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Baldwin Borough nonprofit training club is all about the dogs

| Wednesday, May 7, 2014, 7:18 p.m.

Walking into Keystone Canine Training Club, training director Lucy McCloskey was accompanied by her border collie, Sonny.

He was quick with demonstrations in agility, rally, obedience, tricks and nose work.

“All dogs need a job to do. It gives them a feeling of purpose,” McCloskey said.

Dogs and their owners came together once again recently for the second annual open house and free workshop sponsored by the nonprofit club, located on Brownsville Road in Baldwin Borough.

McCloskey has been competing with Sonny for two and a half years.

They recently took first place in the American Kennel Club National Rally Championship — the highest rally award — after competing against more than 90 other dogs.

McCloskey has been training dogs for seven years.

“We're working with our dogs, and they love it. The purpose is to have fun with our dogs,” McCloskey said.

As a nonprofit organization, Keystone Canine Training Club was established in 1990. The group now has about 100 members.

The club also offers classes including puppy kindergarten, agility games, rally obedience and scent work.

“We hold these events (the open house) to get more interest in our club and education to the public,” said DeAnne Orive, who started planning the open house in the January.

Orive owns Grand Slam Grooming on Vanadium Road in Bridgeville.

Many people, such as Dan Goldberg, club president, volunteer with the group.

“(The) nice thing about classes, it helps establish a bond between the owner and their dog,” he said.

Goldberg has been a member since the 1990s. He adopted a dog when he got married, and shortly after that, he and his wife became officers of the club.

He pointed out that people often do not know what constitutes as a well-trained dog. This realization has led to open-house events so people can become educated.

“We have a lot to offer,” Goldberg said. “It's all about the dogs.”

Keystone Canine Training Club's services do not stop at obedience classes and events. They also train dogs to become therapy dogs through the Canine Good Citizen and Therapy Dogs International programs.

Bonnie Richards and her dog, Mariah, came out to support the club a the recent open house. Mariah, a cream-colored German shepherd, is a certified therapy dog.

Together, they visit Compassionate Care Hospice, Squirrel Hill Commons and other locations.

“Visiting brings a smile and happiness,” Richards said.

Richards and Mariah have been training at Keystone Canine Club for more than two years.

“This is a great place, and they're supportive. I really have to thank the people here,” Richards said.

Quinn Lema is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.

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