Sirius dogs will be showcased Sunday

LeeAnne Cogdill of Sirius Dog School announces a series of events celebrating the Association of Professional Dog Trainers National Train Your Dog Month. Since 2010, the Association has set aside the month of January, to enhance awareness of the importance of socialization and training and as a reminder that dog training can be easy and fun.

January was chosen because more dogs and puppies are acquired during the holiday season than at any other time of the year. Sadly, too many of these dogs are eventually turned into shelters because of behavior issues that could have been solved with proper socialization and positive, science based methods of training.

Sirius will offer four programs locally throughout the month. Sundays, Jan. 5 and 19, at 3:15 p.m., Sirius students will be at the Chautauqua County Home. On alternating Sundays, Jan. 12 and 26, also at 3:15 p.m., they will perform in the Learning Center at Northern Chautauqua Canine Rescue on North Gale Street in Westfield.

At the County Home, where Sirius dogs are regular therapy visitors, the demonstration will focus on real life training skills, as exemplified by the AKC’s Canine Good Citizen program. Participants include students who are readying themselves to attempt the CGC test, and those who have already passed the CGC and are beginning to work towards the newer and more difficult Community Canine award.

Residents and their families will be in attendance and the public is invited. CGC test skills include meeting and greeting a friendly stranger and a person with a dog; accepting grooming and handling; walking politely on a loose lead alone and then through a crowd of people and coming when called.

At NCCR the focus will be on dog sports and the fun things a well trained dog can do. At 3:15, a Rally course will be set up and visitors will be allowed to walk around and see what it looks like from a dog’s eye point of view. Then dogs and handlers will take over, showing how it works in action.

Rally is a relatively new dog sport. Although it is playful by nature and dogs and their owners obviously have a good time – cheering and praise are encouraged and expected – a high level of training and cooperation are necessary. The dog must remain close to and focused upon his owner through moves requiring concentration, grace and dexterity – and speed!

If time allows, Cogdill will let her own dogs join the party at both venues and demonstrate how much fun training the advanced maneuvers that allow a dog to think and act independently can be.

All programs are free and approximately one hour long.

APDT members around the U.S. are planning events on their communities to promote National Train Your Dog Month in January, as well as to promote the benefits of training throughout the rest of the year. Useful information is available on the APDT web site at www.apdt.com.