What is the AKC’s Canine Good Citizen (CGC) and why should I get my dog tested?

Posted by: LaVonne Wilson | February 7, 2017 | Posted in Ask the Trainer, Dog Behavior, Dog Events, Dog Training

Going through a training class that focuses on (and tests for) a CGC certification is not only a great way to bond with your dog but will also give them a solid obedience education.

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What is the CGC certification?
The Canine Good Citizen is a program started by the American Kennel Club (AKC) back in 1989 to reward dogs who possess good manners at home as well as in the community.
A class is taken focusing on specific criteria and then your dog is tested afterwards. Here’s what you’ll learn:
TEST 1: ACCEPTING A FRIENDLY STRANGER
This test demonstrates that the dog will allow a friendly stranger to approach it and speak to the handler in a natural, everyday situation. The evaluator walks up to the dog and handler and greets the handler in a friendly manner, ignoring the dog. The evaluator and handler shake hands and exchange pleasantries. The dog must show no sign of resentment or shyness.

TEST 2: SITTING POLITELY FOR PETTING
This test demonstrates that the dog will allow a friendly stranger to touch it while it is out with its handler. With the dog sitting at the handler’s side, to begin the exercise, the evaluator pets the dog on the head and body. The handler may talk to his or her dog throughout the exercise. The dog may stand in place as it is petted. The dog must not show shyness or resentment.

TEST 3: APPEARANCE AND GROOMING
This practical test demonstrates that the dog will welcome being groomed and examined and will permit someone, such as a veterinarian, groomer or friend of the owner, to do so. It also demonstrates the owner’s care, concern and sense of responsibility. The evaluator inspects the dog to determine if it is clean and groomed. The dog must appear to be in healthy condition (i.e., proper weight, clean, healthy and alert). The handler should supply the comb or brush commonly used on the dog. The evaluator then softly combs or brushes the dog, and in a natural manner, lightly examines the ears and gently picks up each front foot. It is not necessary for the dog to hold a specific position during the examination, and the handler may talk to the dog, praise it and give encouragement throughout.

TEST 4: OUT FOR A WALK (WALKING ON A LOOSE LEAD)
This test demonstrates that the handler is in control of the dog. The dog may be on either side of the handler. The dog’s position should leave no doubt that the dog is attentive to the handler and is responding to the handler’s movements and changes of direction. The dog need not be perfectly aligned with the handler and need not sit when the handler stops. The evaluator may use a pre-plotted course or may direct the handler/dog team by issuing instructions or commands. In either case, there should be a right turn, left turn, and an about turn with at least one stop in between and another at the end. The handler may talk to the dog along the way, praise the dog, or give commands in a normal tone of voice. The handler may sit the dog at the halts if desired.

TEST 5: WALKING THROUGH A CROWD
This test demonstrates that the dog can move about politely in pedestrian traffic and is under control in public places. The dog and handler walk around and pass close to several people (at least three). The dog may show some interest in the strangers but should continue to walk with the handler, without evidence of over-exuberance, shyness or resentment. The handler may talk to the dog and encourage or praise the dog throughout the test. The dog should not jump on people in the crowd or strain on the leash.

TEST 6: SIT AND DOWN ON COMMAND AND STAYING IN PLACE
This test demonstrates that the dog has training, will respond to the handler’s commands to sit and down and will remain in the place commanded by the handler (sit or down position, whichever the handler prefers). The dog must do sit AND down on command, then the owner chooses the position for leaving the dog in the stay. Prior to this test, the dog’s leash is replaced with a line 20 feet long. The handler may take a reasonable amount of time and use more than one command to get the dog to sit and then down. The evaluator must determine if the dog has responded to the handler’s commands. The handler may not force the dog into position but may touch the dog to offer gentle guidance. When instructed by the evaluator, the handler tells the dog to stay and walks forward the length of the line, turns and returns to the dog at a natural pace. The dog must remain in the place in which it was left (it may change position) until the evaluator instructs the handler to release the dog. The dog may be released from the front or the side.

