Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

K-9 Obedience Club Dedicates Larger Pavilion

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

K-9 Obedience Club Dedicates Larger Pavilion

Article excerpt

Byline: SUSAN STANTON

Energetic woofs and barks combined with applause as more than 50 residents and their canines celebrated the recent dedication of the K-9 Obedience Club of Jacksonville's expanded Southside facility.

The club, which has offered classes in basic dog obedience since 1951, more than doubled its capacity with the $90,000 project and is now a covered facility about a quarter the size of a football field.

Memorabilia from the 55-year history of the club was on display inside the clubhouse, including black-and-white photographs, legal documents and scrapbooks of past functions, as well as the K-9 Drill Team of Jacksonville. The team gave demonstrations at local schools, churches and civic organizations.

The team, which functioned from 1958 to the early '80s, was also featured at the Westminster Dog Show and even appeared on the Ted Mack Amateur Hour, according to club President Laurie Billinge. It has also been recognized for its work and support of the University of Florida School of Veterinary Medicine.

Dog obedience demonstrations were the highlight of the evening at the dedication. Marianne Kramer of Arlington and her 2-year-old Great Dane, Gabby, showed their freestyling techniques. Freestyling is a form of training that is described as heeling to music, Kramer said.

"It's also called dancing with your dog," Billinge joked.

Rally is another new form of obedience training for dogs offered at the center. Rally incorporates an obstacle course in the training techniques, said Diane Cohen, rally instructor. Commands such as sit, right turn and stay are posted at each of the 15 different stations. The dog is commanded by the owner to complete the command posted when it arrives at the station.

The club holds obedience classes for all levels, including puppy training. Owners and their dogs attend either day or evening classes in obedience, agility, rally, freestyle and conformation instruction. …

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