I. If you find yourself between dogs, training for the next level, taking a break, etc., have you contacted a club (that you are NOT a member of) and offered to steward for obedience and donate your time? Stewarding is great fun and a handson experience in learning what all is required for running the ring in an efficient manner. Many clubs will offer remuneration for your time and parking, plus a lunch. Here is a packet I have assembled to get you going!
II. If you feel a club is a little lax in providing a good venue for an obedience trial, what do you do about it? Do you stop and think the club might need a new member (like you) who will help and give positive guidance and involvement? Have you joined a club and become involved? Are you involved in a club and help host a trial ONCE a year for others to enjoy? Or, are you on the taking end all or most of the time?
III. Express your appreciation to an event chairman, ring steward, or drop a note to a club stating that you LIKED what they offered for obedience?
IV. Clubs and private trainers also need to encourage their members and students to take a more active role and become involved with the process of running a trial. If we continue to lose trials, we lose one of the reasons we train our dogs. Surely, you can find the time to help out at ONE trial a year.
V. People who are short on time can contribute to the trophy fund. Every year make sure to donate $$ to several of the local all-breed clubs that they can use for obedience awards. In many ways it's even more important that we support the all-breed clubs. Even better, become an annual donor/trophy sponsor.
VI. For those of you who show in AKC Obedience, I thought I would give you some insight into a Judge's duties and what they do *before* you step into the ring as an exhibitor. The link below is what I send to an aspiring judge who wishes to apprentice under me. There is also an article in the link about stepping into the shoes of an obedience judge. It is my sincere hope there may be a few of you who might consider stepping into those shoes and becoming a judge down the line. The sport always is in need of new and upcoming judges. All I ask is to give it some serious thought. Apprenticing materials: http://clubs.akc.org/saints/Archives/Apprenticing.pdf
Obedience is always in need of your talents and positive energy. Remember back to what attracted you into obedience, the fun you have had and the folks you have met. You have the power to now repeat what were the “good old days” in your mind. You can be a part of and make “new” good old days for the future participants to talk about.
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