"In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn't merely try to train him to be semi-human. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming partly a dog"
The Kennel Club Good Citizenship Awards
As a Kennel Club registered club, the training and exercises we do in obedience and dog handling means our members can be tested under the KC Good Citizenship Training scheme, which is the largest dog training programme in the UK.
Working towards an award can be a great help and motivation as you see your dog and your handling skills improve week on week.
The awards are non-competitive. Instead they provide a quality standard of training for dogs and for those of us who want to teach our dogs the basic commands that are so useful in day to day situations, and on through to greater handling control off leash and in more distracting situations.
There are three levels of training that we work towards: Bronze, Silver, and Gold Awards.
“Being part of the club and working towards the KC Awards with each of my dogs has given me so much more understanding of my dogs and how to manage their behaviour. "
Clare Warburton (member)
What will we learn?
Each level of training aims to take you further in learning how to understand and develop a dog that is well behaved and under control. You will also gain knowledge and understanding of training your furry friend.
Over the training weeks some of the things you will learn how to teach your dog are how to:
walk with you in a controlled manner both on and off the leash amongst people and other dogs, and along a road;
stay in one position on command for a period of time;
allow you to clean, groom and inspect him;
come when called; and stop on command;
exercise control at a door or gate;
release an object on command;
be relaxed when left alone for a period of time; and
go to her bed.
During our club nights we also work on the basics like heel work, sit, down, stand, on and off leash and - over time - at a distance, to improve and make them a 'habit' for our dogs so they are more able to respond to our commands in any situation.
We arrange a date with an external examiner once a year, usually in the Autumn but this varies depending on the number of people working towards the awards and their readiness. You can also work at yours and your dog's own pace, going for an Award when you feel ready.
Being tested can seem scary, but it is in everyone's interest for our members and our dogs to be successful, so we do all we can to help with any issues that arise during training and tailor the evenings to make sure the members that attend get the training they want and need.
Our members who train have many years' experience of
dog handling and competition obedience.
“Working towards an Award with other members has been just the motivation and support I needed to achieve the kind of relationship and ease that both me and my dog want to share together. "
Is there a lower or upper age limit?
Dogs should have had some initial training in the basics and that can take a bit of time. So our youngest dogs will start at about ten months to a year old. Please note we are NOT able to offer training for puppies or dogs under the age of ten months. We beg to differ on the old adage 'you can't teach an old dog new tricks'! If a dog is older and healthy they still love to learn, if maybe a little more gently with our senior dogs.
There are other things to enjoy as a member of the club...