Following a frustrating year for us all in 2020 with our inability to train after March, we are very much looking forward to getting back to training our beloved dogs in Term 1 of 2021 – all going to plan.
As I am sure everyone understands, our ability to resume and continue training is entirely dependent on the Victorian State Government Covid-19 restrictions that are in place. So, this situation could change at any time.
The Club Committee has worked hard to put together a programme that we believe is achievable given the current situation. We have had to reduce the number of classes on offer and we also have to manage a very significant back log of new members who have patiently waited to begin training. For this reason, there are some modifications to our usual training programme.
In the next few days an email will be sent to current BDAG members, outlining the training programme and the changes, and with an invitation to register for a class. Please keep a look out for this and respond quickly to secure a place. Please note that ‘current members’ include everyone who was a financial member in 2020 – your membership has been extended the end of 2021 at no additional cost.
We have instigated a new and improved booking system for classes and membership, using ‘trybooking’. Training classes in 2021 will be booked using the new system. The email coming out soon explains this in detail and there will be help available should it be needed.
We have also developed a Covid-safe plan – as required to operate the club. All those participating in training will need to comply with the plan, and further information will be available before training resumes.
Finally – we wish everyone a Happy New Year and a much kinder 2021
As you know, we have been hopeful of a return to training in Term 4. Committee has been carefully monitoring changes to the Covid restrictions for regional Victoria and forming training resumption plans. At times we’ve been just about to kick start training, only for a change in the Covid situation to cause our plans to be deferred.
Following the easing of restrictions announced on Sunday 18 October we sought advice from State Government on our options. The firm advice from Business Victoria is that we are not yet permitted to resume operations as dog training is not a ‘permitted work premises’ under the directions issued by Victoria’s Chief Health Officer.
So what does this all mean…?
We can’t start any on-site training under the current restrictions. We will continue to review this position as the situation changes. However, it is now late in the year and realistically our options for any training in the remaining part of this year are limited. If it is possible, and in accordance with any relaxing of restrictions, will look to deliver a short block of training for new members later this year, many of whom have been waiting a very long time to start with us.
All of our current members will have their membership extended to 31 December 2021 at no additional cost.
Due to Covid 19, the Club has decided not to resume regular training in Term 3 – July to September. It is likely that we will resume in Term 4 (October start), provided it is safe to do so. We understand that this is disappointing, but the health and well-being of our members and instructors is paramount, and we are not able to achieve the physical distancing and hygiene requirements for dog training at the cattle pavilion over winter.
The Committee is regularly reviewing the situation and decisions about training in Term 4 will be made well before the term start. We will update our members via email, our web site and Facebook page.
Keep well, and we look forward to training later in the year.
While we stay safe at home during this challenging time we can take much comfort from our wonderful canine companions.
Even though the club grounds and group training remain closed, we can still enjoy training our dogs at home. To help you make the most of home training, we have put together a list of recommended positive on-line training resources. From webinars to videos, on-line courses, e-books and blogs – some free and some not – we hope there is something suitable for everyone. Just go to our new training resources page, which we will continue to update.
Until we see you again – stay safe and happy training.
dreaming of future adventures…….
URGENT BDAG MESSAGE – COVID-19
CANCELLATION OF CLASSES – TERM 1 & TERM 2
17 March 2020
BDAG committee met tonight to review the Club’s response to the COVID-19 situation.
Committee has decided to cancel all training for the remainder of Term 1 and all of Term 2, effective from 17 March 2020. We know this will be disappointing, but our highest priority is the safety and well-being of our members, and we take this step to avoid the potential for the spread of coronavirus at dog training.
In coming to this decision, Committee considered available information and actions of other organisations, including the similar decision reached yesterday by Dogs Victoria.
Committee will be regularly monitoring the situation and will review the position for Term 3 in May. Members will of course be advised.
Any training fees paid in advance for Term 2 will be fully refunded.
Just to reiterate, BDAG will not be offering dog training classes from today (17 March) through until at least 13 July 2020.
