Service Dogs of America
2018 Working Dogs of America


Working Dog Registry

Titling program for protection, obedience & tracking

The First SDA Trial
Written by Administrator
The United Kennel Club's new affiliate organization, Service Dogs of America, held its first official SDA trial Oct. 15-17-2004 at the Athens Tennessee SDA Club. This historic SDA trial had a total of 84 entries with 50 dogs participating in the Family Obedience class, seven dogs in the Protection Alert class and 27 dogs in the Protection 1 class. This SDA trial made dog history as the first trial ever held in the United States offering protection titles recognized by a national registry. Thanks to the United Kennel Club and its new affiliate organization, Service Dogs of America, all working dogs can have a home with a national registry. The honor of earning the first protection title recognized by the United Kennel Club went to a most deserving dog/handler team, Barry Vradenburgh and his police K9 partner Bo. Barry is a full time police officer and K-9 trainer director for the Chattanooga TN Police Department. Barry has played a major role in promoting this new protection title program. Barry and Bo's participation in this SDA trial represents one the most important benefits of this program, which is to offer training titles that are useful to police dog trainers as well as civilian trainers.
Another very important feature of that first SDA trial was the variety of breeds that participated: German Shepherds, Malinois, American bull dogs, Pit bull dogs, Boxers, Dobermann Pinchers, Bovias, Rottweilers, Austrian shepherd, as well as small breeds and some mixed breeds. This wide variety of dogs represents another one of one the main goals of this new program of having one dog organization that offers training titles which can be performed by many breeds; and an organization that welcomes, wants, and seeks the involvement of all breeds and all responsible dog owners.
Other highlights of the history-making SDA trial were the many activities that were planned for the participants and spectators. People attending watched an hour and one half of different dog handler teams performing a variety of demonstrations such as group obedience drills, group protection, demonstration and explanation of the requirements of the SDA Protection dog 1 title. Barry and Bo's history making protection routine was well received by spectators, as well as advanced obedience, search and rescue, drug dog detection, and the grand finale that featured police dog apprehensions and long bite, hard hitting demonstrations by the Chattanooga City K9 Unit. After demonstrations, a cookout was held with an assortment of food and drinks; and later, when the last dog finished its routine on Saturday night, all people attending were treated to a live performance of the Sullivan Family band. Overall, there were many opportunities to socialize, dance, or to just relax with friends. Making sure that our SDA trials and events are planned with fun, entertaining activities for our participants and spectators will always be top priority with this new program.
SDA & UKC's goal is to not only change dog training but to change the way working dog events are presented. This first official SDA trial was an example. Special guests at this event were Michelle Morgan and Vickie Rand; Michelle is Director of Performance Events for UKC and has played a major role in getting this program started. Vickie Rand is editor of Bloodline Magazine and will be playing a major role in promoting and getting the word out about this new program. This historic trial was also attended by dog handler teams from Michigan, Illinois, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, Texas, Georgia, Kentucky, Nevada and of course many parts of Tennessee. In addition there were many people from various locations that watched and participated in the other the activities the trial provided.
In summary, the first official SDA trial turned UKC's new sport dog program into a reality and began a new page in the history of dog training in the United States. In addition, this first event provided a huge stepping-stone down the path toward making this type of dog training into a national recreational activity, and changing dog training in the United States. Furthermore, people who enjoy training and breeding dogs noted for service work now have a dog organization that has the recognition and services of a national registry. These owners have been supplied the missing tools that are needed to improve dog training and dog breeding in the United States. Currently, more than 90% of the dogs in this country that are used by police departments, military, border patrol, private detection work or high-level sport dogs are imported from aboard. This new sport dog program will play a major role in changing this by providing trials and events which properly test the working abilities of dogs, provides events where breeders can actually watch the performance of dogs that they are considering for breeding stock, provide a registry with accurate records and data, and offer events and media outlets where dog breeders can share ideas. This new program has eliminated all of the major problems that have prevented American dog breeders from producing dogs capable of service work or high-level sport. Service Dogs of America will work closely with the United Kennel Club to breed and develop dogs that excel at service work. A goal of this new program is to make the United States the leading country in the world for breeding and producing dogs that excel in many types of service work. If you want a true working dog, then make sure it is a United Kennel Club registered dog. The United Kennel Club has given American dog owners a wonderful opportunity to develop a working dog program second to none in the world; this act alone just proves again that the United Kennel Club truly stands for dogs that "do something."
In conclusion, the founders of Service Dogs of America want to extend a special thanks to Wayne Cavanaugh and the entire staff of the United Kennel Club for providing dogs and dog owners such wonderful opportunities. Other special thanks go to the many dedicated people who played a major role in making this new program a reality: they know who they are and they are too many to list, for they are the people who participated and made UKC new sport dog program into a reality for American dog owners.