Tag Archives: canine good citizen

CGC for Winn!

Winn and I did it! She got her CGC!

CGC stands for Canine Good Citizen. She and I met with a CGC evaluator and we had to pass several requirements without the aid of treats.

This was our second attempt, the first time, well that didn’t go so well.

Winn and I enrolled in puppy school when she was about 12 weeks old.  She proved to be a quick learner.  She really loves treats and rewards, making her very responsive when learning new commands.  After we completed the course and she passed her AKC S.T.A.R. puppy test, we moved on to basic obedience classes.   We quickly progressed up through the levels and after about 8 weeks, found ourselves prepping for the CGC test.

We took  several practice tests, each time she did really well.  We were so ready for this test and I had no worries about passing!

That day, when we walked in, I was so confident of success but Winn had a different idea. There was so much distraction, and I wasn’t allowed to regain her attention with a treat.  Once she realized there were no treats, she completely checked out and was far more interested in watching and meeting all of the dogs that were being escorted in and out of day care. Mid-way through, after failing 3 of the first 5 tasks, I grabbed my treat bag and we continued on, using it as another training opportunity.

Did we over train? Did I push too hard too fast? Did I expect too much? I decided to let it go for a while. We enrolled in a rally class which allowed us to continue to bond as a team while we practiced and learned more obedience tricks.  We had fun together and she continued to impress me with her willingness to learn.  We entered a couple of rally trials and did really well, even getting her AKC Rally Novice title!IMG_4419Then, we went back to training and worked a little more.  This time, taking it more slowly, mixing in our rally class and keeping a sense of humor.  After 7 weeks, I scheduled another test.  Two days before our test she went into heat!  I checked with our trainer and she could test as long as she wore “feminine protection”.  I knew this might be distracting for her but I decided to go.  I figured  if we didn’t pass, we still had one more week on our training package, we could review and try again.  If we still didn’t get it, I’d just put it aside for while.

I left Winn in the car while I filled out the paperwork for the test.  I didn’t want to bring her in until our evaluator was ready for us. We were quickly whisked into the private training room, walking by the main training ring that was filled with a beginner obedience class.  Instantly there was a chorus of barking and howling dogs.  I caught the eye of the trainer in charge of that class and she had a look of surprise about what had just happened.  As the door was closed behind us, I burst out laughing.  It really is a thing, a girl in heat will drive the boys crazy!IMG_5321I was a little nervous but Winn was calm, cool and collected.  One by one, she performed each task perfectly.  I went in knowing we might fail, but she proved me wrong and made me so proud.

These are the some of the components of the CGC test (these pictures and videos were from our last class before we scheduled the test for the first time, about 4 months ago):

  •  Meet and greet a stranger: she has to sit and stay by my side while I meet someone and then do it again and let them pet her and touch her ears, mouth and feet.  This was generally pretty easy but a couple of times when she was tired she barked at the stranger.  She is still a puppy, even if she is a big one, so we kept working on it to make her more comfortable. After lots and lots of practice with strangers, we are both finally confident about this task.IMG_3662
  • One of the most challenging steps was approaching another dog and owner, sitting quietly while we talked and then walking away without lunging or approaching the other dog.  This was the hardest aspect of the test for Maisie, Winn did pretty well in practice but often times she tries to kiss the other dog. She passed this perfectly, meeting a dog we had never met before.  I was so proud.
  • Winn had to sit and stay (this can also be done with a down if that is easier for the dog) while I walked away and remain sitting while I walked back towards her and returned to her side.  I walked away again and then called her, she should come quickly, then she must stop and sit in front of me without mowing me down and finish with a sit on my left side.
  • One of the most important aspects is loose leash walking. With a dog of Winn’s size and strength, leash manners are a must.  We work together on and off leash, and she is such a good walker, in training sessions and around the neighborhood. For the test, we had to follow commands called out by the evaluator and also had to walk with a loose leash through a crowd.IMG_3671IMG_3674
  • The final component is supervised separation.  I needed to leave her and be out of sight for 3 minutes.  She can’t panic, bark, whine or pull away.  She had no problem with this and waited patiently for me to return.

IMG_3999So here we are with our CGC ribbon, another wonderful accomplishment for this amazing girl!IMG_5332

Winn’s a Star!

Last night Winn and I completed her puppy training class. Of course she passed her test with flying colors and has attained her AKC S.T.AR puppy certificate. (I will send in her paperwork and get an official certificate from AKC with her full name and some bling she can wear when she’s feeling fancy.)IMG_2876.jpg

S.T.A.R. stands for socialization, training, activity and responsibility and is taught by a certified CGC (Canine Good Citizen) trainer.  It is basically CGC pre-school, and on Wednesday we will start new classes to continue training with that goal in mind.IMG_2868

Maisie passed her CGC test a couple of weeks ago.  It took longer than I anticipated because I was out-of-town for most of February and all of April. My absence took a toll on Maisie, and we had to work together slowly to rebuild her confidence.  We started training in December with the hope that she would be CGC and Therapy Dog certified before Winn joined the family.  For now, I need to focus on Winn and then Maisie and I will decide if Therapy Dog seems like a good fit for us as a team.  We still sneak away together when we can and she loves our walks along the lake. She is so well-behaved when we are out and about, which is really the most important thing.281FA15F-6CC5-43FE-9683-C4C66A27AD1DSo cheers to Winn, let the advanced training begin!

Annie broke the hook…

Annie’s on a diet and Annie doesn’t like being on a diet.  I don’t blame her, I don’t like it either but we have both gained weight over the past several months so we are watching what we eat.

Maisie and I have been doing a lot of training lately, we are working on her Canine Good Citizen title and then hope to move on to Therapy Dog certification.  Yesterday before class I took Maisie out for a long walk to review some of the things we’ve been working on and to burn off some energy because she gets so excited when she sees the other dogs in class.  Distraction is her biggest obstacle to passing her test.

Because of this, I have treats tucked into the pockets of my coats, sweatshirts or pants.  When I get home, Annie will shove her nose right into wherever I have those treats.  She knows Maisie and I have been doing treat things without her.  Of course I will ask her to sit or lie down and she will get a treat, but it’s never enough, she always wants more.  I understand, I always want more yummy things too.

Well, yesterday I was rushing around.  Maisie and I went for a walk and I was taking pictures for a photo challenge and because of this we got home later than I planned.  We were both hot and muddy so I quickly rinsed Maisie off and then hopped in the shower.  We left for class 20 minutes later.  It was so warm out I discarded my coat, shoved treats in my sweatshirt pocket and took off.  When we got home, Chris and I were late for an outing with his mom and we rushed off again.  Yep, you guessed it, I forgot about the treats in my coat pocket and left my coat hanging on a hook in the narrow hallway that Annie used to never go down but now does not fear.

Later that evening I noticed Annie snuffling around in her crate.  Chris looked at me and said “what is Annie doing, and by the way, how did you break your hook?” Then, “Wait a minute, is that your coat?”.  Sure enough, there was my coat, rumpled up in her crate, buried under her blanket.  I stood up and attempted to remove it but Annie was standing on it with a look on her face that said “finders, keepers”.  We were both laughing as I struggled to get my coat out of there but I was finally rewarded with a slimy, wet mess of a coat.  The pockets were licked clean of any treat remnants.

Somehow she had pulled my coat down without ripping it by snapping the hook in half.  These are really sturdy hooks, they’ve been overloaded with coats and bags for years but in one afternoon Annie figured out how to break one.  Oh, to be a fly on the wall!

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Re-staging the scene, Annie won’t look at me, Maisie is incredulous and that burgundy wad in the crate is my coat.