Melissa Chandler lives in Ohio and is owned by her Border Collie, Weimaraner and Vizsla. Melissa has been addicted to dog sports since starting in 4H and AKC Jr. Showmanship. She has competed in conformation, agility, obedience, hunt tests, nose work, and rally. She has also successfully trained and handled non-owned dogs to many titles and championships.
Melissa’s Weimaraner, Edge, was so excited about nose work she sought to learn everything she could to give him the best foundation and build his confidence and drive. Melissa and Edge have trained with FDSA since the very first nose work class and never looked back! Edge stresses down and is very fragile, but through Amy’s Bogeyman class and drive building games, Edge gained confidence in ways never imagined allowing him to be a very successful NW competitor. They have earned their NW1, NW2 and NW3 with many placements including an overall trial placements. They also earned their NW3 title in their very first trial! Melissa attended many nose work seminars and volunteered at many trials allowing her to expand her knowledge and gain different aspects of the sport. She now teaches classes locally and presents seminars, including Nose Work Games!
Melissa has been competitive in agility for many years. She owned 2 of the 3 ADCH Weimaraners and the only USDAA Metallic Champion Weim. She has also bred/trained/handled the #1 Weim in agility (AKC/Weimaraner Club of America) for many consecutive years and placed 10th at AKC Agility Nationals. She has earned a CDX on two different dogs and has trained Edge through utility, but he indicated that nose work was his passion. Bam!, her young Vizsla, is just starting his agility career, is training for Nose Work, obedience competition and has been very successful in the field.
Melissa was doing Parkour before “parkour” even existed. She and her Weims have always loved playing on playgrounds and enjoyed playing in and on things, especially in wooded areas. Her love of agility and love of outdoors is a great combination for Parkour.
Melissa’s strengths are problem solving by looking outside the box and working with soft dogs. She enjoys helping others and brainstorming to help other teams succeed. She has taught private lessons in agility and nose work, focusing on solving specific training problems. Owning and working with soft dogs has given her the ability to coach others to help build confidence and setting up training sessions specifically with soft dogs in mind.
Melissa's Current and Upcoming Courses
Current and Upcoming classes
- NW120: Introduction to NW Search Elements starting on February 1, 2017
- NW410: Nosework Coaching and Key Concepts starting on February 1, 2017
- FF250: Parkour starting on April 1, 2017
- NW130: Developing Advanced Nosework Skills starting on April 1, 2017
- NW120: Introduction to NW Search Elements starting on June 1, 2017
Have a question about an upcoming course taught by Melissa? Not sure if your dog is suitable for a specific class? We welcome you to contact instructors by email to make sure the course is suitable for you and your dog.
NW390 - Nosework Games
NW390 was a wonderful class, with an instructor who was able to meet the students at the level appropriate to their dogs. Her feedback was specific, detailed and supportive. There was a lot of material to provide options for games that might be appropriate for all levels of dogs. Great class, I'm glad I took it.
Loved loved this class. Wish I could have done it at gold. Loved the focus on soft and fragile dogs. Taking these games on the road / camping this week ! Thanks for a wonderful class. Barb H
This was a good class. The instructor included some very useful and entertaining games to play with your nose work partner. I practice with a group of NW3 level teams twice weekly, and we loved trying out some of the games. Thanks!
No matter what level your dog is currently working, the many games presented can be modified to offer fun and challenging searches! The games are very creative and help the dog learn or practice several helpful concepts. I felt like my dog was rather advanced and we still learned a great deal and had lots of fun with all the choices presented. Chris P.
Melissa, you’ve helped us become a better team. Without your sensitivity for soft dogs, thoughtfulness, support, and constant detailed feedback we wouldn’t be where we are now. I’m confident about the path we took, and know we’ll be a happy team. I’ve learned to read my dog much better, and pick her up where she needs support. Thank you very much!
So this is a shout out to Melissa to say thank you for paying attention to the working style and particular needs of each of our dogs while helping us progress in our skills!
NW101 - Introduction to Nosework
This was a great course. The instructor was very patient and supportive while still gently steering us the right direction. I did this course for my older dog that has lots of physical problems but the soul of a puppy and he loved our working time and having a "job".
What a great class and so easy to learn with the text and videos. Can hardly wait until the next class. Pat Morgan
Melissa did a great job with this class! I liked all her helpful tips that she would post in the Forum and her own videos of training her dog! My dog has turned around from ho-hum about NW to enthusiastic and loving it.
I liked the fact that not only was the class educational for handler and dog, you also noted some of the problems that you could run into and gave alternative methods.
Melissa was terrific! Very supportive, went the extra mile to post videos to illustrate what she was explaining, and very encouraging. I appreciated the fact that she encouraged more posts by our very small class. I felt that she was thinking hard about how my special needs dog perceives the world, and how to tailor exercises to his strengths and weaknesses. I'd consider continuing in nose work not because I ever plan to even bother with the ORT, but because I got so much out of Melissa's helpful comments not only to me, but to everyone.
NW120 - Nosework Search Elements
Melissa did a wonderful job with this course. She is very knowledgeable and supportive. My dog is struggling physically and nosework gives us an opportunity to be a team and enjoy each other without the worry of things being to hard on his body.
Living in a smaller town in Canada it is hard to find local knowledge. I first stumbled across Fenzi Academy on the internet but was nervous about how much long distance learning could replace hands on. However I attended a seminar and the instructor recommended Fenzi and had done some courses herself. I decided to enrol and thought I would choose bronze to get a feel. I was not disappointed. I have taken 4 courses already and have my next 3 already decided. My dog and I have great fun and learn new skills My only problem sooo many I want to do lol
Melissa, I've really enjoyed both Nosework classes with you! Looking forward to next semester already :)
Melissa, Thank you for a great class. We learned so much and we are anxious for our first ORT!
FF250 - Parkour
Melissa does a great job of engaging the class as well as starting and keeping chat/topics going within the forum. This results in active participation and excitement throughout the course.
The Parkour class was absolutely lovely. Melissa was just as excited as the students about Parkour and really cared about everyone's journey. Oliver, my Beagle, and I had a blast. We can't wait to take more FDSA Parkour classes in the future! Stephanie P.
Melissa, I really enjoyed your teaching style. All the questions were answered thoughtfully with clear and concise information. Your classroom had a very positive and fun atmosphere!! Thank you!!
Another super job! (I've taken nosework from you too.) Thank you for breaking new ground to bring us this class! I really hope to make it in Gold in the class in the fall.
I took Parkour class at Bronze rather on a whim, wondering if it might help one of my dogs with confidence for physical obstacles in his tracking work. What I got was much more....physical exercise, improved relationship, teamwork and trust with both my dogs, and more connection on our walks. Melissa does a great job of introducing the exercises and has LOTS of video examples. I'll definitely be hoping for a Gold spot in a future Parkour class. KylaS
Great six weeks !! Wonderful way to introduce new skills in a relaxed and safe manner. Details of each exercise in the videos assured success!!! A must-do for teams interested in having fun in a non-stressful environment and building confidence! Ana C.
The Parkour class was a great experience & so much fun! My dog gained a lot of confidence. We could work at our own pace, there was a lot of great information presented and shared with students. I highly recommend this course! Sally P.