Training and Education
PDFA sponsors training for those interested in show training, puppy socialization, basic obedience and introduction to rally. We also hold seminars and programs to advance understanding of health, behavior, conformation, safety, legislative and breed issues as well as therapy dog and reading programs. Clinics are also held to experience different activities that allow dogs to take part in simulated events for things they were bred to do.
SHOW (CONFORMATION) TRAINING
As breeds developed for different purposes, standards were written for people to breed toward. Enthusiasts for the breeds gathered to compare their stock both in events, such as herding and in conformation as compared to the standard. As these gatherings grew, dog shows became popular events to compare even the family pet purebred. Enthusiasts of the breeds hold shows called specialties where dogs of that breed are brought from all over in single breed shows that often include trials, for instance, coursing for sighthounds or herding for collies. Breeders share information and bring dogs they have bred to show off to other breeders. These are excellent places to learn about a breed and the different breeders before buying a dog. Those serious breeders are the ones that will help new owners with their puppies. Beyond good type and conformation, they strive for good health, good temperaments and good homes. Not all dogs from these breeders are show quality and they look for good pet homes, so do not be afraid to look for a family pet from show breeders, especially those who do health testing on their dogs. You may decide you would like to explore the world of showing your dog and PDFA training classes have produced some very fine handlers who have gone on to win even Best in Show with their dogs. These same people give lessons through PDFA and are willing to share their experiences.
PDFA's classes are due to begin in January. We are currently negotiating for an indoor venue, but until that is agreed to, classes will be held outside under cover.
Conformation classes are for those who wish to socialize their dog for a dog show environment and learn how to handle in the ring. Obedience and rally classes offer a good bonding between owner and dog as owner is taught to train their dog toward good behavior in public. There is a price differentiation, but these classes are open to non-club members as well as members. Classes are based on 4-6 week lessons but you can arrange for a one class price if you want to try it first. You must preregister to ensure the class isn't full. Call 1-210 379 2264 for more information and to register. If you get an answering machine, please leave number (twice) and time to call you back - and speak clearly. Please do not call after 9 pm. We run out of training coordinators that way.
Rally is a sport in which the dog and handler complete a course that has been designed by the rally judge. The judge tells the handler to begin, and the dog and handler proceed at their own pace through a course of designated stations (10 - 20, depending on the level). Each of these stations has a sign providing instructions regarding the next skill that is to be performed. Scoring is not as rigorous as traditional obedience. As there is demand, rally introduction is held for PDFA members. Canine Good Citizenship and beginner obedience are good precursers for rally. Beginner obedience introduces heeling, sit, stay, down and come on lead. On occasion we hold puppy class as demanded with at least 5 paid participants.
The purpose of the Canine Good Citizen Test is to ensure that our favorite companion, the dog, can be welcome in the community. Dogs become respected members of their communities when they are trained to act mannerly in the home, in public places, and in the presence of other dogs and people. All dogs, including purebreds and mixed breeds are embraced by and welcomed in the Canine Good Citizen program. Canine good citizenship class teaches basic manners to make your dog a good neighbor and companion. Some insurance companies and communities give special dispensation for dogs with the CGC title. This class is held as numbers wanting the class demand and you can call to be added to the list.
Non PDFA members: Class Enrollment Form will help us contact you for future classes and save time signing up for classes..
Other clinics and training classes are held both by PDFA and other clubs in a variety of sports. Watching the PDFA Facebook page is a good way to learn about these events, especially those that are put on by outside clubs or organizations. When temperatures and weather allow, members are involved with barn hunting and lure coursing as places to hold practices are obtained. (We would appreciate the use of 4 or more acres of fenced areas to run such practices) AKC has added a temperament test and there will be testing at our show in March.