Local dog owners turn into obedience trainers

VIENNA – Glenn and Rebecca Rawsky of Vienna decided to be good dog owners and take their American Eskimo dogs to obedience training.

Little did the couple know they’d be offering the same training to residents by taking over the Parkersburg Obedience Training Club at 498 Williams Highway in Vienna.

“We actually started obedience training to be good pet owners,” said Glenn Rawsky. “Then (he and his wife) actually got sucked into competitive obedience.”

The club has been around for more than 50 years, and Glenn Rawsky said he and his wife, Rebecca, have been working with the furry friends for more than 14 years, starting in 1999. The training club has been holding competitive trials for 12 years .

“If they know how to be an ideal house pet, they’ll do agility just fine,” Rawsky said of training the animals.

The club has about 30 members, 20 active in agility training. The agility training obedience trials take place in the Washington County Fairgrounds, while other local trials take place in Zanesville, Ohio.

Juno, the couple’s newest edition, is one-and-a-half years old and has placed in several different competitions.

One of the couple’s dogs, Denali, won top dog in 2010 and placed in the top five breeds of dogs at an invitational in Orlando.

On Tuesday nights they hold agility training, while on Thursdays they work on obedience as well. There are three dogs taking the agility class on Tuesdays.

The oldest dog the couple own, Klondike, placed second at an invitational when she was eight years old.

Marilyn Pence of Parkersburg does the class to train her dog; a dachshund named Scribbles.

Her pet is new to agility training and had a few mishaps during practice. But all-in-all was learning a lot.

The club has 10 to 12 different breeds doing the agility and obedience training, Rawsky said. It depends on the type of breeds the owners like, he said. Any type of dog can learn how to do agility and obstacle courses, even mixed breeds.

The Rawksys travel all over the country.

“I’m conformable saying we have friends all across the country,” Glenn Rawsky said. “It’s our thing.”

The courses usually include two main jumps, tunnels and weaves similar to a skier course. There are usually about 20 obstacles on a course, Rawsky said.

“There are different sizes and height levels,” he added. “Also different skill levels.”