Hi, I am Mari Valgma
I am the creator of canine coordination online courses “Where Are My Paws?” and “Movement Puzzles”. As a Certified Professional Canine Fitness Trainer, I have been teaching my hugely popular in-person canine fitness courses since 2017 to more than 300 students.
My dog training journey started with competitive obedience and agility. I truly enjoyed training and competing in dog sports that came to an unfortunate halt due to my older dog retiring and younger dog battling with injuries. Fast forward 5 years, I now realize how fortunate I have been with the guides (both human and canine) on my journey. Guides who have helped me shift my focus from following a well established path of dog sport training to creating something new and exciting instead. Something that will question our understanding of sports training and improve the way we teach our furry learners.
The first dog training book I read was Suzanne Clothier’s “Bones Would Rain From The Sky”. I consider myself very lucky.
There have been detours along the journey, but I am a trainer striving towards better understanding of animal behavior and +R training.
I have been a keen student at FDSA since 2016, my all time favorite course being Hélène Lawler’s “Optimal Arousal”. You will see Hélène’s influence in all of the courses I teach.
Shifting from strength to movement
As a fitness trainer, many of my courses have been focusing on strength training. But I’ve found something to be missing. Something that links the strength to sports training. Strength to movement.
That something is coordination or movement skills training. Teaching our learners the skills that allow them to use their bodies to the full potential, while also reducing the risk of injuries. And that’s what this page is all about – movement skills!
Good training mechanics matters!
Training well plays a huge role in everything we do. Our dogs’ abilities to learn movement skills depends on how clearly we structure the learning sessions.
I didn’t know that when I started out with canine fitness. I can still remember myself thinking that knowing learning theories and figuring out training concepts are only secondary and not essential in fitness training. How wrong I was!
Now you can expect to learn handler mechanics prior to anything else in my courses.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like if your trainer would pay equal amount of attention to both your dog and to you, the actual trainer of your dog? Enter Mari’s course! Not only has she great eye for the most subtle details of your dog’s form, she will also notice these subtle details in your actions that make your dog do what it does (or does not). Mari is the most thorough trainer I know and determined to help her students succeed in whatever their goal might be. And she will do it with kindness and humor!
– Rita –
In order to really fly, we have to combine good training and fitness skills
Improving our own training mechanics and understanding of how dog learn, is essential for training our dogs movement skills.
Working on our dogs’ movement skills is crucial for improving our training.
We can’t have one without the other.
Mari’s feedback is amazing! Always detailed, helpful and motivating! We learned to love the clicker, we learned to love food, we learned to have fun with training – and we hope that Mari will have her next class ready very soon, because we can’t wait to continue working with her!!!
– Susanne –
I live in Tallinn, the capital city of Estonia and share my home with three dogs. Pipi, Mirru and Mr Bo.
My background is in engineering, I even have a PhD in ship science. But dropped my 9-5 job to work with dogs. A decision I don’t regret even one bit 🙂
Forest is our favorite place in the whole world.