Dog training club is forming in the region - The Daily Advance

On an overcast day in Camden this week, Vicky Hagemeister pulls out a bundle of trophy ribbons. They are ribbons from the various dog trials she had enjoyed with one of her five dogs.

To some folks, Hagemeister's name might ring a bell. She writes a weekly dog-training column for The Daily Advance. Now she wants to take her love of dogs, her knowledge of training and her love of "dog sports" and roll them into a dog-training club.

"I lived in Virginia and belonged to several dog training clubs," says Hagemeister, who owns an Australian Cattle Dog, two Border Collies, a Jack Russell mix and a Greyhound mix. "The nice thing about clubs is you have several people of like interest."

In other words, dog owners get together and enjoy their dogs. They also enjoy working with their dogs, together, coaching one another and often preparing for dog sport activities.

Hagemeister says dog training clubs often allow dog enthusiasts to work together on basic training needs, all the way to training for events. She says having a club allows people to coach one another and point out various aspects they might otherwise miss when working alone.

The training clubs are free. And they can also provide a community service.

"Dog clubs can offer classes for the public," says Hagemeister. "It would be a less expensive alternative for people than other classes because the teachers are club members and they don't get paid."

The clubs themselves get dogs and dog owners involved in dog sports. Dog sports, like the name suggests, are typically competitive activities for dogs.

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Hagemeister says dog sport activities can range from basic obedience classes to a new activity, canine nose works.

Dog obedience training allows the dog and the owner to work together on the basic heeling pattern, sits, downs and so forth. They involved the most basic commands any dog owner might require when working with a family pet.

There is also tracking. Hagemeister says tracking is where a track is laid on a field and the dog has to follow the track with his nose. The handler won't know where the track is and must read the dog's body language as it uncovers the track with its olfactory ability.

One of the more popular dog sports is the agility course. Agility courses are seen often on televised dog sporting events and they include jumps and obstacles.

The newest dog sport, however, is the nose works. Hagemeister says that common dogs are trained in a similar fashion to drug or bomb sniffing dogs for this event. They are trained, however, to detect more innocuous scents such as vanilla.

Hagemeister says dog clubs also encourage positive relationships with pets. And building positive relationships with your dog might actually lessen the potential for surrendering dogs to shelters due to behavioral problems.

She says the club would be open to any dog, pure or mixed breed.

"More trial organizations are recognizing that people have mixed breeds that can do dog sports," she says.

So if you're a dog owner, are interested in learning more about working with your dog, you might want to participate in this dog training club venture. Hagemeister says you can either show up at an organizational meeting at the Currituck Library in Barco on April 22 at 7 p.m. or e-mail her at newdogclub@yahoo.com.

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Posted in Camps Post Date 11/06/2018


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