Overview of the Canine Good Citizen Test
Your dog must appear for the test well groomed. The collar may not be a pinch collar, electric collar, or similar correction collar. You will provide the examiner with a brush to help demonstrate your dog's tolerance for being handled by a stranger. The dog must allow the examiner to brush it and to examine its body. The test also includes the dog sitting calmly while a stranger pets it.Yep, I could do the brush part, love to be brushed; and I would do well in the grooming and collar area. But sitting calmly for a stranger? Maybe. But my favorite way to greet a stranger is to jump all over them. Hmmmm...well, let's see what else is required.
Your dog must be comfortable with the approach of a friendly stranger. The examiner will approach you and shake hands. Your dog should accept the approach calmly, without shyness or aggression. A friendly dog can fail this by approaching with too much enthusiasm. A polite dog waits for permission before touching a stranger.Oh, well, this friendly dog can fail this by approaching with too much enthusiasm part, well, they would certainly ding me on that!
Your dog must be able to walk without pulling on its leash. A formal heel is not required. Your dog must be able to walk through a crowd of people. Often the people will be doing all the things people do - opening umbrellas, walking on crutches, swinging a sweater, crossing suddenly in front of the dog. Your dog should not pull at the leash, jump at the people, or show either fear or aggression.Walk without pulling on a leash, nope, won't happen. And that walking through a crowd of people, well that would just make me want to go say hi to all of them.
The examiner will ask you to have the dog sit and lie down on command. You will be asked to tell the dog to stay, then to step away from the dog, about twenty-five feet or so and call the dog. The dog should stay until called, and come when called. Unlike formal obedience, repeating a command is allowed.Now I could do this! I have an amazing stay and come! Hmmm...maybe there is hope for me?
An ability to regain self-control after excitement is an important part of the test. The examiner will have you play with the dog briefly then calm it. The dog should calm quickly.If Mum got me all excited, then asked me to calm down, I could do that. But calm quickly, hmmmm...questionable. Maybe if she put me in a sit stay.
Your dog must allow the approach of person with a strange dog. Typically, the other person will approach with a leashed dog and shake your hand. Showing aggression, fearfulness, or even excessive friendliness is grounds for failure.Approach of a strange dog...that would most certainly kick in my excessive friendliness gear. I just wanna play!
Your dog must remain calm if you leave it briefly. You will secure the dog to some object as directed by the examiner, and go out of sight of the dog. The dog may move around but it must not whine, bark, pull or otherwise show distress. An important point to note is that the dog is not left alone but is being left under the indirect supervision of a stranger. You should try to interact with the examiner so the dog is aware that you are not abandoning it, but the examiner will not correct or otherwise soothe the dog.Leave my Mum for three minutes and not whine? And not pull? Guess if she put me in a stay, I wouldn't pull, but the whining that could possibly get me, fur sure.
So there's the rub...no Canine Good Citizen for me maybe until I'm 10 or 11 or so and have calmed down some in my aging years. That's why we do agility. It's something that fits me, works for my temperament, and is something I just love. Obedient, yes, I'm obedient, but I like to be wild and crazy, and I love jumping up on folks when I greet them. Of course all those agility folks love for me to jump all over them anyway, it's part of the fun!
I know some of my blogging buds would pass this in a minute! Please, please tell me I'm not the only one that may not pass this thing! There are other pups out there like me, right?