Sunday, August 29, 2010

Rally for Hershey's Bill on the 5th Anniversary

Dog owners want same laws for all

Local MPP’s bill calls for end to pit-bull ban

Brendan KennedyStaff Reporter
Ontario’s controversial ban on pit bulls — now five years old — is under fire once again as a coalition of dog-loving groups rallied Sunday to support a local MPP’s efforts to have the law changed.
“They’re ripping family pets away from people based on very vague legislation,” said Rui Branco, who successfully fought the City of Brampton earlier this year by proving his family pet, Brittany, was not a pit bull.
The American bulldog-boxer mix was seized and held by the city for three months before an independent veterinarian was able to determine its breed.
“An animal control officer looked at her and said she was a pit bull. Then she was taken away from us.”
The law, as it stands, requires owners to prove their dogs are not pit bulls, which can be difficult if the dog was adopted from a shelter and its lineage is unknown.
A few hundred people and dozens of muzzled pit bull-type dogs gathered at Coronation Park on Lake Shore Blvd. W. Sunday afternoon to listen to speakers and to protest the current ban, which took effect in 2005 after a series of vicious attacks across Ontario involving pit bulls.
The Dog Owner’s Liability Act was amended to ban the breeding, sale and ownership of pit bulls. Dogs born before Nov. 26, 2005 are allowed to live, but must be sterilized, and muzzled and leashed in public. Dogs born later must be put down.
A pit bull is not a specific breed of dog, so the province’s definition of pit bulls includes pit bull terriers, Staffordshire bull terriers, American Staffordshire terriers, American pit bull terriers and any dog “that has an appearance and physical characteristics that are substantially similar” to those breeds.
Critics of the current law say its description of pit bulls is too vague, gives bylaw officers too much power and leads to harmless pets being removed from their homes at taxpayers’ expense.
They want the province to go after bad owners, rather than target any specific breed.
“You can’t tell a dog’s breed by how it looks,” said Kelly Turnbull, a member of Stop K9 Profiling, the group that organized Sunday’s event.
After a series of legal challenges, the group contacted the MPP for Parkdale-High Park, Cheri DiNovo, o owns an English bull terrier herself. Earlier this year DiNovo tabled a private member’s bill calling for the repeal of the breed-specific aspect of the Dog Owner’s Liability Act.
Named “Hershey’s Law” (for a pit bull that was barred from continuing its therapy work with seniors when the current law came into effect), Bill 60 received its first reading in the Legislature in May.
“This isn’t about the dog, it’s about the owner,” DiNovo said, adding the law has been ineffective in curbing the number of dog bites in the province.
She said she would like to see more responsibility and liability for dog owners, without targeting specific breeds.
“It doesn’t need the (breed specific legislation) to be effective.”
The Ministry of the Attorney General stands behind the current law, saying it ensures fewer opportunities for pit bull attacks and that the law has not been around long enough to accurately measure its effectiveness.
One of the most anticipated speakers of the day was Bill Bruce, director of Calgary’s Animal Control Services, heralded for its education, training and early intervention approach to animal control, which has drastically reduced the number of dog bites in the city.
“All dogs bite,” Bruce said. “I don’t care what kind of dog it is. If the dog is aggressive, it needs to be corrected.”
Sunday’s rally was followed by a pit-bull march along Queens Quay and a candlelight vigil at the Ontario Legislature to acknowledge all the pit bull-type dogs euthanized under the current legislation.

Monday, August 9, 2010

August 29 CGN testing

At the August 29th event at Coronation Park in Toronto (see post below) the DLCC will not only have a booth but we are also conducting CGN testing from 12:00 noon to 4:30pm.

We will be running 2 rings simultaneously. The more dogs that get their certificate in CGN, the better! What an awesome documentation to have in hand. Let's show the government that we are responsible dog owners and our dogs are properly trained and socialized.

Dogs must be 6 months old to get a certificate.

The price for testing at the event is $25.00 which is a savings of $10.00 off. 

If you are interested in booking a time slot please email me 

Here is the criteria for the testing;

Canine Good Neighbour Program

The Canadian Kennel Club, Canine Good Neighbour program identifies and rewards responsible and caring owners and their canine partners.

The purpose of the Canine Good Neighbour Program test is to ensure that one of our most favoured companions, the dog, is accepted as a valued member of the community.  Canine Good Neighbours can be counted on to present good manners at home, in public places and In the presence of other dogs.  The program embraces both purebred and mixed-breed dogs and has been created to assist canine owner’s combat anti-dog sentiments which often target dogs as a whole. Additionally, the program enhances community awareness of responsible dog ownership and the benefits associated with dog ownership.

