Agility & Flyball Instructor

Joy Knighton-Fitt

Joy has been with our club for the past 15 years. She teaches agility at an intermediate level and also teaches flyball at Cape Handlers Dog Club. Joy grew up with many different breeds. In her own family, she has had many Golden Retrievers. Her Golden Retrievers, Breezer and Tao participated in Flyball, Agility and Dog Jumping and  When Joy got Tao, she really wanted to learn about training and handling her dog, to form a stronger bond and understand more about managing her dog.

“I cannot recall how I found out about CPDC but on that first day... as we approached the club from the tennis court side a “huge” dog came rushing at the fence barking furiously at Tao. My little pup was terrified and he tried to reverse and drag me back to the car. I looked at all the people at the other end of the field … and the distance! I nearly turned back thinking” Oh no, can’t do this! This is nothing like the little group we had on the common years ago! Well, I am so glad we did not turn back. It was the start of learning about what constructive bonding with your dog can yield. And every day there is still so much to discover”

Joy decided that she wanted to know what the teacher knows, to gain even greater insight. She completed the general training course through CPDC. Soon thereafter she was approached to teach agility and completed an 18-month Agility trainers course through CPDC.

“It is my experience that humans tend to underestimate the intelligence and learning potential of animals... and under-estimate their need for mental stimulation too. Engaging with and promoting greater knowledge, growth and stimulation for dog and human is always rewarding.”

Joy has recently retired from the UCT Campus Health where she worked as a Clinical Nurse Practitioner. She has one son and a diverse, colourful extended family. 

Tao and Breezer are the only Golden Retrievers to have achieved Flyball titles in the Kennel Union of Southern Africa Register to date. The sport is dominated by Border Collies or BC types. Breezer achieved the title of " Flyball Grand Champion" over her 5-year career, and Tao achieved the title of " Flyball Champion" having only started competing at age 9 and a half and for just 18 months.