Agilty is becoming a very popular sport. It is a team effort with you and your dog running an obstacle course. You have to be very fit to keep up with your dog !!! It is great fun and the dogs love it.
Bracken, Lia and Chara are all Ottawa Therapy dogs.. That means they have all passed the test so they can visit hospitals, seniors homes etc. Bracken goes to CHEO every 2 weeks to visit with the children. She spends about 10 mins with each child. She will get up beside them on a couch or bed or put her paws on a wheel chair. They can pet and talk to her. She has a few tricks she does for them and has a photo album to show them. Chara goes to a seniors home and visits the patients in their room or at their excercise class. Lia goes to school for the R.E.A.D. programme. (see below). All the girls are able to fill in for one of the others if they are sick or have puppies.
Brackenridge Goldens are involved in a variety of activities.
Goldens become large dogs and have to have some manners taught to them as puppies. I always recommend at least a couple of sessions to teach the new owner how to teach the puppy. It is a good idea to take the puppy to a socialization class then a couple of basic obedience classes. If you enjoy it you can go on to competion classes and enter Obedience Trials. There are 3 levels of competition. The first is Novice which is on and off leash heeling, straight sits,a stand for examination and a recall off leash. You have to get 3 legs to get a Companion Dog Degree-CD. The second level is Open where the dog has to do off leash heeling, a retrieve on the flat and over a high jump, a broad jump and a drop on recall. Again you have to get 3 legs to a Companion Dog Excellent-CDX. In both CD and CDX you have a sit and down excercise off lead. The top level is Utility-UD. In this level the dog does a heeling pattern by signs only,scent discrimination, directional jumping and a long stand for examination.3 legs are needed for a UD degree and then the dog can put Obedience Trial Champion in front of it's name-OTCh.
Heeling at the Golden Retriever Specialty. Aspen and Bracken entered the Team event. As you can see it was a hoot!!! Bracken was eating the leash and in the sit she was ready for "who knows what"!!! The 3 sisters -Sunshine,Bracken and Sprockette earning 1st,2nd and 3rd in Novice.
The Golden is a sporting dog and I believe they should enjoy what they were bred for. I don't hunt but I do field work with the dogs. They learn to retrieve ducks and pigeons on land and in water. We start off retrieving bumpers and then go onto birds. There are 3 types of competitions you can do associated with field work. There is the WC,WCI,WCX -different levels of the Working Certificate. There is the Hunt Test -JH,SH,MH and then there are Field trials which involve a lot of training.
R.E.A.D. - Reading Educational Assistance Dog
These are dogs who are qualified therapy dogs and love children. Children who have difficulty reading choose a book and read to the dog. The teacher is not present and the dog doesn't judge. If they make a mistake the dog doesn't correct them. If they get stuck they can ask the "dog" what the word is and get help. They sit in a special area on aquilt with the dog between them and the handler. They can talk to the dog and pet it as they read. They spend about 15 mins with the dog. After a certain number of times reading to the dog they are given a new book to keep. The results are amazing. At the end of the year their self esteem and confidence has skyrocketed! I have 3 dogs who are R.E.A.D. dogs. Lia is the main one and she goes to school every week and has 5 children read to her.