Results Puppy & Dog Classes - Pawformance Sports!

Instructor Background

Training Director - Instructor Mary T. Ratelle

Due to many factors, I can proudly say I offer much experience! I am fortunate that dog training, pickleball, a Paleo diet-lifestyle are all keeping me young-er! Twice I have taken breaks from group classes due to life issues... Due to many factors, foremost my love of teaching and the wonderful, loyal people that I have had the pleasure of training with over the decades, I'm still here! As I no longer have a building with a large training floor and staff, group classes are currently offered year round through Brighton Area Schools - Brighton Community Education (BCE).

Results Dog Training was started in 1981 offering classes one night a week through Hartland Community Education (thank you past director Rob M.) and grew rapidly to three nights per week through the Howell Recreation Department (thank you past directors Ann C. , Mark and later Tony). Following, more locations, ten on staff and commercial buildings, Results grew and Pawformance Sports! was born for dog sports.

Offering practical training which promoted responsible dog ownership as well as a great foundation for dog sports and therapy was and still is our specialty. RDT was one of the first organizations to promote the American Kennel Club's Canine Good Citizen (CGC)Test and in the earlier years even attracted out of state participants. Community demonstrations to showcase advanced obedience with CGC testing, carting and agility became a regular part of the program. Soon after our "RDT Mini-Agility" team was born - featuring trained dogs that performed both in obedience and dog sports. It was a lot of fun!

Training at various locations in the Livingston County area was much fun! Other locations included Cyrstal Lake Farms on Taylor Road in Brighton, Fowlerville Fairgrounds, Huron Valley Schools, South Lyon Community Ed. and the Griffith's Karate Building in Whitmore Lake. By 1990, Results had ten assistants and training classes were well attended. Thus, in 1992, we consolidated and rented a commercial building in between Howell and Brighton. Other services were added: doggie daycare, drop-off training and grooming. Ta-da! Results Dog Training-Plus! was born.

Offering agility classes in 1992 was mainly for fun only and in 1996 Pawformance Dog Sports was born to cover the agility and retrieve offerings. We had a lot of trainers and paws participating and some of our adult and junior trainers did run successfully in the USDAA trials in those early years. Son Ron was one of the early junior participants, several early juniors are still out there - grown up, some famous and on tv!

In 1997, the program was downsized, doing small classes and privates only. In 2000, additional property was purchased and a new facility was built for training! The dog house featured the best of the various training locations we have operated in. The packed dirt floor which was covered with indoor-outdoor carpeting and mats was great for the dogs, especially for doing agility and jumping. Much fun here until a move to Hartland in 2008...

Many of the trainers and their dogs discovered a wonderful hobby and many are still showing and earning titles! And not always with just the so-called typical obedience breeds. Most of the trainers that have earned titles, did so swiftly with placements and special recognition including Dog World Awards along the way. Interested? Visit: Trainer Awards which is always under construction!

My Life With Dogs, Before it was 'Cool'!

Much time was spent at the local library in the dog section when I was eight years old. High school and college papers always centered around the behaviors and dogs when allowed. My teachers and family wondered about my future!

I was training with several clubs, assisting when able, attending seminars and various clinics over a ten year span prior to starting the Results Dog Training program in 1981. Results! is today. In the early years, while not doing the jerk and pull training, I did teach the alpha pin and rolls as the 'experts' in our field were suggesting at the time - but used a 'gentle way'. I never did like doing these and am proud to say that I stopped these in the early 1980's.

My college background consisted of behavior related classes as I was preparing myself for a career in law enforcement. These have been an asset for my involvement with people and their dogs that I do now. Consideration of returning to college to complete my degree in the Animal Behavioral Science field was extinguished when I discovered the methods employed were not in agreement of what I believe in. Simply put, basing the "Come!" command (the most important in my world) on hoping my pup will respond to a treat did not validate a base for constructive training. Thus, I cannot share a title after my name. I can offer a lifetime of learning and share - this is my passion.

