Canine Water Sports
            ABOUT US            SPLASH & LEARN             RULES & TESTING           NAUTICAL DOG STORE      2._ABOUT_CWS.html3._SPLASHLEARN.html4._RULES_%26_TESTING.htmlshapeimage_2_link_0shapeimage_2_link_1shapeimage_2_link_2shapeimage_2_link_3


Shoreline Watersports Judge

At age 15 Jilian Rakow was volunteering at the Humane Society of  Ventura County  in California and loving it! Her teen service work was the launch to what has become a life-long passion for dog training.

After high school Jilian worked in pet stores and grooming shops to support herself through college and to feed her love of animals.  As she grew and learned more about dogs, Jilian became deeply involved with the Rottweiler and Akita breeds. She greatly appreciated their strength, intelligence, loyalty and working drive.  However, compassion and a life dedicated to service also kept Jilian in the halls of rescue organizations,  where as a foster-home provider she nurtured dogs of various breeds and mixes.  Jilian gained invaluable experience working for professional breeders too. She provided enrichment and care for puppies to adult competition dogs while their owners were traveling the country showing dogs.  All of these early experiences deepened Jilian’s passion for and connection with the canine mind.

When Jilian became a nationally Certified Sign Language Interpreter for the Deaf she found a way to combine her love of dogs and dog training skills with her abilities as a sign language interpreter.  She became a Certified Service Dog Trainer and accepted a position as a Staff Service and Hearing Dog Trainer for Paws with A CauseShe trained service dogs for people with multiple physical disabilities for many years. In addition to training Service and Hearing dogs, Jilian had the pleasure of working with clients to assess their needs, explain what tasks dogs could do for them and to teach clients how to use the skills the dogs were trained to do. She also had the opportunity to temperament test foster puppies and dogs to assess their potential and appropriateness for the Service and Hearing Dog programs.

As a professional dog trainer, Jilian taught puppy classes, training seminars, obedience classes and private lessons for dog owners in their homes.  She has earned conformation and various working titles on dogs of multiple breeds, including her Portuguese Water Dogs.  Four of her PWDs have earned PWDCA Apprentice Water Dog through Working Water Dog titles.  Her dogs have earned Dog Scouts swimming titles as well.

Jilian lives in Rockford, Michigan with her husband, two children, three Portuguese Water Dogs and a Poodle.  They are fortunate enough to have their own backyard training pond -- enjoyed by all.  Jilian is presently a professional Sign Language Interpreter for the Grand Rapids Community College.  No longer a professional dog trainer, she continues to express her love for dogs through her role as a Search and Rescue canine handler, a mentor to new dog owners and as a volunteer instructor for Dog Safety seminars.  She finds great joy and satisfaction working with and training her dogs.

Jilian is a member of the K-9 ONE Search and Rescue Team and the Kent County Search and Rescue Team.  She serves as a Mission-Ready Canine Handler with her working partner, Portuguese Water Dog, Legolas.

Jilian was appointed as a CWS Shoreline Skills Judge in 2014.