In 1965, NYOC members formed a Demonstration Team to offer performances free-of-charge to the public to showcase the close bond that exists between a well-trained dog and his owner. The performances were also designed to educate adults and children.
Since 1965, the NYOC Demonstration Team has performed for the public over 500 times and continues to do so at public locations such as hospitals, retirement homes, children’s clubs and libraries. Performances are generally given once a month and last 45-60 minutes. They include obedience routines set to music (a little bit like the Mounties’ Musical Ride) as well as tricks and either agility exercises or a game or two. The performances are always followed by a lot of tail wagging and visiting between the dogs and the audience.
To see the joy on the faces of our audiences, be sure to visit our Photo Gallery.
As part of our demonstration, we often have Anne dancing with her dog Yukon. Here is a video of just a part of their dance. Book a show and see Anne, Yukon and their friends performing tricks and showing off their skills.
New members are always welcome. To find out how to join, please visit Join the Team.
Comments from our Audience
“I would just like to thank you for coming into our facility on Wednesday March 25th,2015. Our seniors had an amazing time, In fact the seniors are still talking about it. We are very grateful you took the time to come in to see us. We would love to have you back again soon. Thank you so much for your time and we look forward to seeing you again.” — Marie Wallis
“I have thought a number of times about your dog show. It was really something special. The dogs were so good, especially when their owners walked out of the room and reappeared minutes later. Not one of the dogs moved! But even better was the reaction of the audience – the ladies around me were totally absorbed and were choosing their favourite dogs when they came round for pats. The show was a great gift for them. Thank you so much.” — Joan
“On behalf of our residents we want to thank you all so much for the wonderful performance with the dogs yesterday. It really put a smile in all the residents faces. You were all so nice and fun. The dogs are also so beautiful and well taken care of. It really was a positive and an enjoyable experience.” — Joseline
“Thank you for coming to put on a fantastic show at Canterbury Place for our residents.We had a great time with you.”— Thanks, Alana.
And this is what the Yee Hong Centre for Geriatric Care had to say about us!
Comments from our Demonstration Team (fondly called ‘The Drill Team’)
“From all the years that I was on the drill team, with our revered leader, Anne Thompson, I can remember how happy people were to see the dogs, and touch them after the drill performance. Often they would ask questions about the dogs, or tell us about dogs they used to have. At one particular drill at St. Mike’s Hospital, a lady kept yelling out “doggie, come here doggie” while we did our drill. This was distracting to us and the dogs. At the end of our performance, one of the nurses said this was the first time the woman had spoken since she came into the hospital several months prior. It is times like these when we really can see the magic our canines can work. I am not on the drill team any more but I still appreciate the time and travel the members put in so that others can enjoy the dogs.” —Irene
“When I joined the drill team with Chico I felt very proud to be part of this really nice and disciplined group of human dog partners working together to benefit the dogs and also to bring joy to disadvantaged elderly. It was Anne Thompson who allowed Chico and me to join and I have been forever grateful to her for that.” —Kathy
“I enjoy working with my dog and the drill team allows me to do something unique for the community. Our visits are a lot of fun for the dogs and the audience. It gives me a warm fuzzy happy feeling inside. Over the years, the team has given much pleasure and our dogs have demonstrated all they can do and sometimes more than was expected. And we have been amply rewarded for our efforts.” — Diana
“Believe it or not, the drill team is endorphin producing! It is fun and socializing for the dogs because it enhances their training and their relationship with strangers. For the human members it gives the pleasure of making other people happy and the fun of working with our dogs and other members of the club. For the audiences, who are mostly elderly or incapacitated to some degree, and have no contact with their former animal companions, their pleasure at being able to meet and greet our dogs, brings tears to one’s eyes. The Drill Team’s function goes well beyond a little bit of entertainment.” — Alice
“I enjoy being a member of the drill team because it is something my dog and I can do together as a team. It also gives me pleasure to see how much the audiences enjoy the show and to chat with people who think our dogs are as wonderful as we think they are!!! I also like the way the drill team allows our club, NYOC, to give to the community.” — Ann P
“Our dogs are family pets that have been trained with love, laughter, and endless patience and hours and hours of frustration. There have been different styles of demonstrations at various locals but I don’t think that any drill team member would change any of it.” NYOC archives
“I started on the drill team in 1980, and stayed on for 12 -15 years. What I enjoyed the most was to see the seniors’ eyes light up when they saw the NYOC drill team walk in. When we did the tricks of jumping, retrieving and scent articles, it was a thrill to hear them say how amazed they were to see dogs do all these tricks.” —Marie
“You might wonder why we go out once a week for a 9:15 p.m. drill team practice instead of enjoying a relaxing evening of TV while listening to a contented dog snoring. And sometimes it’s hard to get to a performance on time because of the traffic or the weather. Well, I have been doing this for the past 25 years and this is why:
- for the camaraderie of the Drill Team members: they’re very nice people; we all love our dogs and enjoy seeing people’s lives get a little bit brighter during our performance especially when they socialize with our dogs.
- the feeling that I get watching my dog hamming it up with the audience laughing and applauding.
- watching my Higgins wagging his tail from beginning to end and trying to kiss everyone in the audience. Thanks mostly to being part of NYOC and the Drill Team, Higgins is very social. I can take him everywhere and he is very well behaved.
- it is pure volunteerism for both me and my dog.” — Janice
“By far the most rewarding shows were at St. Michael’s Hospital Palliative Ward. It was very emotional for the handlers. The dogs, however, loved the attention the patients and their families gave them. Helping people to forget their illnesses for a short time by giving them an evening of joy made the evening worthwhile. The nurses and volunteers treated us to wonderful refreshments for both handlers and dogs. It was a feel sad, feel good evening.” —NYOC archives
“When I first took my dog, Dinah, to NYOC she was hyper, jumpy, extremely playful and would try to run away if you were trying to get her. After a few weeks in Anne’s beginner class, Dinah’s behaviour started to change. By the end of all of the classes, Dinah was asked to join the Demonstration Team. What the Demonstration Team is doing puts smiles and joy into people’s lives. Without the North York Obedience Club there would be fewer smiles and joy going around. “— Katie
“There are evenings in the long cold winter when I really have to push myself to drive to Demonstration Team practices but I have never yet come back home wishing I hadn’t gone. I always enjoy being with people who love what they are doing and who see the funny side of most situations. NYOC has lots of people like that and I am honoured to consider them my friends.” — Sharon