NEWS: Senior Naiburg Wins National Dog Training Competition
By Emily Carroll – Staff Reporter
Law senior Hannah Naiburg, a self-taught dog trainer, has been winning competition after competition for the past four years.
This past November, at the fourth annual American Kennel Club’s national competition, Naiburg competed with Molly, one of her rescue dogs, in the Junior Excellent classes and won first place, breaking a world record in the process. Naiburg and Molly were in AKC’s Agility Competition performing in a timed obstacle course which included tunnels, weave poles, jumps and seesaws.
Naiburg’s win was a surprise to many in the Law community who were unaware of her dog training accomplishments, but some of her teachers were not shocked by her victory.
“Her whole wall at home is ribbons,” said Law special education teacher Mrs. LaDue.
After starting with just two dogs, Naiburg researched and became interested in becoming a dog trainer. After all the research, she started making her own supplies and began teaching on her own.
“I have high energy dogs,” said Naiburg. “So I looked online what to do and homemade everything.”
Naiburg started taking lessons at a K9 training center in Hamden called “Paws ’N Effect” and is also now doing an internship there. Paws ’N Effect specializes in positive training of dogs of all ages.
When she started adding more dogs to her family, some were too young to start competitions.
“They have to be about 18 months to enter competitions,” said Naiburg.
Naiburg starts the dogs off with foundation moves then works them into the big equipment when they reach the right age. Some basic skills that she starts off with her dogs are jumps, tunnels, and weaving through poles.
Before she even decided she wanted to start doing competitions, Naiburg started getting all the equipment needed to do it on her own.
“They liked it so I got more dogs and more professional equipment,” said Naiburg.
She also does competitions in Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Orlando, and all over.
Hannah also goes to Eisenhower Park in Milford to train a dog for a couple from Yale University.
Naiburg doesn’t just have her seven dogs, though. She also has rats, ferrite, snakes, turtles, and even bearded dragons.
“The rats and ferrets are pretty smart,” said Naiburg. “They are smarter than my dogs sometimes.”
After all the time and energy Naiburg put into training and competitions, one of the trainers at “Paws N’ Effect” said that she thinks Naiburg will be making it to worlds one day.
Naiburg also dabbles in photography and takes pictures of her dogs and other pets as another activity.
She said that dog training is something she will continue to keep doing as a sport and as a career.