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Shetland sheepdog trainer: Off the clock with Teresa Kroeker

Teresa Kroeker training her Shetland Sheepdog

Teresa Kroeker,
Computing Infrastructure & Services Manager, Computer Science


Teresa completed her PhD in astronomy at the University of Toronto (U of T) in 1998 and returned to work here five years ago.


What do you do off the clock?

I train and compete with my Shetland Sheepdogs in dog agility. I am also interested in dog cognition and training in general.

How did you first become interested in agility with your dogs?

My first sheltie was not very confident around other dogs. It was recommended to build his confidence that I take him to an agility class. We both enjoyed it so much that we continued to take classes and eventually started competing.

How often and where do these competitions take place?

During the spring, summer and fall you can compete nearly every weekend in Ontario, and during the winter there are competitions about twice a month. I spend a fair amount of time training my dogs, so I do not attend every competition. Along with local events, I have also competed at the regional and national level. My goal is to represent Canada at international competitions. This year I will be supporting the Canadian team by traveling with them to the Czech Republic for the Fédération cynologique internationale Agility World Championship.

 What (or who) inspires or influences your work?

My dogs inspire me with their athleticism and enthusiasm for agility. I am also inspired by the top agility handlers and dogs. It is a joy to watch a handler and dog as they successfully navigate a challenging course. The best teams make it seem effortless.  I enjoy the challenge of teaching my dogs tricks and what they need to do to compete in agility. Dog agility is a great way for me to spend time with my dogs and friends and meet new people.


Watch footage of Teresa competing with her Shetland Sheepdogs, Taari and Nessa.

“Taari is nine years old. She placed first at the Eastern Ontario Regionals this year. Nessa will be three years old in October. She is just starting out and is faster than Taari. This video was taken at a local competition this past summer.”

Photo credit: Len Silvester, TTL Photo / Submitted by Sara Franca, senior communications and external relations officer, Department of Computer Science