CGC class #1 - The Book of Ramblings
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crysania4
crysania4
Crysania
Wed, Mar. 11th, 2009 08:17 am
CGC class #1

Dahlia and I had our first Canine Good Citizen class last night. We're going to the local SPCA for the class. Our instructor, a woman named Danielle, seems very positive and upbeat. I was a bit worried as I heard her talking about people walking out the door in front of their dogs in the class before, which is usually a big part of dominance-based theories, but she seemed to be very positive-based training oriented. She's been teaching classes for the SPCA for 7 years and is a certified CGC tester, so she'll be giving the test. Hopefully that will bode well!

The class has just three dogs -- a German Shepherd named Jackson who seems fairly well-behaved but possibly a little dog reactive/aggressive; a Great Dane named Ruby who actually has NOT ever had an obedience class and is a bit out of control (but is very shy and would not do well in the basic class, so she put her in ours because it was small); and Dahlia, who is...well, Dahlia.

I got a chance to see the 10 test items of the CGC in action last night (you can see what they are here). They demonstrated it with a test dog, a shepherd mix named Gordon. I THINK Dahlia can do all of this. She did very well last night. We worked on some basic sit/down/stay exercises, which are no problem for her. And we also did the first two test items (ignoring a stranger who approaches and sitting politely for petting). She did great -- didn't move a muscle on the first one and happily accepted the petting on the second. She didn't break the sit on the latter either. She just stuck her neck out to get petted.

The other thing we did was walking on a loose leash in a circle. Here she didn't quite get it at first. I think the fact that we weren't walking in a straight line threw her a bit. She eventually she got it and kept walking with me, but frankly, *I* didn't care for walking in a circle either. I couldn't keep an eye on the other dogs to keep pace with them AND keep an eye on Dahlia. Ah well. We don't have to do that in the test. But it was good practice nonetheless. We made the dogs sit and go down during the walk and she did both just fine. During the down/stay, Ruby came over and was sniffing her all over. Dahlia didn't move a muscle until Ruby stepped on her tail. LOL I was pretty impressed with her self control.

During the demonstration part, they dropped one of the crutches near to her and I got to see her reaction, which was a slight startling and then leaning forward in curiosity. She did pretty well with that, especially since she has issues with noise (the time the DVD player fell off the TV, she fled across the room and jumped up on the couch and cowered there for a bit -- it took her awhile to go anywhere near the other side of the room again).

Dahlia can do all of this. The only problem? We can't use treats during the test. If we could, I'd have no worries. But getting her to sit, down, and stay without a treat might be tough so I have to figure out SOME way to wean her from them. I'm thinking that if she just knows I do have them on me and will get one later on, she might work anyway. But we'll see!

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jeannekins
jeannekins
jeannekins
Wed, Mar. 11th, 2009 05:43 pm (UTC)

when you're working with her at home, instead of treating her every time she does something, do it every other time. and when she doesn't get a food treat, use lots of praise. most dogs are happy to make us happy. food is good, but they'll do it any way...if they get the right response.


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