Mikko Aaltonen

I live at Haukipudas, north of Oulu. My mother has been involved in the dog world since she was a child so I have been living with dogs all my life.

I got my first own dog in 1991, landseer Izzy. Izzy and I started with agility and I attended my first agility competition in summer 1993. Our hobbies with Izzy included also obedience and water rescue.

In 1994 I got my first Belgian Shepherd, Tervueren Riia. We were on the Finnish national agility team in 1998 and 1999. Our most important achievements in agility: Finnish Agility Champion, 1st place in Nordic Agility Championships in 1998, 9th place in the World Championships in 1998 and 3rd place in Finnish Team Championships in 1999.

My second Belgian Shepherd, Tervueren Ava was born in 1998. During our agility career Ava gained the Finnish, Swedish and International Agility Champion titles. Ava attended the national team tryout competition and Finnish Championships nine years in a row. She was on the Finnish team six times, won three Finnish Championships, was once placed 2nd in the Finnish Championships and has won one Finnish Team Championship. Ava and I won the jumping course in the World Championships in 2001 and 2002. In 2003 we succeeded on both courses and won the World Championship that year. The following year we were placed 6th. Ava retired from agility at 10 years of age after attending the 2008 World Championships.

At the moment I am competing in agility with Border Collie Sky. Sky was born in 2007. She is Finnish Agility Champion and Finnish Jumping Champion. She has won the jumping course in Finnish Championships on three years in a row in 2009-2011. Sky and I have been on a team that was placed 2nd in the Finnish Championships and also on a team that won the European Open team competition in 2010 and 2011.

My youngest dog is Border Collie Yks who was born in 2011.

Besides the above-mentioned dogs I have competed also with a Dutch Shepherd dog, a Schipperke, a Mudi, a Belgian Shepherd Malinois and a Shetland Sheepdog.

I have been an agility instructor since mid 90's. I started as a trainer at my own club and later I have been giving seminars all around Finland and also in Sweden, Denmark and Japan. In 2007 Mari Kaplas and I started a business called Active Dog which employs us both full-time. At the moment we are mainly giving seminars and courses at our own facility at Haukipudas.