HI, I'M MARA
Mara has been involved in showing and training dogs since just about the time she herself learned to walk. Both Mara's parents were involved in the breeding and showing of toy and sporting dogs; her father was an AKC judge. Mara first became involved in dog shows using her parents dogs in the breed ring, but after acquiring her own English Springer Spaniel, she began competing in the juniors ring. After mentoring with several prominent professional handlers, showing dogs became her passion, as evident in her continued interest today.
One of her greatest joys comes from teaching the "art" of handling to people who want to show their own dogs and has been holding handling classes (both group and private) for over 15 years in Broward County. Show dogs are not born perfect show dogs and there is a considerable amount of training that goes into developing a dog that is interested and willing to be shown. Whether you want to train your dog specifically for the show ring or you just want a well-mannered and stable companion animal, training should start as early as possible and be fun for both the human and dog. Mara uses only positive, reward-based methods, as she believes they result in the most desirable of outcomes.
We have had the great good fortune to know and work closely with Mara Powell for over a decade. From our very first group handling class to numerous private lessons and in-home training and socialization for our puppies and adult dogs, Mara has always impressed and inspired us with her skill, knowledge, passion, integrity, and care.
No matter your level of experience, she treats everyone with respect. Mara does not robotically go through training routines or take a cookie-cutter approach. She makes it a point to study each exhibitor and each dog to understand their strengths and areas to improve.
Mara’s greatest gift may be her ability to make those key observations and share them with the handlers and owners in ways they most need and can best understand. She videotapes you and your dog to ensure you can see yourself, your dog, and your teamwork together in the way the judge would at a show. Gaining that perspective is invaluable to ring success.
From a conformation standpoint, we credit Mara’s early training and guidance as an important factor in our Flat-Coated Retriever’s ability to win the national specialty in 2016 and be ranked number 1 in the breed standings.
As exciting as that success has been, it’s the accumulation of so many smaller but no less meaningful lessons, insights, encouragements, adjustments, and ah-ha moments for which we are most grateful.
There aren’t adequate words to ever thank Mara for what she has done for our dogs and for us.
We would encourage anyone who is serious about improving their handling capabilities, learning animal behavior, positive training, and reinforcement techniques, and establishing a better bond with their dog to reach out to Mara immediately.
- Hector and Meredith Hector,
Enclave Shetland Sheepdogs and Flat-Coat Retrievers
AKC Breeders of Merit and AKC Judges