Canine Good Neighbour training is fun, rewarding, and useful. It can enable owners to achieve a better relationship with their dogs.

The test is not a competition calling for precision performance by the handler and dog.  Rather, it assesses the handler and dog's relationship together with the handler's ability to control the dog.

Dogs are evaluated on their ability to perform basic exercises as well as their ability to demonstrate good manners in everyday situations. 

The Canadian Kennel Club encourages all dog owners to participate in this program, thereby ensuring that our beloved canines are welcomed and respected members of our communities.


The handler is required to bring the following equipment to the test
  •         Proof of vaccination certificate
  •         Dog license
  •         Test fee
  •         A leash not less than .75 metres (2’) nor longer than 2 meters (6’) in length is required (acceptable collars include a well-fitting slip, buckle or martingale collar, made of fabric, leather or chain.  All other types of collars are unacceptable.
  •         A grooming tool – either brush or comb
  •         A plastic bag for picking up after the dog
  •         For the registration form you need

o        Owner’s name
o        Full address
o        Phone number
o        Email address
o        Dog’s registered name
o        CKC registration number (if registered)
o        Breed


Demonstrating confidence and control, you and your dog must complete theses 12 steps.

TEST I - Accepting A Friendly Stranger
This test demonstrates the dog's ability to allow a friendly stranger to approach and speak to the handler in a natural, everyday manner.

The evaluator will walk toward the handler and dog and greet the handler by shaking hands and briefly chatting. The dog should remain under control with only gentle verbal or leash assistance, if necessary. The dog should not go to nor jump on the evaluator. It must not exhibit any signs of shyness by hiding behind the handler or by attempting to avoid the evaluator, and must not exhibit any signs of resentment.

TEST 2 - Politely Accepts Petting
This test demonstrates the dog's ability to allow a friendly stranger to pet it while out with its handler.  The evaluator will pet the dog on the head and shoulders. The dog may sit or stand quietly beside the handler and may change position, but must not exhibit any signs of resentment or shyness.

TEST 3 - Appearance and Grooming
This practical test demonstrates that the dog will accept being groomed and examined and will permit a stranger to do so. The evaluator inspects the dog, brushes the dog briefly on the back and sides, and lightly examines its ears and front feet. The evaluator then quietly walks behind the handler and dog, returning to face the dog. The dog does not have to hold position, but should not have to be restrained: minor movement is allowed. The handler may assist the evaluator and talk quietly to the dog.

TEST 4-Out For A Walk
This test demonstrates the ability of the dog to walk politely on a loose leash as well as the handler's ability to control the dog. The evaluator will have the handler and dog walk a course, which will include at least one right and left turn and a 180º-degree turn. It is not necessary for the dog to be exactly aligned with the handler or sit when the handler stops. The handler may talk to the dog.

TEST 5 - Walking Through a Crowd
This test demonstrates the dog's ability to walk politely beside the handler in pedestrian traffic while remaining under control at all times. The dog and handler walk through and close to several [at least five] people.  Throughout this test the handler may talk to the dog, giving praise and encouragement. The dog must maintain a position close to the handler without becoming unduly stressed or unruly. The dog may show some interest in the strangers but should not go to them.

TEST 6 - Sit/Down On Command and Stay In Place (Long Line)
This test demonstrates the dog's ability to respond to the handler's commands. The handler may take a reasonable amount of time and use more than one command to sit and down the dog. If required, the handler may touch the dog gently to assist it.

Once the dog has responded to both a sit and down command, the handler will decide in which position the dog is going to be left. The handler will then tell the dog to stay, and walk forward & meters (20 ft), before turning around to face the dog, then will return to the dog.

TEST 7 - Come When Called (Long Line)
This test demonstrates the dog's ability to come when called by the handler. The evaluator will stand near the dog, and instruct the handler to position the dog in either a sit, down or stand position.  The handler will then leave the dog and go to a distance of 3 meters (8 - 10 ft) before turning and calling the dog.  The dog may change position, but must remain in place.  The dog should come readily to the handler; the handler may encourage the dog.

TEST 8 - Praise/Interaction
This test demonstrates that the dog can be easily calmed following a play session or praise. After playing with the dog for approximately 10 seconds, the handler then calms the dog. More than one command may be used, but the dog must display controlled behaviour when told to settle by the handler. The evaluator is looking for evidence of a good relationship between the dog and handler.

