Barbet Club of America
Member Updates - February 2016
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Some of the accomplishments of our club include:
- Members have registered imported dogs and all litters with AKC FSS
- Earned AKC titles on their dogs in conformation, rally, obedience, dock diving, agility, therapy, and Canine Good Citizen
- Participated in numerous Meet the Breeds, Judges Education, and Responsible Dog Days events
- Partnered with Club Barbet Canada to enroll the Barbet in CHIC
- Maintained membership in the club and conducted regular club meetings
- Produced newsletters, calendars, and club correspondence
- In 2015 the AKC accepted the Barbet into Miscellaneous, the next step towards full recognition.
- The Barbet Club of America was named by the AKC as the Parent Parent club for the breed
- BCA club members wrote the standard for the AKC
- BCA club and board voted to move the Barbet from FSS to Misc
AKC/Westminster Meet the Breeds
A huge crowd attended AKC/Westminster's Meet & Compete this year,and for most people it was their first time meeting a Barbet. Meet the Breeds was held with the Masters Agility Championship on February 13, 2016 at Pier 92/94 in New York City. BCA club members Stacy Able, Judy Descutner, and Leslie Woodward manned our newly-designed breed booth and spent the day discussing and sharing information about the wonderful Barbet breed. For dogs Micah, Marlee, Ren & Indy, it was a long day of posing for pictures and getting lots of love from the crowd.
The centerpiece of our booth this year was a new stand-up banner with Barbet facts and lots of beautiful pictures. Leslie's newly created artwork featuring iconic French images with a Barbet twist lent a whimsical touch to the display table, and the remaining space featured gorgeous Barbet photographs. Our oversized postcards with Barbet images and breed facts were given to attendees. We were thrilled to win 1st place from ShowSight Magazine for Best Booth of the Miscellaneous breeds!
Leslie generously donated her French Masters artwork to the club for fundraising and prints, mugs, and t-shirts featuring these three images are now available in our online store. Enjoy!
Welcome to our New Members!
Mary Reineman, Providence, RI
Francois Menard, LeGardeur QC
Suzann Beckett, Hartford, CT
Veronica Matthews, Severn Bridge, ON
Diane Kerbel, Wolfe Island, ON
Earning An AKC Canine Good Citizen Title
by Angie Tena
A well-trained and obedient dog is one who is easy to live with and who can join her family on outings and events without issue. As a busy family with a new Barbet puppy, we really wanted to be able to include her in our normal, active lifestyle. Working towards an AKC Canine Good Citizen (CGC) title seemed like an achievable goal that would provide a good foundation and also help us stay consistent with training.
Initially we worked with our puppy, Fia, as a family on basic skills such as sit, stay, down, come, etc. from the moment she came home. Each family member spent 5-10 minutes per day with the puppy using positive training techniques and play. We also were consistent in our expectations throughout the day, creating teachable moments out of normal activities whenever possible. When Fia reached about four months of age, we enrolled her and our teenager in a puppy obedience class at a local dog training facility. This class helped reinforce basic skills we had been working on at home, and also allowed our son to learn how to handle the dog using positive techniques.
We found that the Barbet is an intelligent and willing training partner, but that consistent reinforcement and practice is vital to achieve reliability. Distractions, different locations, new people, and other animals all presented new experiences in which the puppy had to learn to focus – something that is much harder than performing skills in the familiar quiet of our own home.
Around six months of age, we enrolled in a CGC/Therapy Dog certification class and attended weekly with the puppy. The class was specifically designed to teach the kinds of skills necessary to pass both the CGC and therapy dog tests. As our puppy was still young, she was only eligible for the CGC portion of the test, but she participated in the class in all activities along with the other dogs.
The ten Canine Good Citizen skills as listed on the AKC pamphlet are:
Accepting a friendly stranger
Sitting politely for petting
Appearance and grooming: permitting brushing, checking ears and feet
Walk on a loose lead
Walk through a crowd
Sit and down on command and stay in place
Coming when called
Reaction to another dog (two handlers approach and shake hands and walk away)
Reaction to distraction (such as dropping a chair)
Supervised separation (owner goes out of sight for three minutes)
In addition, owners are expected to sign the Responsible Owners Pledge and bring a brush or comb to the test.
To make sure that all went well on the big day, we took her for a long walk and groomed her to look her best. An early arrival at the testing site allowed her time to play and run outside, then get acclimated to the new environment inside. We wanted to make sure that she had the opportunity to burn off any excess energy or excitement so that she could show her best self to the evaluator. Dogs who eliminate during the exam are immediately disqualified and so we delayed her evening feeding until after the test.
The testing atmosphere was pleasant, welcoming and calm. There was a small group of dogs who were to be tested that day, all in the same area. The test took place in a specialized room of the training facility that was decorated as if it were an apartment, which none of the dogs had been in before. An independent evaluator and other unfamiliar people were present to provide the ‘strangers’ needed for portions of the test. Each skill was described in detail, along with what the expectations were for passing. If a dog did not perform a skill acceptably, one additional attempt was allowed. If the dog did not succeed on the second attempt, it was disqualified.
The evaluator brought additional people into the room for the ‘walking through a crowd’ skill while owners and dogs present for the test were used to demonstrate the ‘reaction to another dog’ skill. The ‘reaction to distraction’ skill was tested by dropping a chair, which our dog barely seemed to notice. Individual skills were tested one at a time, such as ‘sit/down and stay’ and ‘come when called’. For the ‘supervised separation’, each owner handed their dog over to one of the ‘strangers’ present and left the room for three minutes.
As our puppy had turned nine months old only days before the CGC test, we were a bit nervous about how well she would do at the test site. It was very rewarding to see her perform each skill speedily and with ease. We left that evening with a CGC ribbon, AKC paperwork to complete and submit for a certificate, a proud family and a happy dog. We are proud of her accomplishment, and are glad that she is now recognized for being the good citizen that she is.
More information about the AKC Canine Good Citizen test, along with video links of specific skills and how they are tested can be found here:
AKC Title Earners
New AKC Agility Novice Title
AKC FSS Show Calendar
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