We are lucky enough to have two trainers for Obedience. Terry Welch who has many years experience of training obedience classes and has completed a British Institute of Dog Trainers course. His style is a little different from most Obedience trainers as he mixes in odds and ends of other subjects such as an obstacle course and display elements, working a large number of dogs in a small space. This makes the training a little more interesting for both dogs and handlers.
Our second trainer is Joy Gallagher. Again a very experienced trainer, and competition judge, she has been the trainer at other large Clubs in the South-West and is probably one of the best trainers in the region. She regularly judges the obedience classes at our shows. Joy has been a member of the GSD Club of Devon for many years and we are very lucky to have her back as a trainer. Joy specializes in more modern methods of training such as treat training and clicker training.
This is a typical class for adult dogs. Puppies and adult dogs are trained separately as they need to learn at a different pace and so that young puppies are not intimidated by the larger dogs. Each class is split into two or three short sessions so dogs and handlers do not get bored and to give the handlers a chance for a cup of tea, a piece of cake and a chat. Puppies are allowed to start training from 16 weeks of age but can visit for socialisation as soon as their inoculations are complete.
Each year the Club puts on a display at the well-known Hennock Village Fayre. Every Club member is invited to become a member of the display team no matter the level of their training but they must commit to a couple of months practice. The commentary explains why certain dogs drop out at different stages of the display according to their age or ability.
Our ringcraft trainer is Sandra Tucker. Sandra has been breeding and training German Shepherd Dogs for the show ring for over 40 years. She is also a fully-qualified Championship Show judge. Ringcraft classes are held at the other end of our Training Ground in a full size show ring so that lessons learned will transfer straight to other show situations.
Dogs are taught a number of skills such as having their teeth examined, how to pace the ring at various speeds and how to stand correctly.
The training is part one-to-one and part as a group to simulate the ring at a real show.
Not only will dogs and handlers be taught ringcraft but many of our members use the class to practice with their more experienced dogs. Two of our members' dogs are breed Champions and several have many Championship Show wins. These members are always ready to give help and advice to the less experienced handlers. We only train the "International" type of German Shepherd so that our training can be used worldwide.
We have a full set of equipment and facilities for refreshments. (The photographs in this section are from our last agility show held at Kitley). Dogs need to have a reasonable obedience level before agility can be started. Please contact Terry for details.
Unfortunately our agility trainer decided that the loss of the Kitley venue was a good time to retire, he was over 70 years of age and not quite as fast as he once was!! We do not get as many inquiries as we once did as there are a number of specialist clubs in the South-West but we will arrange something at Hennock if there is enough demand.
This is the largest dog training scheme in the UK. We hold two courses every year for this important test, one in the Spring and one in the Autumn. The instructor is Jim Apps who has many years experience in all types of dog training and has attended a KCGCDS training seminar. There are three levels in the Scheme, Bronze, Silver and Gold. There is also a Puppy Foundation level for dogs under 12 months of age. The Puppy Foundation is not compulsory but the other Awards must be taken in order.
The Puppy assessment class teaches owners grooming, inspecting various parts of the body and basic control of the dog.
The Good Citizen Dog Scheme is not a normal obedience course but teaches handlers how to control the dog under all circumstances, to make the dog a "Good Citizen".
We encourage all of our members to take part in the Scheme no matter what their background or ability. The dog on the extreme right of this picture is breed Champion Zuberg Lyric owned and trained by Sarah Julian who went on to gain his Gold Award. Who says that show dogs can't work!!
The KCGCDS course is held between normal training sessions on Sunday afternoons and dates of the next courses are shown on the "Show and Events" page.