Mounds View High School's student news site.

The Viewer

Mounds View High School's student news site.

The Viewer

Mounds View High School's student news site.

The Viewer

Mounds View High School's student news site.

The Viewer

Payton Grimm and her su-paw-stars

Mounds View senior discusses her dog show competition success and training her three dogs.
Alex Bi
Grimm holds Parker, her service dog, as he goes for the disc.

Whether you have seen them at the park, on social media or in the halls of Mounds View, senior Payton Grimm and her three remarkable companions are hard to miss.

Grimm’s trio of young dogs includes her service dog; Parker, an English Shepherd; her sports dog, Stark, also an English Shepherd; and her family dog, Nesha, a border collie mix.

Grimm’s three dogs: Stark (left), Nesha (middle) and Parker (right) (Payton Grimm)

Grimm discovered her passion for dogs five years ago, training her family’s dog, Trinity. After Trinity, came Stark a year later in 2019. Very early on, Grimm discovered Stark’s athletic talent and began to train him. She trained him in different sports, with the duo’s main focus being disc. Disc involves the trainer throwing frisbees to their dogs to compete in a variety of games, including freestyle, an event where dog and trainer perform tricks to showcase their showmanship, and far out, where duos are judged by how far away and how accurately the dog can catch a disc thrown by the trainer.

As Grimm and Stark’s bond grew, another vital figure emerged later that year — Nesha, a loyal companion who serves as the family dog. Parker, Grimm’s service dog, completed the trio two years later in 2021. 

Grimm’s days typically consist of a mix between school and training. “I kind of just build my life around it because it’s what I like. It’s my favorite thing to do. So I’m like, ok, I’m going to do my homework, and then I’m going to take the dogs to the park,” said Grimm. Parker accompanies her to school every day, then Grimm will often go to Wilson Park to play frisbee with Parker and Stark.

Grimm trains her dogs entirely by herself, teaching them various tricks, service work and modeling. “[Training] just kind of happens. I see a lot of other dog trainers do certain things. And I’m like, I want to try that. But I want to put a twist on it. So a lot of just kind of messing around, and then they kind of figure it out as we go,” said Grimm.

Stark and Parker participate in many competitions. For sport competitions, Grimm and her dogs started competing in their main sport disc three years ago in events like the ones held by the Minnesota Disc Dog Club. They also compete in the Minnesota 4-H State Dog Show, as well as county dog shows.

Through their consistent practice, these competitions have won Grimm and her dogs numerous awards. In the 2022 Minnesota Disc Dog Championship, Stark won first place in freestyle, and Parker won first place in far out.

Aside from sports, Grimm uses social media platforms such as Instagram and TikTok to model and showcase the tricks the dogs have learned. “We started because I saw other dog accounts doing it, like posting pictures of their dogs, and I was like, I want to post pictures of my dogs. And then eventually, like I said, I got Stark […] and I started just posting videos of us doing tricks and stuff,” she said. As the dog trio’s following continues to grow, online platforms allow Grimm and her dogs to get free dog-related products by promoting them through videos and photography.

[Dogs] just want to please you. So just be patient and play with them.

— Payton Grimm, '24

Throughout her journey with her dogs, Grimm has learned many valuable lessons. “Be patient. That’s my biggest thing because people too often get annoyed with their dog or mad at their dog. Their dog doesn’t know that they’re doing something wrong. They just want to please you. So just be patient and play with them. Make it a bonding game,” said Grimm. 

As the group continues to bond and work together every day, Grimm anticipates further achievements in dog sports, continued growth in their online presence and steady commitment to the daily training routines that have led to their success.

About the Contributors
Elijah Easton
Elijah Easton, Staff Reporter
Elijah is a junior staff reporter, and this year is his first year on The Viewer.
Alex Bi
Alex Bi, Features Editor
Hello, I'm Alex, a brand new editor to The Viewer. I am the features editor for the 23-24 school year, and this is my second year with The Viewer. I enjoy skiing and watching anime, along with collecting model planes, trains, and buses. You can find me at [email protected] for any concerns or questions.
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