THE HISTORY OF THE JOLLY DOG SCHOOL
In the early days, dogs in Obedience tests were German Shepherds and Dobermans and although the SA Alsatian Club offered it’s training facilities to other breeds, it was only when there was space in its’ classes. Border Collies were only found on farms and not suburbs.
Dr. von Haebler (Miss), a breeder of Schipperkes, had successfully trained Rex von Polderland by herself. The doctor, Miss Liddicoat and Mr. Ian Badham, wanting to progress their dogs further in obedience, decided to start an obedience training club for owners of other dogs, in particular smaller breeds -This resulted in the formation of the Jolly Dog School in 1958, the first all breed school in Johannesburg and was first held in Joan Liddicoat’s back yard.
As ‘Jolly’ was the kennel name of Dr von Haebler’s breeding of schipperke dogs, it was resolved to name the club the Jolly Dog School (JDS). A constitution was drawn up and the club was started, with Ian Badham as chairman and Dr von Haebler as secretary and treasurer.
Schipperkes became the cornerstone of the club and were successfully trained. Ridicule from the members of the above clubs about the status of these willing and intelligent small dogs was formidable. Four, handled by various owners attained C-test status and Dr von Haebler’s Jolly Rex von Ponderland, became the first obedience Champion and CD Ex Schipperke in South Africa.
Current members of JDS may be interested to know that the badge of JDS represents Ian Badham’s black Labrador and Dr von Haebler’s schipperke.
In 1965, the JDS used a particularly stony and ant riddled, patch of Pirates ground in Greenside (more properly called the Lionel Phillips Park) as its training ground. There were but two classes, the ‘baby’ classes run by Clare Goodlad and the senior class by Dr von Haebler. The obedience community at that time was small, and there was no doubting the esteem Dr von Haebbler enjoyed in that company.
In the late 60‘s Toni Baumann suffered a collapse in health, which lead to her retiring as chairman. Another towering figure in the dog-training world, Norman Phillips accepted the Club’s invitation to become President. Ed Bradley became Chairman. Looking for a better training venue, Ed found a little used municipal park in Risidale. Successful negotiations with the Municipality led to the JDS moving its training venue.
Norman Phillips at that time lived in Rustenburg, but as a leading member in the obedience and working trials community, he was a regular attendee at dog shows on the Witwatersrand and other venues in South Africa, and he spread the name of the JDS far and wide. He had almost single handedly revived the SA dog world’s interest in working trials and his border collie Bless, virtually ran out of fields to conquer and win.
Today, the JDS runs from the Technisa, Hugenot Road,Bordeaux, Randburg and is one of the few all breed dog obedience schools left. We are KUSA registered and hold a Championship Show every two years offering Obedience, Agility, Jumping, Carting, CD and Canine Good Citizen.