Dog Trainer Gains Creative Edge with Scientology

In her “Meet a Scientologist” video, Susan Kleijnhans provides a glimpse into the life of a dog trainer/performer and the world of canine musical freestyle competition.

South African Scientologist Susan Kleijnhans is a dog trainer who competes in agility, dog jumping, obedience and canine musical freestyle competitions with two of her Staffords and a rescue dog.

Scientology helped Kleijnhans tap into her creativity—an important quality in her highly competitive field.

Canine musical freestyle is a modern dog sport that combines tricks, dance and obedience training in a performance featuring both dog and owner. A choreographed musical program, it is performed by handlers and their dogs, showcasing teamwork, artistry, costuming, athleticism and style.

“With the knowledge I have gained, I have a much more positive attitude.”

“I have a very special bond with my dogs,” says Kleijnhans. “It takes a lot of hard work, patience and persistence, but it’s very rewarding. And they make you laugh a lot.”

Kleijnhans and her Staffordshire terrier, Scarlett O’Hara, won the South Africa Music Freestyle Championships three years running from 2009–2011 and they also competed together internationally. Kleijnhans, who has won other national titles with her dogs, says it isn’t just about the trophies. She finds the experience to be pure fun.

“I love to train my dogs. It is fantastic to see how you teach them to think and how they figure out what you want them to do,” she says.

Kleijnhans says Scientology spiritual counseling has helped her focus on the present, making it easier both in training her dogs and in competitions.

“If your mind wanders while you’re guiding your dog through 20 obstacles at 5 meters per second, you can get disqualified easily from a competition,” she says. “With Scientology I am much more in the present.”

She also credits her study and use of Scientology tools and principles with helping her accomplish her goals.

“Scientology works and if you apply it, you will do well in life,” she says. “With the knowledge I have gained, I have a much more positive attitude.”

The popular Meet a Scientologist video profiles, on the Church of Scientology International Video Channel at, reflect the diverse backgrounds and walks of life of Scientologists around the world. Meet Scientologists including educators, teenagers, sports enthusiasts, dancers, managers, mothers, fathers, dentists, photographers, actors, musicians, fashion designers, engineers, students and business owners and find out what Scientology means to them personally.

A digital pioneer and leader in the online religious community, the Church of Scientology was the first major religion to launch its own official YouTube Video Channel, which has been viewed by millions of visitors.

The Scientology religion was founded by author and philosopher L. Ron Hubbard. The first Church of Scientology was formed in Los Angeles in 1954 and the religion has expanded to more than 11,000 Churches, Missions and affiliated groups, with millions of members in 167 countries.

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