It’s not just the Prince Albert SPCA that promotes proper care and attention be paid to the city’s canine population.
Sharing an interest in the wellbeing of dogs, the Prince Albert Kennel and Obedience Club has been around since 1924.
“The driving force continues as it always has,” club president Penny Ross said before last Wednesday’s monthly meeting. “We love dogs, we love to do anything with dogs, we love to train dogs and we love to talk dogs.”
An important part of their work is promoting “responsible dog ownership,” she added.
“It`s realizing that it`s a living thing, it needs care and attention and training,” club member Kathy Horne said. “Some people tend to believe that they can buy a dog and tie it up in the backyard!”
“It`s a long-term commitment. It`s 10 years, sometimes a lot longer than that, so it`s a full lifetime commitment,” Ross said.
When it comes to training, the club offers obedience lessons that begin every January and September, which are always at capacity.
“We`re teaching you how to train your dogs,`` Horne explained, noting that it`s not up to them to train the dogs.
Training is an important process that dog owners need to undertake, she said, noting that a well-trained dog provides for a less stressful environment.
“Just like you, you never stop learning, your dog never stops learning,” Horne said. “It`s easier to train a younger dog, but that doesn`t mean you can`t train an older dog.
“So, it`s important to train your dog. You want them to be a good family member -- you want them to have some manners, you want them to come when you call them, you want to be able to take them places have them not embarrass you.”
The world of dog training has become more focused on positive reinforcement than of negative, she noted, with positive reinforcements more effective.
We love dogs, we love to do anything with dogs, we love to train dogs and we love to talk dogs. - Prince Albert Kennel Club president Penny Ross
“The bad behaviour you try to overlook and put them onto something that`s a good behaviour,” Ross said.
For example, if dog is chewing on things they shouldn’t, take the item away and provide them an item they’re allowed to chew on, she said.
“It`s a slow process, you start off with baby steps, and you be consistent with training methods,” Ross said.
“You don`t let them think it`s OK to do a behaviour today, and then tomorrow reprimand them for it. It`s terribly confusing for them. The consistency is so important, and everybody in the household be consistent, not just the main person -- the children have to be involved, an any other family member.”
Heralding some of the city’s most well-behaved canines, the Prince Albert Kennel and Obedience Club has a number of events scheduled for the year, starting with the All Canadian Kennel Club All Breeds Dog Show, from March 8 to 10.
The confirmation show will take place at the Prince Albert Exhibition Centre, with various pure-bred dogs compared to their breed standard.
“It`s basically how they look,” Horne explained of the event.
A few more audience-friendly trials will take place this summer, which include dogs running through obstacle courses.
For more on the club and upcoming events and classes, visit their website, online at www.pakoc.com.
The club is always looking for new members, with anyone interested encouraged to stop by the Archie Anderson Building at the Prince Albert Exhibition Grounds, during the second Wednesday of the month beginning at 7:30 p.m.
Members aren’t required to have a dog, Horne said, though an interest in canines is mandatory.