Capital City Dog Sport Association is made up of an eclectic blend of dog enthusiasts, who participate in a wide variety of dog sports and events. The benefit of meeting as a group to train and share information becomes evident immediately, when someone asks "Has this ever happened...." and of course someone always has personal knowledge of training through such a problem. We encourage and promote good citizenship with our dogs, and assist the local community in events - highlighting our canine partners' amazing abilities and outstanding temperament.
They say "old dog trainers never die, they just drop on recall", and our club is proof of that! Capital City Dog Sport Association was formed in 1979 and holds the unique distinction of having earned more UKC Dog Sport titles (over 200), more Dock Jumping National Championships (41) and more UKC Nosework titles (over 1,000 including 16 Elite NW titles, 32 individual level NW Championships, 2 Grand Championships and one OVERALL NOSEWORK CHAMPION) than any other training club in North America. Our membership also includes a total of 8 UKC Judges (licensed in conformation, dock jumping, nosework, obedience, shed hunting, terrier racing and as SPOT evaluators.)
Our Executive Board members have a variety of experiences, which adds to the richness of leadership in our not-for-profit organization. Introductions are:
FOUNDER, PRESIDENT & DIRECTOR OF TRAINING: Cheryl Carlson is one of the best known dog training experts in the industry, and has been training and breeding dogs professionally since 1977; providing guard dog service, teaching family companion dogs (manners, problem solving and behavior modification), personal protection, and physical assistance dogs. She has trained and certified over 100 Police Service K-9's to date (many of her own breeding), with teams qualified in patrol, narcotics, arson, explosive and cadaver detection. She has also trained search & rescue dogs (SAR) and urban search & rescue (US&R) to FEMA certification. She has also certified many other dog trainers in police work (narcotics detection training and police K-9 decoy training). Cheryl's breeding program has produced more than 350 certified Police Service K-9s, over 100 SAR dogs, dozens of physical assistance dogs as well as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) service dogs, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) service dogs, Seizure Assist service dogs and Emotional Assistance (EA) service dogs. She has also produced more French Ring Sport titled dogs and more UKC Performance titled dogs than any other breeder in North America.
Cheryl enjoys competition with her own dogs, and has earned multiple advanced titles in Competitive Obedience, Agility, Rally, Schutzhund, French Ring Sport, Campagne, K9 Pro Sports and UKC Dog Sport. She has also successfully titled in Herding, Dock Jumping, Nosework, Lure Coursing, Barn Hunt and Terrier Racing, as well as earned dozens of breed Championships in both AKC and UKC (where she has also earned multiple Grand Championships) with around 90% of these accolades being achieved with dogs of her own breeding! She has judged countless personal protection trials throughout the United States and Canada, is the ONLY woman in North America to EVER receive certification as a Campagne decoy (a French sport consisting of bitework, agility, obedience and tracking), and was one of the founders and former President of the North American Ring Association (NARA).
Cheryl was also the first woman to be licensed as a United Kennel Club Judge for ALL classes of Dog Sports, allowing her to officiate at Police Dog I and Police Dog II certifications as well as all other levels of competition offered by the UKC Dog Sport program, and additionally licensed to select and certify helpers/decoys for the Dog Sport competitions. She is also licensed as a UKC Nosework Judge, a sport involving scent discrimination in varying elements similar to those utilized by the Police K-9s she has trained for detection services for 45 years. Cheryl is truly unique among trainers for her vast knowledge, years of experience and unmatched expertise in EVERY area of dog training.
VICE-PRESIDENT & ASSISTANT DIRECTOR OF TRAINING: Debra Hebeler starting training as a child raising "Leader Dogs for the Blind". Her first competition dog was a German Shepherd bought for her then young children in 1985, which she successfully showed to a CDX, TD, SchH II, BTr. Not bad for a starter dog! Deb has since fallen in love with the Belgian Malinois breed and has been successfully competing with them since 1998. Deb has titled her Malinois in Competitive Obedience, Agility, Rally, Nosework, Dock Jumping, Lure Coursing, French Ring Sport and UKC Dog Sport. Deb is also a UKC licensed Nosework Judge and SPOT Evaluator. Deb thoroughly enjoys personal protection competitions and has won many with her hard charging and harder biting dogs, and she has also had the privilege of judging several such competitions throughout the Midwest and East Coast since 2003.
