Since Wildrose Kennels officially launched its Adventure Dog Certification program in mid-June, participant interest and activity have been very enthusiastic, to say the least. Mike Stewart, Wildrose President, developed this self-directed training certification program in 2007, after an outing in Aspen, CO, where he saw the need for a formal training program for the outdoor canine enthusiast. Out on the mountain trails Stewart observed dogs’ behavior problems and people’s need for better obedience and skill training. He recalls, “I realized there are people out there who are interested in having a better trail dog, a better relationship with their dogs, and a happier dog on the trail.”
The Adventure Dog training curriculum meets those needs, supporting the sub-skills required for 14 different outside canine adventure activities, called merits: Hiking, Watercraft, All Terrain Vehicle, Aircraft, Motor Vehicle Travel, Tracking, Camping, Mountain Biking, Fishing, Snow Trekking, Hunting Sports/Retrieving, Trail Assistance, Public Access, and Equestrian. Each merit serves to advance the dog toward three progressive ratings: TR – Trail Rated – 5 merits completed; ADC – Adventure Dog Certified – 9 merits completed, including public access; and MT – Master Trekker – all merits completed.
So far, Drake, Wildrose’s retired Ducks Unlimited mascot is the only MT-rated dog. But others are well on their way to significant ratings. Deke, Wildrose’s current Ducks Unlimited mascot, and Indian are steadily attaining merits.
Also, other dogs are “prepared to go anywhere.” And as recent videos on Wildrose’s FaceBook attest, two dogs, in particular, have leaped onto the merit-earning scene: Lola and Danner. Did these labs hail from some hamlet perched on a Rocky Mountain slope? Were they raised along the fast-running rivers of the Ozarks? Maybe they belong to the burgeoning pack of Alaskan labs. Well, actually, a later blog story on Lola and Danner will reveal how these “local” dogs that live near Oxford, MS, rapidly launched into major achievements in AD skill sets.
Meanwhile, Mike is encamped at Wildrose Colorado, Clear Creek Ranch in Granite, CO, a 580-acre ranch, formerly an Orvis-Endorsed fly-fishing destination. From there he has been conducting summer training for our hunting dog program and for adventure dog certification.
On the weekend of June 11-12, Mike conducted two, one-day adventure dog workshops as part of the Outside In Aspen series of outfitter-led activities.
A later blog will describe participants’ experiences with their dogs as they set out from Outside In Aspen’s Adventure Base Camp, hiked, set up camp, and participated in obedience, skill, and steadiness exercises, all the elements necessary for trail manners for extended overland travel and for boating.
As part of Outside Magazine’s promotion of its Outside In Aspen series, Mike conducted a demonstration in downtown Aspen, garnering an Aspen Times front-page picture of Indian making a retrieve in front of a large crowd of admirers.
The Wildrose Adventure Dog Certification is designed to recognize the accomplishments of the many dogs participating in outside activities—canine companions, service dogs, and hunting dogs—and to further develop the dogs into optimum companions for outdoor activities.
The folks at Wildrose encourage you to fulfill your passion for outdoors activities with your dog. You, too, can own an adventure dog—”prepared to go anywhere.” Adventure Dog Certification Packets are currently available. Each packet contains a registration form, program information, including guidelines, individual merit completion forms, and a formal certificate. E-mail Mary Lee Ward at email@example.com or call at 662-234-8636 to get yours today. Here’s more contact information for Wildrose: Mailing Address: Wildrose Kennels, 260 CR 425, Oxford, MS 38655. Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org. Fax #: 662-234-8555; Phone: 662-234-5788.
More information and photos on Adventure Dog Certification is available on the Wildrose website. Simply click on Wildrose Kennels under the blogroll in the right hand column. Once there, go to “Wildrose Labradors,” pull down window, and click on “Adventure Dog.” Also on the website find “Adventure Dogs” under “Photo Galleries.”
More blogs on Adventure Dog Certification to follow. . .