Shade Whitesel has been training and competing in dog sports since she was a kid. Always interested in how dogs learn, she has successfully competed in IPO/Schutzhund, AKC obedience and French Ring. Her retired dog, Reiki vom Aegis, IPO 3, FH 1, French Ring 1, CDX, was 5th at the 2010 AWDF Championships, 7th at the 2012 AWDF Championships, 1st at the 2011 Northwest Regionals, and 2nd at the 2012 Dutch Shepherd Nationals. Along the way, she has received a perfect score in the tracking phase on 2 separate dogs, and a perfect score in obedience with Talender von Grunheide. Reiki is now almost 11, and Shade is currently competing with his son, Ones. Ones just earned his IPO 2 with scores of 99 in tracking, 95 in obedience and 96 in protection. He looks likely to follow in his dad's footsteps!

What started out as an experiment - competing at the National level in IPO without the use of an e collar - has now turned into a firm commitment to the positive method, and the desire to teach other trainers and dogs how to be successful in the bitesports with as little as possible.

Shade's personal website is

Shade's Current and Upcoming Courses

Self-Study Classes - available for lecture purchases only.

SH310: IPO Obedience - Sit Down Stand out of Motions

Instructor: Shade Whitesel SPECIAL NOTE: This course will concentrate on the sit/down and stand out of motion exercises in IPO 1-3. We will spend time on each position, expl...

Shade Whitesel(Faculty)

SH340: IPO Obedience: Sendout and Down Stay

Instructor: Shade Whitesel This class covers how to get fast speedy full-field sendouts, plus how to get a quick down out of that full run away from you. Then we change tacti...

Shade Whitesel(Faculty)

Contact Information

Have a question about an upcoming course taught by Shade?  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.

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Student Testimonials

FE130 Toys - Developing Cooperation and Play

This course has been the key to improving so much about my relationship with my dog! Over the past few months, I finally started suspecting that my dog's so called "possession issues" could be a result of how I played with her. The six-week course format gave us time to develop our play skills all the while getting Shade's regular feedback and advice as we worked through the course information. I love how each of us worked at our own pace, and how Shade directed us to focus on the most important aspects according to our individual needs. So, apart from us now having a good play foundation that we can build on, Shade's comments and advice helped me to better read and respond to my dog's body language during play, and allowed me to develop a clear play framework so she could feel comfortable and have fun with me. I also learned so much from my fellow students as they worked through their own challenges. I now see that how we play is absolutely key to meeting my training goals and having the best possible relationship with my dog. I'm well on my way to both, and Dama and I cannot thank you enough Shade! I look forward to more courses. Diane L & Dama

Prior to the course, my highly possessive German Shepherd wouldn't out or outed very slowly with dirty biting. By the end of the course, I no longer even thought about outing; Bosco's outs are consistently clean and fast on command. I highly recommend Shade Whitesel's toy class if you are interested in learning to develop conflict free toy interaction skills with your dog. Martin T.

I thoroughly enjoyed this class! I had a very focused young dog, i.e. all the toys are MINE, but now I have a dog that will work for me to get the toys, will switch from toy to toy, and is much less likely to bowl me over in search of toys. The feeling of being in sync with your dog is priceless and this class helped us tremendously to reach a place of understanding and cooperation. Love it! Nell Wirtes

This was an amazing class that was fun and relationship building in one package. I highly recommend it! Ginger M

Yes! I am thrilled at the progress of my young girl!!! We are working together instead of her seeking her own rewards with the toys.

SH110: Introduction to IPO Fundamentals 1

I have thoroughly enjoyed the class. In my area , there are no Positive IPO type clubs/classes. My dog and I were just drifting along in our training, with no real schedule or goals. This class has given me both and kept me motivated, and having fun with my pup, Max! Thanks for filling a huge void in the dog-training world! Kathy R.

Reiker and I have struggled with toy play, dropping toys and using toys in training for over a year. Shade has, in a few short weeks, helped us immensely and I can now use toys in agility and other training. We're having fantastic fun! - Courtenay W

Shade's class was helpful to us from the first lecture on. The progression of the 2 ball game helped us get a better out, increase drive, and improve impulse and handler control while in a state of arousal. We now have more motivation and focus, and our training is more fun! Amy S.

