About Esteban

Esteban Fernandezlopez and Gitchi

After graduating from Leilehua High School in Hawaii, I earned my Bachelor of Arts from Rice University in Houston, Texas. While I was at Rice, I fell in love, and right after graduation I married Sarah. We immediately moved to Austin where Sarah started work as a computer programmer at Trilogy and I began life as a graduate student in social work at the University of Texas. During this time, we got some dogs and fell in love again–this time with dog agility. Three years later, I finished my master’s degree and was accepted to Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. As a physician, I completed my residency in family medicine and then worked in wound care, helping high risk patients in skilled nursing facilities throughout Houston, as well as nearby cities and small towns. In recent years, I retired from medicine to focus on my two children as well as teaching at Bad Dog Agility.

As an agility competitor, I have competed at the highest levels with non-border collie breeds. I have competed with three different golden retrievers at the AKC National Agility Championship, helping all three to earn their AKC agility champion (MACH) titles, as well as the Golden Retriever Club of America‚Äôs Agility Dog Hall of Fame distinction. I have finished in the top 3 at the AKC National Agility Championship finals, AKC Invitational finals, and AKC/FCI World Team Tryouts. I have also run in the televised final at Westminster. I am the only handler to ever run three different large dog breeds at the AKC/FCI World Team Tryout. My rottweiler Sammie and golden retriever Gitchi were both the #1 ranked dog in their breed by PowerScore (rankings based on yards per second) for multiple years, and Gitchi is the only non-border collie to be ranked in the 2010s All-Decade Power 70 (26″ height class). I currently share a pair of one-year-old dogs with Sarah: a golden retriever and a poodle.

Today, I continue to grow as a trainer, competitor, and instructor. My biggest agility successes come from the accomplishments of the people I help through Bad Dog Agility. My love and enjoyment of the sport has been sustained by the messages and emails from other competitors thanking us for helping them through a difficult time or a tough training issue. Thank you for making us part of your agility journey.

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