Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Canine Good Citizen (CGC) Program

One more sleep and two exciting things will be happening:

  • 2009 is just around the corner
  • Elmo will be going on a trial adoption with a very loving and mature family. (A mom, dad, and 8 year old son)

One of my regrets about fostering Elmo is that I haven't given Duke the attention that he deserves. He's sort of reached a plateau in his training and I'm going to use the new year and Elmo's adoption as a catalyst for reinvigorating my efforts.

My aspiration and goal is to have Duke be able to (or be ready to) earn his Canine Good Citizen certification. (CGC)

What is the CGC? (taken from Wikipedia):

The Canine Good Citizen (CGC) program, established in 1989, is an American Kennel Club program to promote responsible dog ownership and to encourage the training of well-mannered dogs. A dog and handler team must take a short behavioral evaluation of less than half an hour; dogs who pass the evaluation earn the Canine Good Citizen certificate, which many people represent after the dog's name, abbreviating it as CGC; for example, "Fido, CGC".

There are ten objectives that a CGC must pass. I am happy to say Duke could pass 9 of the 10 tomorrow if he had to take the test:

  • Accepting a friendly stranger.
  • Sitting politely for petting.
  • Allowing basic grooming procedures.
  • Walking on a loose lead.
  • Walking through a crowd.
  • Sitting and lying down on command and staying in place.
  • Coming when called.
  • Reacting appropriately to another dog.
  • Reacting appropriately to distractions.
  • Calmly enduring supervised separation from the owner.
Unfortunately, he doesn't react appropriately to another dog. More specifically, the CGC requires Duke to be able to approach another handler and dog on leash, sit, and politely wait while I engage in conversation with the other handler, then depart.

In 2008, Hyedie and I worked diligently on making Duke practice avoidance around other dogs - that is, his automatic response to seeing a dog while on leash is to look at his handler and move away from the other dog. In 2009, I would like Duke to have the ability to greet another dog, touch him, and move away, all while on leash.

I've ordered a set of reference materials and training guides which I will review and keep everyone up to date on our progress over the next year!

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