I love my dog, but… April 29, 2012Posted by mareserinitatis in pets.
Tags: CGC, Gigadog, obedience
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.