Mental Skills for Canine
Competition Handlers Seminar

Brenda Riemer, Ph.D.
September 21-22, 2019

The philosophy behind this mental skills seminar is the fact that people are not born with perfect mental skills for the dog sports ring, just as dogs are not born knowing how to perform perfect heeling, fronts or finishes. Ring nerves can be overcome with practice – whether competing in conformation, obedience, rally, agility or any other dog sport.

Saturday will include:

What competition is
Why we can experience ring nerves
Psychological skill training
Ways to reduce stress and anxiety
Imagery, goal setting and other related topics
Mental skills exercises for everyone to do during the seminar

Sunday will include:

Up to 14 teams will prepare to enter the ring, do a brief run-through and exit the ring in a mock trial.
Brenda will coach and support the handler.
Other seminar attendees will play the parts of judge, steward, audience, etc.
It will be a great opportunity for everyone to see Brenda’s mental training skills put into practice.


Brenda Riemer earned her PH.D. in Sport Psychology from Michigan State University in 1996. Since then, she has taught Sport Psychology at the college level and has worked with college and high school athletes. In addition, she has worked with top obedience competitors on their mental skills. Brenda’s dogs compete in obedience, rally and agility. Her current dogs include Sheltie, OTCH Liza, UDX5, OM9, RE, VER, and Dachshund, Zelda, CD, RN. Brenda currently teaches at Eastern Michigan University.