In the fourth 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, takes you through each of the CGC exercises and offers tips and guidance for practicing and for successfully passing a CGC evaluation.
This test demonstrates that the dog has training, will respond to the handler’s commands to sit and down and will remain in the place commanded by the handler (sit or down position, whichever the handler prefers). Prior to this Canine Good Citizen test, the dog’s leash is replaced with a line 20 feet long. The handler may take a reasonable amount of time and use more than one command to get the dog to sit and then down. The evaluator must determine if the dog has responded to the handler’s commands. The handler may not force the dog into position but may touch the dog to offer gentle guidance. When instructed by the evaluator, the handler tells the dog to stay and walks forward the length of the line, turns and returns to the dog at a natural pace. The dog must remain in the place in which it was left (it may change position) until the evaluator instructs the handler to release the dog. The dog may be released from the front or the side.
Tips and Guidance: This is a 3 part test item. If your dog is properly trained that “sit means sit” and “down means down” (single command only), you may command your dog to “sit” or “down” only; the stationary exercise of “sit” and “down” should be practiced at varying leash lengths for distance control.
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 call the dog. The handler may use 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.
Tips and Guidance: This Canine Good Citizen exercise tests only the dog’s ability to return to handler upon a recall command. The Evaluator can not require a sit or down prior to the recall command. However, you may command your dog to sit or down at your discretion. Note that this exercise does not test whether the dog stays in position — the “stay” is a separate exercise (Test Item #6). If you are concerned about your dog’s ability to stay in place until recalled, the Evaluator can stand by your dog and hold the leash while you walk 10 feet away. After recalling your dog, you may at your discretion command the dog to sit or perform another finishing exercise.
Stay tuned for tips for Test Items 8 and 9 – Reaction to Another Dog and Reaction to Distraction. 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.