June 12th 2012 10:11 pm
[ Leave A Comment | 1 person already has ]
Jack is an AKC Canine Good Citizen!
We started in a class of about fifteen, and a perhaps five of us actually made it to the test. However, there was another class testing alongside us, which brought a new challenge in the form of a dozen strange dogs. Two BC crosses both got along terribly with my dog - several times I had to break stares and body block, and once I needed to actually physically force my dog out of range. It wasn't a very encouraging start.
Test 1: Accepting a friendly stranger
Swimmingly! The woman evaluating this section was very easygoing, which calmed both of us down.
Test 2: Sitting politely for petting
Needed an extra cue for sit, but not bad.
Test 3: Appearance and grooming
No problems here. Jack loves brushing.
Test 4: Out for a walk (walking on a loose lead)
I wasn't pleased with this test. He did well enough to pass, but it was much less than I expected of him. I wish we could've had a warm-up ring!
Test 5: Walking through a crowd
Our very best test, in my less-than-humble opinion. He gave an excellent heel, tight and focused. The evaluator gave some truly uplifting praise and suggested we try rally.
Test 6: Sit and down on command and Staying in place
These are pretty simple. Jack downs very well(we even won a "quick draw down" contest during class) and short stays have never been an issue.
Test 7: Coming when called
He came running. So far so good...
Test 8: Reaction to another dog
Ouch! I was worried about this test, and I should've been, because even with practice it was troublesome. He ignored a cue to sit and got overexcited, but not so out of control as to fail the test. Definitely needs works to satisfy me.
Test 9: Reaction to distraction
Strollers and thunking phone books behind us. I didn't worry about this much, but the evaluator threw the phone book behind us and he nearly broke. Still, a pass.
Test 10: Supervised separation
Jack was a little more stressed than I'd like and the evaluator was a complete and total stranger, and not one with a very calming presence. I heard him get a little whiny, but it was a success overall.
And ta-da! Eight weeks of hard work, and Jack finally has his CGC! Now, when does rally class start?
April 14th 2012 1:51 pm
[ Leave A Comment ]
Week three of CGC class! We headed out to our local AKC-affiliated club at 8:30 this morning. On the way over, we stopped at the dog park, where Jack played very nicely with a Pug.
Jack was VERY distracted by one of the assistant trainer's Cavaliers. It took me several minutes to get him working for me again. Once we were in motion, though, things went great. His heeling was much improved today - the more verbal encouragement and praise he gets, the better he heels. We had a few unsuccessful left 360s, but it was okay. Jack was the demo dog for the class today. First the instructor tried to handle him (to demo attentive heeling) but she has a somewhat unusual gait, and Jack doesn't know her very well, so he wouldn't work for her. No big loss - with me handling, he demoed stand-stay and sit and walk around the dog today.
Stand stays are not the greatest, so that and heeling will be the major focus of this week's practice. Also on the agenda are restrained recalls. Jack has a pretty good recall, but practice doesn't hurt.
Heeling! We are continuing to practice heeling just to get used to it, with great rewards, as I don't want to burn him out on it. My instructor always has us do left turns/circles/spirals first, since they're supposed to be easier, but I've found them to be much harder. Practice makes perfect, though, and the more time he spends heeling the easier it will be.
He almost started another disastrous stare-off with a Pit today, but with quick thinking and body blocking I got him back to work. Hopping on a platform and being groomed is his favorite part of class, I suspect, so no trouble with the grooming test! Our first "official" supervised separation went great today - some concern, but none of the whining or barking that I expected.
After class, we drove around the lake checking out boat landings, and had to give a pair of joggers a ride to the hospital. Jack ignored them completely. Granted, they were possibly the most nonthreatening, touristy yuppies ever, but I was proud of him nonetheless. Last time we picked up someone in distress, it was a very tall, athletic fellow and Jack got pretty growly at his equally tall and athletic companions. I don't consider him growling at strange men in the dark a negative trait, but it's nice to know that he's got some sense of who is and who is not a shady character and I won't need to start crating him/stop letting strangers in the car.
we went downtown, to State Street. This is a busy, busy city street, full of pedestrians, street musicians, vespas, bikes, skateboarders and more, with shops everywhere. Jack did GREAT in the street. He didn't approach anyone without permission, but he was happy to accept water from a nice man when allowed to. We had lunch on the patio of an East African restaurant so the dog could be out with us. He begged a little (hot chicken at eye level? who could blame him?) but as soon as it was clear we weren't sharing, he laid quietly under the table for the rest of the meal.
It was a long, long day for a dog who leads a quiet suburban life. I haven't heard a peep out of him for hours and I probably won't for several more.
December 11th 2011 12:47 pm
[ Leave A Comment ]
This was a busy weekend for Jack. On Friday, a visit to Grandma in the nursing home. In the past, Jack has shown fear towards wheelchairs, so I mostly keep him close and confined while visiting, but much to my surprise he quickly befriended three dog-loving men, two of them wheelchair users. He was very polite and behaved well for the visit.
Saturday we visited the pet store. Jack was pretty riled up by everything, but he was kept under control without much effort. I very nearly bought him a nice harness, but alas, shortage of funds led to us leaving with only cat food.
Sunday was absolutely beautiful. It hasn't snowed lately and it was unseasonably warm and sunny today, so I took him walking on DNR land. On the way back from hike that involved unauthorized ice skating and chasing bunnies, we walked right into a man and his two Golden Retrievers, Rocky and Lily. They said hello to me, and all three dogs promptly tore off in the direction of the cars in a flurry of fluffy tails and Golden smiles. I admit that I'm pretty proud that I'm the owner of the well-behaved dog with the impeccable recall, not the one screaming commands to no avail. Jack has grown up a lot!