Today was a BIG day. Firstly, I participated in a puppy mill cast off intake and groom that began at 7am. I have a new foster dog!
But this post is about the Canine Good Citizen testing that came later in the afternoon. (No worries, there will be more about the darling puppy mill babies later on.)
I have mentioned before: I have dreams of doing pet therapy with Perri. I have long waited for a dog that showed promise in this area. I was asked many years ago if Ein could be a therapy dog for neurologically impaired people. (a corgi was being sought.) Since Ein does not like people, that was off. I had high hopes for Molly. She passed her CGC test and everything. But she is Very Overwhelming and has only recently started calming to the point where I would consider therapy work with her.
But Perri? She knows how to rock with Molly, but also how to bow her head on someone's chest. She has energy, but calm in all in the right places. I really think I have found my Therapy Dog.
But first...the Canine Good Citizen test. The CGC test was created by the AKC, and is a 10-step test that basically evaluates how much of a, well, good citizen a dog is.
1. Accepting a Friendly Stranger. Perri had to sit at my side while I shook hands with the evaluator. No issue.
2. Sitting politely for petting. No problem here! We practice Stand for Exam in Obedience class.
3. Allowing basic grooming procedures. Perri had to be brushed and paws and ears checked. She stood up for that, but that is allowable.
4. Walking on a loose lead. We walked a little course laid out with rally signs. Perri showed me some of that nice heeling that she is capable of!
5. Walking through a crowd. Same thing, good heeling, no charging towards the people.
6. Sitting and lying down on command and staying in place. Perri sat when asked. Downed when asked. Flawless sit-stay. So proud of my girl.
7. Coming when called. And she even sat at front.
8. Reacting appropriately to another dog. Whoops, we went greeting here! You are permitted to re-do one step if it is failed. We re-did this after the supervised separation and she was SO happy to be reunited with me that she heeled like a boss and couldn't have cared less about that other dog.
9. Reacting appropriately to distractions. The instructor dropped a clipboard, and someone walked by on a noisy walker. I don't even remember this part because I was sad about Perri visiting the "Test Collie".
10. Calmly enduring supervised separation from the owner. Those three minutes take forever!
So, my girl passed! Puppy's first title - Rip Van Periwinkle CGC!
Onward to the TDI test.
And then I had the wild idea last week of, "Why not enter Ein??"
Ein failed this test before, two years ago. Since then we have done rally-o, and I have noticed him becoming more and more confident.
1. Accepting a Friendly Stranger. Last time we did this, he became nervous. He sat calmly by my side today.
2. Sitting politely for petting. Last time we did this, he cringed down and hid behind me. Today he let the evaluator pet him on the head.
3. Allowing basic grooming procedures. THE LINE WAS DRAWN HERE. Ein moved laterally away from the Scary Brush. And there will be NO paw touching. Sheesh!
4. Walking on a Loose Lead. Superstar!
5. Walking through a crowd. Superstar! He gave some glances to the people, but stayed with me.
6. Sitting and lying down on command and staying in place. Beautiful!
7. Coming when called. Done! And sat at front.
8. Reacting appropriately to another dog. Ein went to greet the other dog! I was a little surprised to be honest. But my dog is 8 years old, so I also found it to be charming.
9. Reacting appropriately to distractions. He didn't even flinch. Eyes on the Mommy.
10. Calmly enduring supervised separation from the owner. This was the WORST last time. He hid under the bench, shook and drooled last time. This time? He sad beside the person holding him, unflinching and just waited for me. The witness called him "The Perfect Little Dog."
Ein failed the test, but he passed MY test. MY test was that Ein was not in white-eyed terror of anybody today. He did not melt down while not in my presence. He was amazing.
He is not an official Good Citizen, but he is My Good Dog.
Maybe in two more years he will finally pass this test? Not a bit deal to me. Ein passed the steps that I wanted him to pass today.