I do maintain a belief in continuing education and attend clinics and seminars that provide opportunities for learning. A vast assortment of experiences garnered in the following areas through participation and observing have added to the program offered here:

Breeds I have personally owned are listed first. Those trained for clients, I have lisved with and personally handled and/or titled outside of the dog house program follow:

Presentations, Seminars, Clinics, Demonstrations & Canine Good Citizen Tests Given:

Reporting, Articles and Newsletter Editing

Past and Present Club Affiliations

Judging Assignments

Not being licensed, I was honored to be asked to judge the following AKC sanctioned and non-sanctioned assignments in obedience, conformation, junior handling and numerous Michigan 4-H events:

Professional Handling

In the American Kennel Club (AKC) and Canadian Kennel Clubs (CKC) show rings, mainly sporting, working, terrier and hound breeds of dogs. Numerous Best of Breeds, Group Placements and Best in Specialty Show wins showing dogs in the competitive midwest and Ontario areas.

Spring 2002 - back on the circuit! Now in the Toy ring with my "Touche'", formerly known as Champion Shaggyluv Chelsea's Touche' CD RA TDI CGC. We had a wonderful time on the circuits taking numerous Best of Breeds over top ranked specials (champions) including the Westminster KC Best of Breed Winner 2003 (twice), enroute to her championship. Touche' also garnered first place in the Toy Group Puppy Extravaganza at the Midland Co KC Show with 17 different toy breeds in competition - fun!

In 2007 she was the Havanese Club of America's Highest Ranking Rally-Obedience dog. We only trialed long enough to get her title, but she racked up more points than others that showed months longer than she did. My sweet Touch'e passed away in May of 2014, she is buried in my heart...


On stage "Toto" training for the Howell Community Theater's OZ - 1996
Private Lessons off site for an Annie production at the Fox Theater - 1992

Advertising - Commercial Work

Hired with various Chelsea Golden Retrievers for a network advertising doggie natural care products was fun. This work was quite different. The commercials featured Star Trek's Jim Doohan a.k.a. "Scotty" who was very pleasant to work with - BTW his favorite breed at the time - Doberman Pinschers.

RDT Community Events, Therapy Dog Visits, Demonstrations and Donations:

Recipient of the Gaines Medal for Good Sportsmanship

Gaines Medal for Good Sportsmanship - quite an honor. This was presented in 1978-1979 through the Great Pyrenees Club of Metropolitan Detroit.

Instructor's Early Personal Dogs

1967 - After having several "family" dogs, I was given the responsibility of training our new german shepherd puppy! She was almost like a real life short haired black and tan version of Lassie. Our family enjoyed her for fifteen (healthy) years!

Several mixed breeds also shared our home during the 1960's. "Gypsy" a German Shepherd and Siberian Husky x; "Benjamin" a Bluetick Coonhound and Beagle cross; "Susie" a German Shepherd and Collie x. Vairous other pets as well.

1971 - I entered the world of purebred dog competition with Jato's Dancing Bear "Maggie". She was my first Great Pyrenees. Her background was one of the old Quibbletown lines and with her I was active in obedience, conformation and tracking. I loved her and her type. She was often written and spoken of as being the only Great Pyrenees in Michigan that would come when called. We showed in obedience and attempted tracking but could not compete further due to her developing hip dysplasia.

Professional Breeding

1977 - The beginning of the "Chelsea" Golden Retrievers! After years of research, my first two goldens arrived in 1977 and 1978. Seven generations of wonderful dogs followed with versatility being their specialty, always owner handled and trained. There are numerous puppies that I bred that were placed with other instructors, experienced trainers and - first time dog owners that have competed in various venues. All have been successful in all of the performance rings and field with the "Chelsea" spirit. Most important - all of these wonderful Goldens are and have been foot warmers, too.

