The Association of Island Obedience Clubs

Compiled by Betty Ruff


The inaugural meeting of the members of dog training Clubs on Vancouver Island was held on February 6, 1960 with 8 clubs represented.  Members attending this first meeting were North Saanich, Nanaimo, Cowichan, Comox Valley, Greater Victoria, Mount Brenton, Parksville and District, and Alberni Valley.

All the members of the inaugural Meeting

The inaugural meeting of the AIOC was held in Duncan on February 6, 1960 at the home of Dr. C.J.C. Mackenzie

Mr. Donald B. Hudson – Chairman

Major A.  E.  A. Smart , North Saanich Dog Obedience Training club

Mr. N. B. Scott, Nanaimo Kennel Club

Dr. C. J. C. Mackenzie, Cowichan Dog Obedience Training Club

Mr. Les Snaith, Comox Valley Obedience and Kennel Club

Mr. Geo. Christie, Greater Victoria Dog Obedience Training Club

Mr. F. Mesher and Mr. Rudi Gast (observer), Mount Brenton Dog Obedience Training Club

Mrs. Maureen MacLeod, Parksville and District Dog Obedience Training Club

Mrs. Rose Parker, Alberni Valley Kennel Club

Mr. Don Hudson of Greater Victoria Dog Obedience was elected chairman. The meeting agreed on the name “Association of Island Obedience Clubs” – to be designated A.I.O.C.

The aim of the association was “to foster the co-operation and integration of Dog obedience Training Clubs on Vancouver Island”.


The Association was to act as a co-ordinator for dates of trials and tracking tests. It was agreed that “as far as possible” C.K.C. Obedience rules should govern Club tests with the notable exception that cross bred dogs were welcome.

It was agreed that, as a general rule, judges should be offered traveling expenses.  C.K.C. judges were to be used to judge Club trials, but a training program for people interested in becoming judges was to be instituted.

At that first meeting, 18 Club trial dates were reserved.

At subsequent meetings, dues for members were levied and record cards for dogs were introduced and were to be supplied by the Association.  It was agreed that a 4 or 5 letter abbreviation for Club names be used. ie: NANO for Nanaimo, NOSA for North Saanich etc.  It was agreed also, that a record form be devised for each class, and that it be sent out by the host Club following a Club trial so all Clubs would have a record of their members scores, and also one copy must be sent to the AIOC secretary so a permanent record could be kept by the Association.

It was agreed that entry fees for Club trials were to be set by the individual clubs.

In 1964

a motion was passed that no prizes other than Perpetual Trophies, ribbons and rosettes were to be presented at Club trials. This has been re-enforced from time to time in discussions at AIOC meetings over the last 30 years.

In 1964, it was agreed that, if a Club could afford it, a judge should be paid $10.00 per trial.

Club membership cards, in addition to the dog’s I.D. card, became a requirement for trialers in 1966.

It was agreed that CXC. Judges from the Mainland could be asked to judge Club trials if no Island Judge was available. A number of judges did come over for Club trials.

As a note of interest, in 1967, Ben Taylor came over to present a training seminar and the total cost to bring Ben over was $2000. Various judges and trainers courses were presented from time to time.

In 1975

 the first training seminar presented by the AIOC brought in an outside expert and was a 2 day session by Jack Godsil.  Since that time AIOC has sponsored a number of such seminars.


Between 1960 and 1978

24 different judges handled 285 Club Trials.  During that period 3871 dogs made qualifying scores.

Don and Mollie Hudson started Dog Obedience on Vancouver Island, and Don was the driving force behind the AIOC organization.    In 1979 they were honoured by the AIOC for their work in dog Obedience and were given a weekend “get away”.   A perpetual trophy, to be awarded yearly, was named the “Donald and Mollie Hudson Perpetual Trophy” and is commonly referred to as the Hudson Trophy.  The rules governing the Hudson Trophy are as follows:  It is awarded yearly to the person handling one dog and achieving the highest 3 scores in any one degree in AIOC trials, with the last score to be made in the year of the award. The dog and handler must be trialing from one Club for all 3 legs.  It was later agreed that a keeper trophy be presented to each Hudson trophy winner.  Scores must be sent to the AIOC secretary by the Clubs, by March 15 of each year and the trophy is to be presented at the April meeting.   Mr. Don Hudson died in July 1982

By 1978 twenty-one Clubs were active in the AIOC.  It may be of general interest so here’s the list:

Alberni Valley,  Alberni Valley Jr.,  Alberni District, Chimo, Campbell River, District 69, Driftwood, Cowichan, Doberman Pinscher Club, Arrowsmith, Harlequin, Mt. Brenton, Nanaimo, Nanaimo Jr., Tyee, Greater Victoria, North Saanich, Pembroke Corgi Club, Forbidden Plateau, German Shepherd, Ganges.

“A” and “B” classes in Novice and Open were judged and recorded separately.

