Humans and canines take class together |

Humans and canines take class together

Jami Salas
Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture
Lacey Johnson of Clarinda, Iowa, with her dog, Presley, and Ann Stones of Kearney, Neb., with her dog, Carson, are all learning together in NCTA's Advanced Dog Obedience course.

Every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon, Lacey Johnson of Clarinda, Iowa, and Ann Stones of Kearney, Neb., take their dogs to training. Carson, Ann’s Toy Australian Shepherd, and Presley, Lacey’s heeler cross, spend the afternoon working their way through obstacle courses, listening to their owner’s commands and hand cues from a distance. This is the NCTA Advanced Dog Obedience course.

While the Basic Dog Obedience course deals with teaching owners to train their animals to follow commands such as sit, stay, and lay down, the advanced course takes things a little farther, on to the “fun stuff” as Ann calls it. The leash is an important tool in the basic course, but the advanced course gives both the trainer and the animal a little more freedom. The dogs get good exercises, for both their minds and their bodies, as they learn to jump through hoops and run through tunnels.

Each afternoon, the obstacle course is set up differently, so the dogs really have to pay attention to the commands of the owner; you’ve seen this if you’ve watched a dog show on television. Someday, you may even see these dogs competing.

At times, the course focuses on stock dog training. The students were able to travel to Kearney earlier this year for the Nebraska Cattlemen’s Convention to see the working dog show. Now, in order to raise funding for more canine training equipment, the class will be holding a two-day working dog clinic with clinician, John Hofman.

April 10, 2009, the clinic starts at 9:00 a.m. and ends around 5:00 p.m. The fee for Hofman’s clinic is $75 per dog/per day. April 11’s clinic will begin at 8:00 a.m. If you don’t have an entire day to devote to this training, the clinician is also offering a Friday night stock dog seminar for $5, which includes a picnic meal.

If you are interested in watching, but don’t have a dog to train, each day is open for viewing for $20. Pre-registration for the clinic is required; the ending registration date is April 6, 2009. For more information, contact Judy Bowmaster at 1.800.3CURTIS.