About Us

We provide Barn Hunt 101 classes, private, group lessons and workshops.

Who We Are

Welcome to Valley Dog Sport

Valley Dog Sports celebrates 10 years of providing trials and training to the Portland Metro and Willamette Valley area. Our first trial was December 2013. We are fortunate to have the same judges for our trial in December 2023 that we had in 2013!

Our Team

Nancy Griffith

Nancy started in barn hunt over six years ago with Valley Dog Sports when Karla Sanders, the original owner of VDS, was teaching and encouraged Nancy to bring her reactive dog to class.  Grace loved finding the rats and for once her reactivity did not get in the way of her having fun.  Nancy was hooked on barn hunt after that class! Grace competed for several years before retiring and becoming the BH 101 class demo dog. Since Nancy started out in the sport with a reactive dog, she specializes in helping owners with reactive dogs. Barn Hunt is a sport where reactive dogs can shine, and she understands the relief many handlers have in finally finding a sport their dog can succeed in.  Nancy has a new barn hunt dog, Dio, who she is looking forward to training.

In 2021, Nancy bought VDS from Karla and has taken over providing training and trials for the Portland and Willamette Valley. Nancy’s training philosophy is for handlers to learn how to be good teammates with their dogs in the ring.  Unlike other sports where handlers are in control, our dogs lead us in barn hunt, and we have to learn how to support them. Nancy really enjoys helping new handlers and dogs find the joy in the hunt.  As a trainer there is nothing more satisfying than to have a handler say, this was so much fun, I can’t wait to come back. Nancy and the VDS trainers love working with handlers and dogs. We are very grateful to have such a wonderful Barn Hunt family who encourages and supports each other and cheers everyone on in the ring.  
Nancy teaches private lessons, group lessons and workshops and co-facilitates the BH 101 class with Maarit.

Maarit Pulli

Maarit discovered Barn Hunt at an intro workshop in 2017 and has been hooked ever since! Maarit and her dog Truman started competing in 2018 and had many fun moments at trials, Truman earning his RATCH and many High In Class placements along the way. Even though Truman is no longer with us, his spirit is with Maarit every time she steps into the Barn Hunt ring to teach or compete. 
Maarit has been teaching Barn Hunt at Valley Dog Sports since March 2023. The barn is Maarit’s happy place, and she enjoys watching her students – both canine and human – learn the sport and grow together as a team. She believes the most meaningful lesson one can learn in Barn Hunt is to have fun and enjoy the time in the ring with your dog.
When Maarit is not at the barn, she loves spending time with her family, her dog Quincy and cat Apple. She is also a proud foster dog mom and is always excited to introduce her fosters to the sport of Barn Hunt.
Maarit teaches private lessons, group and workshops for VDS and co-facilitates the BH 101 class with Nancy.

Marika Klein

Marika and Luke, her Cardigan Welsh Corgi, started their Barn Hunt journey in April of 2022. They continue to enjoy traveling around the Pacific Northwest to trial with different clubs. Marika has been teaching Barn Hunt at Valley Dog Sports since March 2023. She loves helping people learn the sport and find new ways to play with their dog!
Marika teaches private lessons and group classes for VDS. 

Robin Gerstenfeld

Robin and Harper started their Barn Hunt adventures in April of 2022 and were competing at the Championship level fewer than 6 months later. Harper is an Amstaff Mix and her titles include RATCHX2 and Newberg Animal Shelter Spokesdog.
Harper has won accolades from Best in Class to Slowest Qualifier in Class (the Grand Squeaker Award). She also received 5 judge nominations in September 2022 to take home the coveted Memorable Moments Award at the Pacific NW Barn Hunt Trial.
Robin has been teaching Barn Hunt at Valley Dog Sports since March. She loves helping excited newcomers learn the sport and seasoned teams hone their skills. She has a passion for canines and gaining insight into their complex instincts and intelligence. Robin continues to learn and expand her knowledge and joy of the sport alongside her students.
Robin teaches private lessons and group classes for VDS.

Access our Training Schedule

Our 2024 Trials are already scheduled:

  • March 8th to 10th, 2024
  • June 7th to 9th, 2024
  • September 13th to 15th,2024
  • December 6th to 8th, 2024