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A True Best Friend! – Sara Bridgeman

We all think we have the best dog in the world. But how can you prove it? One of the easiest ways is to join the Kennel Club Good Citizen Dog Scheme. The scheme was set up by The Kennel Club to encourage owners to be good citizens by training their dogs to a respectable standard. I’ve been teaching these classes for the past six years and it’s always good fun. I love to see owners and dogs working together as a unit. And best of all is the sense of achievement you get in actually gaining that award.

So why do the course and test? If you want your dog to go on and become a Pets As Therapy (PAT) dog or a service assistance dog, getting the Bronze award can be the first step. Dogs who pass the course all show that they are well behaved and under control during the test. That doesn’t mean that they have to walk exactly to heel, have a great recall and no barking. It just means that the dog (and the owner) can show a level of control when in public.

The puppy course I teach includes some of the elements of the Bronze course so moving up to this level is not difficult. The Bronze includes ten sections from grooming and handling, walking under control, recall, social interaction with dogs and people, answering three questions on dog law and welfare, as well as the big one – a one minute stay. For many clients, this is really the hardest part of the test. That one minute is the longest minute of your life! But most dogs on my courses have passed and I have been very proud of them and their owners.

What about my dogs? Well, Bertie, my old boy, passed up to Silver level but I remember passing the Bronze with him and coming out of the hall in floods of tears of happiness. More so than when I passed my driving test! As for Edie and Rupert if you want to know how they did, you’ll have to come along to the classes I’m starting at Cranleigh Village Hall on Wednesday evenings. For information about how to join the course visit my website.

Have a calm and relaxed November! Sara, Edie and Rupert.

Contact me, Sara Bridgeman on: 07504 925341 or visit my website at: www.rewardsdogtraining.co.uk

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