Cora Owned by Emma John

Cora is a Basset Fauve De Bretagne who was 3 years old when Emma got her.

Cora transformed from being exceptionally timid and aggressive dog when frightened (which was all the time) to achieving her KCGCDS Gold Award.

Emma got Cora in January 2015, aged 3. Cora had a hard time adjusting to being a family pet and the change in her environment led to her displaying fear aggressive tendencies and being super timid. She lacked confidence with humans as well as dogs and anyone she perceived as a ‘stranger’ could not approach her. Her ability to cope with what would be considered everyday life occurrences was limited, which when added to her timidity, made the world a very frightening place for Cora.

As you would expect she exhibits many of the characteristically strong breed traits of the hound such as powerful scenting instincts, independent thinking and a charmingly aloof nature. Whilst these are usually positive characteristics, when combined with Cora’s start to life, actually meant that she was very hard to motivate for a human connection as she was independent and with a high prey drive/lower desire to please combination. On top of this, Cora had a low attention span for ‘introduced’ tasks. This meant that she could work for hours on something she herself had decided upon (such as trailing a scent!) but getting her to try something Emma had introduced was intensely difficult.

At first, Cora could not even step into a class, she first had to be taught the benefits of treats and play neither of which interested her at all at first. Whilst still not the most playful dog, she now absolutely sees the joy in every crumb!

Once this step had been achieved, Emma attended Alicia’s Obedience Dog Training and began the club curriculum which is essentially the KCGCDS.

The progressive nature of the KCGCDS gave Emma and Cora proven milestones to work towards – and meant things that were more challenging couldn’t just be ignored. For example, Cora could not cope with being touched by a ‘stranger’, but in the Silver and Gold Awards the examiner handles the dog. This meant that the situation could be and would be specifically trained for and not avoided. This training has proved invaluable in other real life situations such as at the vet and has also meant that Cora can visit a groomer, something that seemed impossible not that long ago as she had to be muzzled.

Progress towards the Bronze award was slowest as Cora had so much to work through to even begin to pay full attention, but once she began to level out and gain confidence, she improved with a speed that is indicative of her high intelligence.

Cora passed each of the Scheme’s awards on her first try, a feat which made the whole club a bit emotional. The Scheme has provided Emma and Cora with opportunities to not just learn but importantly practice ‘everyday life skills’.in a supportive learning.

Emma’s dedication to Cora and the KCGCDS has now led to Emma becoming a qualified instructor for Alicia’s Dog Training and she now takes a selection of classes from beginner to advanced, teaching the KCGCDS.

From starting training at home in November 2015 and attending class soon after, Cora Achieved her Bronze award in October 2016, her Silver in January 2017 and her Gold in July 2017. Cora’s progress to overcome her extreme issues and reach a happy and fulfilled life is credited to the KCGCDS by Emma who feels that it truly turned Cora’s life around. Since completing the scheme they have gone on to do so much more, this would never have been possible before the KCGCDS

For Cora this has allowed her to go on and take new challenges too.  She is now part of the Club’s display team, encouraging others to use positive reinforcement to train their dogs, and to get involved with the KCGCDS.  She has excelled at scent, gaining her level 1, 2 and 3 in the Scentwork UK awards, always in the rosettes, and often achieving a clean sweep.  She’s sadly also had to deal with pancreatitis and associated ill health – proving the vet behaviors and ‘handling tricks’ are worth their weight in gold!

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