Interview with a Professional Handler, Nicole Torre
Where do I live? How long have I been in dogs?
Nicole Torre: I live in Oakdale, California, and have been in dogs my whole life. I am a third generation dog show person.
When did I decide to become a Professional Handler?
Nicole Torre: I decided to become a handler when I was younger, probably around 14 years old, but didn’t become a Professional Handler until I was 20, after working for some Professional Handlers myself.
Who did I apprentice under and for how many years?
Nicole Torre: I worked for Corky and Sue Vroom for about three years, and then a lot of others, off and on, like Bill and Taffy McFadden, Cheryl Gates, Gary Steele, and of course, Michelle Santana—my dog show mom.
How many shows do I typically attend each year?
Nicole Torre: We attend about 45 weekends a year.
How many dogs do I generally show on a given weekend?
Nicole Torre: 12-15 dogs a day is what we normally take.
How do I decide which all-breed shows to attend? What about specialties?
Nicole Torre: We look at a lot of different variables to make a decision, but in the end, it’s the shows that we think can give the best chance for a positive result to the majority of our clients.
Can I talk a bit about my facilities? Do I have a kennel?
Nicole Torre: We have a kennel facility on our property where we live in Oakdale. It is an indoor/outdoor set-up where the dogs have plenty of room to run. We also have a state-of-the-art grooming shop on-site.
What’s it really like to be “on the road” with a group of show dogs?
It’s the best, to be there with such great animals and working and bonding with them, day in and day out.
Am I going to Orlando? If so, what are my goals for my current string of dogs?
We are hopeful that our Specials will win the Breed and shine in the Group.