Monday, 21 February 2011

interview with a PRO: Silvia Trkman

I think that "interview with a pro" isn't the right title for the person featured in this interview. She deserves a separate title, like pro-master or hardcore pro.
She has written and is writing the history of agility with a determination that is not equal to anyone.
She definitely has no need of introduction. She is famous worldwide for her methods and for making agility history with all her dogs (not just one). Training dogs is her biggest passion. She is best known for her method of running contacts and cik & cap turns that are really her very own inventions.
A person that is simple, brilliant and ingenious at the same time. To see her work live is something indescribable, to see the harmony between her and her dogs is an impressive thing.
A bit of information to help you understand a little of who she is--the numbers speak for themselves:
2 times Agility World Champion (and when she didn't win she was always near the top)
European Open winner a couple of times
10 times National Agility Champion (with 3 different dogs)
12 times World Team member with four different dogs, usually with two dogs at a time and winner of many more major competitions.
Let's go read the interview...

First of all , some warm up questions , for a better start

What was the last thing you took out of the refrigerator? 
Milk to put in my morning tea.

What is the last thing you have forgotten?
I graduated from philosophy, so that's an easy one: "I don't know" is the only correct answer to this question :)

What's the last thing you bought?
Hm, a trash container... I'm not big on shopping, I'm the worst consumer the market ever saw :)

Ok , let's begin the real interview...

Introduce a bit yourself (I think that this question is unnecessary)
Well, I'm agility veteran, I started with a Samoyed in 1992. Then came Lo and La, the border collies Bu and Bi and then another PyrShep puppy, Le, all enjoying agility, tricks, hiking etc.

photo by Maja Rokavec

How do you feel coming from a really small country and you have marked the history of agility in a big way
Proud. It confirms what I'm always saying: no instructor, video or book can't help you as much as learning in live does. Your dog is your best teacher, you just need time, devotion and passion for the sport.

photo by Walter Hupfer

How the agility changes from '90 to the 2010
A lot. I like it now more than ever. At its beginnings, it was just about getting from one obstacle to another, hopefully making them without faults... And now, it's really all about little details, about perfect lines, even more so now that more and more people have running contacts and cik&cap turns. Little details are what makes it all so interesting.

photo by Iztok Noč

How your life changed after the first win at the world championship?
Well, not so much, I was still at University at that time, teaching agility and puppy classes for years. I then started to get more and more invitations for seminars and started to teach more and more, but I still finished University - and then didn't have to get a real job, that was really nice, but as I said, it happened slowly, with more and more requests for seminars.

When did you realize that your dream has come true? (that you will become a dog trainer)
It happened slowly, I was taking up seminars mostly as it's interesting experience from which I learn a lot too. My father was still pushing me to get a normal job, but to shut him down, I did some calculations and realized I really do not need a normal job, that I can live from my hobby, doing only what I love the most, how cool is that!?

Silvia Trkman and Bu Team Runs at WC
by klickerklok

photo by Iztok Noč

Finally you can train in your private indoor hall .This is a great advantage for you ,becouse you live in an area where winters are full of snow .How long have you been waiting for this moment ?
Well, it was not really planned for all that long... Of course, I was dreaming about it every winter since 1992, while running in mud, water and snow, cleaning the dogs, shoes, clothes and car after every training... But I'm not "a man with a plan", the whole thing started when my father was trying to sell me a typical Slovenian house with 400m2 of land and lots of neighbors - and I said that if I'm ever buying a house, it has to have direct access to fields&woods for hiking, enough land for agility field and as little neighbors as possible... - And it sounded so nice, my boyfriend loved it too and my father started to push me to do something about it, so I started my hunt for the house the same night. Dreaming to put up additional roof for agility was the only logical thought, but I almost gave up as the costs were higher as I expected, but again, with some push from my boyfriend and my father, we got that roof - and some more debts :) - but that's for sure my best spent money, I love it.

photo by Bor Antolic

How do you feel when people from all over the world want to come to you for taining?
This year you start with the LoLaBu Land agility camps .Tell us a bit more about this project.
It's all very simple, just an opportunity for those, living too far to join normal classes to come, stay here for a week and experience how our classes look like, chat, hike and have fun with the dogs, that's the whole project. It's all full already, so I'm thinking to open another camp, it's just so nice to see how many people are interested in what we do.

Explain us how goes a typical day in your life
Hm. I get up at 10 and something, drink my tea first, answering the mail, go for a walk with the dogs, work a little with each, either tricks or agility, then I usually have some classes or privates, or if not, I work on training videos production, then I go for another walk and evenings, we do nothing, I love doing nothing.

How much time you devote to training during the week
I try to do something with each dog every day, either tricks or some agility stuff - for 10 or 15 minutes with those who are already trained (La and Bu) - and some more with those who are still learning (Bi and Le).

video LaBuBi Cleaning Team by yolle555

photo by Walter Hupfer

The 5 most beautiful moments in your career
Hm,  I don't know, I don't really see all this as a career in a first place. I see it all as playing with my dogs and finding ways to have as much time as possible for that :). For me, the most beautiful moments happen in the mountains, in the fields on a sunny day like today, when swimming in a mountain lake... Those are the things that really matter. You won't find not even one trophy in my house, I give them all away, including those from World Championships. For me, the results are a nice sign that I'm on a right way, but the important part is the way, having fun with my dogs, no result is as important as that. People often ask how I felt on a podium on World Championships and well - I was just very hungry. Didn't have time to eat because of all the congratulations etc. and what I remember the most was how hungry I was standing there for ever... See, I'm very down to earth:).

photo by Iztok Noč

photo by Ray Hoffman

Where do you see yourself in the 2014
Hopefully still in this house, with this car, with those dogs, with this boyfriend:). I'm not very ambitious person, I love how things are and I love I can only do things that I love, so all I wish for is that it stays that way.

video Agility Mix: Bi, Bu, La by yolle555

Thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview! Do you have anything else you would like to add?
Not really, I'm not good with fancy words. I like simple things and I like to keep agility simple too, that's why it was so hard for me to start producing training videos. But I love it now, it's a great help to those who were originally told it's all about discipline. For me, it's all just a game. It worries me when I see how big agility is getting and how stressful it's becoming for some, stressing over not-so-good runs etc. I do aim for perfection, but I am all the time aware that mistakes are the only way to get there and learning process is what I love the most. I always say that if I ever reach perfection, things will get too boring to keep doing them. So let's hope I will still be doing many mistakes in next years to come!

please, visit

WC agility 2006 Basel by yolle555

winter tricks by yolle555

La's jumping team run in WC Hamar 2007 by yolle555


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