The Kennel Club's Good Citizen Dog Training Scheme (GCDS) has
been working alongside RAF Henlow Dog Training Club in Bedfordshire
to help train dogs in the community and raise funds for the RAF
Association's Wings Appeal.
The training took place at RAF Henlow, with classes every
Wednesday from March through to August, and saw 24 dogs achieve
their GCDS bronze award with 19 going on to pass their silver
award, the second highest Kennel Club dog training award. The dog
owners included a mix of military personnel, family members as well
as members of the local community.
The RAF Henlow Dog Training Club was set up by Sgt Nathan Kaye,
Sgt Mark Baker and Cpl Marc Edgar, all from RAF Henlow 1 (Tactical)
Police Squadron, because of their passion for training with dogs,
and all volunteered in their own time to conduct the training.
Although highly skilled, the trio are not currently employed in
dog training duties so, rather than see those skills go to waste,
the scheme allows them the opportunity to give back to the
community, using skills acquired in the RAF, while raising funds
for the military charity.
Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary said: "The RAF Henlow Dog
Training Club has been a great success. They have worked with the
community to turn local dogs into good citizens and raised money
for a wonderful charity.
"Now in its 21styear, the Good Citizen Dog Training Scheme's aim
is to promote responsible dog ownership. Since the Good Citizen Dog
Training Scheme was founded in 1992, over 450,000 pass certificates
have been issued to dogs and their owners. With thanks to the RAF,
Bedfordshire has a few more good citizen dogs."
The trio have already made plans to carry out sessions starting
next April to raise further funds for the RAF Association.
Cpl Edgar talks of the success of the training: "It's a really
worthwhile cause. One of the dogs, Daisy, was scared of heights and
the training helped her overcome this problem. Now Daisy is able to
go up and down stairs and hurtle around without fear. Another dog
was very anti-social and even growled at family members, up to the
point where they weren't able to get into their house without
having to lean against the wall. The dog has now become socially
friendly thanks to the training."
The team are aiming to train 40 dogs next year with the help of
five instructors. The plan is to promote this scheme across various
stations to help show that, aside from the important role the RAF
plays as an organisation, it can also give to the community with
schemes such as this.
To find a Kennel Club Good Citizen Dog Training Scheme class
near you, please visit www.thekennelclub.org.uk/findadogclub.
For more information about the GCDS, visit www.thekennelclub.org.uk/dogtraining.
For more information on the RAF Association's Wings Appeal
please visit www.rafa.org.uk/get-involved/wings-appeal.