Thank you for your understanding in this difficult situation.
As I am sure you are all aware, many organisations are making major changes to how they operate in order to reduce the spread of the corona virus. For instance, people are working from home, sporting events are being cancelled and those with symptoms are being asked to self-isolate.
BDAG also needs to consider this and act. We care about the health and wellbeing of all our members. Our Committee is meeting this coming Tuesday to develop our COVID-19 response. In doing so, we are looking carefully at what is being recommended by authorities and specialists, and what other organisations are doing. Please be aware that the response developed may well include cancellation and postponement of classes.
In the interim, we have instigated a set of protocols which are described below.
Interim Covid-19 protocols for BDAG:
- All people with any symptoms of COVID-19 must not attend training. Symptoms are described at https://www.health.gov.au/health-topics/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov.
- People with existing respiratory problems or challenges should carefully consider whether to attend training.
- Training classes will be arranged, where feasible – to achieve a 2 metre separation between people.
- BDAG members are reminded that we share the toilet facilities with others, and care should be taken in touching surfaces that may be contaminated. If possible, BDAG will provide hand sanitizer for use of members attending training, and you may like to bring your own.
- BDAG members are requested to observe the hygiene protocols provided by DHS (link provided above), including:
- wash your hands often with soap and water
- use a tissue and cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze
- avoid close contact with others, such as touching.
- Please avoid gathering in close groups for a chat.
- BDAG won’t be offering tea and coffee services during this time.
As the situation progresses, BDAG committee will revise these protocols. It is possible that there may be significant impacts on our ability to deliver training in the last two weeks of Term 1 and in Term 2. We will keep members informed via email and our website and Facebook page.
If you would like further information on potential COVID-19 impacts, here is a very informative technical article: https://medium.com/@tomaspueyo/coronavirus-act-today-or-people-will-die-f4d3d9cd99ca
We had to remove our training gear from the cattle pavilion over summer to accommodate a junior cattle-handlers course. And, now we need to move it back.
The move will take place at 5:30 pm on Wednesday 5 February. It will probably take less than 1 hour. Many hands make light work – so we would love some help.
Please meet on-site at the cattle pavilion if you are able to help.
It can be a bit daunting to find and complete on-line forms, such as the ones we now use at BDAG. To assist in filling out any BDAG form, we will have a couple of people with computers at the Club this Wednesday night (18 Dec) from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm, and they will walk you through the process. No booking needed.
If you would like to continue training in 2020, there are two forms to fill out. You will need to renew your annual membership, and register your dog in a class.
Here are the links:
Please note that while we will do our best to offer the class of your preference, we do fill classes on a first-registered-and-paid, first-in basis.
The new training year begins on Wednesday 5 and Thursday 6 February 2020 (depending on the class you are in). Orientation night for new members in Term 1 is 30 January.
Training a new puppy or new dog this year?
If you want to train a new puppy or dog in 2020 – please give us as much notice as possible – at least 8 weeks, so we can reserve a place for your new companion in our introduction class – these classes fill fast.
As we come to the end of the 2019 year there are a few things to mention.
A big thanks to all our wonderful Instructors and assistants who bring their skills and expertise to class to help us train our dogs, and to the Committee members who manage the day to day club operations and longer term planning for BDAG. And, of course a big thank you to you, our awesome members who collectively make this club such a wonderful ‘family’.
Our festive season break up
The last nights of actual training in 2019 are 11 and 12 December, and our final night is Wednesday 18 December which will be our break-up.
Bring your dog for some fun doggie games which put together all the things you have been learning over the year. Don’t forget your dog treats. Feel free to dress yourselves and your furry companions in festive cheer – we will have a competition for best dressed pup!
If you can find the where-with-all – please bring a small plate to share (for people!). We will also provide some refreshments.
The new year
We start the new training year on wed 5 /thurs 6 February. Orientation night for new members is 30 Jan.
Membership renewal is due in January – please go our current members’ page to renew your membership and complete the Term Registration form for 2020 to register you dog(s) for classes.