March has been a great month for us here at Ashling Place. Hadley continues to amaze us with her intellect and eagerness to please. This month, she proudly earned two designations: AKC Canine Community Canine (CGCA) and Therapy Dog. After completing a seven-week training course, which included time spent in public settings such as shopping centers and nursing homes, Hadley was then required to pass a series of tests in order to earn these designations.
In order to pass these tests, Hadley first needed to be able to master a number of basic skills. Of course, impulse control and maintaining attention are two crucial skills necessary, especially since there are a number of distractions that are introduced during the tests to ensure that your dog is able to remain focused on you and the task at hand. Another important skill she needed to be able to master is the “sit-stay”. The purpose of this command that your dog will be able to remain in a "sit/stay" position, even when you leave him, which is handy in a number of situations. We use it when someone visits, when we need to cross the street to get the mail and want the dog to stay in the yard, and even when it’s time to go outside and we want them to sit at the door until we give the release. It is the ultimate demonstration of control and is useful in everyday life.
Leash & Collar
The “sit/stay” is a command that truly is an essential skill for your pup to master, even if you are not interested in pursuing designations such as the Canine Good Citizen or Therapy Dog. We have advanced our training with this command during our field play and practice. Now the girls have to stay in a sit position while we throw the ball, which if you know our girls, this is a very difficult skill to master when a ball is involved. That said, they know to sit, stay, and wait for me to give them the release, which is “find it.” Not only are they exercising their bodies, but also their minds!
If you are interested in pursuing these designations with your dog, then I encourage you to start by learning more by visiting the AKC Canine Good Citizen and AKC Community Canine websites.
If you follow our Facebook page, you already know that we are celebrating Riley's new Obedience Title. We participated in the Columbus All-Breed Training Club's Winter Obedience & Rally Trials this past weekend and earned our third leg for Beginning Novice. We are very excited about this accomplishment and look forward to moving onto the next level in our training.
The Labrador Retriever is a breed of many talents. Not only are they extremely accomplished at being a champion couch potato, they are also just as brilliant in field work, as well as in the competition ring. While they make wonderful companions, their intelligence and eagerness to please makes them remarkably trainable and excellent candidates for the world of AKC Companion Events.
Who Can Participate?
The AKC Companion Events consist of four different specialty areas: Obedience, Rally, Tracking, and Agility. Anyone of any age can participate in these events as long as their dog is either registered with the AKC, enrolled in the AKC Canine Partners Program (registration for mixed-breed dogs),enrolled in the PAL Program (Purebred Alternative Listing), or a member of a FSS recorded breed (Foundation Stock Service).
How Do We Prepare?
Competing in these companion events offer more than an opportunity to show off your dog's athleticism and intellect. The time spent training with your dog creates an unbreakable bond and many hours of fun for both of you. In order to prepare for these events, the first step is to find a local dog-training club that offers classes that will help you and your dog develop the skills and understanding necessary to be successful. Visit www.akc.org to find a training club near you.
What are the Companion Events?
As noted above, the AKC Companion Events consist of four specialty areas: Obedience, Rally, Tracking, and Agility. Here is a brief description of each:
To gather more detailed information about about each of these and how to participate in an AKC Companion Event please visit www.akc.org/events.
Whether a title is your goal, or you are simply looking to provide an additional outlet for your dog to learn knew skills, participating in training classes and companion events will be a rewarding experience. It is also another way for you to develop and nourish the everlasting bond between you and your dog.