TEST 7: COMING WHEN CALLED
This test demonstrates that the dog will come when called by the handler. The handler will walk 10 feet from the dog, turn to face the dog, and call the dog. The handler may use encouragement to get the dog to come. Handlers may choose to tell dogs to “stay” or “wait” or they may simply walk away, giving no instructions to the dog.

TEST 8: REACTION TO ANOTHER DOG
This test demonstrates that the dog can behave politely around other dogs. Two handlers and their dogs approach each other from a distance of about 20 feet, stop, shake hands and exchange pleasantries, and continue on for about 10 feet. The dogs should show no more than casual interest in each other. Neither dog should go to the other dog or its handler.

TEST 9: REACTION TO DISTRACTION
This test demonstrates that the dog is confident at all times when faced with common distracting situations. The evaluator will select and present two distractions. Examples of distractions include dropping a chair, rolling a crate dolly past the dog, having a jogger run in front of the dog, or dropping a crutch or cane. The dog may express natural interest and curiosity and/or may appear slightly startled but should not panic, try to run away, show aggressiveness, or bark. The handler may talk to the dog and encourage or praise it throughout the exercise.

TEST 10: SUPERVISED SEPARATION
This test demonstrates that a dog can be left with a trusted person, if necessary, and will maintain training and good manners. Evaluators are encouraged to say something like, “Would you like me to watch your dog?” and then take hold of the dog’s leash. The owner will go out of sight for three minutes. The dog does not have to stay in position but should not continually bark, whine, or pace unnecessarily, or show anything stronger than mild agitation or nervousness. Evaluators may talk to the dog but should not engage in excessive talking, petting, or management attempts (e.g, “there, there, it’s alright”).
(taken directly from the AKC’s website http://www.akc.org/dog-owners/training/canine-good-citizen/training-testing/ )
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What that all means?
Your dog will be a joy to live with! They’ll have better manners around people and other dogs and respond better around the house to your commands. Plus you’ll be providing training that stimulates your dog’s intelligence and makes their quality of life, as well as yours, much better!

What to do after the class and certification?
Many dog owners choose CGC training as the first step in training their dogs. Some go on to work as service dogs while others progress to activities such as agility.
For additional information check out PetMD http://www.petmd.com/dog/training/evr_dg_canine_citizen
Sign up for the next CGC class at Central Bark http://central-bark.com/site/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/CB-Spring-2017.pdf

How Training Can Create a Better-Behaved Dog

Posted by: Pack Leader | November 20, 2016 | Posted in Ask the Trainer, Dog Behavior, Dog Training

They say that dogs are man’s best friend. But would you want a best friend who bit, barked, and misbehaved? A dog who isn’t trained isn’t going to make many friends, human or otherwise. For that reason, it’s extremely important to put forth the effort to teach your dog to behave correctly. Whether you choose to hire out for Seattle dog training or handle things yourself, here are a few tips and tricks to ensure that your dog cultivates some manners. (more…)

3 Easy Ways to Ease Your Dog’s Anxiety at Daycare

Posted by: Pack Leader | October 31, 2016 | Posted in Dog Behavior, Dog Boarding, Dog Daycare, Dog Health

 

If you have to start taking your dog to doggy daycare in Seattle–either on a daily basis or just for a few days while you go on a trip–you should avoid just dumping them and leaving. You need to prepare your dog for this new environment so they don’t experience extreme anxiety. Here are a few quick tips for doing just that. (more…)

Tips for Grooming Your Dog

Posted by: Pack Leader | October 29, 2016 | Posted in Dog Behavior, Dog Grooming, Dog Health

Doxie doggy in SeattleYour pooch is your best friend and a constant companion, but keeping Fido’s coat groomed and cleaned is a challenge for even the most experienced dog owner. This is one reason many a pet owner chooses to take his best friend to a professional groomer rather than attempting a DIY cut and clean. Here are a few things dog groomers wish their clients knew about dog grooming. (more…)

