Once dogs have gained their Kennel Club Good Citizen Dog Scheme Silver Award and at the discretion of the trainer dogs and handlers join the Gold Class (7.30pm until 8.15pm Wednesday evenings).
The Gold Class covers all the exercises required for dogs to achieve their Kennel Club Good Citizen Dog Scheme Gold Award. Other training would help them to compete in intermediate or advanced classes at a Companion Dog Show or Beginner, Novice or A at an open show.
The Gold Award
"The Kennel Club Good Citizen Dog Scheme Gold Award is the highest level of achievement of the scheme. It builds upon the skills learnt in the Silver Award and develops more advanced training skills of the dog and handler. The Gold Award is the natural progression of practical dog training skills and introduces new concepts such as relaxed isolation, stop the dog and send the dog to bed exercises, which are important in everyday life situations. The Gold Award aims to provide handlers with a greater knowledge and understanding of their canine companion. Dogs that are awarded the Gold Certificate should reach the required standards in all exercises and be worthy representatives of the Schemes highest standards. Where possible it is preferable that certain exercises are tested at indoor or outdoor locations." (www.the kennelclub.org.uk)
The Gold Award Exercises
- Road Walk this is similar to the walk in the Silver Award but is longer, with more turns and with change of pace. The dog should be under control at all times and not affected by distractions.
- Return to the Handler's Side. The object of this exercise is to bring the dog back under close control during a lead free walk. The dog needs to be at least 10 paces away before being called back and continuing the walk.
- Lead Free Walk. The dog needs to walk off lead for at least 40 paces with changes of direction and the distraction of another handler with a dog on lead.
- Down Stay in One Place. The dog needs to stay down in one spot while the handler moves away for 2 minutes. For 30 seconds the handler must be out of sight of the dog. The exercise is tested off lead and the handler needs to be approximately 10 paces away.
- Send the Dog to Bed. The dog and handler start 10 paces away from the bed and the dog is sent to bed where it must remain settled until released.
- Stop the Dog. The handler needs to be able to stop the dog in an emergency situation. The dog must be moving and at least 10 paces away from the handler when it is stopped.
- Relaxed Isolation. The dog needs to be left tied with a 2 metre line in a safe place out of sight of the handler for 2 to 5 minutes. The dog must not become agitated, unduly stressed or defensive.
- Food Manners. The dog is offered food by hand or in a bowl and must wait for permission to eat.
- Examination of the Dog. As in the Silver Award the dog must allow a stranger to examine it.
- Responsibility and Care. The handler is tested with questions based on Sections two and three of the Responsibility and Care Leaflet.
Other objectives in the Gold Class are to:-
- Improve off lead heelwork
- Improve novice recall and finish. Work on A recall.
- Extend stays to 2 minutes sit stay, 3 minutes down stay and improve stand stay.
- Improve retrieve and introduce dumb bells. Encourage dogs to retrieve articles provided by someone else (eg Judge).
- Introduce and work on scent. Dogs will be encouraged to retrieve particular articles which they identify by scent.
- Introduce distance control where a handler will ask a dog to assume the three positions while a distance away.
- Work towards a 5 to 10 minute out of sight stay.
As the Gold Class is the top class it is open ended and content of the classes will vary.
We usually combine Silver and Gold in one class and the Instructor is Hilary Mears.