It was in the year of 1952, that the Mountain City Obedience Club (MCOC) was formed by a group of people interested in continuing to train their dogs as a hobby and also for competition, after completion of basic training courses offered at Mrs Casgrain’s Dog Training School. The late Lorna Casgrain was the instigator of ” training you to train your dog” philosophy in Canada. Her mentor was the late Blanche Saunders from New York who was a well-known judge, author and trainer. She started the ” training you to train your dog” as far back as 1934 in the United States. She was the first Honorary President and Training Director.
Four members from the early days are still active in the club namely: Lea Langlois, Dorothy Budge, Norma Brennan and Kay Wells, who are also Honorary Life members. Dorothy Budge our first Vice-President of the MCOC is still active as a club member in tracking as well in training obedience, is now retired as a judge. Later came Maureen Bottinga, Daphne Montifiore.
The first and second Obedience trials were held in 1953. In those early days the weekend trials, one on each day, were held outdoor on the Angus Estate in nearby Senneville and were held there until 1962. MCOC was responsible for the innovation of “double” trials (two in one weekend). After suffering inclement weather conditions related to rainy weather, the trials were brought indoor to arena facilities. Up to 1958, the entry was small enough to warrant only two judges. As the interest grew in obedience training, so did the entries that by 1959 the judges increased to three and in 1965 there were 5 judges and 5 rings.The peak period was 1976 when the entry soared 426 needing 6 judges.
Our Club crest appeared for the first time on the 1955 catalogue cover. The heraldic blazoning was drawn by the late Dorothy Blair. The dog depicted “passant” is a Talbot, the traditional heraldic hound. The cone in the background stands for Montreal’s Mount-Royal Mountain with it’s famous cross on top and the chain represents the training collar.
From 1955 until 1961, MCOC published a quarterly newsletter entitled “Pooches Papers” which in addition to being sent to Club members had a surprisingly large readership outside of Quebec including the U.S.A.
In the early days of the Club, members were very active in staging obedience demonstrations all over the City as well in the outskirts. There was a five-man team, each with a Boxer and others teams with various breeds included. Today, the Club still puts on demonstrations at various venues.
Following the training methods of Mrs Casgrain’s Dog Training School, MCOC sponsored obedience classes during the summer months in Montreal and in outlying areas such as Lachine, Châteauguay and St.Lambert throughout the year with the late Pat Murray and Lea Langlois as trainers.
In 1959, the first Tracking Test was held in North Hatley by the Eastern Township Group and sponsored by MCOC. In 1962, MCOC held its first official Tracking Test in Senneville.There were six dogs entered. The Club continues to hold Tracking Tests every fall in the Eastern Township joining forces with the St.Francis Kennel Club. From 1971 to 1997, the tests were held in Rawdon. Norma Brennan has been at the helm from the beginning with Dorothy Budge at times judging the tests.
It was noted in the 1954 catalogue that MCOC had 18 members and three dogs with a CD title, one CDX, one UD and one UDT. Our members continue to compete and over the years many titles have been acquired by our members.
Rally obedience training was introduced in 2005 and the Club offers rally trials along with obedience at their annual spring trials.
In the year 2002, the club celebrated its 150th Trial and looks forward to its 200th in 2013. Mountain City Obedience Club is proud to have contributed to obedience over the past years and expects to be part of it in the many years to come.
Compiled by Lea Langlois – 2002
Revised in 2015