The Silver Class
Will I ever be this good?
Once dogs and handlers have been promoted from the Bronze class (at the discretion of the trainer) they join the Silver Class. This class is often combined with the Gold Class.
In this class dogs are working toward their Kennel Club Good Citizen Silver Award. Other exercises would enable them to compete in Elementary or Intermediate classes at a Companion Dog Show or Pre-Beginner or Beginner at an Open Obedience Show.
Handlers and dogs progressing to this class will find the training sessions less structured than they are used to. There will be a mix of abilities but the trainer will ensure that each dog can work at his own level.
"The Kennel Club Good Citizen Dog Scheme Silver Award aims to build upon the skills learnt in the Bronze Award whilst increasing the level of difficulty. The Silver Award is a natural progression of practical dog training skills and introduces new concepts such as a controlled greeting, road walk and vehicle control exercises which are important in everyday life situations. The Silver Award aims to provide handlers with a good knowledge of understanding and training their canine companion" *The Kennel Club
The Silver Award Exercises
- Play with the Dog The dog needs to be able to play with his handler, if toys are used they must be readily given up. The dog is off lead. Play fighting is not permissible. Food cannot be used in this exercise.
- Road Walk The dog needs to be able to walk on a lead and under control on a public highway. It involves walking along a pavement, turning, stopping at a kerb, observing the Highway Code and crossing the road. Distractions such as bicycles, prams and vehicles are required.
- Rejoin Handler The dog can be left in any position off the lead. The handler moves at least 10 paces away and calls the dog when asked to do so. The dog needs to return to the handler and stop in a position close to the handler so that the lead can be reattached.
- Stay in One Place for 2 Minutes The handler places the dog in any position with the lead still attached, he then quietly drops the lead and moves away a distance of 5 paces for 2 minutes. The dog needs to stay in the same position until the handler returns.
- Vehicle Control The object of the exercise is for the handler to get the dog in and out of a car in a controlled manner. The dog should remain quiet and relaxed while the driver gets into the car and starts the engine.
- Come Away from Distractions The handler must remain in control of their dog when there are distractions. The handler will take the dog on lead to a group of people, the lead will be removed and the handler walks or runs away before calling their dog and attaching the lead.
- Controlled Greeting An adult will approach the dog and greet it as if he had just entered a house where the dog lives. The dog must not jump up or if it does the handler must be able to instruct it not to do so.
- Food Manners The dog must have good manners when aware of food. The dog is taken close to food being handled or consumed. The dog must not beg or steal.
- Examination of the Dog The dog is kept on a lead and presented for a stranger to examine mouth, ears, teeth, throat, eyes, ears and feet whilst standing, sitting or lying down. Only mild avoidance is permitted.
- Responsibility and Care The handler is asked questions based on sections one and two of the Responsibility and Care Leaflet.
The Silver Award is tested by an examiner from outside the club and unknown to the dog. Successful candidates receive a rosette and certificate. There is also the option to buy a special collar tag.
- Heelwork is progressed by introducing more turns and lead in pocket and off lead heelwork.
- Stays progressed to 1 minute sit stay and 2 minute down stay. Out of sight and longer stays are introduced.
- Retrieves are progressed depending on the abilities of the dog.
- A Recall. Recalls are progressed so that handlers perform a right or left turn before recalling their dog to heel.
Dogs are promoted from this class by the trainer, promotion does not depend on gaining the Silver Award.