My breeding program virtually ended when it was becoming more difficult to find goldens with the attitude, beauty and soundness of the type I prefer. Hopefully, 2019 will bring another special puppy and "Chelsea Goldens" will be back!
Note - on the web golden retriever pedigree web site - many Chelsea dogs are now listed that are not of my breeding. Also - there have been several persons that have listed information on my dogs which has come to my attention just this year. Some of the information is true, some needs updating - a project for a rainy weekend!

Formal Education

1973 - Brighton High School Graduate with an emphasis on the behavioral sciences, college prep and business. When attending college, the plan was to acquire a degree in Law Enforcement with a desire to be a canine unit officer. A change in my vision sadly ended my plan. (RK & LASIK were not available at that time). Classes at Oakland Community and Marygrove College with a Criminal Justice focus.

After much research into various programs in the Animal Behavior world, I decided not to pursue a degree in this realm. This was due primarily to the methods being taught which did not correspond with my beliefs. Thus, no title or degree after my name, self taught and proud of same.


Pet supply store manager at the Tel-12 Mall in Southfield. A convenient and fun job while attending college. Great perk - my pets could come to work with me!

Communications - Dispatch for police, fire & EMS at Novi Police Department; Hired to develop the new Communications department with Pittsfield Township Police (Ann Arbor Mall area). Working on location for Pittsfield PD at the Washtenaw County Sheriff Department. After this, a desire to be on a 9-5 Monday-Friday schedule became a reality. A few years were spent in the industrial controls field specializing in photo electrics sales and support.

The paws were calling, evenings were spent at dog classes with clubs and then Results was born in 1981. In addition, I trained hearing and service dogs through PAWS With a Cause, an United Way Agency. The organizaion was called Ears for the Deaf when I began employment with them. My position of trainer quickly expanded to include presentation coordinator/SE Michigan Assistant Director for all of Livingston County and parts of Oakland, Genesee, Ingham and Bay Counties.

More on the Chelsea Golden Retrievers:

My foundation dam was Canadian Champion Sugarbear Chelsea Holiday Am.Can.CD, WC, "Holly". She was out of Cherie Berger's wonderful "Jason" Am. Can. Champion Meadowpond's Especial Jason Am Can UDT and Marge Dodis' "Heide" - Topbrass Ruffian's Heide. Holly had enough major reserve wins to be an Am. Champion three times and was a special bitch in her own way. Her first love was pheasant hunting, and due to this she never did get her tracking title. We ended up in pheasant fields and she would leave the track - she would always return to her task, but once the dog quits - it's done.

My foundation sire was American Canadian Champion Beaumaris Flying Chelsea Guy Am. Can. CD, WC, VC "Matt". Matt's prestigious American show championship career included Fort Detroit Golden Retriever Club's Puppy of the Year Award despite showing for only three of the six months allotted to build points for same. Always shown natural, he was an "honest dog" per respected judge Annie Rogers Clark. His career started taking off early. At his first show he won #1 Regular Best of Breed and #1 in Sweepstakes at a large central regional specialty show in Kentucky. At the Detroit Kennel Club Show Matt took Best of Breed from the classes over eight specials in 1980, later Winners Dog at the Golden Retriever Club of America's Central Regional Show and numerous best of breeds over specials and a Group 2 win enroute to his American and Canadian championships. In 1982 he was the only dog representing his past large training school at the Detroit-Windsor World Series Obedience Competition. And he acquired his field title after only two weeks of training - with zest!

Both Holly and Matt were my children's best friends, we were very fortunate to have them for nearly 14 and 13 years. They began seven wonderful generations of goldens that are still bringing joy and companionship to many. Many of the Chelsea Goldens were shown in the obedience, conformation and agility avenues. Also, they were fine field dogs and many have done therapy and service work. Being active in Goldens gave me many special years and friendships that are still treasured.

Next on the list is to add a Chelsea Golden Retriever Tribute!

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