Saturday, April 7, 2012

Graduation Day

Chou Chou has been taking an advanced obedience class at PetSmart for 6 weeks. This course had a goal: to obtain her AKC Canine Good Citizen certificate. Today was the exam, and it's her first birthday!

I want to keep reinforcing her training, and this course, with this trainer, was highly recommended to me by my friend. It's all about who the person is, not where the class is held. And Ben is good. 

Taking her to a pet store on a weekend is perfect for socialization and training with distractions: crowded with people and dogs and large shopping carts; cats in cages waiting for adoption; and low shelves full of toys and treats. Chou pulls me towards whatever she wants to check out, but she listens when I want to rein her in. 

Earning a CGC is the first step to other kinds of training, like Therapy or Service Dog certification.

To earn this distinction, a dog has to train with an AKC approved trainer and pass a 10 point test at the end of the classes. 
1.  Accepting a Friendly Stranger -- dog waits patiently while
          owner greets someone.
2.  Sitting Politely For Petting  -- no shyness or resentment.
3.  Appearance & Grooming  - allows inspection of ears, teeth, 
           and brushing.
4.  Out For a Walk -- right turn, left turn, about turn, stop.
5.  Walking Through a Crowd.
6.  Sit, Down, Stay Commands.
7.  Coming When Called. 
8.  Reaction to Another Dog - two handlers and dogs greet,
          move on.
9.  Reaction to Distractions -- e.g., loud object is dropped.
10. Supervised Separation -- Handler goes out of sight for 3
   minutes, and dog must tolerate without barking or whining.

A dog has to pass all 10. And she did!

Good work, Chou Chou! And Happy First Birthday!
("I get special treats for this!")

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