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“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it”

Hi all!
Here is a Lucy Training Update!

My goal is to have Lucy pass the Canine Good Citizen (CGC) test this year. The CGC is a test standardized by the AKC that tests dogs for good manners. The test can be performed by a wide variety of people (professional trainers down to those people at PetsMart). There is a certificate awarded to the lucky dog that passes. The CGC has ten challenges, listed below.

Test 1: Accepting a friendly stranger

We live in a hotel. Lucy has this down cold. She loves strangers!

Test 2: Sitting politely for petting

Again, we live in a hotel. Many a person has swooped down out of nowhere to pet, cuddle, or pick her up. She’s always very polite and enthusiastic.

Test 3: Appearance and grooming

Didn’t I say in my last post that this dog is a diva? She won’t go out in public looking any less than her best.

Test 4: Out for a walk (walking on a loose lead)

Yep, she walks on a loose lead.

Test 5: Walking through a crowd

We’re in Seattle. Any walk requires maneuvering around people, strollers, and shopping bags.

Test 6: Sit and down on command and Staying in place

This is where we run into some trouble. Lucy does none of these three things on command. She knows when I want her to sit (waiting for the elevator or to cross the street) but doesn’t know a word for it. I’m actively working on teaching her the necessary vocabulary for Sit and Down. Stay might be harder as she is something of a velcro dog.

Test 7: Coming when called

I’m about 80% sure she could do this if she could ever stay in one place long enough for me to get far enough away to call her.

Test 8: Reaction to another dog

Friendly dogs? She’s wonderful! Looks at them a bit and keeps walking. Big dogs that bark at her? She gets scared stiff. She just sits down wherever she is and watches that dog very very carefully.

Test 9: Reaction to distraction

She has very good focus. I can even get her attention away from pigeons.

Test 10: Supervised separation

Yep, I have been away from her. There were those couple of days in doggie day care and then occasionally I leave her with the front desk staff when they want to pet her and I want coffee. She kind of sits there for a minute looking in the direction I went, just waiting for me to get back.

So, 8/10 in 2 months? Not half bad, puppy-girl! And she doesn’t even get points for her only-bark-once-when-someone-is-at-the-door trick.

If she doesn’t pick up sit/down/stay by the time school starts back up I’ll enroll her in one of those PetsMart beginner classes. I’m sure she’ll ace it.

After the CGC I will feel confident enough to start Lucy on public access training. However, she needs knee surgery in September so for about 2 months she’ll be in recovery. She will have a lot of trouble walking so I’m not sure public access training will be able to start until Spring Semester.

tl;dr version: Lucy is too damn smart for her own good!

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Life with a Diva

Hello all!

Lucy’s personality is really starting to show now that she’s more comfortable in Seattle. She’s such a girly-girl diva doggie! She struts around Seattle like she owns the place. We even walked by someone the other day who gasps, “Look! It prances!” She also loves getting groomed, bathed, brushed, trimmed, you name it and she loves it. Clearly, she was born to be a show dog. But I don’t think she harbors any resentment towards me from keeping her from the life of a beauty queen.

Also, in true Diva style, Lucy is lazy! She likes a good long walk a couple times a day and spends the rest of the time asleep. On the floor, on the sofa, in her crate, on the counter at the front desk, it doesn’t  matter. There is only one place that she won’t sleep, and that is my lap. I’ve probably got the one lap dog in the world that doesn’t like laps.

I try my best not to spoil her. But I’m pretty sure that she’s been spoiled.

As evidence of how much she loves the camera (and how much the camera loves her!) I have included a slideshow of some recent pictures of her.

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