Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Tuesday Training Tips: CGC Test Item 2

The second of my Canine Good Citizen (CGC) series going through each of the CGC exercises and offering tips for practicing in order to successfully pass a CGC Evaluation. Test Item 1 was covered previously.


Test Item 2: Sit Politely for Petting

This test demonstrates that the dog will allow a friendly stranger to touch it while it is out with its handler. With the dog sitting at the handler's side to being the exercise, the evaluator pets the dog on the head and body. The handler may talk to their dog as it is petted. The dog must not show shyness or resentment.

CGC Test 2 being demonstrated
(photo borrowed from www.abettertraineddog.com).

So Your Goal: No Jumping (or otherwise overly enthusiastic behaviors)!

Training Tips:

Sitting politely for petting sounds simple, right? Not so much for most people's dogs (mine included!). The butts seem to just pop off the floor the minute the petting starts. They turn into wiggling, spinning, jumping, giddy bundles of silliness. Dogs that are social butterflies will have a harder time remaining calm than those dogs that are a bit more aloof with people.

The best way to practice for this test is to do the same thing you did for test item 1 - get your dog out in public frequently. :) A large part of this exercise (sitting calmly when a stranger approaches) has been accomplished by practicing for test item 1. So now we are going to build on that behavior by having people actually pet your dog. It's a good idea to start with family members and friends who are already familiar with the dog. Have your dog on leash, sitting next to you and have your family members approach and pet your dog. Praise your dog as it sits and don't allow anyone to pet the dog while it is jumping. If your dog has trouble containing their excitement, you may have to direct the person doing the petting to go in increments. Start by slowly approaching and merely touching the dog and backing up. You can gradually increase the length of petting time over several practice sessions.

As soon as your dog understands that it must remain under control while being petted by those it knows, you can allow strangers to do the same. Remember that many people, especially children, do not know how to approach an animal and they may need some guidance, particularly before your dog is well trained and reliable.

video


I recommend that you courteously confirm with the evaluator that they will approach your dog from the side and to pet your dog under the chin or on its chest. Also note, this exercise, and test item 3 (appearance and grooming), are the only exercises you are allowed to physically touch your dog. You may place your hand gently under the collar of the your dog to encourage it to stay in the sit position while being touched by the friendly stranger and you may repeatedly tell it to sit and praise it. However, you may not force your dog to maintain its sitting position by placing your hands on its body or pulling on the leash.

Next week we'll discuss CGC Test Item 3, which relates to appearance and grooming. 

Remember - Keep your practice light and fun!




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