It seems pertinent at this point to put in an explanation of the various classes and the requirements for these classes for AIOC trials. For more information on trialing we should all have a copy of “Regulations and Standards for Obedience Trials” which is available from the Canadian Kennel Club. (CKC)

A dog entered in Novice Class (“A” or “B”) requires 3 passes to become a Companion Dog (C.D.).  Scoring is out of 200 points and to get a pass, a score of at least 170 is needed with more than 50% of the possible score for each exercise. The exercises for Novice “A” or “B” are:  Heel on leash, Stand for examination, Heel free, Recall, Long sit and Long down.

Novice “A”

is for a dog that has not earned a CD. The dog must be handled by the owner or a member of the owner’s family.  No handler who has ever shown a dog through to its U.D., or is an Instructor or helper in an Obedience class can enter Novice “A”. They must enter Novice “B”.

Novice “B”

is also for a dog, which has not earned a C.D., but it may be handled by its owner or any other person.

A dog entered in Open Class (“A” or “B”) requires 3 passes to become a Companion Dog Excellent (C.D.X.).   Scoring is out of 200 points and to get a pass a score of at least 170 is needed with more than 50% of the points available for each exercise. The exercises for Open “A” and “B” are:  Heel free, Drop on recall, Retrieve on the flat, Retrieve over the high jump, Broad jump, Long sit and Long down

A dog entered in Utility Class required 3 passes to earn a Utility Dog (U.D.).  Scoring, as in other classes, is out of 200 points and a score of at least 170 is required for a pass, and more than 50% of the points allotted to each exercise. The exercises for utility are:  Seek back, Scent discrimination article 1,  Scent discrimination – article 2, Scent discrimination article 3, Signal exercise, Directed jumping and Group examination.

Open “A”

is for a dog that has not earned a C.D.X. but which has its C.D. The dog must be handled by his owner or a member of the owner’s family.   No instructor or helper of an Obedience class, nor anyone who has ever shown a dog through to its U.D. can enter Open ‘A”.  They must enter Open “B”

Open “B”

dogs may be handled by the owner or any other person.


is for a dog that has attained a C.D.X.  The dog may be handled by the owner or any other person

In 1980

a movement was underway to lower jump heights from 1½ times the dog’s height down to the dogs shoulder height. The AIOC members expressed support for this.


In 1990

it was decided that when a dog is entered in both trials of a double Club trial and finishes its degree in the first trial it must then be designated as an Exhibition dog for the second trial and not be eligible for High in Class etc.


In 1983

rules and regulations for the AJOC were amended and updated and a motion was made, and carried, to adopt these rules as of October 1983.


In 1986

a motion was passed that dogs entered in Club trials as “Exhibition” are not eligible for awards such as High in Trial, High in Class etc., or for perpetual trophies.

It was also reaffirmed that members wishing to trial in Club trials must start at Novice and complete each degree before advancing to trials in the next degree, even if they have C.K.C. degrees on their dogs.

In 1992

two judges seminars were held under the auspices of the AIOC – one in Victoria and one in Nanaimo, for the purpose of encouraging people to become judges.

Ben Taylor, a long time C.K.C. judge, and later, after moving to the Island, an AIOC judge, died in 1992.

In 1994 the AIOC meeting decided that a committee should meet to try to find some way to alleviate our shortage of judges for Club Trials. The results were to be presented at the April 1995 meeting.

The Association of Island obedience Clubs (AIOC) is a unique concept – to our knowledge there is no comparable association in Canada.

I will try to explain similarities and differences between the Canadian Kennel Club (C.K.C,) and AIOC trials.

Club trials are run as closely as possible to C.K.C. rules. One of the main differences is that the owners of non-registered or crossbred dogs have the opportunity to show what their dogs can do by trialing for Club degrees, since they can’t go for C.K.C. degrees.  Of course, registered dogs, too, can earn their Club degrees.

Another difference is that under C.K.C. rules, dogs that have a C.D.X. or U.D. may continue to trial in Open “B” – but AIOC does not allow this, mainly due to time constraints.  The entries to AIOC trials are not limited and often the judges of Club trials are quite overwhelmed by the number of dogs they must judge. Most Clubs, however, allow “Exhibition only” entries but these entries do not compete for High in Class, High in Trial etc.

In C.K.C. trials you may earn only two legs of the three required for a degree under one judge.  In AIOC trials, it could happen that you might earn all three legs of a degree under one judge.  It is allowed in AIOC trials.

AIOC does not allow prizes to be awarded at Club trials other than ribbons, rosettes and perpetual trophies.

Another difference between licensed (C.K.C.) trials and AIOC trials is that we do not pre-register our entries for Club trials, nor do we have limited trials.

But the main and most important similarity between C.K.C. and Club trials is that both are judged by Canadian Kennel Club rules as set out in the “Regulations and Standards for Obedience Trials”

And a few facts about AIOC …..

