Karen Holik is an agility coach and competitor, and the founder of On Course Agility located in Brandon, Florida. She provides private and group lessons at her facility and instructs seminars throughout the Unites States, Puerto Rico, Canada, Bermuda, Mexico and Costa Rica. In addition, Karen provides online lessons in real time and via video for students at all levels. Karen shares her life with her husband Eric, his sheltie Jiggy, and her border collies Zenn, Kidd, and Starr.
In 1992, while in downtown Chicago, Karen saw an agility demo and could not wait to try it with her chow/sheltie mix, Simon. Together, they set off on a journey that would ultimately see Karen leave her long time position at a legal firm to focus on agility full time in 2007.
Early on, Karen recognized that fundamental skills and consistency are crucial to success. Believing that all dogs can achieve their full potential with the right mix of education and motivation, her training programs focus on the dog’s understanding, which leads to confidence, speed, and independence. In addition to focusing on the dog’s progression, Karen has an intuitive eye for the minute adjustments to handling skills that can have a profound impact on a team relationship. This balanced perspective is central to her philosophy that agility is a team sport and should always be fun for dog and handler.
Karen’s training philosophy and work ethic have been borne out by her records in multiple venues. She is a 15-time USA World Team Member with 3 different dogs at 3 different heights, 5-time National Champion, Gold and Silver Medalist at the World Agility Open (England), Silver Medalist at the FCI World Championships (Austria) and Silver and Bronze Medalist at the IFCS World Championships (Netherlands and Italy).
Since her Sheltie Sizzle took her to the heights of the sport in 2008, Karen has returned to the echelons again and again with her shelties and border collies. Today, Karen continues to test the boundaries of the sport with Border Collies Zenn, Kidd, and puppy Starr, focusing on independent weave and contact skills that are the hallmark of her handling and training philosophies.