It was a double celebration last week for Susanne Jaffa, as her four year old Australian Shepherd, Amberslade Buckaneer – ‘Buck’ to his friends – became both Working Trials and Obedience Champion.
Having won his second Championship Stake at last week’s Trial, Buck can now add Working Trials Champion to the Obedience Champion title that he gained just 15 months ago, as well as the first place he gained in the Obedience Championship (Dog) class at dfs Crufts in March 2010.
Buck is an outstanding example of the Kennel Club’s ‘Fit for Function, Fit for Life’ message, where the Kennel Club works continually with breeders, owners and handlers to improve the health and welfare of all dogs, whether simply family pets or – like Buck – at the peak of their performance too. The Champion title is the highest accolade in any of the Kennel Club competitions, and to achieve a Champion title in two separate activities requires enormous versatility and skill.
In addition to the quality of Buck’s breeding, Susanne Jaffa believes that the key to her success is her use of positive reinforcement techniques to train all her dogs. “I use operant conditioning – clicker training – and I think it works; although it is less usual in working trials than other disciplines. I believe training by reward is the way all dog training is going for the future,” Susanne says. “Apart from that, I think my successes are a result of commitment and dedication – people tell me I have a magic touch, but it isn’t magic, just that I am very dedicated to my goals. My duty is to ensure that my dogs love their training.”
Buck is not by any means Susanne’s first success – her Australian Shepherd Cagasa Dark‘n Delicious, who sadly passed away earlier this month, was the first of her breed to achieve an Obedience Champion title in the UK, and she won a Working Trials Champion (Patrol Dog) title with Buck’s father, Accra Eazel Bob.
“My ambition for Buck now is to make him up to a PD [Patrol Dog] Working Trials Champion too,” says Susanne. “After that, I think the next step will be to dabble in Heelwork to Music – it would make use of his Obedience training but I intend it to be fun and a bit light-hearted. As always I enjoy training him and want him to enjoy his training too.”
To find out more about the Kennel Club’s Fit for Function: Fit for Life campaign, please visit: www.fitforfunction.org.uk.
10th February 2011
Caption: Susanne Jaffa with Buck at the dfs Crufts Obedience Championships 2010
Photo Credit: OnEdition/The Kennel Club Picture Library
For further press information, images or interview requests please contact:
The Kennel Club Press Office
020 7518 1008
Notes to editors:
To gain his Obedience Champion title, which requires wins at three Championship Obedience shows under three different judges, Susanne worked Buck to his first Obedience Certificate at Cippenham (Slough) Dog Training Club’s show in July 2009. (It was the first Championship class in which Buck had competed). Just three months later, Buck won his second Obedience Certificate at Elm Park Dog Training Club’s show; and four weeks later he gained his Champion title by winning the Championship class at Tunbridge Wells and District Canine Society’s Obedience Show.
Susanne retired Buck from Obedience after he had won the Obedience Championship at dfs Crufts. However, at the same time she was working Buck up through the Working Trials stakes, and they collected their first Championship TD (Tracking Dog) Certificate at Wessex Working Trials Society’s Championship Trial at Upottery, Devon in July 2010 (again at Buck’s first Championship TD stake). Their second Working Trials TD Certificate came only six months later, at Midlands Border Collie Club’s Championship Trial which took place from 24th-30th January 2011.