On Sunday, August 31, 1952, Sandia Dog obedience Club held its very first AKC Licensed Obedience Trial. Dogs, handlers, and a judge gathered outdoors in Roosevelt Park at the very civilized hour of 10 am to 6 pm. Mr. D.D. Brodie from San Marino, California, judged all 50 entries.
A total of 38 exhibitors entered the trial for a whopping cost of $4.25, with second entries costing $2.00.
Unregistered dogs paid a listing fee of $25. It was even possible to telegraph entries to the Trial Secretary, although only one entry was permitted per telegram.
Interestingly, in addition to the standard Novice A and B, Open A and B, and Utility (with no split into A and B at the time), the club offered Graduate Novice, Brace, and Team. The trial awarded prizes for all class placements and groups, and several special trophies were offered. The High-in-Trial was open to ALL classes and was actually won by a Cocker Spaniel, Major’s Merry Mark CD, from the Graduate Novice class.
The variety of the breeds of dog entered equaled what we see in today’s trials. There were, of course, no Border Collies that dominate the rings today, but plenty of Poodles competed. Some of the other breeds included a Chow Chow, which took first in Novice B; a boxer, which took second, and a Scottish Terrier. Other popular breeds were German Shepherds and Cocker Spaniels. Two Dachshunds were entered as well as a Chihuahua and a Belgian Sheepdog from Los Alamos. A Pekingese, Hoi-Nai, qualified in Novice A with a 195 score.
The original author of this look back is unknown.
The following is an early history of SDOC written for the October 1968 newsletter by Kiku Kennedy, a charter member of the club. She graciously agreed to enlighten us as to what went on in those "early years" in a series of articles for the newsletter. The first article follows:
Once upon a time, in the fall of 1950, we met at Stan Swanson's house here in Alb. Vern & I were new in town. Mike Favia & his family & some other dog obedience interested people were there. Mike & Stan having had training experience in the mid-west & east suggested training classes with an obed. club to be formed in mind. There was enthusiasm from the start * the first class was set up at the old Carpenters Hall on Coal Ave. Cpt. Rosner was our first trainer.
I don't recall how long it took to organize the club & to get AKC's recognition, but classes were rolling under 2 trainers & dogs of all breed attended. In 1951, we held our first Sanctioned Match & it was funny to see a Dachshund win, who never sate, because both judge & handler were so tall they never saw down to the ground! We trained in-doors & out-doors & for awhile, at Menaul School.