Blue Ridge Dog Training Club members participate in a wide variety of dog-related activities and sports. The club also sponsors several sessions of training classes per year for dogs and handlers of all skill levels in our Training Room at Body Renew Fitness in Winchester, VA.(See our Contact page for a map.)
Canine Good Citizen
BRDTC hosts occasionally preparatory classes for the Canine Good Citizen Test as well as offering the test during the year. CGC is a series of 10 exercises which demonstrates a dog’s ability to demonstrate good manners. The test exercises are available on the AKC website and for download. Exercises for the CGC test also are incorporated into basic obedience classes. Pre-registration is required to be tested, and test times and dates are posted on our Events page. For more information on the next CGC Class or Test, click here to fill out our form.
Members of BRDTC and their dogs serve in the community as therapy teams, visiting nursing homes, schools, and libraries — as Paws for Reading, as well as participating in events in the surrounding communities throughout the year. Organized therapy dog groups provide educational material to volunteers, they screen both volunteers and dogs, and they provide liability insurance for when the dog and handler are volunteering in a therapy setting. Therapy dogs in the club are certified by groups including Therapy Dog International, Pet Partners, and Alliance of Therapy Dogs (formerly Therapy Dogs Inc.), among others. BRDTC hosts testing for Therapy Dog International each year. Pre-registration is required for TDI testing. Specific information on the TDI test is available from their website. An extensive list of therapy dog organizations is available from the AKC Therapy Dog Title webpage.
Basic obedience classes at BRDTC are suitable for novice pet owners as well as those interested in training for competitive obedience. Puppy and beginning obedience classes are offered during each session of classes. Basic obedience class is required to participate in the other classes offered by BRDTC. Obedience run-thrus are held on select Thursdays throughout the year as well and are listed on the Activities Calendar. In addition, the club hosts two AKC Obedience trials per year, in August and November. To learn more about AKC Obedience, click here.
Rally is a dog sport that encourages and helps build teamwork between dog and handler. Rally offers both the dogs and handlers an experience that is fun and energizing. The canine team moves from station to station and executes the exercises designated on directive signs. Teams move at their own pace, and rally was designed with the pet owner in mind, but it can still be very challenging for those who enjoy higher levels of competition.
A rally course includes 10 to 20 stations, depending on the level. Communication between handler and dog is encouraged and perfect heel position is not required, but there should be a sense of teamwork between the dog and handler. The main objective of rally is to produce dogs that have been trained to behave in the home, in public places, and in the presence of other dogs, in a manner that will reflect positively on the sport of rally at all times and under all conditions. For more information visit the Rally section on the AKC website.
Agility, like many other dog sports, requires a partnership between handler and dog. BRDTC offers a range of agility classes from beginning through advanced competition. Many club members compete in agility in a variety of venues, including AKC, CPE, NADAC, UKC, and USDAA. BRDTC also hosts three one-ring AKC agility trials per year at Body Renew, in March, July, and December.
Tracking is a sport which allows dogs to exercise and develop their natural scenting ability. They demonstrate proficiency by accurately following an aged scent trail over varying terrain. To participate in an AKC tracking test, a dog must be certified by an AKC tracking judge. The club sponsors AKC Tracking Tests in March each year. To learn more about the sport of tracking, visit the Tracking section on the AKC website.
In addition to these popular activities, members and their dogs participate in a number of other dog sports. What you do with your dog is limited mostly by interest and imagination. You may also be interested in: