The Show Me Dog Club is starting to gear up for a busy few months. The club performed at the Scotland County Care Center last Saturday and have plans to perform at the Kahoka Care Center on November 3rd. The club will also be giving out candy and dog treats at the Halloween Safe Stop on the square. You can dress your dog up too you know?

This year at the weekly group, pets are starting to be trained to pass the Canine Good Citizen test. This will certify the pets as companion dogs. Some places require your dog to have this certification before they are allowed to enter. Companion dogs should not be confused with service dogs. Certified companion dogs are simply dogs that are great pets and understand and obey basic commands. They are there for enjoyment and fun, but can offer therapy in several different settings.

Service dogs are animals with special certification to help humans with specific disabilities such as blindness, deafness and immobility. They have also been known to forewarn their master of oncoming seizures. They are working dogs and when working cannot be confused with pets.

Companion dog training consists of basic commands such as “sit”, “stay”, “come”, “heel” and “lie down”. This training can be done one-on-one with the dog’s owner or in a class format. Dogs of all ages have the ability to learn commands, though it is easier to train puppies.

Companion dog certifications vary depending on the organization issuing them. The American Kennel Club (AKC), the most well-known dog canine organization in the U.S., issues companion dog certificates called “Canine Good Citizen” awards. These certificates are given out upon completion of an obedience class. The dog and its owner must take a test at the end of the class to demonstrate they know how to give and obey basic commands. AKC Canine Good Citizen dogs are logged in the Canine Good Citizen archive, which can be researched by potential dog buyers, for example.

According to the Companion Dog website, several breeds make good companion dogs. They include Labrador Retrievers, Poodles, Collies and Shepherds. In general, these dogs are intelligent and easily trainable, making them great family pets. Incidentally, these breeds also make good service dogs as well. But remember any dog can be a companion dog.

The club is hosting a Dog Day in the Park on Saturday, October 20th from 10 to 11 a.m. at Johnson Park.