The kennel club Good Citizens Scheme aims to The Kennel Club Good Citizen Dog Scheme is the largest dog training programme in the UK. Now a well-established dog training programme that has been in operation since 1992. The Scheme is open to all dogs, young or old, pedigree or Crossbreed, whether Kennel Club registered or not.
It provides a quality standard of training for dogs and owners, and incorporates many domestic obedience exercises, with over 481,000 certificates of achievement having being awarded to owners and their dogs who have successfully passed the scheme’s tests. There are currently around 1,800 dog training clubs and other organisations around the country actively administering the scheme.
Dog owners of any fitness level or disability can take part too. The Scheme is non-competitive and emphasis is placed on the standard of achievement. There are 4 levels of courses from Puppy Foundation, to Bronze, Silver, and Gold Awards.
LDDTC started in 1964 with the aim of helping pet dog owners to enjoy their dogs and be responsible owners within the community. Meetings occur on a Friday evening at Chasetown Football Club where we train at the side of the football pitch whatever the weather.
Here at Lichfield and District we train to each stage of the scheme, and encourage owners to continue their training with us. Assessments are held regularly, and we aim to train in a fun environment where both owners and dogs enjoy learning and socialising.
In the Summer, we are eaten by midges, it always seems to rain on a Friday night and we have known to train in temperatures of -10 degrees!
In 1996, the Club were invited by the Kennel Club to form a team to display the new “Good Citizens’ Dog Scheme” at Crufts Dog Show. As one of the few dog clubs in the country eligible to take part in displays at that time, Lichfield supplied a team of 4 dogs and handlers, a Team Leader and assistants to complete 6 displays over 3 days, and on the final day of Crufts 1996, a further 7 displays. These days, teams are only required to usually complete 2 displays per day, only attending one or two of the days of the show.
The list of clubs now invited to display at Crufts has increased, which allows teams from all parts of the British Isles to take part.
The “Good Citizens’ Dog Scheme” has now evolved into levels of: Puppy Foundation, Bronze, Silver and Gold. The Silver and Gold Teams have to be assessed for inclusion at Crufts, and many members and past members of L.D.D.T.S. have been seen either being a member of these display teams or even heading their own teams.
Lichfield has also provided for well over a decade, Cruft’s Ring Commentators and Stand Assistants for the “Good Citizens’” Ring.
In 2002 and 2003, Lichfield and District were awarded 1st. Place in Category “A”, and “Overall Winner” in the “Good Citizens’” Awards. There were approximately 1000 clubs entered in these years for the awards. Lichfield was the first club to win both categories in one year, and then become the first Club to go on to win both categories for two years consecutively. The awards were presented in London by the Kennel Club.
“Free of Charge” displays have been provided by many volunteers over the years. These displays have provided entertainment, information and awareness of the Club’s existence in all of its sections, showing to the public that their dogs can be trained and become a pleasure to own. Some of these volunteers are sitting out there in the room. Our special thanks go out to one member because of the work that he has put into the organisation of these displays. You know who you are – Graham Martin!
These displays took part in a variety of locations which included: Schools, Retirement Homes, Family Fun Day on Cannock Chase through Staffordshire County Council, Chase Wakes, Local Fetes, Chasewater Transport Shows and also at a Leonard Cheshire Home, joined by the Agility Section for some of these events. There was also a couple of demonstrations given at the request of “The Bassett Hound Club of Great Britain”.
To give you some idea of the number of dogs and owners who have been tested at various levels over the years, the Puppy Foundation being the most recent level that has come into existence, are:
Puppy Foundation = 340, Bronze = 640, Silver = 290 and Gold = 155.
Thank you to all those hardy souls that stand out on a Friday night, whatever the weather!