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Thread: Advanced Obediance Training??

  1. #1

    Default Advanced Obediance Training??

    I live on a small island 700kms off the coast of NSW. The local administration recently brought in a new Dog Policy which requires all new dog owners to get a 'Advanced Obediance Training' Certificate, before our dogs reach 12 months of age.
    The new Policy was introduced to limit the danger to the bird life here on the island from dogs.
    Nobody is qualified to issue these certificates here, so to obtain one, we would have to travel with our dogs at great expence to the mainland. Or, fly a Trainer to the island and accommadate them for the duration of the course. Either way it will cost a lot of money.
    I believe this course wont achieve the Administations goals and adds thousands of dollars to the cost of owning a dog here.
    I'd like to get more opinions about this and maybe some solutions for our Administration, that would make it cheaper to own a dog here.
    Being part of NSW we are bound by the normal dog laws of the state.

  2. #2
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    What does your administrator call advanced obedience training?

    I am an Instructor at a Dogs NSW affiliated Kennel Club and our advance Obedience Classes are for the dogs that have attained CD titles. I also Instruct privately and the advance classes are often just up of the Beginners

    I have also been to other Clubs and Private Training places and some advance classes were just past Puppy classes.

    Does he expect the dogs to trial and have at a minimum the CCD, (Community Companion Dog). CCD is before CD. In CCD most things are done on-lead and in CD all is done off lead

    I can tell him that none of these will guarantee the wildlife will survive.........I know some top scoring dogs with trialling that have sh** recalls and not that social. And some dogs that are not so good at trialling, who are really A1 at recall and excellent socially.
    Pets are forever

  3. #3
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    I do wonder what it is they are hoping to achieve by this. It seems like a good idea on a superficial level, but it just isn't clear what exactly the goal is and how they think this will prevent dogs from chasing wildlife.

    How many dog owners would lived on the island, as a rough guess? And if they have only just brought in this regulation, are there requirements for training dogs older than 12 moths too? Or do they see this as a gradual change over the next decade or so?

    I really do find this an interesting idea, but it doesn't sound like it has been well thought out at all.

  4. #4
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    Lord Howe Island wildlife conservation

    It's not the first time Lord Howe Island has come up with some radical conservation ideas.

    I'm sure I know a few dog trainers who would love a family holiday in Lord Howe and be happy to exchange their services in return. I'd start by asking Steve at K9pro.com.au - but I'm pretty sure Newfsie would be qualified too.

    I can understand the administration's concern given that a lot of birds nest on that island and dogs can cause birds to abandon nests and young - just by wandering past - they don't need to harrass the birds at all. And with all that rat bait and etc out, I don't think I'd be willing to let my dog wander around there at all. Ever. To me it seems unless you have a police or drug sniffer or guide dog, that if you want a dog - best move back to the mainland.

    At the same time, it seems totally unfair that admin have arbitarily set this requirement - and provided no means to get it, and no definition of the requirement. Maybe all dog owners could issue their own "advanced dog training" certificate - it's about as meaningful.

    Our councils offer a discount registration for trained dogs - but I'd hardly call it advanced training. Dog doesn't have to be able to do anything off leash.
    All on lead the criteria is:
    Has to do a 10 second stay
    walk at heel for 5m
    recall to handler from a distance of 1m within 3 commands (on lead remember)
    sit - within three commands - sit sit sit (arrgh)
    Not agressive when 2m from a dog sitting quietly with its handler. (fine for me except at home).
    then we get the discount. Our club rates this as a "grade 3 pass". Some puppy pre schools hand out the relevant authorisation too.

    NFI what your NSW island rates it as - but I would be contacting your State Government elected representative. Ie how are you supposed to comply?

    Maybe they could just ban dogs (service dogs excepted) on LHI - would be simpler. It's a hard call. If they still have farmers though - it doesn't make sense.

  5. #5

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    Thanks for your post....I also can't see how a dog left by itself, Advanced trained or not, wouldn't chase the ground birds here.....This new policy is basically making it less attractive to get a dog here and punishes good owners.....If I don't get The Advanced certificate in less than three months, they'll seize my dog(Eddy) and send him off the island.
    Eddy is with me all day at work, and if I go anywhere he is put on a chain. He has never touched a bird!
    I believe they should have a local Ranger here be qualified to asses the dogs after a year and if the dog appears to be a threat, then demand some sort of Obediance Training to desensitize it to birds.
    Everybody Knows everybody (and there dog) over here, and a wayward dog is always identified straight away...... Cars kill 10 times more birds than dogs over here.

  6. #6
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    Craig

    Have they said what "the advanced certificate" is yet?

    I don't leave my dog out on her own on the mainland either. Too many hazards for her here. Like people who leave gates open.

    It really doesn't matter to some birds - whether the dog chases them or not. The dog just has to wander by minding its own business.

