Frequently Asked Questions... 
  How Do I Join? Is The Club Affiliated With Any Controlling Body? What Time Does Training Start? How Old Does My Dog Have To Be To Start? How Long Before My Dog Is Fully Trained? How Are The Membership Fees And Training Fees Calculated, And What Do They Cover? Is My Dog Too Old To Train? What Will I Learn? Can My Child/Children Train The Dog? Do We Use Food? Is The Correction Collar Cruel? It’s Raining, Cold, Wet Or Just Windy. Do We Still Train? How Do I Join? Simply print out and complete the “Application for Membership” form below and come along to the Club on the 1st Sunday of any Month with your dog, and $110 CASH (sorry, we CANNOT accept Credit or Debit Cards as payment) to cover your Annual Membership Fee.  Application for Membership (pdf, 11kb) The only other “fee” you will incur is the $2 per week (per dog) Training Fee for each week that you attend. You will also need to bring along a Vet Certificate showing “Proof of Vaccination” (with no further inoculations due for approximately 12 months). Ideally, you will also have with you a properly fitted chain Correction Collar (Choke Chain), and a suitable leather or woven- cotton leash. NO “harnesses”, retractable leashes, chain or Nylon (seatbelt material) leashes. These latter two items are usually available at the Club for a cost of under $30 CASH if you need to purchase them from us. You may purchase items from your local Pet Shop, Supermarket or Veterinary Practice if you prefer, but usually these are not adequate or properly fitted to your dog. There is NO NEED TO  BOOK, just come along. Is The Club Affiliated With Any Controlling Body? No. For approximately 24 years the Club was affiliated with Dogs Victoria, but since it was perceived that we got little or no support from that Organisation, it was determined that we cease affiliation in 2017. However, we still train to an acceptable level as espoused by Dogs Victoria, and we do NOT discourage persons from entering Obedience Trials put on or supported by that entity. Membership of DV is entirely under the control of and at the wishes of the individual dog owners. What Time Does Training Start? Beginners and Class 1 start at about 10am, but we would expect that you arrive on the grounds by at least 9:30am, in order for you to have time to settle your dogs, “meet and greet” other dogs and Handlers, and to have sufficient time to purchase your equipment, pay your dues, and so on. Remember, start-ups are a busy time for our volunteer Committee and Instructors, and often we would also like to be training our dogs, rather than deal with problems associated with your late arrivals. Also, arriving late disrupts the classes and participants don’t get the value of a full hour training because they have to stop to accommodate late-comers. How Old Does My Dog Have To Be To Start? Provided you have a “final vaccination certificate” (as above), usually given at about 3 months of age,  you can start. Ideally, you will wait two weeks AFTER the date of that last vaccination, to allow the medication to have full effect. This is for YOUR protection rather than ours as we are only on the grounds for 3 hours per week, and we have NO CONTROL over animals which may defecate on or contaminate the grounds during the 165 hours a week that we are NOT there. If your dog’s vaccination is NOT current, just go along to your local Vet and get a new inoculation and certificate. Then come along with your Certificate, collar, leash and dog - we’ll take it from there. How Long Before My Dog Is Fully Trained? That depends entirely upon you. If you pay attention to what you are being told, and if you come along regularly and do your “homework” , your dog will be capable of working “off leash”, from a distance, using only hand signals (rather than verbal commands) within 48 hours (24 weekly lessons of 1 hour per week for 24 weeks), PLUS an additional 1 hour per week as “homework” (broken up into sessions of 10 minutes per day for 6 days per week, one-on-one with you and your dog). Remember, we do NOT train dogs, we train HANDLERS to teach their own dogs. Some people who do not wish to do their “homework”, have remained in our Class One for over 2 years, and their dogs are still not fully trained. Even if you have a fully-trained dog, it is recommended that you continue with weekly Classes, as this reinforces the work in the dog’s mind. The more you practice, the better you get. Also, weekly training gives the dog an enjoyable “day out” where he gets to meet and play with his