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I love my dog, but… April 29, 2012

Posted by mareserinitatis in pets.
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Today, we took Gigadog to have her evaluated for a CGC (Canine Good Citizen).  For those unaware of what this means, your dog has to do some basic heeling, allow strangers to touch them, and generally behave themselves around other people.  Given how huge Gigadog is, I find it rather important that she be well-trained.

We had been practicing in her obedience class, and she was doing all of the exercises fairly well with the exception of being greeted by a stranger.  Gigadog is terribly friendly and would rather make a point of introducing herself rather than waiting for someone to notice her and pet her.  I figured she would fail the test, or at least that section of it, but I also thought it would be a good experience to take it so we could see what we needed to work on.

Things started off okay, except, as I expected, she decided to introduce herself rather than sitting nicely and had to be restrained.  So we failed that part right off the bat.  However, then we started the heeling part and the other stuff…

It was like she was a completely different dog.  She kept looking over to the side of the ring where all the people were. She wouldn’t look at me, she wouldn’t listen to me…and then she finally just sat down and stared at all those people out there and wouldn’t move.  Afterwards, I had all kinds of ‘advice’ for what I was doing wrong with my training. Funny thing was, it was all stuff I was doing.

No, I realized afterwards was that we were witnessing one of these really bizarre behaviors that Gigadog has that I have never been able to break her of: she wants to people-watch.  When we go out for walks, she will occasionally see someone across the street.  She will then plop her butt down, wag her tail, and sit there until they disappear or I give her a good hard yank on her leash (she is impervious to gentle gestures).  Normally, we use a prong collar on her (and before you yell at me, try keeping a 100 lb. puppy from yanking your arm off), but we’re not allowed to on the test.  Despite the fact we had a martingale collar, we were getting no response from her.  She just wanted to sit and watch all those people staring at her outside the ring because she KNOWS that if she sits nicely, they’ll all come and pet her.  And Mom is just being a big dope by not letting her sit there.

So we failed the exam because she was dragging me all over the place during the heel (kept trying to go toward everyone outside the ring) and wouldn’t do a thing after that.  In fact, I think we failed spectacularly.

I thought this would go pretty well because there wouldn’t be any other dogs in the ring to distract her.  Boy, was I wrong.  Given all of the obedience and rally and other trials we want to do are set up to function this way, I have no idea what we’re going to do now.  I think that I might want to talk to my instructor and see if we can find a way for my fuzzy prima donna to practice how to not be a show-off.

But she didn’t care…just wanted some cheese when we got done.  Dogs are goofy.

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Comments»

1. Mados - April 30, 2012

I would like to train my dog* for the Canine Good Citizenship test but it appears to be quite expensive here in Australia.

 
*one of them…

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2. mareserinitatis - May 2, 2012

The training or the title? We’ve had Gigadog in classes since we got her, except over the summers. (She can’t take the heat.) It really depends on where you go for training. I know that a typical class costs around $100 for a 6-8 week session, but I found one place where prices are half that and the teachers just as good. But it’s still going to take a while because she’s so immature.

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3. Not a dog person « FCIWYPSC - June 1, 2012

[…] just hope we don’t have a repeat of our CGC experience…and that the judges don’t dock for slobber.  On the up side, I have another place I […]

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4. Mados - June 4, 2012

The training for both dogs and the test for one … $100 for a 6-8 week session is out of our league, $50 would maybe be OK.

We were training one of our dogs in a great local dog training club before we moved. There is usually a club like that for each area of Sydney, and membership typically costs around $50 for a year’s membership and then it costs about $4 per session when you come and train your dog.

I like the idea of the Canine Good Citizenship ‘certification’, I like the idea of it (a standard ‘qualification’ for good dog behaviour) and would like to learn the training.

I’ve got some loose ideas about wanting to foster dogs one day or train poundies. If the Citizenship test training is good and relevant then it could be a way to certify a homeless dog to say ‘this dog is well mannered and ready’ when people looking for a good second hand dog try to navigate through all the still-traumatised ex-poundies* with behavioural issues without making the wrong choice.

 
*Don’t get me wrong – one of my dogs is an ex-poundie and a great dog. The other one is a rescued stray dog from NT that has never been in a kennel… great dog too.

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5. Mados - June 4, 2012

Anyway, $100 is still much cheaper than I thought.

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6. Petra - March 11, 2014

Hello,
why don´t you try to train her with a Halti (a head-collar for dogs)? She won´t be able to pull you around because she doen´t have that much strength in her head and you can get her attention very easy. I train my Rottweiler with it. You do not need a prong collar. Just try it and you will love it!
Best regards from Germany
Petra

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mareserinitatis - March 11, 2014

Hi, Petra.

Thanks for the comments. I actually had one. She hated it, and every time I put it on her, she wouldn’t budge. She has a bit of a mind of her own. 🙂

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