Sunday, April 17, 2011

CARO Trial & CGN Results

Jade had a great weekend with both Russ and Marco at the CARO Trial and CGN test at Hyper Hounds. 

Russ earned his Canine Good Neighbour title with great focus and finess. It took me awhile to get him tested due to scheduling and training but once tested he proved what I knew all along... he's a good neighbour! Our next goal will be to get in some rally practice so he can try his paws in the ring.

Marco earned his Canine Good Neighbour and Rally Novice title this weekend. He's only 16 months old and this was his first time in the preformance ring (only conformation classes before this). While we had a few "puppy" moments he tried hard and pulled out some great scores for us. He showed his great work ethic and most of all his willingness to please. We'll be heading to some CKC shows in the future and try out rally in that venue before tackling any Advanced courses. Marco continues to train for both formal obedience and agility.

This was my first rally trial too and while a little nerve racking at first it was a great learning experience. I learned a lot about how I want my dogs to work with me and what I can polish with my puppy. Getting in the ring isn't an easy thing to do but was completely worth while. There's no better feeling than working as a team with your dog (even with a few mistakes in there!).  

I highly recommend taking a few rally classes before hitting up a show. We have some fantastic training facilities in Calgary where you can take lessons and get familiar with the signs. I highly recommend Hyper Hounds and All Bright Dogs for lessons. Both head trainers compete themselves and have been involved with the sport for many years (they're also judges). 

Friday, April 15, 2011

Local Dog Trainer Earns Certification As Certified Professional Dog Trainer - Knowledge Assessed

Calgary, Alberta (April 15, 2011) - Local dog trainer, Jade Robertson, BA CPDT-KA of Calgary, Alberta has earned certification through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT). Jade joins nearly 2000 Certificants worldwide.

Until the creation of the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers in 2001, there was no true certification process for canine professionals. Many schools teach dog trainers and offer certifications for their specific programs. These certificates, therefore, reflect the teachings and quality of a specific school. Other organizations offer take-home tests for "certification". These canine professionals are not monitored to ensure they are completing the test without any assistance or collaboration nor is the testing process standardized.

This unprecedented process was originally implemented by the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT), the largest association of dog trainers in the world, founded by noted veterinarian, behaviourist and author Dr. Ian Dunbar. A task force of approximately 20 internationally known dog training professionals and behaviourists worked for three years to research and develop the first comprehensive examination. Professional Testing Corporation (PTC) was hired to ensure the process met professional testing standards. APDT then created a separate, indepdent council -- The Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers -- to manage the accreditation and pursue future development.

Candidates who pass the exam earn the title of Certified Professional Dog Trainer - Knowledge Assessed and may use the designation "CPDT-KA" after their names. All certified trainers must earn continuing education credits to maintain their designations or take the examination again in three years. 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

What's Rally Obedience?

Marco and I have entered our first Rally Obedience Trial this weekend. It takes place at Hyper Hounds Dog Training (Okotoks, AB) and runs on both Saturday and Sunday.

Many of my students have asked what is Rally Obedience? And then why I should consider doing it with me dog?

Rally Obedience (often referred to as Rally O) is a relatively new sport for dogs. It has been around for about 10 years now. The sport was developed by the Association of Pet Dog Trainers and has spread to other organizations including AKC, CKC and CARO (Canadian Association of Rally Obedience).  The sport is a mix of formal obedience moves (heeling, turns, sits, downs, stays, etc.) but uses the fun of agility by creating courses. There are about 20 signs on a course that an owner and dog need to complete. Dogs of all breeds and ages may take part.

Now why should you consider taking a Rally O class with your dog?
Simply put it's a fun way to learn obedience skills that you need. The most critical skill is heeling and rally participants spend a lot of time working on that. You'll also develop quicker response to commands, enhance your bond with your dog and learn to tackle distractions. It's also a great start before taking on an agility class.

Also in CARO and APDT trials owners are allowed to use food rewards on course. This makes it a great place to get dog some ring experience and learn to build up focus. 

So come out and watch the trial this weekend. If you have questions please let me know.