The IPO I Fundamentals class taught by Shade, that I am taking with my puppy Ronin, has been the best training class I've ever taken (I've been training dogs in class settings since I was 10). This was my first online course and I have learned just as much from it, as any of the other classes that I have taken at different training facilities by several different instructors. Shades positive reinforcement training methods have opened up a whole new world for me and they have taken my training and my relationship with Ronin to a higher and fantastic level! We have so much fun together, I enjoy it because Ronin enjoys it! In all the years I've been training my dogs, I've never had a dog so eager and excited to train. He literally jumps up and down and circles around me while I'm getting our equipment together. I've never experienced this before, so for that Shade, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for introducing so many people to positive reinforcement training. I am very much looking forward to taking the IPO II class that's coming up! Nikki K.

This course gave me an arsenal of tools to use in the upcoming months. I don't know how the instructor stayed on top of all of our homework but she did and then some. You will get the most out of this if you are not afraid to post your failures and risk looking foolish. Nancy S

SH120: Introduction to IPO Fundamentals 2

I took Shade Whitesel's IPO Fundamentals class in Fall of 2013, Gold Level. I previously saw Shade at her seminar in Summer 2012 so I already knew her teaching and training style. She blew me out of the water with the quality and quantity of the materials she presented us in this class. Solid foundation skills are incredibly important in all training and she provided me with strategies and methods to teach my dog as well as helped me problem solve if something didn't work as expected. Her methods are always positive reinforcement based which creates a greater level of understanding with your dog. I'll be working with my dog on these new skills and I look forward to taking her next IPO Training class in the Spring! Thank you so much for hosting Shade, Fenzi Dog Sport Academy! - Ines G.

SH320: IPO Obedience Heeling

I could not have made it this far doing IPO with positive methods without these courses at FDSA. Truly game changing for me. Shade has not just taught us the exercises, she has made me a better handler and trainer.  My dogs and I thank her.   Amy S.

I highly highly recommend all of Shade's IPO courses for people looking to develop a better relationship with their dog and to bring fun into training.  Shade is very positive and gives clear and valuable feedback.  These courses are good, not only for people interested in IPO, but for those looking to develop a solid, happy relationship with their working dog.

I literally did not know that women participated in this sport. I had always assumed it was out of my league as I was not a 300-pound male police officer. When I found out that the instructor was a woman, I was so shocked and curious that I took the class at bronze even though I had none of the prerequisites (my little pit bull hung in there gamely, though.) Taking this class at the bronze level really has opened up a whole new world of possibility to me as well as a thoroughly enjoyable "peanut gallery" view of the level of training excellence that goes into producing these dogs. Great class!

SH101: Introduction to IPO Tracking

Great course! I used to dislike tracking, I am learning to love tracking now and actually look forward to tracking dog. I learned so much in 6 weeks and am sad that the course is ending. Thanks Shade for a great course! Debbie H

The class lectures at Fenzi Academy coupled with relevant video material was extremely helpful for me. I actually have the confidence to go out in the field and lay an IPO track several times a week for my puppy! He is doing great and I actually know what I am looking for in his body language and pace. I learned rules for the sport and have a vision for his performance. Thanks to the online course I have methods to fall back on if things go south on any given training day. I also took the IPO Fundamentals 1 course and plan on taking the next level as soon as it begins.

This was an awesome course! I recommend this course to anyone! Shade has great patience with us, and had fantastic suggestions when we were stuck!!! I cannot recommend this course enough. I had been struggling by myself for three years trying to train IPO tracking, and finally I can see my dogs making progress, after only 6 weeks of this course! I could not have dreamed up better results! I am so happy. T

As someone who has never done tracking before, I wasn't sure what to expect of this tracking course. I am now positively hooked because of the guidance and instruction that Shade provided. This was one of the best courses I have ever taken! Shade's ability to communicate with her students on their level is outstanding. Her encouraging words and helpful instruction have given me confidence that I didn't have when I started this course.  Lynne B.

SH201: IPO Tracking Skillbuilding with Shade Whitesel

This was my fourth course with Shade. She gets better and better. She made me feel welcome in class. She was always encouraging and gave excellent personalized advice. We will certainly be enrolling in her next course. Can't wait. Amy S.

The tracking class is awesome. I've learned so much from Shade in both the IPO 1 and IPO 2 tracking class. I only wish the course was longer! I plan to continue with her tracking classes.