Stephanie Morris’s passion for agility and dogs led her to found Desert
Sage’s Canine Care in 2003. Her experience as a certified riding
instructor at Oregon State University’s Horse Center, gave her just the
edge she needed to start teaching agility. Years of watching and training
horses in addition to instructing riders flowed very smoothly into training
and teaching dog agility. From her years of studying the body language of
horses and then canines she has learned to read them very well. This
same skill allows her to be a great teacher as she sees what the handlers’
body language is telling the dog and how the dog is responding.
Dogs became Stephanie’s main focus after horses in 1998 when children
were in her and husband Bill’s future. She started working at the Humane
Society of Central Oregon in 2000. Two lucky Border Collies, Kelli and
Doc were adopted and came home with Stephanie. They were and are
amazing dogs for her to learn from. Kelli needed so much confidence
building that Stephanie thought agility would be good for her. It turns out it
was good for both of them.
Teaching agility and competing have become Stephanie’s career and she
is grateful to have found such a wonderful sport. She has contributed
much to the sports growth in Central Oregon.
To stay on the cutting edge Stephanie believes in attending seminars and
camps by the best in the sport. Greg and Laura Derrett, Susan Garrett,
Stacy Peardot-Goudy, Nancy Gyes, Kathy Keats, Barb Davis, Daisy Peel,
Susan Salo, Brittney Holtorf, Annalise Allan, Leslie Renaud, Moe Strenfel,
Pia Silvani, Rachel Saunders, Debbie Gross-Saunders, Sassie Joris,
Carolyn Barney, and Helix Fairweather have all played important roles in
her teaching style and training format. Stephanie teaches Greg Derrett’s
system of handling.
Stephanie believes that spending the time doing foundation training will
increase the overall ability of dog and handler to communicate and
succeed in the competitive agility arena. She enjoys helping teams learn
to maneuver around courses faster, smoother and with more accuracy.
Currently Stephanie is competing with Express and Trickle. She is also
starting her young dog, Vision.
Reya her foundation breeding female had a wonderful competition career,
attending 5 National events. Reya has retired now and is enjoying hiking
and just being a dog. She would love to continue agility but Stephanie
feels that her soundness needs to continue throughout her senior years.
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