SECRETARY: Carole Field is a Dog World Award winning trainer and high-in-trial competitor; involved in obedience and protection sports since 1982. She founded Ruff N’ Stuff Dog Obedience in Chicago, Illinois and was Director of Training for 20 years from 1985-2005. She also served as Instructor, elected Board Member and ultimately Director of Training for Westside Dog Training Club in Chicago (AKC Competition Obedience Training Club) from 1989-1994, as well as Founder and Director of Training of K9 Working Companions from 1990-2005 (Advanced Obedience and Personal Protection Club).
Carole has titled her own personal dogs in AKC Obedience, Schutzhund, French Ring Sport, K9 Pro Sports and UKC Conformation, Obedience, Agility, Rally, Dog Sport, Dock Jumping, Nosework, Lure Coursing, Barn Hunt and Terrier Racing. She is also an avid personal protection competitor and has achieved great success in this venue with numerous dogs. Carole has judged personal protection tournaments throughout the Midwest since 1995, was certified as a UKC Performance Judge in 2006 licensed for Family Obedience and Dog Sport (all classes of Protection and Police Dog titles), is designated as a Senior Terrier Race Judge and a Nosework Judge. She is also a nationally published writer and photographer, and has been a professional member of the Dog Writers Association of America since 1994.
TREASURER: Renae Larsen calls herself an “old lady who loves dogs”. As a decorated member of the Sheriff’s Posse for over 15 years, she was repeatedly called upon to control situations where a show of force was necessary (and not just with guns… she even rode her Posse Horse into a bar to break up an altercation). You don’t want to mess with Renae! She now chooses to maintain a “deadly force” contained in smaller packages, but no less powerful, in the form of Belgian Malinois. Known for their high flying bites and “hardest hitting” grips in protection dog competitions, Renae has also successfully titled them in French Ring Sport, AKC Obedience, SDA Tracking, UKC Dog Sport, Agility, Dock Jumping, Lure Coursing and Nosework.
DIRECTOR-AT-LARGE: Paul Hebeler is our resident “Mr. Wizard”, designing and constructing any and all equipment imaginable for our many dog club events. Although involved in the club activities back in the late 1980’s when his wife Deb was showing their German Shepherd “Remo” in AKC Obedience, Tracking, Schutzhund and French Ring Sport, Paul personally became involved in training with his own German Shepherds in 2001. Paul has successfully titled his dogs in French Ring Sport, AKC Obedience, K9 Pro Sports and in UKC Dog Sport, Agility, Rally, Dock Jumping and Nosework. Paul is a UKC licensed Nosework Judge and also excels in personal protection competitions where he has won many high-in-trials with his German Shepherd Dogs.
