Our History

RVO & FTC History

The River Valley Obedience & Field Trial Club was formed during the spring of 1958 with 25 founding members. The first Executive was made up of Bob Little (President), Ernie Smith (Vice-President), Daryl MacPherson (2nd Vice-President), and Gertrude Storey (Secretary-Treasurer). Bob Little was the principal founder having traveled widely throughout New Brunswick and Nova Scotia helping to form new clubs and judging basic classes; more often than not at his own expense. He was the first Obedience Representative for the Canadian Kennel Club (CKC) and then several years later (until his sudden death at a dog show) was the Maritime Director for the CKC. Today we still offer a dog obedience trophy, begun in 1965, in his memory. RVO & FTC was established to be first and foremost a dog obedience club. The original members provided obedience classes, tracking and field activities and matches. For over a decade and a half the club was among the most active retrieving sports club in the Maritimes.

By 1963 handling classes had been added to the Club’s activities and its membership had grown to over 50 members. In the early 1970’s, the Club had shrunk and its membership was despairing about the status of dog obedience in the Fredericton area. However, by 1975, after the Club became incorporated, membership and the number of participants in our obedience classes increased while our obedience trials attracted increasing numbers of exhibitors. Revised By-laws were enacted in the fall of 1983 and the mid 1980’s saw the orchestration of obedience seminars by people such as Jack and Wendy Volhard and Gail Fisher. A Hospital Visitation programme was begun in late 1986 and a musical drill team featuring Club members and their dogs was underway during public holidays and demonstrations.

Today, RVO & FTC has more than 70 single and family memberships. We still offer well regarded obedience classes to members and the general public. Our Hospital Visitation programme has expanded to include monthly visits by over 20 volunteers and their temperament tested dogs to seven area health care facilities. RVO & FTC continues to provide exceptional CKC Obedience Trials, fun matches and now a certificate program for Canine Good Neighbor. Tracking is still a part of our Club with one CKC Tracking Test held in the fall of every other year. Members also engage in flyball and agility. Outstanding seminars and workshops (e.g., Dr. Chris Zink) continue to be a part of our repertoire. As well, the Club is involved in public education to promote responsible dog ownership; such as in our campaign for legislation to restrain dogs in the backs of open-bed vehicles and our Canine Good Neighbor programme.