Last weekend, I went to a dog show. Nothing unusual about that. But, what was different was the fact that I loaded up my car with dogs that were not entered in the show. The kennel club was offering Canine Good Citizen testing, so I decided to have all my Canterbury Tails girls tested.
The AKC test is fairly simple and straight forward. It is open to any dog, pedigree or not. Dogs need to be able to follow basic cues, walk easily on a leash, deal with people, other dogs, and distractions. For my dogs, it was not difficult. They have all spent time in the show ring around other dogs and people. The three older dogs are titled in obedience, so the skills were not hard for them.
My youngest dog, Orchid, did not know a stay command until I decided a week before to take them all for the test. So, almost every day of the previous week, Orchid and I practiced a stay. By the end of the week, she was doing pretty well, but I wasn’t sure how she would perform under pressure with the distractions of the show grounds.
The test consists of the handler ( me) meeting up with a stranger, chatting and shaking hands while the dog waits politely. The next step is for the dog to sit and allow the tester to pet her. After that, the dog is to allow the tester to run a brush over her body and pick up a paw (as if to clip a nail.). After that, I walked the dog around the ring on a loose leash. The next step required the handler to have the dog sit and then down. The challenge was when I had to walk 20 feet away from Orchid after asking her to stay. She did it!!! After returning back to her, I had to walk away again and then call her to me. No sweat. The following step had me walk the dog through a crowd of people and dogs. At a dog show, you can’t go anywhere without walking through both! The very last step had me leave my dog with the tester and go out of sight for three minutes. The three older dogs hardly acknowledged my return. Orchid, being the youngster, was happy to see me.
Fancy, Visa, Jubilee, and Orchid all passed with flying colors. I am a proud doggie mom.
Photo of Canterbury’s Priceless Gem RE BN CD CGC by RoxAnne Franklin