More blogs about pitbull pit bull dog travel southern california.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Canine Good Citizen

From the American Kennel Club

CGC is a certification program that is designed to reward dogs who have good manners at home and in the community.

Test 1: Accepting a Friendly Stranger

This test demonstrates that the dog will allow a friendly stranger to approach it and speak to the handler in a natural, everyday situation. The evaluator and handler shake hands and exchange pleasantries. The dog must show no sign of resentment or shyness and must not break position or try to go to the evaluator.

Test 2: Sitting Politely for Petting

This test demonstrates that the dog will allow a friendly stranger to touch it while it is out with its handler. While the dog is sitting at the handler's side, the evaluator pets the dog on head and body only, then circles the dog and handler, completing the test. The dog must not show shyness or resentment.

Test 3: Appearance and Grooming

This practical test demonstrates that the dog will welcome being groomed and examined and will permit a stranger, such as a veterinarian, groomer or friend of the owner, to do so. It also demonstrates the owner's care, concern and responsibility. The evaluator inspects the dog, then combs or brushes the dog and lightly examines the ears and each front foot.

Test 4: Out for a Walk (Walking on a loose leash)

This test demonstrates that the handler is in control of the dog. The dog may be on either side of the handler, whichever the handler prefers. There must be a left turn, a right turn and an about turn, with at least one stop in between and another at the end. The dog need not be perfectly aligned with the handler and need not sit when the handler stops.

Test 5: Walking Through a Crowd

This test demonstrates that the dog can move about politely in pedestrian traffic and is under control in public places. The dog and handler walk around and pass close to several people (at least three). The dog may show some interest in the strangers, without appearing over exuberant, shy or resentful. The handler may talk to the dog and encourage or praise the dog throughout the test. The dog should not be straining at the leash.

Test 6: Sit and Down on Command/Staying in Place

This test demonstrates that the dog has training, will respond to the handler's command to sit and down and will remain in place commanded by the handler (sit or down position, whichever the handler prefers). The handler may take a reasonable amount of time and use more than one command to make the dog sit and then down. When instructed by the evaluator, the handler tells the dog to stay and walks forward the length of a 20-foot line. The dog must remain in place, but may change positions.

Test 7: Coming When Called

This test demonstrates that the dog will come when called by the handler. The Handler will walk 10 feet from the dog, turn to face the dog, and will call the dog. The handler may use body language and encouragement to get the dog to come. handlers may choose to tell dogs to "stay" or "wait" or they may simply walk away, giving no instructions to the dog as the evaluator provides mild distractions (e.g. petting).

Test 8: Reaction to Another Dog

This test demonstrates that the dog can behave politely around other dogs. Two handlers and their dogs approach each other from a distance of about 10 yards, stop, shake hands and exchange pleasantries, and continue on for about 5 yards. The dogs should show no more than a casual interest in each other.

Test 9: Reactions to Distractions

This test demonstrates that the dog is confident at all times when faced with common distracting situations, such as the dropping of a large book or a jogger running in front of the dog. The dog may express a natural interest and curiosity and may appear slightly startled, but should not panic, try to run away, show aggressiveness or bark.
(To test this, a woman walked up to Honey who was lying down and abruptly opened an umbrella in her face. Honey literally did a back flip and came up with a very startled look on her face like "what was THAT?"- then she went over and sniffed it so she passed this with flying colors after everyone stopped laughing. I wish I had had it on tape...)

Test 10: Supervised Separation

This test demonstrates that a dog can be left alone, if necessary, and will maintain its training and good manners. Evaluators are encourage to say something like, "Would you like me to watch your dog?" and a person will hold the leash of the dog. The dog will be held for three minutes and does not have to stay in position, but should not continually bark, whine, howl, pace unnecessarily or show anything other than mild agitation or nervousness.

Honey - Canine Good Citizen/March 2007 :)

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Dog Anniversary?

Honey moved in two years ago. I don't know what to call that? An anniversary? I know people who don't like when owners use human terms when they talk about their pets. (If you call yourself the "mom" of your dog, or call your dog your "baby" or "child," etc.) But, our language doesn't have any specialized terms for the bond that people and animals do have. Maybe that's just the English language. Maybe there are some cultures that evolved with animals so integral to their lifestyle, they have many specialized words for them --- the way Alaskans are supposed to have many words for different kinds of "snow."

Honey was at a rescue kennel and they had just taken away all her pups because they were getting sick. The pups were three and 1/2 weeks old and, somehow, had gone through their vet check-ups without ever getting de-wormed (look into de-worming any pups from a street dog at two weeks - something I very sadly learned after the fact.)

Poor Honey was pacing her area, upset and confused to have her puppies suddenly disappear. She had been a very good mom - always letting them nurse (even though her hairless belly was completely scratched up by their claws and teeth), keeping them clean and cleaning up their sleeping area, and, well, just looking after them.

I had never planned on keeping Honey - I'd already found a very reputable rescuer who said she would place her - a minor miracle for a pitbull. (The pups were to be placed by the rescue kennel and the rescuer - they said puppies were easier to place but they needed to make sure they would be going to a good family environment.) Me? I had recently moved and was starting to tentatively think about getting a small dog. I wanted one that would fit under an airplane seat if necessary - that way my traveling lifestyle wouldn't be cramped. No more than 20 pounds so I could easily carry it if it hurt itself. Another important point: I would have to move if I got a larger dog. So the quote that comes to mind is something about Man plans and God laughs....

I took Honey home with me and did everything I could to distract her. It was a sad time and we found out only one of the eight pups she had had lived. (His name is Mo, he's a brindle and he lives with a Beagle somewhere in LA.)

So, I did move and it wasn't bad because I had a great companion with me ready to make friends with anyone that came our way. Honey seems to have forgotten about her pups although she does tend to mother some puppies when she sees them - or maybe she just plain tries to boss young dogs around...

Tonight, she's lying next to my bed snoring away, oblivious to everything but some exciting dreams (the gophers we saw in the park today?) I gave her an extra walk today and let her spend as much time on those gophers as she wanted. She got some extra treats, too. I wanted to celebrate the dogversary.