NOTE: Jeff Manuel has been appointed to the MNRC Board of Directors as Director for Region 4 for the current year. Jeff says he looks forward to working with the regional clubs and members as well as the Master National. Here’s a brief bio to introduce him to our membership.
My name is Jeff Manuel. My wife Rhonda and I live and work in Medford, Oregon. Southern Oregon has been a great place to make a home and raise a family. Lots of public lands, waterways, and a diverse environment offer many opportunities for the outdoor enthusiast.
I have been an avid hunter and fisherman all my life, as is true with many of us involved in this sport, it is here that I cut my teeth training dogs. I began with no formal training plan, or even a clue as to what a trained dog was capable of, I only knew what I wanted my dog to do; “fetch that bird”…so I don’t have to go for a swim myself to get it. With a lot of trial and error I managed to get mostly what I wanted from the dog.
Some things I began to learn for myself were the art of teaching the dog in the simplest ways, and how valuable the bond between handler and dog can be to successful training. In the early 90s, on a hunting weekend on Klamath Lake, I was introduced to a new friend and whole new world of dog training. My new friend; Andy, in addition to hunting with dogs was doing these things called Field Trials and Hunt Tests, and his dogs were amazing.
I was instantly infatuated with the idea of training a dog to be amazing. While I continued to work with dogs over the next several years, our young family and new baby girl took center stage, but I knew this was a thing I wanted to get more involved with…. someday. In 2009 I decided it was someday, I acquired a new dog and began the process of training and making the connections and friends that would ultimately lead me into the seemingly endless obsession that is dog training.
Presently, I am the latest installment of President of the Rogue Valley Retriever Club, an active member of the Umpqua Valley Retriever Club, and attempt to be a good helper at any event I attend.
Along the way I have taken two dogs, Jozie and Iza, to MH title, Jozie to a MN qualifying in 2014, and am currently focused on the next best dog “Draco”, who will be a year old in December.
While I have learned so much, (with much left to learn still) those lessons from the early days; simple teaching and the remarkable bond between a person and a dog, remain true in my training and in my heart. It has been an interesting journey to this point, I have thoroughly enjoyed meeting the many people (and dogs) this sport has introduced me to.
As this next chapter of the journey begins, I am grateful for the opportunity to serve and give back to the sport. I am looking forward to the new challenges and getting to meet and work with the broad group of people that are and support the Master National.