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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”

on July 27, 2012

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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