Comox Valley dog training club celebrates golden anniversary

A dog an owner complete a tracking exercise. Photo by Sand FranceschiniA dog an owner complete a tracking exercise. Photo by Sand Franceschini
Forbidden Plateau Obedience & Tracking Club celebrates 50 years in 2022. Photo by Kathy Miner.Forbidden Plateau Obedience & Tracking Club celebrates 50 years in 2022. Photo by Kathy Miner.


The Forbidden Plateau Obedience & Tracking Club is celebrating 50 years of dog Training & service to the Comox Valley community.

Active members Wendy Wallace and JoAnne McLeod, along with Darlene Rogers, founded the Club (FPO&TC) in 1972. Obedience classes have been offered to the public for pet manners as well as competition classes for those who choose to go on further and compete with their dog.

The club also has an avid group of tracking enthusiasts. This sport appeals to those who love being outdoors with their dog, in any weather conditions. The dog is trained to follow a human scent trail in a field, which will also include some scented articles for the dog to find.

Many of the members are also involved in other dog sports such as rally obedience, urban tracking, scent detection, field work, agility and more.

Because this 50th anniversary of the club is a very special year, they have chosen to celebrate at all events they will be holding in 2022.

The club’s season opening event kicked off with an AIOC Obedience Trial (Association of Island Obedience Clubs) held on March 13 at the “All Things Dog Room,” with two trials, under Judge Ruth Bridges.

Trial #1 had the highest scoring dog (HQS) in Trial from the Novice B class. Sandy Franceschini and her Nova Scotia duck tolling retriever (NSDTR) “Lewis” earned a fantastic score of 198.5 (out of 200). This score also earned them the Highest Scoring Local Dog trophy, which is dedicated to the memory of “Fara” by Wendy Wallace. The Novice B Class also had nine other passes.

HQS Utility B went to Penny Jackson and her papillon CJ with a score of 189.5, HQS Open HB was earned by Aldean Riddy with her NSDTR Polly with 189, HQS Novice A was Anne Calvert with Piper and 190 and also two Pre-Novice passes, Jennifer Winder with Kindle and Carol-Anne Browning with her Viszla, Tessla.

Trial #2 again had the HQS in Trial from the Novice B class. JoAnne McLeod and her papillon “Quest” earned a 196.5. This class also had five other passes.

HQS in Utility B was Penny Jackson & CJ scoring 196 and HQS in Novice A went to Anne Calvert and Piper with a score of 191. There were also three Pre-Novice passes, Jennifer Winder and Kindle, Carol-Anne Browning and Tessla and Kim Chester with Cypher.

The club’s second event was the Field Tracking Test held March 19-20. Saturday’s Tracking Dog Excellent (T.D.X) tracks were judged by Norma Schaffer. The single pass of the day went to Catherine Preece and her flat coat retriever “Glainddu’s To Light a Candle.”

Sunday’s tracks were judged by JoAnne McLeod. There were no passes in TDX but six dogs qualified on their tracking dog (T.D.) tracks as follows: Krystal Crighton with Brio’s Queen Bee, Ernie Daley with Holly, Fred Newhouse with Luna’s Dancing in the Moonlight, Diane Jones with Kalamity’s Terresistble, Nicole Ryan with Glainddu’s Fool Proof and Amalie Bush Trax Pretty Spiffy.

On the weekend of April 23-24, the spring urban tracking test took place.

Urban tracking takes place in urban settings such as school grounds where there is a varied terrain of cement walkways, gravel paths, grassy areas as well as buildings.

The dog must follow the tracklayer’s footsteps by scent as well as find articles left by them. This can be very challenging for the dog, as there can be quite of bit of foot traffic by others in the area.

The Urban Tracking Dog title (UTD) is the first level and the Urban Tracking Dog Excellent title (UTDX) is the second.

Judge Steve Sheperdson had three successful passes at this test: UTD Kathy Miner and her golden retriever Izzie, UTDX Lesley Kenyon and her golden retriever Nip (handled by Krystal Crighton) and UTDX to Krystal Crighton with her weimaraner, Breyer.

The next celebration event will be the Canadian Kennel Club (CKC) Rally Obedience Trial that will be held June 4-5th outside at the Merville Hall grounds.

For more information on the FPO&TC, visit

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