How to Choose the Best Dog Day Care Service

Posted by: Pack Leader | October 18, 2016 | Posted in Dog Behavior, Dog Boarding, Dog Daycare

Doggy Day CareDog day care is a life saver for many pet owners who don’t want to leave their pups alone all day long. It also provides dogs with important socialization and gives them an outlet for their boundless energy. Choosing the right dog day care in Seattle is a must in order to provide your dog with a safe place to meet new people and dogs. Here are some of the most important things to look for. (more…)

Reasons to Opt for Dog Boarding Services

Posted by: Pack Leader | October 15, 2016 | Posted in Dog Behavior, Dog Boarding, Dog Daycare

 

A couple of decades ago, boarding your dog meant confining Fido to a crate with minimal time spent outdoors and almost no one-on-one attention. It’s no wonder people were reluctant to leave their dogs when they went away. Times have changed, and dog boarding is no longer something to dread. In fact, doggie boarding in Seattle is something your four legged friend can look forward to. Here are reasons to opt for dog boarding services. (more…)

5 Ways to Get Your Dog Less Shy around Other Dogs

Posted by: Pack Leader | July 26, 2016 | Posted in Dog Behavior


Does your dog growl, hide behind you, or display other nervous reactions when other dogs approach? Does he whine or refuse to leave when you try to drop him off at day care? With most dogs, this is caused by a lack of socialization with other dogs. Luckily, it’s often possible for your dog to get over his fears with a little help from you. Here are 5 things you can try. (more…)

5 Things You Need to Know about Separation Anxiety

Posted by: Pack Leader | July 16, 2016 | Posted in Dog Behavior

Owner Dropping off Dog at KennelSeparation anxiety is a problem affecting many dogs who are bored, lonely, or afraid when their owners leave for any amount of time. Some dogs react by pacing, drooling, barking, or more destructive behaviors like chewing the furniture. Others may stop eating or try to escape the house. Learn more about this common issue so you can help your dog feel less stressed when you leave the house. (more…)

Senior Dogs Will Steal Your Heart & This Is Why…

Posted by: Pack Leader | November 4, 2015 | Posted in Dog Behavior

_MG_5731November is National Senior Pet Month! If you’re looking to add another family member, adding a senior dog is a great option. Dogs graduate into the “senior” age group after 7 years old so don’t think that just because they are senior that they don’t have any life left in them. Below are some reasons as to why senior dogs rock!

 

 

1.) Senior dogs are not like onions… meaning you’re unlikely to get surprises in their behavior. As dogs socially mature they undergo behavior changes which as a new dog owner, these can be exciting or unwelcomed changes. However, a senior dog has already gracefully matured into themselves so no worries about sudden personality changes.

 

 

2.) Despite the popular saying, you can indeed teach an old dog new tricks! Senior dogs generally have some basic obedience under their belt so there’s less work you have to do in order to get a well behaved dog.

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3.) Netflix & Chill? Senior dogs are down for some good napping and lounging. Unlike their younger counterparts they need less exercise and are very happy spending quality time with you around the house. (Less exercise does not mean no exercise though! Moderate exercise will keep them happy & healthy).

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4.) Save the shoes & carpet. Another benefit of senior dogs is they are already potty-trained and have gone through their chewing phase so your carpet and shoes are spared from the regular puppy potty accidents and puppy teething phase.5.) Save money on the puppysitter. Senior dogs don’t need 24/7 supervising like puppies do. When you are adopting a senior dog you’re getting a mature dog that can be left alone for a whole day at work or if you want to go out for a couple hours on the weekend.

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Lastly, you will be saving a life. Senior dogs are not pet rejects and deserve a loving home just as much as the younger dogs in shelters but many times they are overlooked for the stereotype of being an “old dog”. Senior dogs don’t mean they are can’t still romp around and be a fantastic pet. Next time you’re looking to add a new family member consider getting a senior pet, they just might steal your heart.