Abbey Beasley Named 2019 Greatmats National Dog Trainer of the Year

By Brett Hart Created: December, 2019 - Modified: November, 2022

What began as a Christmas surprise plan turned into a national award for Patalaska, Ohio, dog trainer .

Beasley, who teaches and trains at IncrediPAWS, recently earned more than 20 percent of the more than 24,000 votes in the 2019 Greatmats National Dog Trainer of the Year Award Contest and became just the fourth trainer to earn the annual award, in its fifth year.

Abbey has built a reputation as one of the top agility trainers in the world, having traveled to Europe 11 times in the past six years representing Team USA. A 2016 World Agility Open champion, Abbey also earned a silver medal at the 2019 Agility World Championships in the Team Jumping Medium Class alongside teammates Jennifer Crank, John Nys and Marcy Mantell with the Shetland Sheepdogs.

In November, Abbey learned of her nomination for the Greatmats award from a friend who let her know a few people had gotten together to nominate her as a Christmas surprise.

“I was surprised,” Abbey said. “I was grateful and thought about how much I love my students. They had to go out of their way to find that. I was grateful and honored to be nominated.”

Soon after, she discovered that it was beginning to go viral on Facebook as the votes started pouring in.

“That was incredible,” she said. “I was thoroughly impressed by the amount of people that were willing to sit by their computer and vote and vote and vote. It went viral on Facebook. It went viral in our training building. People that I haven’t heard from in years have been contacting me and said ‘I’ve been voting every day. We really want you to win.’ I was humbled.”

Abbey spends morning, noon and night working with dogs between her two jobs - as a veterinary physical therapy and rehabilitation assistant and dog trainer.

As a trainer, she is fascinated not only by how the dogs learn, but their handlers as well.
“Every single dog is different, and I enjoy the mystery in all of them,” Abbey said.
“I spend a lot of my time outside of work thinking about them and how I can help them.”

Now 26 years old, Abbey has been doing dog agility for the last 18 years and has trained dogs of many breeds for the sport - including Salukis and Rudy the Bulldog from the 2019 Westminster Kennel Club Masters competition.

In the past, Abbey has even used some of her calmer dogs to work with autistic children.
“It was really good for the kids,” she said. “Dogs are really soothing.”

With that being said, this award, which recognizes trainers for having a positive impact on their communities is really fitting. It helped bring her different communities together for a common cause as well.

“I’ve enjoyed seeing all of my different fields of friendships come together,” Abbey said. “Students have come together to join up to put in votes. My friends from school, outside of agility friends … They’ve all kind of created a community and camaraderie. … The teamwork aspect that was brought on by this. They’ve really supported me. I’ve been very surprised and quite frankly honored that my students love me that much.”
Abbey Beasley
Pataskala OH 43062