Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Canine Good Citizen, me?

A lot of people have suggested that I try for the Canine Good Citizen test, so Mum was looking around the Internet to see if this is something that I could, or would be interested in doing. Here are what we found as the requirements:

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?



  1. maybe i can help you too feel much better for urself..

    i will never pass the CGC test either... i might juz snap off the stranger's finger if they ever try to touch me..

    n then, the judge will banned "pacco" from taking the test in future...wat a bummer..

  2. Hi Johann,

    Stetson took the Canine Good Citizen test back in February and amazingly he passed. There were several items we were really worried about (Stetson has that tendency to be overly friendly as well) including the approach of a friendly stranger and approach of a friendly dog.

    We wrote a few articles about our experience...here's a link:

    Linus is much calmer then Stetson, but he'd never be able to pass the reaction to distraction. Linus is ultra sensitive to noises and falling objects.

    If you ever decide to take the Canine Good Citizen Test then let us know and maybe we can give you some pointers.

    Stetson, Linus, and Colby

  3. Oh johann you could pass! My boy Levi passed, i thought he would whine the whole time during the separation but he was good! And Chase passed, even though he jumped on the tester for the sit and greet... LOL she gave us a second chance. :)

    If you can go maybe try it out, I bet you will be surprised at how easy it is. ;)

  4. I took Remington and Jake (my first two agility dogs) for a CGC test at a big dog event, figuring that it would be a good experience and would identify what I needed to work on, which I figured was a lot (they both like jumping on people, Rem was a little pissy around other large dogs, etc.). To my great surprise, they both passed. So you might be surprised, too, if you try it. I haven't tried Tika because of the yanking on the leash thing, but maybe if it's a big dog event and there are lots of other dogs around so she's used to it and I get her good and tired out first... who knows!


  5. Hmmmm....all those good comments are starting to encourage me! Maybe I could do this?

    Sure would be nice to have a certificate telling I'm a good citizen, when most of the time, I'm not, BOL!

    Gracie would pass with flying colors, silly girl would probably play bow all the people and other dogs. That's how she wins over everyone!

  6. Oh, Johann you silly sheltie, you can do it - I did it. I was a little shy (actually, I still am)of new people. But my evaluator understood that is part of what makes me a sheltie, and that I am supposed to be like that! I got my certificate, and TDI too! Once I get in the nursing homes, and get to the patients beds I'm fine. You just have to practice the stuff a little bit. Once you learn to get a grip on yourself its easy. Take the classes, and then take the test at the same place. It eases our sheltie nerves to do it that way! And then you get a really cool ID tag to wear! and a certificate!

  7. It would hae been better to get the actual requirements from the AKC web site instead of taking the text from another web site.

  8. Hannah - You will see that the link does go to the AKC website for the CGC; and If I'm remember this correctly from over a year ago, when I was looking for the descriptions of the test items I was not able to find them on the AKC website and that's why the other information had to be garners from another site.


Thanks for barking in!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...