise so called friends for sapping me of my positivity.
No longer searching for the miraculous trainer/ or technic to help me advance in the sport I love. I am that person, the answers are within me and my mindset.”

Way to go Marie!!

Not content with competing better, Marie’s new skills are helping her in life, including sleeping better- how great is that?!!

And, as much of a rock star as Marie undoubtedly is, she is human, so if she can do it, you can too. You just need to commit to the work and be prepared to surprise yourself!!

Video: Instantly Improve Your Competition Performance

Here’s your training video! Watch it now then come on over to Facebook and let me know what YOU are going to do to apply it TODAY to improve your competition performance!




Just click the link above, watch and take notes! What do you need to change as a result of watching this video? How do you think this will help you and your dog in competition? I’ll be over on Facebook and looking forward to chatting with you about this!

To your success!




 Dr. Kathrine McAleese 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. Serving dog owners worldwide, Kathrine’s seminars, workshops and hugely successful online courses help average and elite competitors alike to get results they can be proud of.

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


Better Days Ahead playlist

Hi everyone! Here is the ‘Better Days Ahead’ playlist that you all compiled recently. There are not only a LOT of songs on here but HUGE variety in genres, so hopefully there is something to lift the spirits of everyone who reads it.


Better Days Ahead Playlist

Ca Plane Pour Moi- Plastic Bertrand

Happy- Pharrell Williams

I Gotta Feeling- Black Eyed Peas

Next to Me- Emeli Sande

Try- Pink

Counting Stars- One Republic

The Climb- Miley Cyrus

Hold on Tight- ELO

Let It Go- from Frozen

Walking on Sunshine- Katrina and the Waves

What Doesn’t Kill You (Stronger)- Kelly Clarkson

I Can Go the Distance- from Disney’s Hercules

Defying Gravity- Idina Menzel

I Wish I Were A Real Alaskan Girl- Marian Call

Whistle While You Wait- Marian Call

Vera Flew The Coop- Marian Call

Hands- Jewel

Down So Long- Jewel

Hey Jude- The Beatles

Let it Be- The Beatles

Hero- Mariah Carey

Make it Happen- Mariah Carey

Die Another Day- Madonna

Superstar- Madonna

Who Will Save Your Soul- Jewel

Nothing Fails- Madonna

Ladies and Gentlemen- Saliva

Learn to Fly- Foo Fighters

Hanging by a Moment- Lifehouse

The Middle- Jimmy Eat World

Always Look On the Bright Side of Life- John du Prez and Eric Idle

Corner of the Sky- Stephen Schwartz

Baby I’m a Star- Prince

Beginnings- Chicago

The Best of Times- Styx

Don’t Stop- Fleetwood Mac

Get Over It- The Eagles

Still the One- Orleans

I Believe I Can Fly- R. Kelly

Shattered Glass-Brad Paisley

One In a Million- Down With Webster

Love Runs Out- One Republic

Good Day- Greg Street presents Nappy Roots

I Can See Clearly Now

Best Day of My Life- Nathan Walker

Can’t Hold Us- Macklemore and Ryan Lewis

This is Our Moment- Kenny Chesney

Afterlife- Ingrid Michaelson

Live like a Warrior- Matisyahu

Champion- Matisyahu

Wind Beneath My Wings- Bette Midler

Dream Big- Ryan Shupe and the Rubberband

Got a Feeling- Tim Hicks

Brave- Sara Bareillies

Beautiful Day- U2

Absolutely Everybody- Vanessa Amorosi

Someone’s Watching Over Me- Hilary Duff

Winners- George Duke & Stanley Clarke

Roar- Katy Perry

Life is Beautiful- Sixx AM

On Top of The World- Imagine Dragons

Today is Your Day- Shania Twain

Up- Shania Twain

Follow Your Arrow- Kacey Musgraves

Once- Shane Filan

To Be The Best- Tenancious D

Ride Like The Wind- Christopher Cross

Limitless- Colton Dixon

Better Life- Keith Urban

Please access and listen to songs legally and allow that some may contain explicit lyrics, so due diligence may be required. Hopefully not, but you never know, especially with different versions of songs, so use your own intellect and discretion! Happy listening, and here’s to Better Days Ahead!