|Careers in Dogs
Carrie DeYoung — Director of Agility at American Kennel Club
- How did you first become involved in participating in AKC Events?
When I was a kid the very first dog show I ever went to was Beverly Hills Kennel Club. They had bleachers around the obedience rings. I will never forget watching the a Puli do a flip finish. I decided then that I wanted to train our poodle to do that. Luckily for me when I joined the 4-H Dog Care project the leader had kids who showed in AKC shows. They had Gordon Setters. I am still friends with that family. 2 of them have become AKC Conformation/Junior judges and our kids now all show dogs together when they get a chance.
- When you participated in AKC Junior Showmanship or AKC Events, what breed did you show? Any particular anecdotes are appreciated.
I showed our families Miniature Poodle in 4-H events. As we got more skilled I use to laugh when people would see us coming and say "Here comes Carrie with her wind-up dog." Once he understood Jr. Showmanship he really was an easy dog to show — nary a wrong foot would he place. When I wanted to try the "big shows" the 4-H leader's family gave me co-ownership of an AKC Champion Gordon Setter. Dugan really trained me well and we had lots of fun together. I still have quite the soft spot for Gordon Setters. I didn't get to show as often as I would have liked because I had to earn the money for our entry fees. To help pay for my entries I found a job training a Golden Retriever and a Newfoundland. Later I showed both of them to CDs for their owner and put a couple of points on the Newfoundland.
- In which events did your participate?
Jr. Showmanship, Conformation and Obedience.
- Did you have another career before working at the AKC?
I was with The Walt Disney Company for many years in the Human Resources area doing recruitment, internship programs and relocation of employees around the world.
- If so, what was it and what lead you to the AKC?
I was an AKC Agility & Jrs. Judge, then Director Sharon Anderson called me one day and asked if I would be interested in becoming an AKC Field Rep. The job looked like a good fit even for someone with a 5 year old and 1 ½ old daughters. Fortunately I was right and it worked out great for me and my family.
- What advice would you offer to young people today who are actively participating in AKC Events?
Have fun! The experience you have gain training your dogs, showing, winning, losing and making friends you will later realize is invaluable. I would also encourage all Juniors to join a local AKC club. Clubs need to hear from Juniors what is important to them and it can be another great leadership experience for your college applications!