Good Citizen Dog Scheme Stories


The first dog I qualified for KCGCDS was Ellie (Ringmore Echo’s Reply). I was at the Southern Counties show looking round the stalls, with Ellie and her mother, Harriet in tow. I passed the ring where they were doing the bronze test, and saw that it was being run by my local club, Swindon & District Canine Society. I was immediately grabbed with a “We haven’t any punters, you can have a go!” Both my girls did as asked, although slightly bemused by some of my requests, until it came to the stay at the end of the test. The dogs were put in the sit, and I carefully backed away. After a few moments I saw Harriet’s nose begin to twitch, then she shot off to the burger van behind me! Luckily my bellow was enough to stop Ellie from following her, and to bring Harriet back (pity it wasn’t a “stop the dog” exercise! [one of the exercises for the really clever dogs who are at the Gold award level. Ed])

I started taking Robin (Ringmore Danny Deever) to classes to boost his confidence. He’s a lovely dog, but he takes everything very seriously, and seemed to get stage struck in the show ring. When he passed his bronze test, I started to bring Cheetah (Ringmore Cut Glass) to classes. Robin was really doing well and starting to enjoy himself.

That’s when I really started to see the difference between training a Whippet dog and a bitch. Robin takes a long time to learn something new. He’s eager to please, and rushes into things hoping to be a good boy. It takes a lot of patience to get through to him, that we are doing something new that doesn’t mean sit and grin at mother! However, when he understands the new exercise he’s ecstatic and will do it again and again to show that the penny has dropped.

Cheetah, on the other hand, is clever. I only have to show her a new exercise a couple of times and she gets the idea. A few more times and she’s got it perfectly, but then she’s bored with that and wants to move onto the next thing. Some days, she won’t concentrate at all, and just wants to clown around. When she’s in that mood, it’s hopeless because as soon as someone laughs, she plays to her audience and ignores me!

The comparison above implies that Robin is thick, but during his gold test, he proved that he does have a brain after all. The exercise was “Relaxed isolation”. The dog is tied up and left without a blanket while the owner goes out of sight. We train in a church hall, so for this exercise I tied him to a radiator and left the room when instructed. When I came back, to my horror, he was curled up on a coat. I turned to the examiner, who was giggling. She told me that when I left, he’d looked around, sniffed at someone’s coat on a nearby chair, then pulled it down and sat on it! She then said that he had passed the exercise because I hadn’t left him with a bed, and it was clear that he was perfectly relaxed!

The girl I’m currently working with, Mundi (Ringmore Fair Rosamund) is different again. She was doing fine, and got her Silver award with no problem, but after a bad experience (not at Training classes) is now afraid of larger dogs, and of noisy dogs, so I’m giving her a rest for a bit because she is getting upset in the class. Like her mother, Cheetah, she learns quickly. For a while I was taking Mundi to the basic class and Cheetah to the advanced one, so when Mundi was working, Cheetah was sitting at the side of the hall. This worked to some extent, but for some things, I realised Mundi was asking Cheetah for advice! For example, Cheetah has never retrieved. Once it’s stopped moving, it’s dead, so not worth bothering with. Mundi started to retrieve well, although she would always show the toy to her mother before bringing it back to me. Then she started dropping it beside Cheetah and then coming back to me. Then one day, she chased the toy, looked across at her mother and stopped. “Mum says Whippets are sighthounds not retrievers!” After that I never had them in class together!

I’ll be starting with my puppy soon, but as I show my dogs, I like them to learn their ringcraft properly before I start KCGCDS. Otherwise they can get confused and sit in the show ring!

Vanna Leathart


Our dogs names as follows:-

Bronze Award

Goodad Bishops Bridge Of Cairdean – Trig

Sandspring Sassy Cassandra Of Cairdean – Cass

Rubasu Born Slippy Of Cairdean – Del

Windfly Fairy Star Of Cairdean – Jimmy

Silver Award

Goodad Bishops Bridge Of Cairdean – Trig

Sandspring Sassy Cassandra Of Cairdean – Cass

Gold Award

Goodad Bishops Bridge Of Cairdean – Trig

You can find, via the Kennel Club, a local training club which does Good Citizen Awards and to what level.

I am lucky that the training club I attend regularly undertakes training for Bronze, Silver and Gold levels. The club notify us when they will be holding the different Awards and people who are keen to partake become a group who receive separate training to enable them to achieve this. The training is undertaken in a very friendly, informative manner leading to the actual Test night.

