Past & Present Articles

*Alphabetical Listing*

2018 Dog Trainer’s Survey – Interpretation of the Results

During the week of November 12th through the 19th, 2018, Front & Finish presented a survey to the dog training community. The survey was opened to gain insight into current exhibitor participation and feelings about recent changes affecting the sports of obedience and rally. While information about a variety of registries was collected one primary focus of the study centered on the American Kennel Club.

2018 Front & Finish Dog Trainer’s Survey ~ Exhibitor Comments Part III

*** I feel that some of my answers are dependent on my present dog situation. I’ve only got two dogs; one who completed his titles before the changes to obedience were implemented and another, younger dog who dislikes obedience so we’re currently training in agility. I do own a heavy-bodied breed, though, and I don’t believe that the broad jump did any physical harm to either of the ones I trialed at the open level.

AKC Fix n Go Pilot Program

Effective April 1, 2021, the following pilot program is approved to begin: Chapter 2 Section 27. Training and Handling in the Ring.

Amazing Pictures

As dog trainers we appreciate all of the animals in the kingdom. These amazing pictures were emailed to us by a friend today and we thought we’d share them with you.

Animal Farm Foundation Launches Pets Together Program

Animal Farm Foundation has announced the launch of Pets Together, a free virtual program that allows those who are socially isolated due to the COVID-19 pandemic to enjoy friendly interaction with pets (including dogs, cats, goats, horses, and other critters) and people. The goal of the program is to increase social connection and mitigate the loneliness that is a painful aspect of the pandemic.

April Comments

Seems like there’s a lot of controversy about the state of our sport today… Although social media increases the level of static, there’s always been active debate among the sport’s supporters.

Biden’s Dog Involved in Second Biting Incident

President Joe Biden’s younger dog Major this week was involved in a second biting incident of the month. The dog “nipped someone while on a walk” on Monday, said Michael LaRosa, press secretary to first lady Jill Biden, adding that the dog “is still adjusting to his new surroundings.”

Book Review: Musings On A Balancing Act

As a collection of essays, this slim volume has the feel of a series of casual conversations with an experienced obedience competitor and instructor. Instead of discussing how to train particular exercises, Yunck shares her approach to training and trialing in stand-alone essays that run the gamut from weaning off food to dumbbell fit.

Canine Robots Replacing Real Therapy Dogs

Look at this press release that came across my desk… Robots Could Replace Real Therapy Dogs ~ Robotic animals could be the ‘pawfect’ replacement for our real-life furry friends, a new study published today by the University of Portsmouth has found. Animals, especially dogs, can have therapeutic benefits for children and young people. A new paper, published in The International Journal of Social Robotics, has found that the robotic animal, ‘MiRo-E’, can be just as effective and may even be a better alternative.

Dealing With Disappointment

Still excellent advice… If you do any kind of dog sport for any length of time, you soon learn that there is a lot of disappointment that goes along with playing the dog game. No matter how prepared you are, no matter how much you practice, on some days things just don’t go your way. How you deal with that disappointment can have a major impact on your attitude towards your hobby and your future success in the sport of dogs.
Let’s say that you’re going for an excellent leg.

Did You Double-Check the Judge’s Book?

The awards just concluded it’s time to head off to Dairy Queen. But wait! Do you know for sure if your score is entered correctly in the Judge’s Book and the math is correct?

First OTCH

As we just released our most recent OTCH listing this month we though the following article would be fun. Initially published in September 1977 Front & Finish. Russell Klipple and His Golden Retriever “Morland’s Golden Tonka UD” accumulated enough points to become the first obedience champion on Saturday, July 23, 1977. The following day Topbrass Cisco Kid and his owner, Pauline Czarnecki, earned their obedience championship.

How Has COVID Affected Pet Adoptions

To say that 2020 has been a difficult year is an understatement. The COVID pandemic disrupted the lives of millions of Americans, forcing them into their homes.

In Memory of Rick

Rick was a beautiful dog in every way. He was sweet, mischievious, and full of life. He was the first puppy I raised with a dog door, and he drug many, many objects out in to the dog run the first few years of his life.

March Comments

It can be challenging to provide support via email but we’re so lucky to be working with dog trainers.  They naturally accept that growth doesn’t occur along a smooth linear path. 

New Beginnings

Remember Y2K? This one goes back a few years but their’s still some practical advice for Agility enthusiasts. ~ ~ ~ Welcome to Y2K! May this be a year full of fun and success for you and your agility teammate. The beginning of a New Year always makes us think of starting over fresh, beginning with a clean slate. So, in that spirit, let’s talk about starting off right with a new agility-prospect puppy. We get lots of questions from people who have never done agility before, but who want to do all the right things with their new pup. So, for those new handlers and new dogs here are a few good basics.

Nosework, Obedience, & Rally

I am the program manager for the United Kennel Club (UKC) for Nosework, Obedience and Rally. UKC is a Kalamazoo, Michigan-based company founded in 1898 and is the largest All-Breed performance-dog registry in the world, registering dogs from all 50 states and 25 foreign countries.

Our Target Group

It is a constant dilemma in our sport: How do we cultivate new participants? Clearly, exposure is a primary requirement for recruiting new handlers to join us. People can’t become interested in something if they don’t know it exists. News and television coverage reach a lot of people who might want to train their dogs. Unfortunately, the catch 22 is that you generally can’t get such coverage unless people already want to see it. So we have to find other ways to increase our exposure to the public. If we don’t, Obedience may slowly fade into history.

Southside Entry 512!!

How it used to be… Southside All-Breed Dog Training Club Inc. held their 24th Annual Obedience Trial on October 31st, 1971, on the main floor of the spacious Amphitheatre in Chicago Illinois.
There was no witchcraft involved, but we were bewitched with an entry of 512, comprised of 420 dogs.  Entries represented the states of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Missouri, and Iowa participated with n69 different breeds of dogs entered.  Tied for first place for the largest entry were German Shepherd Dogs and Poodles with 76 dogs each.

Stuff Happens

Because of the Pandemic, AKC laid off a substantial percentage of their staff and workers. The remaining staff must be overwhelmed trying to keep up amid the chaos. I have always counted on AKC to process the results of my efforts (scores from events), record and send the titles we’ve earned, and they have done a spectacular job.

The Zoom Zone

Zooming. Most of us have heard the term. A dog running in big circles around his handler while the handler feels helpless to stop or control the behavior. 

Virtual AKC ~ Training & Titling in the Time of COVID-19

Many of us are still not able to get out and about with our dogs due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation. Fortunately, there are some wonderful activities and titling opportunities in which we can participate while we wait for trials and shows to fully reopen around the country.

When to Tackle What

How do you determine when to start teaching which skill? Figuring out the differences are part of the adventure, and it’s what keeps us growing as trainers.

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