This Sunday, 11th February is the Club's first Adult Dog Joiner for our Responsible Dog Ownership (RDO) Course for dogs aged 6 months and older for the new training year.
The Club ran our first RDO Course in February 2014 - the photo above is of Week 4 RDO class members, who were also the first to complete the course and receive Certificates of Attendance!
The goal of the new course was to maintain the key training objectives of our old adult dog beginner program, but to incorporate updated material from Dogs NSW and other sources, with links to state government, local councils, Dogs NSW, the RSPCA and Centennial Parklands on the rules, regulations and responsibilities of dog ownership.
In addition, there was a shift of emphasis from "training the dog" to "training handlers to be Responsible Dog Owners". And discussions were included in the new course on dog care and "maintenance", rights and responsibilities under the NSW Companion Animals Act, and how to use positive, reward-based training techniques to achieve the desired behaviour and strengthen the bond between dogs and handlers.
The RDO Course was never intended to be "revolutionary" but "evolutionary". And since its launch, we've seen further evolutionary change at the Club, with the Puppy Program updated to segue more smoothly from Week 6 Puppies to Week 4 RDO (which is when puppy graduates join the adult dogs), and the launch of Foundation Class in 2016, to help handlers and dogs transition successfully and comfortably from the RDO Course into the more advanced training environment of our Class 1 and beyond.
A big THANKS to all who were involved in formulating and approving the RDO Course, to the instructors who have run the classes over the years, and especially to the current and former RDO class members and their dogs - helping you and your dogs is why we volunteer our time on Sunday mornings!