Kate Bigger

Owner and Head Trainer

 Kate Bigger dog trainer- agility, scent work, nosework, aggression, fear, puppy or senior dog training.

Kate Bigger is a Boston based animal behavior consultant and trainer who specializes in sport dog classes, specifically scent work and agility.  A seven-time National Agility Invitational Qualifier who achieved five agility championships on three different dogs, Kate has had years of experience training happy sport dogs.  As the president of Performance Scent Dogs, a national sport scent detection organization, she has traveled from Alaska to Florida to Canada to judge and fine-tune hundreds of scent work teams. She feels very lucky to bring her experience in reading infinitesimally small changes in dog behavior and her specialty in motivating sport dogs together.  


Specialties

 
  • Scent Work

  • Scent Detection

  • Agility

  • Motivation

  • Reactive Dogs

  • Fearful Dogs 

  • Aggression

  • Resource guarding

  • Barking and lunging

  • Start puppy righT!

  • coming when called

  • Stop Jumping

 

My Story

 
 Daisy the Irish Setter- agility dog training with Kate Bigger in Boston MA.
 

Blame Daisy. This whole thing is her fault.  Daisy, a rambunctious Irish Terrier who came to me from rescue when she was about nine months old, was a typical very high energy and low focus dog. Butterfly brain. She’d flit here and there leaving a path of destruction in her wake. Shiva in a red fur coat. She never met a cardboard box she didn’t think it was her responsibility to be returned to the earth in fine shreds. Also, metal cans. Plastic cd covers. Socks. Power cords.

In an effort to reign in her cat chasing ways, I turned to the internetz. Put coins in a soda can, tape it closed, and shake it at the dog to interrupt whatever nonsense they are doing. Great idea, I thought. If a dog could snicker while mocking attempts at forced compliance, that would be Daisy. When she sneakily swiped the can off a high shelf, ran amok through the house wildly shaking it in her mouth absolutely delighted by the metallic ringing of the coins, well…that’s when I turned to effective science-based training. Daisy went on to be a great friend to her feline companions, an awesome off-leash hiking partner, and a nationally accomplished agility dog. She passed at the ripe old age of 16, still insisting on going for long sniffy walks at every opportunity.

Communication, Trust, and Fun

Any one who sees me compete or is one of my student knows how deeply I care about the relationship between the dog and the handler. Ribbons and accomplishments are nice and all, but the ability to share with another species a deep level of communication, trust, and fun is what dog sports is really all about. All my dogs have been recycled. Please support your local shelter and breed rescue!


pearl boo.JPG

Pearl -Village Ocean’s Iridescent Gift, Terrier mix 
Almost three and my wild child. Feeling down? Go hang with Pearl for five seconds. We are working on agility, competition obedience, and someday I may get around to introducing her to scent work. She has her Championship in snuggling under blankets, ball chasing and whispering sweet nothings in Fi’s ear.


 Skeeter Sheltie and Kate Bigger- reactive dog training

Skeeeeeter! - ADCH Village What’s That Buzzing In My Ear, AX, MXJ. The barking thing is a Sheltie mix.
At 23 pounds, a peanut with a loud loud voice. She is a dog who expresses herself freely from impressive madteeth waved at any member of the Boxer breed to a patented raucous barkalator greeting with wide racing loops around her human fans which she has legion. She’s taught me a lot about reactivity and patience.  We both think weave poles suck.  


 Hi Fi Border Collie and Kate Bigger- scent work nosework trial champion, AX, AXJ, NW1(P)

Hi-Fi - ADCH Village High Fidelity Bull  In A Chime Shoppe, AX, AXJ, NW1(P) Terrier mix.
The happy go lucky dude of a dog. He likes agility well enough but he luuuvs scent work. He finished 2nd overall in his first Nosework Trial with a Pronounced (meaning the judges thought we rocked) in all four searches. He opened up the whole world of scent detection that not only recharged, but turbocharged, my dog training batteries.


And dogs that have gone on:

 Daisy and Kate Bigger- agility competition highest titled Irish Terrier in USDAA, speed jumping, finals.

Daisy - MACH 2, PDCH Village Flower O’ My Heart, RN Irish Terrier. 
Multiple agility titles across four venues. The highest titled Irish Terrier in USDAA ever. Ran in Regional Speed Jumping Finals at the age of 10. Qualified 7 times for AKC  National Invitationals and participated in five. Made it to the Finals once.  The dog who changed my life.

 Peaches rescue dog and Kate Bigger- shelter dog, separation anxiety, senior dog training.

Peaches - Papa’s couch potato.
I pulled her from a shelter that was closing for NEBCR and failed at fostering her. A Border Collie/Pitty mix, she had moderate separation anxiety which doesn’t seem so moderate when the inside of your car/house/bathroom door is subjected to free floating anxiety through the mouth of a 50 pound dog.  Sigh. She accompanied my husband on his daily walk to our record store in Harvard Square. She was a good dog who was turned in to the shelter at the age of 9, after being adopted by the family as a puppy, for growling at the 5 year old kid. Turns out her back really hurt. A lot. No agility for her, but she sure could hog a bed.


 Clementine Border collie mix and Kate Bigger- stranger fear dog training.

Clementine - Village Oh My Darling.
My first Border Collie/Pitty mix and Daisy’s bestest pal ever. Another failed foster who opened up my eyes to dogs with issues. Classic brilliant dog with fear issues especially around people. Oh, but how she would light up whenever she saw any of her getting-longer list of people friends. Gone too soon, we had almost two years together. Her sudden loss at a young age was so painful it colors all my training. Dogs aren’t here long enough and can be gone in a blink. For Clemmy’s sake-make the ride a good one.

Experience:

  • President, Performance Scent Dogs www.performancescentdogs.com
  • 2006-current: Senior Trainer at the MSPCA in Boston.
  • 2003-current: Volunteer with New England Border Collie Rescue.
  • 2009-current Member and volunteer with Agility is Really Fun For Fido (ARFF)
  • 2003-2006 Training Director then President, Boston Agility Racing K9’s, the oldest agility training group in the country.

Author: Authored a two-part article for Clean Run Magazine published in April and May 2014 on contact re-training.

Memberships: Supporting Member, International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants