Teenager and his puppy are Good Citizens

Teenagers are often criticised for anti-social behaviour but a teenager from Winchester, Hampshire and his 18 week old Jack Russell puppy, Molly are bucking the trend. Together they recently passed their Kennel Club Good Citizen Dog Training Scheme (GCDS) Puppy Foundation assessment with flying colours.

Dan Parsons, aged 17 demonstrated his commitment to being a responsible dog owner and Molly passed all her exercises at just 15 weeks old.

After going to classes for six weeks, Dan and Molly are ready to start the next stage of training, the GCDS Bronze Award. Dan said of the training: "We started going to the classes when Molly was nine weeks old and haven't looked back since. We attended the classes with the aim to socialise Molly with other dogs, people and train her to ignore distractions. She learnt a variety of different things including recall, sit and stay and we hope to build on this at Bronze level. My overall aim with Molly is to own a well behaved and obedient pet."

Dan is no stranger to training his dogs and has trained two of his Labrador Retrievers in the past. Despite his experience, Dan felt that his one year old Labrador, Pippa is often over-exuberant around other dogs - something Dan wanted to avoid with his new puppy. Dan decided on a Good Citizen Dog Training Scheme class, part of the UK's largest dog training programme, at Winchester City Dog Training Club.

The Kennel Club Good Citizen Dog Training Scheme Puppy Foundation assessment aims to provide a means of socialising puppies and to lay down a foundation for education and training.

Anne Dicker, trainer at Winchester City Dog Training Club said: "On successful completion of the course, puppies will respond to their handlers and the handlers will have an awareness of the responsibilities of dog ownership. It's vital to start the training as early as possible to ensure your dog is a happy and well-socialised dog.

"Molly is a delightful, sweet little girl who has a very caring family, and together they have done very well on the Puppy Foundation course."

Now in its 21styear, the Good Citizen Dog Training Scheme's aim is to promote responsible dog ownership. Since the scheme was founded in 1992, over 450,000 pass certificates have been issued to dogs and their owners. With thanks to Winchester City Dog Training Club, Molly is one of just 174,000 dogs to have achieved their Puppy Foundation Assessment.

Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said: "Dan is a fantastic example of a responsible dog owner. It's great that he is so passionate about dogs at such a young age. We wish Dan and Molly all the best with their Bronze Award."

To find a Kennel Club Good Citizen Dog Training class near you, please visit www.thekennelclub.org.uk/findadogclub. For more information about the GCDS, visit www.thekennelclub.org.uk/dogtraining.

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