Lifestyle

Jack Russell Cody is a prize-winner

By Ilias Bakalla

Shepparton's Melissa Moore describes her Jack Russell Cody as "13 years old but with the energy of a five-year-old".

Melissa found Cody in the classified ads of the Shepparton News back in 2006.

“I got her from a private seller who had a one-off litter of puppies,” she said.

Melissa, who also has two other Jack Russells (Banjo and Ella) said they were a very stubborn breed to train.

“But they're also very energetic and highly motivated by food, because they are hunting dogs,” she said.

Melissa Moore and Cody in the front yard of their Shepparton home.

She said she recently retired Cody from her illustrious obedience-training career on a high, after she won the Macedon Ranges Rally'o title last October.

“Rally'o is a competition where your instructions are on signs, rather than having a judge say it out loud,” Melissa said.

“You have to get your dog to complete the moves, and some of them are really complex.

“But Cody is getting old and getting arthritis.”

Even still, Cody remains active and Melissa said her favourite toy was her basketball.

“She will throw the basketball up in the air and chase it herself,” she said.

Melissa got into obedience training in the early 2000s with her first Jack Russell, Tahlia (now deceased), after she saw the activity on a television show.

"It looked like a fun and social activity so I called around all the vets to find an obedience school in Shepparton,” she said.

“I train Cody once a week at the Shepparton and District Obedience Dog Club.

“Then I will train her for about 10 minutes a day for the rest of the week. Any more than 10 minutes and she gets bored.”

Cody and her accolades.

Melissa said the obedience club had changed training methods from negative reinforcement to positive reinforcement.

“Cody was trained with verbal cues and was awarded with affection when completing a task,” she said.

“But Banjo and Ella are trained with treats.”

“Over the years I've learnt that the more time and energy you put into your dog the more they'll give back to you.”