Companion Dog Title

It recently came to our attention that some folks don’t understand the “Companion Dog” title by the American Kennel Club. RBRandL Bella Grace, CD, RA (also a CGC) was referred to as “just a brood bitch” because she does not possess a hunting title.

Obtaining a Companion Dog title is no easy task. The CD is earned through on-leash and off-leash exercises. A heeling pattern, determined by the Judge, must be completed both on-leash and off-leash. The heeling patterns includes right turns, left turns, an about turn, and changes of pace – both fast and slow. When coming to a halt the dog must sit too. The only command you may give the dogs is “heel” when the judge orders you “forward”. Points are deducted from your score if the dog forges ahead, lags behind, or crowds you. Points are deducted if the dog is out of “heel” position and if the dog does not automatically sit when you come to a halt. Points are deducted if you give any additional commands, including any use of body language to guide the dog. In addition to this heeling pattern, the dog must heel a figure-eight pattern around two stewards (human beings in the ring), which includes a ‘halt’ between the stewards. The dog must perform a “Stand-Stay” while being examined by the judge, handler standing in front of the dog at approximately 6-feet. The CD Test includes a one-minute sit-stay and a three-minute down-stay at a distance of approximately 30 feet. The test also includes recall from 30- feet. The dog must “come” to front and offer the automatic sit directly in front of the handler. Then the handler must direct the dog, either verbally or with a hand signal, to “finish”.

This “test” is completed with a judge in the ring monitoring your every move. Quite often the judge is following you and your dog around the ring!

Not to mention the fact that spectators are surrounding the ‘ring’ watching you perform. So many distractions and challenges.

The “RA” is for Rally Advanced. While Rally is “fun” there are still challenges involved and the RA title is earned completely off-leash. Try heeling patterns that include figure-eights and the distraction of dog bowls filled with tempting treats, 180’s left and right, 360’s left and right, moving ‘downs’, etc., etc.

We stand in awe of any dog and handler that have earned hunting titles of any venue. We also stand in awe of dogs that earn obedience titles.

Congratulations Ernie & Buck

Ernie & Buck


Ernie & RBRandL Buck 110, recently earned two passes toward Buck’s HRCH title. Out of RBRandL Bella Grace, RA, CD X HRCH Gator Point’s Bayou Chopper, SH, Buck is owned, trained and handled by Ernie Matacotta of Marietta, GA. Ernie has used rewards-based training to develop his high energy Labrador into a focused and hard driving retriever. Rick Flippen of Britannia Gundogs called Buck “the real deal”. Ernie and Buck enjoy hunting together during duck season and will continue to compete. They’ve got their eyes on the Master National!

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