Bratty Paws Dog Plex
Updated: Mar 15, 2019
From Basic Training to International Agility Dog, Bratty Paws aim to be #1
Best of the best everything!
Four friends wanted to build the worlds best agility training center. How hard could it be? Kris Seiter and Chris Tucci are well known in the dog agility world. Nine time international team members with over thirty years combined experience in training dogs for the highest tier in agility competition, both Seiter and Tucci are well respected but want to bring many more to play.
Build it, and they will come
A few years ago, they met Judi and Chris Vilanno who came to train with their own dogs.
One day they started the conversation; what would the worlds best training center be like?
Which led to... "Lets build it".
Agility first appeared in 1979 as a demonstration developed for The Kennel Club's annual Crufts Dog Show in the United Kingdom. Intended as an entertaining exhibition for the television audience, the sight of dogs jumping and weaving through the obstacles immediately sparked the interest of hundreds of dog trainers and owners.
The obstacles were constructed from common materials. Wood planks, air conditioning ducts and even horse jumps. Injuries to dog and handler became an ever growing problem. The passion of the competitors drove the sport to constant improvement of training, equipment and the physical readiness of the teams playing. Today, dog agility has more complicated courses, run much faster and with often complex combinations of commands from handler to dog. The games, owners, dogs and trainers constantly evolve, improve and UK Agility International courses provide the most challenging in the sport.
Quality in all ways
Partner, Chris Tucci pointed out the details in the agility obstacles used at Bratty Paws. They did the research and searched for the safest obstacles built professionally and specifically for the sport. Every piece of gear is carefully manufactured and detailed with smooth contacts surfaces to protect claws and paws, safe angles and sturdy anchors to keep them fixed in place to avoid tumbles or crashes. The tunnels that were once simply AC ducting with sandbags, are now custom built to allow dogs of all sizes to enter and exit at full height, speed and without the danger of the whole thing rolling over or dangerous metal bands protruding.
The seven full time training staff have the same high standards as the equipment. Chris Villano and his wife Judi explained both the high standards and expectations expected of instructors at Bratty Paws. Trainers must be both experienced and show a thorough understanding of the most current training techniques and philosophies. All training here is closely monitored and with a detailed program to focus on everything from basic training to international championship readiness. The detail on focused step by step tasks completed cleanly and avoiding distraction builds remarkable bonds between owners and their dogs and seeing those relationships blossom is the true reward for the team’s trainers.
“We want to provide a really good experience”
Bratty Paws Dog Plex
Punta Gorda sits on the Charlotte Harbor on the west coast of Florida. The town has a modest population with pretty bays and in many ways a postcard Florida coastal community. The town was devastated by Hurricane Charley in 2004 but has rebuilt and restored its beautiful historic downtown, added the ambitious Harborwalk and among newer and bolder endeavors Punta Gorda now has an international impact. In dog agility at the Bratty Paws Dog Plex.
After two years of searching, the team finally found what they were looking for at the 10-acre location in Punta Gorda, FL. With one catch.
They had to be up and operational in two weeks. So, they did it, and still laugh at the moment they rolled the first stretch of padded turf across the new area and it all sunk in. This was really happening.
The main building is air conditioned and includes multiple crating spaces, handicap accessible rest rooms, a store and café area with wide screen TV’s that live feed action in the 10k’ arena and windows into the area to watch. The arena itself is fully padded from wall to wall and equipped with the best equipment available to the sport today.
Outside there is a second outdoor arena that is equally well equipped and fenced with room to expand on the other side of the building in the future. Limited RV/Camping is also available with complete electrical hook-ups.
Why you should go
This weekend, Bratty Paws Dog Plex was the locale for the UKI Agility Trial. Competitors drove, flew and even camped out for the weekend. Attendees from across North America came to play and for many it was their first time at the facility. The verdict was clear across the board.
The notable point for me was the relaxed nature of the overall event. It ran smoothly, quickly and more than a few competition jitters were evident, but the hosts remained friendly, patient and encouraging to all. When I spoke to the various folks, it was a constant comment that the Bratty Paws Dog Plex and staff hit their goal.
"No stress, no drama fun place. We want everyone to be welcome here."
The weekends trial
I asked why this was a UKI event as opposed to other leagues or organizations. Kris Seiter explained that the UKI Agility International was the very best of the best in agility. The teams are presented with daunting challenges with sudden changes in direction between obstacles, high demand in good teamwork and at high speed, but done with strict control and care for safety. This may sound a little intimidating to newcomers, but it was clear that all teams from veterans to those at their first event were having a great time and on the UKI Agility International front web page it states:
Our aim is to continually strive for the betterment of agility competition and training for all dogs. We also aim to provide trials at which all competitors - whether they are weekend ‘just-wanna-have-fun-with-my-dog’ enthusiasts or die-hard professional agility competitors – are catered for. - UKI Agility International
With such resumes, incredible facility and a confident top-level staffing, you may expect some arrogance from the partners. This was not the case I found. Instead, the group were passionate, caring and clearly wanted everyone to have a great experience in their time at Bratty Paws.
Kris Seitner is the de facto leader of the partnership by unanimous and popular confirmation of her team.
She grew up in a family of dog lovers who bred German Shepherds. Now with a life of experience and over twenty in training for agility, her dream is materializing with the help of her three partners.
The real treasure
Bratty Paws Dog Plex greatest treasure are not in the building, shiny equipment or stunning staff resumes, but it’s caring staff who want to share the fun and excitement of the sport they love with you and your own Bad Azz Dogz to have the best life together.
It is a business and the partners take it very seriously, but in the end, when asked what their favorite thing about their job is?
With smiles and nods from all, Kris Seiter simply said the truth.
“It’s the dogs”
Bratty Paws Dog Plex offers training for all dogs
From basic to advanced and even adding "Tricks" (aka Freestyle or Dog Dancing) starting March 2019, and also hosts and or leases their space for other dog events.
The size and ammenties provided are ideal for many events around the region.
With future plans including other sports, please visit their site for more information.
Agility Trials Bratty Paws Dog Plex Punta Gorda, FL
Saturday 23 Feb 2019
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Bratty Paws Dog Plex
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