Each Club

sets their own entry fee for Club trials and also decides what they will pay their judge.   AIOC does not set these rates.

Two AIOC meetings

a year are held in Nanaimo, with all member Clubs having a representative who, hopefully, attends the meetings.  The Executive holds office for a period of two years and Clubs take turns providing a President, Secretary and Treasurer to form this committee.

The AIOC has a set of requirements

to be fulfilled before a person can become an AIOC judge – but AIOC accepts any judge qualified by C.K.C. with no further tests.  At this time we have only one AIOC judge who is not also a C.K.C. judge.  We need more!

The Association

of Island Obedience Club trials give owners of non-registered or cross bred dogs a chance to experience the fun and competition of trialing their dogs and earning their degrees.  Club Trials are also a wonderful opportunity for members who are trialing dogs in Canadian Kennel Club trials a chance to get in that extra try out before entering the more expensive C.K.C trials. We, here on Vancouver Island, are most fortunate to have the opportunity of attaining degrees with our dogs.  We are lucky to have the Association and should nurture it so we may continue to enjoy the benefits for many more years.  It must be worthwhile – it has been in operation for 35 years!

A junior

is a handler up to 16 years of age.

The AIOC co-ordinates

Club trials throughout the Island.  Clubs present their choices at the April meeting for the next year and dates are arranged to avoid C.K.C. events, where possible, and to not conflict with fellow Clubs.

Through the 35 years

of the AIOC, clubs have come and gone. Clubs that no longer exist or are inactive at this time, or have changed their name include:

Island German Shepherd Club – Harlequin – Doberman – Mount Brenton – Alberni District – Alberni Valley Jr. – Pembroke – Nanaimo Jr. – Comox Valley – County – Metro


has arranged a number of seminars over the years. They have been profitable and largely account for our bank balance – which has been designated an “education fund”.

The Hudson Trophy

is awarded yearly at the April meeting to honour the highest scoring dog on the Island. The rules are detailed elsewhere.

At the present time

the following clubs are members of the AIOC:  Greater Victoria (GVIC) – Cowichan (COWN) – North Saanich (NOSA) – Tyee (TYEE) – German Shepherd (GSD) – Driftwood (DDTC) – Chimo (CHIMO) – Nanaimo (NANO) – Western Communities (WCDO) – District 69 (DIST 69) (Parksville) – Langford (LADOG) – Arrowsmith (ARRO) – Sooke (SDOC) – Forbidden Plateau (FORB) – Small Dog Club (SDTC) – Campbell River (CRDF) – Ganges (GDOC) – Alberni Valley (ALVA)

NOTE: In 1992 the Rules and Regulations for AIOC were updated.

And in 2010 A.I.O.C. celebrated 50 years



A.I.O.C. 50th  Anniversary Celebration

The 50th Anniversary of the Association of Island Obedience Clubs was celebrated in Nanaimo, B. C. on May 2, 2010 in conjunction with the annual Team Challenge.

All who attended enjoyed a variety of events.  The afternoon began with a delightful canine freestyle and dressage demonstration organized by Heather Somers and Carol Toms of Campbell River.

The unofficial fun classes, judged by Pat Townsend of Nanaimo Kennel Club, proved to be a challenge for many of those entered.  A recall through weird and unusual distractions, a precision drop on recall, and a fast paced team retrieving game provided great entertainment to those watching from the sidelines.

Twenty-two dogs, from 7 to 17 years of age, were proudly shown in the Parade of Obedience Veterans.  A beautiful plaque, donated by Carole Walker, was awarded to the oldest dog – Pomeranian, Northbank’s Moonlight Sashay CDX, CGC.

A.I.O.C. Past President, Leslie Gardiner presented the Hudson Trophy to this year’s winner, Jackie Boyd and her Vizsla, Sunni from Forbidden Plateau Obedience and Tracking Club.

We were honoured to have as our special guest, Mr. Les Snaith, one of the founding members who attended the inaugural meeting of the A.I.O.C. on February 6, 1960.  Les was presented with a certificate of appreciation, and, to our delight, made the first cut into a beautifully decorated anniversary cake.

Guests enjoyed the many displays of history and memorabilia of clubs past and present including a historical look at the A.I.O.C.

Seventy-two guests signed our Guest Book: 6 from Lakewood Dog Club, 8 from Cowichan Dog Obedience Training Club, 5 from Greater Victoria Dog Obedience Training Club, 3 from Forbidden Plateau Obedience and Tracking Club, 5 from Campbell River Dog Fanciers Society, 3 from North Saanich Dog Obedience Training Club, 1 from Cape Lazo Dog Training Club, 37 from Nanaimo Kennel Club plus 4 other guests.

A very special “Thank You” to the Nanaimo Kennel Club’s A.I.O.C. Planning Committee and the many NKC volunteers who helped make our 50th Anniversary Celebration a day to remember.

Respectfully submitted,

Margo Banks
2010 Chair,
Association of Island Obedience Clubs