    I'm thinking you're right about them deciding they don't want dogs on the island any more unless they are service dogs of some sort (eg police or guide dogs). And the only way you can stay on the island with your dog would be to contact your political rep and discuss it with them.

    Or maybe email Steve at k9pro.com.au and discuss it with him. I can't really help because I don't know what they mean by
    "the advanced certificate" or how you're supposed to get one living on the island. Like I said before - it doesn't seem fair. They may as well made a decree saying from tomorrow - all dogs on the island will be shot. Like what happenned in Antarctica.

  7. #7
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    I think they are trying to get all dogs of the island......No clear ruling, giving them plenty of scope
    Pets are forever

  8. #8
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    Craig - I cant offer any help with the cert's, but can straight away see the flaws in the introduction of this new dog law.

    It seems to me straight away they are making the false assumption that you are ALL irresponsible dog owners, once again tarring everyone with the same brush.
    I agree with you dogs need to be controlled in a sensitive environment such as LHI, but as you suggest, it would be far better to quickly identify bad owners and retify THEIR behaviour rather than the dogs.
    Another thing is some extremely well trained dogs become totally useless when there are moving prey around as some dogs have a high prey drive and WILL REACT trained or not, certificate or not.
    You really have to wonder who comes up with this nonsense and how much they get paid to do it?

    A simple plan to enforce the protection of the birds with SERIOUS and ENFORCABLE penalties for the owners of dogs who chase and or kill birds will penalise the irresponsible owners and leave the responsible ones ALONE.

    Any chance the dog owning residents could come up with a WORKABLE plan and arrage a meeting with your local morons?
    The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated.
    Mohandas Gandhi

  9. #9

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    Hi Newfsie, I mentioned what you said about CD & CCD to the Ranger over here and he'd like to get more information off you about the two different types of training you've mentioned. They would like to email you some questions... My email adress is bonk62@gmail.com If you could send me an email, and don't mind me giving them your adress, it might help them and me clarify what the hell their after. Thanks Craig

  10. #10
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    CD and CCD are competition obedience titles (grades). Community companion dog aka CCD is on lead (except for the recall) and Novice aka Companion dog/CD is off lead - CCD is "beginners" and CD is the next level up. So you have to compete to get these titles. I imagine on Lord Howe - there wouldn't be much dog obedience competition. And the titles go to the dog not the trainer/human.

    And like Newfsie said - some of these dogs that do well in the competition ring are complete rogues out of it - though that has more to do with how consistent the trainer is in and out of the ring - ie they only demand a high standard of their dog at club and club training and club competition but let them do what they like down the park or at home - not the best way to manage a dog but lots of people do it.

    All the rules for different kinds of ANKC competitions and titles are here.
    Australian National Kennel Council

    The obedience rules (pdf) includes all the criteria for all the levels of competition - you could give that to your ranger.

    It does seem like your ranger has no idea what the "advanced obedience certificate" is. If he thinks an obedience title qualifies.

    Criteria for CD (novice class) - include

    Heel Free (heel off lead)
    Stand Free for Examination. (dog has to hold a stand politely with owner standing in front while judge approaches and gives it a pat)
    Recall
    Retrieve on the Flat (dog goes and gets a stylised wooden dumbell that you have thrown in front of it)
    Change of Position eg you ask your dog to "stand" and stay and then from a distance you ask your dog to "sit".
    1 Min Sit Stay.
    3 Min Down Stay

    Notice how none of these require a dog to ignore a bird down the beach. Although it does get very interesting when flocks of magpies decide to stalk through the sit-stays or possums run across in front of dogs doing "down stays" or just for fun - one dog gets up and goes and attacks or sits on another dog.

    It's a much higher standard than most family pets are required, but it is a formal competition thing, not a all day every day kind of thing, and dogs are really good at figuring out the context and differences. Like the difference between how you would behave at your friend's wedding and how you behave with him down the pub.

    The ranger needs to be able to decide what they need dogs on the island to be able to do - and then test them, ie go down the beach or park where there are not too many endangered birds, and make sure
    1. your dog can walk past them (on lead) and ignore them.
    2. you can call your dog to you and he ignores the birds
    3. that if you're not paying attention to your dog (eg you're talking to the ranger), he still ignores the island wildlife.
    I sometimes practice this with Frosty and her dinner, can I call her past her dinner to me - and then give her permission to eat her dinner.

    If there are very few dogs on the island it should be easy to do this kind of test for each dog. If there are dogs that live together - loose in their yards - they should be tested together - because one dog alone might not chase the birds, but two together can act differently.

    And I still think your local political rep and Steve Courtney would be good people to talk to about this.

    The island management want to keep the fauna (and flora?) safe from dogs - so work out how to test that (and that's where Steve could help). You could start the test with a chicken or duck in a cage - instead of using the local endangered wild life. If the dog can ignore the chicken - then it might be safe to test out in the open...

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