RAF Joins Up With Good Citizen Dog Scheme To Raise Funds For Charity

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.

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