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Manhattan Kansas
Kennel Club

Meet the Manhattan Kennel Club Instructors

Kay Cassella with two dogs

Dale Bormann, MKKC Instructor

I grew up with a dog, and when my wife and I moved to Manhattan in 2005 we adopted two Shepherd mixes. I started working with them in Agility and showed extensively in trials with the United Kennel Club (UKC) and North American Dog Agility Council (NADAC) from 2007 to 2015. One of our Shepherd mixes, Murray, earned the UKC Grand Agility Championship (U-GRACH) 18 title and our other Shepherd mix, Dusty, earned the U-GRACH 21 title. Both dogs also achieved several NADAC Novice Agility titles. They both have their UKC Rally Level 1 title as well. I began teaching the Beginning Agility class in 2013.

Kay Cassella with two dogs

Kay Cassella, MKKC Instructor

I have been a member of MKKC since 1990 and have been teaching the Super Puppy class since 1999. I use everyday practical approaches to help puppy owners raise a well-mannered household pet. I’ve been an American Kennel Club (AKC) Canine Good Citizen (CGC) evaluator since 2000. I started my training with a Dalmatian who earned her AKC Companion Dog (CD) title. Then my German Shorthaired Pointer earned her AKC Companion Dog Excellence (CDX) title. My passion grew to Conformation, where I learned to show my breed to AKC national rankings and handle other breeds to their AKC championship.

Diana Farmer, MKKC Instructor

I joined the Manhattan Kansas Kennel Club (MKKC) in 1972.  I had my first saluki and was training her in obedience.  I have owned, bred, trained and shown my salukis in obedience, Rally obedience, agility, conformation and tracking over the years.  In the mid-80s I became an obedience instructor for MKKC and have continued to do so intermittently.  To become a more effective instructor, I have read about dog behavior, training techniques and have taken several online courses from noted instructors on training your dog. 

I believe in working with your dog to form a partnership.  How well that partnership works depends on the time and effort you put in working with your dog.  How you and your dog interact is unique and I believe that the training I give reflects that.

Susan Keller with dog and ribbons

Susan Keller, MKKC Training Director and Instructor

I joined MKKC in 1985 and became Training Director as well as an instructor in 2005. I currently teach Agility, Rally, Basic Obedience, and Super Puppy classes. I look forward to helping you and your dog establish a strong bond and build the foundation that leads to a well-mannered and well-trained pet.

I was in on the ground floor of Agility with my little mixed breed and have since shown many dogs to a multitude of Agility titles with the American Kennel Club (AKC), United Kennel Club (UKC), North American Dog Agility Council (NADAC), and United States Dog Agility Association (USDAA). I currently compete in Agility with one of my Bichons. I started showing in Rally Obedience at its inception. I have been competing in Rally since 2000 and seven of my dogs have obtained many titles. One of my Schipperkes competed to the highest level in Rally, earning a place in the Schipperke Club of America Hall of Fame in Rally. I have also shown two of my Schipperkes to breed championship (CH) and Formal Novice Obedience, earning the Companion Dog (CD) title.

In addition to teaching and showing, I am a licensed UKC Agility and Rally judge. I judge 4-H dogs for state and county fairs in Agility, Rally, all levels of Formal Obedience, and Showmanship. I co-authored the State of Kansas 4-H agility rulebook. I’m also an evaluator for the Canine Good Citizen (CGC), S.T.A.R. Puppy, Trick Dog, and Therapy Dog International (TDI) certifications. I have conducted several workshops and presentations in both Agility and Rally. Several people have apprenticed under me in the application process to become a licensed UKC Agility judge, and I have mentored several students to become dog trainers through Animal Behavior College.

Brianna Nipper with dog

Brianna Nipper, MKKC Instructor

I recently joined MKKC in 2022. I started by career working with dogs as a child doing Junior Showmanship with AKC and showing Boxers in Conformation. During college I worked as a kennel technician at a vet clinic for nearly two years. Now I work as a dog groomer and have been working with dogs in this field for over two years. I have a Standard Poodle that I compete in AKC Rally with and will be using for NDGAA grooming certification. I am an evaluator for AKC Canine Good Citizen (CGC, CGCA, CGCU,) S.T.A.R. Puppy, and Trick Dog. It is my goal to help you reach your training goals and provide a safe and fun training environment.

Tiffany Oberdorf with three dogs

Tiffany Oberdorf, MKKC Instructor

I began training dogs and competing in 2013 with a miniature dachshund in 4-H. We obtained titles in Agility and Rally at several levels before the end of my 4-H career. Currently, I have a Field Spaniel whom I compete with in AKC/UKC Conformation, Rally Obedience, and other performance sports. My goal in training is to give you and your canine partner the tools and advice to succeed, build a strong bond, and develop trust for one another. I enjoy taking a practical, humorous approach to create an environment where owners and dogs can enjoy their time training. As a busy college student, I like to train with simple, yet effective solutions that can be implemented into even the busiest days and create a well-mannered companion.

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