Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Doggone Safe Co-ordinator, Judi Dowson, First in Canada to be Certified APDT C.L.A.S.S. Evaluator

By Judi Dowson, Doggone Safe Canada West Co-ordinator

I have had the pleasure of going through APDT’s new C.L.A.S.S. program tests. C.L.A.S.S. stands for Canine Life And Social Skills. Even though I had a hard time at first (due to no one’s fault buy my own), the process was rather painless. Ann Allums at APDT put up with all my silly questions and was of tremendous help.
C.L.A.S.S. is a three-level evaluation for students to demonstrate the real-life skills of their dogs, as well as a knowledge assessment of the students’ understanding of basic dog handling and care. C.L.A.S.S., through its evaluation, curriculum, and training resources, advocates the use of reward-based training. Positive, reward-based training minimizes the use of punishment and is fun for both owner and dog! Dog owners can earn a PhD for their dog at the highest level in this program.
The certification procedure for becoming an evaluator consists of three exams – 30 questions based on the manual, 30 questions based on your general knowledge of dog training and finally 30 videos which you have to “evaluate”. All questions are multiple choice.

So I took the bull by the horns and ventured into these tests. First one – no problem. Second one – a bit testy with some questions. Had to take a breather and make sure I had enough time to take the video portion. You are allowed to view the videos repeatedly, so I was thinking I’d best do this when I know there will be no interruptions (like a secluded spot in the forest where one can get computer connections????). Finally one evening, I decided that this was “the night”. I got to video #19 and heard a ruckus coming from outside with my chickens. I went out to see what was going on to find my cat face to face with a fox. Thank goodness my cat has a better recall than my dogs!! Same goes for the chickens! By the time I got said cat back into the house and the chickens tucked away in their shed, my computer had been idle for more than 10 minutes. I HAD TO START OVER!!! That’s the rules of the three tests!

I let it go for another few days and once again sat down to the computer to do the video test. It had been over a month since taking the first two tests, so I had start all over again with Test #1. Same with test #2 and FINALLY, the video test. I made it – did all three in one sitting!!! YAY

I am currently using the APDT Shelter Program for my dogs at the Prince George Regional Correctional Centre. Some of the current inmates had been through the previous program I was using and have said they really like the CLASS program and are anxious to have their dogs tested. Unfortunately, no one is prepared to pay to register the dogs, but they do like the new format.

Now, I just have to convince APDT that I live in British Columbia. I was the first one listed that was outside the US and I guess they didn’t know what to do with me! LOL

Have fun with the program everyone – I think it’s great!

Judi Dowson
Prince George, BC

For more information please visit: http://www.mydoghasclass.com/

Free C.L.A.S.S. Webinar

Attend an informative FREE webinar about the C.L.A.S.S. program on Oct 6 at 3 PM EDT:

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