Canine Good Citizen

Please discuss Obedience Training for Competition here.....

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Canine Good Citizen

Postby Gwennei88 » Wed Sep 20, 2006 8:35 pm

I have a question for those of you who have done CGC with your dogs.... did you actually practice the test things at the class?

Here's the deal... we've been going to obedience class for 7 weeks, and tomorrow is the end of class tests. There's one that is all the standard obedience things like walking on a loose leash, sit, down, stay, etc. We've been working on all those things in class the whole time.

Then just last week the trainer said we'll also be doing CGC and gave us a list of all the things required. The only practice and/or advice was "Petsmart is a great place to practice these things." I was just kind of like... um.... ok.

I didn't say anything to her because, quite frankly, I can't stand her and have only continued in the class because I paid my money and figured I'd stick it out. I don't know a whole lot about dog training, but I know this woman is not very good.

My first clue was the second week. The class is outside (tough to begin with) with a million distractions, and Mae would not listen at all because she was pointing at a bird. The trainer kept trying to get me to just pull harder on the choke chain. Sorry, but no. I understand the need for a correction here or there, but Mae would gladly get decapitated before she stopped pointing. And besides, all indications point to her being trained to hunt (2 pieces of buckshot in her!! :shock: ), so maybe that's what she's been trained to do. Who knows.

Sorry, this turned into more of a vent than I intended, I'm just very frustrated by the poor quality of this class. I have already found a better place (I hope!) and don't mind if we have to start all over with beginning obedience.

I really am curious about my original question. Shouldn't we have been practicing the CGC things all along if they were gonna get tested? Or at least been informed of what the criteria was from the beginning? I had no idea what the test entailed and so Mae will never pass... one week was not long enough to work on all that stuff.
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Postby Lisa » Wed Sep 20, 2006 9:26 pm

If the intention of the class was to prepare you for taking the CGC test, then yup, I would have expected the trainer to have practiced those things in class.

Brittty wasn't ready to pass the CGC test until she'd done basic obedience twice, basic agility twice, and an intermediate class where we specifically worked on some of her issues. So, I didn't feel she was ready to pass the test until she'd complete almost 40 weeks of obedience spread over 2 years of working with her. Granted, I was also training her to be a therapy dog, and I waited to do the CGC until I thought she was ready to pass the TDI too, but still...

There's no way Buster would have been ready to pass the CGC after only one obedience class. I've had him for a year now, and I'm fairly certain I could get him to pass it now, but haven't had the opportunity to try.

You can take the CGC as many times as you want, so you might as well look over the things, give it a try, and if Mae doesn't pass, then you'll just know what you need to work on. Britty took it twice...her first time after 16 weeks of training...I knew she wasn't ready but wanted to get some idea of where she needed the most work. Something to remember, though...don't stress about it, have fun, and regardless of how Mae does, praise her like she just won Westminster...she did her best, and she doesn't really care if she passes a test or not.
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Postby Gwennei88 » Wed Sep 20, 2006 9:56 pm

Thanks for sharing your experiences Lisa. It's very helpful for us newbies to hear about other britt owners paths. :D :D

I'm really not worried about either test at all. We've been practicing a lot and Mae is doing fantastic around the house, so I'm happy with that for now. I don't think she went many public places before we got her, so of course she's way overexcited at those times, and not so obedient. But no worries, I'm a big believer in baby steps.

I just revisited the web site for the other school I found, and they offer CGC at the end of the second level class. Maybe with what we've already learned and more practice at home we could go right into the second class there. It also mentioned pre-agility at that level, and I'd love to try that.

I guess I was just really baffled that the current trainer sprung it on us one week before she expects them to pass the test, and the best she could do was send us to Petsmart. She didn't even demonstrate the test - just gave us a decription of each thing.

Mae always gets lots of praise and I end up laughing at her at class a lot when she's being a nut. The trainer says that I need to get tougher or she'll never learn who's in charge. Yelling and choke chain yanking just aren't my style. And besides... one snap of my finger and mae is off my big comfy chair. That tells me that I AM the one in charge. :lol: :lol:
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Postby Lisa » Wed Sep 20, 2006 10:10 pm

Mae always gets lots of praise and I end up laughing at her at class a lot when she's being a nut. The trainer says that I need to get tougher or she'll never learn who's in charge. Yelling and choke chain yanking just aren't my style. And besides... one snap of my finger and mae is off my big comfy chair. That tells me that I AM the one in charge


Some trainers just can't get past that need to control and dominate.

