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Saint Anna, CGC

by Kyler Laird last modified 2009-03-11 14:20

We had some great showings at a CGC test.

date: 2009-03-09 (3336 days ago)

dogs: Anna, Buddy, Peyton

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I've been looking forward to the CGC test today but I've not found time to work on preparing the dogs. It's been frustrating. This morning I had work to do but in the afternoon I finally dropped everything else and started "cramming" for the test.

Buddy and I walked to University Place. It was the first time we'd simply taken a walk. He pulled at first but responded well to the clicker and treats. Soon he was heeling right beside me and he continued when we reached UPlace. Buddy often jumped on people for attention when he first came to us so that's been the main focus of my training so far. He's switched to sitting for attention and he's great at that.

At UPlace I worked with Buddy on "down." He's had to learn to down and stay for meals but I'd not had success asking him for a down elsewhere. It only took a few minutes with the clicker for him to get it. We rolled directly from that into stays. He certainly has a tendancy to follow me but once he understood what I wanted he relaxed and seemed content to wait for me. I didn't bother working recalls.

While at UPlace we visited several of the residents and got lots of attention in the physical therapy room. I got lots of comments about finally having a small dog and I enjoyed watching the little guy work the room. He was off-lead in the PT room and he behaved well. He did find a piece of gum in a wrapper on the floor. He brought it to me and traded for a treat.

I walked Buddy home and then drove to Anna's foster home to retrieve her. I entered to find that she'd not been crated and had made quite a mess. (I later learned that she wasn't out for lunch as usual.) I cleaned it a bit before heading back home and was running late. I walked with Anna to UPlace and she got better as we went along, pulling just slightly at first then settling back beside me.

At UPlace she was decidedly more to manage than Buddy. Anna is not at all treat motivated. I tried sticking a treat in her nose a few times but it didn't seem to interest her much. This would be a challenge. As with Buddy, I knew Anna needed help with downs and stays. I took a different approach with her, though. I used encouragement and motion alone to get her to sit and down. For the stay, I used coercion. As I'd see her start to rise I'd grab her collar and force her back to the ground. (O.k., I was also kissing the top of her nose as I did it but it's still not my preferred training technique.) It just took a few times doing that before she got the message and relaxed while I walked away from her.

Anna and I also visited residents and the PT room. She's tall enough to easily interact with people who are sitting and she was quite appreciated. I'd neglected to bring a towel but the staff in the PT room provided one and took turns with it. I think Anna has a wonderful personality but it still surprised me how much so many people appreciated her big, droopy, drooly face.

I took Anna to the health center courtyard to play a little and it was great fun to have her zip around me, bowing and darting. She did run into me once but it was not as bad as I expected. I enjoyed getting to spend some one-on-one time with her. Afterward we went inside and I took a business call while she rested calmly at my feet. We were running behind schedule so I asked Kitty to drive over with Buddy to meet us. I finished the call and jumped in the car just in time to get to the test.

Three dogs went before us, including Peyton. He passed! Anna had been lounging on the floor with me while one of Peyton's girls held Buddy so I took Anna first. She was incredible. We breezed through the test without a great deal of management. The evaluator appreciated her. She was a joy to handle.

Buddy went next. His quick attentive movements were a contrast to Anna's but he also flew through the test without a hitch...until the separation test. He whined a little bit throughout the test but went over the limit just before the three minutes was over. We failed the test and I was frustrated but I can certainly live with him being too focused on me. We'll work on it.


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