DIRECTOR-AT-LARGE: Kelly Reed Lucas has a favorite T-shirt that reads: “I was normal three dogs ago”. Well, this is pretty spot on for Kelly and her canine household, which consists of 3 Dutch Shepherds and the apple of her eye, a Parson Russell Terrier (or the bane of her existence… it depends upon what day it is). Kelly enjoys numerous performance venues with her dogs and has titled in UKC Agility, Dock Jumping, Rally Obedience, Lure Coursing, Nosework and Terrier Racing, while also competing in protection tournaments with the big dogs. Kelly and her husband also breed colorful exotic birds, some of which can be heard verbally correcting her Parson Russell Terrier from time to time. I wonder who those clever mimics learned that from? LORI WEBSTER - DECOY has a long history of service to the dog fancy which began as a child raising puppies for "Leader Dogs for the Blind" when she was nine years old. She has been an award-winning trainer and handler since 1999 competing in agility, barn hunt, conformation, dock jumping, nosework, rally obedience, weight pull and biting sport tournaments. Lori has been breeding Dutch Shepherds and Parson Russell Terriers since 2005 and her breeder/owner handled dogs have been awarded Best-in-Show multiple times in conformation while also earning numerous High-in-Trial awards in both performance and protection sports. She is also certified in numerous venues to provide expert training for bite sports, police dogs, search and rescue, assistance dog training and rehabilitating aggressive dogs. KURT HEBELER - DECOY became very familiar with dog sports from a young age while traveling to Schutzhund, French Ring and competitive obedience trials with his parents (Paul and Deb Hebeler). He showed the family German Shepherd "Stryker" in 4-H competitions. With his own young family growing up, he became interested in and once again involved in dog sports with his own dogs (Labrador Retrievers and Dutch Shepherds.) He has had much success with his dogs in dock jumping, shed hunt, nosework, agility, rally and conformation (he is the owner/handler of the UKC's first Grand Champion blue Dutch Shepherd). Kurt also competes in protection dog tournaments with great succes, earning multiple high-in-trial placements! HUNTER RYDER - DECOY
AMY COXON - DECOY Bulldog rescue, cat rescue, helping friends by babysitting or taking care of their small farms in their absence. Amy says she was rescued herself by our club after some bad experiences with other trainers with one of her "spicy" rescue dogs. KRIS FINISON cane corso, bull terrier, playing guitar in the band Dagon. BETSIE JANSON loves the bull terrier! She owns the first colored bull terrier to title in French Ring. Quite a proud accomplishment. When she's not working full time as a vet tech at MSU Veterinary Clinic, she finds some time to use her artistic talents. For anyone who has attended the Dog Sports Open, you've seen some of her free hand work on objects used in the trial. KAREN WROBLEWSKI (HONORARY)
JESSICA STITES breed of choice is the Neopolitan Mastiff. She works tirelessly for the betterment of the breed while serving as the Vice President of the United States Neopolitan Mastiff Breed Club. She also shares her househould with assorted birds, flyers, cats and turkeys. MAUDE TANK
MICHAEL SPAYDE ventured into dogs by rescuing retired greyhounds. He then adopted an American Pit Bull Terrier "Nyla" with which he titled in many sports including weight pull, dock diving ?????? He has since been introduced to the Belgian Malinois for which his love of the "Pointy Ears" began. He has titled his malinois in many sports including weight pull, dock diving, nosework and shed hunt. Michael is also a UKC Shed Hunt and Dock Diving judge. RACHEL CLARK began working with dogs while volunteering at the SPCA of Southwest Michigan, where she adopted her first dog “Chewbacca.” She began working at Cher Car Kennels in 2017, was promoted to Kennel Manager, and is now one of their dog trainers. Rachel’s claim to fame was a 2021 debut on Season 2 of the television show "America’s Top Dog", where she and “Chewy” won their episode and continued on to compete in the show’s finale. Rachel’s heart remains in rescue, as is evident by her adopted mixed breed sport dogs, while her working bred Dutch Shepherd prefers the couch potato lifestyle. She has titled her dogs in UKC Nosework, Dock Jumping, Agility and Rally Obedience, while also competing in protection dog tournaments and canine obstacle course racing. When she’s not training or competing, Rachel and her dogs can be found on a trail, in a kayak or camping. DEB KRAMER UKC nosework judge, trained 2 dogs to elite nw titles. Teaches nosework classes, does dock jumping, shed hunt, agility, rally and obedience. Deb's current dog Huck was featured in the 2022 documentary "The Pez Outlaw" as a border crossing dog... earning him the nickname "Hollywood Huck". JIM KRAMER always came to events with is wife Deb, and was kindly introduced to "Rhythm", Huck's full sister that had been returned to the breeder. The two are now inseparable and compete in many events included dock jumping, nosework and protection dog tournaments. AJ BRINKS (HONORARY) Jessica Fry