I've never needed to be tough or yell or use a choke chain to show my dogs I'm in charge. I'm more a fan of benevolent leadership. My dogs know who's the boss! Sounds like Mae does too 8)
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Postby swillow66 » Thu Sep 21, 2006 10:28 am

Our CGC test was part of our advanced obedience class. She should have definately told you, if nothing else to advertise she was certified to give the test and get more people to sign up.

Sounds like you have already figured out that you want to change instructors. Don't fret, the test can be given again (and again if needed :wink: ). Just use the current class as a place to practice your distraction exercises and move on to a much better trainer!!

Have fun and breathe!! Shelli
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Postby Gwennei88 » Fri Sep 22, 2006 1:17 pm

Oh my goodness. :shock: Mae PASSED the CGC test last night.

It was completely ridiculous. The trainer based almost the entire test on how the dogs were acting while we were all milling around and practicing before class. After we each did the first obedience test, she just went through the list for CGC and said things like "Accepting a friendly stranger... I've seen all your dogs do that." And that was it! The info she gave us described exactly how the tests are conducted, and she didn't do them at all.

It's nice that Mae passed I guess, but it feels like a very hollow victory. She is making a lot of progress, but there's no way she should have passed this test. For one thing it took 6 or 8 tries for her to stay. Not to mention that the entire time we were there she was straining on her leash to sniff the next thing. Oh yeah... during the supervised seperation the trainer took each dog in her office. Well she has a cockateil in there, and Mae BROKE the cage trying to get it. :shock: :oops: :shock:

This whole class was just bizarre. Every dog passed CGC. I don't know which was the most ridiculous... the Jack Russell that jumps up on every person that comes anywhere near it, the rottweiler that vomited if too many people were near it at once, or the standard poodle that tries to bite any dog that comes near it. And these dogs all passed!!! :shock:

Enough. You get the point. :lol: I'm thinking about taking the level 2 class at another place, and they do CGC in that course. Maybe by then I'll feel like Mae actually earned her certificate! (she still got a hamburger on the way home for passing this time :D :D )
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Postby Kathy » Fri Sep 22, 2006 1:34 pm

Oh yeah... during the supervised seperation the trainer took each dog in her office. Well she has a cockateil in there, and Mae BROKE the cage trying to get it.


I burst out laughing reading that one. :lol:

OK, your "trainer" is clueless. Like a bird dog is supposed to ignore the cockateil!

Look, I think you got something out of this class, even if the class, overall, was unsatisfying. I'd encourage you to continue on with someone else so that you and Mae can enjoy the interaction together.

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Postby Lorie » Fri Sep 22, 2006 3:35 pm

OK, your "trainer" is clueless. Like a bird dog is supposed to ignore the cockateil!


She passed since she didn't eat the bird... :lol: :lol:

That was just too funny of a story :D :D
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Postby Lisa H » Fri Sep 22, 2006 7:20 pm

Just think of it as a learning experience...at least you and Mae got out to classes, learned a bit and know the direction you want to take now....in the opposite direction of that "instructor" ! :lol:
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peeved!

Postby milkbones4hannah » Sat Sep 23, 2006 8:28 am

Wow, Although I laughed at your post, I'm horrified that all those critters passed! I can understand your take on this "hollow" victory. My reasoning is this. The general public uses the CGC test as a barometer of acceptable behavior. Even a non-dog loving individual should be able to tolerate a CGC dog. When there is a breakdown of CGC training it makes the whole program look like a joke. I think if the standards for the CGC test are maintained the public is more likely to be accepting of dogs in public places, nursing homes, parks, etc. It's just going to take one "out of control" CGC dog to make a scene and spoil it for the others that work so hard to have obedient pets.
I'm so glad you have found a new trainer and also that you could see her inadequacies as a trainer!
Sorry to vent...just a pet peeve of mine!
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Re: peeved!

Postby Gwennei88 » Sat Sep 23, 2006 8:53 am

milkbones4hannah wrote: When there is a breakdown of CGC training it makes the whole program look like a joke.


I couldn't agree with you more. The first thing I said to DH was that I didn't feel that excited about Mae passing because it just kinda cheapens the whole program. She wasn't the worst (or the best for that matter) but that doesn't mean she should have passed. Mae will get there eventually because we are working very hard on her public behavior. But what about the other dogs?

and know the direction you want to take now....in the opposite direction of that "instructor"


It was all I could do not to laugh when at the end of class she tried to get us all to sign up for the Rally class she wants to get started! :roll: :lol:
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