Published Wednesday, January 16, 2013
By MARIANNE THOMASSON
Dog obedience classes are being held in the Johnny Brown building at the Coweta Recreation Department on Hospital Road for the next nine weeks.
The class is being taught by Vicky Jones who has a pedigree as long as that of Elliott, her award winning Alaskan Malamute.
There has already been an orientation class, but real training starts Wednesday (Jan. 16) from 7 until 9 p.m. and new registrants will be accepted until then.
The beginner's course is for pet dogs from the age of five months and older. Children are welcome to bring their pets for class, provided the youngster is physically able to handle the dog and understand and retain lengthy instruction.
Exercises taught include heeling on a leash with automatic sits, figure eight heeling, stand for examination, heeling off leash with automatic sits, coming on command - on and off the leash, sit and down stays - on and off the leash, behavior modification and socialization.
Jones has more than 43 years of teaching with all breeds of dogs, specializing in dogs with behavioral and temperament problems.
As the daughter of an Air Force colonel, she spent a lot of her life overseas and in various states, but ended up making Georgia her home. She and her husband Frank moved to Newnan in 1989 and determined it would be their permanent retirement home.
"My interest in dogs and dog-related competitions started with German Shepherds showing in obedience at American Kennel Club (AKC) trials. In 1971 I saw my first Alaskan Malamute and was instantly hooked. I've owned, bred and showed Malamutes ever since," she said.
"I show all my dogs in AKC conformation and obedience competitions. I have bred over 90 AKC champions and produced best in show inners in the U.S., Australia, Brazil and Europe. I compete in obedience, rally and weight pulling."
Jones continued, "I have been teaching all-breed obedience classes for over 43 years and many of my students have gone on to compete in conformation and/or obedience and become well-known in their own breeds. The vast majority of my students, however, are pet owners who just want to have more control over their dogs so they can enjoy them and take them places. I also specialize in dogs with temperament issues and often times my class is the last resort for some dogs that need a major attitude adjustment."
She said, "Although I often bring various dogs to my classes, Elliott is my main "demo dog." He is a six-year-old Alaskan Malamute male who has earned a string of titles. His full name is AKC Grand Champion and Best in Show International and National Champion Vykon's License to Chill, CD, RE, CGC, WWPD, SAM. The titles before his name are championships and those after his name are the obedience, rally and weight-pulling degrees."
Rather than name litters "puppy one, puppy two," etc. Jones chooses a theme for each litter. For example, one litter was four females and she named each after a witch on the "Charmed" television program. There were nine pups in Elliott's litter and it was decided they would be named after different American Idol contestants. Usually the name of a dog is changed, but the Jones family decided to keep Elliott and the name stuck.
Jones is a lifetime member and former president of the Atlanta Kennel Club, lifetime member and former board member of the Alaskan Malamute Club of America and a member of the Carolina Working Group Association. She wrote a breed column for the "AKC Gazette" for 22 years. She is the volunteer leader of the Coweta County 4-H Dog Club which has been dubbed the K-9 Klub. She is also the district chairman of the Coweta Countuy Animal Control Board.
The Jones family has two sons and eight grandchildren. They're all animal lovers, but only one son and his family are involved in dog showing.
More information may be obtained from Jones at 770-253-1427 or the Recreation Department at 770-254-3750.