new-found doggie friends. How Are The Membership Fees And Training Fees Calculated, And What Do They Cover? The Annual Membership Fee covers the cost of the Club’s “overheads”, such as Council Ground Rentals, Electricity and Services, Facility Maintenance, and Public Liability Insurances. The Club is actually a non-profit organisation where nobody at the Club receives any remuneration or wage. We are all volunteers who give freely of their time and effort. The Weekly Training Fee covers the cost of Equipment Purchases (see-saws, tunnels, jumps, scaling platforms, dog walk frames, etc) and maintenance thereof. We usually provide our Committee and Instructors with an Annual Dinner as a reward for their efforts over the year. Occasionally, entry fees for Competitions and the like may be slightly higher in order to pay for trophies, sausage sizzle, gifts to visiting Judges for officiating, and so on. Is My Dog Too Old To Train? Usually not, but this depends on how long the dog has been left with no training or discipline. It may take a little longer to train an older dog.  Similarly, dogs which have come to you via “shelters” or are “rescue dogs” may have experienced earlier trauma from their previous owners, and this may take time to rectify. We suggest that Handlers persevere with their animals until it becomes clear that the perceived problems cannot be alleviated. What Will I Learn? Class 1 (approx 6 hours)   Dog Heeling on Loose Leash, Sit, Stand, Come, Stay Class 2 (approx 6 hours)   Advanced Heeling, Down, Left About Turn Class 3 (approx 6 hours)   Introduction to Leash Removal, Non-verbal Commands Class 4 (approx 6 hours)   Distance Control, Food Refusal, Retrieving, Agility, etc. Can My Child/Children Train The Dog? Yes! But the child MUST be old enough to follow simple directions, and MUST be sufficiently co-ordinated, and strong enough to control an excitable dog. We recommend that an adult do  the initial training, and then pass on their knowledge to the child, during "homework" sessions. Similarly, if there are TWO adults in the family, we recommend that the person who is most likely to spend the most time with the dog should train the animal, and then pass on that knowledge to the other Adult during their “homework sessions”. Generally a dog will respect the Alpha Figure in the family as their “Pack Leader”, and whilst the animal will obey other family members, the Pack Leader usually has precedence for the dog’s  attention. Do We Use Food? Not usually, although we do not object to animals being occasionally rewarded with “nibblies” for exceptional performance. Some Clubs recommend food training, but this usually requires the Handlers to carry supplies of food reward with them when they walk their dogs.  We prefer to train dogs to work without food reward and to expect nothing more than praise when they do something right. Is The Correction Collar Cruel? Not at all. Proper use of the correction collar will NEVER harm the dog. Improper use of the chain collar may result in the dog choking (thus the incorrect name of “Choker chain”), neck rashes or a wearing away of fur around the collar area. If these problems occur, it is simply because the Handler is not listening to their Instructor correctly. People who suggest that the chain correction collars are cruel, have most likely NEVER actually trained a dog. A properly trained dog will actually rush to have his collar put on, as this means the dog is going out, to have fun, and to get lots of praise. Under “normal” conditions, the chain just hangs loosely around the dog’s neck and is NEVER tight or restrictive. Remember, our ultimate aim is to have the dog work willingly WITHOUT a collar or leash, and WITHOUT continual food rewards. It’s Raining, Cold, Wet Or Just Windy. Do We Still Train? Usually yes. The Club trains EVERY weekend (except Long Weekends) between February and November. Handlers can wear gumboots, Dri-z-bone coats or other warm and weatherproof clothing, including mittens. Dogs have furry coats and usually love the wet weather. One of the joys of pet ownership is to have a muddy, wet dog run through your house. If you want, you can also buy warm coats for your dogs, at most Pet Shops. The only time we will cancel Training is if the weather is so bad that the grounds are sodden and lake-like, or the precipitation is so strong that you can’t see in front of you. This rarely happens.
Craigieburn Dog Obedience Group Inc.
Craigieburn Dog Obedience Group Inc.   Reg. No. A0028372D   P.O. Box 220   Craigieburn   Victoria   3064