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Training year progresses well

With the cooler weather that is more suited to dog training, our classes are progressing well. We have had 3 new Foundation classes so far with another due to start in early May.

This year we have a new Training Manager. Rob Youdan has taken over the reins from Noelene Jordan who continues as an instructor and the club secretary. Rob has been a class instructor at KODTC for many years and is very experienced. He has a particular interest in assisting dogs with behavioural problems via positive reinforcement training methods. Noelene has been associated with the club in a variety of roles over the years and we are very appreciative of her continued participation and support. Our other class instructors are Julie Merryfull, Anne Woolley and Max Schellekens. We also currently have several trainee instructors: Bree, Stella, Sue and Katelyn.

This year we have had to reduce the size of our Foundation class intake due to a shortage of instructors on some days. Our club is run by volunteers and our instructors occasionally participate in various dog sports with their own dogs which sometimes happens on a Sunday unfortunately clashing with our training classes. We aim to provide the best training experience possible and aim to have optimal class sizes. Our Foundation classes are typically 5 or 6 people per class which gives beginners a really good opportunity to learn the basics before joining the bigger group sizes of class 1.

Members and their dogs are promoted according to their achievement of a variety of goals depending on the class level. Every member and dog will progress through a class at their own pace and be promoted at a time that is appropriate for them. As a result class 1 tends to be the largest class and it is with the size of the class 1 groups in mind that we have had to restrict the monthly intake of new members.

We are very eager to increase the size of our instructor group to relieve the load on our current instructors. If any of our members have an interest in learning more about positive reinforcement training methods and becoming a class instructor, please let any of the instructors or Rob know. Training to be an instructor involves 'sitting' in on the various classes and observing the instructors and training methods and discussing what is taught, how and why with the instructors and/or Rob. The trainee instructor slowly progresses to taking short class exercises themselves under the umbrella of the more experienced instructors, building their knowledge and confidence to a level where they can confidently take classes themselves. Rob is prioritizing working with our current trainee instructors to get them up and running as soon as possible. We are very appreciative and supportive of our trainee instructors and would be very excited to have a few more trainee instructors in the pipeline.


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