In the third 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 4: Out for a walk (walking on a loose lead)
This Canine Good Citizen test demonstrates that the handler is in control of the dog. The dog may be on either side of the handler. The dog’s position should leave no doubt that the dog is attentive to the handler and is responding to the handler’s movements and changes of direction. The dog need not be perfectly aligned with the handler and need not sit when the handler stops.
Tips and Guidance:
The evaluator may use a pre-plotted course or may direct the handler/dog team by issuing instructions or commands. In either case, there should be a right turn, left turn, and an about turn with at least one stop in between and another at the end. The handler may talk to the dog along the way, praise the dog, or give commands in a normal tone of voice. The handler may sit the dog at the halts if desired. Strive to maintain a loose leash throughout these exercises. At the CGC level of testing, your dog is not expected to deliver a flawless, focused heel; however, the Evaluator will not want to see a significantly lagging, forging, side winding, or out of control dog, or a handler who must physically force their dog to remain under control at their side.
Test Item 5: Walking through a crowd
This test demonstrates that the dog can move about politely in pedestrian traffic and is under control in public places. The dog and handler walk around and pass close to several people (at least three). The dog may show some interest in the strangers but should continue to walk with the handler, without evidence of over-exuberance, shyness or resentment. The handler may talk to the dog and encourage or praise the dog throughout the test. The dog should not jump on people in the crowd or strain on the leash. If your dog is already trained in such commands you may use a “leave it” or “no sniff” command, followed by repeat “Heel” command and praise, to prevent your dog from unnecessarily approaching or investigating the people in the crowd.
Tips and Guidance:
If your dog is already trained in such commands you may use a “leave it” or “no sniff” command, followed by repeat “Heel” command and praise, to prevent your dog from unnecessarily approaching or investigating the people in the crowd.
Stay tuned for tips for Test Items 6 and 7 – Sit/Down on Command and Staying in Place and Coming When Called
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.