Monday, 16 September 2013

Since 1973 and Still Training...

The following is part of an article written by one of our Founding Club Members, Wendy Wallace, that was published in the Comox Valley Echo in July 2013. The part of the article advertising our Canine Good Neighbour Test and 40th Anniversary Party has been edited out as the test has been completed - with 21 of 22 dogs passing! The remainder of the article is posted below, giving a little history of Forbidden Plateau Obedience & Tracking Club. Along with Wendy, other Founding Members include Jo Anne McLeod, Darlene Gordon, Carol Snaith & Marion Hespe. Wendy, Jo Anne, and Darlene are still active members of FPO&TC today, and the rest of the Membership thanks them for starting this wonderful, active Club that allows us to have so much fun with our dogs and our friends.

If you have owned a dog and taken it to obedience classes sometime in the past forty years,  it is most likely that you trained with the Forbidden Plateau Obedience and Tracking Club (FPO&TC).
Founded in 1973 by a small group of dog obedience and tracking enthusiasts, the Club has trained thousands of local dogs and their owners over the years. Most owners have taken classes simply to improve their dog’s behaviour while others have joined the Club, taken part competitions and in many cases gone on to become dog trainers themselves. 

Initially the Club’s classes were held at the rec center in Comox;  its first licensed obedience trials trials took place at the base skating rink. Later trials were held at various schools – Courtenay Secondary and Vanier. Currently they are held second weekend in September at Queenish school.

Teaching dogs to find articles by following a person’s scent was also an early interest of Club members and it was not long before the club was hosting tracking seminars and tracking tests. Initially the Club held field tracking tests in March of each year. These took place on local farms, thanks to the kindness of farmers who were willing to let the club have the use of their fields for two days. This generosity was greatly appreciated by the Club which gained a reputation in the tracking community for holding well organized tests on excellent grounds.

In more recent years the Club has expanded its interest in two other areas of the dog sport world – urban tracking and Rally Obedience.  Urban tracking test are held annually and take place in urban environments such as schools, rec centers and the college. They test the dog’s ability to follow a scent through well- traveled and busy areas. The club is very proud of the fact that the first three Urban tracking titles where earned by two club members and their dogs.

Rally obedience is similar to regular obedience but requires the  dog and handler to follow a numbered course, with each number setting out specific skills to be performed.

Formal competitions have not been the entire focus for club members. Over the past forty years club members have taken part in local parades, visited schools, entertained at the local fall fairs and provided demonstrations of trained dogs and training methods for the community. In the early years they organized and ran a children’s pet show at the CRA.

Each year the club also makes a sizable financial donation to local charities or person’s in need.

Founding Member Wendy Wallace and her dog Tammy

Entrants in the 40th Anniversary Parade of Veterans at our CKC Obedience Trials. Among them is Wendy, in yellow.