It is always a bit of a worry for myself as the playing field, where some of the training and then the Test for the Gold is used have bunnies, which can put in an occasional appearance. On Test night, particularly, I keep my fingers crossed that this is not going to happen, otherwise I would be waving goodbye to my Whippet. Their enthusiasm to chase would be just too great to stay with Mum, although they would return.

Training for the Gold has given people a laugh and they still mention it now. When I began training ‘Stop the dog’ for the Gold, which was conducted on the playing field the trainer wanted to see how this was coming along. We were asked to have our dogs in the sit position and ‘wait’ whilst we moved away, to call our dog and when the trainer shouted  ‘now’, say whatever command we were using  to stop our dog. It was Cass I was training (who, unfortunately, got a not quite ready for her 2 minute downstay with 30 seconds out of sight – she did not like the out of sight part and did not achieve the Gold, I will be trying again this Year with her), Cass came towards me at such a speed that when the trainer called out ‘now’ before I had time to say stop she was by my feet.  Everyone found this highly amusing, they could not believe how someone so little could move so fast.

This was again with Cass, when training her to go to her bed. I had got to the stage that Cass would go to her bed, she understood the command ‘down’, but I was having to go over to her and using a treat encourage her to lay down on the bed. She had certainly got me well trained! In the end when training her at home I thought this is no good, so I sent her to her bed. Off she went and stood on her bed. I told her ‘down’ and as usual she just stood on her bed staring at me. This time I just stood, not repeating the command, but waited… and waited… and waited…. with Cass just standing on her bed staring at me. Who was going to give in first?  It seemed like forever standing there, but finally Cass lay down. I went over to her giving her lots of praise and treats whilst she remained lying on her bed.  From that day onwards I had no further problems with this.

Kind Regards

Sue Shakespeare


This message was sent to us by Helen butcher, whom we thank. Ed :

Mac (shandril shooting star), got his bronze 2007, silver 2008, and gold in 2011, upon which he retired gracefully!

We got delayed from doing it 2009 due to my surgery, and 2010 due to him getting pancreatitis…



Congratulations to Bethany Griffiths for handling her mum’s dogs to gain their Bronze awards as follows;

Pelyma Blimey I’m Black in September 2010

Pelyma Princess Leia in August 2012

Pelyma Obi Wan Kenobi also in August 2012.

Young girl with whippet Young girl with whippet

The above two photographs are of Bethany practicing for her GCDS Bronze award with one of her mum, Lyn’s dogs (Pelyma Obi Wan Kenobi).

Both pictures of Bethany courtesy of: Inge Vibeke Abildgaard



I Like your new website. Saw that you were asking for names of whippets that had gained Good Citizen certificates. My two have done really well the  last couple of years and gained  Bronze silver and Gold. Lots of hard work and hours spent but we all really enjoyed it, and I was so proud of them, particularly in the Gold certificate.  They both went for it on the same day and the weather was atrocious heavy rain and  wet grass – conditions where they both usually just stand shivering,  give me the “ you have got to be kidding look” and we all give up and head for home and a warm fire.  Some of the tests were done in a caravan for shelter but most were outside.  We all got drenched but amazingly despite the weather  and my nerves  they both  passed every exercise with no problems.

Whippet with paper certificate
William admiring his Gold Certificate

We really enjoy coming to  your fun days and  obedience competition  – thank you to all the organizers

Hope to see you  for the fun day in August

Jenny Shore, William, Toby, and new girl Jumble


William (Whisterfield Sweet William) DOB 28/8/07 gained his Bronze Certificate on 26/9/09, Silver – 7/9/11 and Gold – 15/8/12

Toby (Whisterfield Wild Rocket) DOB 25/8/10 gained his Bronze and silver Certificates on 19/10/11 and Gold 15/8/12



Another lovely story – this time from Karen Down

I am thrilled to say that Sunny and I passed our gold test last night !!!! 25 September. Eastbourne and District dog training club.

Sunny ( Rubys Boy Blue. DOB : 25. 10. 2010. Blue with a white trim.

We only started training last January, so to have achieved the Gold in such a short time is so amazing. Sunny also enjoys agility and am hoping to compete in this next year.

If the Whippet Club are doing anything in obedience next year, I would love to join in!

Two photos attached (below Ed).

Best wishes


Woman with whippet Whippet running




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