This information was provided by D.J. Henderson of Coburg, Ontario who took his Collie 'Skipper" through the third series of classes put on by the Bytown Dog Obedience Club.  Don supplied a full page article on BDOC from the Ottawa Journal.

The following is from the Ottawa Journal, Saturday, April 28, 1962.

Ottawa's Newest Dog School Puts Dogs and Owners to Test Next Weekend

By Frances Baldwin

At the coliseum next week-end the Bytown Dog Obedience Club, Ottawa's newest dog club, will sponsor its first obedience trials.  For dogs, owners and teachers this will climax a year and a half of hard work.  There are 85 dogs in the present series of classes.  (The first classes 18 months ago had 40 pupils, and the second series, 50.)

Every Thursday night, from 7 to 11 pm., in St. Anthony's church hall on Booth Street, the dogs attend classes ranging from the equivalent of public school to college.  The final test -- in the Utility class -- is taken before three judges, and if successful, the dog is awarded an Obedience diploma.  The seven instructors -- Peter Doyle, Shirley Limoges, Eve Coltas, Eileen Macdonald, Ann Laughton, Judy Figg, and Irma Underwood -- are all unpaid.  It is a non-profit club.  The fee-per-dog merely covers the rent of the hall, equipment and administrative expenses.

A few dogs and owners come from their class and then leave.  But a great many more come early and stay late in the hope that watching other classes at work will drive home the lesson-for-the-day.

Both dogs and owners come in all shapes and sizes.  Dogs range from Journal Dog-of-the-week $6 waifs from the Human Society shelter to purebreds worth many hundreds of dollars.  The owners range in age from 12 o 70, and they come to school in everything from blue jeans to mink jackets.

Do dogs need an education?

Eileen Macdonald of Hazeldean, Club President, emphasizes that nothing a dog learns at obedience classes is purely for show.  Everything is useful.  Every learned command makes for a happier dog and one who will be nicer to have around the house.  Some of the commands may even save a dog's life some day.

In dog obedience the key word is control.  First the owner learns to control the dog with spoken directions.  Later, he learns to command with hand signals so that he could signal his dog out of danger, even if traffic or thunder kept the dog from hearing his voice.

The first thing a dog learns in class is to 'heel', for a dog who has been taught to heel can be taken into city streets without risking his own life and without being a nuisance to other shoppers.

The second thing a dog learns is to 'sit at command', and later to 'sit and stay'.

IN EVERY OBEDIENCE class there seems to be a prepondence of big dogs... German Sheperds, Collies, Boxers, Standard Poodles, etc.  This is partly because the big dog is very popular right now with people moving out to suburbia and ex-urbia -- the Mountain Road, Manotick, Kirk's Ferry, Almonte, etc. -- where they have room for country-sized dogs.  But it is vital that the owner of the dog keep him under control.

If a Cairn terrier runs ahead to leap up on a visitor, its owner can always scoop the dog up in his arms.  But a large dog that doesn't know enough to stay on command can frighten a caller into fits.

The dog obedience courses are as much training courses for dog owners as for the dogs.  What the instructor does is teach every owner how to train his own dog.  Occasionally, an instructor will take a strange dog and show the owner how to make it "sit" or "stay". But before she takes the dog's lead she always asks, "What's his name?"   And in the group lessons, owners are encouraged to use their dog's name when giving him his instructions.

In some countries, choke chains with spikes are used in dog obedience courses.  The dog learns to do as it is told....or suffer unpleasant consequences.  No such methods are tolerated by the Ottawa Group.  Patience and persistence are the watchwords.

Frequently, you hear the instructor tell the class over the PA system, "Now, tell your dog he's a good dog..."  even if you don't mean it tell him. The key to success in dog training according to the seven instructors, is homework.  Too many owners, they say, work with their dogs only on Thursday night. In betweeen obedience classes, they forget to remind their dogs of the lessons learned.

In classes dogs are not punished -- they have enough to contend with in the excitement of a hall filled with strange dogs and people.  At home, however, some of the instructors feel that it is all right to smack a dog lightly with a folded newspaper.  The paper, rather than a hand, should be used for punishment, because signals are given by hand... and the dog shouldn't associate it with punishment.

DO DOGS LIKE obedience classes?

In the beginners classes many of them don't.  You find the same sort of attitudes that you find in a kindergarten on the first day of school. There's the puppy who wants to play and thinks that walking around in the "heel" position and sitting when told is a big bore. There's the dog who's terrified of all these strangers and wants to hide under his owners skirts.  And there's the dog who feels frightened and wants to fight every other dog in the place.  (Such a dog must be muzzled, under the club rules.)   But in the senior classes it's evident that dogs, as well as children benefit from education.

As they go through their routines, whether it's coming on recall, walking a figure eight path through a barrier of distractions, or leaping over jumps, the trained dogs wear a confident expression as if to say "I know what's expected of me....and I'm just the dog to do it."

DO SOME BREEDS of dogs learn more quickly than others ?

Mrs. MacDonald glanced around the room at the collection of Spaniels, Poodles, Bulldogs, Hounds, Samoyeds, and other varieties , quietly circling around the room in "heel" position. "No," she said diplomatically. "but some owners do."

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