History of the Canine Training Association

The Canine Training Association was formed in 1950 by Cal Pierson and his wife "Skip". Cal, with considerable experience as a dog trainer, wanted an organization that was dedicated to dog training without frequent changes in officers and techniques through annual elections. Cal ran CTA, with some help and guidance from senior members and instructors. There was a board of directors which met on rare occasions, but Cal ran CTA. It grew and spread. There were classes in several places in Prince Georges County, Bethesda, Rockville, Arlington and Alexandria.


The club covered too much territory to be granted trial-giving privileges by the American Kennel Club. So, Cal formed the Hyattsville Dog Training Club, with a more local territory. Cal lived in Hyattsville. That's where the first CTA classes and the first Hyattsville trials were held. Initially, that club had the same membership as CTA. The Canine Training Association grew to the point that, in 1962, it was amicably divided into four clubs: CTA in Prince Georges County, the Northern Virginia Dog Training Association (still active, with the Mount Vernon Dog Training Club as its show-giving relative), a Bethesda club and a Rockville club. The latter two have been inactive for years.


When Cal died in 1965, Harry Trifon, who had worked with Cal, took over the management of CTA. Harry had a crippling stroke in 1981. At a meeting of instructors in 1982, Ken Nagler was elected President and Training Director, and a board of directors was formed to guide the Association.
That arrangement still exists, with, naturally, changes in Board membership from time to time.


Besides the early days in Magruder Park in Hyattsville, CTA has had classes in quite a few places since the split: the Greenbelt Armory, a warehouse in Bladensburg, the University Christian Church in Hyattsville, and several other sites for shorter periods. Currently we have our main quarters in Beltsville and a (smaller) building in Davidsonville, in Anne Arundel County.