TEST 9 — Reaction to Passing Dog
This test demonstrates the dog's polite behaviour while in the presence of other dogs and handlers. Two handlers, with their dogs, approach one another from approximately 6 meters (20 ft). They stop, shake hands, briefly chat, and then continue walking for approximately 2 meters (6 ft). The dog should exhibit no more than mild interest in the other dog, and should not cross over to it.

TEST 10 - Reaction To Distractions
This test demonstrates that the dog is confident at all times when faced with common visual and auditory distractions such as the sudden opening or closing of a door, crutches, wheelchairs, baby strollers, joggers, etc.
The dog may express natural interest and curiosity at the distraction, or may startle temporarily, but should not panic or show aggression or fear. One or two barks are permitted but the dog must not continue to bark at the distraction. The handler may encourage and talk to the dog throughout this test.

TEST 11 - Supervised Isolation
This test demonstrates the dog's ability to be left alone with a trusted person other than its handler, while maintaining a calm acceptance of the situation. The handler asks another person to hold the dog, and tells the dog to stay or wait.  The handler will leave the area and go to a pro-designated location, out of sight of the dog. The handler will wait 3 minutes until called to return by the assistant evaluator. The dog is not required to stay in a particular position, but should not show excessive stress or nervousness by pulling on the lead or trying to get away. Excessive panting, barking, whining, or seeking attention from the evaluator is not acceptable.

TEST 12 - Walking Through A Door/Gate
This test demonstrates the dog's response to the handler's commands as well as the handler's ability to control the dog in a restricted area while moving ahead of the dog and through a door/gate. The handler may speak quietly to the dog as they approach the door/gate.  The handler commands the dog to sit/wait and walks through the door/gate, while instructing the dog to follow calmly and join him. Alternatively, the dog and handler may proceed through the door/gate together, with the dog accompanying the handler on a loose leash.  The dog must not go through the door/gate before the handler instructs him to do so.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Great article in Orillia Packet and Times

This past weekend we had a booth and ran CGN testing at the Barrie Kennel and Obedience Club Show at Odas Park, Orillia.

A reporter for the Orillia Packet and Times attended the show and dropped by our booth to get the real scoop about what we are about and what we stand for..

Group makes noise about pit bull ban

Train, contain and socialize.
"If you're doing these three things, you're a responsible dog owner," said Lori Gray, chair of events with the Dog Legislation Council of Canada (DLCC).
The DLCC, which had a booth at ODAS Park during the Barrie Kennel and Obedience Club's annual dog show on the weekend, is making noise about the breed-specific portion of the Dog Owner's Liability Act, which targets the American Staffordshire terrier, American pit bull terrier and the Staffordshire bull terrier -- the breeds commonly referred to as pit bulls, which have been banned in Ontario since 2005.

Combined, there are less than 1,000 of those dogs in the province, Gray explained.

"To ban a breed where there are only 30 in the province is just ridiculous," she said. "Why aren't we going after the owners?"
The DLCC was trying to garner support for a bill that was introduced in May by Parkdale-High Park MPP Cheri DiNovo. The NDP MPP's bill -- Hershey's Bill -- would repeal the breed-specific portion of the Dog Owner's Liability Act.
DiNovo's bill is named after a dog that had to stop being a therapy dog -- certified as such by St. John Ambulance-- when the ban took effect.
DiNovo isn't the only provincial politician trying to bite back against the ban.
Julia Munro, Progressive Conservative MPP for York-Simcoe, introduced a similar private member's bill in 2004.
"This is just a PR thing, really," Munro said of the ban. "If there's a problem, it's because they're dangerous, not because of what they look like."
Munro said she filed a freedom-of-information request to find out how much taxpayer money has been spent "going after innocent dog owners." That information was "not available," said Munro, whose six-year-old standard poodle, Trump, competed in the BKOC dog show on the weekend.

The BKOC was glad to be able to help bring the issue to the attention of competitors and spectators.
"We're afraid it's just going to get bigger and bigger and bigger, and that they're going to add more dogs and add more dogs to the list," said BKOC public relations chair Cheryl Drake. "It has to be about responsible dog ownership."
Opponents of the breed-specific legislation say the province didn't listen to local and international experts when implementing the legislation.
To learn more about the DLCC, visit

Huge thank you to Nathan Taylor for dropping by the booth and chatting with us. We appreciate your taking the time to get the real story and put it into print..