Dogs from pups to veterans enjoyed a day in the sunshine at a fun match at the Williams Lake Rod and Gun Club on Sunday, hosted by the Cariboo Kennel Club.
Cariboo Kennel Club (CKC) president Kim MacDonald said that a fun match provides training for dogs and puppies and is a good experience for owners, too. Participants at the event were registered with CKC and given a number, and could enter both obedience and conformation sessions.
There was a range of dog breeds in the obedience event that included Doberman, Flat Coat Retriever, Golden Retriever, long and short haired German Shepherd, long-haired Belgium Shepherd and Field Spaniel. MacDonald said that obedience training categories start at novice, or companion dog level.
“They learn heeling on lead, sitting, standing for exam, circle eights and the ‘down’ command; then they move up into utility, sent articles and jumps, hand signals and commands from a distance,” she explained.
“It’s a big benefit for both dogs and owners: if they get loose you can signal them ‘down’ and they won’t run in the road and get hit by a car. You have better control around other dogs and people: it’s all about safety and manners.”
She added that obedience training should start at six months: before that they should just be allowed to be puppies. “We encourage people to have their puppies in the CKC socialization classes before that. They get socialized to other dogs and people and a start on things like sitting and coming on command; we start the real obedience at six months,” she said. “When they start obedience classes, you can really tell if a puppy has been socialized.”
One of the fun match participants was 19-month-old Charlie, a Field Spaniel born in Pennsylvania, and his Cariboo owners, Monica, Douglas and Ivy McKay.
“We had a spaniel before and really liked the breed; they’re very loveable creatures and real characters,” Douglas explained.
“Charlie has total faith in human kind and a loving loyal heart.
“If you climb a ladder, he has to climb a ladder; if you go on the roof, he has to go on the roof. He’s game for anything: whatever the family does, he’ll do it.”
For more information about the Cariboo Kennel Club, including classes and upcoming events, phone Kim MacDonald at 250-302-9263 or follow them on Facebook.