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Posts Tagged ‘american kennel club’

Tips and Guidance for Canine Good Citizen Test Items 8 and 9: Reaction to Other Dogs and Reaction to Distraction

Saturday, October 2nd, 2010

In the fifth part of a multi-part series, Carol Hein-Creger, lead trainer at AnnaBelle’s, and Erinn Hadley, trainer and professional handler, and certified CGC evaluator, take you through each of the CGC exercises and offers tips and guidance for practicing and for successfully passing a CGC evaluation.

Test Item 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 20 to 30 feet, stop, shake hands and exchange pleasantries, and continue on for about 10 feet. The dogs should show no more than casual interest in each other. Neither dog should go to the other dog or its handler.

Tips and Guidance: While the Evaluator can’t require that the dog sit or down while the two handlers are greeting each other, you may at your discretion command your dog to do so. (I recommend that the dog be under the formal “Heel” command at the Handler’s left side for the approach to the other handler/dog team; given a formal “Sit” command while the two handlers are exchanging greetings; and again given the formal “Heel” command to resume their walk after the greeting.)

Test Item 9: Reaction to distraction

This test demonstrates that the dog is confident at all times when faced with common distracting situations. The Canine Good Citizen evaluator will select and present two distractions. Examples of distractions include dropping a chair, rolling a crate dolly past the dog, having a jogger run in front of the dog, or dropping a crutch or cane.

Tips and Guidance:

The dog may express natural interest and curiosity and/or may appear slightly startled but should not panic, try to run away, show aggressiveness, or bark. The handler may talk to the dog and encourage or praise it throughout the exercise.  The Canine Good Citizen Evaluator has the option of combining test exercises. For example, the Evaluator may elect to provide the distractions required in this test while the dog is completing a different exercise, such as Test Item #5, Walking Through a Crowd. If the distractions are provided in conjunction with another test during which the dog is supposed to be moving (heeling), then you may not command your dog to sit or down during distraction. If the Evaluator elects to conduct the Reaction to Distraction test as a stand-alone test, then you may at your discretion instruct your dog to “sit” or “down” during the distractions. Choose the option that best ensures your dog’s comfort level during distractions.

Stay tuned for tips for Test Item 10 – Supervised Separation. Check the Canine Training Center’s page to see when the next Canine Good Citizen class starts! Sign up today on-line or call 517.599.0995.

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Tips for Canine Good Citizen Test Item 1 – Accepting a Friendly Stranger

Monday, August 9th, 2010

In the first of a multi-part series, Carol Hein-Creger, lead trainer at AnnaBelle’s, and Erinn Hadley, trainer and professional handler, and certified CGC evaluator, takes you through each of the CGC exercises and offers tips and guidance for practicing and for successfully passing a CGC evaluation.

Test Item 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 walks up to the dog and handler and greets the handler in a friendly manner, ignoring the dog. 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.

Tips and Guidance:

While the Canine Good Citizen evaluator can’t require that the dog sits or down, you may command your dog to do so for this exercise. You may instruct your dog by voice command only – no yanking, pulling, or harsh correction with the leash. Remember that throughout all of the CGC exercises, you may talk to your dog as much as you want — give the initial command, repeat the command if needed, verbally praise and encourage. If your dog disobeys, verbally encourage and motivate your dog’s compliance — but do not overtly correct your dog with the leash.

Stay tuned for tips for Test Item 2 – Sitting Politely for Petting!

Check the Canine Training Center’s page to see when the next Canine Good Citizen class starts! Sign up today on-line or call 517.599.0995.

AKC Rally – No Pedigree Required!

Sunday, January 24th, 2010

Rally® focuses on the partnership between handler and dog. It is all about teamwork, communication and fun. In Rally, the dog and handler proceed at their own pace through a course of  designated stations.  Rally is the bridge between Canine Good Citizen® and Competitive Obedience. Read more here: All About Rally® from the American Kennel Club®:

Rally is a sport in which the dog and handler complete a course that has been designed by the rally judge. The judge tells the handler to begin, and the dog and handler proceed at their own pace through a course of designated stations (10 – 20, depending on the level). Each of these stations has a sign providing instructions regarding the next skill that is to be performed. Scoring is not as rigorous as traditional obedience.

Unlimited communication from the handler to the dog is to be encouraged and not penalized. Unless otherwise specified in these Regulations, handlers are permitted to talk, praise, encourage, clap their hands, pat their legs, or use any verbal means of encouragement. Multiple commands and/or signals using one or both arms and hands are allowed; the handler’s arms need not be maintained in any particular position at any time. The handler may not touch the dog or make physical corrections. At any time during the performance, loud or harsh commands or intimidating signals will be penalized.

What is Rally?

AKC Rally is the new dog sport that is taking the nation by storm, a successful stepping stone from the AKC Canine Good Citizen® program to the world of obedience or agility. Rally offers both the dogs and handlers an experience that is fun and energizing. The canine team moves at their own pace, very similar to rally-style auto racing. Rally was designed with the traditional pet owner in mind, but it can still be very challenging for those who enjoy higher levels of competition.

A rally course includes 10 to 20 stations, depending on the level. Scoring is not as rigorous as traditional obedience. Communication between handler and dog is encouraged and perfect heel position is not required, but there should be a sense of teamwork between the dog and handler. The main objective of rally is to produce dogs that have been trained to behave in the home, in public places, and in the presence of other dogs, in a manner that will reflect positively on the sport of rally at all times and under all conditions.

Eligibility – No Pedigree Required!

To be eligible to compete in AKC Rally trials, a dog must be registered with the AKC or listed with the AKC Purebred Alternative Listing/Indefinite Listing Privilege (PAL/ILP) program, or a Foundation Stock Service (FSS) recorded breed that meets the eligibility requirements for competition and 6 months of age or older. The Purebred Alternative Listing/Indefinite Listing Privilege (PAL/ILP): Dogs of any breed recognized by the AKC that do not have registration papers or known parents may qualify for a Purebred Alternative Listing/Indefinite Listing Privilege (PAL/ILP). PAL/ILP dogs may participate in certain AKC events, such as obedience, agility, tracking, rally and many performance events. Photos are required to prove the dog is a registerable breed. The dog must be spayed or neutered. For more information about the PAL/ILP program, visit the PAL/ILP section on the AKC web site, or e-mail questions to PAL@akc.org.”

UPDATE: As of April 1, 2010, the AKC, through its Canine Partners program, now allows mixed breed dogs to compete in Agility, Rally, and Obedience events.

*Note:  The UKC (United Kennel Club) allows mixed breed dogs for either agility or rally, and some other performance based events: UKC Agility Rulebook and UKC Rally Rulebook.

Want to learn more and get your dog involved in Rally?  Carol Hein-Creger of the Canine Training Center is offering a beginning Rally class, starting September 20, 2011! Five week class is only $79. Sign up now – space is limited!

Carol Hein-Creger has been training dogs and their owners for over 30 years.  She has trained thousands of people, including many local dog trainers, and is a seasoned competitor and handler.  Carol is teaching at AnnaBelle’s Pet Station in Downtown Lansing.  Check out her her upcoming class schedule.