Golden Spike Dog Obedience Club (GSDOC)

GSDOC Website

Welcome to our March 2023 Newsletter!


WHERE: Versa, Layton
OTHER INFO: Free, no sign up required
WHERE: Sea Dogz, Ogden
OTHER INFO: Free, no sign up required
WHAT: AKC Fit Dog Walk
WHERE: Kaysville East Mountain Wilderness Park
OTHER INFO: Gravel road, considered a "easy" hike, but does have some incline.
WHERE: Andy Adams Park, Layton
OTHER INFO: Online and in person voting will be available this year!

Member Interview: Sheryl Harames

Q. How long have you competed in AKC Obedience?

A. Awe, now you’ll know I’m as old as dirt. I trained my first show dog and competed starting in 1972.

Q. How did you discover the sport?

A. I had always had dogs as a girl but knew nothing about obedience training. After I was married I heard about a dog show in a Roy park so decided to go see what it was all about. After watching I decided I wanted to show dogs. I saw a Doberman at a boarding kennel and thought she was beautiful. I decided that was the breed of dog I wanted to show. After doing research I purchased my first show potential Doberman. She was 9 months old. Later a friend introduced me to obedience. At the time I read every training book I could get my hands on; there were no home computers back then. Later, Verl Hansen taught an obedience class in his driveway under an Arclight during winter months with snow shoveled off the driveway. I attended and loved what I was learning. I entered my first fun match at a park in Logan. After winning a 2nd placement in Novice A I was hooked. I continued to study and took as many obedience classes as I could. The only classes available at that time were taught by Great Salt Lake Dog Training Club in SLC. I also started teaching an obedience class for the Salt Lake Doberman Pinscher Club of SLC. Later I started teaching privately in our yard. My husband was transferred to Oklahoma where I continued to teach privately. When we moved back to Utah in 1982 Don Sellers put an ad in the Ogden Standard newspaper advertising a meeting at Idlewire Kennel (Now Don’s Pet Care) to investigate the possibility of starting an obedience club. I attended the first meeting. Sue Richey attended the 2nd meeting and Golden Spike Dog Obedience Club was born. We are the only 2 original members left of GSDOC. We both have seen many changes in GSDOC as well as in the sport of competition obedience.

Q. Do you have any thoughts on the status of so many obedience trials with“low entries”?

A. When GSDOC was organized there was only AKC events with only 3 venues for dog enthusiasts i.e. confirmation (breed) showing, obedience trials and tracking. Currently in addition to AKC there are a number of other registries and different venues within each registry. A dog person is able to pick and choose what they want to show in. There seems to be something for everyone in the world of dogs and it’s not always obedience. Initially, owners are excited to learn and train their first dog. Also, competition obedience has become so exacting and demanding many don’t find the enjoyment or interest it once held. Obedience has always had a turnover of enthusiasts. When a trained dogs time is over the owner may get a new dog. They then realize how long the commitment and involvement is to train a dog. For some reason most don’t do it again. There seems to be too many other activities, sports and interests that take their time.

Q. What do you think the club can do to help with the low entries?

A. Overall GSDOC is doing a good job. The class desires of members need to be met whether it’s a “for fun” class or serious competition. Club members need to do their part too. To be involved in a club members need to have a dedicated love for the sport and be willing to help wherever needed. It seems nowadays there are the doers and others that are not overly willing to help.

Q. What’s your favorite aspect of competitive obedience?

A. First, the relationship that is built between my dogs and me. Second, the camaraderie between friends with the same goals, desires and love of the sport.

Q. For the person at home with a dog - how do they start to determine if their dog might be one for obedience competition?

A. There is no magic secret. All dogs can be trained. Some learn faster, some slower. The person needs to get with a good trainer that understands dog behavior, can read dog language, and start learning by doing. The old saying there is more than one way to skin a cat, well that applies to dog training. There are many many different methods and ideologies in dog training. The person needs to find a trainer that fits their personality and knows how to work with their dogs temperament. Like humans, all dogs are individuals. There are no two dog s alike so one method that may work well for one dog may not work for another. The owner as well as trainer need to be flexible until they learn what method is best for their dog. Then the person needs consistency and patience while the dog learns new skills and a new language. There is no “quick fix” in dog training. Dogs are not a machine that some part can be bought, installed and it’s fixed. Dogs can think and learn and can even scheme. Dog training is a wonderful world of challenges and rewards.

Q. What drives you to continue competing in this endeavor?

A. Love

Q. Thank you for a wonderful interview, Sheryl. Is there anything else you would like to add?

A. Thank you for inviting me to share some history and thoughts with you. I wish the best to everyone that is striving to train and show their dog. There is nothing that compares with a well-trained dog that loves working with their owner.


By: Ashleigh Young, Membership Director

As spring approaches, GSDOC is focusing on the numerous upcoming events in which members are involved. There are many new and exciting things in the works for the members at GSDOC, but one thing that the board has been enthusiastically discussing is the desire and need for new members. Currently there are 75 members in good standing of the Golden Spike Obedience Club, and although this may sound like a lot compared to previous years, but we would like to see this number increase in 2023. We have been getting great feedback from new members that the joining process to get involved in the club is convoluted and complicated. The board voted in February to remove the restrictions for a new member to attend a general meeting in a set amount of time, and the volunteer requirement. The new member does still have to pay full price for one class, but once the initial dues are paid, they will be fully accepted into the club as a member. As the Membership Director, I have been working hard on better communication with our new members to explain the process and how to get involved. New members are the life blood of the club and a key focus as we move into 2023 and beyond.

Guess That Breed

The first member to email with the correct breed will win a prize at our next monthly meeting! If nobody guesses this handsome boys breed, a hint will go out each day on our our GSDOC Facebook until the correct breed is guessed!

Upcoming Club Obedience & Rally Trial

We have an obedience trial come up March 24-26 at Versa in Layton. Accepting Entries for all AKC Recognized Breeds & Dogs Listed as ILP, PAL, or AKC Canine Partners. Entries opened January 25, 2023. Entries close Wednesday March 8, 2021 at 5:00 p.m. MDT at the secretary address after which time entries cannot be accepted. We will also be doing a Facebook live on our Facebook page for those interested. If you have further questions please reach out to the event chair, Ann Miller or event secretary, Sheryl Harames (emails and premium found here). If you want to learn more about obedience here is a link to AKC that has lots of information for you.
Dog Obedience Competition 101: How Obedience Works

Upcoming Utah Dog Events

APRIL 15 & 16
APRIL 22 & 23
MARCH 18 & 19
APRIL 28, 29 & 30
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